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Council, not Planning Commission Authority

From: domainremoved <Steve>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2019 16:34:50 -0700

Dear Council,

Tomorrow night’s council meeting August 20, agenda under Regular Business
item I.4 is the Resolution giving the Planning Commission the authority to
make final decisions on" large or impactful projects" in the city, which
leaves the Council the opportunity to appeal, just as any resident now can.

It is my belief that residents vote for council members to uphold the
positions and ideas discussed and promised in campaigns for election. I
have never heard from a Menlo Park Council candidate that he or she would
appoint Planning Commissioners that would mirror the promises made in the
candidate's campaign. It has been assumed that the Council was the final
say for changes in the city.

Every building & project approved by Menlo Park Councils has come with a
history which may have gone through neighborhood discussions, long
meetings, lines drawn, dueling petitions, a referendum, negotiations and
finally agreement on a well-defined project. At the end of the day, names
of council members are associate with their votes on controversial office
buildings and even housing developments. That’s how democracy works.

While any one of you could appeal a Planning Commission decision, it seems
a subordinate role to the one given to you by the voters. Commissions
should be advisory bodies that recommend to the Council their best ideas
regarding developments. In the final stretch, however, elected officials
should put their names on every development by voting yes or no. Every
“large or impactful project” in the city should be linked to a vote by a
council member. Stand up and be counted. It’s called transparency and
council members doing their jobs..

Steve Schmidt
Received on Mon Aug 19 2019 - 16:27:51 PDT

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