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Stanford's Private Cash Could Help Palo Alto

Original post made by Winslow Arbenaugh on Jan 5, 2008

Web Link

Take the object lesson in this article, and apply it here.

Comments (16)

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 6, 2008 at 2:05 am

People tend to be more prudent with their own money than with the money of others.

Posted by no more taxes, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 6, 2008 at 10:21 am

There is no way I would EVER support a forced taking of private funds for public infrastructure..

oh yes, that is called TAXES..

Posted by Winslow Arbenaugh, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 7, 2008 at 12:42 am

This is not "forced taking"; it's voluntary giving and invesntment by a private entity. Please read the article.

Posted by Karen White, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 7, 2008 at 9:34 am

Winslow, thank you for posting this interesting article. With the kinds of cost increases we're seeing in construction, turning to private philanthropists could potentially help us expedite library and public safety facility improvements and potentially other needs. Given about the time it may take to accumulate funds from various public sources and, at the same time, reflecting on cost escalation, I wonder whether we'll ever catch up - without asking for help from beneficent community members. Contributions can certainly jump-start needed improvements.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Palo Alto could have a dialogue with Stanford, using this article and perhaps others as a common ground for discussion. It would be interesting to ask Stanford for a list of recommended Palo Alto projects, most important first. We may find we could work together.

Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Winslow, my good friend, thanks again for posting this. Perhaps we can enter discussions with Stanford with the main focus of this article as a starting point. I can see all kinds of good things coming out of this approach.

Let's face it, California's municipalities are going to be challenged like never before, and in addition are going to have to modify certain behaviors that have become ingrained. We are going to need help, so let's find ways to work with other municipalities, private donors, and other entities and *innovate* our way to new opportunity, which is there for the taking if only we can expand out horizons and outgrow dysfunctional behaviors.

Karen White's point about asking for philanthropic help is a good one, but we have to do more than that. We can only "go to the well" so often. There is a lot of philanthropic fatigue out there, especially among locals. We need to work better with Stanford, local corporations, and neighboring municipalities in ways that help us all realize that we have a shared fate, and then leverage that insight to new cooperative models that take us into the future.

Posted by John, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Exactly what fantasies are you people talking about?

"For us," the mayor said, "infrastructure spending has come to mean growing the university. Yale has the money, and what they get from us is the approval to grow."

"But for all the wealth going into private philanthropy, its reach is limited. Richard C. Levin, Yale's president, is not committing money to the mayor's reconstruction plan or to other items on Mr. DeStefano's wish list, like high-speed rail service to Manhattan or lengthening the runway at Tweed New Haven Regional Airport so more airlines will fly here."

In other words, New Haven is welcoming development of Yale University's private development. New Haven will benefit, directly and indirectly from a reinvigorated Yale. Palo Alto has benefited enormously from the vitality of Stanford. However, Palo Alto has, mostly, been a drag on Stanford, especially in the past several decades. There is no logical or ethical or moral reason to expect Stanford to give money to PA for its own self-inflicted wounds.

Palo Alto should be supportive of Stanford expansion. It is a good thing for PA. We need brainly stanford professionals to drive up our property valuess, to run for city officies, etc. We also need efficient transit trains to bring non-professional workers from their homes in Tracy/Salinas to take those relatively well-paid jobs at Stanford. We don't need welfare housing in PA...that would only decrease our property values, and make for more social welfare obligations, without providing workers for our city or Stanford.

Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2008 at 1:54 pm

John, We're certainly not talking about your fantasies, which, as you describe them, appear more and more like nightmares.

Posted by John, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2008 at 2:40 pm

"John, We're certainly not talking about your fantasies"

No fantasies on my part, except, perhaps, the efficient transit trains. Otherwise, I just want to resume the historical relationship between PA and Stanford. It worked quite well, for many decades. Only since the 70's has their been a confusion about who owes credit to whom. If Stanford petitioned to become its own city, PA would go to dust.

Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2008 at 4:03 pm

So why not invite Stanford in to participate in our city, as an investor, and as a real partner - instead of calling Stanford a partner only when it suits our parochial interests, as has been happening recently.

Posted by John, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2008 at 5:00 pm

"So why not invite Stanford in to participate in our city, as an investor, and as a real partner "

Stanford IS a real partner. The problem is Palo Alto. There will always be town/gown issues, but PA has gone over the top, in opposition, for a long time, now. We need to encourage Stanford, not stop it.

As I have said, several times before, Mike, you and I both want economic growth for this city. We just completely disagree on how to handle it. You want density infill, and I want sprawl (with transit). Sprawl works, but density infill will not, unless you are talking about high rise luxury apartments.

Posted by Alicia, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 7, 2008 at 11:05 pm

I hate to intrude on this pas-de-trois since you are having such a good time, but why doesn't Standford withdraw from Palo Alto if it would be so advantageous to them.

Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 8, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Stanford's fate is inextricably tied to Palo Alto. We need to be better partners. the article suggests one way forward. Do have a better idea?

Posted by John, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 8, 2008 at 2:18 pm

"University leaders are drawing up plans for a new, stand-alone North Campus in Redwood City. Land that has been acquired off of US-101 will likely be used for administrative offices and Medical Center outpatient facilities. The campus, which will be seven miles north of the University's core, is a central part of the school's growth strategy. "

Web Link

Just in case noone has noticed, Stanford IS extracting itself from Palo Alto. Dah!

Posted by Mike, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 8, 2008 at 2:31 pm

John, Old news.

Stanford is simply exercising options available to it, as any large institutional entity should.

I agree that *some* of those options have probably been triggered due to the difficulties that Stanford has encountered with various policy-making bodies in the region.

That said, the sheer proximity of the bulk of Stanford's operation to Palo Alto pretty much guarantees that we will largely impact each other's relative fate.

We need to stop taking Stanford's presence for granted, so as not to further cost ourselves opportunity, relative to what Stanford can do to leverage its presence in Palo Alto. We can start with our negotiation with Stanford's new hospital plan. We'd better not go into this negotiation with our hand out, as has been our penchant recently. And, we'd better look for ways to act like a *real* partner, instead of a partner in name only.

This is a time for repairing past damage to our relationship, and looking for ways to leverage what both entities have in a way that takes us both forward. I'm looking to our elected leaders to take that on, and confident that they will not let us down.

Posted by John, a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 8, 2008 at 2:45 pm


This is probably the first time I have agreed, mostly, with an entire post by you.

You see, there is hope for humanity :)

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