Don't expect any help from Sacramento this year, state Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), a former mayor, warned the Palo Alto City Council Monday night.
"I expect it will be a year of a modest set of accomplishments," Simitian said. The state will face an approximate $10 billion deficit and has been curtailed in its efforts to raise money by Republicans who have taken a pledge against new taxes, he said.
Fortunately the state is largely constrained taking money intended for local governments and school districts to lower the deficit, Simitian said.
The council also discussed library funding, environmental efforts, high-speed rail and attempts to lower the threshold to pass civic and environmental ballot measures to 55 percent from 66 percent.
That isn't likely, Simitian said.
"Palo Alto is very different from the rest of the state and we forget that at our own peril," he said. "The clear majority of Californians think that government at every level has enough money to get the job done."
He also urged the council members to work for the improvement of the greater community, rather than solely representing the interests of the city.
(Staff Writer Becky Trout can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.)