Tonight: Menlo Park council candidates forum

League of Women Voters hosts Thursday night forum

A League of Women Voters forum for the five candidates running for two seats on the Menlo Park City Council will be held on Thursday, Oct. 11.

The forum will run from 7 to 9 p.m. in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. in the Civic Center. Contact Ellen Hope at or 839-8647 for more information or help with transportation.

— Sandy Brundage


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Great time to schedule a candidates forum - same time as the Vice Presidential debate. The League of Women Voters should plan events more carefully.

Like this comment
Posted by platitudes
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 12, 2012 at 9:08 am

I was surprised to hear most of last evening's candidates speak in platitudes about filling empty storefronts downtown, on El Camino, and in M-2. They seem to think that changes to zoning and use permits will solve the problems. How naive and ignorant!
The zoning downtown has long allowed retail stores "by right". If there are issues with the city, it's with the BUILDING permit process. But both Mueller and Carlton didn't understand that; they think it's the use permit process. Mueller even mentioned several projects are "on the books" (i.e., approved), both downtown and in M-2. He seems to think the city needs to give away even more development rights to promote development of them - even the Bohannon project, forgetting that the project went to a vote of the people with the explicit requirement that the hotel would be built first. Mueller, Carlton, and Clarke kept referring to land use changes without much understanding about land use laws and processes. Frightening!
Much to my surprise, Fergusson came across by far as the most knowledgeable and most specific. I did not expect to want to support her, but will. I hope the Almanac will endorse her. We need her experience and knowledge. We can't afford more beginners.

Like this comment
Posted by reality
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm

The ballots have arrived, and only three candidates sent mailers; Fergusson was not one of them. Last night, only three candidates had supporters at tables with literature: Fergusson was not one of them.

Almost ten years ago, Fergusson made a name for herself by helping spearhead a successful petition campaign against the controversial residential and commercial building ordnance 926. After eight years on council, she has done nothing to repair that damage she caused.

For those not in attendance, the videos will be online soon. You'll be able to see for yourself that Mueller and Carlton did give substantive answers. None of the statements made by platitudes map to specific statements regarding the use permit process. Carlton did give a specific explanation regarding the challenges faced by the owner of the Sugar Shack. Mueller demonstrated he knows more about historical and potential revenue from the M2 than anyone.

Like this comment
Posted by platitudes
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 12, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Carlton seems to think the Sugar Shack's problems relate to zoning and land use. Those are building permit issues. The city can be much better about a consistent and efficient process for those.
Mueller seems to oppose guidelines that would help make approval processes much more predictable. Show me is what he said, ignoring that virtually every other town has them.

Like this comment
Posted by Ray Mueller
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 12, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Thank you for your feedback, but I actually did speak in favor of building guidelines. The question I believe that may have confused you was would I support Green Building Guidelines? My answer was, yes I do support them in principle, but I can't say I will rubber stamp them, without seeing the proposed guidelines first. Later in the forum I indicated again that I support residential building guidelines, because presently different applicants who apply for variances get different results, and there isn't enough certainty in the process. Please feel free to email me at if you have any other questions, or even criticisms. Thanks for attending the forum.

Like this comment
Posted by Low Info Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 12, 2012 at 11:41 pm

"reality" mentioned there will be videos online soon. where?

Like this comment
Posted by reality
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 13, 2012 at 2:26 am

Video of all segments (17) are here: Web Link

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Food Party! 420
By Laura Stec | 7 comments | 1,934 views

What Are Your Gifts that Must Be Shared?
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 963 views


Readers' Choice ballot is here

It’s time to decide what local business is worthy of the title “Almanac Readers' Choice” — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 29th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 19th issue of The Almanac.