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Winkler letter in almanac

Original post made by good riddance, Menlo Park: Downtown, on Aug 29, 2008

This weeks Almanac had the following letter from ex-Mayor Winkler.

high-speed rail vote
This letter is about high-speed
rail chutzpah, not about the
merits of high-speed rail. I read
in the newspaper that the Menlo
Park City Council is suing the
High Speed Rail Authority about
something or other.
But wait. I never read on any
agenda, on in any closed-session
announcement, or on any city
Web site that such a suit was contemplated.
This is secretive, uninclusive,
politicking at its worst.
The plot thickens. Who put this
item on a closed Aug. 5 agenda —
without even referencing the subject?
Was it Mayor Andy Cohen,
who was recused out? Couldn’t
be. And it couldn’t be any other
council member, because they are
required to conference publicly
with all council members before
agendizing any item — in open
session or closed. So who?
Then the plot thickens more.
The Atherton Town Council called
an unscheduled meeting with just
one, unannounced, closed-subject
issue, on the same night. And both
Atherton and Menlo Park joined
the lawsuit. Did Atherton and
Menlo Park collude secretly in
this? That’s not legal, so no.
The City Council’s land use
policy, including this policy, is
orchestrated, behind the scenes,
by the same, unelected shadow
government that killed the Derry
Project (which should be housing
seniors and singles by now while
contributing millions to city coffers);
is hobbling the Bohannon
project on the east side of Highway
101; and has now prevailed on the
council to derail high-speed rail.
This group has been key in joining
forces with Atherton to promote
the aforementioned lawsuit.
I suggest City Council rescind
the decision to sue the high-speed
rail authority at its next meeting,
on Aug. 26; have an open study
session on high-speed rail with
Caltrain (and the Transportation
Commission) before any further
action is taken; and then sue away
if it still thinks it is the responsible
thing to do.
Mickie Winkler
Menalto Avenue, Menlo Park

All I can say is how lucky we are that the voters of Menlo Park excused her from further service 2 years ago. You would think she might do some homework to find out a bit about what the lawsuit is all about instead of showing her ignorance by writing

"the Menlo
Park City Council is suing the
High Speed Rail Authority about
something or other."

Well the council did not withdraw from the lawsuit last Tuesday, there will be a study session on High Speed Rail on Sept. 9th, but not about withdrawing from the lawsuit, but about deciding whether to take action on a resolution the City might want to adopt concerning High Speed Rail and the impacts that Menlo Park would face from that project.

High Speed Rail running through our city with its raised tracks (15 feet) and electrical over hanging wires 15 or 20 feet about that will be like a "Berlin Wall" running though our City. Our Council should do everything it can to keep this from destroying our downtown and residential areas near the tracks.

Comments (12)

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Posted by much-iproved
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Aug 30, 2008 at 7:51 am

Since removal of the Jellins, Winkler, DuBoc clan, our City council seems to be running more openly and without the bitterness those three created.

We don't need their type in power ever again. It may take years to undo some of the abuses they managed to create, but this new council at least seems to try and do its best. You can still see the attitude they had being voiced by John Boyle, who on so many occasions just seems to want to delay and disrupt. He should not be allowed quite so much air time, even though once in a while he has a good idea.

Like this comment
Posted by Hank Young
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 30, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Although, at first glance, I am also not a big proponent of the high speed rail coming through our town, this type of negative attack on an individual that VOLUNTEERED her time for several years, is unacceptable. It is individuals like you that continue to divide our town as those that won't even accept another opinion, and discuss ideas that might improve our town, versus those that are opposed to every idea that may actually make our town nicer.
Please have a little respect for those that are actually trying to suggest some differing views that may actually have some merit, versus sitting around sending negative, no growth, no improvement, no creative idea type hate mail! Thank you.

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Posted by Good Riddance Too
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 30, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Hey Hank,

The Big W never accepted the opinion of others as a Councilperson, why the --- should we accept her opinion now?

She's MP's version of Bush - come 1/20/09, no one will care what he has to say and since her defeat, no one cares what Winkler has to say.

Like this comment
Posted by stick with facts
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 31, 2008 at 12:53 pm

The letter Miz Winkler wrote is full of innuendo and unproven "facts". This is what we need to get rid of in all levels of government. Sure, if there is concern about not enough sunshine on decisions, there should be questions, but her letter goes far beyond that and infers that there is a secret faction that's behind a lot of different decisions by the city and also by the Derry family about their project. Further, she suggests that the closed meeting decision might be illegal but did not find out the city attorney's position before making those accusations. Talk about chutzpah!

Most of the current council won their seats because the public was seeking open-minded decision makers who made decisions in the open. Just because Winkler's council made bloc voting after minimal discussion and made decisions in study sessions does not mean that this council does.

Like this comment
Posted by Hank Young
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 3, 2008 at 10:51 pm

According to one of the bloggers, my name is Hank. Sorry, my name is not Hank. I am again, just a resident that pays his taxes, volunteers his time in many of the town's organizations, and tries to make MP a better place to live. Your day will come, it will take some time, but it will come. Positive, creative, intelligent thinking, always wins out over the disgruntled, angry, grumpy, "you better not change anything or I will act even more like a child" types.
All I am asking is that you funnel your anger toward something else, rather than others that have served this town. Regardless of your views, the volunteers that give of their precious time have a common goal, to make MP better. I love the GWB comment, I hear he caused cancer too. Unbelievable.

Like this comment
Posted by Contrarian
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 7, 2008 at 9:37 am

I too am an advocate of open government, so how about a response to Winkler's specific questions?

So why did the rail lawsuit get agendized without public input?

Why wasn't the Derry project redesigned in a public forum?

Is it possible that our current council majority and their supporters spend so much time accusing others of not being open to divert attention from their own secretive activities?

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Posted by observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 7, 2008 at 8:58 pm

I am confused by the above question by Contrarian about the Derry project redesign. The project developer and property owners exercised their right to redesign and resubmit the project; this is the same right any project owner can exercise. Their redesigned proposal has been reviewed in public meetings that include, I think, a study session with the City Council, meeting with the Housing Commission, and project review with the Planning Commission. Some aspects of the project were modified as a result of the latter public meeting, as happens with other projects. The City Council has yet to review the project, awaiting the project developer's final submission. This review will be in a public forum.
What's the problem?

Like this comment
Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 9, 2008 at 10:01 am

This is perfect.

If the Winkler/Duboc partisans want a debate on transparency and Sunshine in government, let's do it. I call for an open debate. Let's have your best and brightest, and we can ask council members to defend their positions, in a live and open setting. We can stop the one-way emails (again, no discussion allowed) and political backwash which is so much a part of the approach with the Winkler, Duboc, Gilles, Sinnott regime.

I know of at least one or two current council members who would dance circles around you on this topic. That is why I voted for them.

You in? Or will you yet again take the coward road and send out more one-way diatribes.

We'll shine the light and see who runs for cover.

Like this comment
Posted by Iva Boil
a resident of Woodside High School
on Sep 9, 2008 at 7:48 pm

"What's the problem?"
You used the words, "I think".

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Posted by observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 13, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Dear Iva,
I looked up the list of meetings, which of course anyone can do on the city website, to confirm my memory about public meetings. Sorry to disappoint you, but there have been even more public meetings than I remembered when I said "I think." Regarding the revised project or issues related to it, there have been meetings on: 10/22/07 Planning Commission; 11/27/07 City Council; 2/26/08 Council; 3/408 Council; 3/5/08 Housing Commission; 3/31/08 Planning Commission; 5/6/08 Council.
Now that "I know", I ask again:
What's the problem?

Like this comment
Posted by Newbie
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 16, 2008 at 11:14 am

Hey, does anybody remember that this thread is supposed to be about high speed rail?

Like this comment
Posted by observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Sep 16, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Well, Winkler's editorial really was about the council. Remember, it's an election season.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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