The Palo Alto City Council, exasperated by the controversy surrounding the plan to replace California Avenue's aging "bird bath" cement fountain with a piece of modern art, voted today to install a state-of-the-art soda fountain at the site, based on the results of a survey conducted on the city's Open City Hall forum.
"There will be a lemon-lime flavor, a cola, a root-beer element and at least one diet option," Mayor Sid Espinosa said. "We're still working on negotiations for an orange or a grape."
The mayor said he hoped the decision would end years of divisive debate over the proposed fountain replacement. While an advisory poll indicated earlier this year that a majority of voters preferred preserving a traditional fountain at the end of California Avenue, the Palo Alto Public Art Commission voted instead to install a modern fountain designed by artist M. Szabo. Council members, however, tired of the discord and thirsty for a change, proposed and then approved the plan for the soda fountain instead.
"Who doesn't like soda? It's delicious," Espinosa added, sipping a Sprite.
Calling the decision "sweet and fizzy," California Avenue neighbors said they nevertheless planned to circulate a petition appealing the decision unless the fountain plans include a "ginger-ale feature." Some also expressed concern over whether high-fructose corn syrup would be compostable.
Representatives from California Avenue health-food retailer Country Sun said they offered to provide more nutritious options for the fountain, including wheat-grass juice and Kombucha tea, but were turned down by the California Avenue Area Development Association.
(Editor's note: Happy April Fools' Day!)