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Update: Candidates offer views at supes forum

Original post made on May 4, 2012

==B Updated version of a previously posted story.== Closing the county budget deficit, reaching out to Latino voters, keeping Caltrain rolling. These were among the topics aired in Menlo Park at a May 3 forum for the seven candidates running for the District 4 seat on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 4, 2012, 12:18 PM

Comments (28)

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Once again, Mr. Romero is spot on. I think he gets overlooked being Latino & an EPA resident. I wish locals would be less myopic in their view of the candidates for Supe.


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Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm

What a worthless piece of journalism. A series of questions were asked, there are 7 candidates (all specifically listed in alphabetical order) and only one question was reported on. OK, I'll go with what little this article provides. First, "stay the course", sorry, same ol', same ol', doesn't get my vote. Nix Masur. Long term focus, Slocum & Romero deserve more of my attention to look deeper at their ideas-both now front runners for my vote. "popularity of measure L", yeh in Menlo Park, sorry don't live there and besides taking the unions endorsement really makes this hard to swallow. Nix Kieth. "More transparency", more same ol' same ol'. Nix Schmidt. As for Cohen's comments, huh? Nice old guy, but nix Cohen. Well look at that, even though this article was way short on substance, I'm now down to considering only two candidates. I stand corrected, thanks Dave, good job.


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Posted by Dave Boyce
Almanac staff writer
on May 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Dave Boyce is a registered user.

A more well-rounded story is coming for the print edition.


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Posted by Martin L
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm

After attending last night's forum (thank you, League of Women Voters), I once again confirmed Carlos Romero is the most qualified candidate.
He understands the issues extremely well, and is able to approach them with an open mind. He doesn't offend voters' intelligence by tip-toeing around things, pretending that difficult decisions will not be necessary to address things in a democratic way.
The best part about someone with his principled trajectory, is that he is has shown he is able to take into account the common good in his search for solutions to the County's problems.


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Posted by pension reform
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 4, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Carlos Romero has been complaining that Menlo Park's Measure L takes the power to negotiate away from the elected officials. Keith is the only viable candidate that has taken a stand against the unions with her support of measure L. Cohen also supported L, but only to attack Fergusson and Robunson. Cohen's lack of endorsement from any Menlo Park elected official, past or present, or even a single commissioner should be a warning that he is not a collaborative person as he states.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 5, 2012 at 8:42 am

Keith only supported measure L after it became obvious it was going to pass. Prior to that she did not. She is a political opportunist. Her support of measure L surely doesn't make her qualified for supervisor, especially given WHY she supported it. It also rubs me the wrong way that she hasn't even served out the term she promissed the voters she would and she's looking to go elsewhere. If the timing isn't right, that's tough. She needs to stay and do what she was elected to do - represent the people that elected her.


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I agree with Menlo Voter.


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Posted by Menlo Observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Kirsten Keith came on to support Measure L only after Judge George Miram ruled it go go to ballot. Keith avoided supporting Measure L until it became safe to do so. She is a very wily political animal only committing to cause when it becomes apparent it will prevail.

As Thomas Paine once said she is "A summer soldier and sunshine patriot".


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Posted by Reality
a resident of another community
on May 5, 2012 at 9:45 pm

[Portion remove. No evidence posters are the same person.]

Keith is endorsed by the co-chairs of Measure L, because she supported it.

If you want to complain, show your face at a forun. I have the list of people that contributed at least $100 to Measure L. I am on that list, [Portion removed.]


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Methinks Reality needs a reality check!


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Posted by Ask Henry
a resident of another community
on May 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Henry Riggs should have some idea when Keith signed the Measure L pettition. Henry has endorsed Keith, and I trust his opinion over the person claiming to be Menlo Observer.

It is very sad that the success of Measure L must be diminished by anonymous [portion removed] that claim to speak on behalf on the group.


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Posted by Do Your Homework
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on May 5, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Reality:

How do you know that Menlo Voter, Joanna, and Menlo Observer are the same person? Keith may be endorsed by the two co-chairs of Measure L, but she isn't endorsed by the entire Measure L leadership team, which includes Ned Moritz, the Treasurer and named person in the lawsuit filed by the unions.

I don't know why you're bringing up Kiraly and Ohtaki. You can't compare them to Keith. Keith didn't do anything to help pass Measure L-- just like Silano didn't do anything to pass Measure L but tried come across like he did during the fire board race. At least, Keith endorsed it when it was safe to do so. Silano didn't even do that! Ohtaki actively campaigned for it and made pension reform part of his platform when he and Keith ran for city council in 2010. Kiraly helped pass and donated to Measure L. That's why she was the only candidate in the fire board race and the only candidate to date who received the endorsement of the ENTIRE Measure L leadership team.

You can criticize Kiraly for accepting the unions' endorsements in her fire board race, but in the end, she has still done much more than Keith in getting pension reform into the spotlight throughout the county. I have yet to see Keith be a real advocate for pension reform. She's never come out in front of the issue, but then again, she is totally devoid of any ideas... "Also helpful in lowering the deficit: consolidation of services and operating efficiencies," says the article. DUH! Tell me something I don't know.


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Posted by Outisde Looking In
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Dear Ask Henry,

In response to your post: "It is very sad that the success of Measure L must be diminished by anonymous cowards that claim to speak on behalf on the group."

Truly, the diminishing of the success of Measure L is that Keith continues to pretend that she was behind it 100%, when she wasn't. That's the saddest thing... Keith's using Measure L for political expediency. Thankfully, many of the posters here realize that this is Keith's m.o., so Measure L will always be a good example of the people making a difference when their elected "representatives" have failed to do so.

The only candidate who has proven that pension reform is important is Carlos Romero. When he was mayor of EPA, that council actually imposed a contract on their police, which still decreased their compensation. That's probably why he didn't get the union's endorsement.

Keith probably didn't get the union's endorsement because they know she has no principles whatsoever-- even bad ones!


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 6, 2012 at 9:07 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Reality:

I assure I am neither Joanna nor Menlo Observer. We just happen to agree that Kieth is a political weasel. She's never been out in front of any issue. It's clear she ran for the council for politically expedient reasons. She only endorsed Measure L AFTER a judge threw out the unions' lawsuits. She is screwing her constituents by not sitting out her term which she said she wanted to serve, so as to work for the people of Menlo Park. In my opinion she's not very bright either. You'd have to be pretty stupid to use the endorsement of Fergusson who is so clearly ethically challenged. But no, she's blinded by her political ambitions.

Frankly, as far as I'm concerned she should just step down from the council. She obviously doesn't want to be there. She isn't going to be serving the best interests of the voters and if elected to the board she will leave any way. Leave now Kirsten. Let us put in someone that will actually do the people's business, not spend their time running for another office.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2012 at 9:42 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

I agree with Menlo, Keith should set down, for me it is because she and a few others have taken an oath to serve a known time period when they were elected.

So the question is, does an Oath matter?


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2012 at 10:06 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

I understand & can respect political ambition, to a point. But when the ambition results in the suspicion & derision of constituents, they'll remember that politician for a LONG time. Sure, these are just a few commenters representing that point of view, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty in the Menlo area. An oath taken that is shortly after considered a tiny obstacle to be worked around in the most expedient of ways should give pause for thought about:

-The politician's judgement
-Respect for the oath taken
-Respect for their constituents
-If they believe that the end can justify the means, they can't expect to wiggle away w/out controversy, distrust & some tarnishing of their reputation


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Posted by Democrat
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Democrat is a registered user.

The oath of office does not include a promise to serve for any specific amount of time. Mr. Stronger, if there is some information on this promise, he should post a link here.

Printed literature and logs from Keith's website provide evidence that she publically supported Measure L from the moment she filed papers as a candidate. Alththough the information is private, she has indicated she signed the petition to put this measure on the ballot.

Lastly, I have seen the financial documents submitted to the city by Mr. Moritz. Ms. Kiraly's name does not appear as a contributor to the Measure L group.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The oath of office as specified in the California Constitution states"..that I will
well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter."

When someone is elected for a specified term then, in my opinion, "faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter" means serve the term for which that person has been elected.

Clearly many others feel free to read this oath otherwise but to me it is clear. Perhaps the operative word for those who choose to comply is "faithfully".


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Posted by Democrat
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Democrat is a registered user.

So if Keith had decided to run in 2002, when she first pulled papers, and was was on the second year of her third term, your criticism would still hold. It seems impractical for elected officials to plan their entire political career this way. I have also taken this oath, and my interpretation was that I promised to obey the laws of the land and all that.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"my interpretation was that I promised to obey the laws of the land and all that."

Did you not take the complete oath which includes "..that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter."?


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Posted by Democrat
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Democrat is a registered user.

Mr. Carpenter, Peter Ohtaki took the oath below for the MPFPD, then he ran for city council. You should remember this, you were selected to complete his unfinished term. No person, not even you, has ever complained about this. This oath in not a promise to complete the term, but to discharge the duties faithfully, or step down if you cannot.

"I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter."


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

When someone is elected for a specified term then, in my opinion, "faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter" means serve the term for which that person has been elected.

Clearly many others feel free to read this oath otherwise but to me it is clear. Perhaps the operative word for those who choose to comply is "faithfully".


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

Kirsten Keith did indeed support Measure L (Pension Reform) in Menlo Park. Andy Cohen also endorsed Measure L and had been a strong supporter of pension reform before we began gathering signatures for Measure L. (as did Peter Ohtaki who is not a candidate for Supervisor)

Citizens for Responsible Pension Reform asked each of the candidates for Menlo Park City Council (as well as the sitting members of the council) for their endorsement of Measure L as their candidacy became known. Candidates Chuck Bernstein (who worked tirelessly on Measure L) and Peter Ohtaki immediately endorsed. Candidates Heyward Robinson and Rich Cline chose not to endorse. Heyward in fact campaigned against Measure L along with Council Member Fergusson. Candidate Keith chose not to immediately endorse, and did not give a reason for the delay. While candidate Keith initially delayed her endorsement, she was a strong supporting of Measure L once she endorsed. She supported it at all the candidate forums and in her campaign literature. It is why she has my endorsement for County Supervisor.

I hope this ,clears up any misunderstandings about Measure L endorsements.

Roy Thiele-Sardina
Co-Chairman - Citizens for Responsible Pension Reform (Measure L)


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Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiña
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 7, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a registered user.

I have to respectfully disagree with this serve your entire term in office line of opinions. We as a society have a long tradition of better ones status by moving up. Besides our greatest President Ronald Reagan, no recent President has chosen to run while not being a Governor, Senator or Congressman. Just as NONE of us are indentured servants to our employers (that's why they call it at will employment), no politician is an indentured servant to their elected office.

While we often wish they would quit mid-term for their incompetence (several menlo park/state and national politician come to mind), the only person elected to office for life is the Pope……


Roy Thiele-Sardiña


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

I told my children that words are important, and words under oath are more important.

Is there a cost to the voters and taxpayers when an elected official violates his/her oath? I think there is and Mark Church comes to mind as a recent example of costing the taxpayers of San Mateo County approx. $1,100,000.
Web Link

I support Leland Yee for almost everything he has done....When he announced that he was running for Mayor of SF right after he won his election I sent him a message informing him that I could not support that effort.

I think words are important.


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Posted by Democrat
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 7, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Democrat is a registered user.

Michael, I have taken the oath of office, the oath says nothing about serving the entire term. I did make a promise to my spouce, "until death do us part". I have honored that promise because it is important. I tell my children that actions speak louder than words.

According to David Tom, that special election only cost about $700K (the estimates were around $1.2M). To get elected, Dave Pine alone spent around $700K from his own pocket.


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Posted by Michaelgstogner@yahoo.com
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Democrat, you might wish the oath doesn't cover the term of office but it does as Peter has pointed out. I agree with you about actions speaking louder than words, but I have no idea what your point is, and I also don't get your point that Dave Pine invested $700,000 of his own money to get elected when my point was that Mark Church cost the Taxpayers $1.1 M which you now report to only cost the Taxpayers $700,000. He refused to resign in a timely manner which could have saved the amount no matter how much it was....

PS I am a Democrat also not that it matters.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 8, 2012 at 7:54 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Democrat:

when I and my fellow voters elect someone we have a fair expectation that, that person will stick around to finish the job we elected them to do. I am sure Kirsten, as most other politicians, made promises to her constituents in order to get elected. Has she fulfilled them? Any of them? If I had voted for her I'd be pretty ticked off that she wasn't doing what I elected her to do.

Now she's going to be consumed with running for another office. How is she going to perform her duties as a council person? My guess is poorly at best. There are only so many hours in a day.

Roy said: 'While candidate Keith initially delayed her endorsement, she was a strong supporting of Measure L once she endorsed."

This is exactly what we've been saying. She delayed until it was safe to endorse. Nothing you've said disputes that. In fact, you've confirmed it. So what if she supported it after she endorsed it? It was "safe" for her to do so at that point.

In my opinion she can't have it both ways. She can't serve the citizens of Menlo Park and run for another office at the same time. If she's going to run for another office she should step down so someone that can give the job their FULL attention can take over. Of course, she won't. She's going to hedge her bet in case she loses. She'll still have her council seat upon which to spring board into another political position.

I hope the people that elected her are watching and paying attention and remember this when she's up for reelection. I predict should she be reelected she'll pull this nonsense again.


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