BEATING THE DEADLINE... Three new playing fields. A redesigned Baylands golf course with a "Wow" factor. New plazas and wider sidewalks on a soon-to-be two-lane California Avenue. A revised massage ordinance. A refreshed Cogswell Plaza. New contracts for workers represented by the city's largest labor union and by its police-managers union. These are just some of the big-ticket items the Palo Alto City Council green-lighted Monday in its final meeting before a month-long break. There was one item, however, that the council didn't get to during the seven-and-a-half-hour meeting: high-speed rail. Lawmakers were scheduled to consider endorsing a citizens' initiative to cut off future funding for the locally unpopular $68 billion project. Shortly before midnight, the council agreed to address the issue at its first meeting after the break. Even this proved to be a blessing in disguise. The two Republicans leading the initiative announced Wednesday that they are suspending their campaign for the revote. Former U.S. Rep. George Radanovich and current state Sen. Doug LaMalfa issued a statement on the campaign website that the initiative is suspended "while litigation brought against high-speed rail in Central Valley moves through the court system." They vowed, however, that the effort is not dead, just delayed for a while. Radanovich called the decision to suspend the campaign "a postponement of what I see as a future initiative allowing voters the opportunity to tell politicians in Sacramento that they don't want a California high-speed rail system plagued with budget overruns and repeated failure to meet every deadline."
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