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Original post made
on Apr 1, 2014
Really? Be careful what you wish for.
There are plenty of people in North PA who are also dissatisfied, for different reasons perhaps, with the present council and government. Instead of seceding a better plan would be to muster all the dissatisfaction, kick out/recall many of the current council and elect a council that represents a broader constituency than developers and moneyed interests that have little care of our quality of life.
I am one of the principals behind this petition. We are tired of the city taking our tax money and spending it all in North Palo Alto. How much money have they essentially given away to developers downtown? And now they are doing the same to California Ave. All that tax money just puts money into the hands of the landlords with little benefit to the taxpayers or even the businessowners. Meanwhile, southern Palo Alto is invaded by reckless drivers along residential streets like Alma and Middlefield and the police don't care. Our main community center (Cubberly) is falling apart and the city has no plans to repair it. We are tired of being second class Palo Alto citizens. It is time to start our own city that cares about its residents instead of just downtown landlords.
Oh ... I get it now. But as a North PA resident I'm incensed that there's no "Happy Team" roaming around my neighborhood. I obviously need to lighten up!
Its April Fools Day - don't take this seriously!
"In addition, 35 percent of the respondents in the south reported that they haven't smiled in more than a week, compared to just 6 percent in the north."
Just want to highlight that. Carry on.
" 'emergency happy teams' to the area to regale residents with magic tricks, balloon animals and free beer and cookies." Why not just let them eat cake?
Fool me once, but not twice! Hard to have multiple articles that all spoof!
Here we go. Make an extreme and ridiculous demand with the hopes of gaining some attention to the real issues and concerns. Who's next? Why not "bring back Mayfield" and California Avenue can house another city hall? Growing up in that neighborhood, we had plenty of old-timers who were less than happy with "those downtown folks" so what is new here? Palo Alto has always been defined by its school boundaries, and classmates from downtown (or way South, by Gunn) often acted like they were better than everyone else, likely reflecting their parents' remarks. Well, let the voters decide. It's been boring lately, so time for a good political kerfuffle! :)
It says Happy April Fools Day under the article!
The article is made up.
Too many meetings I think are affecting my perception of reality! You got me good. My remarks stand but I'll back out of the room now. :) Happy 1st, all. :)
Happy April Fool's Day! I sure hope this article is a joke.
Resident 1970-2008. I got suspicious when I got to the smile count. Even if this is an April Fool's joke it's not all that off the mark nor funny. When I moved to P.A. in 1970 one of the first things I was told was how Oregon Expressway, which was pretty new, had so divided the town and that those on the North looked down their noses at the South side. I lived 35 years on Sierra Court which is atypical of North P.A. The triangle between Oregon and Embarcadero, up against the Southbound freeway ramp, East of Greer, was the most heavily flooded in P.A. in 1998 and we learned then the hard way how a low spot had been turned into a sink by surrounding it with berms and little maintenance of what flood prevention there was. We were sitting in 2-3 feet of water without rescue by the city while some resources were busy pumping out the north P.A. basement of a city official. We were abandoned and had to get out to Greer and Oregon any way we could. When we got to the fire truck we weren't even given anything for hypothermia and were sitting around freezing on that truck while they piddled around trying to figure out what they were doing. It took forever to get to Cubberley shelter. All attention was to the whining rich people who had maybe 6 inches of water in their fancy houses while we had 2 ft inside, 3 in the garage, and all the silt that settled in that lowest spot. North has always had more money and the resultant snobs and "I've got mine, screw you" conservatives. So, in a way, this little April Fool's joke was at expense of South and in the spirit of adding insult to injury. Not funny.
This HAS to be a joke. Though I do have to admit when I moved from the 301 to the 306 the attitude toward "SPA's" IS different.
A Happy April Fool to you too!
Good one, Weekly!!!
Oh, please, please, please let this NOT be an April Fool's joke!
Hah! Maybe the petition organizers can move the boundary to University Ave??? At least move it to Embarcadero!
By the way, my $12 storm drain STILL overfloweth.
I thought it was the city council that was not smiling when the Maybell vote came in and they realized that north and south voted together.
What we find funny today is often headline news tomorrow. Let's not be surprised should City Council order a study and pay consultants $50K to investigate the possibility of this happening, even finding out what it will take to raise the overall happiness quota in PA.
A Citizen's Commission can be formed, overseeing and leading the way, of course, composed of hand-picked citizens mostly from North Palo Alto and the dreaded developers. Perhaps the "Public Benefit" in the newer projects will be determined by how many people are smiling, when their visions become reality. Note, I said "smiling" and not "laughing". Yes, Happy AFD indeed.
Good work, PA Weekly, for the engaging headlines.
Too funny. However, interesting that so many, including me, believed it to be true. Kudos Palo Alto Online ! My forte as a high-school journalist was the April Fools edition.
I knew it was an April Fool's joke. But all kidding aside, perhaps secession is really worth exploring.
Wy not split east/west??????
Ah Yes, another one for April 1st. Although S PA does have some things to gripe about.
Palo Altons to Preserve Sustainable Good Vibes was my tip off! Though it has a nice ring to it.....
Sounds to me like an INITIATIVE, not a referendum. A referendum is to revoke an ordinance. The number of signatures required for an initiative petition is greater than for a referendum petition. Just pointing this out to anyone who takes this article seriously or becomes inspired by it .
PA online, thanks for entertaining us with two April Fool's jokes! You have some creative writers!
Ha ha, April Fool. Do you know why I logged onto this story? I have seriously been thinking we should do this.
Except not South Palo Alto -- we'd call it Mayfield.
Anyone who thinks we couldn't do it, look at the City of Piedmont.
The North would be gladly to give away the city Manager, Mayor, and others who work for the city including various buildings to the South. That will solve the downtown traffic and parking altogether. A Win-win situation. Thanks South!
We don't want them! The whole point of seceding from Palo Alto would be to leave the BAD with the good!
No, we secede, we choose our own government! Heck, most of the Council all these years has come from the north anyway. The only good one, Greg Schmid, comes from the south.
Greg Schmid for new Mayfield Mayor!
I certainly hope this is an April Fool's joke.
What's the point of seceding at this point? They've pretty much already destroyed the area, so unless we get to tear down all the monstrosities they approved and allowed to be built, all we'd be is something of an "East Palo Alto" with all the respect going to the northern region.
North is not happy either with all of the grid-lock and over development. Instead of pitting the South against the North, maybe you should call it Palo Alto South against City Council.
Shouldn't this say "North Mountain View" not south Palo Alto?
Not to be outdone, we in College Terrace plan to secede as well. We will call our new village "College Terrace". The main impetus is to rename Cornell back to Washington, to right the indignity which was foisted upon us lo, these many years ago, thus ruining the orderly progression of our alphabetacally ordered streets. I still get turned around when trying to find my way home.
And we're getting JJ&F back. Yay!
Ya, not funny.
One AFD joke I wish were true.
>What's the point of seceding at this point? They've pretty much already destroyed the area, so unless we get to tear down all the monstrosities they approved and allowed to be built, all we'd be is something of an "East Palo Alto" with all the respect going to the northern region.
Well, you're point is very well taken. And you are right on. But, it depends on how we draw the lines. We keep Cal Avenue as our downtown, and we keep Gunn HS and the foothills. If we are careful in how we draw the lines, downtown will have to figure out how to meet the same ABAG mandate, and we can plan a more sane retail area around Fry's that will support the services of the college town sensibility we maintain. And we can always make Alma and Arastradero a toll road for anyone who likes to pass through every day... speaking of traffic calming...
Your point is also well taken. We don't really want to lose our northern neighbors, just the City Council and their policies (which unfortunately, mostly come from the north year after year). Come on you guys, help us find some decent people, like Bill Packard in the old days. Or help us make the Council a paid full-time position so we can dump some of the city staff and the functions of the city employees is more focused and transparent. and accountable. You'll get more balanced makeup of the Council then, if people don't have to essentially have the money or the backing to volunteer as now.
>Shouldn't this say "North Mountain View" not south Palo Alto?
As someone who has to drive by that horrible monstrosity at San Antonio that Mtn View inflicted on us, thats definitely NOT funny.
Los Altos has their own problems now, too.
As I said, go take a little drive around Piedmont the next time you want to see what's possible... And the similarities? Piedmont High and Gunn both in the state top 10....
I looked at the Roster for the city - it shows that 5 City Council seats will be up for vote in November. Then we can really have an April Fool's jolly time.
Good Joke...Had to read all the way to the end of the comments to get to the meat of the matter.
Much better to take over the City Council than to become West Alviso, or whatever.
Rehabilitate critically under-informed voters and replace underperforming Council members and managers.
There's no substitute for building from the ground up, with allies in every precinct.
It had to happen after the Oregon Expressway debacle and it probably needs to happen again.
Finding the program that a majority of the polity supports is the hard part...
Good we don't see south Palo Alto apart of Palo Alto anyways
This is no joke. Dear Most Well Heeled among us. Since it's unlikely for us to get CC to change this, what about setting up a nonprofit fund to provide grant support for Councilmembers to maintain their salaries during their service? If the grant fund promised to maintain their salary during their service nd wasnt attached to any known entity or commercial strings, wouldnt it be legal? Making a solid commitment to do this as an experiment in local democracy for the next CC term could have tremendous beneficl effects. It must be done soon for it to help, though. Perhaps it would only need to be for a year if the new Council voted to change Council seats to full-time, paid positions.
I have no problem with S Palo Alto seceding even if it's an April 1 prank. My real wish is for California to secede from the USA. We will be one of the leading and wealthiest nations in the world while what's left of the US will become a tea party driven 3rd world country.
Greg Schmidt would be a great Mayor of Mayfield. He is an honorable man that makes good and thoughtful points, representing those of us in the south as well as those in greater Palo Alto when he speaks to issues on council. His vision is broad, not limited, making Schmidt a good regional leader that would get along with leaders in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, and the county people that are taking a more "regional" view. Let's begin the initiative, and let's ask Greg to lead us as an *elected* mayor.
Then the Old Palo Alto City Council would not need 9 sitting members, should their territory decrease. They would not even need 7 members. 5 would do.
If each of those 5 members represented one territory, having to meet with the people they serve, answering to them in Town Hall meetings, as is the norm in San Jose, there would be more communication, more trust, and more would get done, leaving more people with smiles on the faces of the people in North Palo Alto, and being good neighbors to us, in Mayfield.
I will gladly sign the initiative to get the ball rolling on this, no fooling.
Can't we at least secede from ABAG??
Since when did California Ave. become part of South Palo Alto? It's north of Oregon.
You guys get Midtown and Cubberly. We're keeping California, at least until redevelopment destroys it and its small independent businesses.
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