News

City ponders how to spend $40M from Stanford

Palo Alto City Council eyes programs focusing on community health, infrastructure, climate change

Palo Alto will have almost $40 million at its disposal to spend on health programs, affordable housing, infrastructure and green initiatives as part of its recently approved agreement with the Stanford University Medical Center.

Tonight, the City Council will consider ways to spend these funds, which Stanford had agreed to provide in order to get the city's permission for a massive expansion of its hospital facilities.

Under a development agreement the council approved last month, Stanford will provide payments in three installments, with the first $15.7 million payment due this summer. Future payments are scheduled for January 2012 and January 2018.

The agreement was designed to give the city flexibility on what kind of projects to spend the money on. The council, for example, could use the $7.7 million earmarked for "infrastructure, sustainable neighborhoods and affordable housing" to subsidize low-income housing or to address the city's gaping infrastructure backlog, currently estimated at about $500 million.

Stanford is scheduled to contribute $4 million for "community health and safety programs"; $23.2 million for "infrastructure, sustainable neighborhoods and affordable housing"; and $12 million for "sustainability programs" relating to climate change.

Palo Alto officials have already committed to spending $2 million from the community-health fund to support Project Safety Net, a project aimed at promoting youth well-being.

The Stanford funds are flowing into the city's coffers at a time when the city remains mired in budgetary uncertainty. Though the council balanced the fiscal year 2012 budget last month without cutting any popular programs, officials predict budget deficits of close to $7 million in each of the next two fiscal years.

Deputy City Manager Steve Emslie wrote in a new report that Stanford's contributions "provide the city with an exceptional opportunity to begin to address its overall infrastructure and sustainable goals." Emslie noted that while the timing of the money will give the council an "immediate opportunity to initiate projects," staff is recommending a "strategic approach" to spending Stanford funds.

To get the strategic discussion rolling, staff has proposed appointing two council members to a joint committee that would also include Stanford officials. The committee would review possible uses for the community-health funds. The council would then make the final decision on how to spend the money. Under the proposal, the council's Finance Committee would also consider various projects and programs that could be funded before the full council finalizes the spending programs.

Stanford's hospital-expansion program includes reconstruction of Stanford Hospital & Clinics, an expansion of Lucile Packard Children's Center and renovations to various Stanford University School of Medicine buildings.

The council meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

Would love to see them resurface some of the more trafficked roads rather than always patching them. Especially as I see them resurface the neighborhood streets of the most affluent. (so obviously "in the pockets").

I hear they've finally done some patching of the worst spots on El Camino in front of Stanford Shopping Center, but again, this feature of our fair city draws people from ALL OVER and it would be really classy to have smooth roads in front of it!


Like this comment
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:26 am

The City should finish financing the Magical Bridge Park in Mitchell Park for the disabled and their families. Heelllooo Palo Alto use some common sense!!


Like this comment
Posted by Judith
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:35 am

Elizabeth - You can go up to the Public Works department on the 6th floor of City Hall and look at the map of streets needing repair. I bet you don't ride a bicycle, or you would know that the streets up in old Palo Alto are a wreck! Unless you actually ride all over, it's inaccurate to say the rich parts of town are paved when the other parts aren't. It's simply not true.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:40 am

Any use of these one time monies should not involve making long term commitments that will continue after these funds are expended. For example, using these funds to establish new staff positions or to create programs that establish some perception of entitlement to continuing services would be a serious mistake.


Like this comment
Posted by RT
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:43 am

This is so easy.....
Spend the $23.2M earmarked for "infrastructure, sustainable neighborhoods and affordable housing" on infrastructure - look, if we've got a $500M backlog, this is a no-brainer (we have enough housing).

Spend the $12 million earmarked for "sustainability programs" relating to climate change on things like solar panels for all city buildings and solar/green rebates for residents.

In other words, don't spend the $ on things that will create future costs (e.g. more housing creates an increasing burden on our schools).
Spend the $ on one-time needs or things that will decrease future costs.

My future vote for city council is hinging on their decision


Like this comment
Posted by traffic reduction
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:44 am

The city should spend a lot of that money to directly reduce the pollution impact of Stanford. For example, bike lanes and bike paths connecting the Stanford buildings to the city's bike route network and train stations. That encourages Stanford employees to commute by bicycle instead of private car.


Like this comment
Posted by Stanford employee
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:50 am

Dear City of Palo Alto, Thank you for milking money out of my employer. I'm sure that $40M could have gone into making more (barely affordable) childcare on campus (ARE YOU LISTENING STANFORD???). I'm sure the city will put it to good use-- hiring another one of those USELESS committees to evaluate whether some tree should be cut down or not or a pothole should be filled. It's a good thing Stanford is there to be milked on a regular bases rather than trying to figure out a way to make the City more economically viable on it's own.


Like this comment
Posted by frugal
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:57 am

And what did Menlo Park get? It's time for a change in the State law!


Like this comment
Posted by hire
a resident of Nixon School
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:58 am

Hire more traffic guards,or railway guards.


Like this comment
Posted by Gordon Short
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:58 am

My street, Forest Ave near Lincoln, is in terrible shape, and has been patched and re-patched more times than I can count, since I moved here in 1993.

Spending money on "affordable housing" is making our current school and infrastructure problem worse than it is. I regard the degrading of our schools and infrastructure as critical and believe we need to turn it around. We have given up on so much due to lack of funds. Our kids are packed in more tightly at schools, school programs are reduced, undergrounding seems to be extinct, and we continue to pay ridiculous flood insurance premiums due to lack of bridge replacement/repair.

Bringing in more people to load our facilities will only serve to lower our city's per capita income and further reduce our ability to address these issues.


Like this comment
Posted by Too much traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:01 am

The money should be used for traffic calming in College Terrace and any other things that College Terrace feels is needed to improve the quality of their. the money should be also used for the PA libraries--maybe even opening another branch or two in underserved areas of the city. If any money is left it can be used to open and support more farmer's markets in town.


Like this comment
Posted by David Pepperdine
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:04 am

One word: ASPHALT!


Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:04 am

Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure! No more housing, no more housing, no more housing!

Too much traffic - thanks for making me smile!


Like this comment
Posted by Jon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:19 am

I agree with Palo Alto Mom: INFRASTRUCTURE. The temptation is always just to use it to patch deficits, allowing the City to continue on its merry spending ways.


Like this comment
Posted by PA resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:24 am

Why is everyone talking about the quality of THEIR streets? Sure our schools & other infrastructure are equally if not as important?


Like this comment
Posted by Current Police Department Employee
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:29 am

I have an idea.

Rather than going on a wish list spending spree that may have nothing to do with the impacts from this project, why don't we take a smart approach.

Lets set the money aside. When the project is well under way or finished and we actually know what the traffic impacts, the public safety impacts or needs, or the public works improvements needed, or the housing needs, then we could spend the money on actual impacts.

Having said that, they will probabaly spend the money now and have nothing later.


Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Retiree
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:41 am

More libraries??? You've got to be kidding. Borders and other bookstores are going away because books are now electronic and we no longer need shelves and shelves and vast acreages for housing. For those who like the tactile feel of books, there are plenty out there being recycled or discounted at the remaining stores -- and they are cheap.

We cannot simply put out large squads of guards and physical impediments for suicide prevention. As for more $$ for crossing guards to prevent suicides, parents & school counselors should be more attuned to the troubled and at- risk-from- pressure kids. For the 23 plus and such who want to end their lives from too much emotional pain,
we cannot be with them all the time.

As for the $$ for schools, let's use the money to refurbish/rebuild Cubberly.



Like this comment
Posted by City Watcher
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm

1) More money to spend on consultants to study projects that are obvious to the most simple-minded citizen among us. Council: want answers? Go to your local 7th grade class & gain wisdom, for free.

2) More money to spend on employee retirement plans, people that have been instructed to let infrastructure work remain on hold forever, so they can retire and spend the money in the cities where they live.

3) More money to spend to create new city staff positions, hiring people whose job description involves writing endlessly long reports, going to meetings where only pontificating of upper and middle managers is heard, and at every level, no one really knows what's going on anyway. Then they give the misinformation to city council.

In the end, isn't that what happens? If the city had less money with which to work, less people doing the work & no consulants, needed work may actually get done.

All the above are reasons why council is considering an anonymous employee hotline to report on abuses by disgruntled employees. The same old thing is just not working. The city mindset must change.


Like this comment
Posted by Marcie
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Give the money back! Palo Alto hates Stanford. Most cities have to sell bonds and build their own hospitals. We get one for free plus $40 million dollars. That is disgusting.


Like this comment
Posted by Cost of Medical Help
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm

No wonder our medical bills are so high when you use Stanford's Medical Facilities. Watch out those Republicans will start putting restrictions on Medicare payments and reduce the cost to the Government - then who'll pay your exorbitant medical bills?

If paying Palo Alto $40 Million with three installments is what Stanford has to do to build their new hospital, they know they can get that money back from their patients. Two nights in a shared room in hospital just cost me $12,000!!


Like this comment
Posted by Dan
a resident of Southgate
on Jul 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm

First, we'll have to hire some consultants to figure out what to spend the money on, of course.


Like this comment
Posted by etaoin shrdlu
a resident of another community
on Jul 25, 2011 at 12:51 pm

This is most amusing. The extortionists, having succeeded in their task, are now figuring out what to do with the money. For Palo Alto the solution has ample precedent. Don't just sit there, hire a consultant,


Like this comment
Posted by Too much traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Maybe the money can also be used on a program that will guarantee no new net car trips in the city and also to put traffic circles on Embarcadero Road, while turning it into 1 lane traffic in each direction. we can also donate the money to the Senior Games next time they are in town. Alternatively the money can be used for the big project at Byxbee Park or it can be used for climate change projects in the city.


Like this comment
Posted by $510 million infrastructure backlog
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Now we can afford to pay PAFD.


Like this comment
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

The biggest impact on Palo Alto of the expansion of the hospital will be on traffic, both from employees and patients, with numerous streets and intersections around the hospital and its approaches projected to become very, very congested. Logic would dictate that this mitigation money be used to mitigate those problems. However, you don't want to make improvements before the problem actually manifests itself, or you may waste it if your projections are wrong. The conventional alternative is use it to reduce related backlogs so those needs are not competing for funds with the needed mitigations when the impacts arise.

However, as a 25-year resident of Palo Alto, I expect that Council will spend the money on their personal causes and hobbies--that is how we got such a humongous infrastructure backlog.


Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Do not use the money for new programs. We have enough existing ones that absorb much of our General Fund plus there's an expected $7M budget gap next year.

The smart thing would be to reduce our infrastructure backlog. But I'm afraid a few of the active lobbying groups, e.g. bicycle, will want to expand their share of the money pie. They seem to carry an inordinate amount of influence with Council members.


Like this comment
Posted by Too much traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm

"The biggest impact on Palo Alto of the expansion of the hospital will be on traffic, both from employees and patients, with numerous streets and intersections around the hospital and its approaches projected to become very, very congested."
We constantly hear these predictions--the Sand Hill Road widening was supposed to cause major traffic issues, the IKEA in EPA was supposed to cause horrendous traffic problems on Univeristy etc. The whining about so-called traffic problems has become part and parcel of Palo Alto--every time something is proposed, we hear how horrible the traffic problems will be. Obviously, some people like to complain about traffic in the hope that the project will be derailed.
But, Doug is probably right, that the money will be used for the council members personalĀ causesĀ and crusades


Like this comment
Posted by Michael
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jul 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I bet the public unions are drooling at the thought of using this money to argue for raises and more positions. The money should be insulated from them completely. There should be no carryover expense created by this money that will stay with us once the cash is gone. No new staff positions, no raises for city employees (or no putting off of long overdue pay and benefit decreases in, say, the fire department), and no expansion of our already bloated bureaucracy.

The best solution would be to return the money to taxpayers. If this is not possible, spend it all on roads and on other closed end infrastructure projects that benefit the public, such as utility upgrades. The latter should be prioritized by the amount of savings will be passed on to ratepayers.


Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Infrastructure.


Like this comment
Posted by Cost of Medical Help
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm

How about the City finish under grounding the utilities in South Palo Alto. More than 90% of North Palo Alto has been under grounded but less than one-third of south Palo Alto has been under grounded.

Under grounding was promised to ALL Palo Altans some 35 years ago but typical of our City government North Palo Alto was almost completed then they ran out of money, so most of South Palo Alto is still waiting.


Like this comment
Posted by How about this?
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm

When city hall can't solve it's own problems, hasn't their trend been to speak out on a grand scale, with council people weighing in their opinions to solve national and even world problems?

So how about spending the money to preserve tree frogs in Africa? Our national money has already been spent, building a near state of the art highway system there, right?


Like this comment
Posted by Karen White
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I agree with Current Police Department Employee and part of what Doug Moran says. We should treat these funds as mitigation $$ -- set them aside and spend them on the impacts that actually need mitigating, once we know what those are. Even contemplating using this new source of funds to build MORE housing is absolutely ridiculous for the reasons others have stated.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I agree with Stanford Employee. Give the money back to Stanford with a request, not a demand, that some of it go to alleviate traffic problems.


Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jul 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Palo Alto extorted $$$ for "problems" they said the hospital project would cause. The SU payment was to ameliorate those issues -- not for selfish wish-lists.

Get the bizarre traffic "flow" in PA fixed. You could start with a hierarchical plan that increases speeds on major primary thoroughfares, reduces speeds somewhat on secondary roads, and maintains slow limits on tertiary residential streets.

Planning 101 stuff. Much of your city's traffic mess is due to the fact that your planners have always given way to loud citizens who protest that EVERY traffic artery must be 25mph. Embarcadero @25mph....absurd. There is no plan.

You doom yourselves to perpetual traffic jams and will lose income-generating activities from PA by not recognizing that there must be a hierarchy of road speeds/sizes...along with rationale parking. But then all the NIMBYs won't allow parking on public streets.

I have no stake in this, just so turned off by the selfish PA squabbling. FYI: I taught transportation planning and worked as a transportation planner for many years.


Like this comment
Posted by Lyle Lanley
a resident of another community
on Jul 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Monorail!


Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jul 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Simple rational traffic plan...a good investment. It'll pay off.

Focus.


Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I agree with those who say to use it to mitigate costs incurred by the city directly because of the expansion, and return the excess to Stanford. That's what the money was supposed to be for. As if the city doesn't benefit enough economically, culturally and [insert countless other life-enhancing adjectives] from having a world class university on its doorstep. Criminy.


Like this comment
Posted by Stephen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I was curious about the 90% of North PA having underground utilities given that it certainly isn't the case where I live. So if you look at
Web Link
you can see the current distribution of underground utilities.


Like this comment
Posted by paloaltotreewatch
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jul 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm

1) They should use the money to plant more trees.
2) They should figure out how to trap the methane being released everyday from the closed dump to fuel a fleet of CNG cars for transportation
3) they should fund electrical infrastructure to make it easy for neighbors to share solar power without going to the whole grid
4) they should dig a well in each of the PAN as a backup source of water


Like this comment
Posted by Amused PA Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 25, 2011 at 6:51 pm

I agree with an earlier post - College Terrace could really do with some more traffic calming measures. And, if there's one thing Palo Alto needs more than any other, it's at least one more library. Who cares about infrastructure projects when CT children are at risk of having to abandon playing in CT streets (despite multiple CT parks) due to traffic? And no PA resident should have to travel more than a mile to a library! :-p

The City and residents of PA need to drop the special interest causes and focus on projects that benefit the greater good of this city.


Like this comment
Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 25, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I think the $40M should go to a massive campaign to erase the words 'sustainable', 'affordable' and 'green' from use inside Palo Alto city limits.


Like this comment
Posted by Milton
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Sadly, I'll wager that the city will squander the funds studying every nuance of how the funds should be spent, only to be 'surprised' to discover that once a decision has been made, there is nothing left to spend. Any one notice more consultants visiting the city hall lately?


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:33 pm

One of the best ways to use this money to improve traffic would be to increase the shuttle so that all secondary school kids in all areas of town have a ride to school. It does not have to be a free ride, but getting the kids to school safely by shuttle would reduce traffic congestion on all commute routes.

Increasing public transport would be a benefit to us all.

After that, other infrastructure should be repaired and maintained with any surplus funds put into a rainy day fund for future problems.


Like this comment
Posted by Toady
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 25, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Hilarious to see comments from the folks in South Palo Alto crying about how the North somehow gets all the infrastructure money when all one needs to do is drive around to know these myths aren't true.

Inferiority complex, perhaps?


Like this comment
Posted by Eric
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Please pave Cal. Ave. It's really a mess.

And whatever you do, please don't blow a large chunk on some new sculptures that look like a welding project.


Like this comment
Posted by Olenka
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I agree with KP!! Let's build the Magical Bridge Playground...the 1st park here for everyone in this community, including those with disabilities and our older population.

It was just reported, our schools are sitting on a surplus so let's move onto something which everyone will enjoy.


Like this comment
Posted by Stacey Ashlund
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:06 am

I would also like to recommend funding the Magical Bridge playground at Mitchell Park. As a parent of 2 school-aged children, 1 with multiple special needs, this is a gap we've experienced in our community for 12 years. With no adaptable playground equipment for motor skill impairments, we risk injury to our children, or leave them out of the very activities that will help in their overall social-emotional development in the long run. Therapy costs are prohibitive to many & also cannot replace a fully accessible resource like building this playground in Palo Alto - more info is here - Web Link - Olkenka & I & her many volunteers will help bring this into reality in any way we could - can you consider this funding for community health & infrastructure? Please contact me for more info at stacey@zachary.com - thank you!


Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 26, 2011 at 6:18 am

No money grab for special interests, special needs, pet projects, projects for the few but vocal.

I agree with Mr. Moran's assessment.

The reason that our Federal, State, County and local governments are in a mess is because of spending money that they don't have or taking money from other projects are redistributing to the unfunded special needs or special interests.

It's time to "pay as you go" and stick to the basics.

To Elizabeth re ECR paving: ECR is a state highway - CalTrans funds and manages repairs for that road, not CPA.


Like this comment
Posted by Reality Check
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2011 at 7:55 am

Shouldn't we want to afford to pay the PAFD and PAPD??? Aren't those considered "essential services?" Who else helps you when you are having an emergency, or don't know who else to call? I'd buy those before I bought more crossing guards or libraries. By the way....do we have the highest per capita library to citizen ratio around or what?


Like this comment
Posted by Mary Carlstead
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 26, 2011 at 8:06 am

Where are all the 90% underground utilities north of Embarcadero? News to me. More housing? Absolutely not. Palo Alto cannot support more housing and neither can our schools - and the latter is a separate budget. Schools are not part of Stanford's largess. What we do need is infrastructure repair and traffic mitigation. Many residential streets north of Oregon and downtown are a 'mess'. And then there is the Embarcadero -Town and Country -Paly nightmare. What WAS the city thinking? This has to be a #1 priority. One traffic sign and a can of paint will solve one Town and Country problem -- the exit onto El Camino. at Scott's corner. Forbid a left turn onto El Camino at Scott's Restaurant exit. But that's Caltrans turf which promised seven years ago to fix that problem.


Like this comment
Posted by DB
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 26, 2011 at 8:51 am

I agree with KP. Let's use the money to build the Magical Bridge Playground in Mitchell Park. We need to send the message that it is okay to be disabled in Palo Alto and provide a place where we can all play together.


Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2011 at 9:05 am

Spend the money on ameliorating the traffic issues your town said would inevitably be caused by the project.

That is why you got the money. Clearly the "traffic script" is one PA uses often to get $$ from Stanford.

Use the money to specifically work on the traffic flow problem, or never use that tiresome mantra again.


Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 26, 2011 at 9:30 am

Just to be repetitious -
infrastructure - no new housing!
infrastructure - no new housing!
infrastructure - no new housing !
infrastructure - no new housing!
infrastructure - no new housing!

and NO more consultants! We have plenty of smart people in town who can "consult" for free!


Like this comment
Posted by Charles P.
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm

KP and DB have their priorities right. Why should volunteers raise $$ for a City park? Use some of the millions to build a place that serves everyone. I am a senior with limited access to playgrounds today and sure would love to be able to go to one.

Anyone in the City reading these posts??

My vote is to build the Magic Playground!


Like this comment
Posted by newthing
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Our cities and surrounding areas are so boring,nothing is attractive,we do not have long history of culture,so we do not have historic places that are old enough for us to visit.We need new ideas to attract residents from other city to visit and bring revenue for us using this kind of money.I visit a fun place,they call it a modern musem which displays old drawinds with modern tech.They made the people and horses in a long huge drawing move, the ancient city doors open and close,river's flowing,people are coming to life in this famous drawing called "Along the River During the Qingming Festival",so modern,so vivid,everyone comes to this musem to see it,we need to wait 4 hrs to just get in.


Like this comment
Posted by Stan
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 26, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Short term I agree with "Current Police Department Employee." Don't spend the money right away. Wait and see where the money is needed to ameliorate the impacts of this project.

Long term remember that as long as the medical center continues to exist it will continue to impact Palo Alto. Act accordingly and do what Stanford does. Create an endowment. Don't spend principal or income needed to keep pace with inflation. Only spend the remainder of income. And then spend it on actual impacts of the medical center.

If Palo Alto goes out and spends the $40 million outright (or as it is received), then the residents of Palo Alto will be up the creek once the money is gone. Stanford isn't going to cough up more money but the increased traffic and congestion will still be there.

P.S. If memory serves me correctly, Stanford is on average able to earn and spend 5% of its endowment each year. That would give Palo Alto $2 million per year.


**********
Posted by Current Police Department Employee, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2011 at 11:29 am

I have an idea.

Rather than going on a wish list spending spree that may have nothing to do with the impacts from this project, why don't we take a smart approach.

Lets set the money aside. When the project is well under way or finished and we actually know what the traffic impacts, the public safety impacts or needs, or the public works improvements needed, or the housing needs, then we could spend the money on actual impacts.

Having said that, they will probabaly spend the money now and have nothing later.
**********


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2011 at 5:32 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Giving our council an unassigned sum of money is like giving a teenager whiskey and the car keys.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 27, 2011 at 7:52 am

What about improving traffic flow especially around Paly/Town and country and ECR? Also
save and invest using the interest only so we aren't always shocked by cyclical economic
declines?


Like this comment
Posted by Too much traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2011 at 8:22 am

We should put the two former council members who opposed anything that Stanford proposed and made a cottage industry of bashing Stanford during their lackluster tenures in charge of the money. That way we will be assured of a steady stream of booklets exposing Stanford as "the evil empire" and Embarcadero Road will finally have all of it's traffic issues taken care of. If there is any money left, it can be used to have a carbon footprint done on every resident's home.


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

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