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Palo Alto council to debate budget changes

Original post made on Jun 11, 2012

A budget that includes fee increases for a wide range of services, higher rates for plots at community gardens and elimination of six firefighter positions will be the subject of a public hearing in front of the Palo Alto City Council tonight.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 11, 2012, 9:44 AM

Comments (43)

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Posted by Whats New
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 11:29 am

"The $153 million budget also includes a $2.2 million increase for infrastructure improvements, as was recommended last year by a 17-member Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission."

17 member commission???? These people need to be fired for allowing the infrastructure to deteriorate such that it has now become highly unaffordable to upgrade clean water, electrical, wastewater, road integrity infrastructure. They play this "we recommend" stuff and get the money from a council that has been lied to, only to use the money like their personal budget to hire more managers to manage paperwork, hire consultants to do what city employees should know (since they supposedly have degrees), then hire construction management companies to 'watch the projects' all the while crying how 'we don't have enough employees to do the work'. Solution: Thin out management at all levels for not being accountable with public funds, stop laying off or forcing the real workers who do the field work to retire. Stop the two to three levels or reporting structure per employee (again too many managers who do NOTHING). OH, and the management people who 'retire' only to come back as highly paid 'management assistants' to continue to line their pockets on public funds has to stop. STOP THE RACKET NOW! Unfortunately this city council/city manager have a secret motto: If it is not written in the charter that we cannot do it, then we will do it.


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Posted by Right
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 11, 2012 at 11:33 am

What's New may have a point. For instance, how is that Mitchell Park project coming along? Within budget? On schedule? Any more unpublicized change orders these days? What was the original budget/contract amount compared to the total cost for the project to date including all contracted companies AND city employee time spent on the project whether it is in the field or at a desk managing paperwork the MPCC?


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Posted by Joel
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Joel is a registered user.

Don't you just love the naysayers and complainers. Only wish they would step up to their cause by getting elected and do a better job.
Nah! It is much easier to sit back and complain.


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Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Jun 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

Good point Joel. But there is an even easier way to make the skeptics voices count more. They could come to a council meeting or post under a real name.

By the way the infrastructure commission was composed of volunteer members who have no financial interest in future infrastrcuture spending.

It is always good to remember that the council is elected regularly by voters and would not continue in office if voters believed the nasty annonymous posts that frequent Town Square when council makes decisions the posters don;t like.


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Posted by An Idea
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Our city would do better with the number of councilmen/women positions trimmed, from nine to seven (or better yet, five).

Further, when the public can elect a mayor with ideas and goals for the city, having the wisdom to carry it out, that will help too.

Right now, the mayor's office is doled out by sitting members of council to their team-mates, as a sort of prize. It's a pat on the back, and often not deserved.

Ribbon cutting is a task that should be handled by the Chamber of Commerce: another neutered organization, but at least it does not pretend to represent the public.

Common sense (and courage) is in short supply. That is why I vote YES to the employee hotline where staff can report bad behavior of those with whom they work, or management, and without fear of reprisal. That too, is being discussed this week.

It's pathetic, but we have what we have. Palo Alto is not the place it used to be.

* 5-7 council members.
* Elected mayor.
* YES to the anonymous employee hotline, until things get cleaned up here. It will take a couple of years, with competent leadership.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Until we stop handing over money to Childrens Theatre, funding 5 libraries, spending money striping and then restriping roads outside the south city Ikea (oops I mean Mitchell Park Library) and other wastages, we will never have a sensible budget.


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Posted by An Idea
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I believe quality of life expenses are good for PA. That would include Children's Theatre, community services, parks, and all those seem to work well. Summertime's coming - enjoy it all! Appreciate the staff for doing such a great job of providing this for us.

It's why families move here. Ditto, for 5 libraries! Libraries conveniently placed are excellent, especially in a college town. It's expected, showing the community serves all ages, not just seniors in retirement homes that can no longer drive anywhere.

We're waiting until the Mitchell library is completed before forming a conclusion about its size. It may end up being a good use of space, used for a multitude of purposes. I'm anxious to see the landscaping, when it's finished. I have good feelings about Mitchell.

But the striping and re-striping, the lack of communication that caused it, and the overall lack of concern by council and City Hall about spending taxpayers money, is another topic. To that: agreed!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tine-For-On-Line-Voting
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm

> It is always good to remember that the council is elected regularly
> by voters and would not continue in office if voters believed the
> nasty annonymous posts that frequent Town Square when council
> makes decisions the posters don;t like.

Routinely, the Council is voted into office with as little as 30% of those registered actually making it to the polls. There is a heavy percentage of older voters in this 33%, most of whom pay very little in property taxes--either via Prop.13, or living in tax-exempt housing, like Channing House, Lytton Garden, or Stevenson House.

When anyone looks at where the money comes from that the winners receive in campaign contributions, it's often from a hand full of big-money sources, and these days, increasingly from sources outside of Palo Alto--such as Labor Unions in Santa Clara County, or individuals with no clear reason for giving to a Palo Alto Council race.

Moving to on-line voting, with a two-week window for voting, would change the results somewhat. But until there is a significant shift in the voting demographics so that more people voting are actually paying a significant portion of the property taxes--not much is going to change.

BTW--people routinely contribute to the process when they email the City Council directly. Sadly, the local media goes out of its way to ignore these people, and their comments. Just going to a Council meeting for a 3 minute window doesn't give one much time to develop a theme very well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm

> "I believe quality of life expenses are good for PA. Appreciate the staff for doing such a great job of providing this for us."

The staff does not provide this stuff for us. WE pay for all the stuff and WE pay the staff's salaries.

> "Ditto, for 5 libraries! Libraries conveniently placed are excellent, especially in a college town."

How many Stanford students use the Palo Alto libraries when they have all the Stanford library resources, not to mention the internet?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm

stephen levy writes "But there is an even easier way to make the skeptics voices count more. They could come to a council meeting or post under a real name."

The city council makes it difficult for the citizens' voices to be heard; they never schedule the time that a topic will be discussed, so it could happen at 6:00 pm, 9:00 pm or 12:00 am. and there have been times they reschedule the topic to another day. So for people with kids, scheduling a baby sitter, or with other commitments, it can be very difficult.

Then the council usually lets one side have alot more time; for example on the recent Lytton Ave Gateway project, the developer had alot more time to argue thier side, while a citizen who wants to talk can only have 3 minutes, and sometimes the council will cut that down to 2 minutes. And using the recent Lytton Ave Gateway project as an example, not only did the developer get much more of the council meeting time, each council member disclosed that they had met with, or discussed with the developer individually the project.


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Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Jun 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

Common Sense,

Yes I appreciate the difficulty of getting to talk at council.

But you can write a letter as well.

Of course, in any public statement you would have to identify yourself for anyone to listen, which seems to be a problem for many posters.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tine-For-On-Line-Voting
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

> Of course, in any public statement you would have to identify
> yourself for anyone to listen, which seems to be a problem
> for many posters.

People's postings are either true or false. Steve Levy seems to want to be able to dismiss posters by who they are, rather than what they have to say!

> five libraries ..

Simply another example of a small group of people getting the attention of the City Council .. most of whom don't pay much for the services they demand ..


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"People's postings are either true or false. Steve Levy seems to want to be able to dismiss posters by who they are, rather than what they have to say!"

The issue is source credibility. If a known person with an established reputation and record offers an opinion the reader can calibrate that opinion against that person's reputation. This is impossible to do for anonymous posters (except for the handful who always use the same anonymous name, such as savtoid, hmmm, Pogo and Menlo Vater and thereby establish proxy source credibility). For a truly anonymous poster the only way to evaluate their postings is if each such posting is a comprehensive presentation of their opinion and documentation of any claims that they make - and that NEVER occurs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Steven Levy, when one advocates, for example, spending less than 200K per year per Palo Alto firefighter, the not-so-subtle response from the union-types is often "just wait till YOU have an emergency." I don't blame anyone for sidestepping the risk of intimidation by the public sector establishment that is desperate to preserve its privileged status.

How about a San-Jose style check on the unrestrained overpayment to special interests (city labor unions)? When will the council have the courage to stand up to their union bosses and offer up some responsible governance? Messing around with fees is just mouse nuts and won't solve the other 99.9% of the problem. Will the citizens of Palo Alto have to force pension reform down the city's throat Menlo Park style with a citizens initiative?

The council should also start outsourcing the city functions to the much more efficient private sector. Do we need to have accountants, planners, tree-experts on the city payroll for close to 200K total cost? How about maintenance personnel and admins at close to 100K? Fix the massive waste before wasting our time with peripheral budget minutiae.




 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Will the citizens of Palo Alto have to force pension reform down the city's throat Menlo Park style with a citizens initiative?'

YES

If you want to find out the free market cost for any city service then just force the city to issue an RFP for that service to be provided either by other agencies or by the private sector - and let the city submit its own full burdened bid including fully funding all retirement benefits on a pay as you go basis. The city will never be the low bidder.

Note that Atherton has recently outsourced almost 80% of its non-police services and did so for a firm fixed cost with a reduction in total annual costs and without an future pension liability.


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm

> "But you can write a letter as well."

Yes, we can write letters and emails, but how often do we get a response?

You, Stephen, are part of the inner circle, so you probably can get as much time with council members as you want. And you probably get answers to your questions, whether by phone, email or snail mail. That is not the case for the majority of residents.


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm

> "For a truly anonymous poster the only way to evaluate their postings is if each such posting is a comprehensive presentation of their opinion and documentation of any claims that they make - and that NEVER occurs."

Peter, that is absolutely not true. Many anonymous posters write thoughtfully and do provide documentation (usually in the form of links) for their arguments.

In any case, opinions are subjective and not all can be supported by facts. Web Link


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Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Jun 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

Pat,

So have you written a letter or email to council with your real name?If you have why are you not posting under your real name here? If not, then your post is just more hot air.

Peter Carpenter is right. Get a name, get a voice.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Steven:
1. I have a name. It's Pat.
2. I say Peter Carpenter is NOT right in his last post.
3. Those using their full names are just as full of hot air -- and sometimes more so! -- than any anonymous poster.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Jun 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I don't think people have a realistic view of labor unions in palo alto. I have to chuckle when i read terms like "union bosses" as if the Jimmy Hoffa led Teamsters are running amuck in town. Yes, having firefighters bombarding us with leaflets and signature gathering last year was obnoxious. But, other than that, I think this town has a pretty mellow labor movement. In fact, if you check the contributions made to councilmembers, some of the labor unions haven't contributed a penny to anyone. And, as far as I know, some of the unions don't even make endorsements.

These guys have generous pensions because the politicians were willing to give them to them when times were good and revenues were flowing. Not because the unions strong armed or bought anyone.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for cutting costs, including employee pension costs, but let's not paint an unfair picture.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Pat states"2. I say Peter Carpenter is NOT right in his last post."

You are entitled to your opinion but since I have no idea who you are and what is your experience and what are your credentials I simply can't evaluate the validity of your opinion so I will ignore it.

Why don't you try explaining why you don't agree with my position and why anyone should take your opinion seriously. Have you served as an elected official, do you have management experience, do you understand the manner in which local budgets are prepared, etc.?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by svatoid
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Looks like certain insiders are setting up some kind of litmus test to judge if a comment has credibility and should be listened to. Some of these same people ate big defenders of the Weekly- the voice of the city council and their insider cronies. Do the math.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Looks like certain insiders are setting up some kind of litmus test to judge if a comment has credibility and should be listened to"

Absolutely - why should every anonymous poster be given the same credibility as a known poster and/or public figure? Particularly when the vast majority of those anonymous posters change their anonymous tags at whim and use each new anonymous tag to display their position rather than to establish their credibility.

If Stephen Levy, whom I know and respect, disagrees with me I take that seriously; if someone calling themselves Pat today and something else tomorrow disagrees with me I consider that as unquantifiable noise.


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Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Jun 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

"Looks like certain insiders are setting up some kind of litmus test to judge if a comment has credibility and should be listened to"

See, Peter and I already disagree though openly and only slightly.

I wasn't setting up any litmus test for the council but merely reflecting on what I believe to be true for how it is.

And, yes, of course, Pat is a name. The person who helps us with decorating decisions is named Pat. But when council gets a message I am imagining they are interested in which Pat is talking so last names do matter.

And Pat you did not answer the easy question of whether you have written council with your full real name and, if so , what is the big deal about posting with it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by svatoid
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Peter you are entitled to your opinion. Pat addressed the issue that you raised. Those of us who read the local papers and this forum know that she is a credible source. She is not part of the good old boy network and/or the weekly cheer team. The most noise seems to be coming from those that are afraid that the positions put fourth by the Stephen levys and peter carpenters are no longer viewed as the gospel truth. Especially when one of those " credible" posters claims a link between another poster and a criminal without providing any proof.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Especially when one of those " credible" posters claims a link between another poster and a criminal without providing any proof."

Interesting allegation - please provide evidence to support it.

"Pat addressed the issue that you raised." Yes she said she disagreed without any explanation - not very credible coming from an unknown person.

"Those of us who read the local papers and this forum know that she is a credible source."

I read both and I have no idea who he/she is.

When was the last time you took medical advice from any anonymous doctor or legal advice from an anonymous lawyer or read an OpED that was published by an anonymous person is a credible newspaper?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm

> " why should every anonymous poster be given the same credibility as a known poster and/or public figure?"

This assumes that all known/named posters and public figures have credibility, which is quite a leap of faith.

And speaking of leaps, it's quite a big one to compare posting an opinion on a web blog to providing medical or legal advice.

You are absolutely free to ignore my opinion, Peter, or consider it "unquantifiable noise." But as svatoid points out, I'm entitled to it.

I'm also entitled to ignore your insulting questions: "Have you served as an elected official, do you have management experience, do you understand the manner in which local budgets are prepared, etc.?"

Does one need to have an impressive CV or prestigious title to disagree with you? How about if a homeless person or a housewife or a high-school kid has a different perspective from yours? Would you also consider their opinions as "unquantifiable noise"?

Stephen, I am not the person who helps you "with decorating decisions."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 11, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"insulting questions: "Have you served as an elected official, do you have management experience, do you understand the manner in which local budgets are prepared, etc.?"

They are insulting questions only if you would be uncomfortable answering these simple questions. Why do the readers have any reason to grant you, an anonymous poster, any credibility except on the basis of you making clear and persuasive arguments?

"This assumes that all known/named posters and public figures have credibility, "
No it doesn't, what the statement assumes is that if a known person with an established reputation and record offers an opinion the reader can calibrate that opinion against that person's reputation. This is impossible to do for anonymous posters.

Anybody like to get back on topic?



"Will the citizens of Palo Alto have to force pension reform down the city's throat Menlo Park style with a citizens initiative?'

YES

If you want to find out the free market cost for any city service then just force the city to issue an RFP for that service to be provided either by other agencies or by the private sector - and let the city submit its own full burdened bid including fully funding all retirement benefits on a pay as you go basis. The city will never be the low bidder.

Note that Atherton has recently outsourced almost 80% of its non-police services and did so for a firm fixed cost with a reduction in total annual costs and without an future pension liability.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Guess who is on the hook to make up the shortfall?

Is this in the 'balanced' Palo Alto budget?

"June 11, 2012, 8:00 p.m. EDT
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By MarketWatch
The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the nation's largest public pension fund, has lost 4.3% so far in the second quarter as markets reeled from renewed concerns over the European sovereign debt crisis and global economic growth.

The fund's assets were valued at $226.1 billion as of June 8, compared with $236.3 billion at the end of March. The fund's performance slightly outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 index's 5.2% decline.

The pension fund's chief investment officer, Joe Dear, said at an investment committee meeting Monday that market conditions have been tough in May and June. "


 +   Like this comment
Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Jun 11, 2012 at 9:27 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

Anonymous posters have every right to use Town Square. those are the Weekly's rules.

And maybe the anonymous posters just want to express their opinion. You don't need a fancy resume or full name to post something sensible.

But you do if you want to influence elected officials. That's just the way it is.

And Pat you still have not answered the question. You complained about council not reading letters or emails. I assume by your silence that you never actually sent one using your full real name. So you don't know what would happen if you did.

There are lots of posters who complain about council action on Town Square and sign there full name so everyone knows who is writing.

Why not you?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm

Stephen,
Of course I sign my full name when writing to Council. I've met with the mayor and the city manager several times over the years. I CHOOSE not to use my full name on Town Square.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"We prefer that you use your real name"

Now, does anybody want to get back on topic?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Richard C. Placone
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm

This comment is directed to Peter Carpenter and in part to Steve Levy: I am sorry, gentlemen, that you two have chosen to take after the poster named Pat, rather than stick to the topic of the article, which is the city budget. Frankly, some of your comments are both unseemly and ungentlemanly.

My personal preference is that posters use their real names, as I always do. However, I respect the right of a person to remain anonymous; I judge the comments made by such posters by the content, weighed against my own background and understanding of the issue.

I happen to know Pat personally. Since I know that she will not say so, I will do it for her. I daresay, Peter, Pat has a resume as impressive as your own. She is skilled in top level corporate management and technological applications to business practices. She is a regular correspondent with city staff and council members. She always uses full identification. Her complaint, which I echo, is that council members rarely respond to letters or e-mail correspondence, even when referenced and cogent arguments and suggestions are put forth. She does get regular response from staff, on the other hand, and has has some very modest success in getting her points across to the extent of making changes.

It future, it might be a better practice to judge the content of the post and not be concerned too much about the specific identity of the poster. For example, Peter, would you give as much attention to this post, or consider that the points made have some validity, if you did not know who I am?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Interesting Enough
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Well All, that read has been quite interesting. My questions (oh there are many, hahaha)are: 1. How many of you attended this council meeting tonight to contribute to your social right to be heard; and, 2. Just how did that council meeting go? Thank you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Just an observation
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 11:56 pm

I don't know Pat personally but I have read her intelligent and frequent postings here and in letters to the council. I "know" who she is.
The fact that Peter Carpenter is so aggressive in asserting his ignorance so male-I'm in charge-arrogant. Someone else is responsible for his not knowing something.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 12, 2012 at 6:29 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Richard asks " For example, Peter, would you give as much attention to this post, or consider that the points made have some validity, if you did not know who I am?"

Actually because I do know Richard and respect his opinion I give much more weight to his comments about Pat than I would if he were just another anonymous poster or simply Pat posting under another name. How do you, Richard, know that Pat of midtown is the Pat you know ? Is there only one Pat in all of midtown? What is the secret signal?

In the meantime I will be pleased to judge Pat's postings by her when they include a clear and comprehensive expression of her views and I therefore do not need any background about Pat. I note that I asked Pat about her background only to be told that such a question was insulting. I doubt that a job candidate or political candidate would get very far with that response.

Now can we get back on topic?

Where is the unfunded pension liability in Palo Alto's 'balance' budget?

Does anybody care?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by svatoid
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 12, 2012 at 6:56 am

"How do you, Richard, know that Pat of midtown is the Pat you know ? Is there only one Pat in all of midtown? What is the secret signal?"

As I stated, people who read the local newspapers and this forum who Pat is? I am not sure what is the purpose of your snarky side comments. It certainly does not add to your "credibility".

"I doubt that a job candidate or political candidate would get very far with that response."
And Pat was neither a job or political candidate. For some reason Peter has it in his head that he must be appeased as to the "Credibility" of someone before someone's comments may be taken seriously


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:07 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Definition of CREDIBLE
: offering reasonable grounds for being believed


I seek only such reasonable grounds and for me, who reads the local newspapers and this Forum (perhaps too often) someone known only by the very common name of Pat remains an unknown entity and therefore, to me, has no inherent source credibility. Lacking source credibility then each comment by such an unknown person must stand on its own merits.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Just an observation
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2012 at 9:45 am

Read actual city manager reports. Read Auditor reports then compare actions/results. Hingsight is always 20/20 yet it also is proof in the pudding that city manager and city management either wisely listen or not to the recommendations. That may be a starting point to focus on who is NOT doing their job.

Say for instance, the City of Palo Alto just hired a(nother) new IT person for security, making $142K a year with extra management benefits that come from a budget where there are not extra funds to be dished out. The TOTAL cost for that new employee is more like $142K for take home pay, $24K for medical, two extra weeks of vacation/leave pay, etc, etc, etc. The $142K is actually more like $200k in the end. My point is: Did not the City ALREADY have someone like a Director of IT who should be able to do the job? The securty issue (according to news articles) was because a generic password was not changed when the City took responsibility for a computer program they purchased. And for THAT mistake, they go and hire someone else who can change passwords and fix a major security oops? This is the sort of stuff that makes Palo Alto the laughing stock of cities along the peninsula. Heck, Sunnyvale is ranked 7th in the nation as best place to live and raise a family. If Palo Alto is supposed to be this affluent place to live with such highly educated citizens, why did it not place in the top 10 best places to live and why is employee moral so low (according to news articles).


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 12, 2012 at 10:14 am

Peter, since you can't seem to let go of this:

As svatoid points out, I'm not a job candidate -- and you are not a hiring manager.

The questions are insulting because, as svatoid noted, YOU are setting the litmus test based on what YOU consider relevant.

You have decided that being an elected official or having management experience, or preparing local budgets gives one credibility. Frankly, there are many in public office who have all of the above, but their records and reputations are hardly impressive and I doubt the credibility of anything they say.

I calibrate the opinions on these blogs by how the posters present their arguments. I also respect the right of people to rant when they feel passionately about something. You can do the same or you can ignore all of us who choose to be anonymous.

(I will not share the" secret signal" with you. That's between me and Richard.)

Now PLEASE let's get back on topic.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 12, 2012 at 10:22 am

Just an observation: I had the same thoughts when I read about the new security manager hired in the IT department. Another very expensive employee.

What the city needs is a large supply of those famous signs that graced President Truman's desk: The Buck Stops Here. Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Proof is in the Pudding
a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2012 at 11:07 am

Posted by Just an observation, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, 10 hours ago

'I don't know Pat personally but I have read her intelligent and frequent postings here and in letters to the council. I "know" who she is.' 'The fact that Peter Carpenter is so aggressive in asserting his ignorance so male-I'm in charge-arrogant. Someone else is responsible for his not knowing something.'

Report Objectionable Content

This forum is quite something. This is a game of To Tell The Truth.....will the REAL Just an Observation please stand up. Ok folks, this paragraph and these words are MINE. The quote above is from an anonymous poster who logged on using Just an Observation id. Ya'll enjoy.

P.S. And all this boils down to is citizens, people, YOU are responsible to watch the hen house, and ultimately should hold YOUR city leaders at all levels accountable. The citizen mentality of 'we can afford to just pay more taxes' so they ARE taking care of me attitude is so old, NOT true, and is not keeping the city budget and staff accountable. Good Day. No more posts from the real JAO.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 12, 2012 at 11:41 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It is fascinating how all these anonymous folks keep changing their names - it is hard to build source credibility when your name keeps changing or someone else is using the same name.


And I do think that a posting by someone who has actually experience with the problem under discussion is more valuable to the conversation than a comment from someone with unknown qualifications and experience. Your mileage may differ.


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