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Six-hour fire board meeting yields fresh ideas

Original post made on Aug 8, 2018

While the six-hour Menlo Park Fire Protection District board meeting on Saturday, July 28, was billed as a "Board Strategic Planning Study Session," the session ended with the district no closer to a strategic plan than it had been before the meeting.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 8, 2018, 10:53 AM

Comments (8)

16 people like this
Posted by W.C.E.
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 8, 2018 at 7:26 pm

Let's hope this election yields some fresh Fire District Directors!

15 people like this
Posted by Julius
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Aug 8, 2018 at 7:35 pm

Quote of one board member, "I think it's important to recognize that a lot of what we do is driven by other people. If something is driven by other people, you can't plan for it," he said.”

Yes you can. That’s what strategic planning is. You have to anticipate the future, not just react to events.

I now understand better why the grand jury found the department deficient in strategic planning.

3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 8, 2018 at 7:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Julius - see this Almanac article -

Web Link

Now how exactly is the Fire Board going to anticipate a future that even the City Council , which controls development, could not foresee?

What the Fire District DID do to prepare for future growth was to acquire adjacent properties next to Stations 2,3,4, 6 and 1 - something that neither the City nor any school district has, regrettably, done.

3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 8, 2018 at 7:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Julius - please post links to Menlo Park's, Atherton's, East Palo Alto's and the County's strategic plans.

Comprehensive Plans, which deal only with zoning and do not include financial and infrastructure plannning, do not qualify as strategic plans.

2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 8, 2018 at 8:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

WCE - Since I, as an incumbent, will not be running for reelection you have until Aug. 15 to file your papers to run for the Fire Board. Since four very qualified individuals have already filed for the three open seats i doubt that you will chose to do so.

2 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 9, 2018 at 2:21 am

What model of public safety organizations does Director Bernstein want to use for the fire district? Current threads show public safety agencies that have not consolidated fire - police services, run just as well as consolidated public safety agencies.

It’s employees that work within the organization, answer the calls for service, go on long assignments, and for this fire district, get deployed all over the country. Those employees make the organization, not the elected officials.

Do you think that input by the chief and his staff would help structure this meeting? None of the fire board has never been a firefighter as defined as a still set of a Menlo Park Firefighter.

The fire board as a great combination of experience: some private and some public, but, a strategic plan needs to be prepared by the operational end of the organization, and the elected body, ( fire board ), needs to oversee, review, and provide leadership to the organization.

Looking at the current candidates, all are well qualified for the position. Many bring a different skill set.

We live in a great community. What a cross section of talent. Anyone who would want to run for this fire board shows me either their dedication to duty to the community or just plain crazy.

18 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 9, 2018 at 6:41 am

per the Board meeting video - sure looked like time not well spent.

4 people like this
Posted by Lynne Bramlett
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 9, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Lynne Bramlett is a registered user.

Peter is correct in that Menlo Park lacks a strategic plan like this excellent example from Tacoma, Washington. Web Link. (Appreciate your distinction regarding terminology as I thought that Strategic and Comprehensive were interchangeable.) At the January goal setting meeting, I would like our council to agree to the process of developing such a plan. I hope the Tacoma 2025 example is useful to others in their advocacy on this topic.

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