City staff, planning commissioners, and some who made public comments were courteous and informative, including balanced points made by the owners of Santa Cruz Avenue shops Alys Grace and Cheeky Monkey. But mostly there was a vocal contingent speaking against the plan, often with rudeness and alarmism.
The same contingent appeared also to applaud and boo many comments, in defiance of the commission chair's request for order. From what I could tell online, many in this group were relatively senior citizens, representing themselves as "preservationists" protecting Menlo Park from the forces of change.
They spoke with much the same "us versus them" rhetoric heard on Sundays at the farmers' market and laid to rest, at least for me, at the meeting. The spokespersons for change appeared to be a younger, more civil crowd. Is there a generation gap dividing Menlo Park?
Susan Gillman, College Avenue, Menlo Park