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Consultants want $225K more for ECR Downtown Specific Plan Moneypit

Original post made by Roxie Rorapaugh, Menlo Park: University Heights, on Dec 8, 2011

It is endless, on top of the nearly $ 900,000 the city has already paid the consultants working on this project, the staff is now asking for an additional $225,000 for the same consultants to make changes and finish the EIR and Final Plan --- even though the original contracts were supposed to include necessary revisions for completing the EIR and Final Plan!!

The city is also paying for city staff time, including a special lawyer who is being paid out of the city manager's discretionary funds account.

It is time to can the plan. Residents and downtown businesses are opposed to it. If enacted it will cause local businesses to go under, people to lose jobs and traffic to become worse. The entire character of the downtown will be changed -- for what!!!

The planning department staff are not listening to the citizens of Menlo Park, nor are they working in our interests. They answer to developers and special interests. Our city council needs to say no to this request and start an investigation of how so much money could have been wasted on this project. Otherwise, the new appropriation will be wasted and the consultants will be back asking for more.

Tell the city council to say no!

Comments (6)

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Posted by Sunk costs
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 9, 2011 at 7:56 am

Roxie, you know better than that. This council has no problem throwing good money after bad.

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm

This project is definition of local government waste. I don't expect any council with members such as Fergusson and Cline to do the right thing. Almost $1M??

That's 4 wasteful city managers such as Rojas!

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Posted by Long Time Menlo Man
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 11, 2011 at 8:02 am

This project would have been done long ago if it weren't for the "Obstructionists." Thousand of ordinary, every day citizens helped develop this plan. A minority have tried to block it because "We know better." Citizen input is NOT a dirty 3 letter word. The people of Menlo Park have spoken. Let's do it.

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Posted by Long Time Menlo Man
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 11, 2011 at 8:06 am

I'm excited about the positive direction this plan provides. The downtown area is good and with the help of positive citizens and knowledgeable experts the downtown area will become even better.

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Posted by Richard Draeger
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm

While this plan was supposed to support the necessary rezoning of El Camino Real, it morphed into including a re-engineering of the Central Business District. This overreach turned the plan into a bullet train to nowhere. The unintended consequences becoming more obvious to the electorate are a substantial increase in planning costs as well as probable, irreparable damage to the downtown's merchant community if the plan is enacted in its current form. The consultants obviously have to go back to their drawing boards and should be taking responsibility for their poor advice and not expect the infinite largess of Menlo Park's taxpayers to make the plan sensible.

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Posted by baby, meet bathwater
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Most of us wanted to see growth and development along with improvements/enhancements. I don't know that anyone in Menlo Park qualifies as an obstructionist, but maybe I just don't know the right people.

However, there is a big difference between trying to make our city more functional/more vibrant, and throwing all the rules out the window and saying "anything goes!" The consultants seem inclined to the latter, which is not the view I heard expressed by residents in the various community meetings. Most of us like our town (we've invested in it!) and would prefer not to be slapped with snarky labels just because we don't want to live in a dysfunctional version of Manhattan.

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

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