Palo Alto optimistic about police-building proposal
Original post made on May 3, 2013
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 3, 2013, 9:25 AM
on May 3, 2013 at 11:36 am
The accelerated process hand the lack of transparency in the process is very concerning.
There is no benefit at all to be gained from the shell of a public safety building that the Police Department deems knows wont work, and will cost millions.
"Police Chief Dennis Burns expressed concerns about the proposed building and its ability to accommodate the department's operations. Burns told the City Council's Infrastructure Committee that the preliminary proposal does not appear to be operationally feasible"
Was Chief Burns one of the "several senior staff" city manager Keene alludes to as having had several meetings with the developer that resulted in a more "optimistic" view of the proposed building????
If Chief Burns was NOT at these meetings, than this looks like just another example of "The Emperors New Clothes" style of "leadership" that we having been getting lately from the senior city official!
on May 3, 2013 at 11:39 am
The report says the new police building would have to be a "defensible building that is both attractive and provides modern day security and threat/hazard vulnerability risk mitigation measures". Having a non secure public parking garage attached to it prevents it from being very defensible. A previous plan allowed members of the public to use a "community meeting room" inside the new police building which also doesn't strike me as being in line with "modern day risk mitigation measures". If their plan is to bolster their security in times of "increased threat" they may want to look back at how many terrorist attacks or attacks on police building for that matter have been preceded by a stated threat. I would prefer police buildings to be secure and a deterrent against attack with a design that welcomes the public to the portion where they can go to file a report or meet an officer.
on May 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm
The City is currently testing the waters for a bond issue to pay for this building. Or something else if you'd rather have that instead.
There's a great article in the Post today about the Council reviewing a proposed pay raise for all the City Staff; it points out that city jobs continue to pay more than equivalent private-sector jobs, and also come with outlandish perks and retirement/healthcare benefits the rest of us can only dream of (as we pay for theirs). Plus an astonishing comment from Jim Keene on why all this is ok.
Depending on whether you accept the City's estimate or the independent ones, Palo Alto's unfunded public pension liability is $300-$500 million dollars.
This stuff is what the bond issue will really pay for, if we're all stupid enough to approve it; not "infrastructure." If the City managed its money correctly, we could build a police building without either a bond issue or a Faustian deal with Jay Paul.