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Letter: Morantes is best choice for supervisor

Original post made on May 23, 2012

Thank you for your story last week covering the San Mateo County supervisor race. I believe Memo Morantes appears to be the most qualified to represent us.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 12:00 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Memo Morantes has great qualifications and I believe that he along with Carlos Romero are the two best choices for District 4 Supervisor. But as far as the best choice is concerned I would have to give the nod to Carlos Romero.

Carlos Romero, in November, will have 4 solid years on the East Palo Alto City Council with a full year under his belt as mayor. Prior to his being elected as mayor, he was chair and vice chair of the East Palo Alto Redevelopment Agency, served on and chaired the city’s Planning Commission for 6 years, and was a member and chair of the East Palo Alto Rent Stabilization Board for 4 years. Currently, Romero chairs the City’s Housing and Economic Development committees.

Romero is the Vice Chair of City/County Association of Governments (C/CAG) of San Mateo County, and Vice Chair of the Dumbarton Rail Policy Advisory committee for Alameda and San Mateo counties. He is a board member of the Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance comprised of 17 San Mateo County cities, and is an alternate board member on the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority.

For three and one-half years, he served on the nine county Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s advisory committees, and chaired its Equity Analysis subcommittee. He is an active participant in the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, focusing on their Housing, Land Use and Transportation policy areas.

When you look at both the breadth and depth of County-wide experience no one comes close to matching Carlos Romero's qualifications, experience, and accomplishments. And while I have great respect for Memo Morantes Carlos Romero is better qualified.

Posted by details
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 24, 2012 at 12:06 am

Hank, you are obviously impressed with Romero's accomplishments.

"Bachelor's degree in international relations and economics, Stanford University; Loeb Fellow, graduate school of design-urban planning/finance, Harvard University; Fannie Mae Fellow, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University"

In Romero's ballot statement he writes that he was "educated at Stanford and Harvard", but no place does he say that he received a graduate degree from Harvard or any school. Two questions for Romero?

1. do you have an undergraduate degree in economics? [ ] Yes [ ] No
2. do you have a graduate degree from Harvard? [ ] Yes [ ] No

Posted by agree
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2012 at 12:16 am

Well said details, at least Morantes is honest about his education.

Knowingly making false statements on an official election document is a Class C felony punishable by as much as five years in prison and a $125,000 fine. Web Link

Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 24, 2012 at 11:42 am

I stand on what I have said. My post did not mention Romero's education because what he has accomplished is so impressive that he is obviously the best choice regardless of his formal education.

Also, formal education is not necessarily a reliable predictor of success in public service. Kelly Fegusson and Heyward Robinson both have PhDs from Stanford yet they were largely ineffective as council members and mayors.

Accomplishments are far better criteria than education in predicting future performance and no one can argue that Carlos does not have significant county wide accomplishments and experience. I like Memo Morantes but Carlos Romero is simply better qualified.

However, Memo Morantes would obviously be a strong second choice. He is very good.

Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I agree with Hank two very good candidates, Memo Morantes is endorsed by Sheriff Greg Munks which makes him a no vote for me.

Posted by Unsure
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Hank, you listed off the committees that Romero was on, but none of his accomplishments. Can you link to a news article that describes something he accomplished as mayor?

Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Carlos Romero guided the East Palo Alto City Council to a unanimous vote to bring the East Palo Alto Police Department pay and benefits in line with what the city could afford.

I worked hard on Measure L and even with our great achievement of winning every single precinct in Menlo Park with an average for vote exceeding 71% for a two-tier pension system Carlos did better than us. We did not address safety officer pay and pension with Measure L.
There were good reason for this but Carlos, with a fearlessness and focus, took the bull by the horns and wrestled it to the ground.

Now I would say that is one helluva accomplishment.

Carlos is a courageous man willing to take on the most controversial and difficult issues for the good of his city. This reflects, courage, commitment, and calmness under fire. He is armed with facts. He is lucid, persausive, knowledgable and able to bring closure that is equitable for reasonable parties. This is exactly what we need for the Board of Supervisors.

Posted by Dave Boyce
Almanac staff writer
on May 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Dave Boyce is a registered user.

In response to the post by "details," the Almanac looked into this and will be publishing this story/correction:


The Almanac erred in the May 16 issue in stating that Carlos Romero, a candidate for San Mateo County supervisor in the June 5 election, has a bachelor's degree in international relations and economics from Stanford University.

The language Mr. Romero used in describing his time at Stanford -- "Education: Stanford University, International Relations and Economics" -- did not say anything about his having gotten a degree.

Mr. Romero spent four and a half years as a Stanford undergraduate, where he focused on international relations and economics. The press of his ambitions to work in urban development led him to move on to his career without graduating, he said in a telephone interview.

To get his bachelor's degree, he said he would need around two quarters' worth of credits -- "if I wanted to go back," he added.

Four years at Stanford is an investment. Did that weigh on his decision to not come away with a degree? "Yes and no," he replied. "It was a conscious decision. ... Keep in mind that my intention was to very much continue to work in the urban realm, particularly related to disadvantaged communities of color like East Palo Alto. That meant a lot to me."

His lack of a degree has not been a stumbling block to pursuing graduate-level work, he said. He completed two fellowships at Harvard University, one to which he was invited and the other for which he applied and was accepted, he said.

As a Fannie Mae Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, he studied housing policy, and as a Loeb Fellow, he worked on urban policy, including applying it to affordable housing, he said.

Posted by more details
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 25, 2012 at 2:51 am

Four years ago, during introductions at the League of Women Voters forum Web Link and in this stream
Web Link (around 16:00) Carlos says,

"I have a degree in economics from Stanford, urban planning and advanced environmental design degree from Harvard"

Does anyone have the voter guide from 2008, with his ballot statement?

Posted by Big Issue
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 26, 2012 at 5:33 am

Given that Mr Romero represented to voters he had degrees from both institutions in 2008, is the Almanac going to call Harvard to check what Mr. Romero represented on his applications?

Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on May 26, 2012 at 6:51 am

I don't know what he (Carlos) said 4 years ago the link supplied didn't work.

So I went to his site and found under Education

Carlos studied international relations and economics at Stanford University. He was a Fannie Mae Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2001, and in 2004/2005 he was a Harvard Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. During his Loeb Fellowship, he worked on land use and transportation issues, national housing policy, and advanced real estate finance and capital markets.

He is the only candidate opposed to the JAIL we can't afford.

Posted by County Voter
a resident of another community
on May 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm

It's not a big issue. All of the communication I've seen from Carlos Romero lists his *credentials* - credentials don't always include degrees. Credentials can include certifications & accreditations that are relevant to the subject being discussed. Sometimes these credentials matter more than a degree, sometimes not. His credentials are relevant to his professional and community work - that includes his non- degreed education at Stanford.

The results I've seen from Romero are impressive- made moreso because he does it without bells and whistles and while being thrifty. I thought this 20 years ago - when I knew he'd not finished his undergrad - and they're impressive now because he has more experience AND the fellowships under his belt.

He has the ability to bring people together and facilitate needed change without demeaning anyone. He's not personally or professionally wasteful - he's always been an advocate for budgeting and streamlining whenever possible. This is a crucial trait now and for the foreseeable future. He's always answered my questions and addressed my concerns as a constituent. I value his knowledge, expertise, communication style and accessibility. He isn't a showboater but he's confident and well grounded with the issues and possibilities of improvement in our county.

What I think is a big issue is who's stirring this up - someone's feeling mighty threatened!

Posted by Immoral
a resident of another community
on May 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm

When Romero first read the article in the Almanac, that stated he had a degree from Stanford, he should have contacted the publisher right away to request a correction. It doesn't matter what exactly he has been saying, everyone that hears his pitch thinks he has degrees from Stanford and Harvard.

Posted by Menlo Moderate
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

How do you know Carlos Romero read the article in the Almanac? This is nothing more than a smear campaign against a man with exemplary county service. This obsession with degrees is not relevant to the campaign. For example, we have a Menlo Park City Council member with a degree from Golden Gate University who is way outperforming another Council member with a PhD from Stanford in every possible measurement of performance.

Degrees are only important at the beginning of a work career. When you have been around awhile, as all Supervisorial candidates have, knowledge, experience and accomplishments trump education every time.

This is why I am voting for Carlos Romero.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm

This smear campaign is ridiculous, as Menlo Moderate points out. I wonder what an ISP search would find? Most of the naysayers are not regular commenters, but that majority of reasonable comments come from regular commenters in the various threads. Even the handles used by the complainers in these threads are part of their smear campaign. Yep, the smears most likely come from the supporters or workers of another candidate. Distasteful.

Posted by long time observer
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Carlos Romero is definitely the smartest person running. And his position on the jail is very important.

But given his anemic fundraising, can he get his name out there enough to be one of the two in the runoff?

I plan to vote for him, regardless of the money issue, but what do others think? It seems like Shelly Maser and Warren Slocum are the only two so far that have sent out mailers to high propensity voters. And when the Daily News endorsed Slocum, the only other candidate mentioned was Masur.

What do people know about the differences between those two presumptive frontrunners?

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm

What I know is that neither of the presumptive frontrunners has taken a position on anything, but they're all about name recognition.

If Romero doesn't make it in this run, maybe he can in a future one. This race gives him name recognition beyond EPA. Maybe he'll have more time for funding efforts in the future, but he still has my vote this time around.

The whole new jail thing isn't something I want to be on the hook for for the foreseeable future. Yeah, I know, tough on crime, blah blah blah. The Sheriff's Office is taking over a lot of other depts and saving those cities money, blah blah blah. But unless the S.O. has a money making print shop in their basement, they can go pound sand.

Posted by Martin L
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 30, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Only Carlos knows if his was an omision on purpose, or a simple mistake. But he has apoligized for it without trying to blame anyone but himself for it. And to me, this is new in a politician. Mistake or not, he still is the most capable of the candidates, and the one with the creativity to analize issues and find solutions that benefit the whole community.
Unlike other candidates, he has given enough proof of his commitment to the common good. Unlike others in the race, he doesn’t seem to see this position as the next step towards a career in politics.
His opposition to a new jail is just one of the ways in which he shows he is not afraid to go against powerful interests, even if it means less money to campaign.
Whether you want to call them degrees, credentials or academic achievements, Carlos Romero has what we sorely need in the leadership of our County.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 30, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Good comments, Martin L. We have Romero for Supervisor lawn sign & I don't recall the last time I enough admired a local running for office to post a sign.

I have also noticed that the majority of comments supporting him as candidate are thoughtful & balanced. I believe all relevant candidates deserve that, as do the readers.

No matter what happens w/this election, I'll always appreciate what he's done for the community, from grass roots level organizing to helping us remain solvent in this difficult economy.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle

on Jun 2, 2017 at 3:13 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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