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Transparency re: Library Funding Offer

From: domainremoved <pdjones>
Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2017 02:08:49 -0700 (GMT-07:00)

Honorable Mayor and Council Members,


I appreciate the challenges each of you have due to the nature of council preparation, negotiating full-time employment, family and some semblance of a social life.  Thus, you may find yourself heavily relying on staff reports and the City Manager.


The matter before us, funding the main library rebuild, is exciting, but poses a great challenge to all residents of Menlo Park.  How will we fund our 20 million-dollar portion?


Having attended the Finance and Audit Committee meeting on August 8th.  I found it quite interesting that our Non-General Fund is $20.1 million dollars.  Although only 4.7 million was considered some-what transferable to our 20 million portion, I am concerned that we, the residents, are missing information regarding the discussion of the offer from Mr. Arrillaga with Mr. McIntyre. 


I question why a philanthropist, with true altruistic motivation specifically excluded funding a Menlo Park Library Branch library in Belle Haven?  Especially considering, the existing Belle Haven Branch was opened in 1999 at Belle Haven School for the students attending elementary school.   


Therefore, I request the following information to create and maintain complete transparency within the operations of our governmental system.

  1. Exactly how did the gift originate? 
  2. Who from the Menlo Park City staff, consultants, and/or Council first initiated the discussion with any of the Arrillaga family members, foundations, affiliates or any other associations?  Contact includes, but is not limited to: social events, political affiliation, church affiliation, alumni, fraternity, sorority or any other means of communication. 
  3. How was the 20-million-dollar figure determined to be the City’s share of the cost?
  4. What was specifically discussed? 
  5. Did this discussion include a complete assessment of the Menlo Park Library system? 
  6. Was Mr. Arrillaga and/or associates aware of the council’s original concerns regarding library inequity in Menlo Park?  It is well documented the Belle Haven residents and Library Commissions have actively supported a Belle Haven Branch, separate from Belle Haven School for almost two decades.

The above request is for all related information related to Mr. Arrillaga and Mr. McIntyre, initial and all subsequent conversations.

We strive to be an inclusive city.  A haven for all residents, a city free of exclusionary policies and practices.  But only with complete transparency are we able to prove the worth our Mission Statement:


“It is the mission of the City government to ensure that Menlo Park is a desirable and vibrant community in which to live and do business, and to respond to the values and priorities of the residents so as to provide for the community’s current and future needs. Explicitly, the City fulfills its function by:

  • Addressing the needs of the residents through the City Council, the appointed commissions, and the City staff.
  • Providing easy and open access to information and encouraging dialogue, enabling residents to actively engage in civic life.
  • Recognizing and supporting the City’s diverse neighborhoods and population”.

The above requested details are critical to understanding why the Council is being forced into commitment that appears “too good to pass-up”.


Regards, Pamela D. Jones


Received on Wed Aug 23 2017 - 02:11:20 PDT

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