Editorial: Service hub needs new home | February 10, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - February 10, 2012

Editorial: Service hub needs new home

Decision to rebuild municipal services center, animal shelter would provide opportunities for creative solutions

If Palo Alto has an Achilles Heel most city officials would say it is the handful of public buildings that easily could crumble when a major earthquake hits the region. From purely a safety standpoint, there is general agreement that the police station, two firehouses, the municipal services center and the animal services building all are in dire need of replacement.

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Posted by Karen White, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

The current MSC site would be awesome for car sales; freeway exposure is the name of the game. But I think that if revenue is the objective, we should KEEP the current dealerships located along Embarcadero where they are to ensure there's a good critical mass of dealerships within one area -- with dealers at MSC and ALSO on Embarcadero. Likewise, the Los Altos Treatment Plant site should be used for additional car-dealership uses, either sales offices or service bays.

For the MSC, if sites east of 101 are considered reasonable (not sure, given sea rise, etc.), it might be useful to also consider the area in back of the golf course and next to the airport where all the course maintenance vehicles are kept. (It doesn't have Embarcadero frontage, so would seem less attractive for auto sales.) There's quite a nice chunk of land back there, though I'm not sure of the acreage. Possibly the course and the MSC could occupy a single plot of land and include the redesign within the context of the golf course reconfiguration.

Posted by Karen White, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 10, 2012 at 10:17 am

Sorry; I meant in that last sentence to say that the course maintenance vehicles and MSC could possibly occupy a single plot of land.

Posted by Tyler Hanley, digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Feb 10, 2012 at 10:42 am

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

The following comments were moved from a duplicate thread:

Posted by Timothy Gray, a resident of the Charleston Meadows neighborhood, 1 hour ago:

"I hope the City has the wisdom, and the residents have the will, to insist that we exhaust seeking opportunities for regional cooperation before we build.

Sharing resouces just might reduce the facilities required in Palo Alto, or perhaps result in greater services at a lower cost.
The "Not invented here" outlook must change. My neighbors in Mountain View, Los Altos, Menlo Park, and EPA all share the same need for high-quality services. Let's be open-minded before we start building monuments."

Timothy Gray


Posted by James Raidy, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, 47 minutes ago:

"I agree! Looking at a joint municipal services site with our neighbors is a smart idea. Pooling resources of surrounding cities could provide a financial savings while potentially increasing our available resources. Great idea Timothy!"

Posted by The-Truth-Is-Better-Than-Fiction, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2012 at 11:06 am

> The most compelling reasons for the city to relocate the center
> as soon as possible are to make sure employees are safe and
> able to respond during a major disaster, and to potentially
> leverage the land to bring new tax revenues to the city.

In 1989 (or thereabouts), a P/W worker went nuts and at least one person was killed (maybe two). Another P/W worker threatened to kill some of his co-workers around 1994. During the years that this site has been operational, no one has been hurt, or killed, during earthquakes. If there is a worker “safety” issue, it is that the unionized P/W workers tend to violence, rather than more civilized solutions.

The Weekly is clearly poorly informed in its editorial position, taking what the City is saying as gospel, and not examining any of the facts provided by the City in a critical light.

Posted by Anon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I would be willing to bet that most Palo Altans do not want to look out towards the bay from 101 and see car dealerships.

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