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Measure J (sports fields at Bayfront Park) is a political wedge

Original post made by MJ on Oct 23, 2006

The city council may evaluate the feasibility of playing fields at Bayfront Park without putting something like Measure J on the ballot.

Measure J is on the ballot for only one reason, to create a wedge between challengers to the incumbent slate and play field proponents.

Inappropriate e-mails have been sent out using the official e-mail lists of various kids sports leagues around the city - naming the candidates and their positions on Measure J. The implication is clear, the incumbent slate supports playing fields. The challengers don't.

However, challengers Robinson and Bressler have kids that use the play fields in Menlo Park. Cline and Robinson are on the parks and recreation committee. Bressler is on the AYSO board. Robinson is an AYSO soccer referee and Bressler is an AYSO coach.

These are people who care about play fields in Menlo Park and understand the real issues.

Menlo Park is not well served by a slate of incumbents who bring us wedge politics that obscure and confuse the truth.

Comments (5)

Posted by MP voter, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Oct 24, 2006 at 12:24 am

The city council has been criticized for not listening to the public over the golf course at Bayfront Park. Now the council seeks the broadest public opinion, through an advisory election, and some of the same people are knocking it for that.

The critics don't really want the council to listen to the public. They want the council to listen only to them, and follow what they say.


Posted by MJ, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Oct 24, 2006 at 12:34 am

The Yes on J sign is in the same design and shape as the Boyle, Duboc, Winkler sign.

The Boyle, Duboc and Winkler campaigns have been encouraging sports leagues to send out e-mails that link Measure J with the council race.

Measure J is a campaign tactic, an abuse of process, a violation of trust.


Posted by Soccer Coach, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 24, 2006 at 4:38 pm

Sports fields at Bayfront Park have been in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan since 1999. The next step in planning is a $250,000 environmental impact report. I respect the council's decision to get public input through Measure J before spending that kind of money.


Posted by Coach, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Oct 24, 2006 at 4:58 pm

Repeating that "sports fields at Bayfront" have been in the master plan (what parks and recreation master plan?) since year X does not make it so. That can be proven by a glance at the Measure T materials, which do not include any reference at all to building sports fields at Bayfront.

If the council is putting this on the ballot, why not put all their decisions up to vote? Why have a council at all? Obviously they don't trust their own judgment.


Posted by Paul Collacchi, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 27, 2006 at 4:11 pm

The Parks and Rec Master plan did identify Bayfront Park as possible reserve location for playing fields, but it did not scope a specific project as it did for other playing fields, park renovations, a gym, a swimming pool, a child care center etc.

There is likely to be a lot more cost for environmental analysis than $250,000. A night-lighted field near migratory paths and Federally Protected wetlands will almost certainly trigger the Federal National Environmental Project Agency (NEPA) as well as the California equivalent (CEQA.) I do not know if the "lead agency", in this case Menlo Park, is required to pay for the NEPA bill, but I suspect it is.

Together the CEQA and NEPA processes are likely to take most of the entire term of the council elected this November, so the council elected in November will not be the council to build the playing fields, if they are ever built, if the money can be found, and if approvals can be obtained.

There are no fewer than four (4) governmental agencies that have regulatory and land-use jurisdication over portions of Bayfront park, and Menlo Park is not one of them, meaning the final approvals would be granted by some entity other than Menlo Park, even if voters like the idea.

Frankly, I have always supported using some, limited portion of Bayfront Park for playing fields, but the more I see and learn the clearer it is becoming that it is financially, technically, and politically infeasible.


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