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Palo Alto council race expands

Original post made on Jul 15, 2014

Former Gunn High School teacher John Fredrich, who has made four prior bids for the Palo Alto City Council, filed a candidate intention statement this week, indicating he is ready for a fifth run.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 9:58 AM

Comments (22)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2014 at 10:11 am

This guy has promoted ideas that he himself calls "socialist":
Web Link

John Fredrich

For a decade, John Fredrich has taught social studies to scores of Palo Alto youth at Gunn High School. He has also been a quiet political radical.

"I'm more of a socialist than anything," he said.

Before his days as a teacher, Fredrich wasn't so quiet. He ran three times, unsuccessfully, for Palo Alto City Council. Fredrich is back because he considers the political climate -- especially residents' frustration with the current council -- ripe for him to get elected.

"There's going to be a low turn-out with a lot of people with an ax to grind," he said.

In the race, Fredrich -- who got his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Stanford University -- is not seeking financial contributions, or endorsements.

"It's the pandering and the influence pedaling part of it that I don't like," he said. "That's the mother's milk of politics these days -- not necessarily the money, but the way in which you give the assurances that get your ducks in a row. At that point, you stop being able to weigh the stake-holders evenly and become somebody who's bought, basically."

In recent years, Fredrich has worked on the board of residents that helped push for, and get approval of, the new Opportunity Center, a building that will provide housing and services for the homeless.

Like other candidates, Fredrich argues the current council is out of touch.
"The biggest problem in the community is the government isn't representative of the broad interest of the city," he said. "Its cliquish and insider and so forth."

Fredrich is also opposed to fluoride in the water, and supports Nov. 4's Measure B, which -- if passed -- would remove the cavity-fighting substance from the city's water supply.

"I haven't drunk tap water in 10 years," he said. "I think there are too many darn chemicals in it."
-----

This is not going to be a good election.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jul 15, 2014 at 10:25 am

John Karl Fredrich would be an excellent member of the council. He brings fresh ideas and a new perspective. I have known John for over 20 years. He is an honest and decent person. The 99%ers would benefit from his presence on the council. A vote for JKF is a vote for fresh ideas and inclusion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Seelam Reddy. Sea
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 15, 2014 at 10:52 am

Congratulations. John

Wonderful to have some one as accomplished to be a candidate.

Look forward to make Palo Alto to be the top city to live in with lot of innovative initiatives and quality of family life.

Respectfully

Sea Seelam T


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 15, 2014 at 11:34 am

No.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 15, 2014 at 11:36 am

It's time to remind voters again. There are five seats up for council, I think. But a voter is not required to vote for five. The voter could vote only for the best to get on council - maybe only three. In the desire to oust the present council majority, there is the danger of emotional voting and then getting into office some who are not qualified or whose views are worse that what we have now. So be careful for whom you vote - and how many.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 15, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I hope the media, including PA Weekly, is prepared to ask the candidates hard questions and I sure hope the candidates are prepared to answer the questions in detail.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

"I hope the media, including PA Weekly, is prepared to ask the candidates hard questions and I sure hope the candidates are prepared to answer the questions in detail."
That will never happen. I have stated many times that elections in Palo Alto are vanilla in nature. Candidates are discouraged from challenging each other on the issues-- that is considered a personal attack. All the candidates parrot the same things-- how wonderful palo,alto,is, how much they live it etc.
also the weekly has a vested interest n keeping council campaigns that way, so,do not count on them to ask tough questions.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PA voter
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 15, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Write in Tim Gray.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Palo Alto native
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 15, 2014 at 5:48 pm

John, u sound fantastic. A fellow residentialist and educator. U have my support! Vote for all five candidates- we need a new city council majority to shut down the overdevelopment agenda since 1984. Good things are returning to my native town! Excellent to not b dependent on campaign contributors. A vote for our community not developers. Well done.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by oh_good
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 15, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Thank you for persevering and running again Karen Holman - you have tried in vain to get the callous bunch (Sheppard, Kniss, price, Sharff and Kline) to act responsibly and transparently. In the next council, they will be gone, and you will be allowed to shine.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 15, 2014 at 7:12 pm

"Thank you for persevering and running again Karen Holman - you have tried in vain to get the callous bunch (Sheppard, Kniss, price, Sharff and Kline) to act responsibly and transparently"
Holman transparent???? Does the term " Finder fees" ring a bell??? Apparently she filed her disclosure forms for 2013 saying she got between $10-100k in " finders fees? Then when the story broke she said she got nothing that year? Which is true?
Silly wants the weekly to ask the candidates hard questions. Will they in this case. Was the disclosure form signed under oath? Holman transparent? No, out of her league is more like it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PA voter
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 15, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Did Holmes do something so bad, or was she just the only one who got caught? Stay tuned...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Fredrich
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 16, 2014 at 9:04 am

The posting at the top by Joe, (last name undisclosed), contains quotes from a Weekly article by Bill D'Angistino which was written for the 2003 election so the use of the present tense to describe my positions assumes no changes in over a decade. The non-quote commentary is purely superfluous patter ala Joe.

The conclusion, that it won't be a good election, posted on the first day of papers being pulled, seems premature.

For those who will be using tap water as the index for choosing their Council candidates, I now drink Hetch Hetchy with a Brita filter which is substantially reducing my carbon footprint.

As for the 'socialist' issue, I described myself in the 2003 interview as 'a republican socialist' which led to quite an interesting conversation with Angistino who apparently had no coursework in political science and wasn't quite sure what either a republican or a socialist was. As a high school US government teacher at the time I was probably a bit to detailed in my explanation for Bill to understand that there are nuances and so I punted to saying "How about Norwegian socialist ?" and left it at that.

Hope these clarifications are helpful...

And, thanks for the good word, Seelam Reddy; I'm looking forward to meeting you and the other candidates on the campaign trail. Good luck.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2014 at 9:36 am

With due respect, I think his name is Bill D'Agostino.

By the way, you are not the John Friederich who gave $25 Million donation to Stanford, are you?

Good luck to John in the campaign.

Mark Weiss
Gunn 1982
(I had to think this through: never took Social Studies with John Fredrich but studied with: Clay Leo, John Attig, Tom Rowland, Nancy Grippo and a student-teacher from STEP named Barbara Brown)

Also: Jean White and Clay Henry at Terman....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Fredrich
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 16, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Thank you Mark Weiss, for the correction on Bill's name, and the good wishes.
No, I'm not the benevolent millionaire.
I think that the donation you mention is from Jon Friedenrich a somewhat more successful classmate.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by PA voter
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 16, 2014 at 4:59 pm

John Fredrich,
Just wondering how you feel about the Maybell orchard, about the erstwhile upzoning, and about saving Buena Vita Mobile Home Park.

And why we didn't hear anything from you in the midst of such a major upheaval in the neighborhood?

Anyone from this side of town who doesn't want to be labeled a Johnny-come-lately is going to have to answer for why they didn't speak up against that monstrous hotel going up at Arastradero and El Camino. (What a stupid and inappropriate place to put a large hotel! It dwarfs everything around it - I'm thinking about all the predictable accidents and backup coming our way soon.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Fredrich
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 17, 2014 at 7:41 am

PA voter,
I weighed in early on the Maybell issue in testimony that should be in the minutes of the plenary planning commission meeting chaired by the late Commissioner Martinez, before the referendum started. In fact, had the anti variance forces not been alerted to the up-zoning by two of the commissioners at an earlier meeting, they might have missed the boat completely. I communicated my position to the Barron Park Association as I opposed their late support for the referendum after snoozing through the earlier run-up and only-under-pressure polling of their membership.

I voted for the old folks housing even though I disliked the over-pack that the PAHC added to help offset cost.
I would have preferred inter-generational housing and smaller units on Maybell with BMR units included. As I am on the BMR purchase waiting list (full disclosure), I did not feel my preferences applied on that issue. I noted that any effort to build would necessitate returning Arastradero to two lanes each way and solving the traffic problems.
I believe that 36 to 45 homes in that old orchard, especially units apace the current scale buildings, will generate more traffic than 60 elders and that there are few amenities in our part of town besides oil change outfits and 'hot
sheet motels' (to use Erman's colorful vernacular). So use and zoning scale are issues for our neighborhood and about town.

I expect to vote against any PC variance in the four years I would serve if elected unless it helps preserve retail or is supportive of other demonstrably necessary community amenities or has substantial traffic mitigation components.I will oppose up-zoning, under-parking, height waivers, and so on.

I agree that the corner development at El Camino and Arastradero is probably going to create a huge mess and will be a primary piece of evidence in the case brought against the Architectural Review Board concerning dereliction of duty charges. Likewise the huge mess going up at the old bowling alley.

My statement in the sample ballot will give the briefest summary of my over-all positions and I will be available for counter-questioning in the forums in September and October.

I hope these clarifications clarify some of your questions.
Signing off now as I have other campaign work to do.

PS
By the way, I support apricot orchards, indeed, love them, but do not think the numbers work for Clem Street.
Likewise the old Vierra property next to the cemetery, and I remember from talking to Ed that they had a bad root fungus problem there and that's why he went over to persimmons; nothing against apricots, ya know.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned voter
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 17, 2014 at 8:19 am

" will be a primary piece of evidence in the case brought against the Architectural Review Board concerning dereliction of duty charges"
What case against the ARB??? What dereliction of duty? They performed their duty. The Planning Commission and the city council also so signed off on the hotel and housing at the old bowling alley site.
So what case are you referring to???????


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jul 18, 2014 at 10:30 am

Kate has an agenda - only vote for three? With all of the agendas that are on the table we probably need to increase the number of council seats. We need to make sure there is representation from all areas of PA.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fair warning
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm

"I agree that the corner development at El Camino and Arastradero is probably going to create a huge mess and will be a primary piece of evidence in the case brought against the Architectural Review Board concerning dereliction of duty charges. Likewise the huge mess going up at the old bowling alley."

John has already shown how ill informed he is regarding City process and responsibilities. The ARB is no more responsible for the zoning approval at these sites than John is for their design...

If this guy does not understand something as basic as this, how can he possibly perform as a Council Member?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Seelam Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Regarding closing YMCA:

They are out of their mind to close Palo Alto location.
I went there twice recently.

It is a wonderful place for young and old to exercise. It is sort of like a community hall

Why can't we find another location in Palo Alto?

I certainly would propose YMCA stay in Palo Alto

Respectfully


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I am also running for Council now.
I look forward to meeting John Fredrich, on the campaign trail.

Too bad I didn't take your course at Gunn. I took American Political Behavior (APB, or HISGOBAM/APB) with Clay Leo in 1978-1979 my freshman year.


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