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Guest opinions: School board member, planning commissioner urge No on Measure V

Original post made on Oct 31, 2022

This week, Ravenswood school board member Jenny Varghese Bloom and Menlo Park Planning Commission member Chris DeCardy have come out against Measure V, calling it a bad move for the city.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, October 30, 2022, 8:59 AM

Comments (12)

Posted by Marina
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 31, 2022 at 8:38 am

Marina is a registered user.

Thank you for saying the quiet part out loud, Jenny! Flood neighborhood should be ashamed of their actions because it just shows they have not changed since their decision to leave Ravenswood in the 70s. California State Board of Education even cites those piecemeal territory transfers as the main reason they don’t approve requests based on “character and quality” anymore. At a minimum, Flood residents stop attacking the very district they once belonged to and recognize all the damaged they have caused throughout the decades. Ravenswood is thriving and it is sad to see how this so-called liberal area is very much fighting against progress.

Posted by Dagwood
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 31, 2022 at 10:31 am

Dagwood is a registered user.

Unfortunately Measure V is our Brexit- a bad idea that’s become a proxy vote on a reckless CC that for many has lost public trust.

Posted by Menlo Lifestyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 31, 2022 at 10:41 am

Menlo Lifestyle is a registered user.

You won’t read about this in the No on V Almanac, but over in Palo Alto Daily Post they’re running some real journalism about how the No side paid a pastor from San Mateo almost $10,000 to drum up support in the religious community. Not even a Menlo Park church! Very unethical.

Posted by Mary
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 31, 2022 at 1:12 pm

Mary is a registered user.

Maybe you missed the publication of governor Newsom’s new law. Ravenswood school district can absolutely build teacher housing on their plot of land which is the former flood school site with or without measure V. What we need to focus on now is another entrance/exit into that development.

Posted by Fight for Democracy
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 31, 2022 at 4:00 pm

Fight for Democracy is a registered user.

NO on nimb-V!

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 2, 2022 at 9:11 pm

Brian is a registered user.


I don't blame Suburban Park from leaving Ravenswood SD in the 70 and I certainly don't blame the Willows for leaving Ravenswood in the 80's. By the early 70's the level of education that was being provided at Schools Like Willow and Willow Oaks was pathetic. Students were underperforming and teachers gave up trying to teach. In one class instead of teaching the material for state tests they tried to get the students to memorize the letter answers to fill out the scantron form (A, B, A, C, etc...) how sad is that. Parents want a better education for their children so of course they chose to leave Ravenswood. Since then the district has issue after issue and financial mismanagement being one of them.

Voting Yes on Measure M will help protect neighborhoods. Right now three city council members with an agenda who the residents of Suburban Park and Flood Triangle had no say in electing can change the entire character of the neighborhood with no consideration of the residents of that neighborhood.

To add to Menlo's point, just look at who is funding the No on V campaign, it is big developers and special interests along with a person who has advocated for turning our city parks in to high density housing. Look at the money it says a lot!

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Nov 3, 2022 at 7:31 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


who do you think is going to get screwed over if V passes? First guess should be Belle Haven. The virtue signalers in the rest of Menlo Park will be able to vote for rezoning where they don't live and pat themselves on the back for being "woke" and "helping" with the housing shortage. That's the problem with V, 4/5's of the voters can decide what is right for 1/5 of the city residents. Doesn't sound real fair when compared to the arduous process now in place that is required to rezone a property.

Vote NO on V.

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 4, 2022 at 10:19 am

Brian is a registered user.

Menlo Voter,

This seems like an old argument we have had before. You have said that voters will vote to approve anything that is not in their neighborhood. I completely disagree. First off do you know how many lots in District 1 are affected by Measure V? I am actually not sure, what I do know is that District 1 has already "gotten screwed", to use your terminology, buy the city council. Look at how many massive developments (Housing and office space) have been approved in the last 20 years. You think voters are going to do any worse to district 1? I prefer to believe that voters will listed to feedback from the neighborhood affected by rezoning requests and vote on what is in the best interest of those neighborhoods. Personally I advocated for the city to stop approving all the office space in District 1 years ago, it was short sighted and it has now come back to bite the city...

Posted by Frozen
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Nov 4, 2022 at 10:30 am

Frozen is a registered user.

The NAH anti-V contingent would have you believe this is about one school in Suburban Park and a lot of NIMBY, racist, anti-Semitic, sexist neighbors.

Wrong. The district can already build on Flood thanks to the new legislation. Let's try to get past Flood.

Measure V does send a strong message to council: we are paying attention. You can't destroy our family-oriented neighborhoods for the sake of developer profit.

This isn't about the integrity of the council members (who just appointed another Menlo Together member to the planning commission, a move that went other the radar). They are being played by developers, and they are falling for that rhetoric. That is why it is essential for us to remind them whom they are supposed to serve: the residents. I realize we're not taking them out for dinner or telling them how virtuous they are, but they still need to pay attention to what is best for the city and the residents.

Posted by kbehroozi
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 4, 2022 at 11:08 am

kbehroozi is a registered user.

Frozen, what if, instead of assuming that everyone who disagreed with you on housing was a member of some shadowy organization that was secretly controlling everything, you considered that maybe there are a significant number of people who come to different conclusions about things than you do, using their own brains, guided by their own life experiences and values?

I don't imagine that you and Brian are part of some secret clan that is trying to wrest control of various parts of the city – I think that you are two individuals who have found common cause on some issues and would probably enjoy having a drink together.

But I bet you and I might find common cause on some issues and enjoy having a drink together too. For example – I agree with your assertion that it's weird for our city to spend public dollars on celebrations that are overtly Christian in nature. I love the lights and the gathering but don't want people to feel excluded because we've decided that the Easter Bunny is essential. Seems like we could let the churches handle the egg hunts and put public dollars into something more universal.

People are complicated, multi-faceted, and constantly evolving. We're going to do better as a community if we look for points of agreement and compromise, even and especially after an issue as divisive as Measure V.

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 4, 2022 at 11:40 am

Brian is a registered user.


I don't think of Menlo Together as a secret clan, but they are an organization set on changing Menlo Park is ways many of the residents do not agree with. They are also behind the No on V measure as I just outlined in a separate post on a different topic. The organization behind the No on V campaign is founded by the people from Menlo Together, is being lead by the people from Menlo Together and heavily funded by the people behind Menlo Together (along with big developers). I cited the data behind these statements in the other post.

Posted by kbehroozi
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 4, 2022 at 12:36 pm

kbehroozi is a registered user.

Menlo Together is a mailing list + a core group of people who plan civic education events and co-author policy memos to council. Their quarterly meetings are open to all. I think of Adina and Karen more as people in front of Menlo Together, as opposed to behind (which sounds shady). They are on the website. They sign their names to letters and make public comments. It's quite transparent. And if they were isolated in their opinions, not representing any sort of real constituency, I doubt anyone would notice or care what they were saying. But it sounds as though their opinions have struck a nerve.

I'm intrigued by this, because when I compare their positions with the platforms of regional elected officials like State Senator Josh Becker and CA Assemblyman Marc Berman, or even President Joe Biden, I find a lot of overlap. Those guys didn't seize power – Menlo Park residents elected them. Are they also radical ideologues? Or are they just male Democrats?

No on V is powered by a couple dozen core volunteers, and while there is overlap between the campaign team and Menlo Together (which shouldn't be surprising considering Menlo Together's stated values and purpose), there are also a lot of people who did not previously associate with Menlo Together working on the team, as well as scores who have supported the efforts of the team in various ways. Many of them will probably subscribe to the Menlo Together newsletter if they don't already, and continue to pay attention to decisions that council is making around issues like housing. Getting residents to proactively engage to city affairs seems like a positive development.

Bottom line: no one is forcing anyone to believe anything, and I think there's a sizable constituency of Menlo Park residents (even homeowners!) who do think we could use more diverse housing stock, more bike lanes and sidewalks, more climate action, more attention to equity. To me, a mainstream Democrat, these ideas seem reasonable. YMMV.

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