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Original post made
on Aug 7, 2008
Palo Alto has the most generous annual library budget of any similar city in California. We don't need more money for day-to-day running of our libraries but it would be nice if we could get it.
Check out the last city audit - Web Link
Consider the library spending:
"The Library spent about $5.7 million providing services in FY 2005-06. As shown in Exhibit 3, Library spending increased by 49 percent in nominal dollars from FY 1997-98 through FY 2005-06, or by 18 percent after adjusting for inflation."
Or just look at our staffing:
- Our staff has the highest percent of full time employees with Librarian Title. That is across 104 employees.
- Our staffing has increased by 11% and hours open decreased by 19%.
All we need now are the buildings.
The city council gave the 800 High Street condos the go-ahead in 2003 which was an election year. I wonder if anybody has checked if the developer made campaign contributions to any of the councilmembers.
I usually don't make comment or read them, but I can't let this question go by unanswered. I reviewed the legally required reports on contributions to defeat the ballot measure that would have stopped 800 High. Doug Ross, the operating partner of the group of investors in the project. As I remember, Ross contributed nearly $10,000. to Dena Mossar's campaign, and about $2,000. each to Bern Bechem and Judy Kleinberg campaigns for reelection to the city council. These contributions were, as I remember, in "in-kind services" meaning not money so much but to pay people to drop literature at our doors, deliver lawn signs, etc. These members voted for and promoted the development. These contributions were noted at the time. It was also noted that Doug Ross spent just short of a quarter million dollars to defeat the grassroots measure.
It figures. Mossar pushed the thing through the council rather forcefully, and Beecham was a reliable council rep for developers. I am a bit surprised about Kleinberg, though.
" It was also noted that Doug Ross spent just short of a quarter million dollars to defeat the grassroots measure."
And it died like late-autumn insect. A good thing, because 800 High St. has been a great addition to Palo Alto.
What criteria makes 800 High St. "a great addition to Palo Alto"? It's just an ugly boxy building. It faces on 3 streets and no side has any attractive features.
And now even one of the small public use plazas will be turned over partially to a private user instead of the public as promised? What is going on in our fair city? I get discouraged by money talking.
Mossar and Beecham were reliable reps for developers and so was Kleinberg. She was very good at heartful speeches, but she followed the speeches with a BUT... and voted pretty reliably for the developers.
She described herself as a "housing advocate" which translates to supporting development. The League of Women Voters uses the same language and support every development, without exception.
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