Our Palo Alto way to decide
Original post made by diana diamond, Palo Alto Online blogger, on May 24, 2008
As many of you may have read in Wednesday's Weekly, I am leaving this paper and my blog to join a new paper in town, the Daily Post, which will be run by former Daily News founders Dave Price and Jim Pavelich, whom I have worked with before. Yes, there will be three papers in town.
I want to thank Weekly Publisher Bill Johnson and Editor Jay Thorwaldson for the opportunity of writing both my column and blog work I have really appreciated and enjoyed doing.
One of the fun things about Palo Alto is there is so much to write about. If it's not the handling of the Children's Theatre investigation, it's what happened at the latest city council meeting or the condition of our roads or how much this city is spending on everything. And as these blogs have shown, we are not of one mind in this city.
We think we could be and that is why we go through what is called the "Palo Alto Proceess." We spend endless hours weeks and months debating whether we should accept or reject something. And because we are a bright community, there is this feeling that there must be one right way to go, one way to compromise, one way to cater to both sides. That's why it takes us so long to do anything in town much less decide on anything.
But if some residents are for building a new police station, and some are against it, how do you compromise/ Build half a building?
Maybe the answer is more referenda, and the majority would determine what we should do. But that is cumbersome and expensive, and we have elected a city council to make these decisions for us.
The Palo Alto Process is an institution now; changes will come very slowly. It's the Palo Alto way, I have learned.
In the meantime, thank all of you for all your responses your agreements and disagreements with what I have written. I have read and appreciated the spirit of nearly all of them.