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Six vie for seats on Palo Alto City Council

Original post made on Sep 28, 2012

There was a time decades ago when City Council meetings in Palo Alto resembled episodes of "The Real World," with raucous debates, endless bickering and insults flying across the dais. These days, by contrast, council members often speak with the same voice, particularly when it comes to growth.
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Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 28, 2012, 9:18 AM

Comments (14)

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Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:00 am

The City Council has done to this city what the rooster did to the hen.

Just look at the fiscal mess, inflated pensions, decimated infrastructure, and the bloated management at City Hall. Add to that the corruption of channeling Utilities' profits to the general fund, which subverts the will of the people expressed in Prop 13.

Then look at the massive overdevelopment, of condo complexes sprouting like mushrooms, so that the city can get more revenues to pay for more pensions and lifetime medical benefits.

The word FUBAR comes to mind.


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Posted by Marvin
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I will only vote for the person(s) that will get these outrageous city employee pensions in check. Police and fire employees retiring at age 55 with 90% of their salary for the rest of their life- insane!


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Posted by Cc
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I demand all the council members be Palo Alto residents. This applies to all decision making city employees as well.


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Posted by Voter
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2012 at 10:09 am

Well, it's certainly a weak field.

Burt and Schmid voted in favor of letting Measure D hit the ballot (helping the public start to put a stop to Fire Union abuses), and Gray seems to have a head on his shoulders regarding basic financial responsibility. After that, though, I might have to leave a blank, and will be searching for the lesser of evils:

Those I'd need a shower after voting for:

Kniss: Career politician who has completely failed to protect taxpayers from special interest unions in the past.

Berman: A greasy lawyer if there ever were one, and pro-bureaucrat as well. Read great article about how he sought the Labor Council's endorsement, but then said he didn't. He's clearly a union-shill. He's said as much in the past in all of the typical ways, "we can't fix the deficit on the backs of public employees, etc"

Weiss: A pro-tax socialist if there ever was one. Even in the outrage over six figure pensions starting around age 50,



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Posted by Voter
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 29, 2012 at 10:11 am

(continuing previous post),

Even in the outrage over six figure pensions starting around age 50, Weiss can be found on this site repeatedly taking the apologist position for the overpaid bureaucrats.


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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Ward Winslow was one of my editors at Times Tribune during my internship there, in 1984. He wrote me a nice note predicting I would be a credit to whatever field I choose. I would not have imagined running for Palo Alto City Council, however, but maybe he did.

Beyond "railing" against developers, I have posted about 30 short essays at my campaign blog here:
Web Link


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Posted by another voter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Mark Weiss,

Instead of asking a voter to read your 30 short essays, or rely on a 1984 referral,

can you please state what you think about the Arrillaga/Stanford office complex plan on University and Alma?

1) do you agree on giving away dedicated parkland for it
2) on exempting height code from 50 feet to over 100 feet?
3) do you think there are real and specific reasons Palo Alto "needs" such a complex?
4) do these reasons outweigh the costs to the city?

irrespective of how one feels about developers, at the end of the day it would be nice to know how people think about a specific situation. Or just how candidates think.



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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Regarding 27 University, and in response to a posted comment directed to me here, I have read the full staff report, dated Sept 24, and have two hundred and seventy (270) places that I've marked that merit further looking into, questioning and in some segments and maybe in entirety simply ridiculing and denouncing as a travesty, as commissioner Bob Moss was quoted as saying.

In fact, on March 6, when Council made public the existence of this proposal, (although now the report says secret meetings started in August, 2011!), I texted council members with my dismay, commented here at PAW site (some of which were subsequently deleted, for comparing their euphemisms about the instigator to pr for a famous historical figure --whether "philanthropist" was the right term, versus "developer" or "billionaire"), and wrote an indirect counter-attack on my personal blog -- as distinct from my new campaign blog - by quoting from a famous Allen Ginsberg poem, where he compares the skyscrapers outside his window to Biblical monsters called "Moloch".

I hope to somewhere get the chance, or multiple chances, to speak more directly and oppose this project.

Briefly, this is example of an oligarch and plutocrat basically taking government hostage and trying to force his way; I am concerned with process as much as product or outcome. I am concerned in many ways about Democracy, on local and national levels.

We have already spent upwards of $200,000 in defense of this attack, staff and consultant time, not to mention three hours from the dais Monday.

I would rather community via an inclusive and Democratic process decide our needs (be it office space, arts venue, intermodal transit improvement or whatever) and then find the way to enact our will and NOT as in this case merely be responding, as if under siege, to the will of a billionaire.

Also, what is clear to me in the report as distinct from reporting on such is that there is nothing in writing that states that the 260,000 sq feet of office space (for a corporate headquarters of a mature tech company and not an incubator on innovator per se) will be donated to Stanford; if anything, that is between Stanford and the individual. Even if staff seems to in good faith think he is promising verbally to do that, it should not be a consideration in the merits of the proposal, and its drawbacks.

So here is from March 6, since you asked, my posted response elsewhere, if you can work thru the long quote from a poem -- since you asked how my or our, including my fellow candidates, minds work: and I think after hearing bureaucrats talk in double-speak and jargon on so many cases it is good to throw a little poetry and art reference into the mix, feel me?
Web Link

For "another voter" to be specific:
1) NO!

2) NO!
3) maybe
4)Probably not. Or prove it to us. And don't kowtow or capitulate to power.


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Posted by another voter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Mark Weiss,

I am a new resident and the first thing I knew about buying here is that I cannot renovate my own home restriction-free, especially the upstairs.

Hearing that the City is promoting four exceedingly tall buildings, has made me tune in to the elections. Also the shock at the podunk incestuous politics that drive City staff to stupidity.

They are moved by 1 billionaire in a town that practically has a billionaire per neighborhood. Palo Alto could do much better for the City and its residents if it would be in charge of its own destiny, respect its own values, and not feel itself out to the first glossy plan that comes around. I completely agree with what you say

''would rather community via an inclusive and Democratic process decide our needs (be it office space, arts venue, intermodal transit improvement or whatever) and then find the way to enact our will and NOT as in this case merely be responding, as if under siege, to the will of a billionaire."

I will tune in to your website.


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Posted by another voter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm


Mark Weiss,

So you went to Gunn and Dartmouth, nice schools

You're kind of wild and crazy with your Moloch stuff, but what is crazier than 27University?

You need to get Cliff Notes version of your platform on your site. You have some nice ideas, good humor, I like what you say about the Arts in the PA Weeekly interview. The long acronym SVAYAMBH-PA sounds too complicated and what does it mean anyway. New Residentialist platform sounds good.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 30, 2012 at 1:16 am

Google says "svayambh" means "self-generated" in Sanskrit. I don't understand anything of the Weiss campaign, maybe because I went to Cubberley.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm

"Just look at the fiscal mess, inflated pensions, decimated infrastructure, and the bloated management at City Hall."

+1


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I went to Fremont Hills, Terman and Gunn. I have a lot of classmates and friends who started out at Cubberley, which closed after our freshman year.

Between 1994 and 2001, I produced my event series, for Earthwise Productions, at Cubberley. Cubberley lives on via the alumni network of those who attended and hold it fondly in their hearts, and to a lesser extent to those of us who were or art part of the Cubberley as community center scene.

Although I do digress into arts and literary references, most of the time I write more plainly.

I am a residentialist as opposed to those who give too much sway to Downtown interests, special interests and especially the Commercial Real Estate Developers.

I have a lot of sympathy for the underdog, for whatever reasons, but doubt that makes me a "socialist".

Thanks to the dude who says the 27 University project is crazier than my "Moloch! Moloch!" riff.

I hope enough readers, voters and citizens will see the method to my madness.

"I am mad as hell and not taking this any longer!"

Read my blog. Vote November 6. Peace out.

Remember the Cougar! (they say, and I respect that; Go, Titans)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I ask all of the candidates:

1) What are you going to do to rein in the never-ending rise in PA Utility rates and whether you'll at least cut back their marketing budget. We've already decided our positions so enough.

2) When will someone on the Traffic and Planning commission do something about the ridiculous traffic light timing around Town & Country. Kids aren't in school at 2AM so how about at least eliminating one unnecessary red light.

2a) Has anyone looked at the lost sales tax revenue resulting from the traffic situation forcing shoppers like me over to the Menlo Park Trader Joe's instead of shopping here?


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