News

Kniss wins third term as Palo Alto mayor

Political veteran to take top leadership spot; Eric Filseth elected vice mayor

Newly appointed mayor Liz Kniss and vice mayor Eric Filseth speak about the year ahead and the city's vision to work towards issues such as grade separation and housing during a council meeting on Jan. 8, 2018. Photo by Veronica Weber.

Liz Kniss is a retired nurse, a housing advocate and now, for the third time in her long political career, the mayor of Palo Alto.

The City Council voted 9-0 on Monday to elect Kniss the mayor for 2018 -- a decision that was largely preordained by Palo Alto's long-standing tradition of naming last year's vice mayor to serve as this year's mayor. Having served as vice mayor in 2017, Kniss was the clear favorite for the mayor's chair.

It also didn't hurt that she cruised to re-election in November 2016, picking up more votes than any other candidate; that her political supporters enjoy a majority on the council; and the issue she is most passionate about -- housing -- is now the council's highest priority.

For Liz Kniss, the Monday night election was as much a reflection of personal clout as a sign of the city's new political dynamics. Over the past three decades, Kniss had served on the school board, on the City Council and on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, where she spent two terms before returning to City Hall.

A former member of the Caltrain board of directors and the current chair of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, she had spent decades as one of Palo Alto's most visible representatives on the regional and state levels (among office holders from Palo Alto, only Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian can rival her record of service).

Yet it wasn't one of her close political allies but Councilman Eric Filseth, the council's swing vote, who nominated Kniss for the office, citing her experience as a major reason for his mayoral choice.

"We have only to look around other parts of our nation to appreciate the importance of competence, wisdom and experience in government," Filseth said. "Liz has by far the most experience in government of all of us on council."

Several council colleagues and residents echoed these sentiments and praised Kniss for her long record of service. Councilman Adrian Fine, one of Kniss' political allies on the council, thanked her for her "distinguished leadership" and Chamber of Commerce CEO Judith Kleinberg lauded her as "someone who can pull together different points of view" and build bridges.

Kniss' ascendancy to the mayor's chair came despite an ongoing investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission into her 2016 council campaign. The commission, which enforces the state's campaign finance laws, is probing her campaign after a complaint alleged that she had failed to report contributions from developers until after the election.

Councilman Tom DuBois, whose positions have often clashed with Kniss, was the only council member who alluded to the FPPC investigation. He lauded Kniss for having the necessarily procedural experience and demeanor to succeed as mayor. He also indicated, however, that he would support reconsidering her election as mayor if the investigation uncovers wrongdoing by her campaign.

"On completion of the investigation, if violations were found, we as a body should reconsider tonight's vote, once the facts are in," DuBois said. "I do think we owe it to the community and to the institution of the Palo Alto City Council to maintain the level of standards the community demands."

After the election, Kniss briefly addressed the FPPC investigation and claimed that "almost every return to the FPPC will have some errors in it." She also noted that four of the current council members have been referred to the FPPC at some point.

While that's strictly speaking true, the other complaints were resolved quickly and were centered on relatively minor violations. The FPPC concluded in 2014 that a complaint against Councilwoman Karen Holman alleging a conflict of interest didn't warrant an investigation. Last year, the FPPC gave Councilman Adrian Fine a warning over an envelope-labeling mistake and issued Greg Tanaka a $733 fine for failing to disclose occupations of several contributors.

The agency's probe of Kniss focuses on $19,340 in contributions, many from developers, that were made before the November 2016 election but that she had allegedly failed to report until Jan. 11.

In response to DuBois, Kniss said that a "great many people have been fined by the FPPC." Her campaign had itself looked at the possibility of reporting other people, but chose not to do so, Kniss said.

"We felt that perpetrating something wouldn't make a great deal of sense and certainly wouldn't contribute to our ability to function cohesively together," Kniss said.

She said she has been cooperating fully with the FPPC and dismissed DuBois' suggestion that the agency's findings should factor into her mayorship.

"I'd hardly say getting a fine is a reason for someone to resign or to be asked to resign," Kniss said.

The most surprising moment in a night came immediately after the mayoral election, when Wolbach moved to nominate his ideological opposite Eric Filseth as vice mayor -- a motion that was unanimously accepted by the rest of the council.

Even though the two had often clashed since winning their council seats in November 2014, Wolbach said he considers "the intellectual challenges posed by these disagreements one of the greatest joys I get on this council."

The move was somewhat unexpected because Wolbach himself was considered a strong candidate for the position. He had chaired the Policy and Services Committee last year and, like Filseth, is up for re-election this fall. He had also consistently voted along with the five-member council majority that includes Kniss, while Filseth has generally been aligned with the four-member minority.

But after Filseth moved to nominate Kniss, Wolbach suggested that his choice of Filseth as a vice mayoral choice has as much to do with political realities as with qualifications.

"The first job of every council member is to know how to count to five," Wolbach said, alluding to the number of votes it takes to get a majority.

Kniss indicated in her comments that housing -- particularly senior housing -- will remain a top priority in 2018. She also predicted that she and Filseth will make a strong team in the coming year.

"Eric and I haven't always been on the same page but we're very compatible with our ability to discuss items together and I think you'll discover we work very well together," Kniss said.

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Comments

64 people like this
Posted by Could Palo Alto Fall Any Lower?
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 8, 2018 at 8:32 pm

[Post removed.]


98 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2018 at 8:39 pm

This has to be a sad day for Palo Alto.

Palo Altans for Common Sense.


103 people like this
Posted by 4 FPPC Referrals
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2018 at 8:53 pm

Mayor Liz Kniss observed that four sitting Councilmembers have been referred to the FPPC for violations. Only one, Councilmember Karen Holman, was cleared of violating the Fair Political Practices Act.

The other two, Councilmembers Fine and Tanaka were found guilty as charged. Tanaka was fined and Fine was excused of his violation.

There is also a moral violation. Liz Kniss said she would not accept developer contributions, so she delayed reporting until after the election large contributions received from developers prior to the election. Councilmembers Fine and Tanaka also hid many developer contributions until after the election. They both loaned their campaigns money, which was paid back from developer contributions. So those developer contributions effectively went into Fine and Tanaka's pockets by repaying their loans. While not illegal, certainly slimy.


65 people like this
Posted by No credibility
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2018 at 9:01 pm

[Post removed.]



21 people like this
Posted by Informed
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 9, 2018 at 12:09 am

Kniss is overqualified and the trolling above is revolting. Only someone who doesn’t know Kniss could suggest she was not an excellent candidate for Mayor.


21 people like this
Posted by Respect
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 9, 2018 at 12:21 am

So glad to see Liz Kniss elected mayor. She knows this city, she understands the challenges, she has served the public for a long time.
Grateful for your service, Ms. Mayor!


19 people like this
Posted by Voice of a housing advocate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 9, 2018 at 1:49 am

Congratulations to Liz to her mayorship. Congrats also to Palo Alto for electing a strong housing advocate to lead our progressive and beautiful city. I'm hopeful that the 2018 council will unit behind her leadershop to ease housing shortage for seniors and across all income spectrum.


11 people like this
Posted by Yes Liz
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 9, 2018 at 2:01 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


68 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 9, 2018 at 5:57 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Liz Kniss is the mayor of informal relationships with developers, of co ordinated late developer contributions that don't have to be reported until after the elections, of rewarding developers by voting for their projects and allowing them to get away with under parking, etc, etc, etc. [Portion removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 9, 2018 at 6:07 am

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by Liz supporter
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2018 at 6:10 am

This is great news for Palo Alto. Liz is an exemplary public servant!


42 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2018 at 7:48 am

Her first priority should be basic infrastructure.

It rained last night, we lost power and Oregon flooded closing the underpass. These things would be better improving than spending money on feel good issues like Ross Road.


12 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of University South
on Jan 9, 2018 at 8:08 am

Good for Liz Kniss! A steady hand is what we need right now.


70 people like this
Posted by Guy_Fawkes
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 9, 2018 at 8:45 am

Guy_Fawkes is a registered user.

Kniss’s response to the ongoing investigation into donations to her campaign by developers was completely disingenuous. Thanks to Tom DuBois who was the only council member to address the elephant in the room. Liz’s supporters made the point that every one can make a technical mistake. This was a pattern of large mistakes made by our most experienced politician and some of the very supporters in the Room priasing her (who were her campaign team). It’s no coincidence that 3 of the 4 recent FPPC complaints were against developer backed candidates in the last election. Liz Is one and the other two were found guilty.

[Portion removed.]


51 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2018 at 9:21 am

The following is the factual part from one of the emails sent to council members before last nights meeting. Hard to accept that anyone who did this could be elected our mayor. And it’s not her first time - her dirty tricks to get elected as Supervisor against Dolly Sandoval years ago (google it) also got her in trouble with the FPPC. Read this email about the last election:

Regardless of whether or not the FPPC decides to penalize Ms. Kniss, the basic facts are not in dispute.

Voluntarily, she pledged that her campaign would not accept donations from developers. Ms. Kniss did, in fact, accept such donations, but failed to report them in the manner required by the Political Reform Act's Campaign Disclosure rules.

Specifically, Ms. Kniss:

accepted certain donations from developers before the election, but reported them as received after the election
accepted certain donations from well-known developers but falsely reported the occupation/employer as "unknown".

While Ms. Kniss has acknowledged these violations, she dismissed the irregular reporting as the result of her campaign treasurer's absence due to health issues. This explanation lacks veracity, however, because her campaign accepted and reported non-developer donations during the period her treasurer was unavailable. As a veteran of nine previous elections, Ms. Kniss would have known that her campaign was prohibited from accepting donations or authorizing expenses at any time the treasurer's position was vacant.


10 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 9, 2018 at 9:31 am

Tom dubois also " warned " us about the issues that would arise from allowing grocery outlet to install a lighted sign. And we know what became of that. And he voted for her anyway!


51 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2018 at 9:54 am

Another point - Kniss talks about housing but voted no on even discussing more renter protections for the 44% of Palo Altans that rent here - many of whom are seniors though she said she is concerned about senior housing needs. Renter protections can include beefed up mediation services or other reasonable measures but she was not interested in those 44% that are given ever escalating rents and inevitably displaced. She is only interested in build build build - making her developer donors happy. It’s all of a piece, along with her housing colleagues memo - the developers dream.

Last night Jim Keene noted that soon Palo Alto would have the only saved bayland (thank you Emily Renzel, et al) on the peninsula - and how great and farsighted that was of our town. Yet he then held up RWC as the example of what we should aspire to for housing development! (not mentioning nightmare traffic) Are you kidding? I hope in 15 years we look at our town like we look at our baylands and see that we have saved our town from rapacious development, unlike RWC and MV.

We need to carefully build the affordabe housing we need, not the unaffordable housing we don’t need that only more rich privelged people can buy. And we need to turn off the jobs spigot that feeds the demand for more and more housing.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2018 at 10:14 am

@You got what you deserved

"Tom dubois also " warned " us about the issues that would arise from allowing grocery outlet to install a lighted sign. And we know what became of that. And he voted for her anyway!"


Is that a local version of a "whaddabout?"


31 people like this
Posted by Susan
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 9, 2018 at 10:50 am

WHAT A SHAME!


45 people like this
Posted by 6Djockey
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 9, 2018 at 10:57 am

Most of us know that local politics is not as clean as we would like it to be. However, Liz kniss is operating a political machine and her being elected mayor proves that it works. She recruited candidates Fine and Tanka, got her developer supporters to also support them and taught them how to skirt the rules on campaign contributions. By the time the ruling on her violations is made, she will be comfortably in the mayor's chair.


69 people like this
Posted by Courageous
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 9, 2018 at 10:57 am

Grateful to Tom DuBois for acknowledging seriousness of FPPC investigation, explaining his vote (benefit of the doubt pending resolution), and "getting" the damage to public trust/confidence that pervades when elected officials flout the rules designed to protect us, the voters.

That THREE incoming council members were subject to complaint this year, with violations found against two (so far) is shocking indeed, with the most egregious charges still pending against Liz Kniss.

That Ms. Kniss would belittle the FPPC as a "mere commission" and suggest that breaking the rules should be forgiven because lots of people get caught doing it, is an offense to the citizenry. The work of the Fair Political Practices Commission is fundamental to preserving the legitimacy of elections, not only through their investigations and (arguably meager) fines, but by bringing to light politicians' misdeeds so that they can be held accountable by voters.

Unfortunately, Palo Alto voters don't get to elect their Mayor, and won't have another opportunity to express concern about Ms. Kniss at the ballot box. Mr. DuBois was right to speak up and to call on his colleagues to preserve the integrity of the Council through reconsideration of their leadership should the FPPC strongly find against Ms. Kniss.

He will surely be punished on the dais for taking that principled stand, but I for one am grateful for his courage.


6 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 9, 2018 at 11:11 am

[Post removed.]


22 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 9, 2018 at 11:12 am

Yes Liz posted:

"Finally, a city that knows electing a well qualified mayor to lead is the greatness in display of democracy. Proud to be a Palo Altoan tonight. As part of her campaign promises, I want to see this be the year of housing, housing, housing!"

But Liz Kniss believes there is a glut of apartment housing!!!!

Just last september when supporting loosening the restrictions on office and R&D she opined that there was already to much Rental & apartment housing!?!

Quote From Page 49 of the September 5, 2017 City Council Meeting.

"Our economy goes up and down. Case in point right now, I hear from some that there's a glut of apartments on the market because so many apartments have been built."

So which is it Mayor Kniss Housing crisis or housing glut????


59 people like this
Posted by Courageous
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 9, 2018 at 11:18 am

As is typical of the targets of whistleblowers, Kniss also sought last night to diminish the allegations against her on the grounds that they were submitted anonymously. What she failed to mention is that the FPPC does not investigate any and all anonymous complaints - only those where they deem the allegations and evidence presented to be credible and relevant.

Particularly in local elections, where we're all neighbors, the ability to raise concerns anonymously is fundamental to bringing to light any serious violations. All will concede that Ms. Kniss is a powerful politician, well connected in the community and region. Publicly challenging her is not for the faint of heart. That is precisely why agencies that pursue whistleblowing complaints have a mechanism for submitting them anonymously. And why we should honor Mr. DuBois for speaking up on all our behalf.


56 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 9, 2018 at 11:30 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Why is the investigation into the complaints again Kniss taking so long to resolve?

Many thanks to Mr. Dubois for having the courage to speak out.


33 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 9, 2018 at 11:32 am

The accommodation Given to Scharff was bloated and not totally factual.

1. He was given credit for the success of the Healthy cities Healthy Communities award.
That goal was spearheaded by Council Members Holman and Kniss, who attended the committee meetings and advocated for the goal for years. And it was Kniss & Holman that wrote the Colleagues memo for and were advocates of the NO Idling Law.

2. Scharff was given credit for the success of saving the Buena Vista mobile home park, when in fact he has no history
of great support and only attended their special holiday party this December as we was asked to speak in his role as Mayor.

3. He was given credit for reinstating the Rail Committee of the City Council, when in fact tHolman reinstated the rail committee in 2015!

4. He was applauded for his integrity. Many members of the public were shocked by his seeming ack of integrity in his role as Chair of the City Council meetings. He did not appear to promote a democratic process and seemed to ignore proper meeting management. He spoke first, allowed motions to be made before discussion of the matter at hand, called on some members of council ignoring others.....all in defiance of the proper role of chair.

5. Finally he tried to Undermine the Stanford General Use permit process by privately calling the Santa Clara county planning office demanding that the letter sent by Palo Alto's city Manager, requesting an extension for the review period of the environmental document, be WITHDRAWN!


6 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 9, 2018 at 11:34 am

Courageous- LOL. Considering what the fppc nailed fine for, there is plenty to what kniss said. And who is this anonymous individual? Is he/she aligned with pasz and the anti- everything 4? Dubois was playing to his small base of support, knowing that he is up for re-election this year and we are shedding 2 council seats. Better to start campaigning early


29 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 9, 2018 at 11:35 am

Another thought on Mayor Kniss.

Just recently she voted along with the council majority to lower the fees charged to Developers to build affordable housing.....truly that action cannot be construed to support housing!


29 people like this
Posted by We deserve integrity
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 9, 2018 at 11:54 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


4 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 9, 2018 at 12:13 pm

We deserve- my my with the litany of acts of malfeasance ( many imaginary and unproven ) that kniss has committed as catalogued by a tiny tiny minority of residents, it is clear that a recall is in order. So why don't you get the ball rolling.


6 people like this
Posted by Congratulations and thank you.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 9, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Congratulations and thank you. is a registered user.

Congratulations, Mayor Kniss and Vice Mayor Filseth. Many thanks to you and your Council colleagues for your service to our community.


53 people like this
Posted by No 'clerical errors'
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 9, 2018 at 1:23 pm

The FPPC probe looks at approximately $19,340 in contributions, many from well-known developers, that were made before the November 2016 election but that she failed to report until after the election, in January.

Kniss may try to call these clerical errors, but they are clearly intentional.
For example
2,500 from Calif Assoc.of Realtors
$1,875 from Thoits Brothers, a development firm
$1,250 from Hatco Associates LLC (affiliated with Thoits)
$999 from Charles "Chop" Keenan, primarily downtown developer
$999 each from THREE others from Keenan's firm
$999 from Premier Property
$1,000 from developer Joseph Martignetti
$500 from developer Jim Baer
$250 each from two employees of Jones Lang LaSalle -commercial real estate
$1,875 from Palo Alto Improvement Co


9 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 9, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

And the beat goes on...

I watched it at home. I wonder if all that happened last night wasn't pre-arranged, organized, and agreed to in advance. It just went too smoothly. Of course Liz's nomination and unanimous vote for mayor wasn't a surprise. But then came the big surprise of the evening when Cory Wolbach nominated Eric Filseth for vice mayor, when he himself was considered a strong candidate for that position. There were no other nominations. Kind words and affirmations were spoken about him, and then Eric was unanimously voted in as vice mayor.

It looks like a great team effort to me, with 'compromise' being a key word we can include back into our vocabularies. I commend Cory for his action and nomination of Erich. It showed there is a new hope for accomplishing things that aren't so politically divided on council and in our community. Differences of opinion on issues will be accepted and weighed heavily before votes are taken. And it is not trivial that Eric has an engineering and business background. He knows his dollars and cents, and had to deal with profit and loss situations as a CEO. Stockholders are a tough, and often unforgiving, crowd to please. That experience is so critical with our looming budget burden and having to deal with the heaviest burden, the pension obligations.

The FPPC fuss up: Either the rules are too complicated to understand, or so poorly written that so many candidates get it wrong and caught up in it...I don't know. Well, the other possibility is that our candidates are not smart enough to distinguish right from wrong when abiding by the rules. That would be more scary and doubly troubling. Liz made a weak argument, coming from a career politician, that 4 others on council have been cited for violations. So what? How does that absolve you? And if anybody should know the rules, she should by now. She is still the best choice for mayor, even with all her hanging baggage, accumulated for decades! I wish her, and the council well, for the tasks ahead. I just sit in my cheap seat at home, and able to complain about things online.

Housing: I just listen and yawn, when Liz and others speak about it, because I've heard so much about housing, the lack of it, the affordability of it, and some very crazy ideas how to solve it, for many years. Of course I'll wake up from my nap and be willing to hear about the newest solutions. They'll have to be a lot better than the old ones.

Traffic/transit/parking/grade separation: Just go for it CC. Give it your best shot, and tell us, your constituents and residents of PA, how you propose handling it, and paying for it.


19 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2018 at 2:55 pm

"the other possibility is that our candidates are not smart enough to distinguish right from wrong"


That is not the only possibility.


49 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 9, 2018 at 3:01 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Kniss, who has run for political office for the last 50 years, makes no clerical errors. Her "failure" to report land developers donations was carefully calculated, just as was accepting developer donations just before the elections, so they don't have to be reported until after the elections. There are terms to label such chicanery elsewhere, but in perfect Palo Alto such labeling is considered ancouth.


3 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 9, 2018 at 3:27 pm

[Post removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by No 'clerical errors'
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 9, 2018 at 4:30 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 9, 2018 at 4:35 pm

[Post removed.]


20 people like this
Posted by recall vote needed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2018 at 4:45 pm

We need a recall here for another reason - to
test the election results which have put this
Council majority in place. Back in 2014 the IT Manager at the County Registrar of Voters suddenly resigned on the eve of the election. Following the 2016 election in 2017 the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters underwent an unusual lengthy State audit called for due to a history of administrative failures and mistakes. I don't believe any of the current Council majority would defeat a recall.





8 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 9, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Recall needed- we have heard this factoid many times one this forum. Same wording but " different" posters. Nice fantasy scenario, but that is all it is.
But go ahead and get that recall going. We have heard about it one this forum since that election. But, obviously, since it is coming from a tiny minority of residents, there has been no action. And I predict this call is once again all talk and no action.


6 people like this
Posted by Concerned Observer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 9, 2018 at 5:02 pm

@ No 'clerical errors'......you had me until you brought Trump into the discussion. Hillary Clinton did the same and more. Stick to the local topic please. Trump has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.


40 people like this
Posted by Cynthia
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 9, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Liz Kniss is not a leader or the kind of Mayor a Palo Alto needs.

Is there any hope of reversing this horrible decision by just a few Palo Altans (ie the council!)?


49 people like this
Posted by No housing
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2018 at 6:34 pm

Please stop with all the housing talk. We have an overpopulation problem, not a housing problem. We are destroying our environment and quality of life by trying to allow every company that wants to do business to set up shop in this area. Detroit has lots of room and water, go there. California is full, has little water, has huge pollution, environmental destruction and endangered species problems and we don't need more people.

Hopefully this council will grow a brain and start to fight the "growth at any cost" mantra that disseminates out of pro-development politicians and their friends at the state and local political centers. We need to fight back against the mindless voices that speak for developers and constantly chant -more growth, more housing. The mantra should be mindful about saving the state and our part of the globe and assuring a good quality of life for the people who live and work here already, not the millions more who want to come. Again the goal is population control.


39 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 9, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Adding 4 jobs to each housing unit does not -- and cannot -- make housing more affordable; Fairy tales like this are absurd.

"No Housing" is right: we DO need to fight back. Maddeningly illogical though many of the the "growth uber alles" claims are, some are worthy of Comedy Central. (Folks, they're considering ADUs for FRONT yards, now. People are renting parking spaces on Next Door. This is NOT car-light.)

We're too densely populated and congested already. Politicians are pushing out business and services WE need while pushing in hotels and offices that do nothing but clog our streets and keep the city busy. Then they have the nerve -- the chutzpah -- to tell us to get out of OUR cars while ignoring obvious ways to reduce gridlock like school buses!

Enough with the expensive and contradictory fairy tales. You can't keep shoving more and more density into one area WHILE restricting traffic flow without consequences!


30 people like this
Posted by @Online Name
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 9, 2018 at 7:47 pm

Thank you, agree completely.
It is exactly that - fairy tales. We were scolded here for mentioning the current president but this is exactly the same type of behavior otherwise known as ... well, conning.
As always, keep wondering who and why are giddy about that. I understand the developers and those "whose salaries depend on not understanding". A regular citizen needs to realize that for the housing to become "affordable" there has to be so much of it built that long before it becomes affordable the life is choked out of the area. We are heading there and fast.


12 people like this
Posted by Concerned Observer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 9, 2018 at 8:25 pm

@ no housing..... stop electing progressive liberals. Problem solved.


32 people like this
Posted by Marroll
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 10, 2018 at 11:11 am

It was inevitable. That is how the system so often works. Another career politician who emerged and remains thus so because they're indebted to developers and other special interests. Retread, status quo, and so it goes.


6 people like this
Posted by Sea Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 10, 2018 at 11:41 am

The city council wisely elected two great people with high potential for
INNOVATION INTEGRITY INCLUSIVE as operating rhythm.

Many of us are happy that it was unanimous.

I commend Cory for taking high road. I am critical of Tom for spoiling the Palo Alto new culture by bringing up ‘the incomplete’ investigation; etc. But, it was his desire.

Let’s begin 2018 with a spirit of cooperation. We have an outstanding female mayor we have a great Tech CEO with focus on data.

Let’s aim excellence so we can be proud of Palo Alto.

Respectfully

Sea Reddy


25 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 10, 2018 at 4:50 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Palo A lot is a microcosm of California. California is able to accommodate only about half the its current population because of its chronic water shortage and other environmental concerns. The overpopulation of both will spell disaster in the long run. Palo Alto never had a housing problem, it has an overpopulation problem, just like California. Any plan that adds to Palo Alto's population is suicidal. Liz Kniss and her followers in the CC plan a major increase in the town's population, really a suicide plan. Even if we ignore her campaign "irregularities" and her close ties to the real estate industry, her presence on the CC, and certainly her third term as mayor are an unmitigated disaster for Palo Alto.

There are alternatives to this disaster. In Palo Alto, it would be pressure on companies to stop hiring more employees and moving entirely or partially to other areas of the country that have water and housing. Such pressure will never be applied as long as Kniss, her followers, Palantir and PAF control the CC.


37 people like this
Posted by Jolly Roger
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 10, 2018 at 5:18 pm

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I prefer mayors who are not under active investigation for campaign law violations. They're less of an ethics shadow on the community.


33 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 10, 2018 at 6:52 pm

The quality of life in Palo Alto is quickly being destroyed. Every person I know that has left Palo Alto doesn’t miss it at all. Traffic, parking problems, the city becoming an office park with ugly commercial buildings, lack of retail, foreign investors buying up the housing stock, ghost houses, high housing costs, pushy overly aggressive residents, sexual allegations in the schools, teen suicides, over development, disfunctional city government, lousy grocery stores, crumbling infrastructure, etc. The list goes on and on.


3 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 10, 2018 at 7:10 pm

^ Nobody comes here anymore. It's too crowded.


19 people like this
Posted by Larger View
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 10, 2018 at 10:00 pm

This is not in general an issue of “some people want more density and faster building, and some want less density and slower building.”

Density interests fund elections of density advocates who spur higher density and allow density interests to make money.

Not a little money. Developers, real estate interests, banks all are involved with billions of dollars in this activity.

An investment of a thousand dollars, ten thousand dollars, a hundred thousand dollars, a million dollars to keep this spigot open is a no brainer for these interests.

Protecting Palo Alto will require some smart and effective activity. The forces for unbridled growth in the face of clear needs of the city to digest its current population has a lot to lose.


15 people like this
Posted by Gus L.
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 11, 2018 at 8:18 am

Perhaps Palo Alto Should drain the Swamp...


24 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 11, 2018 at 9:49 am

mauricio is a registered user.

[Portion removed.] Local papers have largely ignored it for decades, and many voters, based only on her vast name recognition, think of her as a residentialist, instead of as the most aggressive and effective supporter of the mega urbanization of this town.


5 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 11, 2018 at 10:01 am

[Portion removed.] Palo alto voters know kniss. That is why she had gotten the most votes in the last election. It is quite inspiring that you call into question the intelligence of the local voter because the anti- everything block got trounced in the last election


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Posted by Let's Face Reality
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 11, 2018 at 11:07 am

The challenge with city, county and any local election in any part of the country, is that the process is similar to being in middle or high school. The elections tend to be popularity contests. So, this means that from middle school to adult hood, we as humans tend to not change in terms of who we like locally, and who we vote for in local elections. The winners are usually those who have name recognition in the area, and not necessarily are these people effective. However, those who do run, and want to win local elections, you have to give them credit for wanting to participate in local government, for whatever reasons they make this choice. Small cities like Palo Alto will always only operate with the same names of people, and local folks who are known as key persons key players, decades after decades. In fact, studies have shown that with respect to City Council elected members, there is a tendency for the same family names to get elected time after time. So, local elections and governance has no real effect on the national scale, and getting programs that are helpful to the electorate, as these are just popularity contests.


9 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 11, 2018 at 4:12 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The overwhelming majority of Palo Alto voters actually don't know Liz Kniss at all. They are very familiar with her name. I started noticing about 30 years ago that she is always running for some office. I began asking people why they voted for her, and often they would reply that they voted for her because she is against massive development and wants to preserve PA's character, the complete opposite of what she stands and works for. Thousands of voters have a completely wrong perception of her, but keep voting for her because of her name recognition, actually not knowing anything about her real views, largely because they don't have the time to get informed. They vote for the name Kniss because it's the only one they can actually recognize, nothing else. bear in mind that 3 years ago, many voters who are against development voted for Cory Wolbach, because he seemed so nice, yet when I point out to them that he is a very aggressive pro development voice in the CC, they are shocked, even after 3 years..


7 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 11, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Maurucio- 30 years ago, kniss was holding her first elected office- so, so much for that claim of yours. In her last 2 elections, kniss has received the most votes. Given the intelligence of local voters, it is clear that a vast majority of LOCAL residents know and approve of her. [Portion removed.]


16 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 11, 2018 at 5:14 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Local voters often work 14 and longer hour days in their quest to be overachieving matters of the universe and have zero time and energy to be knowledgeable about local politicians. Hence the ignorance about the mega urbanization candidates. many still consider, especially Kniss, due to her massive name recognition, and her handpicked mega development followers Fine, Tanaka, Wolbach, and also Scharff, to be pro neighborhood residentialists who will protect them from overdevelopment, because they presented themselves as such while running for the CC.

High levels of education and income don't always prevent ignorance about candidates.


5 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 11, 2018 at 6:01 pm

Maurucio- you claim that the educated, intelligent, and involved LOCAL voters are incredibly ignorant about who they vote for. The absurdity of that comment needs no additional comment


5 people like this
Posted by Topic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2018 at 7:44 pm

This headline "Kniss wins third term as Palo Alto mayor" is for some reason is listed under "CRIMES & INCIDENTS"

Regarding the election, it's called advertising.

There was a lot of glossy advertising ($$) and endorsements which carried a lot of weight. Let's not forget Tanaka came in 2nd and he had barely any name recognition so the fact that Kniss came in 1st with about 10,000 votes (?), Tanaka 7000 (?) means that they advertised and did all the right things to get elected.

To "win" you have to be connected, have money, and willing to say anything to win, that can fool a lot of people unfortunately.







1 person likes this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 11, 2018 at 7:53 pm

"To "win" you have to be connected, have money, and willing to say anything to win, that can fool a lot of people unfortunately"

I assume that comment applies to karen holman and will apply to Eric filseth when he is elected next year.


7 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 11, 2018 at 7:56 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Let's find another word for "elected" -- appointed? selected? named?

An election would involve Palo Alto voting on who becomes mayor and under what conditions.


7 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 12, 2018 at 6:08 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Kniss had groomed and enforced Tanaka, because he was a staunch pro mega development supporter, and got him the endorsement of the California Democratic party, while he was still a registered Republican. That's pretty much tells us who and what she is.


Like this comment
Posted by Sea Seelam Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 12, 2018 at 12:06 pm

Sea Seelam Reddy is a registered user.

We have a beautiful city.
We have a lot of good leaders including Liz.

Stop this garbage about accusing Liz until the report comes out.

We elected two most bright people Liz and Eric. Let us honor them and support them to get some great things accomplished.

Make Palo Alto envy of sister cities.

Respectfully
Sea
INNOVATION INTEGRITY INCLUSION 3 pillars for leadership


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