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Artwork at a Time of Employee Cutbacks

Original post made by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Oct 28, 2009

As a Parks and Recreation Commissioner, I felt very uncomfortable this past Tuesday night at our monthly regular meeting.

This story contains 369 words.

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Comments (9)

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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:01 am

Paul, There is already an active discussion on this topic, to which you posted, at Web Link

Re “Different buckets of money,” please see Doug Moran’s comments at the above link.

Also, one should not have to be “an expert on public art,” to appreciate and enjoy the art. If it’s for the public, it should be something the public likes.

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Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 29, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Well this is a bit like how Dr. Pino must have felt. She saved a major insurance company a ton of money by denying a patient a procedure which would have save his life. Then they commissioned a piece of art for exactly the same amount.

But then she had a conscience and repented.

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 29, 2009 at 9:30 pm

This kind of thinking taken to its logical end would be the equivalent of 'so long as there is a single child starving somewhere in the world no one should feel comfortable spending anything for entertainment, luxuries or for that matter anything beyond the very basic necessities of life.'

Hard to deny the truth of this thinking but it's not practiced by many except the Mother Teresas of this world. Even here in liberal Palo Alto.

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Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 30, 2009 at 8:37 pm

And then taking your thinking to it's logical end no one should then be concerned with even an iota of any concept of social justice or democracy, or fair play, or Magna Carta, ...

Any deviation from "The Divine Right of Kings" would just lead down to a path whereby humanity itself would one day be reconstituted by some ordinance whereby the genes of Mothe Teresa and Che Guevara would be forever co-joined as the new genetic foundation of humanity.

But the juxtaposition of the statue and the treatment of the city workers will be gist for nation wide publicity when the time is ripe.

Enjoy the what ye have sowed!

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Posted by paloaltomarino
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 1, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Perception is reality, right?

And you talk about our "timing" at city hall. Now, that's funny. I remember a day, 11/4/08, when the the country was electing our first black president, I also remember late in the afternoon receiving two e-mails, one from the former police chief apologizing for her remarks about race, and one from our city manager saying that Palo Alto doesn't support racial profiling".

And now, we're trying to roll out a business license tax after talking about it for 30 years, at the exact wrong time. The economy is in the worst shape it's been at in my lifetime, everyone is hurting, fearful of losing their job, but, the city manager keeps pushing the business license tax. Meanwhile, he continues to rake in a $200K+ salary, huge housing allowance, and car. I wonder, since most business owners don't live here, if we care less about them therefore we end up approving the tax. If I were a betting man, I'd say Palo Altans will approve the tax because we like our standard of living more than we like what's a good thing to do.

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Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 3, 2009 at 8:42 am

Well when the economy was in better shape the taxes (in general) should have been raised a bit more then---when more "affordable" and build a buffer. Then, during a recessionary period, consider both cutting back on taxes AND spending the money on needed infrastructure. This which would help stimulate the economy. But the foxes were guarding the henhouse and now we have the worst of both worlds. Everyone is scrambling and jacking things up or down to cover the contingencies while squeezing out what they can.

Like this comment
Posted by Merrill Linmon Roe
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2009 at 9:33 am

City of Auburn Hills on the brink of bankruptcy due to unrealistic pension obligations

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by lazlo
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 3, 2009 at 4:42 pm

To the post by Roe: I guess if we were to believe everything that is posted on BLOGPROF (your web link) without actually knowing specifics of the case of the City of Auborn Hills we would prove our ignorance. The facts are city council members spent their taxpayer funds on foolish projects with no regard of value to the community, made bad investments with taxpayer funds, and spent employee compensation funds on bad stock investments. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by Anna
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 3, 2009 at 5:27 pm

To lazlo:
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

If you'd actually read the BLOGPROF post, you'd have seen that it was commenting on a newspaper article from a local newspaper in the county that includes Auburn Hills. Here's the original: Web Link

It's not employee bashing to take notice of the mathematical fact that many government pensions, including Palo Alto's, cannot possibly be sustained under any reasonable assumptions about the economy and tax collections. Say all you want about bad investments and wasteful foolish projects: whether that is true or not, you can't get blood out of a turnip.

The sooner that SEIU leaders wise-up and face facts, the better off their members and the cities they work for will be.

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