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Fwd: CHARTER CITY? YES!

From: domainremoved <Jim>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2018 22:35:42 -0800

Hello Council members,

I strongly support the idea that MP becomes a charter city.

Thank you,
Jim Gerber
950 Olive St.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Menlo Park's Future <menlofuture_at_(domainremoved)
Date: Sun, Jan 14, 2018 at 12:43 PM
Subject: CHARTER CITY? YES!
To: Menlo Park's Future <menlofuture_at_(domainremoved)


CHARTER CITY? YES!

Fellow Residents

This Tuesday the City Council will decide whether to offer Menlo Park
voters the option of becoming a Charter City in November of 2018.

Why is that so very important? Because as a charter city Menlo Park has the
authority to use a ranked choice voting system in conjunction with a hybrid
at large district election process. General Law cities such as ours cannot.

Here’s the problem. Right now Menlo Park is being legally forced to adopt
an election-by-district process in order to give minorities more
representation in city affairs. To achieve this, the city will be carved up
into little fiefdoms with each council member responsible to the members
they represent.

However, a hybrid at-large district system will assure that minority
districts are represented *AND* will also assure that some council members
are elected city wide so local issues and decisions don’t dominate the
agenda.

*This Nov., new city Council members will be elected by district, and I
fear that they will have no interest in changing the process that got them
elected, or in diluting their votes. The Charter- City decision must happen
now—on Tuesday.*

*A Little More About Charter Cities: *There is no downside to becoming a
Charter city, and plenty to celebrate.

Charters cities are not bound by many state requirements and have more
flexibility in managing their own affairs. Our neighbors, Mountain View,
Redwood City, Palo Alto, San Mateo etc. have elected to go the Charter-City
route.

*The Process Of Becoming A Charter City Need Not Be Convoluted.* The City
Council can draft the charter and we residents can vote on it in November.

The charter itself can be short and change-free, except on the salient
election issue (effective only after the Nov. 2018 election).

I apologize for this short discussion of a complex issue. Menlo Park is
being forced into making big changes to our election system in a small time
horizon. We don’t get to discuss the benefits or pitfalls of the change.
But by becoming a charter city we give ourselves the power to mitigate
those changes.

Sincerely and with trepidation. Lee Duboc (menlofuture_at_(domainremoved)

P.S. If you have thoughts on this issue, you can share them with City
Council at City.Council_at_(domainremoved)


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-- 
Jim Gerber
650-464-0710 c
jimmyg_at_(domainremoved)
Received on Mon Jan 15 2018 - 22:39:33 PST

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