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Editorial: Start the year with transparency

Original post made on Dec 30, 2008

Three cheers for the Menlo Park Fire Protection District board, which decided two weeks ago to require that tentative labor agreements between the district and its employees be available for public review at least 15 calendar days before being brought before the board for ratification.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 31, 2008, 12:00 AM

Comments (12)

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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 30, 2008 at 2:15 pm

I commend the Almanac for recommending to the Menlo Park City Council that it follow John Boyle's advice. The Almanac is urging more transparency and so far John Boyle has been the only oouncil member to support it. Hopefully Heyward Robinson, Andy Cohen, Richard Cline and Kelly Fergusson will follow Mr. Boyle's most excellent lead.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 31, 2008 at 2:06 am

The responsibility of elected officials is to provide complete transparency and the responsibility of citizens is to utilize that transparency in order to ensure that the needs of the public are well served. It would be a sad commentary if the transparency provided by the Fire Board does not now result in a more informed and involved public.

In my eight years of service on the Fire Board I have counted less than 20 citizens during that entire period who attended a Fire Board meeting and offered comment on any proposed action. Remember that in a democracy you get the kind of government which you deserve.

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 31, 2008 at 9:17 am

Open processes are best for the people of Menlo Park.

Fergusson is the queen of backroom deals yet she was re-elected somehow. Maybe Menlo Park voters don't care.

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Posted by Cough it up
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 31, 2008 at 10:09 am

Joanna, What evidence do you have that Kelly Fergusson cuts backroom deals?

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 31, 2008 at 2:49 pm

I started caring and noticing when she insisted on discussing the Theater Handout scheme behind closed doors and insisted on doing so through the very end.

Despite many calls for openness, she went for the secret method.

There are more instances but I can't remember the details surrounding them. In those instances, the Almanac has published the fact that she opted to deal with them behind closed doors.

Check her record.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jan 1, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Joanna, let me refer you the letter drafted by Cline and Cohen in February 2007. Boyle is recycling old ideas (again) and he is cloaking the union attack under this very important topic.

None of us are fooled. And we will prove it again in the next election. You and Boyle have a minority point of view. If Boyle was a true activist for transparency he would have condemned the no bid contract for the pool. He did not. He would also have condemned Mickie Winkler's obvious hijacking of email lists from the city. He did not. Instead, he took that list to propagate his own message.

Boyle took interest in this topic because he wanted HSR to pass and union contracts rejected. Nothing more, nothing less.

You agree with him. We all know this. You and Hank and angry anti truth and Boyle.

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Posted by The Anti-Schmidt
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 1, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Truth is full of Schmidt. Boyle wasn't even on the City Council when the contract was awarded to Tim Sheeper. No one else had a program like his and the City was damn lucky to have Tim Sheeper step forward. And Mickie Winkler did not hijack any city e-mail lists. If Truth has any proof he should offer it instead of making baseless accusations. This is just another tactic of the extreme left. They believe if they tell a lie often enough ingenous people will believe it is true.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jan 1, 2009 at 9:06 pm

How sad that a discussion of government transparency and citizen involvement has so quickly degenerated into attacks on individuals - why not deal with what can be done to improve the process and to increase citizen participation? Even sadder is that these attacks are all being done anonymously - where is the transparency and accountability in hiding one's identity while attacking someone in a public forum?

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Posted by Old Timer
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Jan 2, 2009 at 4:07 pm

I generally disregard anything "truth" says.

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Posted by Concerned About Menlo Park
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jan 2, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Transparency for this council might mean an explanation from Fergusson as to how she got the city to join a law suit regarding high speed rail when the issue was not on the agenda. A closed session item on the agenda that a council member knows involves the city in legal action doesn't cut it. Also, Fergusson got the city committed to this law suit with only one other council member's vote. The city attorney and the city manager should have cautioned Fergusson that this is a poor way to represent the city.

Remember this the next time you vote: Fergusson pulled a fast one over the citizens of MP and Cline joined her. Both knew that had Robinson been present, he would have voted with them. Sure, it was all legal but so was segregation long ago.

Brown Act, my foot. Transparency? You gotta be kidding. Does the Democratic Party in San Mateo County know how their democrats on our council conduct themselves? I'm a democrat and I'd vote for John Boyle before I would for any of the four others.

Menlo Park is a joke. This council needs to have an open discussion in a public setting as to ethical guidelines the council will follow in the future. No city should commit itself to any legal action without the entire council being present and voting.

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Posted by Gaelstrom
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 3, 2009 at 12:39 am

Don't you dare criticize my comrades in arms Heyward, Kelly, Richard, and Andy. It took me a long time to train them and they are still a work in progress. But they follow my orders without question. As Field Marshall of the left wing movement in Menlo Park and with aid and devotion of my foot soldiers, the SEIU, we will own this city, will be able to do anything we want and the residents will be powerless to stop us.

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 3, 2009 at 8:44 am

Concerned about Menlo Park:

Bingo! The High Speed Rail issue was another example of Fergusson's backroom deals.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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