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Palo Alto scraps 'premature' closed session on Cubberley

Original post made on Apr 23, 2013

The City Council's closed-session discussion on the future of Cubberley Community Center was abruptly canceled Monday night after members of the community protested that the controversial subject deserves more transparency and public input.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 22, 2013, 10:04 PM

Comments (12)

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Posted by No-Need-For-Closed-Sessions
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2013 at 7:59 am

Since the school district is a public agency, and the city is a public agency--why should there be any "closed door" sessions involved in this process? What information about the City, or the school district, could be, or should be, secret?

Do the right thing, Council Members--deal with this matter in open session.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2013 at 9:06 am

Whereas I don't like the idea of secrecy or lack of transparency, I don't like the idea of this meeting being cancelled/postponed. I want to see the City and school board getting on with progressing on this topic so just make the meeting public. There are always delays in Palo Alto and at this rate we are going to delay it another year from opening.

We know this is on the cards, it is no secret. Many have already made their views felt officially and unofficially.

Please, can we get on with this.


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Posted by Don't trust Scharff!
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 23, 2013 at 9:08 am

As mayor, Greg Scharff controls the Council Agenda. He managed the process that put Cubberley on the agenda as a closed session. Yet, in public it's as if he wasn't involved. Don't trust this one!


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Posted by Take a lesson
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 23, 2013 at 9:22 am

The school board could take a lesson from the city council on how to handle the public's business. The school board has known for months about a federal finding of civil rights violations in the schools, and we're now up to 1 finding of a violation, 1 settled complaint with OCR, and 2 pending complaints being investigated by the federal government. Yet the school board refuses to discuss this situation in public, choosing instead to do so only in repeated closed sessions. There is another probably related item on the board's closed session agenda for today. The only public discussion has been to hear the district's lawyer, whose comments were designed more to mislead and misinform the public than to illuminate the situation.
School board president Dana Tom and VP Barb Mitchell control the school board agenda, and have chosen secrecy over transparency on this one.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 23, 2013 at 10:10 am

> Please, can we get on with this.

There is no hurry to resolve this matter--particularly behind closed doors.

There are a lot of financial issues which have yet to surface. Hurrying to "do something" will insure that these matters never see the light of day.

Let's have some public hearings. Cubberley isn't going anywhere.


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Posted by Alice
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 23, 2013 at 10:36 am

After the debacle of Alma Street's market, I would think that most Palo Alto people would be concerned about any decisions for our city reached behind 'Closed Doors'.


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Posted by One Has To Wonder
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm

To Take A Lesson - in agreement with you about Dana Tom, and Barb Mitchell. The fact that the entire school board knew about the OCR complaint while school board elections were happening, and then for them to blast Ken Dauber about accusations of discrimination in the school district - really outrageous! I have seen Dana Tom at school board meetings, really not a good, strong leader. But, Palo Alto gets what it elects in terms of all it's elected officials. It is very apparent that most of those who are elected simply are interested in power, and using these positions to become "career" politicians, and bounce from one elected office to another once name recognition has been established. Yes, city council and school board positions require lots of dedication, time and work, but still, if you want the offices, do what is right for the community, and city when elected. Don't use these positions to be entirely self serving. And, get on with the work of Cubberley, or it will become another Mitchell Library fiasco.


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Posted by Sir Sneaky
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

So they canceled the meeting because the public found out and complained that it was behind closed doors.
So I guess they are postponing this meeting until they can have it again but this time under our citizens radar?
Why does this not surprise me..


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Posted by Sir Sneaky
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Never mind my last comment I read the whole article and see that they are willing to have a open meeting..


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Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

The easy and PROPER answer: Both agencies are PUBLIC agencies, therefore ALL meetings MUST BE OPEN AND TOTALLY TRANSPARENT!.
No secret deals, no " golden handshakes " to developers, no con jobs where the outcome is already decided and a waste of people's time, ALL PUBLIC BUSINESS IS TO BE DONE PUBLICLY.
You don't like it? RESIGN!


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Posted by Agree
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I agree with the posters above, kudos to the City Council for quickly backing off a closed process. Shame on the school board for trying to pretend like nothing is happening and hope the public fails to notice.


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Posted by Curious
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Why was a private meeting proposed in the first place, with a subject that was so controversial, where many people would want to weigh in? I understand Real Estate deals are often done in private by cities as a first step. But in this case? I can't understand how routine process could have been considered good.

And what kind of agreement could have been made at a private meeting, so hearing the public afterwards would just be out of courtesy? That has happened recently in Los Altos and in Mountain View.

Years ago, I remember one Palo Alto council person was so bored by hearing the public speak, she was drawing her hand as a diversion.
"My mind is made up" attitude. The public is talking to a wall.


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