News

Downtown parking program delayed after union criticism

SEIU concerned about contracting out enforcement of Palo Alto program

Palo Alto's long-awaited downtown parking-permit program will be delayed by at least three months because of concerns from City Hall's largest union.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 521, which represents roughly half of the city's workforce, has objected to the city's plan to implement the downtown Residential Parking Permit Program, which would impose time limits for cars that don't have permits to park in downtown's residential areas. Years in the making, the program aims to provide relief for residents who have long complained about the influx of employees whose cars take over residential streets during business hours.

The City Council unanimously approved the parking program in December with the understanding that the new requirements would kick in early this year. Under the program, residents would get free permits during the first six months, while employees would have to buy theirs for either $233 or $50, depending on their income levels.

The parking program was forged after years of debate, numerous public hearings and almost a year of regular meetings by a group of stakeholders, including neighborhood leaders, businesses and city officials. But in a March 9 letter, SEIU leaders complained that they were left out of the process. The union workers specifically object to the city's plan to contract out enforcement of the new parking restrictions.

The letter, whose signatories include Chapter Chair Margaret Adkins and SEIU 521 Director Nick Raisch, states that the union supports the parking-permit program and would like to see it succeed, but it also notes that the union is in the midst of a meet-and-confer process with city management and is having "some difficulties."

"One of the main difficulties stems from the fact that we were never included in any of the stakeholder meetings during the planning of the program," the letter states. "The City did not contact us about this program. The City did not contact us about this program until decisions had already been made. Unfortunately, this made it difficult to get any of our proposed suggestions into the program.

"The fact that we were never included in the conversation also makes it so that this process drags out for longer than it has to. While the city might try to blame us for holding up the process, it should be noted again that we are only doing our best to make sure this program benefits the residents, businesses and the employees of the City of Palo Alto."

The union's letter raised concerns about outside contractors performing work of community service officers, which are represented by the SEIU. The city, according to the union, is "pushing to hire an outside contractor that would bring workers who will not be required to go through the same background checks we have to go through," the union argued in the letter. The contractors will also most likely earn "significantly less than City employees and will have no benefits."

The union claims that the city's officers take great pride in their work, "even though their suggestions and ideas are constantly being denied by HR." According to the letter, the community service officers believe they can get the work done "without having to bring in outside contractors and with the potential to actually save the City money and bring in new and efficient technology into the City."

The union also claims that the community service officers performed a trial on their own time, demonstrating their ability to get the work done. The SEIU also claims that it has been given information by Human Resources that has proven to be "false, contradictory or at best a guesstimate."

"There is no transparency," the union states. "It seems as if the City is not really interested in meeting and conferring but more interested in dictating to us how the program is going to work."

Margaret Adkins, chapter chair of Local 521, said the union fully supports the parking program and has no desire to delay it. It does have concerns, however, about the way the city is implementing the program and about the city's estimates about how many workers it would take to enforce the new parking requirements.

The union was told that it would take about four full-time positions to enforce the downtown program. To test this assumption, the union had two of its community service officers go through the entire pilot area, which would have a two-hour parking limit for cars without permits. Each took care of half of the area and each was able to run through it in about an hour, Adkins told the Weekly.

The city currently has nine community service officer positions in its budget, though one is vacant. The SEIU believes that by filling the vacancy and bringing in new technology, staff can enforce the parking program in-house and provide better quality than residents would receive if the program were contracted out, Adkins told the Weekly.

Adkins said that even though the union had several meet-and-confer sessions with management, it never heard back from the city about its concerns.

"We understand the need for (the program) and the issues that everyone faces," Adkins said. "We don't want to hold it up, we just think it can be done more efficiently."

The City Council has not publicly discussed the union's concerns, though members have been aware of the delays since at least late January.

City Manager James Keene informed the council in a letter that staff is in the process of "meeting and conferring with the SEIU union representatives on the impacts of online permit sales and the issue of contracting out enforcement for the district."

At the time, the plan was to sign the contract for online permit sales in early March, though that deadline has now come and gone, and to start selling the permits in May. Under the revised timeline, the program would start implementation in June.

"This is somewhat later than our original target of April; however, the additional time will also allow for meaningful input from the neighbors and other community stakeholders on (a) the administrative guidelines that are needed for program implementation and (b) the data collection and monitoring program that will be implemented during phase one," Keene's letter states.

In late February, city officials provided the stakeholders group with an update that pushed the timeline further still. According to the meeting notes, the first phase is now tentatively scheduled to begin July 29, "due to length of time for signage fabrication and installation." The schedule was intended as a "draft and is subject to change, pending discussions with SEIU leaders."

Jessica Sullivan, the city's transportation planning manager, said staff is now in the process of refining its schedule for the program's rollout and will have an update next week.

She said the city has heard the union's concerns, reviewed them and is now focused on "just moving ahead." The delays, she said, are largely attributed to the complexity of putting together all the contracts required to get the program moving. Much of the work has been completed, though the contract for citations processing was still "up in the air" as of last week.

Comments

23 people like this
Posted by Bureaucrats at the Trough
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 19, 2015 at 10:52 am

This is typical, and coming from a longtime Democrat. The union wants the taxpayers to use more expensive, less accountable, union labor instead of letting the free market fill the need. They never come out and say as much, and as usual have disguised their self interest as concern over background checks. Please. Union workers are incredibly difficult to motivate because they are hard to terminate if they are coasting on the job. Let the private sector handle this one. As a taxpayer I'm sick of being taken for a ride, and as a Democrat I'm tired of the public sector unions corroding the good intentions of my party from within.


7 people like this
Posted by also reg democrat
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2015 at 10:58 am

@Bureaucrats,

Actually, after the whole maybell fiasco and seeing how city hall was running roughshod over residents, I have a different view. Anything that creates power balance is IMO healthier, and right now, unions are the only balance on behalf of ordinary people (btw, gridlock is usually a sign of struggle from power imbalance).

The union's requests seem reasonable, though the time scale should be negotiated shorter.


2 people like this
Posted by Sheri
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2015 at 10:58 am

What is a community service officer, what do they do and which department do they report to? How many does the City have?


Like this comment
Posted by gsheyner
a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2015 at 11:05 am

gsheyner is a registered user.

Hi Sheri,

Community Service Officers are in the Police Department. There are nine budgeted positions. They are in the department's "traffic, parking and special event services" division.

-Gennady


7 people like this
Posted by Downtown Worker
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 19, 2015 at 11:09 am

Let's just get the RPP implemented as soon as possible! We've got a parking problem in the neighborhoods because we're giving it away parking for free. Right now, parking is the residents' problem. After RPP is enforced, it becomes the employers' problem.

That's not to say it's going to be easy for employers to figure out what to do. The garage permits are designed and priced for people who drive to work every day, while we know that most shift workers come in only a few days a week. Many office workers primarily bike or take the train and just need to drive a few days a month. It doesn't make sense for those groups to pay the same amount as an office worker that takes up a garage spot every day.

But employers are are better placed to figure out solutions for their workers than downtown residents are.


Like this comment
Posted by Jay Park
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2015 at 11:15 am

@Sheri:

A community service officer is usually a non-sworn civilian who does not have the power to arrest and does not carry a firearm. They typically work for the police department, but could conceivably work for other departments.

Tasks are diverse and include: forensic analysis, evidence collection, traffic control, traffic accident investigation, parking control (the meter maid is a community service officer), initial investigation of non-violent crimes (petty theft, burglary), and many other secondary tasks where the time of a sworn officer is not needed.

You'll have to consult the City of Palo Alto concerning the number of community service officers they employ; I would expect this data to be publicly accessible.


4 people like this
Posted by Cheryl Lilienstein
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 19, 2015 at 11:16 am

Perhaps one problem is that union members, too, may have trouble finding parking, and may also be moving their cars every 2 hours. Yes, they should have been at the stakeholder meetings. And now that they are at the table, I hope they advocate for adequate funding, too.

Lack of inclusion or lack of interest in having one's voice heard and taken seriously is reminiscent of the problems that neighbors had in the Maybell high density rezoning referendum....so I imagine there's some resentment or bitterness at being ignored, and a need for respect.

Nonetheless, I hope that the union and the city manager, too, will be sympathetic to the needs of the community and work for a speedy solution so that neighborhoods adjacent to the commercial core (and soon Professorville and Crescent Park, too) are not used as 2-hour or all-day parking lots for commuters or shoppers.

Please, SEIU and city manager, partner quickly to resolve this problem. The city needs to address the quality of life issues and offer the public accountability with data. Whatever help your members can provide in the way of enforcement and ongoing data collection is sorely needed.


Like this comment
Posted by Jay Park
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 19, 2015 at 11:21 am

Excellent, I see Gennady has provided the number of budgeted positions.

The description of tasks I provided are commonly assigned to CSOs in general; the tasks assigned to the Palo Alto CSOs may not include all of those I mentioned.


10 people like this
Posted by Concerned Retiree
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2015 at 11:26 am

I believe Palo Alto should be a Right To Work City. We already have too much undue influence in the City from SEIU which is supposed to represent paid workers who supposedly work for us.

I, too, would suspect that this is about the need for SEIU members to find parking for themselves and primarily is about SEIU's self interest, as usual.


9 people like this
Posted by commonsense
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 19, 2015 at 11:29 am

This has been discussed very publicly for years now. The union claiming this is the first they heard of it is absurd. I second "Bureaucrats at the Trough"s comments - the "background checks" reason for inflating wages for non-motivated work is the typical union scam. Also, how is the union, not a Palo Alto resident or Council member able to hold up what our citizens have essentially approved?


3 people like this
Posted by union?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 19, 2015 at 11:37 am

how has our city benefited from SEIU?


4 people like this
Posted by Jim H
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 19, 2015 at 11:52 am

So, we're talking about people checking permits and writing tickets, correct? If the city can hire contractors to do that at a cheaper rate and not pay benefits, I'm all for it. If the union wants to say they don't have to pass background checks, then have the contractors checked out. Make them get background checks.

I've seen enough city employees sitting around when they should be working to be a bit skeptical when they claim they can do better. The city will end up forced to hire SEIU workers and then won't be able to fire them when they take 2 hour lunch breaks.

Notice they wait until the last minute to raise the issue.


1 person likes this
Posted by CW
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 19, 2015 at 12:04 pm

This shows you how powerful SEIU is at City Hall. Nobody else who is involved in this parking issue has the clout to force a delay like this.

The story is missing a key fact -- how much do the unionized community service officers make versus the non-union workers the city wants to hire? I mean how much money are we talking about?

And how many employees will the city have to hire to enforce the residential parking permit program?


8 people like this
Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 19, 2015 at 12:11 pm

"Lack of inclusion or lack of interest in having one's voice heard and taken seriously is reminiscent of the problems that neighbors had in the Maybell high density rezoning referendum....so I imagine there's some resentment or bitterness at being ignored, and a need for respect."

It's force of habit. City Hall is so adverse to listening that it can't even consult itself.


8 people like this
Posted by stretch
a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Bottom line: this is all about the union wanting more paying members. The union loses power when jobs are contracted out.


1 person likes this
Posted by pacsailor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Unions do it again, forcing the city to hire more of their members, with benefits that we cannot afford, with lower level of service, and no accountability. I do not see the union members as stake holders just because they park on residential streets, if they are stake holders then how about the other people who park on residential streets should the be included in the discussion for the RPP?


2 people like this
Posted by Sick of it
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 19, 2015 at 12:31 pm

"One of the main difficulties stems from the fact that we were never included in any of the stakeholder meetings during the planning of the program," the letter states. "The City did not contact us about this program. The City did not contact us about this program until decisions had already been made. Unfortunately, this made it difficult to get any of our proposed suggestions into the program.

"The fact that we were never included in the conversation also makes it so that this process drags out for longer than it has to. While the city might try to blame us for holding up the process, it should be noted again that we are only doing our best to make sure this program benefits the residents, businesses and the employees of the City of Palo Alto."

Didn't they have the same ability/opportunity to come to the public meetings as anyone? This was totally transparent and on top of that is just intended as a study to implement, not a final and unchangeable set of regulations. - Outrageous that the Unions are delaying the process in this way. Just makes me disrespect their process even more.


4 people like this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 19, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Classic Palo Alto - progress is subservient to birds, unions, and the homeless.


15 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 19, 2015 at 1:07 pm

"Honor Unions: the people who brought you the weekend."


8 people like this
Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 19, 2015 at 1:16 pm

Don't forget that the Residential Parking Program/RPP is not universally embraced by us downtown residents. It is just going to shift the parking problem to adjacent neighborhoods, applying pressure to the lowest-wage downtown workers without forcing any accountability on the builders and landlords or policies that created the parking crunch to begin with. The RPP nothing more than a band-aid, and not a very good one either.

Let's allow high-density housing (with their own parking) around the mass transit areas such as Caltrain -- this will reduce inbound commuters. Let's build more parking garages downtown. Let's compel builders to build sufficient parking into their units.


10 people like this
Posted by Hawthorne St
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 19, 2015 at 1:22 pm

In response to Bureaucrats at the Trough:

Sure, we are all registered Democrats b/c we live in the Bay Area, but you don't really sound much like a Democrat. In the Midwest, the term that is used is "Republican".


1 person likes this
Posted by rep/dem
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 19, 2015 at 1:41 pm

It really does not matter whether you are a democrat or republican it is a parking issue and it really shouldn't be about the SEIU. I for one, am not for the parking permits but I do find it interesting that the seiu members can stop this because they are the ones using our parking. Maybe that will get them to do some commuting. Maybe Palo Alto should study Stanfords commute program and start implementing. This makes me furious and want to be for the parking permits.


Like this comment
Posted by rep/dem
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 19, 2015 at 1:53 pm

It really does not matter whether you are a democrat or republican it is a parking issue and it really shouldn't be about the SEIU. I for one, am not for the parking permits but I do find it interesting that the seiu members can stop this because they are the ones using our parking. Maybe that will get them to do some commuting. Maybe Palo Alto should study Stanfords commute program and start implementing. This makes me furious and want to be for the parking permits.


4 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 19, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

> "One of the main difficulties stems from the fact that we were never included in any of the stakeholder meetings during the planning of the program," the letter states. "The City did not contact us about this program. The City did not contact us about this program until decisions had already been made. Unfortunately, this made it difficult to get any of our proposed suggestions into the program."

My first reaction to this paragraph was "Why didn't the union take the initiative to become involved?" After all, this was a high-profile, long-running issue.
1. They were unaware of it, despite it being on the front page of newspaper that you see copies of throughout City Hall.
2. Giving City Hall's history, they believed that nothing would actually happen -- that it would be indefinitely delayed. This is yet to be proven wrong.
3. ???

My second reaction was that the SEIU membership is part of the City Hall culture that routinely engages in this same conduct toward residents, although the biggest offenses are by non-SEIU personnel and some SEIU members do leak useful information to residents.


4 people like this
Posted by Sheri
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Thanks Gennady & Jay for answering my questions. So basically SEIU is saying that enforcement of the RPP MUST be done by SEIU members, which means hiring more permanent employees. What will then happen if the number of enforcers has to be adjusted up or down? Will they say it's okay to reduce the number of employees if necessary or only that it's okay to hire more? We don't yet know the optimal number, so doesn't hiring contractors make more sense in terms of flexibility? Traffic & parking are only getting worse as the RPP rollout keeps getting delayed. Sadly, downtown and now Cal Ave are increasing unavailable to those of us who live in this town. And don't get me started on the increased water required to support all the new offices...


19 people like this
Posted by Abitarian
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 19, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Regardless of the outcome, Jim Keene and staff members leading this effort should have foreseen potential union issues and worked them out as part of the process. If the appropriate due diligence had actually been done, the program could have launched on time. The delay only serves to create bad feeling all around.


4 people like this
Posted by Agenda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:27 pm

"
My second reaction was that the SEIU membership is part of the City Hall culture that routinely engages in this same conduct toward residents, although the biggest offenses are by non-SEIU personnel and some SEIU members do leak useful information to residents."

Huh!!!!! Either they are misbehaving or they are not. Who exactly in the SEIU membership are engaging in the conduct that you find so offensive, Doug?

Let's also not forget that the vote for the RPPS barely achieved a majority and only after the city removed a section of the neighborhood that was clearly against RPPs ( in effect gerrymandering the vote). A fact that the weekly barely reported on ( I wonder why!!!!!!). Once again the squeaky wheel gets greased-- reading this forum and the comments at council meetings, one expected 70-80% of residents to support the RPPS program.


1 person likes this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Is the City required to consult the Union about such things? If the answer is yes, Abitarian is exactly right. But if there is no such requirement, why let late-coming Union demands slow down an already protracted process? If the Union's efficiency suggestions are good, surely they can be considered without extending the implementation schedule. Small wonder there are "some difficulties" with the meet and confer sessions.


7 people like this
Posted by Bureaucrats at the Trough
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm

To "Hawthorne St" who says: Sure, we are all registered Democrats b/c we live in the Bay Area, but you don't really sound much like a Democrat. In the Midwest, the term that is used is "Republican".

You mean I don't sound much like you're narrow, self-serving definition of a Democrat.

I'm registered democrat because I'm pro choice, pro gay-rights, against foolish (read: Iraq) wars, not because I live in the bay area. I'm also fine paying taxes for things like infrastructure, schools, etc. as long as the money is not wasted. The Union types create bloat, reduce productivity, and fight accountability at every turn.

People such as yourself have warped the Democratic party into a jobs program that consumes more and more and delivers less and less with every union government job created. How many bad teachers do we have on the books that we can't fire because the process is too cumbersome and expensive? Answer: so many that California's tenure policy was found to be one giant civil rights violation by a Federal court.

Fortunately there appears to be an awakening happening within the party -- Chuck Reed is running penion reform in 2016 which I will gladly support, as well as many fellow democrats.


2 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 19, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

To the presumed troll "Agenda"

1. If you really lack the reading comprehension and logic to understand "characteristic of a set, but with exceptions", you should be spending your time on remedial education course, not posting here.

2. Your second paragraph replying to my comment has absolutely nothing to do with my comment, and not even with this article. You really should try to find a treatment for your verbal diarrhea.


4 people like this
Posted by Captain Reynaud
a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Jim Keene must be shocked that his decision to outsource these jobs will delay implementation of the parking program.


13 people like this
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 19, 2015 at 4:51 pm

ahh scratch a Palo Alto "Liberal Democrat" such that they themselves might have to pay for a living wage and you get another version of Scott Walker. So predictable. So pathetic.


Like this comment
Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 19, 2015 at 4:55 pm

This may be a naive question, but should the SEIU's protest require holding up the implementation of the RPP?


10 people like this
Posted by Agenda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2015 at 5:01 pm

As expected Doug Moran displays his usual hatred and lack of civility when someone dares to question or disagree with his comments. Personally. Am not surprised by his ad hominem attack and venom. Par for the course for Doug.
My second paragraph had nothing to do with your comment, Doug. It was an observation about the RPPS vote. Not everything is about you, Doug.


5 people like this
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 19, 2015 at 5:16 pm

How can "verbal diarrhea" arise from typed words and sentences? Please Doug get some technical and anatomic remediation so you know the difference between typed words and those arising from air going over vocal cords.


Like this comment
Posted by Hey Everyone
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 19, 2015 at 5:29 pm

Meeting with SEIU isn't holding up the RPP Progress.

They are still working through all the necessary details to start a big project. Lets not forget that they still need to get the signs installed and get all the contracts lined up.

SEIU is just a ripple along the way to starting a new project. This delay nonsense is a distraction and mis-information from SEIU who by the way has been in the know for almost two years.

RPP will be up and running when they get everything in place not a day sooner or later because of SEIU.


Like this comment
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 19, 2015 at 7:59 pm

My recommendation to the City Council and City Manager is to ignore the SEIU. The purpose of government unions is to take as much taxpayer income as possible. They do this in several ways including:
1.) constantly asking for more $'s and threatening to 'strike" if their demands aren't met
2.) constantly trying to increase the union headcount
3.) using union dues to fund politicil campaigns to influence elected politician votes.

Any time unions are involved, morale is down, whining is up, and taxpayer $'s are squandered. Time to eliminate government unions!


4 people like this
Posted by Try others
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2015 at 9:50 pm

Maybe the reason the union workers were able to do their trial route in one hour is because they skipped a lot of areas. I have a post office box at the Cambridge post office, and some days I can't get my mail because the small lot across the street is full, so I can't park. Over many months, I have seen the meter man in his cart chalk the tires of the cars on the street, but he always drives right past that 2-hour lot without going in. I see the same cars in that lot every day, and only a few have permits. He should do his job and enforce the 2-hour time limit.


4 people like this
Posted by Sunshine
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 19, 2015 at 10:17 pm

Obviously the City Council has once again chosen to ignore Palo Alto residents who do not live in the Professorville or Old Palo Aalto areas.
Residential area parking permits are not a good idea. They will further erode shopping downtown by residents from other areas. I can just as easily go to Stanford shopping center and park for as long as I wish when I want to shop. As more nd more chain restaurants replace the interesting smll shops downtown, there are fewer reasons to shop downtown. Alternatively I can shop in Los Altos or Mountain View. Why even boer to go downtown if the parking is going to be so limited in time.
Unfortunately it did not have to be this way. Council could have insisted that developers provide necessary parking for the residents nd users of the new buildings. In lieu funds do not provide parking.
Why would I use the top floor or underground spots in a downtown garage when these are attractive places for those who want to prey on others? The first rule of staying safe is to avoid problem areas.
Stop the foolishness. Very few homes, except the multi family ones who received special perks, lack a driveway or space to put one.


12 people like this
Posted by downtown worker
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 20, 2015 at 6:18 am

Although I am living in downtown, I also work in downtown. We live in downtown for a reason..... to be close to our favorite restaurants, hair salons, caf├ęs. Where will these people park? Don't pass the burden to the employees or employers who are barley surviving. Its the cities fault for jamming to many sardines in the can. I expect to have someone park in front of my house. I live in downtown for heavens sake. I chose to live here. I know of 3 businesses that will be relocating because they are barely surviving. I don't own the street, so I park in my driveway. Stop being so spoiled.


4 people like this
Posted by probably easily solved
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2015 at 7:31 am

I'm not a fan of RPPP. I think that it reserves parking for the privileged few, while making life harder for service workers who can't afford to buy parking passes.

Having said that, there seems to be an easy solution. The current proposal is for residents to pay something ridiculously low for their permits (free for the first car; $50 per year for the second car). Why not make the price closer to the market value of parking? Make it $500/year so that the people who have to do enforcement can be hired to do so?

The Union should have been reached out to. They were the most likely group to do enforcement. It was up to the stakeholders group to reach out to them. Imagine if a group of residents launched some sort of reform effort that would impact the schools, but didn't reach out to the teachers?


Like this comment
Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 20, 2015 at 9:46 am

"I'm not a fan of RPPP. I think that it reserves parking for the privileged few..."

Your opposition to the downtown RPPP is understandable. If it works, the "unprivileged" will begin parking in your elite neighborhood, and we'll see what happens to that "privileged few" thing.


Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Marie is a registered user.

It looks like a lot of responders didn't read the article. The union explicitly fully supports the permit parking program. They also say that if PA fills the one vacant CSO position and gets some technology product (license plate recorder or what), they could enforce the program inhouse. One city employee vs. 4 contractors, still seems cheaper to me. When we look at PA's extraordinary payroll, we totally miss the number of people doing much of the actual work - outsourced to contractors. Is that really saving money or not? Does anyone actually check other than an initial comparison of projected costs, where the outsourced companies lowball their costs and make it up by excess charges for things that the city forgot to include in the contract, that the city employees would do for no additional compensation? While you do have to include benefits, which are a problem, it can be done. I'm not convinced that all the outsourcing saves money. I am sure it makes it very difficult to understand Palo Alto's people cost.


Posted by mark weiss
a resident of Barron Park

on Mar 20, 2015 at 4:23 pm


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4 people like this
Posted by Johnny
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2015 at 5:13 pm

They want to charge normal hardworking citizens to park on residential streets where it was once free? Permits for street parking? Just because some soft spoiled Palo Altans complained? That's what you get for living downtown. If you want more apace, go live in Los Altos Hills. Go live in the country. How is this even a legitimate way of generating revenue?
Its theft.
Don't pretend its actually about relieving parking congestion. They play money games with a possible societal benefit as an accidental byproduct.
And now they need to hire meter maids for the Holy task of actually enforcing this new criminal initiative. So they can give out parking tickets like in Los Angeles.
Its theft.
Making money through permits and tickets is theft. I have no respect for anyone who works as a meter maid -- thats not a legit job. Professional robber. Much like CHP writing $500 carpool tickets. It is government industry at its best and that is the antithesis of a free market.


5 people like this
Posted by Disguisted
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 20, 2015 at 8:09 pm

Who does City Manager Keene and the city staff and the city council work for?
I thought they worked for us, the residents of Palo Alto. But no. Apparently they are more concerned about placating unions, developers, tech companies and their workers, day workers, birds, and the homeless. Palo Alto is being ruined, and the residents know it.


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