Councilwoman defends trip to China

Chinese media has circulated this photo of mid-Peninsula officials at a signing ceremony in Chengdu, China. Local officials in the shot include, Mountain View Mayor Lenny Siegel, second from left, and Menlo Park City Councilwoman Kirsten Keith, far right. In front at right is former Mountain View councilman Mike Kasperzak.
Chinese media has circulated this photo of mid-Peninsula officials at a signing ceremony in Chengdu, China. Local officials in the shot include, Mountain View Mayor Lenny Siegel, second from left, and Menlo Park City Councilwoman Kirsten Keith, far right. In front at right is former Mountain View councilman Mike Kasperzak.

BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer

Menlo Park Councilwoman Kirsten Keith has broken her silence on her controversial trip to China.

At Tuesday’s (May 8) City Council meeting, Keith gave her colleagues a brief summary of her trip to Chengdu, China, from March 25-27.

Keith missed a March 27 study session on Facebook’s massive Willow Village project because of the trip.

Keith said no taxpayer money was used for the trip, she went on her own time and no official duties were performed.

As far as missing the meeting, Keith said she was getting on a plane or she would have called in to participate.

Keith’s trip was paid for by the nonprofit U.S.-Asia Innovation Gateway, which receives funding from Colliers International and various China-based firms, according to its website.

Keith attended what Chinese media described as a “signing ceremony” related to a high-tech partnership in Chengdu.

Part of the controversy is whether she signed any documents on behalf of Menlo Park.

After the trip, councilmen Rich Cline and Ray Mueller called for a discussion about how officials conduct themselves during trips paid for by a third party.

3 Comments

  1. She didn’t answer any of the questions stemming from this trip — like why did she portray herself as being the mayor when she wasn’t? How will this Chinese concern burrow its way into Silicon Valley? Will this help them get H1B visas or E-2 visas? I’m sure a picture of a guy who wants to become an American through the E-2 process would be helped significantly if he could show ICE a picture of him standing next to Menlo Park’s “mayor”!

  2. Deals with China seem far afield for a local counsel member. We’ve got problems here at home like Willow Road traffic. I’d rather have our counsel members back here at home working on a solution to that instead of wining and dining overseas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.