2007 City Council Election Forum
Original post made
by Tyler Hanley, digital editor of Palo Alto Online,
on Sep 19, 2007
Please use this topic to post your comments and questions regarding this fall's Palo Alto City Council race. The idea is to organize the community's discussion about the candidates and issues in one place rather than in scattered topics within Town Square. Also, we hope the candidates themselves will feel welcome to participate and respond to posts or questions.
Please adhere to our guidelines by being respectful and truthful in your postings, and please do not start or spread rumors or innuendo. We will be removing comments that are primarily aimed at criticizing a single candidate. The people who put themselves forward to run for public office deserve our respect even when we may disagree with their views, and our editors will be attempting to keep everyone focused on issues in these discussions.
Thanks for your help and participation.
Posted by Anonymous Coward
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 19, 2007 at 4:00 pm
Some questions were posted prior, here
Here are my questions from that thread
What is your opinion about the recently proposed infrastructure builds, as summarized in recent commission reports - i.e. Public Safety Building, Libraries/Recreation Center (Mitchell Park rebuild and Main/branch improvements)?
Should these infrastructure builds be financed as part of a single bond offering, or go out on separate ballots?
Do you think that Palo Altans are knowledgeable about the real benefits - in metrics that they can understand - of our Public Safety, Library and Recreation Center infrastructure?
If you think Palo Altans don't know enough about these institutions, what will you do to help change that situation?
How would you work with Council members(s) A, B, C, and/or candidates D, E, F, or some combination thereof, to accomplish your stated strategic goals for Palo Alto?
How do you envision Palo Alto's future? Will we grow? By how much? What role will you play in promoting growth, while balancing concerns for neighborhood integrity?
How will you help Palo Alto prepare for a time, some 15-20 years hence, when senior citizens comprose roughly 40% of our population?
How prepared are you to work aggressively toward regional solutions to some of our most vexing problems - i.e. housing, transportation, homelessness? Please relate some of your thinking about these problems.
What is your plan for increasing the effectiveness of city/PAUSD relationship, in ways that state - and complete - real milestones with attached metrics?
What plans will you work to complete that will improve the solicitation of retail services to Palo Alto? What ideas do you have for bringing, merchants, developers, landlords, and citizens together, to create win-win scenarios for retail growth in Palo Alto?
What kind of retail growth would you like to see in Palo Alto?
What is your positino on the Stanford expansion? Please explain in light of the costs AND benefits associated with Stanford's presence.
What is your thinking about the nature of our relationship to Stanford? How would you propose that Palo Alto become a better partner with Stanford? What - if anything - do you think is "broken" regarding Palo Alto/Stanford relations.
What ideas do you have for promoting inter-municipal efficiency, and how would you implement those idea?
What is your opinion about the effectiveness of city staff in the delivery of services?
What ideas do you have for maintaining strong city employee morale, while keeping operational costs down?
What is your opinion about examining the idea of selling Palo Alto Utilities. If you are against the idea of looking into this possibility, please explain your rationale in light of the benefits that such a sale might bring, as well as the costs that a sale might bring.
What is your opinion about intra-urban mass transit? How can we be more effective in providing cheap, accessible, intra-urban mass transportation that gets people where they want to go, when they want to go there.
How important are walkable neighborhoods to you? How do you transport yourself to most intra-city destinations?
PLease elaborate on infill housing, and using same to meet ABAG requirements.
What is your stance on ABAG requirements?
Is Palo Alto's quality of life increasing, or decreasing - why? Please be specific.
What is your opinion on affordable housing? What problems do you perceive - or not - if Palo Alto chooses not to build sufficient affordable housing in the future?
What ideas do you have for environmental sustainability that do not limit growth?
Would you slow down, keep current, or increase the projected pace of population change in Palo Alto?
What is your opinion about the existance of political commissions? Are permanent, or ad hoc commissions more advantageous?
How much time are you prepared to spend working on City Council issues?
Define Palo Alto, in your own words, in 30 seconds.
Define Palo Alto's primary challenges, in your own words, in 60 seconds.
Describe what the entire City Council needs to do to accomplish the goals you are setting out in your campaign, and who you will work with to accomplish those goals. PLease keep this answer to less than two minutes.
Is Palo Alto an environmentally friendly city?
How can we reduce the cost of government without laying off workers, or raising taxes. This is a difficult question; it will challenge your "inside-and-outside-of-the-box-thinking".
Is Palo Alto able to solve the projected problems that you envision on its own?
What retail businesses would you like to see in Palo Alto?
Should Palo Alto maintain some margin of control over the kinds and placement of retail in certain parts of our city? For instance, should we permit 10 beauty salons within a block of each other, or 15 restaurants within two blocks of each other? What can Palo Alto policy makers do to improve the retail mix in our city, in a way that makes our city, and our valued retail merchants and restauranteurs more sustainable?
What is your opinion of the hotel tax? Business license tax? Please explain your position.
What is your position regarding private/public partnerships to pay for city services? What advantages and pitfalls do you perceive?
What is your opinion about the amount of diligence required of commercial property developers prior to development?
What will you do to encourage more of a dialogue between developers and the community before development projects get off the ground?
Describe your most competent opponent in this race. Why is s/he competent, and suited to hold office?
How is it possible to enforce a vision that keeps pace with the accelerating rate of change in our region, especially on a policy-making bodt that consists of nine members, and is driven by consensus?
What is your opinion about paying City Council members a salary between 30-50% of Palo Alto's median salary?
Is the strong city manager model of government a viable municipal management model in current times. Why or why not?
How will Palo Alto sustain its current level of service, with layoffs?
How will Palo Alto sustain it's current level of service, without layoffs?
How will you work with the consistent minority of voters in Palo Alto that tend to vote in just large enough numbers to challenge the spending wishes of the clear majority, in ways that prevent a zero sum result?
What is your stance on FTTx (fiber communications)? Should we be pursing a local, regional, or no solution at all?
What is your plan to help Palo Altans understand guaranteed, coming, water shortages?
What is your opinion about flood control.
Is ABAG good or bad for our region? Why?
Should public commissions be suggesting action on matters of national policy? Why or why not?
What do you think of the 195 Page Mill Rd. project? Do you think we shuold approve it, as is, after a proper environmental review is accomplished, as recently ordered?
What are your thoughts on Edgewood Plaza?