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Original post made
on May 8, 2012
Having lived here since 1973, we have seen some incredible fiascos brought forward to be VOTED ON by the residents, despite the fact that the proposals are not relative to the General Plan, which is supposed to be followed, by STAFF, Commissions, Councils , and the city attorney. In the 70's the primary staff management were residents. They were responsible for listening to the residents. The current staff is only paying attention to ABAG CCAG, and the PLANNERS in Sacramento , who have no reason tp follow our General Plan and they have found many "methods " to force this town and others on the peninsula into a budding disaster.....Our managment staff does not live here, and ignore the residents....MP government has become quite transparent, i.e........The real estate "groups are calling the "shots....We do not have city councils that have a backbone, or guts enough to tell the staff nor Sacramento to SHUT UP......,OUR COUNCILs are elected to represent the
residents not the BIG EGOS here and in SACRAMENTO.. I have noticd that many towns ignore Sacramento, etc..such as Hillsborough, Portola Valley, Woodside, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills,& Atherton .....those are just around here....There are others thruout Calif....Tis time to wake up, neighbors, before you lose your community to the BIG EGOS.
There is a huge difference between the towns Don mentions and the CIty of Menlo Park. None of those towns has or wants any significant commercial enterprizes within their borders. Instead, they rely on revenue from other sources than sales tax to fund their town budgets, such as property tax and parcel taxes. Menlo Park has a significant commercial economy, more so now with FB, and relies on that economy to deliver the revenue to cover city services. A completely different model. The State has the authority and mechanisms to bring pressure on cities to address any jobs/housing imbalances or lack of affordable housing. It would be short sighted and detrimental if the leadership (elected and staff) of the city did not address the housing element issue.
Property taxes can't grow much because of prop 13. Menlo Park has no long term fiscal plan or disclipline.
A big problem is that Menlo Park's councils keep approving major projects that add more jobs but not housing. Recent huge projects like Menlo Gateway's nearly 1 million square feet of office and the downtown plan, and even Facebook, don't produce business sales tax revenue. The downtown plan doesn't require any housing. So Menlo Park continues on the path to have more pressure for housing and fewer sources of revenue.
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