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Councilman fails in bids for regional seats

Original post made on Dec 22, 2009

At the Dec. 18 meeting of the San Mateo County Council of Cities, Menlo Park Councilman Heyward Robinson failed in bids to secure a place on two regional transportation boards.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 22, 2009, 8:39 AM

Comments (16)

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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Dec 22, 2009 at 10:05 am

So, after all the hoopla and turmoil among the City Council, no one from Menlo Park will be on the Transportation Authority. Nice going.

You guys should definitely consider running for statewide or even national offices.

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Posted by WhoRUpoeple
a resident of another community
on Dec 22, 2009 at 10:46 am

Good for the Council of Cities. Mr. Ahmad's qualifications for both appointments are outstanding (at least equal to those of John Boyle).

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Good! Robinson has no business holding any kind of seat.

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Posted by Long Term resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Boyle had a better chance based on qualifications. Too bad our council majority, and especially Robinson, played politics with it.

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Posted by best shot
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm

I am very glad our city council supported one candidate to show that there is community support for the candidate. It is nothing new that cities in south county are not represented on transportation boards. It is very unfortunate that the system works the way it does. No need to get into disparaging either of our councilmembers.

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Posted by old timer
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 24, 2009 at 4:35 am

Everyone here is missing the reality. Boyle put up this big stink, not because he thought he had any chance of getting appointed, but because he didn't want Robinson appointed.

Boyle continues to be pro HSR and is the only council member to approve of the High Speed Rail Authority's plan to run this train through our city. He doesn't care how it comes through here, or whether it is good for the State financially or otherwise, he just wants the train.

He knew full well council would not endorse him, so he put up this show on what was supposed to be a fun evening with the installation of Rich Cline as Mayor.

Boyle didn't want Robinson appointed, because he might have been a voice of opposition on the PCJPB, he might have been a voice expressing opposition to the present HSR project.

Well Boyle won this round; Heyward lost the seat, so Menlo Park has no voice on the SanTrans boards or the PCJPB. Thanks John, your a real winner for Menlo Park.

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Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Dec 24, 2009 at 9:17 am

Nice try, Old Timer, but anyone interested can go back and watch the video of the meeting. Robinson and Ferguson teamed up to get the issue on the table. Boyle indicated it should wait for another more appropriate night. Perhaps if Boyle hadn't voluntarily pulled out of the race in the interest of "Council Unity", because of his superior qualifications he might have won one of the two seats that Robinson failed to get.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Dec 24, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Qualifications? Sitting on regional housing boards? Two months on a transportation commission before he ran for council?

Stop smelling your own stink. Boyle has no reason to think he is more qualified than Heyward. This is the same game you guys all play, pining for your own.

Menlo Park had no chance to get this seat because the coalition between the big cities will keep that from happening. San Mateo and RWC and South SF ruled that day and always will.

As long as you people keep infighting, insulting, impugning your own, you will be stuck in the same mud. The council meeting actually was more fair and respectful than this string of garbage.

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Posted by Maria
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 24, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Boyle should have run. It was inappropriate for Kelly and Robinson to do what they did. Perhaps if Boyle had run, we'd have the representation now. This hurt my6 opinion of Kelly for bringing it up at the particular time she c hose!

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Posted by HoHoHo
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 24, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Old Timer and Truth. What a smoke screen for your candidate's failure to win the election.

First of all it was Robinson, not Boyle, that put this matter on the council agenda.

Secondly, Boyle was on the transportation commission before being on the city council and for the last three years has been the only city council member who consistently attends the transportation commission meetings. It would be hard for anyone to honestly say that he has not shown a serious interest in improving public transportation in Menlo Park.

Third, as was pointed out at the council meeting, since the council of cities takes multiple ballots until one candidate gets a majority, there was no way for Boyle to spoil the election for Robinson (or visa versa) unless he won the majority himself.

Fourth, while I may not agree with bringing HSR through Menlo Park, a majority of Menlo Park residents did vote for the ballot measure and I am glad that Boyle is at least trying to engage on the issues of how to make our crossings more safe without destroying the character of our downtown.

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Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Dec 26, 2009 at 1:20 pm

As a Transportation Commissioner, I can say with some experience that, in my personal opinion, the Transportation Commission is not about Transportation. It's about sidewalks, street crossings, parking, and improving various safety features on various road intersections. It's about city street traffic at the micro-level, but not the macro-level. All are good and necessary issues, but they are not about the urban mass transit that the word Transportation incorporates.

Menlo Park has no Transportation or public transit policy. The Commission does not deal with Transportation policy or strategic issues. We persist in operating on the implicit and unchallenged assumption that cars are bad and getting around any other way is good. That's not a policy. Mostly the Commission advises the City Council on which street curbs should be painted red and what studies might be conducted.

One of the most significant Transportation issues in many generations to hit our city will be the high-speed train. You can be for it or against it. The Transportation Commission has not incorporated that issue into it's discussions, has no policy advice for the Council, and is not a part of the Council sub-committee on the HSR. Meanwhile, Atherton, with less than one third the population of Menlo Park, has had an active railroad committee that meets monthly, with members doing tons of homework, that also has great influence on their City Council. Their Mayor conducts the rail committee meetings.

Caltrain has been a major feature of urban mass transit. Caltrain has for the past several years reduced service to the Menlo Park Station. For the foreseeable future, that won't change unless they continue to reduce service while they increase fares. The Transportation Commission has not received the charge of placing this critical commuter issue on its agenda. Elsewhere we have repeatedly made the observation that Caltrain is operating with the wrong business model; they believe they are in the railroad business when they should recognize that they are in the urban mass transit business. It strikes me that this is an appropriate issue for a Transportation Commission to undertake.

What does all this have to do with the topic of this particular article and thread? As the City Council quarrels about who is more qualified to serve our transportation needs on various transit bureaucracies, there appears to be no substance -- no substantive discussions -- about our transportation needs and how they can be best served.

And that's a pity.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Dec 28, 2009 at 9:48 am

HoHoHo, spare us the false assumptions. I have no horse in this race. I just think it is funny that you try to make this big case for a candidate who served two months on a commission and attends public meetings on transportation as being qualified.

It reeks of the same desperate resume fluffing we see nationally. If you want to be honest, MP does not have someone qualified to the level we need. Neither does San Carlos or any other city I have seen.

I disagree that transit's top issue is HSR. That is what the HSR folks would lead you to believe. We need local transit and that should be our number one focus.

If this were a high speed rail issue, then Cline has more knowledge and "time spent" than either Boyle or Robinson.

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Posted by Looking from the Outside In
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Dec 28, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Truth of the matter is that the Menlo Park City Council is considered a joke throughout the County. John Boyle is the only Menlo Park Councilmember who is seen as reasonable, rational, and smart. Therefore, he is the only MP Councilmember who is taken seriously by other council members throughout the County. The others, especially Heyward Robinson and Kelly Ferguson, are seen as "crazy." If Menlo Park wants to have a voice on a more regional-basis, it needs to elect better and smarter people, not extremists like Heyward and Kelly. This outcome is not a surprise to anyone who knows the truth about the Menlo Park City Council. John Boyle was the only person from the Council who had a chance to be on SamTrans Board. You can thank Kelly and Heyward for ZERO representation from Menlo Park. If Menlo Park residents keep electing clowns like Kelly and Heyward, the city will become irrelevant in county politics. That's already the trend. I hope Menlo Park residents see this when they consider the 2010 election and do NOT re-elect Heyward.

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Posted by Alice in Wonderland
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 29, 2009 at 12:16 am

"John Boyle is the only Menlo Park Councilmember who is seen as reasonable, rational, and smart."


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Posted by An Observor
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 29, 2009 at 6:57 am

I did not make sense to me to only nominate 1 Menlo Park City Council member. Nominating 2 members would have increased the odds for Menlo Park. Nominating only 1 member increased the odds for Mr. Robinson. So, the Menlo Park City Council decided to put the interests of Mr. Robinson above the interests of the City. That is plain and simple. This typical cronyism that Mr. Robinson, Ms. Fergusson, Mr. Cline and Mr. Cohen have engaged in- promoting each other's interests at the expense of the City,has got to stop!

Also, Mr. Boyle was a transportation commissioner and Mr. Robinson was not. Mr. Boyle continued to attend Transportation Commission meetings and Mr. Robinson did not. It seems that Mr. Robinson wanted to have all the glory without doing any of the work. It is a real shame when we have a City Council that cares more about promoting their own private agendas than working the will of the people.

In next year's City Council election it would be wise for the voters to give the oher candidates a real hard look because quite frankly I believe that we can do a whole lot better than Mr. Robinson.

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Posted by Owl
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 29, 2009 at 6:47 pm

To: Alice in Wonderland


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

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