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Menlo Park council bucks public sentiment, doesn't name new community campus after Onetta Harris

Original post made on Nov 16, 2023

After four years of construction and debate over the naming of the new community campus in Menlo Park, it has officially been named the Belle Haven Community Campus at a Nov. 14 City Council meeting.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, November 16, 2023, 10:32 AM

Comments (11)

Posted by Ddier
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 16, 2023 at 1:49 pm

Ddier is a registered user.

Menlo Park continues a history of dilution and erasure of a culture. Deaf to community voice and history they choose to pander to Meta funding rather than support the constants that voted them into their seats. From housing covenants to Black vets barred from the GI Bill to dilution of historic influence. This recent decision casts a shadow on both Meta and Menlo Park. Shame on you, City Council. History will not view your decision with favor.

Posted by Rob Silano
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 16, 2023 at 2:45 pm

Rob Silano is a registered user.

MP Council:

Another majority vote. It appears once again not listening to the community there. With this district representation concept, these majority decisions don’t work. I wonder how just District 1; the majority who will use the facilities, would vote? We will never know. Sorry Belle Haven residents.

Posted by ol' Homeboy
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 17, 2023 at 8:27 am

ol' Homeboy is a registered user.

Another Council travesty. Naming a community facility after a community leader who served her neighborhood with distinction is a well deserved honor - regardless of the fact that Onetta Harris worked within the Belle Haven community long before any of our council members even lived in Menlo Park. Community service is its own reward, but perhaps writing a big check is what our council members are always seeking, ie: Arrillaga Family Gym!

Posted by Karl
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Nov 17, 2023 at 9:06 am

Karl is a registered user.

Everything is about race, (non conforming) gender, religion and other tripe. When will the madness end?

Posted by Rob Silano
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 17, 2023 at 9:07 am

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Big checks always wins! Great write up; ol’ Homeboy” to the point and very true”.

Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Nov 17, 2023 at 9:31 am

Alan is a registered user.

I was not in the community when Onetta Harris was here, so I simply know she meant a lot to long-time residents. However, I don't know why the council ruled differently from the prevailing sentiment; I knew she meant a lot to my neighbors. Granted - in the past, only the community center was named after her - not the senior center, pool, or library - and it remains the same. However, with these things getting consolidated into one building, it's possible her name will get lost in the shuffle.

Posted by Nearby Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 17, 2023 at 12:23 pm

Nearby Resident is a registered user.

What's the big deal? Her name is on the community center. Very cool!
Putting Belle Haven on the name of the complex promotes recognition and pride in the neighborhood and its communty.

Posted by Menlo Lifestyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Nov 18, 2023 at 8:29 am

Menlo Lifestyle is a registered user.

Unsurprising that this city council would just ignore the people and act the way they think things should be. I'm still stunned that Nash got re-elected. I'm especially disgusted that my rep Tom Coombs would go along with the white washing of Menlo Park history. Maybe he's positioning to slide in the "Zuckerberg Community Center?" As usual Cecilia Taylor nails it when she says, "This is about a community that has always felt like it was not included in the city of Menlo Park.”


Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 18, 2023 at 9:23 am

Iris is a registered user.

I think the Council made an appropriate decision, keeping the name of Onetta Harris on the Community Center, and using a more generic name on the entire campus. My sense is that few will refer to the entire new campus by any name while all of us can refer to the revitalized community center with her honorable name. The honor and tribute is not lost at all.

Posted by TJ
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Nov 28, 2023 at 2:08 pm

TJ is a registered user.

I guess what I find confusing is I don’t think this new building specifically contains a “community center” within it, like it does a library and senior center. The community center is the building as a whole and the rooms available for rent. So I understand the concern that the Onetta Harris name is sort of disappearing from relevance.

Posted by Mpbiker
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Nov 30, 2023 at 4:50 pm

Mpbiker is a registered user.

This council and planning committee have an agenda. As did the previous council and planning committee. These “community leaders” are there to fulfill their personal goals. What the residents want or need has always been irrelevant. When a new senior center was proposed, Belle Haven weighed in that they liked the existing senior center at the existing location. Menlo Park, in its wisdom, raized the center in order to rebuild it in a new location. Now that it’s time to restore the name of Onetta Harris to its place of honor, the city again ignores the residents in favor of their own vision for Belle Haven - The Belle Haven Community Campus. Is it even a senior center anymore? The name says: nope.

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