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From: domainremoved <Jim>
Date: Sun, 3 Jan 2016 19:11:21 -0500

Honorable Mayor and Council Members,

As we begin the new year 2016, ten (10) ideas come to mind that you may wish to consider, as follows:

1) Establish a volunteer coordinator position to encourage citizen involvement within the city.
     Volunteers can bring significant skills, knowledge and background, at low cost, that can result in greater pride, programs and services.
2) Establish a grant writer position in order to take advantage of State, Regional and Federal funds.
     Someone skilled in preparing grants for all departments potentially can result in large amounts of grants directed to Menlo Park.

3) Establish policies, appoint the seven (7) member advisory committee and create a 2016-2017 budget for the Friendship and Sister City Program.
     This group can provide guidance to the City Council in helping to fulfill the goals and objectives from a cultural, education and economic standpoint.

4) Provide for a community workshop or Town Hall Meeting in order to discuss quality of life issues important to the community.
     Past mayors have done this in a variety of ways. Continuing the dialogue can pay huge dividends in identifying what is important to the community.

5) Appoint seven (7) dedicated citizens to the Menlo Park Art Commission to provide direction and focus on important cultural programs, such as theatre, art, dance, song, sculpture, poetry, etc., as nearly all cities, counties and states do in California and across the nation.
     The Parks and Recreation Commission does NOT have time or staff to address this important area.

6) Encourage a gifting program to the city, placing a high value on recognition, self-esteem and benefits to the community. For the donor, this may help as an income tax deduction and with estate planning.
     Years ago, the P&R Commission sponsored a "Wish List" program resulting in significant contributions being made. Atherton is currently exploring this option. Palo Alto has benefited from this approach for years.

7) Whenever possible, place programs for children as a priority, as children are our hope for the future.
     The Community Services Department should be commended for the wonderful job they are doing. Ray Mueller's involvement with the schools deserves a recognition as well.

8) Consider an active coordinator for current Menlo Park neighborhood organizations providing for an enhanced communication for social, disaster preparedness and other community needs.
     Next Door and other social media helps to provide for this, but much more can and should be done to enhance public safety and a variety of services.

9) Expedite funding for various public works projects in and around town to insure a safe and appropriate infra-structure, including safe routes to school.
     The public works departments does a wonderful job, but they operate with insufficient funds and staff. Keeping up with the needs of the city will require a greater level of resources.

10) Establish a Community Services Foundation, similar to the program offered by the City of San Carlos.
       Many parks and other areas have been greatly enhanced by this outstanding program.

While citizens consider a variety of New Year's Resolutions, during your annual Goal Setting meeting scheduled for later this month, the above items may be ideas worth considering. In the meantime, if you have any questions, or need further documentation on one or more of the ideas outlined above, please let me know.


Jim Lewis
A Concerned Citizen
who takes pride in the community

"Ask Not What Your CITY can do for you, ask what YOU can do for your City."
Received on Sun Jan 03 2016 - 16:14:51 PST

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