News

Tanaka fined for campaign violations

Palo Alto councilman settles with FPPC after agency finds three violations

Palo Alto City Councilman Greg Tanaka has agreed to pay $733 in fines after the California Fair Political Practices Commission found inaccuracies in the financial forms his campaign filed during last year's council race.

The agency, which enforces the state's Political Reform Act, found that Tanaka's campaign had committed three violations in reporting contributions made during last fall's campaign season. In two cases, it had failed to disclose contributions of more than $1,000 within 24 hours, as the law requires.

Another violation stemmed from the campaign's failure to disclose the occupation and employer information of donors on a semi-annual filing that covered the period between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2016.

Tanaka, who finished second in the race for five council seats last November, had been under an investigation by the FPPC since February. The agency received a complaint early in the year alleging Tanaka failed to list occupations of several developers who had contributed to his campaign. The complaint also alleged that Tanaka failed to disclose a campaign sign as an "in-kind donation" and that he had not reported a personal loan to his campaign.

While the FPPC didn't make any rulings in regard to the latter two allegations, it concurred that Tanaka had failed to accurately list several occupations. The complaint specifically focused on contributions from developers Charles "Chop" Keenan, Jim Baer, Chase Rapp, Mark Gates, Jr., Joseph Martignetti and Perry Palmer and claimed that by misreporting the fact that they are developers, Tanaka had "misled the voting public."

After the Weekly reached out to him for comment, Tanaka posted a message on his Facebook page saying he was "proud and humbled to have received donations and support from hundreds of community members from various walks of life and backgrounds." He did not dispute the FPPC's findings and said his campaign has agreed to pay the $733 fine for what he characterized as "clerical errors."

"I want to personally apologize for these errors," Tanaka said. "As a first-time candidate for public office, I am now bettered (sic) informed of the reporting process. We ran a transparent campaign, but I regret that in these few instances we had clerical errors.

"I therefore accept the FPPC decision as fair and appropriate."

The $733 settlement includes three separate fines: a $299 fine for the non-disclosure of the contributors' occupations; and $264 and $210 for each instance of failing to report a contribution of $1,000 or more within 24 hours in the months leading up to last November's election.

Tanaka said in a statement that his campaign had filed the Form 497 declaring one of these $1,000 or greater contributions on Sept. 9, immediately after the City Clerk's office identified the error and informed his campaign of the 24-hour deadline.

The second error occurred after a donor added $750 to a prior contribution of $250, raising the amount to $1,000. Tanaka said the Oct. 5 addition was included on a Form 497 that was filed on Oct. 11.

Tanaka also attributed his campaign's failure to disclose the donors' occupations to "not researching" donor-described job titles.

"Our team learned that filing records are required to recognize donors using 'publicly known titles' and not (the ones) submitted on campaign donor forms, or 'unknown' if undeclared as directed in FPPC guidelines."

The FPPC resolved Tanaka's case through what is known as a "streamline settlement" -- a program that the commission approved two years ago to settle minor violations.

The commission is scheduled to approve the settlement with Tanaka and his campaign treasurer, Jeff Justice, at its Sept. 21 meeting.

Tanaka is one of three council members who were investigated by the FPPC after the November election. The commission closed its investigation against Councilman Adrian Fine in March after confirming that he had failed to include an FPPC identification number on an envelope of a campaign mailer (he did not face any penalties).

The FPPC is also investigating Vice Mayor Liz Kniss, who like Tanaka failed to list the occupations of many contributors and who did not disclose many of her contributions from developers until well after the election. The FPPC's investigation of Kniss' potential violations remains open.

Related column:

Editorial: A necessary investigation (March 17, 2017)

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Comments

110 people like this
Posted by Developers -- Please Help
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 11, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Dear Developers:

You were so helpful to Tanaka's campaign last year, kindly timing contributions carefully so voters wouldn't know who was really funding the campaign.

And then when Tanaka decided this year it wouldn't look good to keep a $5,000 contribution from the son of a developer up for a key Council vote, you made sure he got $5,000 more in contributions from other developers.

Now that the state is asking him for penalties for violating election law, Tanaka needs your help again. Please open your wallets and contribute. Don't worry - it will be a very good investment.

Thank you!


115 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 11, 2017 at 5:27 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Greg Tanaka and his comrades in the Gang of 5 are the best investment the developers have ever made. They don't even need to invest in the stock market. All they need to do is contribute to their campaign and they will get much wealthier than they already are.


29 people like this
Posted by Let the attacks begin
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 11, 2017 at 5:32 pm

As you will note in the story above. These were minor violations. However I am sure we will see a flurry of nasty comments, as the two above. Also of interest Is the fact that outside interests, people that cannot vote in palo alto, are attacking Tanaka. Andrew you can count on the weekly to leave these attacks unedited [portion removed.]


90 people like this
Posted by Resign!
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 11, 2017 at 5:49 pm

He needed to RESEARCH the occupations of well-known
developers Charles "Chop" Keenan, Jim Baer, Chasen Rapp, Mark Gates, Jr., Joseph Martignetti and Perry Palmer ??

clerical errors?? how many? and always in the same direction.

The duplicity continues. The small fine for lying so openly and repeatedly is insufficient.
If he wasn't able to read the rules about how to report donations, he is not competent to hold such a responsible office. And his assistants, if any, should resign too. Guilt by association.

Resign, Mr Tanaka, and spare yourself the embarrassment of people repeating your misdeeds, and your silly pretense of not knowing.


96 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 11, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

It is disingenuous for Tanaka in his Facebook post - quoted in this article (with link) - to characterize himself as a naive candidate. He had the backing of the local political establishment and the country Democratic Party, and was mentored by longtime politician Liz Kniss. I have been involved in local campaigns for over a decade and one of the first pieces of advice a candidate gets is to have a good Treasurer to avoid these kinds of mistakes. These violations were not highly technical ones buried deep in the election code, but ones covered in the summary of the reporting rules.

I find it discouraging by the low amounts of the fines. If the FPPC wants to discourage illegal behavior, the fines should not be less than the value of the violation. If the punishment for the instances where one is decidedly guilty of a violation are only a fraction of the benefit, the incentives are to try to get around the law.


23 people like this
Posted by Let the attacks begin
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 11, 2017 at 6:19 pm

The post above by resign Is a perfect example of the kind of rhetoric that the weekly is supporting one this forum. Tanaka should resign because of a few minor violations? Why don't you stay a recall if you are so upset?
Were the same people that are so upset now as upset when holman and burt were caught in the 27 university hanky panky?
Also live how doug moran loves to use the term " disingenuous ". Tanaka should be proud that he had been labeled as " disingenuous ".


69 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 11, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

@Developers -- Please Help: "And then when Tanaka decided this year it wouldn't look good to keep a $5,000 contribution from the son of a developer up for a key Council vote, you made sure he got $5,000 more in contributions from other developers."

I believe that this opaque reference is to Tanaka receiving contributions totaling $5000 from three developers which was then used to return a $5000 contribution from another developer.
The contributions were from Hatco Associates for $1250, Palo Alto Development Co for $1875 and Thoits Brothers Inc for $1875. All three were reported as being made on 2017-01-10. This was followed by the return of a $5000 contribution to Andrew Wong on 2017-02-02.
* This is from Tanaka's FPPC Form 460 filing of 2017-07-18 for the period of 2017-01-01 to 2017-06-30 (Web Link). You can see all Tanaka's filings at Web Link .


49 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 11, 2017 at 6:27 pm


Let the attacks begin said:
"Tanaka should be proud that he had been labeled as " disingenuous "."

Definition:
dis·in·gen·u·ous
ˌdisənˈjenyo͞oəs/Submit
adjective
not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.
synonyms: insincere, dishonest, untruthful, false, deceitful, duplicitous, lying, mendacious; hypocritical

why would anyone especially an elected official be proud to be labeled so negatively????


91 people like this
Posted by Dishonestly Pays
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2017 at 6:31 pm

Come on, Greg. No one believes you as you try to disingenuously reframe corruption as the errors of a callow newcomer to the big world of politics. There are many first time candidate that manage campaigns just fine. And longtime candidates such as Liz Kniss that are as lacking in integrity as you are. So please spare us the phony beginners excuse. All you do is reinforce your lack of integrity. I find your attitude totally depressing. That you try to explain away the fine is more of the same.
You have done yourself and our town dishonor. The honorable thing to do is to resign.


12 people like this
Posted by Let the attacks begin
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 11, 2017 at 6:32 pm

Anon - I was referring to doug moran calling him disingenuous. Moran uses that label on his blog to criticize those that do not agree with him.


23 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 11, 2017 at 6:34 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

@ Let the attacks begin: 'Also live how doug moran loves to use the term " disingenuous ". Tanaka should be proud that he had been labeled as " disingenuous ".'

Basic dictionary definition of disingenuous: not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.
Synonyms include "dishonest", "deceitful" and "mendacious.

I realize that I use the word a lot, and would prefer that it was not so often the best fit, or the strongest euphemism, that I can use to describe the situation.

Any suggestions for a better descriptive word and euphemism??


19 people like this
Posted by Let the attacks begin
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 11, 2017 at 6:35 pm

Dishonesty pays- were you as outraged with the council members lack of integrity after the 27 university scandal broke?
Were you as outraged with holman after the finder fee scandal broke?


68 people like this
Posted by NewViolation
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 11, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Several posters mentioned a new set of transactions occurring AFTER the filing period for these fines. I hope someone will file another complaint. It's just TOO BIG a coincidence that 3 developers made donations totaling $5000 to the penny in January 2017, months after the election concluded. Then in Feb, Mr Tanaka, who claimed no conflict of interest just happened to decide to return $5000 to the Wongs and then voted for their project. All of this is reported in his 2017 filing.

Morally repugnant for sure. Can someone file another claim to see if this playing fast and loose with campaign finance is illegal?


5 people like this
Posted by Let the attacks begin
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 11, 2017 at 6:57 pm

New violation - why don't you file a complaint?


42 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2017 at 7:06 pm

There was no Holman "scandal". Anyone can file a complaint to the fppc - that's very different than here when the fppc decided there was enough reason to investigate and then find actual violation/s.


46 people like this
Posted by Recall them
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2017 at 8:33 pm

The FPPC is a toothless hamster, so the fact that they concluded he "misled" the voting public should be the basis of a recall.

My concern is that the FPPC judged these complaints separately. What are the odds that all three developer lapdog Councilmembers decided on this exact same strategy of failing to disclose developer contributions all on their little naive lonesomes? Why haven't they looked at the possibility of collusion to mislead the public, and the connections with corporations trying to take over downtown retail areas as a private corporate compound?

Who will please launch a recall?


144 people like this
Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 11, 2017 at 8:54 pm

Career politicians like Kniss do not survive without the financial support of developers and those of power and privilege. They purport to represent the "every day people", but only after those they are indebted to have been taken care of in one form or another. It appears that Tanaka has just stolen that script and carried on. It's the same old story. A little smoke and mirrors, followed by slight of hand, and capped with a shrug and feign of innocence.


40 people like this
Posted by Developers -- Please Help
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 11, 2017 at 10:02 pm

"Let the attacks begin" first attempted above to defend Tanaka by saying, "Also of interest Is the fact that outside interests, people that cannot vote in palo alto, are attacking Tanaka."

Let's look at that statement carefully.

Where was it said that outside interests are "attacking" Tanaka? It's not in the article. And both posts above where "Let the attacks begin" wrote this are from folks (one being me) who are in Palo Alto.

In fact, if people outside Palo Alto are outraged by a politician accused of hiding financial contributions from wealthy developers, why is that bad? Why shouldn't people all over be unhappy to read of such misbehavior? Perhaps it would mean that Palo Alto's growing problems harm more than just our town. It's undeniable that our traffic, parking shortages, and job/housing imbalance do overflow into other cities.

By the way, many of the developers who donated to Tanaka themselves live outside Palo Alto and cannot vote here. So it's OK for people outside Palo Alto to contribute money to Tanaka but not for others outside Palo Alto to criticize him?

Tanaka needs much clearer thinkers to come to his defense. Someone please help the poor fellow out.


49 people like this
Posted by Resign!
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 11, 2017 at 11:02 pm

>Tanaka needs much clearer thinkers to come to his defense. Someone please help the poor fellow out. <

[Portion removed.]

Stick to the topic: Tanaka lied about big contributions, is being ever-so-lightly punished, and he stays in place working for the developers? He should resign.


50 people like this
Posted by Opportunity cost
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2017 at 11:57 pm

"The FPPC is also investigating Vice Mayor Liz Kniss, who like Tanaka allegedly failed to list the occupations of many contributors and who allegedly did not disclose many of her contributions from developers until well after the election. The FPPC's investigation against Kniss remains open."

I knew about Kniss. II may have mistakenly voted for Tanaka. Fool me once.

We have a bit of a swamp problem here.


40 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

$733? What a disgusting slap on the wrist! I agree with the commenter who said that the fine should be equal to the amount of the funds illegally received.


36 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

This from the March reporting in the Weekly:

"The FPPC has not issued any notice to a third councilman, Adrian Fine, who also received substantial donations after the final pre-election campaign filing on Oct. 23, including six $999 donations from real estate interests. Although he reported receiving $26,000, about a third of the total money he raised, after Oct. 23, he was not required to report the donations under $1,000 until his final report filed in January, which he did. He also properly reported two contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours in the period leading up to Election Day. The $999 contributions, however, were clearly designed to avoid pre-election reporting requirements."

Note the last sentence. So Fine is equally guilty of padding his campaign finances with developer money. He's just a bit smarter than Tanaka in making things look good.


7 people like this
Posted by Shame on them
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Novelra- note that the last sentence is the opinion of the Weekly. And we know the one sided biased coverage from the weekly on this and other issues.


22 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

@shame on them. Actually I don't know anything about the "one sided biased coverage" you're referring to. Are you implying that persons who donated exactly $999 were NOT trying to stay under the radar? If you believe that, I bet there's a bridge in Brooklyn you'd like to buy.


50 people like this
Posted by Abitarian
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm

I agree with others that the fine is too low; it does not seem to be a sufficient deterrent for preventing the same behavior in the future.

But what really bothers me is Mr. Tanaka's dismissal of the event as a "clerical" error.

To me, a clerical error is a minor typo or misspelling that does *not* change the meaning of the content. In this case, the content *was* misleading.

Donations from developers were a *major* point of contention during and following the election.

Mr. Tanaka's campaign, whether by intention or negligence, obscured donations from developers.

He and his staff should have been on alert to monitor developer donations closely.

Mr. Tanaka should take responsibility for the correctness of the forms, not just brush the situation away.


8 people like this
Posted by Shame on them
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Novelra- bet you had no problem with the large donations made to keller and kuo by a few families in palo alto. The pro-pasx supports for not seem to have issues with that ( read cheryls comment info today's daily post)


37 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

@shame on them. The difference between the donations to Keller and Kuo that you refer to is that there was no effort on the part of Council Member Kuo and council candidate Arthur Keller to hide and/or delay reporting their campaign contributions. Fine, Kniss, and Tanaka didn't report where their money came from until January, way after the election.


5 people like this
Posted by Shame on them
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 12, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Maybe all of you out with the pitchforks and nooses should read the story. It was a minor violation. It is not like a grand jury found council members out of line for secretly working with Ariliga one 27 University ( oh, wait).


8 people like this
Posted by Shame on them
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:02 pm

So, novelra, if you are not upset about the size of the donations that keller and kuo ( info the thousands of dollars each), then why are you upset about a $999 donation? Sounds like pasz double talk to me.


34 people like this
Posted by Onlinr Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:12 pm

The "large" donations from 5 citizens to Kuo and Keller merely attempted to bridge the huge funding imbalance favoring the pro-development candidates BEFORE the "delayed" campaign contributions to Fine, Kniss and Tanaka came to light.

They were private citizens, not well-funded organized groups like the Chamber of Commerce, the developers or PAF.

The details are a bit hazy but I recall that the worst accusation against those contributors was that one of those individuals was a former Casti trustee. I've yet to hear either Kuo or Keller come out favoring the "Lexus lane" for Casti off Embarcadero opposed by so many residents but supported by some pro-development council members favor.

And yes, the fines are way too low. They should at least equal the illegal contributions and then add a punitive fine on top of that.


28 people like this
Posted by Onlinr Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:20 pm

PASZ?? When was the last time anyone got a mailing from PASZ? Heard about a rally for PASZ? Care to compare the resources of PASZ and PAF?

(I knew it was only a matter of time before that sad but predictable canard to be dredged up.)

Maybe instead of blindly attacking "the other guys" and defending Tanaka-Kniss-Fine, you could speak to the issue which is how they illegally gamed the system to push their pro-development anti-resident agenda.

(I knew it was only a matter of time for that one to be dredged up.)


14 people like this
Posted by Been Here Before
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 12, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Been Here Before is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


38 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 12, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Resign or recall. $733 is a joke.


5 people like this
Posted by Barbara Feldman Gross
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 12, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Greg - thank you for your willingness to serve our community. You are a role model for other young parents and entrepreneurs who are willing to step forward to invest in our city. You
have served on multiple boards and commissions and contributed time you could have devoted to other interests.
We are most grateful to you and your family for the work you are doing. Continue to fight the good fight.
Thank you for your helpful Facebook posts keeping the residents informed and asking for feedback.


Posted by Oldster
a resident of Old Palo Alto

on Sep 12, 2017 at 2:38 pm


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5 people like this
Posted by Let the attacks begin
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Online name-why bring up PAF? there is a quote from pasz head honcho cheryl in the daily post, so bringing up pasz is fair game. Now reread the story- it was a minor violation. You can rant all you want a not gaming the system, anti resident and pro development but that is fake news.
Disgusted- by all means, start a recall. Tanaka is not resigning.

Lets be real. These anti - fine/tanaka/kniss comments represent the opinion of a very very small minority of palo alto voters, egged on by the one sided weekly reporting.


35 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 12, 2017 at 3:59 pm

@Let the attacks, Why bring up PASZ? Because you did.

I don't have access to Cheryl's quote in the daily post nor do I know whether she was speaking for herself or for PASZ. Do you? Please quote her so we all know since the Post isn't available online,

I'm also tired of the attacks against the Weekly -- and most media -- for being one-sided when for a change they're reporting BOTH sides of the issues,

I'm also tired of seeing the "residentialists" dismissed as "a very small minority" and attacked at every turn -- old, regressive, Nimby, whatever -- rather than hearing SUBSTANTIVE responses to our legitimate concerns about the direction Palo Alto's taking.

If PA has a major problem, it's that not enough independent people are paying attention to WHY our quality of life is worsening.


7 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 12, 2017 at 4:07 pm

@Let the attacks, before you brought up Cheryl's quote in the Post, Shame also also attacked "novelra" for "pasz double talk" rather than dealing with the facts!

"Posted by Shame on them
a resident of Community Center
2 hours ago

So, novelra, if you are not upset about the size of the donations that keller and kuo ( info the thousands of dollars each), then why are you upset about a $999 donation? Sounds like pasz double talk to me."


2 people like this
Posted by Let the attacks begin
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 12, 2017 at 4:17 pm

[Portion removed.] I am not talking about the " residentialists ". I am talking about the [portion removed] posters on this forum that have been after tanaaka/fine/wolbach/kniss since day one. And last election there was a substantive response about the direction we are going ' the citizens elected fine and tanaka.
And you can pick up a copy of the post and read her comment.
Haven't you been talking for 8 months about a recall? How is it going?


16 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 12, 2017 at 4:35 pm

@Let the attacks, thanks. I'll grab a copy of the Post later. Since you already have one, please tell us whether Cheryl identified herself as PASZ or as a concerned individual. Which was it?

I never said I was for a recall; the people who oppose the pro-development Gang of 5 lack the financial and organizational resources to wage a recall campaign. That was obvious during the CC election where even with the $25,000 from 5 people, the slow-growth /quality-of-life candidates still had less money that the pro-development candidates. Maybe PAF, Palantir, the Chamber of Commerce and the pro-development companies would like to contribute to even the playing field?

Substantive question: Mountain View has now officially launched its rent control program. What's Palo Alto's stance? Very interested to hear from ALL the city council members and candidates and how that relates to the slow- / fast-growth stances.


70 people like this
Posted by Beth
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 12, 2017 at 4:35 pm

There were several first time candidates in the election and they all seemed to be able to file the the appropriate financial disclosure with the FPPC. Why not Tanaka?


2 people like this
Posted by Let the attacks begin
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 12, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Online name - the post article says " said Cheryl lilienstein, of palo alt land for sensible zoning, a slow growth group"


Like this comment
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 12, 2017 at 6:25 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Let the attacks, thanks for looking that up.


30 people like this
Posted by election audit
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2017 at 7:43 pm

The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters is under
audit by the State for the frequency of mistakes and errors going back to 2010 and should be concluded soon. The results of our Council elections here as reported at the time by precinct were surprising to many in both 2014 and 2016.
Maybe the present Council majority is not real.



35 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 12, 2017 at 8:46 pm

Annette is a registered user.

It's hard to read all of the above and not conclude that Palo Alto is a city divided and a city with a highly fractured political system. Involvement in local government should be ALL about service and NOT AT ALL about personal agendas such as currying favor with donors for one's next political step. It seems to me that those who have held office for reasons other than serving Palo Alto (regardless of how they try to characterize their service) have made - and are making - decisions that are not fundamentally in the best interests of the city's present and future. I am hearing more and more residents mention more and more frequently that they are considering leaving - not because they always planned to leave or even want to leave but because they don't like what is happening to this city. To my way of thinking our City leaders should not be proud about that.


30 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 13, 2017 at 12:13 am

@Let the attacks, thanks for mentioning Ms. Lilienstein's quote. As you suggested I grabbed a copy of the Post and here's her quote referring to the $733 fine as well as her description by the Post.

"Any politician not concerned about corruption would be happy with this ineffectual response. If anybody remembers, campaign money from the development interests was THE campaign issue, : said Cheryl Lilienstein, of Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning, a slow-growth group,

The FPPC complaints against Vice Mayor Liz Kniss and Councilman Adrian Fine are still pending."

She makes an excellent point that's tough to refute.

Re PASZ, they seem to have been inactive for more than a year. They're hardly the formidable bogeyman some like to claim. Unfortunately.


2 people like this
Posted by @online name
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 13, 2017 at 10:18 am

The Post published a correction today stating that Councilmember Fine is not under investigation. And re PASZ - they are a political action committee (PAC).


38 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 13, 2017 at 10:35 am

Tanaka can't handle his campaign financing, so what makes think he can provide oversight on the City budget?


39 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 13, 2017 at 11:17 am

mauricio is a registered user.

It's obvious that Tanaka should resign, this was not a minor issue, this was clumsy corruption. This was a coordinated move, and it was collusion. Of course he will not resign any more than any of the Gang of 5, who serve as lapdogs for the local real estate development industry would ever recuse themselves from voting on any development project.

More importantly, the residents of Palo Alto should hammer it in to the Gang of 5, day in and day out, that they are supposed to serve only the residents of Palo Alto. Not those who would like to live in Palo Alto, not those who consider Palo Alto real estate as the perfect place for the money they want to get out of their own countries, legally and otherwise, not for profit companies, not absentee landlords, and not real estate developers. They either forgot who they were supposed to serve and represent, or much more likely, deliberately serve the wrong people.


25 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 13, 2017 at 11:50 am

If PASZ is a PAC (political action committee), how is PAF classified?

A comparison of membership and funding for PASZ and PAF would be instructive.

Mauricio makes the excellent albeit obvious points that the City Council and esp. the Gang of 5 should be serving the interests of PA residents. It would be great if we the RESIDENTS had an effective organization to voice OUR concerns.

Thoughts on how that could happen?


2 people like this
Posted by Shame on them
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 13, 2017 at 11:54 am

Sorry, maurucio, this is a minor issue. The FPPC said so and it is Clearly stated in the article. [Portion removed.]
Tanaka has no reason to resign despite the clamoring of a few People in this forum. But feel free to start that recall you have been talking about for 8 month's.


17 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 13, 2017 at 12:17 pm

[Portion removed.] We all have the right to voice our opinion without the same old attacks and deflection that we're only "a few people" and hence can be dismissed.

@Shame, you do get extra points for absurdity re ""constantly insult and denigrate vegan council members" -- VEGAN council members??? Oh, no! Beware the carnivores and omnivores!

Seriously, thanks for the laugh but do try responding to the issues without the usual personal attacks, calls for censorship, attacks on The Weekly, etc etc ad nauseum.

So where do the Gang of 5 come out on rent control since they use affordable housing as a major pitch? How does that square with developer interests?


22 people like this
Posted by Follow the money
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 13, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Thanks to Online Name, mauricio and others here with conscience and common sense.
"It is hard to make people understand when their salaries depend on not understanding."
It is a waste of our time to try and reason with people whose only value in life is money. Otherwise, why would anyone want to live in a congested, polluted, corrupted money maker PA is becoming.
Recall and/or organize for the next election. This is the only talk they understand.


Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 13, 2017 at 12:34 pm

"Substantive question: Mountain View has now officially launched its rent control program. What's Palo Alto's stance? Very interested to hear from ALL the city council members and candidates and how that relates to the slow- / fast-growth stances."

Oh god. Anyone who brings up rent control needs to do some basic research. It's already proven to hollow out the middle class more than anything else. Or please read up on happened in Cambridge, MA when they finally removed it. Or better yet, just look at San Francisco and well it has worked with keeping a lid of prices (TL;DR - it hasn't).

It's crack for a segment of the population, but screwing with market dynamics in this manner causes all sorts of problems. Just like my old bugaboo Prop 13.

[Portion removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by opportunity cost
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm

@Me 2

It seems just as bogus to say that building and building will lower housing market prices.

Maybe by reducing the quality of life?

That will still not solve the housing situation in the region and the issue is ultimately transportation.


Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 13, 2017 at 2:20 pm

"It seems just as bogus to say that building and building will lower housing market prices. "

More economically sound than putting price controls on housing. Price controls didn't work for Nixon, so why do we think it will work here?


28 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 13, 2017 at 3:11 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

OnLine Name, the problem is that the vast majority of PA residents are so engrossed in their careers that they have no time, energy and inclination to follow their own town's politics. I have been dumbfounded for many years at how this highly educated population is ignorant about the politics in PA, especially about the massive influence and control that the real estate development sector and local tech company have over certain politicians, past and present. How many times have we read on TS: I voted for x by mistake, I had no idea he/she were so close to developers and were not pro residents.

That's why I think that all real effort would fail. The residents are so addicted to working incredibly long hours pursuing whatever they are pusrsuing in this insanely competitive area. Additionally, the developer lapdogs in the CC would have enormous financial backing from developers, Palantir and other companies. It would be a losing battle, unfortunately.

A change will happen only when traffic, gridlock, noise, pollution and the general deterioration in the quality of life becomes insufferable to enough PA residents, and this is very near.


25 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 13, 2017 at 3:55 pm

The Liz Kids took cash from certain donors and got caught trying to hide it from their nominal constituents. Bad boys.

But evidently they do deliver returns on those investments. Honest boys here.

That is the game in town. It has been for some time. We residents must learn to play it too.

We got to pool our resources in future elections, and outbid the developers so city councilmembers will represent our interests instead of theirs.


1 person likes this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 13, 2017 at 4:12 pm

What evidence do you have Mauricio other than innuendo that Tanaka should resign? Making up stuff in your mind doesn't count as evidence. Just because you don't agree with his centrist stance of development rather than pander to residentialists that wish for 1975 again, he should resign?

The violations are minor and thus the fine was small. [Portion removed.]


Posted by Let the attacks begin
a resident of Charleston Meadows

on Sep 13, 2017 at 4:40 pm


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14 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 13, 2017 at 7:16 pm

@Me 2, "what evidence do you have".... The fact that Tanaka failed to identify several of the biggest and best-known real estate developers as his contributors when campaign financing and development were -- and remain -- key CC issues?

"The violations are minor and thus the fine was small" -- hardly a ringing defense but often cited as just a cost of doing business by those who've settled for pennies on the dollar while profiting handsomely. (Equifax, Wells-Fargo and BP come to mind.)

Substantive question: Do you think that slowing the 4:1 jobs / housing imbalance might make housing more affordable by reducing competition for the limited supply of housing? Very interested to hear from ALL the city council members and candidates and how that relates to their slow- / fast-growth positions on office development.

Or is "affordability" just a song one sings at campaign time and when rushing through policies like ADUs?


19 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 13, 2017 at 7:33 pm

@Mauricio, sadly you raise many good points about informed electorates.

Re community involvement, the ADU issue sure captured people's attention. You may have missed the packed City Council meeting on ADUs flooded by people wearing identical YIMBY buttons. The same people flooded the CC with totally identical form letters re how only ADUs could solve our housing and affordable housing crisis. Questions were raised about CC involvement in writing those form letters and urging their mass distribution as "proof" of community sentiment.

Hardly a spontaneous move by independent individuals voicing their particular concerns but, as you say, a testament to the political clout and "massive influence and control that the real estate development sector" has on our CC and the city.


33 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 13, 2017 at 8:23 pm

"These were minor violations."

Calculated lying to the electorate is not a "minor violation." Tanaka deliberately tried to conceal his real base of support while falsely posing as a residentialist to get elected. He has forfeited any expectation or possibility of trust. He must resign.

Likewise for his partner Fine, and for his coach Kniss.


21 people like this
Posted by Flowerpot
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 14, 2017 at 9:53 am

Didn't we have an official that had the good character to resign over an arguement aboyt a flowerpot? This is thousands of dollars and misleading voters. Palo Alto used to hold itself to a higher standard just a few years ago


23 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 14, 2017 at 10:22 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Lying to the electorate is just as dishonest and immoral as is receiving direct bribes and payoffs while in political office. Tanka lied in a very calculated way and corroborated with real estate developers to accept the exact sum of donations he pretended to return to the Wong family. It was very clumsy and sophomoric, but it doesn't make it any less immoral. he is unfit for office and must resign.


2 people like this
Posted by Shame on them
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 14, 2017 at 10:45 am

Curmudgeon and Maurucio- I for not recall you clamoring for holman, burt and the rest of the council to resign after the 27 University scandal was revealed to the public. That was a much more serious breach of trust.
Tanaaka will not resign nor should he. Just because a couple of people compare a minor violation with bribe taking and other crimes does not make it so.
But feel free to get that recall to you all talk about so much going.


13 people like this
Posted by opportunity cost
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2017 at 11:22 am

Not going to put hands on the fire for Pat Burt (he seemed to go either way on the developer issues) but I recall that the 27 U "scandal" was a City staff issue.

Steve Elmslie
From a Google search
"Emslie brings more than three decades of experience in municipal stewardship, land use planning and urban development in Peninsula, South and East Bay cities. Most recently, Mr. Emslie served as Deputy City Manager for the City of Palo Alto which included the roles of Director of Planning and Community Environment, from 2002 to 2013."

Heard the name associated with the Castilleja expansion.

There is a laundry list of City issues I would say should be grounds for resignation.

But this one is more personal. It's got to do with the voting/democratic process.

And no other "scandal is as direct as this.

NEXT election: We should make up for this and elect candidates who are not as RISKY.


18 people like this
Posted by opportunity cost
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2017 at 11:32 am

Not to mention, who wants Liz Kniss as Mayor again??!!

Seems like unless one of the current "majority" members are replaced in the next election, Vice Mayor Kniss will be voted as Mayor AGAIN, expect Groundhog Day.






Like this comment
Posted by T. Matsumura
a resident of Mayfield
on Sep 14, 2017 at 11:52 am

[Post removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Groundhog Day indeed! How often do we need to hear about transparency issues and conflict of interest situations?

Why aren't the Mayor and Vice Mayor elected? Why are they appointed and what can be done to change this?

[Portion removed.]


8 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 14, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Let me rephrase my above post.

Why are only some public officials forced to recuse themselves when there's a perceived conflict of interest but not others?


7 people like this
Posted by Abitarian
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm

opportunity cost --

Thank for you bringing up the Arrillaga-27 University fiasco, which resulting in a scathing reprimand from the Santa Clara County Grand Jury.

However, you are mistaken in concluding responsibility lay solely with city staff.

City council members at the time, including current Mayor Scharff and Vice-Mayor Kniss secretly met with staff and developers about the proposal.

Additionally, meetings were held one-on-one or by groups of two or three in a failed attempt to circumvent the Brown Act, which prohibits the city council from conducting this sort of negotiation in private.

This was a significant disgrace to both appointed and elected officials, from which our city leaders seem to have learned nothing.

My feeling is that we should not expect Mr. Tanaka, or anyone else, to resign, no matter how shameful the offense. He, and others before him, couldn't even muster a sincere apology.

Unfortunately, high ethical standards are not a requirement for office here in Palo Alto.


12 people like this
Posted by opportunity cost
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Abitarian,

Actually, it was a previous poster who brought up the Arrillaga-27-University scandal.

Thank you for illuminating that Kniss and Scharff "SECRETLY met with staff and developers about the proposal"

Grand jury reprimands and life goes on! It's a big happy family. You have the parents, the kids, and they BREED.

With veneers like Kniss' caring for "healthy cities", or Wolbach cleaning up graffiti, washcloth in hand, pull, pull, tug, tug, but actually it's a front for higher office, and more shady elections. I get that people are busy, but this is pretty sick.

There is one chance coming up to clean this up. Next election - whoever gets elected will elect the Mayor. Unless that is already rigged? Probably expect the famiglia to be more crafty about the next election, so who knows.


8 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 14, 2017 at 2:08 pm

"There were several first time candidates in the election and they all seemed to be able to file the the appropriate financial disclosure with the FPPC. Why not Tanaka?"

"It is hard to make people understand when their salaries depend on not understanding."


12 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 14, 2017 at 2:15 pm

"Unfortunately, high ethical standards are not a requirement for office here in Palo Alto."

Actually, they are. Unfortunately, certain local politicians find them very inconvenient.


Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 14, 2017 at 2:24 pm

"Substantive question: Do you think that slowing the 4:1 jobs / housing imbalance might make housing more affordable by reducing competition for the limited supply of housing? Very interested to hear from ALL the city council members and candidates and how that relates to their slow- / fast-growth positions on office development. "

Prop 13 gives an incentive for local governments to prefer commercial development. This is a regional issue. Even if Palo Alto stopped all commercial development, it's going to go to Redwood City, Mountain View, Cupertino, Brisbane(!), etc.

We're not in China where you need papers to go to other cities. The housing crisis is a regional issue that's beyond the borders of Palo Alto.

Kill Prop 13, kill the incentive.

If you really care about affordable housing, that's the problem. But really, many residentalists want to keep their high, multimillion valuation on their property....


9 people like this
Posted by opportunity cost
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Me 2

It boils down to people.

If Kniss and Scharff cared about affordable housing they could have been leading on that, instead of Arrellaga-27-University. You claim devil makes them do it, knowing that this is a regional and actually broader issue.

Yet you blame Palo Alto property owners. We do seem to have enough impressionable people who vote for the famiglia. Affordable for the "Forwards" is housing for executives at local companies!

No amount of building will make affordable housing for executives at local companies. That's like another problem and what does this have to do with not being truthful during an election?


18 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 14, 2017 at 4:26 pm

If Tanaka does not resign for what he has done, then politicians might as well be above the law and do whatever they please, like in some regimes around the world. This was not a minor offense, this was as corrupt and cynical a move as it gets, and if isn't labeled Tanaka as being on the take, then it isn't on a technicality. At best, Tanaka had straddled a very grey line.

His voters who aren't associated with PAF should have realized who they were dealing with when this registered Republican switched parties before the elections in order to get the endorsement of The Democratic party. I'm all for Republicans abandoning the GOP, but this was a blatantly cynical and opportunistic move.


12 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm

@Me 2 -- you do realize that commercial developers also benefit from Prop 13 and that their businesses tend to outlive residents who die or move. Residential property turns over every 6 years (or so); business property rarely gets sold. Some businesses brag about having been around for more than 100 years.

Instead of worrying only about residents and our Prop 13 rates, how about being consistent and calling for an end to Prop 13 for commercial interests?

Shouldn't commercial property owners with their old old Prop 13 assessments be charging much less in residential and commercial rents rather than killing communities?


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Barron Park

on Sep 14, 2017 at 5:08 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


6 people like this
Posted by Very enjoyable
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 14, 2017 at 5:29 pm

I have to say I do enjoy Mauricio postings. I am not sure if he is serious with his comments. But they make enjoyable reading. Mauricio has turned a minor violation into something worse than murder.
I know others have asked this, but if Tamara such a bad politician, why hasn't Mauricio collected signatures for a recall.
I look forward to your next posting, maurucio


3 people like this
Posted by Todd
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2017 at 6:23 pm

Can people please stop with that "developers running the city council" nonsense? I don't know if it's hyperbole or a disconnect with reality or what, but honest to God wouldn't it follow if the city council was in the pocket of developers there would be more, I dunno... development?


13 people like this
Posted by opportunity cost
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2017 at 9:40 pm

Nothing against "development"

It's that every cycle there is a developer controversy or scandal, developers who do not build enough parking, ask for exceptions, pack council meetings with PA Forwards to pass something. They charge steep rents but act like charity cases.

If they would at least not hire cooky cutter architects, that would be a good development.







Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 14, 2017 at 9:48 pm

"@Me 2 -- you do realize that commercial developers also benefit from Prop 13 and that their businesses tend to outlive residents who die or move. Residential property turns over every 6 years (or so); business property rarely gets sold. Some businesses brag about having been around for more than 100 years. "

Yeah, but cities benefit from other taxes from businesses in those commercial properties. Sales tax. Payroll tax. Business registration taxes. It's not all about property tax.


13 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 15, 2017 at 12:23 am

Landlords collect rents; they don't pay sales tax. Their ridiculously high rents have forced out retailers that did generate sales tax even though the landlords are benefiting from THEIR Prop 13 tax breaks.

You say "It's not all about property tax" but you really mean it's only about residents' Prop 13 property tax, not about commercial Prop 13 property tax.

Re "other taxes from businesses," Palo Alto City Council has repeatedly rejected business taxes, most recently in May of this year:

Palo-alto-backs-away-from-business-tax
Web Link

"But on Monday night, the City Council abruptly backed away from one proposal that would have paid for some of these projects: a business license tax that the council has been contemplating for well over a year.

By a unanimous vote, the council agreed with a recommendation from City Manager James Keene not to move ahead with its original plan to appoint a stakeholder committee that would help construct a potential tax measure and evaluate the projects that the measure would fund. While members acknowledged the plan may still be worth pursuing, they also agreed that now is not the time."

The highest business registration fee in Palo Alto is $500 and doesn't even mention landlords or the high-tech companies that are now dominating PA and pushing out professional services and retailers.
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 15, 2017 at 8:45 am

You need to understand that decisions by other municipalities that don't have a problem taxing business are exacerbating the problem. Again, we are border free. A decision by Brisbane, San Jose or Cupertino to create tons of commercial property has a material impact on housing in Palo Alto (and this whole region), not just within the city limits.

See the thread about Caltrain grade separation - Google is developing millions of square feet of office space in San Jose that will impact us up the peninsula through more frequent Caltrain service that we won't be able to stop. It's their ROW and they can do whatever they want service-wise. Add that more folks looking for housing in the South Bay and Peninsula and our crisis gets even worse.

Stop with the Palo Alto myopia. Stopping development in Palo Alto doesn't do squat to address a broader issue that Prop 13 has caused. But of course, the dilemma for residentialists (and elected real estate brokers who make commissions on buying and selling high priced property) is that they're protective of the bounty they received from just happening to buy in the right location.


8 people like this
Posted by opportunity cost
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 15, 2017 at 10:09 am

Me2

Thank you for getting to the point. Developers are desperate to make more money out of Palo Alto because the other locations are simply not as "right."

The "right location" that seems to bother you is specifically Palo Alto.

The location that the developers can reap the most profits from.

You need to develop where its most profitable so that when you are selling office space or housing for Palantir executives, you can say it's in the "right location."

You seem to have the myopia.

I suggest you focus on transportation, as that will actually solve the housing problem. Even though housing is not what you really care about.


7 people like this
Posted by The Trouble with Greg
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 15, 2017 at 10:10 am

[Post removed.]


Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto

on Sep 15, 2017 at 10:48 am


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17 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 15, 2017 at 5:12 pm

@Me 2 wrote "Stop with the Palo Alto myopia. Stopping development in Palo Alto doesn't do squat to address a broader issue that Prop 13 has caused. But of course, the dilemma for residentialists (and elected real estate brokers who make commissions on buying and selling high priced property) is that they're protective of the bounty they received from just happening to buy in the right location."

And commercial real estate brokers (and elected and appointed COMMERCIAL real estate developers and attorneys) don't ALSO get make commissions on buying and selling high priced property)? And they're not also "protective of the bounty they received from just happening to buy (and develop) in the right location"??

Stop?? Because I refuted your erroneous claim about how commercial landlords contribute to the city coffers with facts about PA"s non-existent business tax. sales tax revenues and the teensy amount of money city makes for business licenses? See also today's Weekly article about retail and the decline in downtown foot traffic from potential shoppers which obviously reduces sales tax revenue.

"But of course, the dilemma for the" development lobby is how to defect from the facts and protect "the bounty" THEY receive.


Posted by Guy_Fawkes
a resident of Old Palo Alto

on Sep 17, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Guy_Fawkes is a registered user.


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Posted by Girl_Fawkes
a resident of Evergreen Park

on Sep 17, 2017 at 2:43 pm


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7 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 17, 2017 at 5:20 pm

"the dilemma for residentialists (and elected real estate brokers who make commissions on buying and selling high priced property) is that they're protective of the bounty they received from just happening to buy in the right location."

Bzzt Bzzt Bzzt. Logic fault. Logic fault.

The alleged bounty materializes only after the owner disposes of the property and ceases to be either a resident or a residentialist.


15 people like this
Posted by The Problem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2017 at 2:15 pm

If anyone has observed Tanaka at a City Council meeting, they would be able to see that he sometimes says nonsensical things.

I can't help wondering if the nonsensical speech is the result of nonsensical thinking-- which might explain an awful lot of things.

Does anyone recall what he does for a living, and if Tanaka is currently employed?


23 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Tanaka often seems confused and dazed in CC meetings, and I have to admit that I usually have no idea what he is talking about, a combination of bizarre speech patterns and being unprepared and uninformed. In my opinion this is a very unqualified politicians who was picked by Kniss, the developers ambassador in the CC, just like she did Wolbach 3 years earlier, to establish a solid pro development majority in the CC. [Portion removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by Unfit
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 19, 2017 at 11:26 am

The above-mentioned issues, even without the unreportedcampaign donations, should be enough to show that Greg Tanaka is unfit to serve on the City Council!

But coupled with the snafu which is the theme of this thread, the guy should clearly be dismissed.

It is doubtful that he has the honor--or the guts-- to resign.


6 people like this
Posted by Shame on them
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 19, 2017 at 11:54 am

And now we have reached the stage where the comments are unsubstantiated attacks of tanaka. We have comments like he is confused, dazed, bizarre speech, says and thinks nonsense, unfit , no honor etc. Seems like it odds the same 20-30 posters with the same comments. Completely out of step with the feelings of the general population.
And again I will ask why don't the problem, maurucio and unfit get started on that recall they have been talking about for 8 months?
I would like to say that I am surprised the weekly allows such comments, but i know better.


10 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 19, 2017 at 11:58 am

If you can't take criticism, you don't belong in the White House.


12 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 19, 2017 at 5:00 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

A recall campaign would be a waste of time. Tanka's bosses in the real estate development industry would spend whatever it takes to defeat it. The hyper development CC members need to be defeated at the ballot, all of them, and replaced by people who actually represent the residents, not developers, not foreign investors, not those clamoring to live in Palo Alto, only existing residents, a novel idea!


4 people like this
Posted by Tanaka is fine
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 19, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Mauricio- just a few weeks ago you had offered,on this forum. To give something like $20K towards a recall. You even wanted the weekly to help you connect with others that have been clamoring for a year for a recall. What happenend?
Fortunately Holman will be finally termed out and I am hoping folder and Dubois design or are recalled. The public, in the last election, showed their few to get away from the "anti-everything" crowd.
And if we have council members that only represent existing residents, where does that leave you?


13 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 19, 2017 at 7:07 pm

[Post removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by rita vrhel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 19, 2017 at 9:28 pm

Sorry to be coming to the conversation so late.

The $733.00 fine for 3 infractions was a joke and certainly a very small price to pay for a council seat.

What I wonder is was the money ever returned to Elizabeth Wong's son before Greg voted to approve her long denied project on University Ave? That would be an interesting story.

There is a way residents can be heard: show up in large numbers at the City Council meetings, write letters to the Editor and read the election materials carefully. Don't fall fro the Democratic Party endorsements. they skipped over Lydia Kou and Arthur Keller, both long time Democrats, and instead endorsed Fine and Tanaka,neither Democrats until shortly before endorsement time.

I believe the Democrats have turned their back on their principles and are now about Development with a Capital D. we see it in the ADU bill and other Bills aimed at taking local control away from voters.

As a long time Democrat, I am outraged!

The 2018 City Council election will be critical. PASZ will be back and many of us will be working to elect candidates who actually will listen to those who reside in Palo Alto; not just those who want to build in PA.


Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 20, 2017 at 7:58 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 20, 2017 at 8:53 am

^^ not until many more people sign their real names. (Kudos to Rita and few others.)


2 people like this
Posted by Me3
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm

[Post removed.]


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