Menlo mayor election will be voided after possible Brown Act violations

Council to re-vote on mayor, vice mayor

Menlo Park council member Kelly Fergusson said in an e-mail Thursday (Dec. 9) that the election of mayor and vice mayor two days ago will be voided and the council will hold a special meeting to re-vote on both positions as a result of potential Brown Act violations on her part.

She made the statements in an e-mail sent to the Menlo Park City Council after she consulted the city attorney.

She said she takes full responsibility for potentially violating the Brown Act by holding one-on-one discussions with colleagues Rich Cline and Peter Ohtaki about her desire to become mayor, and will be "extremely careful" in the future.

As The Almanac reported on Wednesday, neither Cline nor Ohtaki said they knew she had spoken to more than one council member.

Fergusson, who has served on the council for six years, also said she will take a refresher course on the Brown Act.

Per council policy enacted in 1993, Fergusson and council member Andy Cohen are the two eligible candidates to become mayor. Both made a pitch for the position at the Dec. 7 meeting.

Related stories:

Newly elected Menlo Park mayor may have violated Brown Act

Kelly Fergusson elected Menlo Park mayor by 3-2 council vote

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Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Park resident
a resident of Menlo Park
on Dec 10, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Now Kelly Ferguson has resigned.
In my opinion Andy Cohen would be a unsatisfactory replacement. The Council should elect any of the other three as Mr. Cohen is an embarassment to Menlo Park.

Like this comment
Posted by DejaVuPA
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 8, 2016 at 10:12 am

Seems like we have a similiar situation in Palo Alto this year. People are acting like its not a big deal, politics as usual but [portion removed] when it happened in Menlo Park the mayor had the decency to resign

2 people like this
Posted by Interested
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 8, 2016 at 10:36 am

This is really interesting. Does anyone know how this came about? Is there a way to file a complaint as a concerned citizen?


3 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm

I believe the district attorney handles investigations in cases like this. If you want to complain about the Palo Alto mayor election raise it with the district attorney of Santa Clara County.

10 people like this
Posted by Response
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jan 9, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Burt wouldn't resign unless the proof of wrong doing were broadcast live.

7 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"This is really interesting. Does anyone know how this came about"

Yes - I became aware that three members of the MP City Council has communicated ( two directly and one via a third party) outside an agendized public meeting on the election of the Mayor and I brought this to the attention of the MP City Attorney. When he confirmed the facts then the Council was required to void the election and to have a new election for Mayor.

1 person likes this
Posted by CitizenZ
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2016 at 11:52 am

If Scharff had any decency, he wouldn't have run again, shamelessly portraying himself as a residentialist and flogging a quote from Bob Moss that he used without permission, making it seem as if Moss endorsed him.

But our city attorney has never shown any inclination to independence. What would concerned citizens do to leverage a revote if Brown Act violations were indeed an issue? The prepared statements are kind of a smoking gun....

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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