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Guest Opinion: Palo Alto's next manager should follow Frank Benest's regionalism

Original post made on Mar 27, 2008

With Frank Benest's impending departure Palo Alto is losing more than a gifted city manager. We're losing a major force for regionalism.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 27, 2008, 12:00 AM

Comments (16)

Posted by J., a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 27, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Excellent points, Russell. We do need more regional collaboration in Silicon Valley around land-use planning, affordable housing, reclaiming El Camino Real into a grand boulevard, transportation, social services, open space, environmental management etc. We are all part of one large community.

Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 27, 2008 at 2:07 pm

What we need now is *policy* that reinforces what Frank Benest started. That's where the rubber meets the road. THose initiative should not be left to the whims of any city manager - not in this environment. Kudos to FB for his early and substantial efforts.

Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 27, 2008 at 8:43 pm

I believe our last Utility director justified his misfeasance because he spent more than half his time attending conferences. Our next manager should stay here and manage, and insist that any regional or other organization must have teleconferencing. Mind the store.

Posted by Greg, a resident of Southgate
on Mar 27, 2008 at 9:00 pm

"What we need now is *policy* that reinforces what Frank Benest started. That's where the rubber meets the road."

Yes! We need a regional agreement to build a nuclear power plant. That would solve so many of our local issues.

Does Frank support a pragmatic solution like this?

Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2008 at 5:15 am

Mike, be sure to pay your rising electric bill. Or continue to wander in the darkness.

Posted by Kate, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 28, 2008 at 7:47 am

To: Mike in College Terrace

In remembering your past and current posts to this site, I sometimes wonder if you are
Frank Benest!!

Posted by What?, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 28, 2008 at 9:20 am

Frank was so busy off making friends in new places, that he had no time nor temperament to manage the City of Palo Alto. His lasting contribution to our fair city is to give every City employee an additional 26 days of vacation per year. No wonder they are so overstretched and in need of consulting assistance - it takes a lot of time to plan 26 3 day weekends every year!

Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2008 at 11:14 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by firemen, a resident of another community
on Mar 29, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Frank and several others leading this city are driven by EGO. This has blinded mike and several others. If anyone believes or supports this type leader/person it could be a reflection of," Just what type of leader they might be"
I think if you look around some groups and people think HITLER was an OK guy. His REGIONALISM was to take over the world and eliminate anything that did not think like him.

Many have thought Mike to be Frank??

Also where else could Frank and the others function. Any other city or citizens would NEVER let this type of leader stay in power.
Asking the employee's and citizens to do without, as he fills his pockets with money from the city he has lead into financial hardship.

He is just one more sick CPA joke...

Posted by Kudos to Fireman, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 29, 2008 at 7:06 pm


Just wanted to let you know I really loved your presentation at City Council last Monday. You come across very differently in person than you do on-line here. What you said to Council was very moving. This City needs to be more careful with how it treats staff (esp. if we're in the middle of what Benest calls the "PA brain drain"). You made that point effectively.

Posted by Run Him Out ON a Rail, a resident of Professorville
on Mar 29, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Frank Is the worst thing for Palo Alto ever. The new manager should do the oposite of Franky, Frankley

Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 29, 2008 at 8:15 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by fireman, a resident of another community
on Mar 30, 2008 at 6:40 am

Funny Mike..
I do not think citizens losing future services,but still paying for them. Employee's losing civil rights, a city that wastes millions while there STAFF makes out like bandits$$$
All being covered up with lies and misinformation.
A daily "JOKE"

How did this CITY end up 455 million$$$ short, where did the funding that they did spend go?

Just remember Frank is not gone, He has 10 years to sell his house and the city will share the cost of any improvements on this house.

Do you think Frank will buy the cheap tile? To save the city some money? I think he will have no trouble picking the expensive stuff. Ya know The CITY IS PAYING HALF THE BILL.$$$

The only difference is the city/citizens will not be paying the WHOLE bill as it has in the past.

The question is? What does FRank have on the Council that they did not get rid of him a long time ago???

Posted by Pointless Disguise, a resident of Green Acres
on Mar 30, 2008 at 11:15 am

Mod Points for City Manager. People do not realize they have a recognizable pattern of words. However musch you may want to disguise.

Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 3, 2008 at 12:52 pm

It is unfair to criticize Frank Benest. He did exactly what the city council, our elected representatives, wanted him to do.

Councilmembers could never gush enough over Benest's extracurricular activities. Totally ga-ga, they basked in reflected glory; they felt it put Palo Alto and themselves on the map.

And Benest's notoriety put Palo Alto a cut above the neighbors, like Mountain View, whose CM mostly stayed home and ran the city. Mountain View has the library and services and fiscal stature that Palo Alto might wish for, but that is so ordinary. We had Frank Benest.

So show due respect, people. Save for your utility bills and slow down for those potholes. If that's not good enough for you, vote for adults in the next election.

Posted by Fireman, a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Yea, It is unfair to blame Frank. It was his watch for the last 8 years.
How can you hold him responsible for things, when he was off doing other more important things then his job?

How many times has he given the BABY BOOMER spam???

You would think by now he would figure out that he is one reason young people do/would not go into public office? Go to the light Frankie and take Mikie with you.... Please

Maybe the City will pay for your trip,at least half. I am sure the citizens would pay the rest.

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