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Measure M chat

From: Nancy D.Wagner <"Nancy>
Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2014 23:06:50 -0700

Dear Mayor,

I want to follow up on the conversation we had today and thank you for speaking with me about the concerns stated in my earlier letter to the Council.

I was pleased to hear you say that the Specific Plan is "flawed" and that you agree with the Measure M goals. I generally agree that public policy is best conducted by elected representatives and not by ballot initiatives. In this instance, I make a necessary exception. A lack of community trust in City Council and the failure to agree among it’s members about how to address concerns raised by the grass root Measure M campaign had led me to recognize that the only way to achieve the goals that you and I both share is to support Measure M.

When I mentioned that I did not want to see 5 story tall office buildings along El Camino, I was surprised to hear you say that none would be taller than 3 stories tall. If that’s the case, where are the rendering? The current architectural drawings show 4-5 stories tall in the Stanford Projects and the Greenheart Developers have not submitted architectural plans to the City. How can residents feel confident that if we vote No on Measure M and allow the “process” to work, that the buildings will indeed be capped at 3 stories tall, without substantial changes to the “flawed” (in your words) Specific Plan?

 It is curious that the Council did come together and show unity in supporting the NO on Measure M Campaign and I suppose that gives me hope that the Council will become united in supporting the actual goals of reducing the amount of office space and the size and scope of the new developments being planned in Menlo Park - without sacrificing proposed developer funded projects like the bike tunnel ( As we discussed, this needs to remain a BIKE/Pedestrian only tunnel with absolutely no exceptions). I was surprised to hear you speak of your opposition to a tunnel at all. I am curious what the rest of the council thinks about that, independent of any development.

As I said in our conversation, I currently favor supporting Measure M. There is a lack of checks and balances in the City and a lack of responsiveness to citizens regarding the Specific Plan and other issues that we discussed.

 I mentioned that this year the City approved spending $48,000 for “new” logo design. After much discussion and being mislead by the City Manager that the City was already committed to paying for the job, the Council voted to approve the expenditure. This change was something about which residents were never consulted. When people like me spoke out against the expenditure, our voices were not heard.

Our discussion about Michelle Sutton was also surprising and disturbing.You said you tried to work toward issuing her an apology after she was unfairly fired from the City gymnastics program and that the supervisor who was responsible was no longer working there. Unfortunately, that’s just not true, as she still is there and Michelle Sutton was never offered her job back.

I lack trust and confidence that the City Council is working for the community’s best interests. Many who support Measure M feel the same way after seeing the Council disregard residents' concerns on various issues. Some of these are minor compared to the traffic issues and lack of public benefit.

Too much development too fast is going to have a negative impact on all residents. I know you said to trust the Council to do its job, and if they fail there can be a referendum and recall effort.

This point brings me back to why supporting Measure M is now the best route. Referendum and recalls are not the solution.

 You were able to unite the Council to oppose Measure M ( prematurely, before the Traffic Study was released) now it’s time to unite the Council and demonstrate that you are committed to the residents and not beholden to the developers by correcting the flaws in the Specific Plan.

 If you and the Council truly care about the future of our City then take the necessary steps to make our community stronger instead of dividing it.

Best,
Nancy Wagner
Received on Sat Oct 11 2014 - 23:02:14 PDT

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