Mueller, that is. Currently serving on the Menlo Park City Council. Who will make an excellent member of the County Board of Supervisors after the election cycle in 2022.
Yes, that’s more than a year away. But San Mateo County is a big place, with a lot of people in it, and committed public servants like Ray need time for everyone to get to know him and why they should vote for him.
In this post I’d like to share some of my thoughts on why I’ve endorsed Ray and will be working towards seeing him elected.
I met Ray on the “council circuit”, the informal get-togethers of city council members in San Mateo County. I was immediately struck by his thoughtful nature. Because if there’s one thing my nearly twenty years in public service taught me it’s that thoughtfulness is key. The simplest public policy decision is actually very complex in terms of how it affects people. That’s inevitable when the number of people touched by a decision grows. And with 750,000+ people in the County any member of the Board of Supervisors had better be thoughtful.
But Ray’s more than just bright and thoughtful. Another key trait of an effective public leader is to be decisive when you need to be, willing to stand up and fight for your constituents’ interests. Ray’s track record in Menlo Park shows he can and will do this. Thoughtfully, carefully, seeking input from as many people as possible, yes; but when a choice needs to be made or a situation that’s been ignored needs to be addressed, Ray is there. Brain and fortitude. It’s a powerful combination, of great value to the public he serves.
In 2014, while serving as Mayor, Ray pushed back against Stanford University when their development plans emphasized too much office space and not enough housing, which risked creating too much cut through traffic in nearby residential neighborhoods. Stanford responded and ultimately redesigned their project to add housing and reduce office space. That will lead to a better jobs/housing balance and less traffic impacts when the project is completed.
But Ray didn’t stop there. He also helped negotiate a significant contribution to the Menlo Park City School District to offset the student population increase, as Stanford doesn’t pay property taxes.
Another great example involves public libraries. Menlo Park has two of them, one on the City Hall campus and one in an elementary school in Belle Haven. In 2018 the City announced it was getting ready to launch a tens of millions of dollar remodel of the main library. The project would require public funding and private donations.
The rest of the Council initially expressed support. Ray objected, in part because he thought it was inequitable for the main library to be extensively remodeled before adequately upgrading the inadequate library annex in Belle Haven. Ultimately the Council shelved the main library project.
Ray didn’t let things stay there. Less than a year later in his second term as Mayor he announced a partnership with Facebook, whereby it would build a new library and community center in Belle Haven in consort with the City of Menlo Park.
Brains and fortitude. It’s a powerful combination, of great value to the public he serves. Ray has been doing it for years.
Ray is ready and experienced to step up to the Board of Supervisors. He’s serving his ninth year on the Menlo Park City Council, having been elected three times. He also apprenticed under former State Senator Joe Simitian, serving as his Chief of Staff on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
I strongly encourage you to take the time to get to know Ray as his campaign unfolds. You’ll find, like so many others have, that he’s deserving of your trust, and the kind of person you want working for you. That’s the reason his list of endorsements is already really large but continues to grow, and contains a lot of people keenly aware of what it takes to be an effective leader at the San Mateo County level. Here in San Carlos, Ray isn’t only endorsed by me but also by six other former San Carlos Mayors.
If you have any questions about Ray for me shoot me an email at email@example.com.