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Familiar names challenge incumbents for seats on fire board

Original post made on Aug 14, 2020

There will be a contested election for two Menlo Park Fire Protection District board seats after two challengers qualified for the ballot in recent days.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 14, 2020, 12:00 AM

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Comments (67)

19 people like this
Posted by Annetta McCarty
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 14, 2020 at 10:40 am

Annetta McCarty is a registered user.

My husband and I are voting for Peter Carpenter and Sean Ballard, without question! We can't think of two finer, more qualified gentlemen for the job. We'd be hard-pressed to find, and fortunate to have, men of their caliber serve our community as Directors on the Fire Board. Vote for Peter and Sean!


21 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 14, 2020 at 2:42 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

I will vote for Peter. He did a great job when he was on the board before. Kiraly needs to go. She shouldn't have been there in the first place. [Portion removed due to unsubstantiated claims of crimes]

The firefighters didn't like Peter when he served before because he wouldn't let them have whatever they wanted.


16 people like this
Posted by Scott Barnum
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 14, 2020 at 4:11 pm

Scott Barnum is a registered user.

The Menlo Park Fire Board is an important but not very well understood, governmental agency that serves multiple communities and constituencies. It has a very key role to play in providing strategic direction and oversight to the fire and emergency response services we receive, among other things. It also has responsibility for a very large budget to oversee that is funded by our tax dollars. Like any governing body, selection of the right people to serve on the board is paramount for effective governance and leadership of the body. While the Fire Board has been in the news more recently than in the past, it is still an agency that is not that visible nor are the issues it is facing that well-known. I would encourage voters to do some additional diligence this year when voting for members of our Fire Board.

I have worked with Peter Carpenter for 15 years and Sean Ballard for nearly 10 years as an organizer of the citizen emergency response group Atherton Disaster And Preparedness Team (ADAPT) and as a board member of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)/Community Crisis Management (CCM) Executive Boards. Peter is well-known, very experienced in both public safety and with our Fire Board itself having served multiple terms as a board member and board chairman. He knows the various community governments within the Fire District and their inner workings. And he is a strong advocate for good governance.

Sean Ballard, while not as well-known, has been involved with emergency prep in our community in leadership roles for some time. Most importantly, for the last two years, Sean has served as Chairman of the CERT/CCM Executive Board, elected by his fellow board members, and has done an excellent job in leading this group and interfacing with both the Fire Department's leadership and the Fire Board itself. He is very aware of the Fire Board’s issues, challenges and all the player’s involved having also served as a member of the Fire Board’s Finance Committee, as a citizen representative. He has a very even handed and steady management style and personality. Sean is very strategic and financially astute, given his professional career in financial services and investment management.

Please take some time to learn about all the candidates running for our Fire Board and their positions on the various issues facing the Fire Department and their impact on our communities.


14 people like this
Posted by Ken Friedman
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Aug 14, 2020 at 10:52 pm

Ken Friedman is a registered user.

I was working with Peter Carpenter when he retired from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board in 2018. Peter's dedication to the MPFPD Board was readily apparent but his decision to retire was made with purpose. I still work with Peter Carpenter and his decision to run again has also been made with purpose.

Peter's purpose is convicted, clear and concise. What is the purpose of his opponents?

I am raising my family in this community and I can think of no better person to serve on the Board of MPFPD than Peter Carpenter.


10 people like this
Posted by Sharon Heights Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 17, 2020 at 2:59 pm

Sharon Heights Voter is a registered user.

Both my husband and I strongly support Peter Carpenter in this race. Peter has a deep understanding of exactly what is needed on the Fire Board based on his many years of excellent service.


8 people like this
Posted by Menlo Mom
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 17, 2020 at 6:44 pm

Menlo Mom is a registered user.

I think both Peter and Sean are exactly what our Fire Board needs and I support them.


14 people like this
Posted by AthertonMom
a resident of Atherton: other
on Aug 17, 2020 at 7:22 pm

AthertonMom is a registered user.

I've known Peter both personally and professionally for over 35 years. Peter is a strong believer in advocating for the people. I know he was a very dedicated, and hard working Fire Board director in his prior service. I believe Peter knows the issues and will serve our community well and honestly in serving on the Fire Board again.


8 people like this
Posted by Woody Shackleton
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 18, 2020 at 1:29 pm

Woody Shackleton is a registered user.

I wholeheartedly endorse Peter Carpenter for the Menlo Fire district board where he has previously served with distinction. His years of leadership and involvement with emergency preparedness is evidence of his commitment to our community and our wellbeing. Peter is one of the smartest people I know personally and I am quite confident that he will serve us well on the Fire Board as he has in the past!

Please join me in voting for Peter Carpenter for Menlo Fire Board and encourage your family and friends to do the same!


8 people like this
Posted by Paul Jemelian
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 19, 2020 at 7:30 am

Paul Jemelian is a registered user.

It is with upmost enthusiasm that I endorse Peter Carpenter and Sean Ballard for the Menlo Fire Protection District Board. I have known Peter for over 20 years through our shared activity in community emergency response volunteering. Peter is a sincere individual and has a true passion to serve the community with upmost concern and respect for all community individuals and professional emergency services. Peter also stands up and supports an ethical solution to an issue and leaves politics aside. I have worked with Sean on the CERT board and he has demonstrated a sincere interest in his community work and demonstrated his leadership skills repeatedly. As a local resident I am confident that Peter and Sean would represent and serve our community with an upmost caring and professional attitude and commitment.


4 people like this
Posted by Jon Castor
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Heights
on Aug 19, 2020 at 9:28 pm

Jon Castor is a registered user.

I'm glad to see Peter Carpenter has decided to offer to return to the Fire Board and work on behalf of the community. I hope the voters will gladly accept him back. Peter is someone I trust. In his years of service he's demonstrated his integrity, and devotion to facts and what's best for the community. To top it off, he knows his way around. Doesn't get much better. Please vote for Peter!


17 people like this
Posted by Enough
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 20, 2020 at 9:00 pm

Enough is a registered user.

Sorry to rain on the Peter Parade but I can not support him. During his tenure at the Menlo Park Fire Protection District he, as the board representative to Atherton, did such a poor job that the city actively looked to leave the district. He choose to further anger Atherton by requesting huge amounts of public records, while at the same time trying to limit people from requesting public information from the Fire District.

What else happened while he was on the board? How about trying to take the home of a Belle Haven family through eminent domain only to have to back down when the community came together and objected. The board also choose to take taxpayer money and purchase millions of dollars of property because the district might need it someday. They they were going to offer it at a very low price to district employees to rent. I would also point out that while Peter was on the board the average pay of the employees of the MPFPD was the highest in the state for several years in a row. Is that really what we want to get back to?


22 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 20, 2020 at 9:11 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Enough - Your claims are as factitious as is your identity. If you are going to make charges like these perhaps you could have have the courage to use your own name and the knowledge to document your charges.


12 people like this
Posted by Enough
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 21, 2020 at 1:23 pm

Enough is a registered user.

Interesting, I posted a link to an article to back up every point that I made but they did not make it into my comment. Every thing I said is supported by articles in the Almanac and other local news papers, so calling them not credible is about a correct as Trump saying "Fake News". Lets try again:

Here is the story about the MPFPD trying to take the house from the family in Belle Haven:

Web Link

Here is one of sevearl stories about the Menlo Park Fire being the highest average pay in the state:

Web Link

Here is the article about you asking for years of Atherton public records while trying to limit public record attempts to the Fire District.

Web Link

Finally here is an article about buying a property for millions then the district wanting to least it to senion department personnel for "a $3,000 per month reduction in the employee's salary." Sounds like that would be $3,000 before taxes or about $1,800 dollars in take home money. Pretty low rent, right?

Web Link

so how are my claims wrong? Do you deny you were the MPFPD representative to Atherton when they decided to look at other options? Do you deny your comments to stories in the Almanac antagonizing the Atherton Council and it's members? Were you not on the MPFPD board when each of the items in the above articles was done?

Please tell me where I am wrong?


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 21, 2020 at 1:34 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Enough - Thank you for the references. Now here are the facts:

"Board President Peter Carpenter promised the speakers the district will hold meetings on the future of the fire station in their neighborhood before making any new plans. "I think it's important this evening that we remove the threat of eminent domain from the families on Terminal," he said.

The board voted unanimously ON MY MOTION to return the plans for the fire station's future to its staff and consultants, but remove the possibility of acquiring property on Terminal Avenue from consideration."
*******
In 2016 there were over 200 Fire Chief's in California who were paid more that the highest paid MPFPD Chief.

And in 2016 there were more than 3000 firefighters in California who were paid more than the highest paid MPFPD firefighter.


It is easy to start with a headline and then narrow the focus of a story so that the story supports the headline.

********

The Valparaiso Ave property was rented on the open market and not to District personnel. That property is crucial to the necessary and planned expansion of Station 4


11 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 21, 2020 at 4:42 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The Valparaiso Ave property was rented on the open market and not to District personnel. That property is crucial to the necessary and planned expansion of Station 4"

Note that two adjacent residential properties were purchased by the Fire District in order to build the significantly larger Station 2 that the growth in East Palo Alto required.

And an adjacent home on Hoover was purchased in order to build
the larger Station 6 that the growth in downtown Menlo Park required.

And the adjacent land next to Station 1 was purchased for the same reason to enable the planned replacement of the current station.

And the property adjacent to Station 3 in Atherton was purchased for the same reason.

And the home next to Station 77 was purchased from a willing seller for the same reason.

Had the Fire District not bought these properties when they became available then the District would be faced with huge problem as it sought to meet the needs of our growing community.

It took courage for the Fire Board to make such wise investments in the future and that wisdom is only appreciated after each new fire station has been built.

No one is East Palo Alto is complaining about the new expanded Station 2.

No one in Menlo Park is complaining about the new Station 6.

There are very few public agencies that plan for the future as well as MPFPD does. And it was all done without a parcel tax or a bond issue because of superb financial management. The funds for the new Station 4 are already in hand because the Fire District effectively funds the depreciation of its existing facilities. Do you know any other public agency that does that?


13 people like this
Posted by Enough
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 21, 2020 at 8:03 pm

Enough is a registered user.

Peter,

I think the articles stand for themselves and paint the picture of an organization that was poorly managed. You can argue all you want with "Your story" I will go with the reported facts, yes I trust the articles more than I trust any spin.

Your arguments are old and tired. Time and time again you like to point out that there were higher paid people in the state, that is not what the article is about. It states quite definitively that Menlo Park Fire District has the highest AVERAGE pay of any government organization in the state of California, that is AVERAGE

Definition: "a number expressing the central or typical value in a set of data, in particular the mode, median, or (most commonly) the mean, which is calculated by dividing the sum of the values in the set by their number."

In my opinion this is worse than having one or two outliers getting super high pay, it means everyone is being paid huge salaries and overtime and that continues with their pensions that are based on their pay for the period before retirement.

I like your comment "And it was all done without a parcel tax or a bond issue because of superb financial management." it really made me laugh. It was done because the MPFPD gets more of our tax dollars that the cities we live in. You don't really have to balance a budget or be fiscally responsible if you have deep enough pockets.

I will take the articles at face value since I am unaware of any retractions being published. I think people deserve to know both sides of a story and that includes what was done under your leadership at the MPFPD. They can make an informed decision. I know I have.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 21, 2020 at 8:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I think the articles stand for themselves and paint the picture of an organization that was poorly managed."

Note that you are relying on articles that were all written by the same reporter who always attempted to present a negative view of the Fire District, rather than relying on original sources.

"It states quite definitively that Menlo Park Fire District has the highest AVERAGE pay of any government organization in the state of California, that is AVERAGE"

Correct. MPFPD pays its superb firefighters very well and has very few low paid employees to bring down the average. In my opinion I would rather have a hundred well paid, experienced firefighters than have two hundred poorly paid and less experienced firefighters. Even so there are thousand of California firefighters that are paid more than the highest paid MPFPD firefighter


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 21, 2020 at 8:19 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I will take the articles at face value since I am unaware of any retractions being published."

The reporter in questioned refused to publish a survey of Fire District residents because it was favorable to the Fire District - she was then overruled by her Editor.


16 people like this
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 22, 2020 at 6:50 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

When is the Fire District going to go to District election? The Grand Jury has spoken on the subject and the district has ignored their request.....

The same 5 candidates have appeared on the ballot for decades.....literally......

perhaps a NEW and FRESH perspective would be beneficial to this district which has the distinction of being the HIGHEST average paid special district in CA (well actually a district of 50 doctors beats them).

Time for a change.

Roy


1 person likes this
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 22, 2020 at 6:51 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

I forgot to insert the special disctrict pay scale.

Web Link

Roy


11 people like this
Posted by Enough
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 22, 2020 at 9:01 pm

Enough is a registered user.

Is is not always the case that someone attacks the writer and not the facts that they wrote? I don't know the writer of these stories but I do know that over the years the Almanac has done a good job of posting accurate news stories at a local level. I have no need to call into question the facts that they present in their stories and from your rebuttal you are not questioning those facts either.

You claim that: "Even so there are thousand of California firefighters that are paid more than the highest paid MPFPD firefighter". Can you site your source for backing up that claim. When I checked, I see that in 2018, the latest year that has salary numbers, a Battalion Chief in the MPFPD earned $345,906 in total wages and $53,071 in Total Retirement and Health Contributions. To be specific that is $398,977 in compensation in 2018. When I downloaded all the Spacial district pay for 2018 from the publicpay.ca.gov website and the eliminated anything that was not a fire protection district and sorted what was left by Total Compensation there were exactly 7 people who received more Total Compensation in 2018 that the Menlo Park Fire Protection District Battalion Chief. In Fact Menlo Park Fire protection District employees were listed 8th and 9th with the Deputy Chief being 9th at $341,720 total wages and $68,213 in Total Retirement and Health Contributions ($409,933). Please check my numbers and run the report yourself and tell me how you get "thousands".

In the top 100 highest payed Fire District employees (just based on total Wages) in California Menlo Park has 14 employees. There are 8208 people/positions listed in the data I am looking at.

In case you question my methodology:
I used this website: Web Link
I selected the Special District data for 2018
I sorted by District Type
I deleted anything that was not "Fire Protection"
I sorted by Total Wages (Column P)
I looked at the results


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 22, 2020 at 9:38 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Enough - Try this web site:

Web Link

I think you will reach different conclusions.

Thousands of California firefighters are paid more than the highest paid MPFPD firefighter.


3 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 22, 2020 at 9:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Roy states "Time for a change."

I agree. Vote for Ballard and Carpenter to replace the incumbents.


9 people like this
Posted by Enough
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 23, 2020 at 10:05 am

Enough is a registered user.

Peter you are more of an "incumbant" than the people currently on the board. We saw what happened during your extremely long tenure, why would anyone want more of those problems (see my posts above)?

As for your weblink, since you don't bother to describe how you reach that conclusion I think I will stick to the state of California website I used along with the methodology that I described in my post. Stating something and not giving any supporting evidence does not make it true.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 23, 2020 at 10:45 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Look at my 2020 Candidate Statement - by law I am not allowed to list myself as an incumbent because I am not an incumbent:

Qualified: 3 PETER F. CARPENTER Candidate Stmt Filed? Yes - 8/07/2020
Corporate Officer / Director

"I have decades of management experience including the Office of Management and Budget, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, Executive Director of the Stanford University Medical Center and Executive Vice President of the ALZA Corporation. I also have a long history of public service (volunteer firefighter, Smokejumper, Air Force Officer including service in Vietnam and the White House) and have served on more than a dozen non-profit boards.

I previously have been elected three times by the citizens of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District as a Director and was appointed twice as a Director by the four remaining Fire Board Directors after vacancies occurred. I have therefore previously served as a Director of your Fire District for over 15 of the 40 years that I have lived in your Fire District. Given the current turmoil on the Fire Board I feel compelled to once again stand for election.

Our superb Fire Chief will retire in 2021. In this challenging time, it is crucial that you elect those candidates who will effectively recruit a new Chief and who will ensure a smooth transition of leadership such that the District can continue to be one of best in the nation."




4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 23, 2020 at 10:47 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"As for your weblink, since you don't bother to describe how you reach that conclusion .."

Using the web link that I provided, in 2016 there were over 200 Fire Chief's in California who were paid more that the highest paid MPFPD Chief.

And in 2016 there were more than 3000 firefighters in California who were paid more than the highest paid MPFPD firefighter.

It is easy to start with a headline and then narrow the focus of a story so that the story supports the headline.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 23, 2020 at 10:56 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The Fire District:
1 - has a balanced budget
2 - has no parcel tax
3 - has no taxpayer funded bond debt
4 - has funded reserves for its pension liabilities
5 - has funded reserves for replacing its buildings
6 - has funded reserves for replacing its apparatus
7 - has zero service complaints
8 - attracts hundreds of job applicants because of its reputation as one of the best fire agencies in the Nation
9 - pays salaries that are almost all the result of negotiated labor agreements that cannot be unilaterally changed
10 - pays its highest individual salaries that are less than hundreds of other California fire chiefs and thousands of other California firefighters.


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 23, 2020 at 12:44 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Enough - I appreciate these fact based dialogues with you - Thanks.

And note that I am the only current or former elected official who regularly posts on this Forum and who attempts to answer questions posed by others.


3 people like this
Posted by Enough
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 24, 2020 at 2:10 pm

Enough is a registered user.

"It is easy to start with a headline and then narrow the focus of a story so that the story supports the headline."

It is also easy to make statements when you don't back them up with supporting evidence, wouldn't you agree?

I used your site and the year 2018 which is what I used from the site I listed above. Sorry but you are incorrect with your assertion of "Thousands". Doing the search on total compensation I found the Menlo Park Deputy Fire Chief with a total compensation of $409,933.27. Then I checked and there are a total of 116 people working for a Fire District, in any capacity, getting more total compensation. How is that "Thousands"?

Of course the Fire Protection District has a balanced budget, Everyone would if they were being given $60,000,000 from the general fund every year (a number that increases each year).

Break down of my search for transparency:
Select Special District for the year 2018 (3,488 pages are found)
Sort by Total Pay and Benefits
Page through until you reach the total pay and benefits of $409,933 (Menlo Parks highest paid person)
You reach that amount about half way down page 8 (50 per page) so there are less than 400 people in Special districts earning more
BUT WAIT...
Not all or those, not even most are Fire Districts.
So I did a search page by page looking for "Fire" and I found 116 people who work for fire districts that made more. I will point out that the districts I noticed were much larger than Menlo Park Fire Protection District. Orange County had several, Santa Clara Valley, San Ramon Valley, etc. All bigger than Menlo Park.
But that is not really the point, having the HIGHEST AVERAGE PAY of any special district in California is worse that having one or two of the highest paid individuals in California.


6 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 24, 2020 at 2:39 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" Then I checked and there are a total of 116 people working for a Fire District, in any capacity, getting more total compensation."

You used faulty search terms - instead search all "fire Chiefs" and all "Firefighters" in California, not just those working for a Special District (as there are few such Special Districts)


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 24, 2020 at 4:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Enough - Note my statement which stated:

"In 2016 there were over 200 Fire Chief's in California who were paid more that the highest paid MPFPD Chief.

And in 2016 there were more than 3000 firefighters in California who were paid more than the highest paid MPFPD firefighter."

You did a truncated search that did NOT include ALL firefighters in California.

Just another example of careless use of data as was done in the original article and perpetuated when the reporter refused to look at other data sets.


5 people like this
Posted by Mark Balestra
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Aug 25, 2020 at 9:03 pm

Mark Balestra is a registered user.

Checking a box on the ballot for our Fire Protection District board members is a responsibility that a surprising percentage of voters forego mostly, I believe, because they are ill informed about the candidates and/or the issues at stake. I know as I have been guilty of that transgression.

There will be many essential issues facing the Fire Board in the coming term though none more critical than finding the best possible candidate to replace our exceptional longtime Chief Harold Schapelhouman who is anticipated to retire next June. For ALL of the coming issues, now more than ever this community needs a Board that is productive and cooperative.

I have known Peter Carpenter for more than 25 years. During that time, Peter has consistently proven to be a forthright person of candor and good character. I continue to be impressed by his steady judgement which always seems to be founded in a thorough examination of the pros and cons of the issue(s) at hand. With his remarkable combination of leadership, management and public service experience, we are fortunate to have wise and accomplished citizens like Peter Carpenter who are willing to step forward and take on the duties and responsibilities like those required of the board members of our Fire Protection District.

As a lifetime resident of this community, I will confidently vote for Peter Carpenter for Board Member of the Menlo Park Fire Protection district and I urge the readers of the Almanac to do the same. More importantly, whomever you support, I hope that the voters in this district will make a point of learning the candidates and issues facing our Fire Board and cast an informed vote.


3 people like this
Posted by Zach Whitman
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Aug 31, 2020 at 10:21 pm

Zach Whitman is a registered user.

The conversation above highlights in just a couple of areas there is much at stake in who comprises our new Fire Board. The issues highlighted above are eye opening which is good, as you want the interested and vigorous oversight from an informed public, and strong board members who can with equal vigor advocate the department's perspective on important matters based on fact and experience.

It takes special people willing to commit themselves to this kind of service, and at the same time have background and knowledge to where you can say they stand out among their peers for the position they are seeking. Although I am one who felt that Atherton was contributing more than their fair share of dollars to the Menlo Fire Protection District, this issue is secondary to the security of the region, and a rampant fire knows no boundaries. I trust Peter Carpenter to have the foresight and abilities to work constructively with all matters coming before the Fire Board and with all parties engaged with the Board. His knowledge is broad and deep. In my opinion Peter stands out among his peers. He was a former smoke jumper in his younger years and at a time when the Fire District will be looking for its next Fire Chief I can't think of a better addition to the Fire Board than Peter Carpenter.


6 people like this
Posted by Paul Goeld
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Sep 1, 2020 at 4:15 pm

Paul Goeld is a registered user.

I enthusiastically endorse Peter Carpenter for the Menlo Fire District board. Peter previously served on the MFD board and did an amazing job. Peter is smart, experienced, engaged and has unquestioned integrity. We need him on this board.

PLEASE VOTE FOR PETER CARPENTER AND SEAN BALLARD FOR THE MENLO PARK FIRE BOARD.


3 people like this
Posted by Stu Soffer
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 2, 2020 at 7:14 pm

Stu Soffer is a registered user.

And now for something different.

I have known both Peter Carpenter and Roy Thiele Sardinia for many years. They are both more than competent as community leaders.
And I consider both of them to be friends.

And we have overlapping interests in good government and cost conscious decision making.

Peter is an expert on safety. Roy is an expert on corporate management.

This argument shouldn’t exist.

Peter’s 10 point checklist above is great.

(Hi Zack Whitman).

Now for dinner.


8 people like this
Posted by John D'Amico
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 8, 2020 at 8:51 am

John D'Amico is a registered user.

After reading yesterday’s comments (since deleted???), I am more then concerned that Sean Ballard is a candidate for the FD. Public safety positions are better served by those with proven public safety experience. I don’t mean to say that there aren’t citizens with life experiences that could be of value as a board member, but in my opinion, Mr. Ballard’s background as an investment banker/hedge fund manager isn’t in that category. Mr. Ballard, with a known past of personal financial difficulties; to include out-of-state tax liens and failure to pay rent charges filed against him, should not be entrusted with any position such as an FD board member responsible in part for the FD’s 50 million dollar taxpayer budget. The truth is Mr. Ballard has more ties on the east coast than he has here in the FD area. And, while I think for the most part everyone is entitled to a second chance, individuals who serve or want to serve the public’s safety, should avoid behavior like driving under the influence that puts themselves and others in danger. Clearly Mr. Ballard’s 2016 DUI arrest shows a disregard for that safety. Voters should take a hard look at the integrity, judgement and financial responsibilities of all candidates. Sean Ballard appears to lack a combination of these qualities.


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Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 8, 2020 at 9:21 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Mr D'Amico:

Do you have links to any of this negative information? The previous poster that put it out there didn't provide any links either. Their posts have since been deleted, some for violations of terms of use. I don't put a lot of stock in someone that is so intent on smearing someone else that they use multiple screen names to make it look like multiple people are posting the information.

Again, do you have links to this information? Have you seen these criminal records? Have you seen the other legal documents? Or are you just relying on the words of a poster since deleted? If it's the latter, I think you should apologize. If it is the latter, all you've done is spread gossip.

It's hard enough to get people to run for local public office when they have to put up with the smears of people that likely don't have all of the facts.


8 people like this
Posted by Liz
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 8, 2020 at 9:29 am

Liz is a registered user.

@John Di'Amico. Kudos to you. Coming from a long line of public safety professionals and a member of the local chapter of MADD, its hypocritical of Mr. Ballard to run for a public safety position. To Mr. Carpenter, shame on you for promoting someone who goes against the morals of a contributing member of society. As a mother, a landlord and law abiding member of this community, we should all urge Mr. Ballard to address these issues and/or drop out of the race.

Mr. Carpenter, your judgement is skewed, did you not do your homework? Is this how you plan to run the fire board if elected?


6 people like this
Posted by Liz
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 8, 2020 at 9:46 am

Liz is a registered user.

@Menlo Voter. There really is no effort in finding this information. Do you prefer to do the work yourself or have someone post the files publicly?


6 people like this
Posted by Liz
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 8, 2020 at 9:48 am

Liz is a registered user.

@Menlo Voter. If it's not true, then Mr. Ballard can simply respond as such. Why has he not denied? Happy to post the files.


8 people like this
Posted by Liz
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 8, 2020 at 10:11 am

Liz is a registered user.

Case Information

16-SM-001721-A | The People of the State of California vs. Sean Wesley Ballard

Case Number
16-SM-001721-A

Court
Criminal

File Date
02/22/2016

Case Type
Complaint

Case Status
Adjudicated


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 8, 2020 at 1:08 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Liz:

Was that so hard? Actual facts are always better than unsubstantiated allegations.

Do you have any links to any of Mr. D'amico's other allegations? He hasn't seen fit to support his allegations. Maybe you will?

Where were you a public safety professional?


7 people like this
Posted by Sean Ballard
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 8, 2020 at 6:21 pm

Sean Ballard is a registered user.

On Sunday, Kit (aka Kit C, aka Liz as it appears to have been determined by The Almanac) made these allegations against me in a post subsequently removed by The Almanac

“I wonder if Peter did a background check on his running mate before signing him up. Public records show Mr Ballard has a DUI, criminal records show tax liens, skipping out on rent in NYC, forcible eviction… is this why his [sic] lives with his mama in MP and took Uber’s [sic] around town for quite a while?”

Clearly Kit (aka Kit C, aka Liz) is not a fan of mine!

My response at the time was also removed and it was:

“I’m a father raising my sons in a community that is special to me. I am a competent representative serving that community as a volunteer in a number of ways and I believe I can serve our community even better as a member of the Fire Board. That another user on this forum would deign to involve my mother in an attack on me and Peter Carpenter is shameful. I believe in these words from the late Senator John McCain: ‘never wrestle with a pig, you will both get muddy, but the pig enjoys it.’”


7 people like this
Posted by Sean Ballard
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 8, 2020 at 6:23 pm

Sean Ballard is a registered user.

With respect to my qualifications for the Fire Board, I have served for the last year as the resident representative on Menlo Fire” Finance Committee. In 2018-19 I served on the District’s Strategic Planning Committee. For nearly two years now I have been the elected chairperson of Menlo Fire’s CCM CERT volunteer preparedness organization and I have been an emergency preparedness volunteer with Menlo Fire for years before that. I have hundreds of hours of experience with Menlo Fire as a volunteer and a clear understanding of the issues the District has faced and will face.


7 people like this
Posted by Sean Ballard
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 8, 2020 at 6:26 pm

Sean Ballard is a registered user.

But I'd like to leave my comments today on a better note, a higher note, because I'm not running to be smeared, and I'm certainly not running to be negative.

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month and now is an excellent time to use this reprieve from even just one of the whirlwind of challenges 2020 has hurled at us to pause and reflect on our emergency preparedness efforts. Though this year may already seem like an exhausting marathon we’re still very much in the race.

The Red Cross recommends and maintains excellent resources on how to prepare for emergencies following their Get a Kit Web Link, Make a Plan Web Link, Be Informed Web Link framework. Another great way to stay informed locally is to sign up for free countywide SMC Alerts here: Web Link.

To prepare yourself and your family, the Menlo Park Fire District has excellent preparedness information, including free training courses to build a more crisis-resilient community, here: Web Link.

This a great time to take stock of our preparedness efforts, breathe perhaps a little more easily, and stay safe!


7 people like this
Posted by Sean Ballard
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 8, 2020 at 6:27 pm

Sean Ballard is a registered user.

For those interested in neighbors-helping-neighbors initiatives, these fun community volunteer-based organizations will serve you well in getting started:

In Atherton: ADAPT Web Link

In East Palo Alto: rEPAct Web Link

In Menlo Park: MPC Ready Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 8, 2020 at 9:14 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I totally support Sean Ballard as a candidate for the Fire Board. He is a person of integrity with deep roots in our community and he has been a major force in developing a broad citizen based disaster preparedness effort throughout the Fire District.

Sean manages hundreds of millions of dollars of investments with well above average returns. He is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Eigenvector Capital, a firm focused on systematic value investing. Prior to founding Eigenvector, Mr. Ballard was a Director at Palestra Capital Management, which he joined prior to its launch in 2012. Preceding Palestra, Mr. Ballard was Director of Business Development for Titan Capital Group, a volatility-focused hedge fund, from 2008 to 2012 where he was responsible for global marketing and investor relations initiatives. Before Titan, Mr. Ballard worked at leading investment firms Lionstone Capital Management and Torrey Associates. From 2002 to 2006 he was a professional at Goldman Sachs in its Investment Management Division where he was responsible for private client portfolio asset allocation modeling and investment implementation. Mr. Ballard serves on the Business Affairs committee of the board of scientific publisher Annual Reviews. He also serves on the Finance Committee for the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, is the chairman of Menlo Park’s Community Crisis Management Advisory Board, and a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America. He graduated with a BS in Economics from Brigham Young University.


This is the kind of financial expertise the Fire Board needs particularly when coupled with his active role in disaster preparedness.


6 people like this
Posted by John D'Amico
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 9, 2020 at 9:48 am

John D'Amico is a registered user.

Mr. Carpenter- Your support of Mr. Ballard casts doubt on your own judgement. You are as irresponsible as Sean Ballard to knowingly back someone seeking a public safety position who has placed others in harms way by their reckless behavior.

With claims and comments about Mr. Ballard's lack of judgement and the irresponsible behavior, I would like to hear his response or outright denial of the accusations. Sean Ballard should either acknowledge, deny or explain but regardless, the voting public has a right to know.


4 people like this
Posted by Kit
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 9, 2020 at 12:44 pm

Kit is a registered user.

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


1 person likes this
Posted by Kit
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 9, 2020 at 2:04 pm

Kit is a registered user.

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


15 people like this
Posted by Sean Ballard
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 9, 2020 at 2:05 pm

Sean Ballard is a registered user.

In brief, in 2016 I was pulled over for a DUI in Menlo Park, pled “no contest" to those charges and I paid my fines, served a brief suspension of my driver's license, and fulfilled an uneventful three-year probation exactly as ordered by the judge. This misdemeanor DUI is currently in the expungement process within the SMC court system for dismissal.

I reached out to one of the reporters who wrote a recent article on the Fire Board race and let them know that, if they considered the topic a newsworthy affair, I would be happy to discuss the details further, especially my lessons learned.


6 people like this
Posted by Liz
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 9, 2020 at 3:04 pm

Liz is a registered user.

@Peter Carpenter - like Mr. Ballard, Trump has am impressive CV as well. It would be hypocritical and irresponsible to have an elected official with a rap sheet on a public safety board. Driving drunk is the opposite of safety. My kids drive on our roads, your kids drive on our roads, just one time driving drunk is not acceptable.


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 9, 2020 at 3:28 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I totally support Sean Ballard as a candidate for the Fire Board. He is a person of integrity with deep roots in our community and he has been a major force in developing a broad citizen based disaster preparedness effort throughout the Fire District.


4 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 9, 2020 at 7:55 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Liz:

you still haven't answered my question: Where were you a public safety professional?


7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 9, 2020 at 8:02 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 10, 2020 at 7:41 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 10, 2020 at 8:37 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Liz
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 10, 2020 at 9:59 am

Liz is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 10, 2020 at 10:07 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by John D'Amico
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 10, 2020 at 11:17 am

John D'Amico is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 10, 2020 at 8:19 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 10, 2020 at 8:22 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Liz:

So I suppose you've never made a mistake in your life? I'm guessing you have. Should we assume because you made a mistake once, you'll do it again? Is that fair or just stupid?


5 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 10, 2020 at 8:34 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It is sad that this Forum, in spite of Bill Johnson's plea, has become a bulletin board for innuendo and gossip rather than a gathering place for sharing community information and opinion.

Why don't Liz/Kit?? and D'Amico express their opinions rather than engaging in smear tactics? What policies that Sean Ballard supports do you oppose? Or are you simply straw men/women for his opponents? Please come out of the shadows and tell us what your real agenda is and whom you are representing.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Sep 10, 2020 at 9:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

If you are interested in the issues please go to our web sites:

menlofire2020.org

menlofire2020.com


3 people like this
Posted by John D'Amico
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 14, 2020 at 10:04 am

John D'Amico is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Sean Ballard
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 14, 2020 at 11:23 am

Sean Ballard is a registered user.

John, perhaps you are unaware that you are echoing a SINGLE user who The Almanac previously determined is the same person behind the combined Kit/Kit C/Liz accounts (and perhaps more).

This user is attempting to use these accounts to manipulate the discussion on me as a candidate and I simply refuse to engage on any personal matters whatsoever.

HOWEVER, John, you’re lucky on one count: I have over three years of official work for the District on its committees – including nearly two years on the Finance Committee – for you to comb through and pore over if you want to have a conversation on the issues.

Find a point where you disagree with my official actions there and I’ll happily invite you to coffee to discuss.


3 people like this
Posted by Atherton Voter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 14, 2020 at 11:47 am

Atherton Voter is a registered user.

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


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