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Should Carlton be chosen as the next Menlo Park Mayor?

Original post made by Food For Thought, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights, on Nov 16, 2014

Should Carlton be chosen as the next Menlo Park Mayor?

City Council please take notice.

Considering the way Cat Carlton runs a Council meeting, and her not willing to take criticism, I offer, should Carlton become the next Mayor?

Carlton’s outburst towards ex-Mayor Steve Schmidt at the Oct 29th City Council Meeting can be viewed at

Web Link

Here she tells Steve Schmidt:

“you need to be reverent when addressing council” . I guess she promoted herself to the status of a Queen.

Then in an interview with the Daily Post on November she is quoted saying:
Schmidt was being "rude."

"I cut him off and told him to be more polite. I ask my 7-year-old to be polite, and I ask the same of former mayors," she said yesterday”

Carlton’s equating ex-mayor Schmidt to a 7-year old is so over the top.

So Menlo Park Council, the usual procedure would be to promote Mayor Pro Tem Carlton to Mayor in December, but her behavior surely indicates she really should not become the next Mayor to represent Menlo Park.

I urge Council to select a different Council person for Mayor.

Comments (29)

2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 16, 2014 at 9:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" her not willing to take criticism"

That has certainly NOT been my experience with Carlson. I have found her to be honest and open to criticism.

In my opinion her response to Schmidt was appropriate - there should be SOME boundaries of decorum when people like Schmidt use public comments to engage in abusive attacks on elected officials. Watch the entire encounter and you decide.


3 people like this
Posted by First Amendment
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 16, 2014 at 10:41 am

The First Amendment requires neither reverence nor politeness.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 16, 2014 at 10:46 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The First Amendment also allows individuals who are being attacked under the protection of the First Amendment to use THEIR First Amendment rights to respond to the attack.

And free speech does not carry with it any right to either be believed or be listened to passively.


1 person likes this
Posted by First Amendment
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 16, 2014 at 10:52 am

A government official cannot act as a gatekeeper and prohibit another from exercising their First Amendment rights during a public comment in a public meeting, based on their impression of the comments, and demand "reverence". That is the whole reason the First Amendment exists.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 16, 2014 at 11:00 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Wrong, free speech does not guarantee that the speaker's remarks must be unchallenged.

Folks like self proclaimed "First Amendment" seem to think that public officials gave up their rights of free speech and self defense when they were elected to office - not so.

Folks like self proclaimed "First Amendment" seem to think public officials are fair game for slanderous attacks and that when slandered those officials must sit quietly - not so.


1 person likes this
Posted by First Amendment
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 16, 2014 at 11:02 am

So you agree it was appropriate to demand "reverence" in order to address the City Council?


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 16, 2014 at 11:07 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I agree that Carlton had the right to challenge Schmidt's comments.

I note that Carlton did not prohibit Schmidt from continuing to speak.

I note that Schmidt did continue to speak after Carlton's comment.

Both Schmidt and Carlton exercised their rights of free speech.


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 16, 2014 at 11:10 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

"reverence" was a poor choice of words. Carlton was perfectly within her rights to demand decorum from Schmidt.


2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 16, 2014 at 11:13 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Watch the tape - at 1:32 Carlton stated "I am not trying to shut you up, I am asking you to be more polite" and Schmidt continued to speak.


3 people like this
Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 16, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

Would Food for Thought be making the same post if it wasn't Cat Carlton running the meeting but Chuck Carlton? She asked for him to be polite, and she insisted on a certain amount of decorum, and this is the blowback she gets? I can't help but wonder how much of this is because she is a woman. To that end, I also wonder if Steve Schmidt might have chosen his words a bit more carefully if it had been Ray Mueller running the meeting instead of Cat Carlton. People think they can speak disrespectfully to women and then complain when they get called on it. Such nonsense.


6 people like this
Posted by Thank Your Lucky Stars
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Can you imagine what it would be like if Virginia Kiraly were the Vice Mayor? Also can you remember how Heyward Robinson used to scream at John Boyle at City Council meetings -- which were taped?

Cat Carlton exercised great restraint when dealing with the boorish Steve Schmidt. He was extremely rude and Cat patiently but firmly reminded him to be respectful when addressing the City Council. She handed herself with dignity and class and should be commended. Cat Carlton will be a good mayor.

The far left in Menlo Park are now in their "Wilderness" years. They acted irresponsibly in their opposition to Measure L, deceived the Public with Measure M, and the voters weren't buying their malarkey (I cleaned it up).
Then they fielded horrible candidates like Kelly Fergusson.

We have a reasonable centrist city council that is paying attention to the residents instead of leftist special interest groups and Gail Slocum, Heyward Robinson, Paul Collacchi, Patti Fry, Brielle Jonck, and Steve Schmidt are fuming. Too bad for them. Their thinking is way out of the mainstream of political thought and the residents have rejected them.


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Posted by we will see
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 16, 2014 at 8:37 pm

The mayoral rotation policy says nothing about whom is vice mayor, number of votes, or asking Steve Schmidt to be polite. Steve Schmidt is welcome to come to the December 2nd meeting and propose his pick for mayor, but the only person to be elected to council with his endorsement will be Catherine Carlton.


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Posted by Enuff
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm

I completely agree with Food for Thought: Carlton was astonishingly arrogant when admonishing Steve Schmidt to be "reverent" when he addresses the Politburo--I mean the City Council.

The council member who was the most gracious major of the current group, in my opinion, was Peter Ohtaki.
You'd never catch him making such a condescending statement to even the rudest comment from a member of the public.

Courtesy breeds courtesy.
Arrogance from the dais breeds anger among the residents--as well it should.


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Posted by viewer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 17, 2014 at 12:47 pm

I voted against M and viewed the clip. Carlton was out of line including not apologizing later for her own rude interruption. She may be unsuited for Chair if she is so overly and wrongly sensitive. Schmidt was speaking politically and polemically but his affect was even handed and in no way angry or otherwise different from many other speakers to council. How to do it better: first, as a council member, don't interrupt , save your comment for after the speaker. Second, speak with a light touch while making your point if you think the speaker at the podium needs comment. Don't be a scold.


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Posted by Enuff Already
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

According to Schmidt (on the video clip linked to above), Ohtaki was rude during his Daily Post interview, so violating the rotation policy to make Ohtaki Mayor won't please Schmidt.


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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 17, 2014 at 1:03 pm

@ viewer - I agree with everything you said.

Schmidt expressed his view. Is it disrespectful to do so? Carlton interrupted to request "respect" and for a few seconds, both continued to speak. Who was rude or disrespectful here? I'm no fan of Schmidt's & never voted for him, but he had the right to voice his opinion without interruption within the time limit.


1 person likes this
Posted by time out
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 17, 2014 at 1:20 pm

To be fair, Mayor Mueller interrupted Elizabeth Houck while she was silently mad dogging (Web Link) the council. At the next meeting, Heyward Robison set the tone by promissing not to "go all Elizabeth Houck on you". Is this really our "best" people?

Menlo Park is very fortunate to have such an intelligent and gracious individual as Catherine Carlton that is willing to serve in this role.


4 people like this
Posted by TK
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Leave Ray out of this. The guy has never told anyone to be reverent or act a certain way when addressing the City Council. He has been a terrific Mayor during the roughest year probably any Menlo Park Mayor has ever faced and he managed to win more respect even among Measure M supporters. His endorsement against Measure M and the way he handled the Measure is a big reason it lost, at least among all the parents I know.


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Posted by not ray
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Sorry TK, but if you watch the video, you will hear Mayor Mueller, calling in, making that very demand.


3 people like this
Posted by watched the tape
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm

@notray: I watched the link above. Mueller never speaks during the exchange between Carlton and Schmidt. Schmidt speaks, then Carlton, then Schmidt. Then Schmidt walks away and the tape ends.

It's weird Carlton supporters are attacking Mueller to take pressure of Carlton? What am I missing? Someone should call Ray and let him know.

Funny how things change in this town.


3 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm

@ not ray - please watch the video via the web link referenced in the story. Only Schmidt & Carlton speak.


4 people like this
Posted by Truth
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 17, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Whose desperate idea was it to try to drag Mueller into this discussion?


2 people like this
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 17, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

so Mr Schmidt (a former city council member) should receive no ADMONISHMENT for his behavior?

He didn't know better?

His institutional memory has lapsed from when he sat on the dais?

All of you need to remember that she reacted to his HORRIBLE behavior, that he knew better and did it anyway.

Ms. Carlton reacted in a way everyone would and should to RUDE OBNOXIOUS behavior. Asking for decorum in dealing with Public Officials is the least we can expect for the thankless job they do. He knew better and was a jerk anyway.

Roy Thiele-Sardina


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Posted by viewer
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Nov 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm

@Roy: 'He knew better and was a jerk anyway.' Chill 'bro, be civil. BTW I thought I read in the Post that Ray did comment as described above, but it was not on the tape.


1 person likes this
Posted by Truth
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 17, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Someone is obviously trying to stir the pot by making up falsehoods is this the new tactic? Attack Ray and Cat for two years?


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Posted by morris brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Nov 17, 2014 at 5:34 pm

The whole council meeting can be viewed from the City view page at:

Web Link

(Oct 29th meeting)

Selected from this meeting were two excerpts:

(Schmidt / Carlton) at:

Web Link about 3 minutes

and later on the clip of Mayor Meuller

Web Link about 90 seconds


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Everyone should listen to Mueller's comments.

Thank goodness he had the courage to speak the truth.


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Posted by Truth
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 17, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Thank you Morris.

Anyone who listens will hear that Mueller's comments were not made during public comment.

He spoke during the Council discussion and encouraged Mr. Schmidt and Measure M proponents to refrain from being so negative and partaking in character assassination. He didn't interrupt Schmidt during public comment. He later encouraged him to try to be more civil.

It's pretty obvious Save Menlo is going to be attacking Mueller and Carlton for the next two years.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

An article in today's NYT contains a marvelous word to describe much of the goings-on in Menlo Park politics:

The Italian word dietrologia which means the art of finding a more sinister explanation behind the official word.


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