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IMPLIMENTING THE NEWSPAPER RACK ORDINANCE

From: domainremoved <Jim>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2018 16:05:01 -0400

Mayor Ohtaki and Esteemed Council Members:

Congratulations on passing the Newspaper Rack Ordinance at the Tuesday, March 13, 2018 Menlo Park City Council meeting, agenda item K-1. The minutes were just released and read, as follows:

Agenda item K-1. Approve the introduction of an ordinance that will regular newsracks within Menlo Park (Staff Report #18-045-CC)

         ACTION: Motion and second (maker of the motion and who seconded it NOT SHOWN), to introduce an ordinance regulating newsracks in Menlo Park and amending Menlo Park Municipal Code section 13.28.030 relating to private property, adding a section specifying that newsracks on private property do not require newsrack permit but do require design review and approval by the City. The motion passed 3-1-1 (Mueller dissented, Carlton absent). Councilmember Keith left the meeting at 11:25 p.m. (2.25 am her time in Washington, D.C. while at a meeting of the National League of Cities meeting).

Several questions remain, such as

1) Will a map of the locations be provided, as requested by Council Member Mueller?

2) Will the City provide the courtesy and opportunity for the publishers to self-regulate, now that the City has the authority under this Ordinance to do so, as requested by Council Member Carlton?

3) While some green colored racks are in deplorable condition, others are ok, requiring perhaps a fresh coat of dark green colored paint. Will the city be removing and throwing away 100% of these green racks, or saving those that they can? Afterall, over a $100,000 went into their purchase and installation originally.

4) Why are publishers being required to affirmatively attach the single newspaper boxes to the cement, when it is rare that one falls over. This portion of the ordinance seems unnecessary.

5) One of the biggest questions has to do on why the City Council is placing this massive task on the staff at a time when there is such a shortage of staff along with a long list of what is considered higher priorities (such as traffic mitigation, safe routes to school and so on). Public Works who lack sufficient personnel to maintain the cities 16 parks, clean storm drains, trim or remove trees, etc. are being asked instead to become involved. Finance Department are being asked to collect permit fees. The police department - code enforcement - initially will only have time for this project.

Thus relying on the publishers to perform over a fixed period of time may be your wisest option. If they fail to do what is needed, you certainly retain the right, under the new ordinance, to implement it.

More questions than answers. I hope you take time to reply, for not only my benefit, but for the benefit of others with an interest in this subject.
Received on Fri Mar 23 2018 - 13:07:11 PDT

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