Measure V becomes a costly ballot battle — $200,000 raised so far

BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer

Cash is flowing into the campaign over Measure V in Menlo Park, which would stop a housing development for teachers and make it hard to build apartments in residential neighborhoods.

The opponents of the measure have raised $160,526 and compared to $40,946 for proponents, mainly residents in the Suburban Park neighborhood who say they want a smaller …

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Previous stories on Measure V, Menlo Balance

Under pressure, Menlo Park City School Board flip-flops and declines to take a stand against Measure V

If Measure V passes, proponents won’t pay legal city’s fees if suits are filed

Menlo Park City School Board to vote on whether to oppose Measure V

Donors who oppose Measure V — they include Sobrato, Grove

Donors who support Measure V — money is from just one part of town

If Measure V passes, the city would get stuck paying legal fees to defend it in court

Measure V may delay remodeling of fire station

Fire chief won’t take sides on Measure V

Ravenswood School Board votes to oppose Measure V — ballot measure called ‘disgraceful’

Council hears from both sides in the Measure V controversy

21 Comments

  1. It’s a shame you keep writing that it’s a housing development for teachers when the RCSD contunes to refuse to actually reserve ANY of the units for their teachers or staff. RCSD execs are on the record again and again saying this is a revenue project, and that teachers can get first crack at renting. It’s likely that very few teachers will actually live in that development, and that’s exactly what they want.

    What happened when the proponents of Measure V lobbied for a smaller development that was specifically reserved for only teachers? Rejected for lack of revenue by RCSD. It’s interesing you’ve never covered that.

    • I suspect they didn’t cover it because it’s a lie. The Ravenswood board has been very clear since the beginning that this development is for teachers. You’re just continuing to spread this falsehood because that’s all you’ve got. Why not debate facts, not made-up stuff.

      • OK Allan, let’s look at the facts. According to an editorial written by Will Eger (RCSD chief business officer), “This would allow our teachers and staff at the Ravenswood school district to be first in line to rent an apartment whenever an opening arose.” Read that carefully. It says first in line. What happens if, on that day a unit opens up, there are no teachers ready to sign that day? Sorry, too bad. But they were “first in line.” When asked why they simply weren’t reserving units for teachers, he has repeatedly dodged that answer with vague excuses. Sometimes it’s a vague statement about financing, other times it’s “the plan isn’t done,” and so on. These are facts, on the public record. If you don’t know them then you’re just not paying close enough attention.

        If the development has been for teachers, then why not discuss a smaller development (like the one Surbanban Park proposed) that was reserved for teachers? That was a non-starter for RCSD. That’s a fact. That was rejected quickly. The excuse given by the board? “Not enough revenue from the project.” That is also on the public record. That is a fact.

        So if you want to buy the “for the teachers” nonsense, go ahead. But don’t trot out your alternative facts. All of these statements I’ve mentioned from the RCSD are well documented in local media and council meeting minutes.

        • Iam, you know how to cherry pick various quotes or comments, but your argument isn’t logical. Let’s pretend you are right, that Ravenswood is building this project just to rake in big profits from renters. OK, genius, where does the money go from those rents? It goes back to the RCSD, which desperately needs the money to improve teacher salaries. About 80% of the money a school district receives is spent on salaries. So even if you are right (and you’re not), the money still helps improve instruction. What’s your problem with that?

  2. As the old saying goes, follow the money. Measure V is paid for by individual families who actually live in Menlo Park. The opposition to Measure V is funded by a wealthy liberal who doesn’t even live in Menlo Park, a commercial developer, and Yimby Action group out of San Francisco who advocates for dense housing.

  3. If Menlo Park residents feel like their city should be more like EPA or South SF then by all means vote No on Measure V. Your city council is just waiting to transfrom it.

  4. As a homeowner in Menlo, I just have to ask myself one question: is my investment in my home going to rise or fall if the city council and orgs like YIMBY Action start installing low income housing throughout the city as they have announced as their intention? I won’t be voting for that path. My home is my retirement.

    • Most of the homes in Menlo Park would be $250K anywhere else in the country. What are y’all gonna do when the city is flooded with affordable housing and your property values drop like the stock market? The activists will be happy. Will you?

  5. It doesn’t matter if Measure V passes, it will get shot down by the courts in a New York Minute. It violates SB9 and is discriminatory based on race. And if it doesn’t pass, things will remain the same. I don’t see any problems with things the way they are except that a Latino-majority school district wants to build an apartment building. Oh my!

    • I can see why you mght think that. There’s a TON of ignorance around Measure V, mostly sown by the big money special interest groups like YIMBY Action out of San Francisco. The fact is that Measure V was carefully crafted so that it in no way conflicted with SB9. It doesn’t limit affordable housing construction in any way, but rather gives the citizens of Menlo Park a say in where that construction occurs within the city.

      Clearly you aren’t aware that the organizers of Measure V proposed a dense housing on that lot with the condition that at least 50% be reserved for Ravenswood teachers exclusively. The district turned that down, because they didn’t want to limit their revenue to that degree. You can clearly see that they want a PR win of renting to a couple of teachers and the remainder market value. It’s sad so many people are buying the lies.

    • Measure V was crafted by professionals experienced in legislation to specifically conform to SB9. So no, it doesn’t violate SB9 in any way. It doesn’t prevent building, It simply gives the people who live in Menlo Park a voice that their city council has denied them. Affordable housing will get built, just not 10 story behemoths in the middle of a residential neighborhood where it would put kids in danger. I hope the self-righteous individuals who call are quick other people racists spend a lot of their money figuring this out.

      • You say that Measure V was “carefully crafted”. If that’s so, why didn’t the Measure V side hold a public meeting before submitting it to the clerk, to vet it with the community? Measure V was written in secret and sprung on the community as a city-wide zoning measure when it’s really just an attempt by Nimbys to stop a Latino-majority school district from building income property.

        Moreover, you claim the Measure V backers proposed a compromise. Yet the leader of the Measure V campaign, Nicole Chessari, has been quoted in both newspapers as saying she wasn’t apart of any compromise. Either she’s lying or you’re lying.

        And the pro-Measure V people keep on saying that there’s something wrong with this project because the Ravenswood City School District hasn’t committed to fill every apartment with teachers. If the district were to make such a promise, it would make it difficult to obtain financing because the teachers in that district don’t make much money. Of course you know that, but you don’t want to tell people that. You figure voters are dumb and you can trick them by telling half-truths.

        And you said this building will be 10 stories? But how would you know? Ravenswood hasn’t submitted an application. Once again, you’re lying.

      • 10 stories is a lie. You Measure V supporters should stop lying if you want anybody to take you seriously. If you go to ravenswoodschools.org and open the letter titled “Additional Information About the Former Flood School Site” you’ll see that they’re talking about a four-story building, not 10. This is public information. No need to misinform people.

  6. I signed the petition but now wish I would take it back. The petition didn’t mention that the intent of this measure was to deprive the Ravenswood school district of funds. All they mentioned was protecting single family home zoning. I’m not a racist and i wish i could take my signature off this thing.

    • That’s just what the developers want you to think. This is about rezoning single family homes all over Menlo Park for massive and profitable developments. Developments that teachers will definitely not be able to afford.

  7. “Measure V was crafted by professionals experienced in legislation” … would you mind identifying those professionals? i’ve read it and it looks like a cut and paste job.

  8. I thought the oppostition to Measure V was Menlo Park residents who wanted affordable housing. I was sadly shocled to learn that it’s a group funded by developers and rich people who don’t even live in the city. It’s just a group of companies who stand to make a lot of money from unfettered development. I see from this thread their social media teams are very active.

    • Why should I believe anything the Measure V side says when they lie and tell people in their campaign flyers that they’re pro-teacher housing? That move wiped out any credibility the Measure V people had.

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