Editorial: Tackling Palo Alto's city-budget crisis | April 16, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - April 16, 2010

Editorial: Tackling Palo Alto's city-budget crisis

Officials confront necessity of balancing millions of dollars worth of 'structural' cutbacks and new fees and assessments

Palo Alto faces one of its biggest challenges in decades: Closing an $8.3 million budget gap with cutbacks and new revenues.

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Comments

Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Great editorial!

See Cities must define core services at
Web Link


Posted by Cut PACT, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2010 at 9:39 am

PACT funding has to be reduced. We are cutting police positions but funding our Children's Theater at a level beyond way beyond any town in the nation? It makes not sense and the council should do the responsible thing and make the cuts.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 17, 2010 at 2:34 pm

How much would we save by closing the downtown and college terrace libraries? Instead of building a new safety services building, could they use the downtown library for expansion?

The shuttle service, whether it is cut or reduced, should charge riders some sort of fee.

PACT funding, as well as other similar programs (e.g., summer recreation, pools) will need to rely upon higher participation fees and a reduction in city funding. Further, charges for non-residents should be increased at a higher percentage as well. This should include the bus loads of non-PA summer camps that use Rinc pool.

No more six-figure free handouts for events such as the senior games...they were already committed to holding the event at Stanford - there was absolutely no need for the give-away of tax payer money.

I look forward to reading the city report/analysis now that it is available online.


Posted by George, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2010 at 3:34 pm

"eliminating 21 staff positions (20 of them vacant)"
The positions are vacant because they are not needed, they are just in a department budget so that they can hire without having to change their budgets. This is smoke and mirrors.
It may be mindless to make a 1% or 2% cut across absolutely everything, but it would do the job without the moaning and groaning and pseudo hand wringing by the city manager.


Posted by the watcher, a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm

If someone would 'fess up and present information to the public about the missing $4.8million from the budget department then inquiring minds would finally be at rest.
a. Is there any investigation going on about the missing monies?
b. Has the money been recovered?
c. Who was/is responsible for the $$$ error in that department?
d. If the money is found would that lessen the city's budget crisis
e. Why has this issue (seemingly) been pushed under the carpet?
f. Has the council presented any answers to the above questions?

If anyone knows the answers to any of these questions please post.


Posted by City Employee, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2010 at 9:14 am

What they are not mentioning are those who are losing their positions and what the public will lose on top of that. There are no resources for the community. There are no longer days at our schools to register bikes, and city council wants to take away the police traffic team. So parents, this mean that there will not be officers patroling the school for the "adopt a school program" which could mean an increase in traffic violations around schools. Those of you who are concerned with Demographic Data should no longer expect that data to be produced as they are getting rid of that positon. Durig storms don't expect the city to come and clear out debris or fallen trees as they are cutting 4 positions. And after 7 positions within parks in recs will be cut; who is going to take care of landscape of our city?
The people who work hard and make this city what it is are losing their jobs, while someone who makes more money and sits at the top of the city building is cutting those people. Those people at top have no idea what the people below them do. If it weren't for those people getting laid off, the Managers and City Council Members would not have a job.


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