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Clear Conflict of Interest With Developers Donations

Original post made by Mary Ellen, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park, on Oct 30, 2006

As I sent to the City Council:

Dear Council Members,

It certainly appears to me that a clear conflict of interest exists with council members Duboc and Winkler, who with their third political member Mr. Boyle, are taking rather LARGE campaign contributions from two developers with proposals before the city.

I am referring to Sunday’s Almanac story that says that the three have taken some $12,000 from the developer who wants to develop the old Cadillac site on El Camino Real. The Almanac also reported that the three also accepted ANOTHER $3000 from the owner of the Park Theater who already donated $3000 to the group previously and that person has a proposal in front of the city to turn the theater into an office complex.

So that’s some $18,000 from developers with proposals pending. That is a HUGE number! Comparing it to other numbers in the Almanac story, it is almost as much as their leading opponent, Mr. Heywood, has been able to raise entirely from everyone out there and much more than either Mr. Cline or Mr. Bressler has raised.

I now think I understand why it is that I seem to be getting a flyer in the mail virtually every day from some combination of council members Duboc and Winkler and Mr. Boyle.

I also want to raise two other issues with this story, both related to the council-approved Derry project that would take place by the old Cadillac property and the Park Theater.

Number 1, it was reported by the Almanac that the approval of Derry also automatically gave some concessions to the developers of Cadillac because it is located next door to the property, so the city now has to give them the same “good deal.”

Number 2, the flyer from the Derry Referendum people says that as part of the deal, the city gets $100,000 to “study how to turn the Park Theater into an office building.” If that is true, then in my mind Mr. Crittenden the Theater Owner is really getting a free study courtesy of the city. I now understand just why he has plastered campaign signs for “Boyle, Duboc, Winkler” on his boarded up theater and posted threatening notices warning all others not to post there.

Quite frankly, this whole thing stinks to high heaven. I don’t see how anyone in good conscious could vote for either of you at this point, council members Winkler and Duboc. I agree whole-heartedly with the OTHER flyer I received in the mail this weekend, the one that says,

Thank You.

Mary Ellen Patrick

Comments (2)

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Posted by Developer Watchodog
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 30, 2006 at 2:25 pm

Howard Crittenden, the owner of the Park theater also made large donations in the first filing period.

He gave $1,000 each to Boyle, Duboc, and Winkler, and another $1000 to a PAC, called "Menlo Park Matters, that is friendly to the BDW slate.

Also a notable large donation from filing period #1.

$7,500 -- CREPAC: California Real Estate Political Action Committe base in LA. They gave $2500 to each of Boyle, Duboc, and Winkler. Remember Ordinance 926, the pro-developer zoning ordinance that would eliminate neighbor input in the home design process and make it easier for developers to build monster homes. They're baaaaaaaaack!!

Like this comment
Posted by Developer Watchdog
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 30, 2006 at 3:06 pm

Just to confirm the accuracy of the Derry Referendum flyer mentioned above. From the August 31st Palo Alto Daily News:

Zoning Rules Reach New Heights by Banks Albach

... "The O'Brien group is to pay $100,000 for study into the redevelopment of El Camino Real between Valparaiso and Santa Cruz Avenue with includes the Park Theater."

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