It is appropriate to pause and celebrate the 150th anniversary of Menlo Park as a town, even though we weren't incorporated until much later. It gives us an opportunity to look back on where we've come and to look forward to our future.
We've seen a lot of changes in Menlo Park since 1863. Then, we were considered a suburb of San Francisco — a place for business people to escape for the summer. Through the 1970s, the train carried commuters primarily to jobs in San Francisco.
Over the last few decades, we've been considered a charming suburb in Silicon Valley, as folks began commuting south. More recently, Menlo Park has become a center of global innovation, with the location here of Facebook and major venture capital firms that now fund start-ups worldwide. As I like to say, in many ways, the future begins in Menlo Park.
So it's not a surprise that 150 years later, we are challenged with balancing two highly desired but often conflicting goals in our community — maintaining village character while encouraging economic vibrancy. I believe we are in the enviable position of embracing our status as a center for innovation while managing its impact on our residential quality of life. We welcome your input in this ongoing dialogue.
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