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RE: Has the City of Menlo Park been conducting a coordinated campaign against Measure M?

From: McIntyre, Alex D <"McIntyre,>
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2014 16:17:14 -0800

Heyward,

As requested, attached you will find the approved agreement with Smith Communications dated March 5, 2014 and scope of work. You will also find the individual invoices for work performed.



In an attempt to cut through the confusion, I thought that I would put this all into context as to what I was thinking.

On February 25, 2014, the City Council adopted its annual goals. One of them was:

#8 - Improve Public Relations and Communications

Staff interpreted this as proactively providing greater clarity on activities and issues within and around the City to our residents.

In response to the growing number of phone calls City Hall was receiving about the Specific Plan and the Petition, I knew we needed to find an objective manner in which to respond to these inquiries. Given that my staff had spent years working on the Specific Plan, I thought it wise to find someone outside the organization to provide professional objectivity. This approach is both legal and consistent with the Council’s adopted goals on communications. I retained Malcolm Smith who brought years of experience as the recently retired communications manager for the City of Redwood City. I considered him to be independent and capable of objectively simplifying the complications of the Specific Plan and the circulating Petition.



His initial March 3 proposal (which you cite) included a number of items that I rejected as overreaching and unnecessary. He submitted two more proposals (March 5 and March 19). He returned with a final scope of work that was more balanced with a focus on public education. In fact, his initial major product was developing the website content and getting it up and available. While I know that you disagree with his conclusion, the City’s Special Counsel has reviewed the City’s website and newsletter on Measure M and found them to be legally appropriate.



Malcolm also developed for the staff some draft editorials and talking points that were never used as well as two new releases, which were used.



Finally, it is not clear to me why the Smith Communications attached contract was not provided in your original public records request. With over 14,000 documents to review, the omission is regrettable. I will investigate this to make sure we remain thorough and diligent in our document gathering and review.



I hope this provides certain clarity and context to what has become a rather divisive matter in this community.



Alex D. McIntyre

City Manager

City of Menlo Park

701 Laurel Street

Menlo Park, CA 94025

(650) 330-6610

admcintyre_at_(domainremoved)





-----Original Message-----
From: Heyward Robinson [mailto:hrobi_at_(domainremoved)
Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2014 2:59 PM
To: _CCIN
Cc: John Warren; grandjury_at_(domainremoved); Rhea Mahbubani; Eslinger, Bonnie; Almanac News 2; bsilverfarb_at_(domainremoved)
Subject: Has the City of Menlo Park been conducting a coordinated campaign against Measure M?



All,



Please see the attached file. It contains details of a possible publicly funded PR campaign against Measure M. Also attached is the March 3, 2014 proposal from Malcolm Smith with details of the potential campaign.



Please contact me if you have any questions.



Heyward Robinson

650-465-8633







Received on Wed Nov 05 2014 - 16:12:15 PST

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