Boyle won't seek second term on Menlo council


John Boyle: No. Heyward Robinson: Yes. Rich Cline: Maybe. So the Nov. 2 race for three seats on the Menlo Park City Council begins.

With the candidate filing period opening July 12, Councilman Boyle announced Tuesday (July 13) that he won't run for a second term. In a written statement, Boyle said he's been offered "an exciting new, full-time opportunity to help my alma mater (Purdue University) establish a major presence here in California. Combined with a number of other factors, I have made the difficult decision to not seek re-election... ."

Noting that he is often in the minority on the five-person council when the votes are tallied, Boyle said his "ability to effect real change has typically been limited."

But, he added, he believes he has contributed "in a positive way to many important projects and improvements" to the city, and cited his roles in helping to move the Bohannon/Menlo Gateway project through the approval process, and in the downtown/El Camino Real planning process, among other achievements.

He expresses some disappointments as well. When he ran for office in 2006, he campaigned on the need to balance the budget, build more sports fields, and get rid of the blight on El Camino Real. Although progress has been made in these areas, "the process has been slow, costly, and quite frankly, often not in the direction that I believe can and should be taken," he said.

"Although I have a great deal of respect for the time and effort my colleagues on the City Council each invest, I do not believe that, collectively, the current council is functioning in a manner and direction that will fully address these and the many issues facing our city," he wrote. "I think a change is needed, and as the 'odd man out' in the current council, perhaps my departure will enable changes for the better."

Boyle said he's looking forward to serving out the remaining five months on the council, and offered to discuss the process of running for the council with anyone interested in entering the race.

Councilman Robinson told The Almanac this week that he intends to run for a second term. "This council has made a lot of progress (but) I think there's more to do," he said.

An important lesson he's learned during his first term, he said, is that "everything takes longer than you think. Four years sounds like a long time but it goes by in a flash."

Mayor Cline told The Almanac that, with all the work he wants to see completed, he is "leaning toward running again, but I need to weigh all the factors and make sure that my family is on board."

The normal candidate filing period ends Aug. 6 unless an incumbent in a race doesn't file for re-election. In that case -- which will apply to Menlo Park in the likely event that Boyle sticks to his decision -- the filing period is extended to Wednesday, Aug. 11.

Staff writer Dave Boyce contributed to this report.

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