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A New Hire to Conduct Pilot Program Not needed -- More Reasons

From: domainremoved <Lynne>
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2019 18:01:43 -0700

Dear City Council Members,

While I appreciate Staff’s attempts to improve the public engagement
process in Menlo Park, I am concerned about multiple aspects of the
proposals in Staff Report #19-123-CC. Some comments:


   - A new hire is a new hire. This will add to the City’s overall
   employee size.

   - I suggest waiting to hire all non-essential new staff until after
   Council oversees an *outside organizational review.* The review may
   also identify skill sets currently missing in the Staff organization that
   are far more critical, and that are harder to develop via training. (The
   public engagement skills can be developed relatively easily compare with,
   for example, program management skills.)

   - The staff report did not include a *detailed job description* along
   with reporting information and a proposed salary.

   - Other cities have found it better to *distribute the public engagement
   responsibilities* across the staff, instead of putting the
   responsibility mostly on one person.

   - While useful and solid, the ILG’s TIERs approach is just one approach.
   It's limiting to embrace this approach mainly.

   - Paragraph 4 in the Staff Report makes Council as the approval
   “gatekeeper” for major public engagement efforts. Instead, I suggest that
   Council incorporate the expectations into relevant Staff job descriptions
   via discussing and approving a form of the Model Public Engagement
   Ordinanc
   <https://www.ca-ilg.org/post/model-ordinance-public-participation>e
   endorsed by the ILG and perhaps also one aimed at developers, such as the
   one modified from the City of Ann Arbor
   <https://www.a2gov.org/departments/planning/development-review/Documents/Submittal%20Requirements/CPO%20guide%20major.pdf>
   .

   - The proposal, as described in the Staff Report, won’t address the
   fundamental changes that residents are asking for. In short, I believe
   that residents want a *stronger local democracy* for the same reasons
   that led the National League of Cities to prepare its Planning for Stronger
   Local Democracy Toolkit. As the promo explains, "This tool kit
   <https://icma.org/documents/planning-stronger-local-democracy-field-guide-local-officials>
   is designed to assist city leaders in strengthening local democracy by
   cultivating a culture with their citizens and key allies that is
*transparent
   and inclusive* with *shared responsibilities* and *mutual accountability
   for addressing and solving problems." *


Lynne Bramlett
Received on Mon Jun 10 2019 - 17:56:34 PDT

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