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Districting and Sequencing

From: domainremoved <Pamela>
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 14:28:49 -0700

Mayor Ohtaki, Vice Mayor Mueller, Council Members Cline, Keith and Carlton,

Thank-you for commitment to participatory governance which resulted in the
Advisory Districting Committee (ADC). The Council’s efforts and guidance
were met with 29 applicants, demonstrating a high level of community
engagement. The ADC’s end product was the result of the members becoming
experts on the communities of interest in Menlo Park as well as many other
considerations.

            The six-district mayor elected at-large should be removed from
your discussion. This option would dilute the vote of District 1 and
maintains an at-large (mayor) member of the council. This would not
completely satisfy the demand letter to move from at-large elections.
Additionally,
the ADC “voted unanimously to issue an advisory opinion recommending a
five-district solution over a six” (Staff report #. 18-056-CC).

            It is clear that the sequencing is designed to allow two
council members to run for a third term. I recognize that when choosing to
run for public office, we have both altruistic and personal reasons serve
the community. Given that Menlo Park is changing how we vote, at this time
it is appropriate to consider the significant issues within each district
rather than who wants to run for another term.

            Districts 1(Belle Haven) and 5 (Mueller and Carlton) are
excluded from this discussion. When comparing Districts 2, 3 and 4, what
current and future issues have the greatest impact on the residents of
Menlo Park? For example, traffic on Willow Road, Bay Road and Middlefield
Road affects District 2. Traffic on Willow, Middlefield, El Camino Real and
Ravenswood effects District 3. District 4 is affected by Santa Cruz. Both
District 3 & 4 include portions of the Downtown Specific plan. District 3
includes rail crossing and main library.

These are just a few examples of what must be considered in the sequencing
of elections. Sequencing should not be based on insuring two council
members run for a third term in the 2018 elections. If truly committed to
the best interests of the City, you can always run in 2020. Given the
number of critical issues facing our City, it is appropriate to open the
door for new people on the Council. No one council member can be an expert
on all issues facing the City. District elections allows for experts to
bring their more specialized knowledge to the dais. It is this information
that allows a more inclusive and robust discussion. The shared solutions
will have taken into consideration a broader range of residents’ concerns.

This recommendation in no way diminishes your years of dedication to the
council and the City of Menlo Park. You are commended for taking time away
from your family and employment to make decisions in the best interest of
the City of Menlo Park. Thank-you! Thank-you!

Respectfully, Pamela Jones (Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park)

*The impossible dissipates when **I* *becomes **WE**.*
Received on Wed Mar 21 2018 - 14:31:51 PDT

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