Do Palo Altans still love their city? If not, what should the city do? | An Alternative View | Diana Diamond | Palo Alto Online |

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By Diana Diamond

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About this blog: So much is right — and wrong — about what is happening in Palo Alto. In this blog I want to discuss all that with you. I know many residents care about this town, and I want to explore our collective interests to help ...  (More)

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Do Palo Altans still love their city? If not, what should the city do?

Uploaded: Jan 18, 2019
The numbers are a bit grim. More Palo Altans now disapprove of the general direction of the city compared to previous years, and more residents are worried about whether this is a good place to retire, according to an annual National Citizen Survey. In 2013, 54 percent of residents polled said the city was going the right direction; that number has now plummeted to 43 percent. Just a year ago 51 percent said retirement here would be good, and now it’s only 41 percent.

About a decade ago, then-City Auditor Sharon Erickson started this survey, in deference to the city council’s wishes. She also acknowledged this National Citizen Survey was one of the less expensive in the marketplace because it asked the same questions to a large number of cities, without tailoring their survey queries to specific issues.

And Erickson has been proven right, I think. The questions are broad and open-ended, but the answers lack any depth or specific focus in terms of inquiring why people feel more uncertain about retiring here, or why people living here are not sure the city is going the right direction. Traffic and lack of affordable housing may be the obvious answers, but more probing would be extremely useful, particularly because city staff spends a lot of time on trying to solve the survey’s findings on resident dissatisfactions without knowing the underlying reasons for their answers. Indeed, the council will spend a good half-day on the results at its Feb. 2 retreat.

For me, the city is less desirable because long-standing problems have not been solved: traffic, lack of parking, high utility bills with rates ratcheting up each year, plus, the biggest problem, it just takes too long for the city to get anything done.

Personal examples of these problems:
Traffic – Just getting around town is a congestion experience, e.g., since 2009 the city still hasn’t solved the constant traffic mess at Embarcadero and El Camino, by Town & Country. The traffic lights still are not properly synced, the waits to turn left onto Embarcadero from ECR often require three light cycles, Arastradero Road’ slimming down still has routine back-ups, et cetera.
Lack of parking – I was trying to park at the City Hall garage at 11:30 a.m. and went through the entire part of the public garage twice, without finding a single spot. On my third try, I finally spotted one car backing out, and it required a near U-turn to grab it. I now schedule a lunch for 11:15 to try to avoid this mess. This remains a residential problem because city staff still continue to park fre on te lower two levels. Why? And on California Avenue at 11:45, I found I had to park four blocks from the restaurant I wanted to get to. Anecdotal, I know, but inconvenient.
High utility bills ==My utilities usage each month has been the same for years, but my bills are at least $100-plus higher. We heat two rooms during winter in our house, and I now pay about $500-plus. Unfairly, I think the Utilities Department is required to turn over to the city’s purse about $20 Million-plus a year to the general fund – from these higher utility rates we pay. If the city cared about residents, it could eliminate this turnover, since its annual general fund keeps on escalating up each year to currently more than $210 million to run this city of only 65,000.
Taking too long – an interminable but perhaps city hall attitudinal problem. Remember a couple of years the council talked about having its garages display electronic signs with the number of spaces available? Great idea that hasn’t happened yet. San Jose nearly two decades ago had these signs in all their public garages and they were wonderful. This is not a big problem to solve; the technology is there. The same is true over other council-approved projects -- the bike bridge over 101, the public safety building soon to be constructed (as promised several years ago), two new city garages that are still not even started, and endless other practical ideas to help this town improve.

I know I am being critical in this blog, but I have great hope that a new mayor and a new city manager can speed things up and get projects done faster and better. In the meantime, I would love comments on your concerns, and also ideas on what Palo Alto can do to have residents feel better about not only the direction the city is going but what will ensure people fell this is a good place to retire.
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Comments

 +   14 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 18, 2019 at 3:42 pm

I agree that I am dissatisfied with the City and lack of improvements for residents.

I think the big problem is that the City is not taking residents' needs into account first. Surely the people they need to work for are those of us who live here. Not those who want to live here. Not those who work here and travel from wherever (although effort should be made to help those lower paid workers who can't afford to live here).

Traffic, the problem has to be commuting and those circling for parking. On days when school is out, traffic is a lot less. Getting more students to school on shuttles would really help. Get more shuttles, have no waiting zones around schools, have no entrance/egress at school entrances for 15 minutes before and after school starts and ends for anything other than bikes and buses, etc. would make it much less congested around schools. Get lots at freeway ramps with dedicated shuttles to business areas. Get more 30 minute or less parking in downtown, Cal Ave and Midtown. Make it easier to park with as you say lit signs at garages and payment by phone app. Get meters on the streets with exemption for residents by mirror hangers. Lots of things can be done that other places do and are never discussed here.

Utility bills and in particular refuse charges need to be overhauled. Vacation holds on garbage through chips in our cans and other methods of reducing our costs would work much better than all the changes continually being made to the rules on recycling, composting, landfill, etc. Water charges which give us extra drought surcharge for using less during drought are pathetic. As for those with EVs, there should be cheaper rates for overnight use.

Using technology wisely is something that is not being done. Why do I have to wait at red traffic lights at night when there is no traffic. Some if not all our traffic lights should go to red/blink mode overnight. At the same time we should have peak time lights at various places that are turned off when traffic flows are light, something similar to metering lights on freeways. We should also get some bicycle traffic lights that get bikes to stop at certain times when they are red and have right of way at other times when they are green. These types of bicycle traffic lights have been used in Europe for decades. Technology at parking garages is non-existent. PAPD does a good job of alerting us to traffic hold ups due to accidents, but we need much better advance notice of lane closures on arteries for construction or tree work so that we can plan which route to take to avoid such things. When trees are being cut or roadway is being resurfaced we should be able to find this out before we are stuck in the tail back.

We need more useful retail. Midtown Safeway is an old fashioned joke. They should be allowed to expand and to have parking on roof or underground. We should not be expected to go to Mountain View or Menlo Park to have a full service supermarket in town. The extra time it takes to get through traffic to get to these supermarkets and the extra traffic it causes just makes things worse.

I just wish the City would read the emails they receive. Surveys are fine, but do they take any notice? Sample surveys often target the wrong people, not the ones who actually try to run the households.

More money is being spent on City Hall and Council Chambers and yet there seems to be so little for improving quality of life for those of us who live here. It is unfair and wrong to ignore the residents the way Palo Alto does.




 +   11 people like this
Posted by Rick, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Jan 18, 2019 at 3:54 pm

Diana,

I'm already resigned to not being able to retire in Palo Alto. My reasons are mryiad. Traffic is a big one, but also the fact that developments have been allowed to underpark for way too long. Even in South Palo Alto employees of places like the JCC are parking on surrounding city streets, constricting the roadways and even hypothetically interfering with emergency services. ADUs effectively eliminated R1 zoning throughout the city paving the way to even more congestion. City infrastructure is a finite resource and the CC has allowed development to proceed with out extracting funding to mitigate our shared infrastructure. It is the tragedy of the commons writ large. Minority groups like the bicycle and pedestrian committees have been allowed to direct city expenditures -way- in excess of their needs. Ross Road is a perfect example. The CC apparently stopped that waste of funds, but I haven't yet seen any movement to correct the error and remove the traffic circles. Pure arrogance on the part of the city.

The sad part of all of this is I don't think it can be fixed.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by margaret heath, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Jan 18, 2019 at 5:43 pm

margaret heath is a registered user.

"I think the Utilities Department is required to turn over to the city's purse about $20,000-plus a year to the general fund "

Just to clarify, that is approximately $20 MILLION a year to the general fund.


 +   18 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 19, 2019 at 6:39 am

mauricio is a registered user.

The only thing that remains of Palo Alto is the name, in any other way, it is a very different place, and this radical change has not improved the town, but made it a much worse place. The main problem, as a poster above has indicated, is that local politicians, not all, but too many, believe they are supposed to put the wishes of non residents, tech companies and those wising for a Palo Alto address, ahead of Palo Alto residents, and that their mission is not to serve only Palo Alto residents. As a matter of fact, the pro development majority in the CC seems to think they should not work for Palo Alto residents at all.


 +   17 people like this
Posted by Abitarian, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jan 19, 2019 at 8:11 am

mauricio wrote:

"The main problem, as a poster above has indicated, is that local politicians, not all, but too many, believe they are supposed to put the wishes of non residents, tech companies and those wising for a Palo Alto address, ahead of Palo Alto residents"

----------

I would add developers, particularly office developers, to this list.


 +   11 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 19, 2019 at 6:03 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Developers, of course. Council members are elected to represent, and work on behalf of the residents of Palo Alto, only. For some strange reason, some CC members feel embarrassed to work on behalf of the actual residents of Palo Alto, who actually hired them. They think they should work for those who don't live in Palo Alto:would be residents, real estate developers, foreign investors, tech companies. It is akin to hiring a lawyer and finding out he/she feels that although they were hired by you, are paid by you, they should actually be working for your adversary.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by LOL, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jan 19, 2019 at 6:18 pm

Oh, maurucio, the same tired comments, with the same overexaggerations and bogus complaints,
Part of working for the residents of Palo Alto, also involves working with companies, developers and businesses to ensure that the city has a healthy tax base to maintain the services the city depends on. You seem to not comprehend how city government works and what the council has to do.
But, of course our city council members do not work for you anymore, since you are no longer a PaloAlto alto resident ( by your own admission). You are now an outsider and by your own definition the council should not do anything you want.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 20, 2019 at 6:39 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Wrong again I'm afraid. Palo Alto is my secondary residence, I own a home here, I spend some time in it, I pay property taxes and I still vote in Santa Clara County. I hired the city council members to work for me, not for Palantir, not for those wishing to live in P.A some day, and not for developers who live in Atherton.

Woodside, Los Altos Hills and Portola Valley didn't allow their incredible towns to become office parks, so obviously they don't have a 'health tax base to maintain the services the city depends on'. They must be desperate, poverty stricken towns, practically favelas..


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 20, 2019 at 9:35 am

What is wrong with the City making the quality of life for those of us who lives here acceptable? We want to live and enjoy living in the City in which we chose to live and I don't see anything wrong with that.

It is nothing about pulling up drawbridges. Anyone who wants to live here can provided they are willing to do it the same way that those of us who live here have done. That means working hard on saving money, no daily coffees at Starbucks, no lunches at Cal Ave, no dinners on University, no brand new Teslas, no elaborate vacations and no latest fads such as $1000 phones that are out of date in a year.

You have a choice. You are financially prudent so that you can make your life as you want it in the future (not far too distant future), or sit back and spend your money on a lifestyle now that prevents you from doing so.

It is a choice. Penny wise, pound foolish. You can't have your cake and eat it.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by alternatives, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Jan 20, 2019 at 10:42 am

"Minority groups like the bicycle and pedestrian committees have been allowed to direct city expenditures -way- in excess of their needs."

Parking and traffic are 2 of the biggest problems facing Palo Alto. I wonder if the bicycle and pedestrian communities might be helpful in solving that problem? Diana, if you are able and it's not raining, you might try walking or biking to your lunch engagements; the traffic and parking issues wouldn't affect you.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by LOL, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jan 20, 2019 at 2:31 pm

Too bad , maurucio. Secondary residence? Then the people that work here and pay taxes here can claim the city as their secondary residence and I bet you they spend more time here than you do. Plus you are supposed to vote in the city of your primary residence, so there may be some voter fraud her as well.
But the real issue is that the city council, in fact any city council has to work with to create a revenue flow for the city ( that is unless Palo Alto decides to become a bedroom community like atherton). Sorry, but claiming that working with papa fir and developers is not working for the city shows a complete lack of understanding for how a city is supposed to work.
I assume you also are against minimum wage laws by the city since the people that benefit the most from them are service workers that live outside the city.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 20, 2019 at 4:33 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The companies and developers the politicians obediently serve contribute less in taxes than they are sucking out of the city in infrastructure damage, pollution, noise, job/housing imbalance and the diminishing of the quality of life of the very people they are supposed to serve. Whatever they contribute is used up to service the damage they cause. A person can vote anywhere they have a legal residence and where they are legally registered to vote, as long as they don't vote anywhere else. Wrong again, I'm afraid. You need to try harder.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Listen before you react , a resident of Professorville,
on Jan 20, 2019 at 6:20 pm

Post removed


 +   11 people like this
Posted by @LOL, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jan 20, 2019 at 9:34 pm

not sure YOU fully understand how local city government works.

the residents provide a healthy tax base all on their own. over the years the residents have been paying an increasing share of the property and sales tax which is the bread and butter of our budget,

the residents supply something like 70% to 80% of the property taxes. we also provide most of the sales taxes. most of the companies downtown don't produce anything that's taxable, and their employees 'eat in' so they aren't exactly helping us out on a tax basis. stanford shopping center contributes about $5M in sales tax to our coffers, but that's hardly a result of employees from downtown businesses flocking to their stores. palantir, for example, pretty much contributes nothing but a whole lot cars to be parked on the streets.

it is the state's tax basis that benefits from more jobs, not the residents... they collect the income tax from these workers, but not much of that trickle down to us. even our school district doesn't rely on the state for funding. and worse, the state doesn't even bother sorting out public transportation.







 +   2 people like this
Posted by Kerry, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 21, 2019 at 11:07 am

Airplane noise is my biggest issue. I am very near or directly under Bodega,Oceanic, SJC arrivals, and Serfr routes to SFO. It is unconscionable that our CC has not stopped this non-stop highway over many of our homes, schools and parks. Once peaceful Palo Alto has been transformed into a more urban/densified City whereas Los Altos, Portola Valley, parts of Menlo Park have taken a stand to keep the quality of life high and not give in to all the Development pressures the way Palo Alto has.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Citizen Checks and Balances, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jan 21, 2019 at 11:33 am

First thing is to not let developers companies trying to take over Palo Alto (while making residents pay for it) control City Council.

The FPPC official said Adrian Fine "misled" voters. Remember the last election when Kniss and Fine, etc, didn't report their developer contributions until after the election? Kniss never told us the name of the technology company that donated thousands in services to her.

At least recall Fine. We know where his loyalties lie, and it's not with the residents of Palo Alto. Do you want that as mayor? The FPPC said he misled the voters, they don't do more than that -- the ball is in voters hands.

The first thing is to get a majority that is there for residents finally, which has not happened in my memory.

An initiative to ensure there is equal representation on both sides of town, north and south of Oregon, and parity in amenities, since the traffic situation is hopeless for sharing them equally anymore, will help.

A charter amendment that makes our election process impartial, the way SF changed theirs 30 years ago (so we can borrow and customize their language and learn from what they do, since they are a charter City). Right now, the City attorney writes the ballot "impartial analysis" and the City Council even knows to bias the title of ordinances in case there is a referendum. Since City Hall advocates, this introduces an illegal bias into elections,especially referenda and initiatives.

Once that is done, an initiative to save retail areas for retail, and stop allowing them to be office parks, will be the first step to saving our town retail areas.

Residents have to do the above, getting together with other motivated residents, talking to those who have made things happen in the past. Be willing to start yourself, don't expect someone else to do it.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by LOL, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jan 21, 2019 at 1:22 pm

Citizen checks and balances" yes. The shame. Fine forgot to include his campaign identification number of an envelope.
The FPPC never said he misled voters.
Web Link
Read the story. [portion removed]
But if you are keen on a recall why don't you get the ball rolling,


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by long view, a resident of South of Midtown,
on Jan 21, 2019 at 4:30 pm

long view is a registered user.

I am proud that Palo Alto Utilities provides a green power mix (wind, large hydro, solar, etc.) to ALL city electricity users. Total utilities for my two bedroom apt. are only around 100 a month. Maybe some solar panels on the Diamond home would help?

And for better or worse, home values here are high, meaning that dissatisfied homeowners have many options they can afford when they decide it is time to relocate.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 21, 2019 at 5:25 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The contribution of corporations to the Palo Alto tax base is negative. They take advantage of what residents have built and refuse to contribute anything in return. The vast majority of the tax base is generated from property taxes. It is the residents who pay off the various bonds that make the town a better place. The infrastructure the corporations and developers use is financed by residents, not those who get rich off it.

CC members should never work for land developers who care only for the bottom line either. They should not work for non residents wishing to become residents. Those people didn't elect them, and they have no business working and representing corporations and individuals who didn't elect them. Their mission is to work ONLY for the residents of Palo Alto, home owners and renters, and make their lives better through traffic reduction, noise reduction, crime reductions, safer streets, better air, more green space, LESS density.

The elected leaders of Woodside, Portola Valley, and Los Altos Hills have done it for their residents, who enjoy fabulous quality of life, there's no reason Palo Alto politicians should't do the same. They should not work for and represent those who decrease the quality of life of the residents while getting very rich. At this point there are at least four CC members who do not work for the citizens of Palo Alto, and this is as unethical and immoral as a lawyer who actually works clandestinely for his client's adversary.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by LOL, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jan 21, 2019 at 6:32 pm

"The vast majority of the tax base is generated from property taxes. "


Web Link

Maurucio repeats the same comments over and over again about whom the council should be working. Of course many people in the city will disagree exactly what that means. But aren't some of these developers, corporate leaders and business owners also residents of palo alto?
And if they should be working for only residents, then they should ignore people who maintain their primary residence in another city- owning a property in the city and swinging by once a month does not make you a resident. I mean to me that makes that kind of person just like a developer who owns property in the city and maurucio has been ranting about those kind of Individuals for years.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 22, 2019 at 6:15 am

mauricio is a registered user.

But aren't some of these developers, corporate leaders and business owners also residents of palo alto?'

Wrong again I'm afraid. Of the many developers served by CC members, two at the most live in Palo Alto, and one of the two lives in Palo Alto Hills, which enjoys a much higher quality of life and is sheltered from the mess below them. The rest, wisely I should add, live in communities such as Atherton, Woodside, Los Altos Hills and Portola Valley, shielded from the consequences of their greed.

Corporations are no friends of Palo Alto residents, nor are their agents on the city council. They take but they give nothing in return. Palo Alto is essentially a small town that was artificially inflated and doesn't have the infrastructure and geography to be an office park and a dense city.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by LOL, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jan 22, 2019 at 7:40 am

Maurucio-- sorry, you need to go back and read my comment.
I asked: "But aren't some of these developers, corporate leaders and business owners also residents of palo alto?'"

You replied: "Wrong again I'm afraid. Of the many developers served by CC members, two at the most live in Palo Alto"

But you wrote that at least two live in Palo Alto and did not reply regarding corporate leaders and business owners, so in your zeal, you clearly are wrong. I did not specify how many lived in PA, I just questioned if any did. You replied that some do. so.....


 +   3 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 22, 2019 at 10:32 am

mauricio is a registered user.

The interests of corporations absolutely do not coincide with those of residents. Corporations have too much political power as it is, elected representatives of ordinary people should not be working for them as well, even if some of the corporate officers happen to live in Palo Alto. Liz Kniss and her cubs should not be working to make very wealthy people even wealthier at the expense of ordinary residents.

The poster also seems to be generally ignorant of the difference between "general law" cities and charter cities. P.A. is a charter city and nearly its tax base is generated by property taxes, not by corporations. Corporate taxes and the individual taxes of their employees stream to the fed and state and don't trickle down to the charter city. Try again please, and try much harder.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by LOL, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jan 22, 2019 at 10:57 am

"Try again please, and try much harder." "Wrong again I'm afraid."
The poster seems to have latched onto a couple of phrases and will now beat it like a dead horse.

I provided a link regarding property tax payment in palo alto.
Let's not forget how Palo Alto loves hotel taxes and sales taxes-- hence the highest hotel tax in the state and they love the revenue from Stanford Shopping Center and from auto dealerships.
But most of the stores at Stanford, the auto dealerships and the hotels are owned by corporations. Should we get rid of them and the revenue they bring in??
If Palo Alto benefits so little from these taxes etc why does the city and the voters go after this money?

[Portion removed.]


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Clarify , a resident of Crescent Park,
on Jan 22, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Just to clarify, Mauricio. You are saying the council should do nothing for teachers and first responders that are not residents of palo alto?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Jan 22, 2019 at 5:06 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Who ever said that we need to get rid of corporations? I keep repeating that the poster needs to try harder, because of the childish responses to serious issues. Some corporations definitely need to graduate from Palo Alto.. Compared to the negative impact many corporations have on the town, taking advantage of what residents have built and financed, but not giving back nearly enough, their financial contribution is negative. The town would be better off if they left. PA would be better off with more small retail and less billion dollar corporations. Corporations are not your friend.

There shouldn't be CC members who serve them instead of the residents. Greedy developers should not have local politicians ding their their bidding for them as if they were D.C. lobbyists working for oil companies, instead of working on behalf of neighborhoods, because what is good for developers is very bad for residents, and what is good for Palantir, which was allowed to take over downtown,, is extremely bad for Palo Alto.

Helping local teachers and first responders is very different from helping all who want to move to Palo Alto, and massive commercial development which is basically what the mega development lobby wants, because of the mega profits involved.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by LOL, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jan 22, 2019 at 6:34 pm

Maurucio- I never said that you stated that we should get rid of corporations. However you did say:
“The contribution of corporations to the Palo Alto tax base is negative. They take advantage of what residents have built and refuse to contribute anything in return. The vast majority of the tax base is generated from property taxes. It is the residents who pay off the various bonds that make the town a better place. The infrastructure the corporations and developers use is financed by residents, not those who get rich off it."
And
“ the interests of corporation etc."

You are the one who is ignoring the serious questions I ask with comments like “try harder" and “childish responses".

Why don't you address the link that shows the low rate of property taxes in the city or why the city wants shopping centers, hotels and car dealerships which are corporations (who you claim are evil) .
How can you say we should help teachers and first responders, who are not respondents of the city, when you say over and over that the council should Only work for residents.
Or why should they listen to you when you no longer have Palo Alto as your primary residence.

Feel free to answer the above without deflecting with your favorite catch phrases.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Anneke, a resident of Professorville,
on Jan 23, 2019 at 12:45 pm

We look for excellence not perfection!

After living in Professorville for nearly 26 years, we still love being here. A great climate, wonderful neighbors, good church friends, a small little hobbit home with a back "farm" that produces thousands of delicious tomatoes each summer, the ability to walk everywhere, Ace close by with the kindest employees, three (not that expensive) restaurants we frequent on a regular basis, the YMCA close by, a direct KLM flight from SFO to Amsterdam.... I cannot wish for much more. We are very happy in Palo Alto.

However, I do realize that the traffic, especially during commuting hours, is challenging, to say the least. The home and rental prices idem ditto. I especially feel for the people working in service functions. These people do not earn the $200,000 annual salaries.

I am pleased that Eric Filseth has become our new mayor. We voted for him early on, because he impressed us with his down-to-earth modest attitude, his intelligence, and his devotion to do an honest and excellent job for the City of Palo Alto, which includes many parties of different beliefs. I am confident he will maintain a balanced view as to the future of our city.

May I suggest that, instead of being negative, we help Eric and his team do the best job for all of us. Can we build a better transportation system, that will allow workers to live farther from their workplace, thereby possibly reducing their housing expenses? Can companies create work shifts thereby dividing the commuting traffic over several hours? Can Palo Alto homeowners with garages and driveways use them for parking? Every little bit helps, but we have to start with ourselves.

We have so many intelligent people living in Palo Alto. Share your positive ideas with the City Council. One positive idea will create several other positive ideas.

Diana, as always, thank you for your wonderful and thought-provoking articles.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by LOL, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jan 23, 2019 at 1:02 pm

Thank you, Anneke. You are the anti-Maurucio


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Annette, a resident of College Terrace,
on Jan 25, 2019 at 11:56 am

Annette is a registered user.

@Mauricio: you wrote, "some CC members feel embarrassed to work on behalf of the actual residents of Palo Alto . . ."

I seriously doubt embarrassment has been what any Palo Alto CC member feels. Ever. They vote their alignments and if we are electing people who are embarrassed by their votes, the fault for that lies with us.

Lest anyone think the grass is greener elsewhere in this area: I recently attended a couple of meetings in Los Altos for purposes of supporting friends who are dealing with a problem visited upon them by the Los Alto Transportation Dept. It was easy enough to predict the outcome of a certain discussion when I saw our former Palo Alto Transportation Mgr, Jaime Rodriguez, consulting with Los Altos'. It's growing increasingly clear that there's an almost impenetrable "in crowd" (cabal?) of city managers, preferred consultants, planning and transportation directors, and state senators. Throw developer dollars and ambitious local politicians into the mix and the result is sadly not representational.

We elect Council Members with the expectation that they will in fact be the ones who control how this city is managed and planned. That may well be delusional.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

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