Around Town | August 13, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - August 13, 2010

Around Town

RETURN OF THE EX-MAYORS ... Leave it to a local election to waken past Palo Alto mayors out of their political slumbers. Former mayors and councilmen are preparing to play leading roles in the two ballot measures that local residents are asked to vote on in November. Measure R would freeze staffing levels in the Fire Department, pending a citywide election. Measure S would change the city's elections from odd to even years. The local firefighters union wrote in its argument for Measure R that the proposal will "give you, the residents of Palo Alto, the right to decide how many firefighters you want responding to 911 emergency calls" and "the final say as to how the community as a whole should be protected." But a coalition of ex-mayors and councilmembers, which includes Dena Mossar, Bern Beecham and Vic Ojakian, is arguing that the union-backed measure is anything but democratic. Mossar wrote in the official anti-Measure R argument that the measure is "an unprecedented power play that takes budget decision making out of the hands of our elected officials." The measure would make it "nearly impossible for the Fire Department's budget to ever be reduced," she wrote. The battle over Measure S, meanwhile, has split the ex-mayors. Judy Kleinberg is backing Measure S, which proponents say will boost voter participation and save the city $1 million over the next decade. The measure was proposed by Supervisor Liz Kniss, another former mayor, who has also signed on to oppose Measure R. Former Mayor Gary Fazzino, meanwhile, has joined current Councilman Greg Schmid in opposing the election-year change. Schmid wrote in his arguments against the measure that the current odd-year system makes it easier for local candidates to reach the public and that shifting to even years would "change the nature of local elections."

This story contains 716 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

 

Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 23 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away more than $4 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. When you make a donation, every dollar is automatically doubled, and 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.

DONATE HERE