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SISTER CITY PROGRAM

Original post made by Jim Lewis, Menlo Park: Downtown, on Nov 12, 2021

Menlo Park has had a Sister City program for many years. In fact, its relationship with Galway, Ireland can be traced back for nearly 150 years. In more recent times, another City was added as a Menlo Park sister city, it being Bizan, Japan. For the last several years, exchange students from both Menlo Park and Bizen have been traveling to each other's city on alternate years. Two other cities have gone dormat, with little to no activity since their creation. Those cities are located in India and in China. It may be well to terminate those relationships as it appears there is little interest by either city to participate in the program.

A few years ago, for unknown reasons, the City Council voted unanamously to terminate, end and stop the Sister City Committee. All seven of its members were removed from the committee. This occurred at the end of year 2018. In 2019, 2020 and 2021 the program went to sleep. The hope was a group of citizens would form a non-profit organization to carry on the tasks formely handled by the Committee. The City Council is anticipated to provide a $10,000 GIFT to this unknown group of citizens to help jump start a new program. How they will spend it is unknown. What oversite there will be is unknown. What accountability is unknown. More questions than answers. Maybe the Staff Report will address these concerns. Maybe not.

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