Palo Alto Weekly

News - July 23, 2010

City View

A round-up of Palo Alto government action this week

City Council (July 19)

Nick Marinaro: The council passed a resolution honoring retired Fire Chief Nick Marinaro. Yes: Unanimous

Stanford Hospital: The committee discussed the noise, seismicity and hydrology chapters of the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed expansion of the Stanford University Medical Center. Yes: Unanimous

Project Safety Net: The council heard an update on Project Safety Net, a community task force created in response to teenage suicides on the Caltrain Corridor. The council forwarded the Project Safety Net report to the council's Policy and Services Committee for further review. Yes: Unanimous

Binding arbitration: The council voted to request that the City Attorney's Office draft an ordinance that would repeal the city's binding-arbitration provision. The council will decide whether to place the measure on the November ballot on Aug. 2. Yes: Burt, Espinosa, Price, Shepherd, Holman, Scharff, Schmid, Klein No: Yeh

Fire initiative: The committee discussed the $6.7 million budget deficit in the city's refuse fund and considered ways to close the budget gap. The committee will resume the discussion on July 20. Action: None

Board of Education (July 20)

Legislation: The council endorsed a constitutional amendment proposed by State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, to lower the majority required to pass a school parcel tax of $250 or less from two-thirds to 55 percent. Yes: Unanimous

City Council Finance Committee (July 20)

Refuse rates: The committee discussed a series of cost-cutting measures to close the $6.3 million deficit in the Refuse Fund. The committee supported a series of staff recommendations, including reducing landfill operations to five days a week, reducing spending on Zero Waste outreach and raising rates for customers and residents in October. Yes: Klein, Scharff, Espinosa No: Schmid

Utilities Advisory Commission (July 20)

Gas and electricity: The commission heard an informational presentation on the city's Gas Asset and Supply Management Plan and its Long-Term Electric Acquisition Plan. Action: None

City Council (July 21)

Evaluation: The council held a closed session to evaluate the performance of City Manager James Keene.

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