One of the most disgusting actions a Menlo Park Council has ever taken,
is the appropriation of $150,000 to hire a consultant to “evaluate” the Initiative currently being circulated by the SaveMenlo group.
Just how naïve is this Council in thinking the Voters of Menlo Park are going to swallow that this expenditure is really to deliver an “unbiased” opinion on the Initiative.
Mayor Meuller, with his quote
"I want it to be unmerciful. I want the comparison to be unmerciful to the (specific) plan. And I want the comparison to be unmerciful to the initiative," Menlo Park Mayor Ray Mueller said while voicing his support on March 18 for the hiring of an independent consultant to evaluate a proposed ballot measure that would change the city's downtown/El Camino Real specific plan.
is really “grandstanding” here. If Mayor Meuller really wanted what he claims, he surely would not allow City Staff to choose who will be the independent consultant(s) to do this evaluation. Talk about the “preverbal”, “Fox in the Hen House”. City Staff will do what ever it can to protect itself from having the Voters of Menlo Park have a say here, and Staff will hire a consultant who will essentially endorse the Plan as now written.
Those with short memories should recall, the City sending Staff out to “coax” the business community to support the Specific Plan, with “one on one” conferences. From the time the Visioning for the Plan ended, until its approval, this plan has been the product of City Staff, which essentially ignored what the Visioning sessions revealed. The City Staff went full out to convince everyone, this was a great plan.
(the behind the scenes conferences with Stanford and Staff, certainly made it a great plan for Stanford)
This Council seems very much out of touch with the community. Allowing expenditure of $80K for a virtually unchanged Logo. Allowing an outrageous expenditure of $1.2 million for re-furbishing the City Hall. Allowing the Current City Manager to extort $300K in an addition loan, on the pretext, that “we would lose him” if we didn’t allow this new loan.
If anything, this $150,000 funding of what the City says is an “evaluation” is nothing more than a disguised plan, by the City, to “sink the initiative”.
Hopefully this outrageous expenditure will lead to a “stampede” by the Voters to sign the Initiative and get it on the Ballot.