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Agenda Item H-2: Commissions and Committees

From: domainremoved <Pamela>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2019 16:31:11 -0800

Mayor Mueller, Mayor Pro Tem Taylor, Council Members Nash, Carlton, Combs
and Staff,

Please review my comments on Agenda Item H-2 including Attachment.

*H-2: Commissions and Committees*

*Belle Haven Neighborhood Library Advisory Committee (BHNLAC)* -This is a
critical time for the City to demonstrate their full commitment to a Belle
Haven Branch Library. BHNLAC’s lead in the first phase, needs assessment,
provided the neighborhood with a dedicated committee that was invaluable in
moving forward the needs of the neighborhood. It is now time to change the
charge of the Committee to reflect the next steps that will ensure a
library is actually built. To disbanded, designate as a Library Commission
sub-committee, or add two additional seats to the Library Commission will
send the wrong message to all residents and potential funders.

I strongly urge the Council to instruct staff to work with the current
BHNLAC members to develop a new direction and composition for this
committee.

*F. Meetings and officers*

*4. Meeting locations and dates: *Commissions and committees are the key to
robust civic engagement and includes accessibility for all residents of the
City of Menlo Park. I would like to recommend that all commission meetings
be held in the city council chambers to be televised and video recorded.
That would allow residents who are unable to attend meetings to watch first
hand the issues and discussions that are important to our City. This would
also prevent missed and misinformation that can occur through second hand
reporting. Additionally, this may assist Council Members to better
understand the concerns of residents. It is sometimes difficult to
interpret the tone and intent of the commissions’ recommendations without
understanding the text that is create through dialogue.

*G. Memberships*

*1. Attendance*: Define attendance the same as for Council Members to
include allowing commissioners and committee members to “phone-in” to
meetings when traveling. Residents volunteer for commissions and
committees which requires active participation through researching of
issues and materials, in addition other outside activities that enhances
their role as commissioners and committee members. This policy may assist
in decreasing absences and almost always ensure a quorum.

*Qualifications, compositions, number*

1. “All residents shall be eligible regardless of voting status.”
Being a registered voter and a civically engaged member of society are not
synonymous. Civic participation includes attending meetings, voicing
concerns, volunteering, etc., as well as both political and nonpolitical
involvement. The voter registration requirement also eliminates active
residents who are working on citizenship which may take 10 years or more.

4. The Housing Commission should remain at seven (7) members. The charge
of this commission is critical particularly given the housing-jobs
imbalance and severe lack of affordable housing. The Housing Commission
number was increased to seven (7) in late 2017. The amount work they have
completed and presented to the Council is addressing the major issues that
remain critical to the City.

Thank-you for your time and consideration.

Regards,

Pamela D Jones





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Received on Tue Jan 29 2019 - 16:29:12 PST

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