Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 26, 2010

City View

A round-up of Palo Alto government action this week

Public Art Commission (Feb. 18)

California Avenue trees: The commission approved a proposal by the Public Works Department to plant a tree near the Jungle Jane sculpture on California Avenue. Yes: DeMarzo, Acebo-Davis, Coleman, Huo, Usich, Smit Absent: Richter

California Avenue fountain: The commission voted to budget $300 for each artist chosen as a finalist for his or her California Avenue fountain designs. Yes: DeMarzo, Acebo-Davis, Coleman, Huo, Usich, Smit Absent: Richter

Artist series: The commission voted to budget $1,500 for artist honorariums and $300 for refreshments at its upcoming speaker series. Yes: DeMarzo, Acebo-Davis, Coleman, Huo, Usich, Smit Absent: Richter

Bill Bliss memorial: The commission approved funds of not more than $2,000 to cover Architectural Review Board permit fees for the Bill Bliss memorial sculpture project. Yes: DeMarzo, Acebo-Davis, Coleman, Huo, Usich, Smit Absent: Richter

City Council (Feb. 22)

Google fiber: The council voted to respond to Google's "request for information" for the company's proposed fiber project.

Yes: Burt, Espinosa, Yeh, Barton, Schmid, Scharrf Absent: Price Recused: Shepherd, Klein

Architectural Review Board: The council held its annual joint study session with the Architectural Review Board. The council discussed the board's criteria for judging projects and the impacts of "new urbanism" concepts on local neighborhoods. Action: None

pstyle:13head>Board of Education (Feb. 23)

Budget: The board voted to approve $3.8 million in cuts from the school district's $154 million operating budgets. They include raising maximum elementary class sizes by one student, and reducing principals' discretionary funds. Yes: Baten Caswell, Klausner, Tom, Townsend No: Mitchell

Parks and Recreation Commission (Feb. 23)

Elections: The commission elected Daria Walsh as its chair and Dierdre Crommie as its vice chair. Yes: Unanimous

Budget challenges: The committee discussed the city's projected budget deficit in fiscal year 2011 and its possible impact on recreational programs. Staff is considering possible budget scenarios for program cuts and fee increases for the coming year. Staff and the commission also talked about ways to get the public involved in the process. Action: None

Planning and Transportation Commission (Feb. 24)

Capital projects: The commission reviewed a staff-compiled list of proposed capital-improvement projects for the years 2011-15. Commissioners asked staff to give sidewalks a higher priority and discussed the city's $510 million infrastructure backlog. Action: None

Comprehensive Plan: The commission discussed the Natural Environment chapter of the Comprehensive Plan. The discussion is part of the city's revision of the Comprehensive Plan for the years 2010-20. Action: None

City Council High-Speed Rail Committee (Feb. 24)

Community meeting: The committee agreed to hold a meeting on March 15 to discuss the California High-Speed Rail Authority's program-level Environmental Impact Report. The rail authority is in the process of revising the document, which identifies potential impacts of the $46 billion project. Action: None

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