Around Town | May 14, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 14, 2010

Around Town

SAVED! ... Looks like Palo Alto will keep its code-enforcement officers after all. The officers, who prowl city streets in search of illegal trash piles, tripping hazards, overgrown weeds and other unsightly code violations, were in danger of seeing their two-person team slashed in half under the proposed budget for fiscal year 2011. But the City Council Finance Committee voted unanimously to reject this proposal and restore the code-enforcement position, which is described in detail in the May 7 issue of the Weekly. Since City Manager James Keene unveiled the proposed budget last month, Palo Alto residents have sent council members letters urging them to keep the two positions. "Once people become aware that city codes are not being enforced, this city will be in bad shape," resident Natalie Fisher wrote in a letter to the council. Councilwoman Karen Holman responded Monday by stating she is "absolutely opposed" to reducing code enforcement. On Tuesday night, the four members of the Finance Committee, Larry Klein, Sid Espinosa, Greg Scharff and Greg Schmid, took a similar stand and voted to take the code-enforcement-officer position off the chopping block. The committee approved all the other recommended cuts in the Planning and Community Environment Department budget, including elimination of three vacant positions and of a building/planning technician position that is currently filled.

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