News

Group grades City Council's 'residentialist' credentials

Karen Holman and Greg Schmid win top grades in Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning survey

With seemingly every candidate in the City Council trying to run under the "residentialist" banner, the citizens group Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning (PASZ) has released a scorecard that seeks to quantify each council members "pro-resident" record.

The group, which was formed during last year's divisive Measure D referendum campaign, identified 20 votes that the council has taken since 2012 that relate to land use and development. It gave each council member either a "1" for what it called a "resident-favorable" vote or a "0" for a "resident-unfavorable" one. In the survey, favorable votes tend to be those that oppose new developments, promote solutions to downtown's traffic and parking woes, and resist "upzoning" of local sites to enable denser developments.

Councilwoman Karen Holman and Councilman Greg Schmid earned the highest scores from the residents group, with each scoring 85 percent. Councilman Larry Klein and Councilwoman Gail Price scored the lowest, with 20 percent each.

The rest of the council scored as follows:

• Marc Berman -- 56 percent

• Pat Burt -- 55 percent

• Liz Kniss -- 38 percent

• Greg Scharff -- 30 percent

• Nancy Shepherd -- 25 percent

The survey's scope is limited by both its time frame (it doesn't cover incumbents' votes before 2012 or after June 2, 2014), its list of issues (the group chose 20 out of the hundreds of votes taken) and the group's specific view of what it means to be "pro-residential." For example, it views the council's approval of the redevelopment of Edgewood Plaza in 2012 (which in addition to its residential and office space includes a new supermarket) as unfavorable to residents, an assessment that would likely be disputed by neighbors who have long worked with the applicant to come up with an acceptable plan to restore the dilapidated plaza.

Likewise, the group deems as resident-unfavorable the council's brief consideration in 2013 of jointly developing a garage with developer Charles "Chop" Keenan, even though the plan was sparked by an upswell of residents' concerns about insufficient parking. Similarly, council members who in June opposed adoption of new laws regarding wider sidewalks and greater setback of buildings from El Camino Real received unfavorable grades. The fact that the dissenters didn't really oppose the reforms but merely wanted them to be explored later, as part of a broader conversation about zoning changes, does not get captured in the "no" vote.

At the same time, the group scored as favorable those votes that promote reform to the city's much criticized "planned community" (PC) zoning (which allows developers to request zoning exemptions for negotiated public benefits); support a parking-permit program for residents; and support a requirement to preserve ground-floor retail space in commercial areas.

The survey, which took months to compile, claims to have evaluated "all votes involving land use and development policy where there was a potential adverse impact to residents," according to the group's press release. But even if "all votes" is a bit of an overreach, the survey does succeed in quantifying what most City Hall observers have long suspected: Holman and Schmid are the council's chief skeptics when it comes to new developments. Each has a long record of casting the lone dissenting vote on land-use matters (occasionally, as on the Lytton Gateway development, they provide the council's only two dissenting votes). The survey also reflects Klein's tendency to tread carefully on ordinances that may challenge property owners' rights and Price's view that the city should encourage more housing, even if it means relaxing height limits for new buildings (whether these positions can be characterized as unfavorable to residents is open to debate).

Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning's membership includes three candidates in this year's council race: Tom DuBois, Eric Filseth and Lydia Kou. Though Holman joined her council colleagues in approving last year's Maybell Avenue development (which the voters ultimately shot down), she has become closely aligned with the PASZ candidates during the campaign season, occasionally joining them at campaign events.

In a statement, PASZ President Cheryl Lilienstein emphasized the importance of voting records in establishing the "residentialist" credentials of council members.

"Voting records are the factual record of an elected leader's positions," Lilienstein said. "PASZ members carefully researched the information on this scorecard in order to give voters an historical perspective regarding the positions of existing City Council members. We urge all voters to look carefully at the voting record of all candidates for City Council, and only vote for leaders whose positions most closely align with your own."

More information about the group and the survey is available at Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning.

Comments

12 people like this
Posted by shame on you
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 26, 2014 at 8:05 am

Shame on you Palo Alto Online for publishing FREE the obvious campaign literature of four candidates. This isn't news! It's propaganda.


3 people like this
Posted by Cheryl Lilienstein
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 26, 2014 at 8:05 am

The Edgewood Plaza PC zoned development was chosen because it does not provide adequate parking, (there is a 100 parking space deficit) with resultant spillover parking into the Duveneck/St Francis neighborhood. This spillover parking issue is happening as a result of parking exceptions granted to developers as the city council enables them to maximize the value of their investments by building on land that should be used for parking as required by our code. This is anti-resident because it forces spillover parking into neighborhood streets, thus more traffic, and less safety for kids as more cars come and go.


7 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 8:12 am

None of the current members of the city council should be called "residentialists." They are all trying to run away from their records.

Remember that this bike bridge design is Karen Holman's idea.


3 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 26, 2014 at 8:36 am

Thank you PASZ for focusing on council member votes. Although Scharf & Shepard say they are for the residents during this election year, their voting record shows they are for high density development.

This chameleon double talk by Scharf & Shepard fits a pattern of behavior that the Santa Clara County Grand Jury reported on where they had hidden meetings to sell a nearly 8 acre parcel near Foothill park to a developer for $25,000 per acre, and how they had hidden meetings with the same developer to break the zoning at 27 University, and to build 10 story buildings.

Remember the old saying "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me"


5 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 26, 2014 at 9:03 am

Thank you PASZ for taking the time to put this together. I don't have much time for local politics, and I think Scharff and Shepherd in particular have been trying to pull a fast one on us, casting themselves as "residentialist" or "pro-resident" because that is the politically expedient thing to do, despite their voting records showing a clear opposite stance, and hoping we vote for the based on name recognition and incumbent advantage.

The paper version of the Daily News has a longer article on this point. They give Scharff and Shepherd a lot of time, but they use it not to defend their voting records but to try to discredit PASZ as a fringe group. I'm going to vote for the three residentialist candidates (Lydia Kou, Tom DuBois, and Eric Filseth) and Karen Holman based on her voting record. Is there a good candidate not named Scharff or Shepherd to use the fifth vote on? If I had my ballot today I'd probably leave the fifth blank.




4 people like this
Posted by senior longtime resident
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 26, 2014 at 9:20 am

PASZ members have done an amazing job in putting this information out there for Palo Alto voters to see. Thank you. What has been apparent to us as we drive around Palo Alto and see the overdevelopment and degrading of our lovely city is now quantified.


3 people like this
Posted by 6Djockey
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 26, 2014 at 9:24 am

In response to Voter

Yes I think you have figured it out. There actually isn't a good fifth candidate to use your vote on. Best to save that fifth vote lest some development candidate in sheep's clothing happens to slip in.


3 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 26, 2014 at 9:27 am

Thank you PASZ for providing useful information for voters. Many of us in fact do not have the time to unravel the
machinations that go on at at city hall, and appreciate insightful info such as voting records!

I agree with voter from College Terrace! I also believe that all voters should leave the fifth slot empty if there is no candidate worthy of being elected……vote for four and no more!!!!!


5 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 26, 2014 at 9:28 am

I have first hand knowledge of the Edgewood site...I visit the center at least 3x/week.

There is absolutely no spill over parking into the neighborhood and there are always open spots in the parking lot.


17 people like this
Posted by hah
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 26, 2014 at 9:36 am

The residentialists don't speak for all residents. Not even close. Every time they get in the way of new housing being built, they hurt not only the local economy, but the national economy, too. When people who earn 100k+ a year can't live in much of the valley because the housing just plain isn't there, and pollute all the way here from wherever they live, all those dead hours spent commuting and not working, all the emissions that come from those cars, all the money that goes to that gas, and all the people who remain unemployed because they can't live anywhere near their job- it's all on the heads of the residentialists. They make their lives a tiny bit better but at a terrific sacrifice to everyone around them and in the end, much of the global warming crisis can be attributed to them and people like them who can't seem to get it through their heads that the 1950s are over and it's time to stop seeing the automobile as some sort of emblem of freedom, and time to see it for what it really is - a machine that is slowly destroying the earth. You all only make the traffic here worse! We keep going this way and 101 and 280 are just going to come to a standstill. You ALREADY see that on University Ave as people are leaving their jobs and trying to get on the highway to go home. It's a standstill at 5pm.

They don't represent me and they don't represent much of Palo Alto. They're just the people yelling loudest. The rest of us are busy earning a living.


10 people like this
Posted by Jeff Levinsky
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 26, 2014 at 9:47 am

The Edgewood Plaza shopping center is in fact massively underparked, and Mayor Nancy Shepherd even admitted that to a group of neighbors who visited earlier this year to discuss the problem. What the previous poster doesn't realize is that a substantial part of the center is not yet finished and occupied, so of course the parking debacle hasn't yet become evident.

A big problem is that the office building (currently vacant) on the site has only the right to park in 16 spaces if those are available - and they're not likely to be. So the office workers will undoubtedly want to park in front of neighbors, adding to traffic and safety concerns. The city hasn't agreed to enforce ANY parking restrictions on the office building, which could then legally house upwards of 100 workers according to one city employee's statement.

This was all avoidable. The Council should not have let the developer wriggle out of the long-existing parking requirements on the site. Instead, the majority on the Council let the developer replace about 100 shopping center and office parking spaces with housing.


10 people like this
Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 26, 2014 at 9:55 am

"The local economy is hurting"??? How can that be if the daily population of Palo Alto doubles or triples with workers from other communities while the city council keeps approving hotels and offices that little or no parking? At the same time they're telling us to conserve water which assumes the hundred thousand plus workers never flush the toilets or wash their hands.

There are costs to this type of unbridled growth. We'd have to raze the whole city to provide housing 130,000 or 195,000 workers -- two or three times more that for their families.

Re local jobs, it's equally unrealistic to think that if someone works in Palo Alto at one time, they'll always work in Palo Alto. People change jobs here very often. Sometimes they're working in Mountain View and other times in San Francisco and sometimes they're not working at all. Do you propose kicking them out when they change or lose their jobs?

I'll vote for anyone who fights ABAG and for residents,


20 people like this
Posted by Adrian
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 26, 2014 at 10:14 am

Agreeing with two major points here:

The Residentialists do NOT speak for all residents in Palo Alto. There are many Palo Altans who oppose what they see as the rise of a build-nothing faction. Change happens, and trying to stop it is insidious and short-sighted.

Shame on the weekly for publishing this "story". It's not much of a story when residentialist candidates run their own survey (0 or 1 - are you kidding me?) grading their residentialist views. What about a pro-developer story about how development brings jobs?


9 people like this
Posted by Guy_Fawkes
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 26, 2014 at 10:14 am

Guy_Fawkes is a registered user.

The vote on Lot P is an interesting one, that Greg Scharff defends as helping to solve parking issues downtown. Yet that proposal would have allowed a private developer to own what is now city property. We clean, arms-length transactions. If a developer wants City property, let them buy it on the open market.

It's a shame the candidates won't own up to their voting record. If you can't judge candidates by their votes, what can you judge them by? It's interesting that every candidate signed a "Code of Fair Campaign Practices". The first clause states "...criticizing without fear or favor the record ...of my opponents". So everyone agreed to have their record be fair game.


8 people like this
Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 26, 2014 at 10:29 am

Shame on the Weekly for publishing this survey? I guess you'd better blame the Merc and the Daily News and probably the Post, too, since they also published the findings with their own analysis.




6 people like this
Posted by muttiallen
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 26, 2014 at 10:58 am

muttiallen is a registered user.

Now I know why I want to vote for Nancy Shepherd and Greg Scharff. Palo Alto is not a little residential community anymore. The Council needs to be real about development issues.


1 person likes this
Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:02 am

A question for those who claim Edgewood is underparked--

Q: Is your claim based on some calculation, or is it based on the fact that during the most of the business day the lot is full, and customers are parking in front of nearby residents' homes, on the public streets?

Thanks.


6 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:02 am

Thanks for the story. I thought it was well-balanced.


3 people like this
Posted by Dory
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:05 am

The Weekly accurately points out that this "scorecard" is a subjective analysis both in terms of the items that were included and the definition of how some of these votes actually impact residents. Contrary to what is stated above, the Edgewood Plaza site does not have a parking deficit. The record from the meeting where it was approved clearly states that the shopping center met the parking requirements for a center of its size and that it was embraced by the residents of that neighborhood. I have heard nothing but positive things about this shopping center from my friends in the neighborhood and have not heard any complaints about overflow parking. I am sure many other items on this "scorecard" are similarly biased in how they have been presented. I recognize some of the topics as being ones where our council members denied appeals of building projects because there was no legal basis for supporting an appeal. Personally, I am supportive when council members vote to uphold our laws, even if I might not agree with every law or may not like every project that is approved under those laws. I agree with the posters above who say that these “residentialists” don’t speak for me as one of the residents of Palo Alto.


15 people like this
Posted by Ray Bacchetti
a resident of University South
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:07 am

We need to stop this reduction of issues to a mindless pro or con stance. The issue isn't about growth or no growth. It's about what kind of growth, where, and according to what criteria.


3 people like this
Posted by Weekly, ha
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:09 am

Isn't this story an overt candidate endorsement? Another example of the weekly pushing their agenda while silencing critics under the guise of new rules


3 people like this
Posted by Black and white
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:15 am

Weekly,

Thank you for publishing this analysis.

Until developers are as concerned about the state of the city, and not their own microcosm of business decisions, it is pretty much black and white if you vote for what the long called residentialist movement calls for, or for what developer interests call for.

I would suggest that the people feeling left out start their own group which scores their criteria. Start a new movement, put a name and faces to it. Sounds like you have people, Stanford, Palantir, Steve Levy, the ARB, Developer Architects United.


5 people like this
Posted by Guy_Fawkes
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:15 am

Guy_Fawkes is a registered user.

Is the argument here that people can have a different subjective opinion on one or two votes OR that the overall conclusion is incorrect? When I look at the voting record, dropping the Edgewood vote doesn't change the conclusion. There are clear difference in voting record on key development issues. Is anyone seriously arguing that Shepherd and Scharff did not vote for large developments in the last five years?!


3 people like this
Posted by I vote
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:37 am

One of the criteria I use in judging comments by posters who castigate residents who complain about neighborhoods being over-parked and the safety issues of neighborhood traffic, is to look at the neighborhood they identify as home. It is usually not a neighborhood that is suffering. I point out that developers, running out of space near downtown, are reaching out. Having been interested in what City Councillors say and how they have been voting over the past years, I notice there is often a difference. I understand their defensiveness, but disagree with some of it. Unless one is prepared to eventually join the ranks of "complainers" as development eventually reaches all comfortable neighborhoods, think carefully about what you want Palo Alto to be, a small city of residents who care for one another as well as protecting our neighborhood, or a convenient place for business development in an already vibrant city.


7 people like this
Posted by Eric F
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:37 am

As one of the activists for downtown neighborhood parking reform, I completely concur with @Guy_Fawkes above. Independent of the merits or non-merits of Lot P itself, the City needs to avoid these kinds of complicated and too-often murky deals with special interests. We should not use zoning as currency. We don’t know how to value it, and anybody who reads the papers knows what kinds of trouble our City officials can get into once City land gets into play. If we want Lot P or Q or R, then let’s save our pennies and pay for it.

As for @Adrian above: three cheers!

To be clear, I disagree with his characterization of me and others as “zero growth” people. What I advocate is a sensible and deliberate growth policy built around our values and our finite resources, including school capacity; as opposed to a policy that simply chases the essentially-infinite demand for land here. But @Adrian is exactly right that not everybody in Palo Alto shares the same vision for our future. There are Palo Altans who truly prefer the dense urbanism of a San Francisco or San Jose here, and who accept its consequences, which cannot completely be mitigated. While I suspect those folks are a minority, I salute them for speaking openly and transparently on this. What I’m opposed to is people saying one thing, and then doing another. I’ll take @Adrian every time.

A broad vision change should not be implemented one PC exemption at a time, or buried in the fine print of thick city documents*. It deserves a wide public discussion, even a referendum -- or an election. So let’s vote and see. And then let’s move forward with clarity.

-------------------------------------------------
* I urge anybody with time and interest in this to read the new Draft Update of the Comprehensive Plan, especially the Land Use section; and compare the proposed new version with the existing one. It’s a real read. It’s on the city website.


7 people like this
Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:39 am

Palo Alto is awash with money while other parts of the country are depressed. We need to spread the wealth, that's what true patriots do. In our case, the more development we allow, the more expensive kit becomes to live here. Every system has capacity point. We have reached our capacity a long time ago. We don't need more office buildings, and we don't need more housing units for which foreign investors would outbid anybody else and just push real estate prices further up, making Palo Alto even less affordable. We don't need more start-ups, other parts of the country are economically devastated and desperately need start-ups to move there and restart their economy. Companies like Palantir and others should do the patriotic thing and relocate to areas like Detroit which need them desperately.

No current member of this city council deserves to be labeled as a residentialist- some are not as bad as others, but they are all deeply tainted as far as being enablers of big developers. Palo Alto, geographically and otherwise cannot become a big city and cannot urbanized any further, regardless of what some posters claim, and this reality is not going to change.


10 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:46 am

PASZ stands for Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning.

Some posters seem to think that they want no change or growth, when it seems from their website
( Web Link ) they are actually advocating for moderation in growth and development.
I find this perfectly consistent with zoning code, existing city policies and the vision expressed in our comprehensive plan.

Its fine to say they do not represent everyone's vision of PA, but i think their goal is moderate not extreme!


12 people like this
Posted by Open Space Vistas Sky Trees
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 12:15 pm

One thing has become clear - Palo Alto has been singled out by developers because we let them. The many, many exceptions to zoning that have been allowed by this Council led to an expectation that zoning exceptions would be granted as a matter if course. This leads to people populating those exceptions who help put pressure to densify the town further. It is a slippery slope.

I was for moderate growth until I witnessed how people like Stephen Levy take advantage. We are maxed out. We have a right to say stop, we even have a right to say we are due the open space our code promises and no more development until we honor thise promises. The high-density extremists really are taking away everyone's quality of life to make Palo Alto into something they could easily get, cheaper, a train ride away. They make me WANT to start a quality of life focused group.

Boscoli us right. It's not even good for our national security to concentrate capital in one place like this. Kudos to Tesla for bringing their plant to Nevada, which seems like a third world country across much of it these days. The world doesn't revolve around Palo Alto, and densifying it more is simply sacrificing the quality of life of existing residents for the profits of a few. Those who like density - you can find it without selling out what is unique and great about here.


9 people like this
Posted by Timothy Gray
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm

I can personally attest to the high-integrity process that was used to collect this data.

Justice is blind, and Nancy Shepherd and Greg Scharff should be unnerved by the truth that the survey reveals since this is contrary to their deceptive efforts to "Re-Brand" themselves as residentialists and representatives of the people.

[Portion removed.]

Better days and truer representation is ahead of us.




9 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Tea Party
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 1:11 pm

I won't be voting for the single-issue, self-proclaimed "residentialists". Ask them about city utilities--You can practically see their eyes glaze over. Ask them about details of transportation resources, where they come from, and how Palo Alto gets them. Zero knowledge. Ask them about committee structure and how the process of governance works. Most of these folks have VERY limited experience working WITH local government. If they had worked effectively on the Maybell process, a referendum would have been unnecessary.

They are well-meaning people, but they will make poor Council members. Effective Council members are coalition builders, locally and regionally. Effective Council members understand the process. Effective Council members understand that they are required by law to protect the property rights of developers and residents equally--within very specific constraints. Ask candidates if they have ever been to a Finance Committee meeting or a Policy & Services Committee meeting. Committees are where the real work gets done. Monday night Council meetings are important, but it is more important to know how to work in committees to frame a proposal that Council can legally and politically approve. That's how you get to YES.

[Portion removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 1:31 pm

> If a developer wants City property,
> let them buy it on the open market.

A developer needing access to property owned by the City might buy it (if it were for sale), but swaps, and various other approaches—often called Private/Public Partnerships—are another way for the public interests and private interests to work together for mutual benefit.

One can always worry that the City is not sophisticated enough to insure that the public’s interests are adequately considered when they are crafting these arrangements, as we’ve seen here locally with the giveaways of PC zoning for virtually nothing in return. (Well, perhaps Greg “the building is the benefit” Scharff might disagree.)

However, we (meaning Council Members and the public) should not be totally closed to such possible arrangements, in general. Perhaps this particular proposal wasn’t the best, but who’s to know, without a very comprehensive analysis?

Land prices are now somewhere between $7M-$10M an acre in this town, and unbelievably more if already developed. There is going to come a time when growth will slow because the value of property here isn’t worth the cost. Having private sector interests being willing, and able, to, say, build parking structures, should be something even an “activist residentialist” should be willing to see as a good thing.

As the costs of everything keeps going up, up and up—finding ways to reduce costs should be in everyone’s interests.


4 people like this
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Palo Alto Tea Party,

"Most of these folks have VERY limited experience working WITH local government."

Would that limitation be because some of our local government has very limited experience working with residents? Other than talking and misleading I mean. [Portion removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Additional criteria
a resident of Stanford
on Sep 26, 2014 at 1:43 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Joe

"As the costs of everything keeps going up, up and up—finding ways to reduce costs should be in everyone's interests."

That was a lot of words to describe what essentially sounds like the PC deals. Fun trading for whoever is on the right side, and has the politicians helping along.

Reducing costs alone is not a driver for any deal, and even that has a fair market value.


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 1:52 pm

> That was a lot of words to describe what essentially sounds like the PC deals.

Perhaps in somefolks' eyes, but not everyones'.

PC has clearly been abused in this City, thanks to the City Council--and each of the developer's involved. One could say: "it didn't need to be this way ..", but there's no going back, and so it's clear that there would be a lot of support for removing PC from the zoning code.

Pub/Priv. Partnerships are very different. There are no specific cases to provide locally, but consider the possibility that private sector money is used to build, say, a parking structure, on city property. The developer operates the structure for, say, 30 years, and then turns ownership over to the city.

There is not like PC in this particular example. Not clear how many such deals might apply to Palo Alto--but shutting the door because people have decided it's easier to lynch a developer than to work with him doesn't make a lot of sense.


4 people like this
Posted by S. Keehn
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm

I totally agree about only voting for 4 candidates. By doing so it will help to not dilute the vote. We really need a majority on the Council.

Also in regard to the points the article made about the proposed setbacks and sidewalk width could have been voted on, which would greatly improve the conditions on El Camino. By voting to 'explore' vote actually allowed the status quo to proceed, until the Comprehensive Plan is approved, which could be years from now. It is easy to see with the new buildings in this area are right up against the sidewalk with no setback. It is a very closed in feeling.

Thank You PASZ for the in depth study and information.


2 people like this
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Joe,

Nobody needs to lynch anyone. If a good deal come along, involving a private partnership of course it can work provided it has a proper valuation. As you said, the valuation in Palo Alto is high, so it takes the right partner.

Developers are not needy cases that require special treatment though, and I hope the days are dead and gone when PC is used to give developers sweet deals voted on by politicians who cannot be trusted. There has to be a better way. Clearly the current government has failed miserably in handling these evolving situations, and government needs to change, it needs to be smarter, and play on the right side for residents.

This score card illustrates what everyone has known, I mean how surprised are you that Price and Klein score the lowest? Scharff and Sheperd trying to play both ways, unsuccessfully. These are not the people who would be able to enter into any partnership, not even for a parking lot.


1 person likes this
Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm

"Land prices are now somewhere between $7M-$10M an acre in this town, and unbelievably more if already developed. There is going to come a time when growth will slow because the value of property here isn't worth the cost."

That has been the case for years in those instances where the developer has recently bought the land at an inflated price, with full confidence that a gullible city hall will make the deal profitable with giveaway spot zoning under the PC process.

Kniss is the high priestess of PC. Too bad she's not up for de-election this round.


2 people like this
Posted by A neighbor
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 26, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Responding to "Palo Alto Tea Party":

How many people do you know who want to/can run for the City Council and who already know everything about the city utilities, transportation, committee structure? Probably the current council members know more. So are you arguing that we should always vote for the incumbents no matter what their record is?

You say: " If they("residentialists") had worked effectively on the Maybell process, a referendum would have been unnecessary."
Did you go to all the city council meetings and observe how many different arguments were made? Did you read all the emails sent to the council?
Can you explain what your idea of working effectively is? I would love to learn from you.

How do you know that the candidates who worked against Measure D will not be coalition builders?
How do you know they will bring in polarization? What are you basing these assertions on? Is this your gut feeling?

With all due respect you sound like you are trying very hard to use fear mongering tactics to scare people from voting for new candidates. Yes, a new candidate might need a little time to get up to speed but that is true when anyone takes a new job. There are very few candidates that will hit the ground running. Also, frankly to learn some of the areas you mentioned, such as the committee structure, doesn't exactly sound like rocket science. All 3 PASZ candidates are very bright and will have no problems catching up.

Please stay with facts and allow some light of optimism in. Thanks.




1 person likes this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm

>We need to stop this reduction of issues to a mindless pro or con stance. >The issue isn't about growth or no growth. It's about what kind of growth, >where, and according to what criteria.

The folks who want to continue the current orgy of development keep trying to frame the argument as "what type of growth do we want to have".

In fact the people of Palo Alto could choose a no-growth policy. It would involve a battle with the state over ABAG (the developer full employment act), but this is possible. Other jurisdictions are fighting ABAG, and Palo Alto could choose to join the fight.

Palo Alto should should even consider policies aimed at discouraging business from locating in Palo Alto, or even encouraging them to leave. I know this notion is heresy, but we really need to ask what is the benefit to Palo Alto when so many of the new businesses are owned by people who reside outside of Palo Alto, and employ so few Palo Alto residents. All of these non-resident employees need to use Palo Alto's infrastructure to get to work every day, and then they return home every evening to spend the bulk of their paycheck in their own community of residence. Palo Alto businesses may be selling non-resident employees lunch and coffee, but their big ticket expenditures, like property taxes and mortgage payments, are not flowing through Palo Alto businesses.


3 people like this
Posted by where the money goes
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm

for everyone in here talking about the evil developers, I hope that you know and understand that the people you're really hurting AREN'T the developers. You might limit them to developing fewer properties, but guess what? They just raise the prices on them! They still make a ton of money. The real people you're hurting are the people who in live in what the developer builds, and particularly the renters because they are subject to increasing rents whereas mortgages are generally fixed.

Even the smallest, crappiest apartment in Palo Alto are now 2000 a month. That's 24,000 a year + utilities + deposit. Generally, housing should be about 30% of a person's salary in order for that person to also meet the other necessities life. Web Link That's a number that many landlords look at as guidance for whether to rent to someone. That means that to afford an apartment here, you must make $80,000 in AFTER TAX money.

Do you think it's particularly good for our economy that people are spending half or more of their money on a fixed good like housing? No, it's not. Because it means that rich landlords are getting richer and people don't have the disposable income to spend on local retailers or new businesses. They're also paying out money to their landlords that could have gone to fund their kids' education, save for retirement, or start their own companies. This is a huge contributor to income inequality. Web Link

This is about a lot more than just the inconvenience of someone parking on your street. This is about the very nature of the sort of society we're becoming - and it's a worse, more unequal one than the baby boomers ever experienced and one in which upward mobility is becoming harder.


Like this comment
Posted by where the money goes
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm

@ahem
[Portion removed.] Why do these people go home and spend money elsewhere? BECAUSE THERE'S NOT ENOUGH HOUSING HERE. So the fact that you have successfully prevented people from living here - a situation you and people like you have directly caused themselves - is now an argument for you to prevent people from working here, too?

[Portion removed.] If all the companies left here, way fewer people would choose to live here and your precious property value would drop faster than a brick out a window. Can't stand the sight of the techies moving in? Wait till you see who moves in next. And with all those companies, all the local retailers would go too. Say goodbye to sushi for lunch and Indian for dinner, and say hello to another Burger King. When all the tech money then whooshes out of Palo Alto like water out a damn, what you'll be left with won't be your pristine suburb, but a hallowed out carcass of a once thriving city: like other parts of the valley - nothing but drive-through country on your to somewhere worth being.


2 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Where the money goes,

Fewer people work in Ahterton than Palo Alto, and Atherton has HIGHER real-estate values. How do you explain that?


2 people like this
Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 26, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Palo Alto was a wonderful to live in before silicon was even discovered. Palo Alto's charm, uniqueness and very high quality of live was never derived from the high-tech industry. It wasn't cheap to live here before the Valley even came into existence. The notion that if we don't cram people and start ups into every available square inch (not that there are square inches available)we will become, heaven forbid, some small flyover dusty own in the middle of nowhere is beyond ludicrous. Our infrastructure is used largely to service non-residents. The revenues from all the businesses and companies we allowed to operate here is barely sufficient to repair and maintain the infrastructure, and the diminishing quality of life cannot be quantified in monetary terms. Palo Alto doesn't have only computer science engineers, it also has many attorneys, professors, economics, finance people, writers, artists. It will always be affluent. Other parts of the country are economically devastated. We need to encourage businesses, especially high tech start ups to patriotic, move there and start new high tech hubs. Palo Alto is awash in money, we don't need additional billionaires and multi millionaires, rather, we need to encouraged spreading the wealth to areas that don't have any. We don't need any new developments and we don't need any more housing. We need a city council that will tell developers to develop elsewhere. We need to fight ABAG(a scheme to reward developers with a never ending stream of projects) , just like other smart cities are doing.


2 people like this
Posted by Open Space Vistas Sky Trees
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 5:16 pm

@ A neighbor,

Don't take the bait. "Palo Alto Tea Party" sounds like someone who is making up an argument and has no first-hand experience with the new candidates at all.

Lydia Kou, for example, has been involved in Palo Alto matters for many years. She has been a leader in organizing citizen emergency response training, and through her professional work has a familiarity and the long view of how ALL of Palo Alto functions and has been changing, even while she lives on a side of Palo Alto that has been grossly underrepresented over the years. In contrast to Tea Party's claims, I think Kou has a pretty well-rounded knowledge of civic matters that in some ways is better than sitting Councilmembers', especially Liz Kniss who hasn't really been engaged in Palo Alto matters for a long time and is "phoning it in" so to speak, most of the time.

The newcomers showed a lot of savvy in terms of how power works in this town. In contrast to TP's portrayal, the Maybell neighbors put a lot of energy into avoiding a referendum and trying to come up with a collaborative or political solution, including asking for a working group, but were rebuffed. City Council obviously had the option of accepting the will of the people and putting aside the ordinance when the referendum was qualified, but the City staff had already provided the state funding agency with improper verification of the rezoning (when it wasn't true) -- since they had already told the state the property had been rezoned when it technically never was and could not be unless they won the election and soon, what do you think the CC did? Spent $660,000 on an election they didn't need to hold.

The newcomers are all running because they care about Palo Alto, not for political purposes. For each one, it is a sacrifice they are making out of civic duty, not for political gain. All of them have had kids in Palo Alto schools far more recently than anyone else so are far more familiar with and concerned about where city issues intersect with schools, and far more concerned about keeping Palo Alto a family-friendly place.

@ money goes,
Property values here and most other places are extraordinarily high because of quality of life and schools, not because of a lot of companies here. When you strain the former, you actually threaten property values. Focusing on quality of life and schools -- in a town that has had high property values ever since its inception not because of packing in a lot of companies as very recently, but because of good schools and quality of life, and proximity to Stanford -- protecting quality of life and great schools will do more to protect our property values than anything else.

Nice try, though.




1 person likes this
Posted by where the money goes
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 26, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Sorry, but Atherton is expensive because the executives who live there enjoy proximity to the places they work - including Palo Alto. It's more expensive than Palo Alto because it offers much larger lot sizes and things like pools and tennis courts. If Palo Alto businesses go, Atherton will be dinged a bit - but not crazy so because it still offers proximity to other job centers, including Redwood City and SF. It's also not just about how many people work there. How many people work in a place is a proxy for how desirable the place is, but it's not the only factor. Most people want to live close to work, but if you're rich enough to buy a $7M house and have a driver, your metric for finding a place can be "does it have a pool?" instead. Is your goal for our community to also be nothing but multimillionaires with grand estates?

@boscoli- the fact that Palo Alto has been around before Silicon is irrelevant. This place was a train station town going back to the 1800s. It was a transit hub and it was that because there has almost always been lots of job growth here. Whether it be people who lived and worked in the orchards, the horse farms, or who those founded Stanford- they were all here because those businesses were thriving and as those businesses grew and new industries sprung up, more and more people moved here. Your comment that not everyone is an engineer is also irrelevant. It's the dominant industry, but it's not the only one. And if you don't allow for growth, that's going to hurt everyone, including those lawyers and secretaries, not just the engineers.

@Open Spaces- quality of life and good schools aren't magical qualities divorced from jobs and job growth. They are directly related. There is no good quality of life or good schools if you don't have job growth in your city or very close to your city. Schools are funded by property taxes and property prices are driven by demand, which is in large part driven by how close the house is to amenities and jobs. Quality of life depends on a city being well funded (so you need sales tax and corporate property tax), having a wide variety of retail (that profits off of local workers and pays those sales taxes) and it is largely about walkability to services and jobs. Nice try, though.

And lastly, telling companies to be "patriotic" and moving elsewhere just reveals your complete lack of understanding of our economy and company formation. Should Hollywood be patriotic and shoot movies in Arkansas? Should Wall Street banks be patriotic and move to Kansas? Oh? What's that you say? There's no infrastructure there for those companies (other banks, hedge funds, stock exchanges, movie studios, acting schools) ? They wouldn't find enough qualified employees in those areas? That's right. And neither are there enough qualified engineers, large office parks, research universities, investors elsewhere either. Companies regularly move from other areas to ours because they can't find enough qualified talent back home. Companies from Europe and Israel move here regularly. ServiceNow moved their headquarters from San Diego exactly because they couldn't find enough engineers in San Diego. And that's San Diego! The fact that you don't get it just underscores how long it must be since you last worked. Hope I unravelled the mysteries of industry hubs for you and why we're not the only place that has a preponderance of certain types of companies and why they can't just move elsewhere.

You want to be patriotic? You want to help this country? Start by making a tiny sacrifice like allowing other people to live on land that you don't own.


2 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 26, 2014 at 7:53 pm

@where the money goes - your reasoning that if most companies left Palo Alto, then no one would want to live here, is flawed. Most of the people who live in Palo Alto do not have a job in Palo Alto. According the City's Annual report, the biggest employers are
1) Stanford University 10,979
2) Stanford Hospital 5,545
3) Lucile Packard Hospital 4,750
4) Veteran's Health Care System 3,850
5) VMWare 3,509
6) Hewlett Packard 2,500
7) Palo Alto Medical Foundation 2,200
8) SAP 2,200
9) Loral Space Systems 3,020
10) Wilson Sonsini 1,650
11) PAUSD 1,304
12) City of Palo Alto 1,074

The top 12 employers have around 43,000 employees. When Facebook moved from Palo Alto to Menlo Park, housing prices did not drop (prices went up). When Google moved from Palo Alto to Mountain View, housing prices did not drop (they went up).

Alot more people come to live in Palo Alto because of the schools, and quality of life.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 9:24 pm

The parking issues at Edgewood will grow worse when the homes are occupied since none of those garages will be used for parking and 20-30 vehicles will need to be be parked on the street.


Like this comment
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 10:14 pm

where the money goes,

"Start by making a tiny sacrifice like allowing other people to live on land that you don't own."

This makes absolutely no sense except I know what you mean. You're saying up zone, sacrifice what you like (have liked) about this city for money, so that the money can keep coming. If you don't sacrifice, money will go away. To me, that would be great, please money go away.

Palo Alto is neither London/NY nor Detroit/Kansas, and it will never be any of these. It won't be San Francisco and it won't be Stockton. As it is, Stanford is busting at the seams and it's uncontrollable. We could do nothing and just be Ann Arbor.

Naming one industry case or another (banking or tech) does not justify over building a small town without the proper infrastructure - currently a cost not paid for by businesses or the largest employers. Residents carry most of the burden.

Asking for sacrifice from the people paying all the costs is not a good place to start.


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 10:18 pm

> Most of the people who live in Palo Alto do not have a job in Palo Alto.

That's right. Several years ago the city conducted what is called a Nexis Study. This is a study required by the State before a city government can set impact fees in place. The study must be done by an outside consultant, so that any liklihood of bias, or manipulation of the data, will be minimal.G

If memory serves, there were only about 19% of Palo Altans who both worked, and lived, in Palo Alto. Other cities have conducted these sorts of surveys, and the results were similar, although not precisely the same.

Given the number of people who are young, or retired, or out-of-work--the number of people who are likely to find jobs in companies, the government, or the education facilities, is not that large.

Moreover, people live where they want to live--so all of this histeria about making room for tens of thousands of new residents really tends to reflect the mindset of those who buy into social engineering, and not those who believe that people should be free to do what they want, as long as there is room for them to live where they want.


Like this comment
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 26, 2014 at 10:20 pm

where the money goes,

I should add, not after some of us have been crazy enough to pay the steep prices to own a home here. With your proposition, housing prices should already start tanking.

Another strategy is to keep putting lipstick to this problem, wait until you only have infinitely rich living here who can pay millions to own a home AND be asked for those "tiny" sacrifices. Hope they are not only rich but really stupid.


3 people like this
Posted by SPAZ Slate
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:13 pm

I won't be voting for any slate. Ever. [Portion removed.]

It does seem odd to me that SPAZ would cherry-pick issues, decide what vote is more 'residentialist' , as it suits their need, then rate the candidates (themselves and their slate included)

[Portion removed.]

" I rate myself and my friends 'Great!' "

For what it's worth, I consider the maybell project residentialist. Old people need to live somehere, right? [Portion removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 26, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

The pragmatic wing of the PASZ party seems to have prevailed in getting most followers to accept inclusion of Karen Holman as an acceptable "residentialist" candidate despite her votes on Maybell. Her and Greg Schmid's scores on PASZ'S tally sheet certainly stand out in contrast to the other incumbents'. Schmid, whose term has not expired, also voted to support the Maybell project. Should all four on the slate prevail, that would give a working majority of five votes on the next council, split between the 3 Maybell Action Group/PASZ activists Filseth, Dubois and Kou and the 2 development rezoning skeptics Holman and Schmid,

A long-shot promoted by some PASZ activists is to get enough write-in votes for Tim Grey to make it to the council this time around, making it possible for 4 Against Maybell leaders to gain seats if everything went their way.


2 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2014 at 12:04 am

Joe,

Yes... the push for low-cost housing is being driven by an unholy alliance between rapacious real-estate developers, and naive progressive social-engineers.


Like this comment
Posted by Open Space Vistas Sky Trees
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2014 at 3:33 am

Write ins have to choose to be eligible, they cannot be drafted.

[Portion removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2014 at 8:38 am

Spaz,

"This is a pure power grab and risks handing our city over to a private group likely to overrule the council and set policy in secret."

Isn't that what we have now?

Secrets, back room deals, and power grab for a few select businesses. The businesses that matter to residents are being moved out to make room for more back room deals. Instead of an Art shop downtown we have office campuses with cafeterias of their own (thus not even supporting local retail).

Fake retail has taken over downtown and real retail will never pay those prices for a place which is really an sardine can office park. We get the cars, we get the bodies, we get the traffic, and we get the appearance of "business" and money for Palo Alto when it's really just office tourism.

A real business decision on the part of the City would be to stop this, but that is not going to happen until we have people who actually understand residents, and what residents are saying. It's not enough to say we hear you and to turn around and pack some more of the ugly office parks and then actually whine that we are also not housing the office park workers.


3 people like this
Posted by disgusted
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 27, 2014 at 9:26 am

Negative campaigning
slate politics
single issue candidates

This is not my Palo Alto. [Portion removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2014 at 10:46 am

disgusted,

Please, it's enough we have fake retail, now we need to lay fake politics?


3 people like this
Posted by Thanks to PASZ
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

Anyone who is surprised at a list of how Sharff, Shepherd, Klein and Price voted just has not been paying attention. They have spoken and voted for the zone-busting projects all along.
Lytton Gateway and 27 University are the best known but they have been voting for the developers consistently.
You can verify from tapes and Minutes what is in plain view every week. Thanks to PASZ for summarizing!
Now you are Shocked! Shocked!


1 person likes this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2014 at 11:44 am

> This place was a train station town going back to the 1800s.

Just a point of clarification--construction on the Stanford Campus started around 1885, at which time Palo Alto did not exist. Housing started around 1892, with the town incorporating around 1894. Leland Stanford wanted to position the main gate of the University at Mayfield, or Menlo Park—since both of those places had a train station. But both of these cities were home to saloons, which Stanford wanted closed. Each of the towns refused his offer/demand, so he located the main entrance in between the two. Around 1894, a train station was opened to service the campus, and the now growing residential and business communities. University Avenue attracted businesses, and the rest of the original 800 (or so) acres of the Hopkins "estate" became residential.

Before Stanford, Palo Alto was just a wheat field.

> Start by making a tiny sacrifice like allowing other people
> to live on land that you don't own.

And just where might that be, and just how many people are you talking about?

Remember—the devil is in the details.


3 people like this
Posted by disgruntled reader/voter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Wow. This is some story. An organization with an agenda devices a survey to claim that the candidate that they are supporting on the council is a saint, while other incumbents hate residents. How self serving since they are pushing a slate of their own candidates for the council. And the weekly publishes it. Talk about an overt endorsement of candidates.

This is all a part of the " new look" town square forum. Obviously our erstwhile publisher has been called on the carpet by the cities " movers and shakers"-- there is too much criticism and questioning of their actions. The publisher was given an ultimatum-- deal with it or else you will not be allowed into the " inner circle" ( of course, the publisher does not realize that he will never be allowed into that circle-- he is a mere newspaperman who will kowtow to them whenever they want and he will be satisfied with the crumbs they throw on the floor in front of him)

So now posts are deleted and/or edited to reflect the new world order on the forum. In explaining this new world order, the publisher claims that people dare to question examples of censorship by the forum staff( how dare the unwashed masses question the actions of our intellectual publisher in his ivory tower). Some posters have their posts hidden automatically because they dare to question the status quo too much. A sad set of events for the city. And it continues the decline of the weekly as an excuse unbiased source of news for the city.
Clearly any and all endorsements and editorials published from now on must be examined carefully given the publisher being beholden to the " leadership" in the city.


Like this comment
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Huh?


Like this comment
Posted by What is he talking about?
a resident of Mayfield
on Sep 27, 2014 at 12:26 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names.]


4 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 27, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Annette is a registered user.

@Ray Bacchetti: thank you for your post; I haven't heard any of the "residentialists" advocating for no growth; rather they are stressing the importance of smart growth that doesn't obliterate a highly valued quality of life and/or exacerbate existing problems. If Holman, Kou, Filseth, and DuBois are elected I fully expect there will be times that they will vote to approve well-planned development projects.

@Palo Alto Tea Party: I've listened to Holman, Kou, Filseth, and DuBois; your characterization of them as single issue candidates suggests to me that either you haven't listened to them or you simply wish to describe them in that way so as to discredit them.


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2014 at 1:36 pm

@Annette wrote:

> I've listened to Holman, Kou, Filseth, and DuBois; your
> characterization of them as single issue candidates suggests
> to me that either you haven't listened to them or you simply
> wish to describe them in that way so as to discredit them.

So .. as someone who has not heard any of these people speak--what are their on-the-record positions on:

1) Doubling the City expenditures every decade or so (per historical evidence)
2) What percentage of the city's expenditure should be spent on the capitial budget?
3) Should a percentage of the city's general fund be locked into captital budget expenditures?
4) How many new employees would each candidate be interested in hiring, if elected?
5) Each candidate's views on the performance of the City Manager?
6) Each candidate's response to the Civil Grand Jury's take on Palo Alto City government?
7) Changes that should stem from the Civil Grand Jury's review?
8) Why Palo Alto needs to own an airport?
9) How many "affordable housing units" should Palo Alto provide funding for (meaning from public sources).
10) Why does the City pay the Palo Alto Housing Corporation 1.5M a year for managing its BMR properties?
11) What does the City get for its money?
12) What new laws/regulations would each Candidate be looking to pass during his/her 4-year seat on the Council?
13) Should the City reopen its harbor, for people who love boating?
14) What kinds of transparency can we expect from the City, from each candidate?

Just a few points. Can @Annette, or anyone, actually provide the Candidate's views on these issues, which have been underneath many of the decisions that current, and past, Councils have had to consider?

Thanks.


Like this comment
Posted by Guy_Fawkes
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 27, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Guy_Fawkes is a registered user.

What is a slate?

Generally, its a term for a group that votes in lock-step, without individuals thinking for themselves. The data on the voting record is pretty compelling showing Shepherd - Scharff is a slate. Throw in Kniss recruits AC Johnston and Cory Wolbach, along with some other incumbents, and you have a real slate.

In general, our council can use more independent voices - there seems to be group think going on.


Like this comment
Posted by mj
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm

@Joe Do you mean that current (and past council members) were experts on and had positions on these topics even before they were elected?


Like this comment
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 27, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Joe,

Good questions, have the incumbents answered these questions?

It would be a good start to know what the sitting PACC think about all each of these questions, and what their scorecard has been to do something positive about these topics. Speaking of things kept in the dark, many of these topics have murky criteria for decision making. Example the performance of the City Manager. How is he evaluated? Is it a subjective process or is there more of a method to evaluate excellence or failure in city leadership.


Like this comment
Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 27, 2014 at 4:25 pm

There are many people from northern California, East Bay, Jan Jose, Santa Cruz, Sacramento and beyond, who drive to Palo Alto to window shop, just as people from all over southern California drive to Rodeo Drive to window shop and watch the beautiful people. They buy very little, if anything, because prices are so outrageously high, including the restaurants, who generally offer barely average food for staggering prices. Over the weekend they flood the streets and roads with cars, but generate very little revenues. This is one aspect of phony retail. Retail in Palo Alto is for very rich people and not sustainable, as family owned business and mom&pop stores have been pushed out and the relative Valley economic boom will not last forever. At some point consumers will not shell out $250 for yoga pants.


Like this comment
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 27, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@Open Space Vistas Sky Trees

"Write ins have to choose to be eligible, they cannot be drafted."

Of course, but if there were a groundswell of support and victory (placing in the top 5) seemed possible, could a person who did not file to run but agreed to serve if elected take office in Palo Alto? If so, there may yet be a path to the council for Tim Gray in this election cycle. And there's another chance two years from now.


Like this comment
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 27, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

I would like to encourage more people to post on Town Square in order to more accurately reflect community opinions.

The new rules take getting used to. I think of the moderators more as referees than censors. A ref can make a bad call without its being a rigged game. Don't give up. There are times when your raising a point can be crucial to changing the tenor or direction of the discussion.


Like this comment
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 28, 2014 at 12:07 am

It is time for a recognized newspaper to provide information on the people running for the council using their words - not other people's words. The information should be like a resume and indicate what neighborhood they live in. Resumes are very specific. I have only seen one candidate provide that level of detail on this forum. Listing who is in support is not part of the resume - that suggests an agenda. Other cities surrounding us have already done this and have had large meeting where the candidates can speak and debate.
This forum at this point is a bunch of people discussing the candidates - which is good - but I want the candidates to control their election positions - not anonymous people debating each other.


2 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 28, 2014 at 12:25 am

Jeff Levinsky said: >> The Edgewood Plaza shopping center is in fact massively under parked

Wow, if that isn't an understatement. That parking lot for the business section was fine until people really start to use it, and then trying to get in and out is insane. I cannot believe they basically just left in place what was there only a bit cleaner and nicer, which is good. Great to have a grocery story there, but there is really not much in the Fresh Market. Their produce started out very good and now has gotten more expensive and lower quality. Hope they get better.

I had to walk over to the gas station to get a bag of Doritos and almost got run over by people driving way too fast for that little odd parking lot with cars coming from many different directions.

How does this kind of stuff keep happening? Is there a giant underground parking structure in there somewhere I don't know about?

All in all I'd say it is an improvement from a derelict old shopping center with bums hanging around all day, but why can't we do better than this?

-- --

I'd like to echo resident 1's words here .... "It is time for a recognized newspaper to provide information on the people running for the council using their words - not other people's words." .... but whose to say they would not be lying. Seems like American politicians have rediscovered lying, just like our CEO's ... they do they wrong thing and then say sorry, and whatever happens, they are fine. They continue in their office, or they move to the private sector for a raise.

We have reptiles running our government ... no wonder they cancelled that TV show "V". ;-)


5 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2014 at 9:14 am

The above comment "why can't we do better" is right on the mark, but is
an understatement. Actually it is hard to imagine doing worse in Palo Alto,
functionally and aesthetically. This is "in your face" bad government, it's not subtle policy differences or nuances we are talking about here, we
are scrapping the bottom. The PASZ scorecard should be the voter's guide
for change.




4 people like this
Posted by Elley
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 28, 2014 at 9:38 am

Thank you for taking the time to inform us and compile this list. Very helpful.


2 people like this
Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2014 at 11:32 am

>”… information on the people running for the council using their words - not other people's words. The information should be like a resume and indicate what neighborhood they live in. Resumes are very specific.”

I’ve posted this before. Go to the PAN site and click on each candidate’s name. Web Link

Go to the candidates' websites.

Go to LinkedIn to find candidate resumes.

Don’t expect the newspapers to do your homework for you.


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2014 at 11:45 am

> Do you mean that current (and past council members)
> were experts on and had positions on these topics even
> before they were elected?

There is a big difference between being “expert” on issues that have been before the Council in the past, or might come before the Council in the future---and simply expressing one’s knowledge of the issues currently, which would lead to at least a personal opinion about what one might do about such an issue should it come before the Council. No one is expecting all the candidates to be "experts" on everything--but we've got at least one candidate who claims to have no knowledge of anything. To make matters worse, "Papa Joe" Simitian--is now vouching for this man in paid-for political ads--claiming that he is "just what Palo Alto needs". Really?

More than one poster has claimed that the three, or four, “residentialist” candidates are not “single issue” candidates. Yet, other than the issue of “growth”, we really haven’t heard much out of any of them.

One good place to start this discussion might be to dredge up the campaign mailers that the incumbents have sent out in the past, and try to make some sense out of this political propaganda. Far too often, all we get is a picture of the candidate, and his/her family, some glib words intended to cement some support from this group or that (more often than not some environmentally-oriented group), and usually some really meaningless comments like: “reduce traffic in the neighborhoods”.

Well, four years later (for the incumbents), and what do we have to show for their promises before they were elected?

This PASZ survey is good, but it is clearly “single issue”. What about the voting records for the incumbents on all the other issues that have come before this body? HSR, El Camino downsizing, Cal Ave. downsizing, and deciding to become the operator of an airport that has very few residents as customers?

It’s been about twenty-four hours now since the request for information about the “residentialist” candidates was posted. It’s very interesting that none of the candidates, nor their supporters, has offered any information as to the positions these folks might take on these issues, both as decided in the past, and might be decided in the future.


2 people like this
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Joe,

Most of them have websites.

As others have pointed out, this scorecard is not news. It just highlights the distance between words and votes.

I hope the Weekly will consider maintaining a scorecard for all the issues you have brought up. You would think there is an easier way to keep track of words vs votes.

The new people who have stepped up to run on a residentialist platform do not not strike me as your regular political types. I want to THANK them for offering an alternative to work with a council that will be pro-residents because as someone observed, the others are experts on how to work with "government."


5 people like this
Posted by Has-beens
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by mj
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 28, 2014 at 1:27 pm

"One good place to start this discussion might be to dredge up the campaign mailers that the incumbents have sent out in the past, and try to make some sense out of this political propaganda."

Joe's suggestion we take a look at the campaign flyers current council members sent out when they were elected would be most interesting, and I was wondering how these could be made available. [Portion removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Open Space Vistas Sky Trees
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2014 at 1:47 pm

"could a person who did not file to run but agreed to serve if elected take office in Palo Alto? "

Unfortunately not.


Like this comment
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

@Open Space Vistas Sky Trees

Thanks for the clarification. I couldn't track down the California rule. I gather it's like Illinois, where you have to file an Intent to be a Write-in Candidate form. Without that, your votes are just discarded.


3 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Native
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 28, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Great Discussions. Thanks to all. Wonderful to see many reflecting my Pro-Palo Alto campaign positions/views for saving our dear Palo Alto. They include:

1. No more condo and/or apartment construction allowed
2. No new office space development allowed except for existing commercial property owners; they can only tear down old buildings and replace with same square footage - no height or volume waivers of any kind irrespective of so-called public benefits.
3. Push the success of new Silicon Valley firms (or existing firms who wish to expand operations) to other parts of the state and nation. Ideally, to the especially underdeveloped zones of EPA, Richmond, Oakland, Stockton, East LA, Central Valley, San Jose, Redding, Redbluff, and Sacramento. In general, those areas that can use massive redevelopment and an influx of professional labor force with newly developed upper middle class homes. Others should move to the poorest areas of the South and urban blight areas of the central and NE states.
4. At the federal level, pass legislation (similar to other nations) prohibiting the sale of private property (commercial or residential) to legal and illegal aliens. Only US citizens age 18 and older with documentation verifying a qualifying income should be eligible to purchase US property.
5. Great support for Menlo Park and Palo Alto Residentialist preventing any further overdevelopment of both areas.
6. Shocked at the level of traffic now on 280. I know I can not return to traffic levels of the 70s but these steps can works toward traffic levels of the 80s.
7. Quality of life over business expansion, ANY Day. And if Silicon Valley moved out completely from Palo Alto- I would be delighted. We will always have Stanford and our great weather/location.


Like this comment
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Palo Alto Native,

To blame it on foreign residents is silly, given that Palo Alto has traditionally had people from all over the world because of it being a University town. You should know if you are a native. I wish our Council reflected the diversity of Palo Alto.

This election will be a test to Palo Alto being different or the same as any other dime town that does not survive the vulture siege when the going is so tempting.


2 people like this
Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 28, 2014 at 7:21 pm

I completely agree with Palo Alto Native. Now, every addition would be a subtraction. We need to first stop population density increase, then find ways to reduce it. No more new developments:existing commercial structures can remodel or rebuild at the same rebuild and height. no more additional housing. Existing houses can remodel and rebuilt up to the limits allowed. Existing firms should be encouraged to move to other parts of the state or nation which need economic boost-like Detroit, or Richmond, or Vallejo. We cannot sell our land to foreigner investors and maintain sovereignty of our country. The most valuable land in our country now belongs to Saudi, Chinese, Indian or Russian investors. Federal legislation is needed to prevent that, just like many other nations are preventing foreigners from purchasing their land. In Palo Alto, the emphasis should be on creating more parks and open space, Traffic must be reduced to early 198s levels. Zero additional development is a must, or we will become an ugly and depressing urban jungle.


Like this comment
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 28, 2014 at 7:38 pm

boscoli,

While Palo Alto has no infrastructure to grown beyond the aggressive growth that has already happened (or afford more ugly), I think that Native is semi-pulling a leg with the zero growth lines.

About foreign investors - I'd bet they are as residentialist as the next guy. What is to be seen is what the new PA investors will pay for?

Do people realize how much it would cost to sustain developer's dream, and also pay for "affordable" housing?

Mr. De Leon may want to ask his clients if they know what the politicians want. Are people paying millions to shell out more millions for City mismanagement?


7 people like this
Posted by Barron Park Senior Couple
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm

We do not pretend to speak for anybody but ourselves. 'Residentialist' does not capture the nuances of our point of view about development in Palo Alto. We were involved in the 'No on D' campaign, NOT because we were against affordable senior house, but because of the development's scale was not compatible with the character of our neighborhood and the lack of adequate parking. Several members of the City Council argued they were approving the project for the 'betterment of the neighborhood' because they said, 'if the 72 unit project wasn't approved, a substantially denser project would take its place...' They were wrong! PAHC sold the land and made a $6M dollar profit. The new plan is for 30 housing units [adequately parked] on that site. As a result of citizen action, the site will be developed, within existing zoning laws. Comments by HAH [earlier] are polarizing and reflect an agenda far beyond preservation of neighborhoods. [Portion removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by Jerry Underdal
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 28, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Jerry Underdal is a registered user.

[Portion removed.]

Earnest, well-meaning people differed in their views and should have had a chance to discuss those differences within the neighborhood before the project was taken to a referendum. But it didn't happen, and we are worse off for that.

[Portion removed.]

My concern is not to relitigate Measure D. That's done, and we'll see soon enough what the outcome is on that property and in the neighborhood. Rather I'm concerned that an ideology that I would have thought ill-suited to Palo Alto has taken deep root in the city's political life thanks to the Maybell affair. I hope the city council candidates will show my concerns to be groundless, but I also hope that voters will be listening closely to see if they do.



Like this comment
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 28, 2014 at 11:31 pm

@Joe - thank you for the thoughtful list. I wouldn't presume to respond on behalf of the candidates. If you have the time I recommend attending one or both of the upcoming candidate forums on 9/30 and 10/2.


1 person likes this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 29, 2014 at 2:07 am

This is a tough intractable issue, the issue of growth.

I wish we could keep everything the same as it was in the 70's when I came to California with my family.

When I graduated from high school one could get a job and support oneself, maybe not in Palo Alto, but closely in Mountain View. I don't think there is any hope of that today. The costs of living are through the roof, and why since we have progressed and have such great technology are we not doing better than we were doing in the 70's and 80's?

Why shouldn't kids who graduate have a place they can live? An apartment? Well, how is that going to happen in they do not get built? The price will never come down if more housing units are not built, and they sure cannot be huge McMansions, they need to be apartments, condos and I think Palo Alto should consider thrift units, tiny minimal units people can live in to save money or go to school.

I like the idea of putting these small dense units on the El Camino corridor ... but that is going to take some planning and fixing up, and also it should minimally interfere with the fat cats who already have theirs like we who have been working our entire lives. I don't like the quality of my life and my City to decline, but realistically it cannot stay the same.

This is why I have made the point about our waterfront, the Bay, and why it is so bewildering that we do not have some plan to keep it natural and yet utilize it for nature and recreation. That simply cannot happen when two major senses are assaulted every time anyone goes out to the Baylands ... smell/sewage treatment plant & hearing/airport. To deal with the people we have no we need nice natural places ... and we should be turning the Baylands into a "Foothills Park" of the Bay.

We need to define what we want in terms of development or all we get are what we have been getting ... nothing that really does anything to future Palo Alto and make us unique.


1 person likes this
Posted by Sea-Seelam Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 29, 2014 at 5:52 am

Good job summarizing this.

What matters most is 'integrity'.

That is lacking from the current CC. If they made mistakes, fess up and move on.

Do not divide citizens; we are already polarized with haves and have not. . We do not need a $15 million dollar house to be happy. Americans are modest and giving. Remember how Steve Jobs and Dave Packard lived here? We do not need a new Beverly Hills. We are a college town+. We love our trees and our people; whether they live on the south side, west side or north side. This 'residentialist concept is 'dividing' people.

We need to treat the owners, investors and renters the same with respect. I do not see this division is healthy.

We want to be number one city in the US of our size; we do not become number one by polarizing and dividing people. We are not going back to the sixties or thrities.

We are all striving to 'live a happy life' in 'beautiful Palo Alto.

Keep it the way it is; no growth, small growth with sense; solve traffic issues; and live a life! Let us not make it complicated.

We have enough of start-ups; nurture our trees and enjoy.

Put a stop to backroom deals; corruption and dis-honesty!

Respectfully


3 people like this
Posted by Where's the beef?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 29, 2014 at 6:09 am

I have been disappointed by the quality of the "non-residentialist" candidates Cory Wolbach and A.C. Johnston. Some are calling them the "independent" candidates, though they seem to be entirely dependent on the Palo Alto establishment. But be that as it may, they are both offering bland paeans to civility and "listening," with platforms that are both vague and cribbed from the "residentialists" they claim to be opposing.

All of the energy in this race is on the residentialist side. Not where my natural inclinations lie, but when the establishment offers up the likes of Greg Scharff and Nancy Shepherd [portion removed,] Cory and A.C., that is pretty slim pickings. To echo some Republicans I know, I feel that my Establishment has moved away from me. Is this whole election a test about how little Palo Altans are willing to accept, as long as Uncle Joe gives his seal of approval?


1 person likes this
Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 29, 2014 at 10:02 am

"Existing firms should be encouraged to move to other parts of the state or nation which need economic boost-like Detroit..."

Apt statement. Like Palo Alto now, Detroit was once on top of the world, riding a Motor City boom that everyone was sure would last forever.

For now Palo Alto is booming as App Town, for no good reason except the herd instinct. But the beloved internet will ultimately be its undoing, as geeks realize they can produce their stuff by collaborating online from home in far pleasanter settings than converted downtown Palo Alto basements.

That is the scenario Palo Alto needs to be planning for.


4 people like this
Posted by Sarah
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 29, 2014 at 10:13 am

How can you add more bodies to this town? There is no room to expand our streets, we are in more and more grid lock. It's getting so tight we can't move. Adding more housing is just going to make things worse. The growth has been so fast and so much, that my once healthy thought of a balance between growth and quality of life has tipped over to NO more growth. If the council did it slowly and really thought through the urban planning process and how it would impact this small city then I would be more pro growth. But as it stands now, all I can do is pray for no more growth. The council's past choices ruined pro growth for me. I have now sided with the Residentialists and want to save what quality of life we have left in this town.




3 people like this
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 29, 2014 at 10:34 am

CrescentParkAnon,

"I don't like the quality of my life and my City to decline, but realistically it cannot stay the same."

The way things are going to look will depend on the price. To the extent the developers win, Palo Alto will be littered with cheap, huge, ugly buildings packed filled with sardine offices.

At any point in time, residents have paid a lot of money to live here, and nobody said that the town and quality of life was not included. Nobody said, it's an ugly monster office park in the making.

This definitely can't stay the same. There needs to be a major push back, and at the very least the City Developer Customer Service Office -current PACC, and the Planning Department needs to be overhauled.

Defining "growth" in abstract is easy, but when you have to look and live with buildings that belong off a highway somewhere, that's another story. Enough about the reasonable "growth" talk, it is not working.


3 people like this
Posted by Mingonius
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 29, 2014 at 12:17 pm

There should be a rating of the duplicitous actions and statements of the the council members.


Like this comment
Posted by Fred Balin
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Fred Balin is a registered user.

mj wrote:
"Joe's suggestion we take a look at the campaign flyers current council members sent out when they were elected would be most interesting, and I was wondering how these could be made available."

I knew there was a reason I needed to dig inside the garage. Here are two 2009 campaign mailers from each incumbent now running for reelection.

Holman 2009 Campaign Mailers
(2 mailers via 6 PDFs, 71 MB total)
Web Link

Scharff 2009 Campaign Mailers
(2 mailers via 4 PDFs, 10 MB total)
Web Link

Shepherd 2009 Campaign Mailers
(2 mailers via 4 PDFs, 17 MB total )
Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 29, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Someone at least got a mailer from a candidate. The Weekly needs to print for each candidate their resume - past history - and goals as a CC member.
Seelum Reddy is the only candidate that has presented his background qualifications and goals in an organized manner of this forum.
Time is growing short and as a reader of the San Jose Mercury there is a lot of discussion of other city candidates based on what they are saying or doing.
All of the rest of the contributors are not running for office so are simply offering up opinions - most as an anonymous manner. We need the input from the candidates who are going to do these jobs.
Palo Alto Weekly - please put together a insert for the paper of the candidate resumes and their goals for the job as relates to the current issues we are dealing with.
Palo Alto want to be a "big boy" city so needs to act like a big boy city.


2 people like this
Posted by Sea-Seelam Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 30, 2014 at 2:57 am

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Guy_Fawkes
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 30, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Guy_Fawkes is a registered user.

The voting scorecard is super interestingly - it's amazing how people can say one thing and do the other. The votes show some deep cynicism on the part of incumbents who are running from their record


1 person likes this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 1, 2014 at 9:52 am

Today the San Jose Mercury printed an article about the PASZ results of their survey. Be on record that a recognized newspaper printed this data. The article included comments from Mr. Scharf.
Comments:
1, PA is 26 square miles built out border to border. We do not have a responsibility to house all of the people who work in the valley. Most people now work in the North San Jose area and they are building new housing non-stop. HAH can get off his soap box on that topic - no correlation to reality. There is new housing being built all over the valley - a lot on El Camino in PA. Get in your car and drive around - it is in your face.
2. Where is the League of Voters who should be putting together a forum for all of the candidates to present themselves and their programs. They cannot hide behind the other people who are speaking on this data stream. They are in effect now creating lobbyist which they will have to answer to when the win election.


1 person likes this
Posted by Black and White
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm



The last time Scharf campaigned, he had Gail Price at his side to talk about ABAG.Gail Price!

He has those ABAG lines memorized from the last time he campaigned.

His most memorable line will forever be "the building itself is a benefit"

You simply cannot take the lawyer/developer connection to this candidate.


Like this comment
Posted by No_Fans
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 6, 2014 at 1:00 am

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Open Space Vistas Sky Trees
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2014 at 10:30 pm

I'm still concerned about the way LWV seems to have gone off the deep end ever since Maybell. How did the reality of their politics become so divorced from their ideals?

I'm frankly very concerned about the way the ballot ended up putting all of the LWV favored incumbent candidates first and the residentialists last. What are the odds? (The Weekly calculated them.)

Someone call the state and make sure we get some kind of monitor of the county at least for a fair election, that should be reason enough to even avoid the appearance of corruption - LWV people man the polls usually, and are tight with the county people - and everyone please mail your ballots in early, well before the election.


2 people like this
Posted by Running scared
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2014 at 10:55 am

Why does the weekly delete all comments which mention the posters preference for the upcoming election, yet publishes this story which is a clear endorsement? The weekly is obviously working hand in hand with PASZ a, so we know already whom they will endorse. [Portion removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 7, 2014 at 11:34 am

I too am very concerned. We have not yet got our ballot materials although other people I've spoken to have.

Perhaps I shouldn't have the temerity to post here and write my annual letter asking for progress reports on fixing the Embarcadero mess which I'm assured is going to RFP for fixing the 2 traffic lights on Embcadero by the end of this year. Hardly the "imminent" changes promised in the August 29th article.


Like this comment
Posted by Open Space Vistas Sky Trees
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2014 at 6:55 pm

"PA is 26 square miles built out border to border. We do not have a responsibility to house all of the people who work in the valley. "

Why is it that we don't get credit for Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley, LAH, Los Altos, as bedroom communities? Don't their residents work somewhere?
(They shouldn't exactly be allowed to count domestic help jobs against their resident spots because it's not like they provide housing for the help and if I were the help I wouldn't want to live in projects in those communities anyway.)


Like this comment
Posted by Margaret Fruth
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 27, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Margaret Fruth is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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

He said – she said – who is lying? Justice Brett Kavanaugh or PA resident Christine Ford
By Diana Diamond | 69 comments | 6,806 views

Let's Talk Internships
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,068 views

Populism: A response to the failure of the elites: Palo Alto edition
By Douglas Moran | 1 comment | 996 views

Couples: Sex and Connection (Chicken or Egg?)
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 941 views

Zucchini Takeover
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 827 views