Council members wound up replacing last year's three priorities of economics, environment and "civic engagement" with five priorities: Economic health, environmental protection, emergency preparedness, land-use and transportation (read Stanford hospitals expansion and high-speed rail), and collaboration for youth well-being. They quietly dropped the confusing "civic engagement for the common good."
In the next month the priorities will be reviewed by the council's Policy and Services Committee in an expanded role, a good idea in a time when services are endangered by gaping revenue holes in the city budget. Policy guidance behind financial decisions will have increased importance. The full council will officially adopt the new priorities Feb. 22 or March 1.
The positive exchange of ideas and apparent absence of hidden personal agendas are good harbingers for a hard, challenging year — when strong, clear, open leadership is needed.