An infusion of cash from local developers has given proponents of a composting facility in the Baylands a fundraising edge in Palo Alto's battle over Measure E, campaign data show.
Meanwhile, finance reports also show that opponents of Measure D, which would repeal a binding-arbitration requirement for the city and its public-safety unions, have racked up $20,333 in debt while raising no funds as of the end of September.
The "Committee for Measure E," which supports undedicating a 10-acre parcel of Byxbee Park to enable a waste-to-energy facility to be built, raised $10,912 between July and late September and now has $18,773 in its campaign chest. Opponents of Measure E, known as the "Save the Baylands Committee," raised $5,675 during the same period and have $11,231 to date.
Each group relied on contributions from council members, business people and dozens of other residents who generally gave smaller amounts. But the pro-Measure E camp received a lift from the development community. Charles "Chop" Keenan, a prominent downtown developer, contributed $500 to the campaign, as did William Reller of the firm EWS Real Estate Investment. Developer Sam Webster gave $1,000 to the campaign.
The opposing camp, led by former Councilwoman Emily Renzel, received a $900 infusion from Dave Bubenik, the campaign's treasurer, but relied by and large on smaller contributions. Renzel contributed $400 to the effort, while most others gave between $100 and $200. The campaign also received a $250 contribution from the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society.
Both sides also relied on financial help from local commissioners and elected officials, both past and present. Supporters of Measure E include Councilman Larry Klein ($500) and Councilwoman Gail Price ($100), along with former council members Jack Morton ($50), John Barton ($50) and Ellen Fletcher ($30). School board member Dana Tom contributed $50 to the campaign, as did Utilities Advisory Commission member Jonathan Foster and Human Relations Commission member Claude Ezran.
Opponents of Measure E include Mayor Sid Espinosa, who gave $100 to the campaign, and former Mayors Lanie Wheeler ($100), Gary Fazzino ($100), Judy Kleinberg ($50) and Dena Mossar ($50). Former Councilwoman LaDoris Cordell also contributed $50.
Palo Alto's land-use watchdogs are also opposing the undedication of parkland. Bob Moss and Winter Dellenbach each contributed $50, while Mark Nadim gave $100. Planning and Transportation Commission Vice Chair Susan Fineberg also contributed $100 to the No on Measure E campaign.
While the battle over Measure E pits council members against one another, the battle lines look starkly different in the contest over Measure D, the city's effort to repeal binding arbitration from the City Charter.
In that race, a small group of council members is funding the bulk of the effort, with Councilman Greg Scharff's $5,000 contribution leading the way. The campaign, which reported $7,535 in contributions between July 1 and Sept. 25, also received $250 from Councilman Pat Burt, $150 from Councilman Greg Schmid and $100 from Councilwoman Karen Holman.
If voters pass Measure D, the city would no longer be required to send its disputes with public-safety unions to a panel of arbitrators. The city's firefighters union is vehemently opposing the measure, though the union's campaign, known as "Committee for a Fair Palo Alto -- No on Measure D," had no reported contributions as of the end of September.
The union did, however, rack up $20,333 in debt. The vast majority of that money was spent on a polling firm, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, finance records show.