Menlo Park's Future


New Year’s Resolutions I wish our City Council would make

Fellow Residents,

Happy New Year!

Here are three New Year’s Resolutions I wish that our City Council would make as it approaches its goal-setting session:

1.       Hold the line – and reverse – employee compensation for new hires.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, government employees get- higher salaries and much better benefits than their counterparts in the private sector—even before the 35% increase in benefits our non-safety employees received on Jan.1.  So, I suggest you resolve NOW that no new increases will be granted and that for new hires, benefits will begin to decrease.  It is not right that City, non-police employees can retire and receive high pensions for life at the age of 55.

2.       Privatize our West Menlo Park Child Care Programs.  This will allow the City to begin to give child-care jobs to providers who are trained to do them. It will improve the child care programs, lower child care costs to the parents, and get us taxpayers off of the hook.  We don’t have to keep subsidizing these programs by thousands of dollars a year per child.  Other municipalities have foresworn.  Break this lose-lose-lose cycle of unproductive subsidization, and resolve to do it NOW.

3.       Resolve to foreswear political grandstanding.  Yes, the Willows neighborhood is the council majority’s source of greatest political support, but do not fritter away our taxes on yet another traffic study that will take years of consultant and staff time and, as history has shown us, will not address the real issue which is crime.  Save our taxes for issues that will benefit us all, like innovative grade separation plans, or like streamlining our use-permitting process so that the City is poised to generate income and get tax-generating companies to locate here.  We have an enviable location but archaic and time consuming processes that are universally business unfriendly.  Being “business friendly” takes actions, not political rhetoric.

Challenging times demand bold actions.  Resolve to take them now. 

If you have any New Year ideas for our city, let me know at



If you would like to read any of my past emails, please go to