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Council Priorities

From: domainremoved <Henry>
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2019 00:15:41 -0800

Honorable Mayor and Council members,

With apologies for the late hour. This was sent earlier via the Feedback form for the item.

1. The process by which Menlo Park makes major decisions is broken. We ask uniformed citizens to attend multiple (up to 50) meetings and "workshops", review emails, and tell the city how to solve problems. This is more like poll-taking than leadership. We hire rote pattern consultants to define work that in some cases our degreed, professional staff should do in house. Staff needs to show vision, know issues, and establish solutions that benefit the majority of residents, and present those solutions to council. Consultants should be in the supporting role, not commanding role.


2. We need to get our financial house in order. No head of household indebts his children to pay exorbitant costs for house and services, yet the city has done just that with unsustainable pension benefits to city employees. We need to honor payments and contracts through their end date, then move forward from that date with new fair, sustainable agreements. The alternative is impossible without soaking future generations - and that is not acceptable.


3. We need to get our physical house in order. We began deferring maintenance of roadways, sidewalks, sewer and water with the 2001 recession and have been buying second rate work ever since. Even newly paved roadways are wavy, lumpy and degrade rapidly. And residents themselves are expected to re-build broken sidewalks, replace sewer lines under the street.


4. Local traffic congestion relief. The bottleneck on El Camino has to go. Significant transit routes like ECR, Middlefield, Santa Cruz/Alameda (county), Ravenswood/Ringwood, Willow Rd through the Willows, Bay Rd, have to be carry the traffic better and relieve the neighborhoods from overflow and lock down. (This is basic transportation planning that has been badly neglected in Menlo Park.) This includes three fully elevated CalTrain crossings at Ravenswood, Oak Grove and Glenwood. And we need to work with PA to connect Sand Hill through to Alma and bear their share of 101 access traffic.


5. Regional transit as traffic relief. MP needs to demand of regional agencies that the Dumbarton Bridge vehicle traffic be partly supplanted with public transit. First step, a dedicated Dumbarton Express route past the twice daily jams. Second step, rail transit across the Dumbarton Rail ROW. We should be lobbying hard and constantly for both, and preparing to contribute some cost to both. The bridge is the single major source of Menlo Park traffic east of ECR. (This should not be entrusted to Facebook alone to do.)


In General: We need to re-establish pride in "our house" before we jump for new debt for showy new city ventures - like a library we want but don't quite NEED. The state of our roads, our parkways/trees, sidewalks, is far from the excellence we expect of our innovators, demand of developers. Our neighborhoods and old downtown deserve better. We have deferred attention to this house for 18 years - no wonder visitors see Menlo Park and ask, This is it??

Henry Riggs
Received on Sat Feb 02 2019 - 00:12:07 PST

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