http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/2013/04/27/and-what-did-this-cost


Town Square

And what did this cost???

Original post made by Bob , Community Center, on Apr 27, 2013

And what did this cost? The 8 1/2" x 5" postcard from the PA Utilities Department in today's mail admonishes "Typically you don't know who we are". This is 'from' the City of Palo Alto Utilities Electric Substation Crew"!! Multiply the number of these cards and mailing costs then check your utility bill. That i$ going up again! This mailer like the others came Into the mailbox and went right out to the trash can. Mailings from the Utility Department included in the bills and the separate mailers are excessive and expensive. STOP!

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Posted by Debra Katz
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 29, 2013 at 9:22 am

Ignoring the vitriole, I'd like to respond to the concern expressed:

The "Utilties Electric Crew" flyer referenced was not mailed...it was an insert in the Palo Alto Weekly, which I imagine is glanced at and then read or recycled, just like th rest of the newspaper. These inserts are one of the better ways we have found to reach a large segment of the community. In this case, we sent the insert to acknowledge the fact that many people were having to deal with blocked streets, detours and other inconveniences while we improve infrastructure...and we wanted them to know what was happening and where they could get more details.

Flyers, bill inserts and other items sent are printed on recycled paper and are recyclable. They provide safety, program and service information that many people would get no other way. Most of all, all of the outreach pieces we send, both with the bills and by other means, represent a small expense and a tiny fraction of Utilities operating costs, so they certainly doesn't cause rates to rise. In fact, since so many of the outreach pieces involve encouraging more efficient use of resources, overall they lead to many people having lower utilities bills.

Debra Katz
Utilities Communications Manager
debra.katz@cityofpaloalto.org