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Menlo Park Updates

Feb 16

Final Advisory Districting Committee meeting is Feb. 22

Posted on February 16, 2018 at 4:51 pm by Clay Curtin

The process of determining City districts for the 2018 elections is nearing the end with the last public meeting of the Advisory Districting Committee set for Thursday, February 22, 2018, at 7:15 p.m. at the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center, Oak Room, 700 Alma St. The Committee will be reviewing its list of the remaining four semi-final maps.
(Note: These are currently being prepared by the demographers and will be released with the meeting agenda on Monday, February 19.)

Throughout the process, over 35 maps were submitted with different options for how best to represent the interests of the city’s residents and businesses. At the end of next week’s meeting, it will be down to two.

As directed by the City Council, the Advisory Districting Committee will recommend two options for consideration at the March 13, 2018, City Council public hearing: 
  1. A recommendation for dividing the City into five voting districts, and
  2. A recommendation for dividing the City into six voting districts (with an at-large elected mayor).

Each submitted districting map shall also contain an election sequencing recommendation. Election sequencing shall take into account the City’s practice of staggering elections every two years and in accordance with State law shall not cut short any existing City Councilmember’s term.

The Committee has met seven times in five weeks. During the process, the Committee has relied on criteria outlined in the City Council resolution and federal and state voting rights laws. In addition, the Committee recognized early on that there are major issues involved in the districting process, including how to keep the Belle Haven neighborhood together, how best to represent the various interests among those near the El Camino Real corridor and in downtown along Santa Cruz Avenue, and what to do about district boundaries that may have an effect on incumbents previously elected by the city’s voters.

The Committee chose to address these concerns in accordance with additional criteria developed after public input. These criteria were split into primary and secondary concerns.

Primary criteria included:
  • Compliance with Federal and State voting rights acts (FVRA and CVRA)
  • Respect for neighborhoods
  • “Reasonably balanced” population – to the extent possible minimizing population differences among districts, yet recognizing it may cause carve outs or boundary shifts
  • “Eyeball test” (boundaries should make logical sense to the average voter)

Secondary criteria included: 
  • School attendance areas
  • Compactness
  • Consideration for common neighborhood issues
  • Use of obvious boundaries (e.g. major roads)
  • Possible consideration of how district boundaries affect the ability of incumbents/other likely candidates to run for office
  • Look at other relevant “communities of interest”
  • Owner vs. renter or single-family vs. multifamily, if possible

At the meeting on February 22, the Committee will finalize its recommendations and forward them to the City Clerk for publishing. The first of two City Council public hearings is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 701 Laurel St.

Sample Map

Feb 15

Parenting workshop: Help eliminate the morning chaos

Posted on February 15, 2018 at 5:24 pm by Meghan Revolinsky

By: Natalya Jones

The Belle Haven Child Development Center is hosting a parenting workshop entitled “Three ways to Kill the Morning Chaos.” There is always chaos in the morning with parents running around, children moving like molasses and never enough time to do it all. This workshop will help busy parents learn how to kill the chaos and reclaim their sanity. The workshop is the first of two that are open to the community, particularly those living in the Belle Haven neighborhood. The workshop will provide the opportunity to discuss, learn and provide support to parents of young preschool children. The workshop will be held Thursday, March 1, from 4:30-6 p.m. It is free to the community and Spanish translation will be provided. 

The workshop will be facilitated by Kristen Reeder, who founded the award-winning and mom loved baby products company, Sprout Shell nine years ago. Since then, she's surrounded herself in all things baby and motherhood. Along the way she has made it her mission to help busy moms eliminate the day to day chaos so they can make the time they have with their children matter. She is the author of Joy in Motherhood, 30 Days to Becoming a More Confident, Happy Mom and she works with moms (and moms to be) in person and online to guide them through the stress and into confidence. 

Parenting Workshop Help Eliminate the Morning Chaos
Feb 15

Belle Haven Neighborhood Library Advisory Committee meets Feb. 27

Posted on February 15, 2018 at 5:22 pm by Meghan Revolinsky

By: Nick Szegda

The Belle Haven Neighborhood Advisory Committee will meet Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Belle Haven branch library. Committee members are tasked with providing input to staff and consultants as the branch portion of the system improvements moves forward. The needs assessment includes public meetings, digital missions and other activities. The Belle Haven needs assessment project is part of the library system improvements project, and residents are encouraged to participate. System improvement information can be found at the City's project page. The Belle Haven branch library has new, extended hours that went into effect in January. An open house to celebrate the extended hours will be held at the branch Sunday, Feb. 25.

Belle Haven Neighborhood Library Advisory Committee meets February 27