Around Town | June 1, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 1, 2012

Around Town

BATTLE OF THE BANDS ... Every summer, Palo Altans flock to local parks and plazas for the city's annual concert series. And every spring, city officials debate whether or not to cut or dramatically reduce this popular program. This year was no different. City Manager James Keene's proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 had initially proposed slashing the $10,000 program. This week, the city considered a less dramatic proposal that would have trimmed the Summer Concert budget by $5,000 — an adjustment that would have required the city to start booking less-popular bands. But at the end of the day, the City Council Finance Committee decided that this is still too much. "It's the one time people say to me, 'Boy, the city is really doing something right,'" Vice Mayor Greg Scharff said, referring to the summer concerts. "Every year, I see this coming to us, and I see Community Services trying to cut it." Scharff and the committee decided by a 3-1 vote to fully fund the series. Councilman Pat Burt called the proposal to slash funds for the popular program "pennywise and dollar foolish." Councilwoman Gail Price was the lone dissenter. "I have great faith in the staff and in their ability to secure high quality talent," she said. "There are lots of very talented musicians and bands in this area who'd be delighted to perform in this venue." Even Keene sounded a note of relief after the committee voted to keep all the concert funds intact. "Looks like the bureaucrats won't be playing next year," he said.

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