Town Square

Re-Organizing How the City of Palo Alto Works

Original post made by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Oct 29, 2011

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Posted by Chuck
a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Oct 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm

"The question can be asked about many things here in town that require a vote of the citizenry"


I understand your general point, I think. However, can you be a bit more specific? Please give us some examples of major issues that need to be directly voted on (besides D and E). Another way of saying this is: Our City Council is supposed to vote on our behalf, because we are not a direct democracy, but a representative democracy. If we don't like how our City Council votes, then we vote them out on election day.

Bottom line, Paul: Aren't you really saying that our City Council can't stand the heat in the kitchen? Or are you saying that we, as a citizenry, have locked ourselves into policies, through the general vote, that now require a reversal vote?

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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Palo Alto
on Oct 30, 2011 at 1:19 am

Paul Losch is a registered user.

Hi Chuck,

Thanks for some good questions.

I tend to favor government at the local level, it gets uglier up the proverbial "food chain" and definitely more confusing. Although there are circumstances and instutions that work better at a state or national level.

I do not favor the proposition model we have in the State of California. It may have had its place 100+ years ago, but has been out of control since Prop 13 in 1978. Voters are not necessarily better informed and able to make wise decisons compared to those they elect to work on these matters.

The irony in my comment is that I cannot include those along the Potomac, that is toxic water they drink there.

That said, here in Palo Alto, there are things that the voters/citizenry must vote on. I prefer it be done by our City Council when possible, and there are things that Council has to refer to the voter/citizens in town.

Some of those things should not have been established in such a way that requires a vote from the voters/citizens. But, I am glad that we are able to locally make choices that address choices made years ago under different circumstances.