In their campaign literature, incumbents Winkler and Duboc claim a number accomplishments as evidence of their momentum. Though some of the claims fall within the acceptable limits of political exaggeration, many of them are simply false. Many projects were actually approved and completed by a prior council before Winkler and Duboc even took office. Here are some of the more blatantly false claims:
CLAIM: “Renovated Lyle and Kelly Parks, Nealon, and Stanford Hill Parks.”
FACT: Renovation of Lyle Park was completed on May 28, 2002 and Kelly Park on Oct 22, 2002 before Winkler and Duboc took office.
CITATIONS: Kelly Park awarded 11/13/2003. See Staff Report (Item D3); accepted 10/01/2002 (Item D2)
Lyle Park acceptance 5/28/02 Staff Report (Item D3):
Nealon and Stanford Parks were approved along with an $8.3M approval for Measure T phase I projects on April 16th 2002, before Winkler & Duboc took office. Construction may have taken place during their term.
CLAIM: Repaved Santa Cruz.
FACT: Repaving Santa Cruz with “quiet asphalt” was complete by Spring of ’02 before Duboc and Winkler took office.
CITATIONS: Contract Award 9/18/01, City council Staff Report (Item D3 #2); Contract Acceptance 11/12/02 (Item D5)
CLAIM: “Widened Sand Hill Road”
FACT: Although project construction took place during their term, design improvements and approvals were granted by the prior council. Stanford, not the city, did the construction. Winkler and Duboc had no discretionary decisions.
CITATIONS: Tentative Approval 9/24/02 Staff Report (Item F1) Final Approval 11/12/02 (Item F3)
CLAIM: [Attracted] A new Office/Hotel to Sand Hill Road …
FACT: A new Office/Hotel on Sand Hill Road was approved by Winkler and Duboc. The white lie here comes from Winkler’s ballot statement and other Slate literature that suggests the hotel was “attracted” and the city development manager and council played a role in the deal. But according the March 5, 2006 San Jose Mercury (you must pay to view it) Menlo Park Officials including Winkler and the Business development manager were completely unaware of the deal until it was announced.
CLAIM: [Attracted] “Six residential, retail, and mixed-use projects on El Camino Real in various stages of development.”
Again, variants of this statement simply assert the existence of these projects, but some literature, particularly Winkler literature, says they were “attracted” by Duboc/Winkler policies. Three of the projects, Beltramos (1999), Safeway (2000), and 145 El Camino (2002) were submitted to the prior council. It would be hard for Duboc/Winkler policies to “attract” projects to Menlo Park before the Duboc and Winkler were seated. 145 El Camino was fully approved in Feb 2002, others were in various stages. The Working group between Safeway and neighbors that resulted in a unique store design was already years in progress when Duboc and Winkler were seated.
NOTE: All of the projects “attracted” to Menlo Park under the council seated before Duboc and Winkler conformed to the General Plan and needed no special approvals.
CITATIONS: 145 El Camino: Approved 2/26/2002 Staff Report (Item F1)
Safeway: May 5, 2005 Staff report says “The proposed design of the new Safeway store has been evolving since 1998 when Safeway began developing conceptual design options. … In 2001 Safeway and the neighborhood began working collaboratively on a design proposal that would be acceptable to the neighborhood and feasible for Safeway. …The Planning Commission reviewed the proposal at a May 20, 2002 study meeting. … The proposal currently under consideration by the City Council is substantially similar to the plan reviewed by the Commission.
Beltramos historical references: From the 11/19/02 Staff Report. “On August 10, 1999, the Beltramo Family submitted a request to rezone the site at 1460 El Camino Real ….for construction of a two-story office building of 26,823 square feet and 16 rental residential units.
CLAIM: “Remove traffic calming furniture from Santa Cruz Avenue …”
FACT: Nearly all traffic calming devices—16 bulb-outs, 10 crosswalks, and 10 center medians—were removed in June 2002, before Winkler and Duboc took office. A very small number of items were allowed to remain for a 6-month trial.
CITATIONS: 5/28/02 Council minutes (Item F1)
CLAIM: New police station being constructed in Belle Haven:
FACT: The contract for the Belle Haven police station was approved on October 4, 2001 before Duboc and Winkler took office. Construction has still not started.
CITATIONS: Historical reference via 4/13/04 Staff Report (Item F1) “On October 4, 2001, the Community Development Agency of the City of Menlo Park (Agency) approved a Contract of Sale with Willow Corners, LLC for the Agency purchase of a condominium unit in a commercial condominium development proposed at 1283 Willow Road to be used as the Police/City Service Center.”
CLAIM: “Maintained AAA bond rating.”
FACT: Well, yeah. But the rating was achieved by the prior council on Sept 24, 2002 before Winkler and Duboc took office.
CITATION: City Council Minutes 9/10/02 (Item A2)
CLAIM: “Attracted auto mail to site on Bayshore …”
FACT: An auto mall is currently in negotiations, but public discussions with Tyco about how best to redevelop its property first took place in July of 2001. Web Link “Menlo Park city officials will hold a brainstorming meeting with representatives from Tyco International July 14 to discuss what should be done with 22 acres that the company is selling in east Menlo Park.”