City profile

The community

Menlo Park is a city of beautiful, tree-lined neighborhoods and active commercial districts. Located conveniently between the major metropolitan areas of San Francisco and San Jose, Menlo Park is home to a little over 32,000 residents in its 19 square miles. The stunning natural surroundings of the city afford views of the San Francisco Bay to the east and the Pacific Coastal Range to the west. Menlo Park’s climate is moderate to warm, with an average of 265 sunny days a year. 

Menlo Park’s residents reflect a range of backgrounds and interests who tend to be well educated and actively engaged in community life. Excellent public and private schools serve its many young families, while residents of all ages enjoy the City’s numerous parks and recreational facilities. The city’s close proximity to Stanford University and Menlo College provide a multitude of academic, cultural and athletic event opportunities. The arts and leisure activities of the major urban areas of San Francisco and San Jose are close by. These and many other amenities contribute to Menlo Park’s outstanding quality of life.

Located in the heart of Menlo Park is a downtown featuring unique and upscale shops and restaurants. Set in a pleasant, pedestrian-oriented atmosphere, Menlo Park’s downtown area attracts locals and visitors alike. Known worldwide as the “Capital of Venture Capital,” Menlo Park is well situated to benefit from and help shape new technologies and markets originating from the Silicon Valley. The city hosts such major employers as SRI International, the U.S. Geological Survey, Facebook, Pacific Biosciences, E*TRADE Financial Corporation and CS Bio Co.

City government

Menlo Park was founded Nov. 23, 1927, as a general law city under the State of California and operates under the council-manager form of government. The City Council appoints the City Manager and City Attorney as well as members of a variety of commissions and committees. City departments that report to the City Manager include Administrative Services, the City Manager’s Office, Community Development, Community Services, Library, Police and Public Works.

In addition to its many attributes, Menlo Park has one of the most beautiful civic center campuses in the Bay Area. Lush landscaping including heritage trees, a running fountain and a duck pond surrounds the City Hall / Administration Building. The campus also includes a nine-acre park, recreation facilities and the main Menlo Park library. These civic amenities make the campus a noted destination for City residents, local employees and visitors alike. Conveniently located, the campus is a short walk to the Caltrain station and Menlo Park’s downtown retail district.

The Menlo Park City website is the primary source for information about City services, programs, projects, events, meetings, policies and volunteer opportunities.

City Council

The City Council is the City's five-member governing body whose members serve at-large for four-year overlapping terms in general municipal elections. The City Council selects from among its members, the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem to one-year terms at its first meeting in December of each year. The Mayor, who represents the City of Menlo Park, serves as the presiding officer of the City Council and signs enacting ordinances and contracts. The Menlo Park City Council meetings are generally Tuesdays at 7 p.m. at the City Council Chambers located at 701 Laurel Street. Menlo Park’s City Councilmembers serve part-time, retaining their positions in private industry, personal enterprise, business or the professions.

Commissions and committees

Menlo Park welcomes and encourages residents' active participation by serving on the commissions and committees that act as advisers to the elected City Council. Each Commission’s primary role is to advise the City Council on policy matters, review specific subjects and carry out assignments as directed by the City Council or as prescribed by law. The City Council appoints all commissioners. The City currently has seven active commissions: Bicycle, Environmental Quality, Housing, Library, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Transportation. In addition, the City has instituted a Finance and Audit Committee, Sister City and Friendship Committee and other various ad hoc subcommittees.