News

Editorial: Filseth, DuBois and Cormack for City Council

Two incumbents, newcomer should take three open seats

This year's Palo Alto City Council election is notable for two reasons: The size of the council is shrinking from nine to seven and only five candidates are running — the least competitive race in decades.

While the reason for the small number of candidates isn't clear, we suspect that it is partly due to the animosity, bickering and political gamesmanship that has characterized many council meetings the last two years. Monday night meetings have gone from being largely congenial to often acrimonious. Mirroring the national political environment, the City Council often appears more like a partisan body with factions plotting against each other than a thoughtful and respectful group of community leaders seeking solutions to complicated problems.

To be sure, other councils have had their tensions and personality conflicts, but nothing compared to what this group has experienced over the last two years. If it becomes the norm, it will chase away good candidates in the future and alienate the public. It is worth noting that none of the qualified candidates who ran unsuccessfully two years ago opted to run again his year.

This climate change took root in 2017, after the 2016 City Council election resulted in a clear 5-4 majority of those inclined against tighter restrictions on commercial growth. This came after a period when the council was often evenly divided on development issues, with former Councilman Pat Burt a common "swing" vote, though usually siding with the so-called "slow growth" foursome. That gave him oversized influence, especially when he served as mayor, but it also demonstrated the value of not having such a predictable and intractable 5-4 majority on either "side."

So when voters chose Adrian Fine, Greg Tanaka and Lydia Kou to replace Burt and Greg Schmid (who were termed out after eight years) and Marc Berman (who successfully ran for Assembly) it set up a political dynamic that has proven harmful to Palo Alto and government effectiveness. (For more analysis of that campaign, read our 2016 endorsement editorial.)

Without anyone serving as a moderating swing vote, the new majority was emboldened to do anything it pleased. Greg Scharff, who was elected mayor, Liz Kniss, who followed Scharff as mayor this year, Cory Wolbach, Fine and Tanaka could essentially impose any outcome they wished on the four-person minority. And they have wielded that power almost with glee throughout the last two years. While some might argue that's what majority rule is all about and that election outcomes matter, we prefer a style of governing that doesn't trample minority voices, relies on the power of persuasion and logic and avoids dismissive or insulting personal comments.

This phenomenon has led to repeated last-minute and late-night surprise proposals being offered by the majority, usually as amendments to staff recommendations, without the benefit of staff analysis or community input. Whether these efforts have been coordinated ahead of time or not, their effect is to undermine the long tradition of community debate and compromise. Citizens expect a majority to respect and work with minority voices to formulate policy, and that too often has stopped happening.

With two current council members (Karen Holman and Greg Scharff) termed out and unable to seek re-election, the race this year features three incumbents — Tom DuBois, Eric Filseth and Cory Wolbach — and two challengers, Pat Boone and Alison Cormack. Because of the size reduction in the council, three seats are open instead of five. (In 2020, four seats will be on the ballot.)

Interestingly, after two previous elections when some degree of group campaigning took place among a trio of politically aligned candidates (some say a "slate"), this year voters have a pair of candidates (Filseth and DuBois) who share support from community members who wish the council would be more aggressive about limiting commercial growth and two (Wolbach and Cormack) who are more closely aligned with the current council majority favoring fewer restrictions on development. That leaves philosophically driven voters with an extra vote and the possibility that many won't choose to cast three votes or will cast a vote for Boone. As a result, the outcome is difficult to predict.

Boone moved to Palo Alto just two years ago and, although articulate and becoming familiar with local issues, is not close to having the knowledge and perspective of the other candidates, all longtime residents. His statements during the early part of the campaign suggest he is more aligned on most development-related issues with DuBois and Filseth than with Wolbach and Cormack.

In evaluating the other four candidates, we believe Filseth and DuBois best reflect the prevailing community concerns about the need for restrictive commercial growth measures; new housing development that is focused on below-market-rate, subsidized rental housing for service workers, seniors and low-income residents; and the implementation of policies that increase housing supply without exacerbating existing parking and traffic problems.

These two realize, as do most Palo Altans, that our past policies have worsened the jobs-housing imbalance and helped fuel increased housing costs: By allowing much more commercial development (which has spurred the need for housing) than housing development, the problem has only gotten worse with every approved project.

They have largely been in sync in supporting lowered commercial-growth caps and higher housing-impact fees on new development so that more funding is available for the development of subsidized housing. They both opposed the council's moves to eliminate the cap on non-residential development downtown from the Comprehensive Plan and to loosen the annual 50,000-square-foot office cap by allowing unused square footage to "roll over" from one year to the next.

Both DuBois and Filseth support the recent efforts to encourage the development of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to boost the inventory of small housing units but have expressed frustration that the council majority has been unwilling to consider the parking issues created and what rules should be established to protect R-1 neighborhoods from parking problems.

They also both support renter-relocation assistance and the study of rent-stabilization measures to address the skyrocketing costs of rental housing.

In his role on the finance committee, Filseth has become the most knowledgeable council member on city budget, finance and pension matters. He brings a straight-forward and respectful approach to the issues and as vice mayor this year emerged as a leader on the council.

For the third opening on the council we recommend newcomer Alison Cormack over incumbent Cory Wolbach.

Cormack, who led the city bond measure campaign 10 years ago that resulted in the new Mitchell Park Library and renovations to the downtown and Rinconada libraries, has tried to thread the needle of avoiding alignment with either of the two traditional political camps in Palo Alto and therefore positioning herself to receive support across the board. She said she would have opposed the lifting of the commercial development cap in downtown but also would have opposed cutting in half the citywide cap as proposed by a citizens' initiative. But with those two actions having now been taken, she says she is comfortable with the result and wants to focus on how to manage future impacts of limited growth, especially transportation.

Cormack has been a critic of the south Palo Alto street-calming measures and the bad city-community communications and would like to see prioritization of improvements to the city's shuttle program. She also has proposed that subsidized housing be considered in the planning now underway for the Cubberley Community Center property.

Although she can be frustratingly vague on some current issues, explaining that she needs additional information, we think she would bring corporate and community experience and a collaborative style that would be an asset to the council.

We supported Cory Wolbach four years ago because we saw him as a unique candidate due to his age, his background as a legislative aide and his passion for crafting solutions to problems. He also stressed the need for integrity and inclusiveness in political decision-making and seemed genuinely focused on seeking consensus whenever possible.

But while earnest and, we believe, well-intentioned, Wolbach has repeatedly been part of the group that has created dysfunction on this council by either offering surprise and pre-emptive motions or by joining with others to make disparaging comments about his colleagues. His recent refusal to support even the study of possible rent-stabilization measures, after all his talk about tackling tough issues like our rental-housing crisis, was disappointing and revealing. When DuBois made the motion to include the study of rent control, Wolbach asserted the motion was "introducing fear where we should introduce thoughtfulness."

The prior October, when the rent-control issue was first introduced in a colleagues memo, Wolbach accused the three authors of being disingenuous.

"I don't think this is sincerely being offered as part of a comprehensive solution," Wolbach said.

We kept hoping over the last four years that the feedback and criticism of Wolbach's behavior would result in self-reflection and a change. Instead, in spite of his many good ideas and interest in legislating, Wolbach has not exhibited the restraint and forbearance needed to be effective on a council that requires more collaborative than advocacy skills.

For a more productive council that hopefully will focus on solutions rather than political gamesmanship or personal insults, we recommend the election of Eric Filseth, Tom DuBois and Alison Cormack to Palo Alto City Council.

• Read the Weekly's past editorials on city issues since the 2016 election here.

Find more coverage on Palo Alto races and measures, endorsements and voter-education events here.

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Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Comments

62 people like this
Posted by Thomas
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2018 at 7:18 am

I cannot support Tom and Eric. They have consistently fought against reasonable efforts to even modestly increase housing supply. I don't agree with Cory on everything, but I will vote for him because of his work on housing and his vote for the office cap.


46 people like this
Posted by Thomas
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2018 at 7:26 am

I don't agree with much of this editorial at all. No swing vote? Majority ramming things through? Hardly! Look at the office cap, tenant relocation assistance, the Comprehensive plan housing numbers... certainly not an indication of a solid voting bloc. There has been a lot of nuance.


56 people like this
Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 7:44 am

Filseth and DuBois have fought EVERY attempt to expand the supply of housing in Palo Alto. Large developments, small developments, zoning changes: all opposed. Wolbach led the charge to make it easier to create granny units, to create an Affordable Housing Zoning designation, to push our Comprehensive Plan to be aggressive about solving our city's most pressing problem: a severe lack of affordability.

The dysfunction on Council is that half of Council, led by Filseth and Dubois, actively contributes to our housing crisis by refusing to do anything to make housing more affordable. This is our local equivalent of climate denialism. To then accuse the people who are trying to solve the problem of being "uncivil" is extraordinarily cynical


53 people like this
Posted by Voting for Wolbach
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 12, 2018 at 7:46 am

Voting for Wolbach is a registered user.

As a close observer of City Hall, I am disappointed in The Weekly. This editorial praises Tom Dubois and Eric Filseth for actions that Cory Wolbach initiated and led, like making it easier to build ADUs, and ignores examples where Wolbach showed the very characteristics it praises Pat Burt for, such as being a swing vote, as Wolbach was on the office cap recently, and his effort to work with Dubois on renter protections.

Cory Wolbach brings hometown experience, thoughtfulness, and an open mind. He is consistently the most accessible council member. He thinks deeply about the issues that matter to me, and he has earned my vote.


50 people like this
Posted by Alexandra Acker-Lyons
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 12, 2018 at 7:49 am

i disagree with the entire premise of these endorsements. Cory has been a thoughtful leader pushing for smart solutions to complex problems. Eric and Tom have consistently blocked policies at every turn. I also believe your assessment of Cory is ageist. Would you criticize older peers over "self-reflection"? Come on.


24 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 7:51 am

I think we are in desperate need for change on CC. I don't think the incumbents should return and Cormack sounds too much the same.

I think Boone is the only candidate that will put the residents ahead of those who want to live here. He is a listener because of his journalistic background and will pay attention to what is best for those of us who live here. That is what we need.


55 people like this
Posted by Eric Rosenblum
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:00 am

This is disappointing to see.

Survey after survey has consistently shown that Palo Altans are most disappointed with the lack of affordability of Palo Alto (and the ancillary problems that this brings-- namely that it is tough for local businesses to survive, it is impossible for "normal" people to live here, etc).

Cory Wolbach was the only candidate to take this on head-on. He led the fight to make Granny Units easier to construct; was the primary voice advocating for the Affordable Housing Overlay, and compromised with his colleagues on renter protections.

The editorial is slippery and misleading. It notes that Filseth and Dubois "supported development of ADUs". A newspaper should have looked at the actual votes and proposed amendments. They inserted roadblock after roadblock (insisting on minimum lot size, "doorway orientation", parking restrictions, etc. Please read the transcript: Web Link

Similarly, their insistence on sharply increased development fees was NOT to increase the amount of fees available for affordable housing. A clue to this is the fact that all of the non-profit affordable housing developers in town OPPOSED these proposals (because they rightly saw it as a poison pill to scupper all development, which would have destroyed their funding sources).

This editorial is the national debate writ small: the weekly is blaming the one guy in the room who is seriously trying to solve a problem for the dysfunction encountered when his fellow colleagues are engaging in denialism.

Our local paper should be serving our community better than this. It does not take long to review votes and transcripts, but it is beyond the ability of most citizens to do so. We should expect that when our paper of record does so, it does not elide over the truth of candidates' positions.


46 people like this
Posted by Nancy Krop
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:01 am

Palo Alto needs Cory Wolbach's continued leadership on City Council. Cory was an early leader in the 5-year battle to preserve our affordable housing in the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park. Yes, many players worked together on this battle, but Cory was an early leader, before he joined our city council and he led on this issue once on City Council. Over 100 students in our PAUSD schools will graduate high school (outside of Palo Alto, similar demographic low-income students face a 66% graduation rate without access to the resources PAUSD provides to ALL our students). Our community also benefits from the continued contributions from our Buena Vista hard working neighbors, in our schools, our homes, our restaurants, our offices and our businesses. As a former Gunn student, Cory is a role model of what it means to be a "leader" and true meaning of "community." As an education advocate and Gunn alum, I'm proud to endorse Cory.


131 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:22 am

DuBois and Filseth are great council members and the Weekly is right to call out their accomplishments and leadership qualities !!!
And the weekly is Right to endorse them.

It is untrue that Filseth and DuBois worked on Council to block housing. IN FACT they both worked hard on the recent initiative to reduce office growth and restore some balance in palo Alto. In last decades excessive office development has been a feeding frenzy for developers creating mass sums of wealth and resulting in the huge jobs housing imbalance that has lead to so many problems in this city Including the high cost of housing

There is absolutely no truth in the accusations that they have blocked housing projects.

Despite the constant claim no new housing has been built The Council, along with Filseth and DuBois, has approved nearly 100 units, mostly along El Camino Real.
And one Affordable Housing project that is likely to be approved soon.
So please please be truthfull about the candidates even if you don’t support them. Please don’t become part of the "disinformation crowd" that is truly harming this country!

Thanks again Weekly - hope the voters of this community will not be taken in by deceptive election practices!


44 people like this
Posted by Cory supporter
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:22 am

I agree with many of the other commentators here. Cory has been one of the very few people on Council to consistently try and solve our housing problem. The other candidates have been doing just the opposite. This paper has to do better in distinguishing between these two Polar Opposites.


136 people like this
Posted by Flooding the Comments
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:23 am

Looks like Cory got up early this morning and pushed his supporters for online comments. Any regular observer of council knows the Weekly got it exactly right. While talking about Civility Wolbach has consistently been immature , rash, and prone to emotional outbursts against colleagues and even the public. [Portion removed.]

Given their demeanor and thoughtfulness I’d expect a council with Cotmac, DuBois and Filseth to be a lot less acrimonious and most importantly make better decisions. Wolbach has had to retract his actions and apologize on multiple occasions. He voted to allow office in residential neighborhoods. He is reckless. Thank you Weekly for bringing the power of the fourth estate to our local elections and keeping candidates honest.


41 people like this
Posted by Community for Cory!
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:39 am

There is really only one incumbent who has demonstrated true care for the broader community and our collective future: Cory Wolbach. Without a doubt, Cory has putting the future of ALL residents first (not just the ones who agree with him), and led the council on climate and environmental justice, housing policy and equity issues. He is not idealistic or partisan and geuninely listens to all constituents without belittling them. The community backs Cory, which is evident from wide base of constituents who have contributed to his campaign (in small dollar amounts) in this race.

I also look forward to having Alison Cormack serve our city. She also has a collective community minded spirit I believe all Palo Alto City council members should embody when governing.


42 people like this
Posted by Downtown Granny
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:46 am

While I don't always agree with Wolbach, he's the only one who has consistently advocated for housing in Palo Alto. DuBois votes for it only if his back is against the wall and tries to dilute every proposal with features that make affordable housing unaffordable to build. All under the guise of being a housing advocate. A wolf in sheeps clothing if anyone bothered to dig into the how and why he votes the way he does.
Wolbach is thoughtful, willing to meet and listen and has introduced the best ways to make our Palo Alto inclusive and more diverse. I'm sick and tired of hearing how we have to pull up the drawbridges - this city is becoming a haven for wealthy young folks and old folks who live in houses that have made them millions.
Yes, we have traffic issues - but so does the rest of the region - let's figure out how to get people housed closer to where they work and out of RVs. This is a CRISIS and Palo Alto has shamefully avoided building housing.
I'm voting for Cory regardless of what the Weekly says because I want a more diverse and inclusionary city - it's what made us great.


126 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:47 am

On July 30, 3 months before the election, Wolbach voted for the Office Cap, which everybody knew would pass at the polls. Here is how he voted before that:

Jan 30, 2017 Moved, and voted, to eliminate the Downtown Office Cap from the Comp Plan

Sep 5, 2017 Voted against lowering the City Office Cap from 50Ksf to 40Ksf

Sep 5, 2017 Voted to let developers “roll over” unused Office square footage from one year to the next

Sep 5, 2017 Voted to eliminate the requirement that Office projects compete on quality

Dec 12, 2016 Voted to reduce Affordable Housing impact fees on Office/R+D development to $40/sf

Mar 27, 2017 Voted to reduce Affordable Housing impact fees on Office/R+D development to $35/sf

(The argument that reducing impact fees hurts Affordable Housing is cynical. It’s called an “impact” fee for a reason: if you don’t have the new office space, you don’t have the impact. You’re still better off. The only way you’re worse off is if you want to build more office space.)


114 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:48 am

ACTUALY......
Here are just a few examples of Wolbach not supporting renters and affordable housing , instead he wants even more office?????

ON Fees for Affordable Housing:
Wollbach Voted to reduce new fees from $60/sq ft to $35.
Opposed any impact fees for schools and disparaged PAUSD trustee Collins as “hyperbolic and inaccurate.” for raising such concerns.

ON Renter protection memo:
“Councilmember Wolbach seemed to support the goals of the recommendations, saying he'd asked to sign on as a co-author and had ideas about how to improve it. But in a bizarre fit of pique, he declined repeated invitations to offer amendments, instead launching a personal attack of Councilmember Kou and calling into question the motives of the authors.”
Web Link

On Office growth in the Comprehensive plan:
Citywide office cap for Comp Plan Wollbach Made motion for 1.7M sq ft. Proposed adding 900K sq ft, for a total of 2.6M. by excluding Stanford Research Park (SRP). Staff opposed and Wolbach retracted that addition. CC meeting 1/30/17.


36 people like this
Posted by Cory and Alison for me
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:48 am

Eric Filseth is arrogant but has a good handle on the information. Tom Dubois rides his coattails and I think less of Eric Filseth for allowing it. Not in the best interest of Palo Alto.

I'll be supporting Cory and Alison b/c they demonstrate a willingness to listen, flexible thought, and compassion in decision making. Cory is the only candidate to say he's committed to actually following through on increasing the number of housing units the city council approved.


36 people like this
Posted by Foolish weekly
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:53 am

I am totally not surprised by this editorial. The weekly has been the mouthpiece for the bashing of certain council members during the last two years. They have published a series of biased news stories and one sided editorials bashing cory and the councilmembers that work with him to better the city. It is no surprise that they agree doing the work for the anti growth faction of the civil. The weekly has been a big supporter of pasz for years.
The editor should debate the content by flooding the comments above, unless he can provide price that cory pushed his supporters to post comments. But not surprised that it had not been removed given the weekly's "fair reporting about cory


20 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:01 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

This was also my personal ranking of the 10 possible outcomes. Interestingly virtually all possible outcomes form an acronym you listed as the ETA where is I have it as TEA. Predicting that order of finish.
My reverse rationalizing slogan was then “you cannot have steam without tea” connoting their respective involvement in the arts and music: Eric plays a guitar at least he poses with one and claims to listen to hip bands like War On Drugs; Tom was a chief fundraiser for the Gunn Jazz band, Plus he once quoted journey titles in an essay on parking; Alison sings with a choir.
Let’s get Greg Rolie to play outdoors at Mitchell Park in celebration .


108 people like this
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:07 am

These comments are a good example of the divisive tribalism that the editorial complains of. It isn't good for the community in my view - "if you disagree with me, you must be stupid or evil."

Personally I don't appreciate Wolbach's temperament. The list of people he has insulted from the dais is long, including both his colleagues and community members. This seems like hypocrisy, given his "civility" campaign last time.

This isn't a death match about housing - the most important issue here is community. Filseth is actually the best example of that - taciturn, thoughtful, no goal beyond serving the community.


34 people like this
Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:08 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

I will be voting for Cory.

He is the only candidate who has taken a leadership position on housing. This week the PTC approved a number of changes to make it easier to build housing for low income and all residents--AS A RESULT OF A HOUSING WORK PLAN THAT CORY, LIZ AND ADRIAN CALLED FOR LAST YEAR.

He is the only candidate with a demonstrated commitment and willingness to speak out to protect the civil rights of all residents.

He has support from groups ranging from Planned Parenthood to labor, housing and environmental groups as well as dozens of elected and appointed leaders in our community.

In terms of civility and creating an atmosphere of collegiality, the Weekly seems to conveniently forget that the first real brick thrown was an op-ed in their paper by Tom Dubois calling Cory and others he disagreed with "wolves in sheep's clothing" and "hijackers of democracy". That was quickly followed by Lydia Kou calling Cory "disingenuous and reckless".

I think the Weekly for whatever reason has the who is civil arguments completely backward.


127 people like this
Posted by Deception
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:08 am

The Weekly is essentially saying that Cory deceived us.

Regardless of where you stand on issues the tap dancing is obvious. His supporters are desparately trying to shift attention to other issues but this core basic truth is all voters need to know.

He's slippery and on many issues before Council has tried to argue both sides. He's said he supports something and votes against it. He says he's opposed to something then votes for it.

When I step back and re-read this editorial it's clearly about values more than positions.

And I agree.


149 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:09 am

Resident is a registered user.

Cory is the personification of political expediency. He will switch sides on any issue if his political calculations tell him that is the way to gain more support.

I do not always agree with Filseth or Dubois, but at least I know they have reached their positions through careful deliberation and take positions based on consistent principles, not today's political winds.

Do not be swayed by the misinformation provided here by Cory supporters. Talk with the candidate. Look at his votes. Then decide for yourself who you trust to guide Palo Alto for the next four years.


25 people like this
Posted by Peers Parent
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:14 am

Peers Parent is a registered user.

I'm disappointed to see that the Weekly failed to endorse the one candidate who has taken seriously the complex issue of affordable housing. We have a real crisis on our hands and failing to take bold action will have even more dire consequences than we have already seen. Sad.


142 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:24 am

@Flooding the comments,
Yes, it is typical of PAF to flood the comment section first on issues related to their power to push an overdevelopment agenda if they can, with self-absorbed, overdevelopment-serving, aggressive comments.

I hope everyone who wants to re-elect Filseth and Dubois, i.e., supporters of reasonable governance and civic life, will either cast their votes ONLY for Filseth and Dubois, or possibly for Filseth, Dubois and Boone. But here’s why people who care about reasonable governance shoukd consider voting only for Dubois and Filseth.

The reason they should NOT use a third vote for Cormack or Wohlbach, or even Boone, is because just as we witnessed above, the overdevelopment proponents will be organized and out in force, and they will be voting for Wohlbach and Cormack, maybe even Boone. So if Filseth and Dubois supporters also vote for Cormack, and Wohlbach as an incumbent has as many or more votes than Filseth or Dubois, it’s probable that Cornack will also have more votes than either Filseth and Dubois and will bump one of them despite so many voters preferring Filseth and Dubois. Don’t use your third vote to essentially vote AGAINST your two favorite candidates.

We don’t have ranked choice voting, so until we do, voters really must consider voting ONLY for the candidates they want in office. If they vote for anyone they are lukewarm about, that person could bump one of their more favored candidates. Since we do not know whether the overdevelopment-centric will also vote for Boone, if you care about Filseth and Dubois, and the best thing is to vote ONLY for Filseth and Dubois.

What is at stake is the council majority and the whole direction of Palo Alto. If you vote only for Filseth and Dubois, the third spot will go to whomever the overdevelopment minority want, which is fine. But if you cast that third vote, you will be voting against Filseth and Dubois and risk getting two or three overdevelopment candidates in office instead.

I will be voting only for Filseth and Dubois. I do not see not casting my thrid vote as thriwing the vote away, because we do not have ranked choice voting, under the circumstances, not using my third vote IS essentially another way to support Filseth and Dubois.


39 people like this
Posted by Cory has my vote
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:38 am

I voted for Cory four years ago and will vote for him again this year. He is the only candidate who runs on housing and delivers his campaign promises on housing and affordability. He is thoughtful and considerate and his ability to listen is a sharp contrast to Tom and Eric.

The number one concern we face is housing. Cory is the only one who not only articulates his support on housing in rhetoric but also in action. Tom and Eric on the other hand, pay lip services on their supposed affordable housing while creating road blocks and piling on barriers after barriers to kill many proposals. When next housing proposal comes, watch how Tom and Eric cunningly dispute the proposal and kill it.

Cory is the only one who supports housing. And he has my vote.


23 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:38 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Second helping: I beg to differ with my esteemed (steamed?) colleagues and co-congregants Eric and Steve, and my fellow former Gunn weight-lifter Nancy. Alison has more life experience as both a Mom and a corporate exec— when Cory said “the industry” he was apparent referencing his stint as a security guard.
Also let us recall that previously in these pages Greg Scharff was called a “country lawyer” when he was actually a landlord and real estate specialist; Cory was called “The Diplomat” when he was unknown, eleventh hour and an epitome of the Hamilton “Aaron Burr” false wisdom “Talk less, smile more”. And the music stopped.


101 people like this
Posted by PB1102
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:46 am

PB1102 is a registered user.

This is Council Candidate Pat Boone. I wish the best to all my challengers and myself during this election.

I know our amazingly intelligent voters will make the right choices and will vote for who they feel are the best people to represent Palo Alto.

As for the comments here, let’s not be like Washington, DC....let’s work together, care about each other, and elavate above the political rhetoric to lift our city up as an example of a compassionate community. It’s much easier to care about someone than hate them.

Way beyond this Council election we have to be neighbors, let’s never stop respecting each other. We are ONE Palo Alto!


126 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Papers Unanimous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:49 am

Both the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Daily Post are against Cory Wolbach. He campaigned as a centrist for civility, but his only centrist vote was to accept the citizen initiative to limit citywide office growth. But perhaps he voted for it so that it wouldn't be a campaign issue to get slow growthers out to the polls in November.

And his rants against fellow council members being disingenuous are anything but civil. How about his request that anyone who said Cory lied while seeking signatures for the growth cap initiative should meet him outside the council chambers? That's being a schoolyard bully, not civil.

Cory is now a paid political consultant. Web Link We know he is grooming himself for higher office. What paid work has Cory done other than this and work for Senator Jerry Hill?

Yes, Cory is 0 for 2 in local paper endorsements. Say no to political hacks.


28 people like this
Posted by Shame on Weekly
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:51 am

Weekly, you can do better!

Saying the city wants a slow growth is totally taking wrong pulses and ignorant of the current housing crisis that gripps not only Palo Alto but the entire region and the state of California. The editorial board should be ashamed of telling a story far from the reality.

In addition, as a news reporting organization, your conclusion on council is totally biased and violates your journalistic duty to be neutral and impartial. The whole article reads nothing but an extension of Tom and Eric’s champagne.

Very disappointing


130 people like this
Posted by No for Cory
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:55 am

Granted, Cory can act smug and entitled on the dais. That doesn't make him the first politician to act bratty (Scharff, anyone?), but it is particularly hypocritical to act in such a manner after running in 2014 on the now-infamous civility platform. If one is going to try to mislead voters on their pro-development leanings by focusing on a non-issue like "Lets give everyone a teddy bear," at least make good on being civil! Instead he takes any opportunity to imply that anyone who doesn't agree with him is Trump.

I dislike Wolbach for several reasons, many of which were not even mentioned in the editorial:

1. He made a big deal in 2014 about not taking any money from unions or developers. Now he's the only candidate endorsed by the Labor Council, who by the way wrote him a check as well. It is clear Wolbach will fight any meaningful attempt to get the city's pension obligations under control. For example, if the opportunity arises to switch the city bureaucracy to 401k plans for future work arises (case pending in CA supreme court), unions will cry foul and Cory will fight for the status quo at their behest.

2. He's clearly auditioning for higher office, and fancies himself a career politician. His lack of meaningful employment outside of political consulting gigs points at a guy who is all-in on the politics career path. He will sell the voters of Palo Alto out to outside interests who will fund his future ambition. One need only look at his twitter feed: zero-subtletly self promotion.

3. One does not need to have sacrificed greatly to live in Palo Alto to be a good representative; all that is needed is empathy and listening skills. In Cory's case, though, the fact is he has no empathy with a rather typical Palo Alto homeowner: usually a family or couple where both earners have worked hard, saved diligently, and invested their entire savings or close to it in a Palo Alto address. Implying such people are selfish, tribal, or Trumpian because they don't want overflow traffic parked on the front lawn of their most hard-earned, least-liquid asset is blatantly out of touch. [Portion removed.]

Thank you PAOnline for taking Cory to task. I understand he invests heavily in advertising on your site, so it is refreshing to see the editorial independence at work.


136 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Papers Unanimous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 10:04 am

Tom and Eric have consistently supported slowing down office growth, while Cory made one vote to limit office growth. Cory made the motion to eliminate the cap on non-residential space downtown from the Comprehensive Plan.

Tom and Eric have consistently supported housing. Cory wanted Palo Alto to expand by 10,000 housing units by 2030, a growth of 40%. That's extreme. Cory does not explain how our schools can handle that level of growth., or our infrastructure like roads and parks.

Tom and Eric are voted exactly the way they ran in 2014. [Portion removed.]

I'm voting for Tom and Eric!


124 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 12, 2018 at 10:08 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Good for Palo Alto Online -- and The Pslo Alto Post -- for not endorsing Cory. Anyone who's watched him and his votes over the years knows he doesn't give the issues serious thought and instead spouts buzzwords.

He's chair of the Rail Transit Commission; how's that going under his leadership? We're already on our 3d costly consultant.

I still chuckle about his failure to consider parking when rushing through the ADUs. When asked where all the new tenants would park, he thought a but and then suggested parking on front lawns. His supporters leapt to his defense, claiming he meant "front setback" until they were informed that front setbacks and front yards are exactly the same thing.

In one of his campaign statements, he's even suggested putting ADUs on FRONT lawns. He wants to continue the war on cars as if it's a sum game when traffic and congestion are already huge problems.

No surprise that he and Cormack would lead in fund-raising; the developers are salivating at the prospect of more big projects with lax supervision.


26 people like this
Posted by You've Got to be Kidding Me
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2018 at 10:18 am

At every turn Filseth, DuBois, Kou, and Holman have stymied attempts at solving the jobs housing imbalance. These civic leaders have failed terribly at negotiating and finding middle ground in the lack of low-income affordable workforce housing, and drafting sensible multi-family housing goals in the Comp Plan Housing Element. Only after the State of California adopted mandates for building low-income and senior housing development, and single family ADUs, did Filseth and DuBois finally cave to California regulations.

By NOT achieving more sensible local housing goals, these individuals have forced low-income workers to commute greater distances, thereby increasing traffic demands and adding to our carbon footprint (and global warming). The more things change, the more they stay the same.


15 people like this
Posted by Big Bucks supporter
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2018 at 10:37 am

[Post removed.]


114 people like this
Posted by rita vrhel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 10:38 am

Thank you Palo Alto Weekly for your endorsements. Yes, it does seem all the Palo alto Forward folks were up early and typing away.

Housing is a very complex topic. Questions include: housing for whom? What income groups? How to finance? Were to build? How to blend new housing into existing neighborhoods while not overwhelming existing residents? How much parking to require so city streets and neighborhoods are not continually overwhelmed? What design requirements to insure an attractive durable building? What size? What is the environmental impact? What are the individual and cumulative impact on traffic? Is this a design we want to look at for 50+ years? What happens to the people being displaced by this new project?

A complex problem best not addressed by platitudes, a hurried build baby build approach while providing enormous profits for developers at the cost of current residents.

The City Council majority by their continual voting for additional office space and under parking, combined with a lack of a viable Business Registry and employee head tax has, in my opinion, contributed greatly to our severe housing shortage. Then the same Council majority want to solve the housing problem IMMEDIATELY and at any cost.

Thoughtful members of the City Council have voted against and expressed concerns about projects that bend or diminish existing codes, ignore neighbors concerns and promote ugly designs. Not in my back yard seems to be a rallying cry against any City Council member expressing concern about any aspect of any building project.

I think the NIMBY chant now means any poorly designed building putting additional cars in the neighborhoods, increasing traffic and ignoring code is acceptable since it is not in MY back yard and I will not suffer any consequences from it being built.

I appreciate the Weekly's endorsements and their logic.

Mr. Boone: you are a breath of fresh air: I welcome you to Palo Alto politics. Please apply to be on a Commission or attend City Council meetings and learn more about Palo Alto. I would love to vote for you in 2 years.


121 people like this
Posted by Leadership we can trust
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2018 at 10:59 am

Leadership we can trust is a registered user.

While Cory Wolbach and his supporters brag about his singular passion for more housing, Tom DuBois and Eric Filseth have been steadily building policies (both in majority and minority positions on council) that would allow more housing to WORK, without neglecting other community needs and concerns.

Their responsible, consistent, leadership created policies to reduce the unfettered office growth that drives housing demand, manage business parking overflow into neighborhoods, expand funding for below market rate housing, prevent displacement of existing low and moderate income residents, reduce traffic congestion and improve safety on neighborhood streets, anticipate and plan for school growth, and ensure that neighborhood serving businesses can compete for retail space. All while remaining cognizant both of fiscal constraints and who reaps the monetary value of zoning giveaways.

We all agree that housing affordability has become a crisis across the region. Wolbach has perhaps talked about housing more than most. But his blind drive to build our way out of it (including major zoning “subsidies” for extreme luxury units) no matter the impacts, shows a brash naivety that is both dangerous and irresponsible to local constituents.

The details, beyond “more,” matter.


Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2018 at 10:59 am

@BBS
He's running for Emperor?

(Now that I've actually read the hard copy coverage -- as compared to merely having online access to the comment thread -- I would say that I would have preferred more personal discussion about who these people are and what makes them tick and how these life experiences might affect their actions and statements when the going gets rough; as it stands, and skimming the five articles plus the editorial, it all becomes a blather of very parochial jargon and catch-phrases, and a total bore. Pat Boone is more of a cypher than anyone and yet people say he stands out. Huh? This whole exercize is way too Kentucky Derby and not enough Pony Express, if you get my metaphor. And who sets that meta-agenda?


24 people like this
Posted by dbaron
a resident of University South
on Oct 12, 2018 at 11:03 am

dbaron is a registered user.

I'm voting for Wolbach and Cormack because we need substantially more housing in the bay area to address the crisis-level housing shortage across the region that is pushing young people out of the Bay Area and threatening the entire region's future. I've had many colleagues in their 20s and 30s move out of the Bay Area (to Seattle, Portland, and other places) because they couldn't imagine buying a house and raising a family here. A region without young people and without working class people won't be able to continue to function 30 years in the future. We need more housing, and for the benefit of the environment, new housing should be placed so we become denser in areas well connected to transit rather than by sprawling further into the suburbs and creating more pollution, more greenhouse gas emissions, and more traffic. So Palo Alto should be a part of that. I don't think the pro-housing side of the council is doing enough; I'd like to see substantially more density near downtown (where I live). But I definitely prefer to vote for more progress rather than less (even if it's still not enough), so I'm for Wolbach and Cormack.


17 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 12, 2018 at 11:08 am

mauricio is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


24 people like this
Posted by Conspiracy theories
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 11:11 am

What a sad state of affairs that commenters here accuse the pro-Cory comments of being coordinated. Maybe lots of community members simply support Cory? I do.


86 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 12, 2018 at 11:15 am

Annette is a registered user.

@Flooding the Comments: I think you stated perfectly what is going on here. Thank you. I also "second" Rita Vrhel's post and thank Citizen for the voting advice.

Local politics have become almost as dysfunctional and embarrassing as national politics. Worse, we are seeing that campaigns for CC mimic Assembly, Congressional, and Presidential campaigns in that big money is being used to buy name recognition and thus votes. Hopefully voters will disregard attempts to flood media and mailboxes and instead rely on resources that provide more objective information, such as this editorial.

Cory was given a four year chance to make decisions that are in the best interests of Palo Alto and Palo Altans. During that time he lectured us quite a lot but his overall impact was not positive; things are not better as a result of his involvement. I think the endorsement decisions regarding him are correct and I appreciate the reasoning.


8 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2018 at 11:31 am

There is still 25 days of this so hold your horses and ring them bells. On my blog I predicted Allison aceing out Cory for third place by one vote, 11,002 to 11011 but I also joke that 11011 is Millenial code for "maybe".

By the way, there are 3 commissions or boards seeking members with a deadline of Oct. 17.


72 people like this
Posted by My votes
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2018 at 11:37 am

City Council: Bullet voting for DuBois and Filseth. As remarked above, bullet voting is a way to make sure you are not voting against yourself. 4 years ago the Weekly advised exactly this for school board, if I remember right. One or the other of Cormack and Wohlbach will be elected. Let's make sure that it's not both

School Board: Dauber and Dharap. The school board is in good hands. Let's make sure that progress is sustained. Particularly important is that Kathy Jordan not be elected, to that end.


68 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2018 at 12:40 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

I'm so glad some perceptive commenters caught on to the very odd first six out of seven comments decrying the Weekly's non-endorsement of Cory Wolbach. [Portion removed.]

I appreciate the advice to only vote for Tom DuBois and Eric Filseth and not waste a third vote on someone I'm not as enthusiastic about.

Having already seen what happened with Cory as a stealth candidate, I cannot support Alison Cormack, even though I love the Mitchell Park Library. I just don't trust her not to join with the pro-growth cabal.


84 people like this
Posted by Cory Needs to go
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 12, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Cory has consistently voted for the most development (including office) possible, except right before elections (for his political survival). Taking money from the unions at a time when Palo Alto's fiscal health requires tightening pensions is really bad for Palo Alto's future. He also lacks real world experience other than being a Jerry Hill staffer. I strongly recommend against re-electing Cory.


76 people like this
Posted by Another Giveaway
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 12:55 pm

Cormack is the new Wolbach.


32 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 1:14 pm

@My votes,
We really do need ranked choice voting. It will solve some of these problems. Do you know whether ranked choice in SF does that? Until then, we have to vote only for those candidates we want for sure to win, any other votes cast are essentially votes against them. Thank you for reminding me of what that’s called, bullet voting. I wish the Weekly would call for ranked choice.

I am casting votes only for Filseth and Dubois for council.

But I think you are wrong about Jordan. Many of the criticisms of her are oddly similar to criticisms of Dauber. People hate someone willing to stand up and demand problems be fixed, and as we have seen, hold the temperament of women to a higher standard. Jordan has a student in our schools currently. She would make a fine board member, as would Dharap, I think. Dauber has already shown that he will do a good job. I would be happy with either Dauber and Dharap or Dauber and Jordan. I think the question is whether voters like me will be split in our second vote so that Ashlund wins - she is a weaker choice. Again, we would benefit from ranked choice voting.

Bottom line for City Council is that the last decade has proven how important council majority is. Filseth and Dubois must win if we are to expect any kind of rational, resident-focused governance. Therefore, as I described above, those of us who want that must cast our botes for Filset and Dubois, but not cast the third vote lest it result in one of them beng edged out.


42 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 12, 2018 at 2:25 pm

Annette is a registered user.

More and more these days I marvel at what is written about the need for housing. Obviously we needed to have done a better job of forecasting a decade or so ago BEFORE we turned the green light on for commercial development. And left it on longer than we should have. Now we have a big fat mess with too many people being priced out of rentals or unable to find a rental or unable to afford a new home of any sort. Proponents say BUILD, BUILD, BUILD. We need the housing they say. If only it was that simple. All good contractors know that a solid foundation is critical. We cannot BUILD BUILD BUILD until after we SOLVE SOLVE SOLVE our very real infrastructure deficiencies so that we don't collapse under the weight of our problems. We should never have let things get this far out of control, but since we did we need to at least be smarter about how we approach growth from this point forward.

When I look at incumbents running for re-election I ask myself if they are likely to tackle the infrastructure deficiencies so that we position ourselves for future smart growth or jump on the currently red-hot issue of building housing for the sake of building housing.

I am NOT saying we do not need housing. I am saying it probably needs to be added elsewhere before it is added here b/c we've got some prep work to do. Maybe we should look into supporting that approach for some limited period of time.

Question to ask: how many people do you currently know who are dealing with construction defects? I know three who are knee-deep in such issues. Work is being rushed and corners are being cut and the end result is more problems. Better to slow down a bit and get things right than to rush forward simply to satisfy some mandate.


11 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 12, 2018 at 2:52 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


33 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 3:17 pm

[Post removed.]


19 people like this
Posted by Fairmeadow Mom
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 12, 2018 at 3:46 pm

With two kids in elementary school, I often don't have time to follow local politics closely. When issues I care about do come up, I've found the Weekly to be a fair and honest reporter of the issues, the debate and the discussion. I trust them and have no reason to their characterizations. I'll be supporting Eric, Alison and Tom


69 people like this
Posted by No for Cory
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 3:52 pm

[Portion removed.]

This one is on Cory. He had 4 years to demonstrate empathy or understanding of the stresses put upon Palo Alto homeowners. [Portion removed.] It's completely relevant to the conversation that an underlying cause of this lack of empathy (not experiencing the financial commitment associated with investing everything into a home first hand) is unchanged.

[Portion removed.]


19 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 12, 2018 at 4:27 pm

I very much would like to see a “Vote NO” option on candidates for elected office. We have that on ballot initiatives, and it seems to me that we sometimes have that option for elected officials (like judges) who are on the ballot seeking re-authorization for another term on the bench.

While this addition would doubtless provide some instability and would require a second election from time-to-time, it would allow voters the opportunity to register their displeasure with candidates (particularly incumbents) in an official way. Email to the City Council is not monitored for this sort of disapproval of Council activities.


55 people like this
Posted by 6Djockey
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 12, 2018 at 5:11 pm

It's pretty clear that Cory supporters were at the ready to comment as soon as this article came out. By the time the majority of responders finally hit the SUBMIT button, it becomes clear that Cory is out of favor. No surprise after his uncivil behavior on the council after running on a civility ticket. I agree with many who suggest just voting for those you actually want to see on the council and not using a vote just because you have it. For me that means voting for DuBois and Filseth only.


17 people like this
Posted by Gina Dalma
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 12, 2018 at 5:52 pm

I am so disappointed that the weekly believes form is more important than content (although they got the PAUSD Board right!). We need affordable housing now. We need leaders that are willing to move a housing agenda forward. Civility is caring that our neighbors live in RV's. Civility is understanding that 70% of us are housing burdened - that means that we pay more than 30% of our income on housing costs. Civility is caring about each other. Neither Eric nor Tom (and we have no idea about Allison) have EVER, EVER supported more housing.
Kindly, and with all civility,
Gina


21 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 12, 2018 at 6:17 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


15 people like this
Posted by I'm Envious to a Certain Extent
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 12, 2018 at 6:34 pm

[Post removed.]


44 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 12, 2018 at 6:41 pm

While people are endorsing this candidate or that, I’d like to point out something that most of the media types have not mentioned in their endorsements. The following are the expenditures for the City’s general fund from 2014-2018:

Year:Expenditures
----+------------
2014:$159,979,000
2015:$171,100,000
2016:$185,672,000
2017:$193,953,000
2018:$207,042,000

How many of the Candidates have explained why the budget has increased by about $50M in just four years, and what we (the residents) got for this money?

While a lot of time has been spent by the current council on land use issues—how much time has been spent on budget and prudent spending?

BTW—the budget (expenditures) are projected to be more at least/more than $240M in just four years. Any of the Candidates talking about how the almost $1 billion that will flow into the City’s coffers will be spent when they are out campaigning?


8 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:31 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

I've held off commenting, but I feel compelled to now. It's okay for the editors and editorial staffs of our local newspapers to ask hard questions of all the candidates, and they have, and to reveal/remind all of us of their voting records on important issues, but I say this about my personal friend, Cory Wolbach. Yes, let his CC record stand, and that alone, as a guide to re-elect him to CC, but for heavens sake stop probing and writing like an Enquirer expose article about his employment background. [Portion removed.] The newspapers have spoken, and Cory didn't get their endorsements, but he is resilient, I think, and if his goal is to become a career politician that shouldn't be ruined by a single defeat in November.


44 people like this
Posted by Another Dem
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:46 pm

@Gale Johnson, it's good that you speak up for your friend. But I DO hope his political career is ruined - or that he gets the message and changes both his tone and his slippery ways. We need politicians just like we need every other kind of worker, but Cory is not the kind I'm looking for at any level.


49 people like this
Posted by Suzanne Keehn
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:23 pm

I totally agree with Annette's post above. We cannot build our way out of this, we do need real BMR housing for people making less than 100.000. WE have overbuilt office space without requiring them to be fully parked. Of course, this leads to filling up the neighborhoods.

We live in a narrow part of land, between the Bay and the Hills, we have to be conscious of using the little land available wisely, and preserve the beauty and our neighborhoods. It seems there is a push on to rid P.A. of R1 zoning.
We Americans have for too long, believed we could just keep using and our Planet would never run dry. What about Water with all this building, underground parking, basements, wasting ground water that then runs into the Bay. And on and On, our Home, Earth is letting us know that we need a new paradigm.


53 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2018 at 2:12 am

Marie is a registered user.

I think the Weekly got it exactly right. I'm voting for Tom and Eric only. A vote for Alison is a vote against Tom and Eric.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2018 at 8:35 am

To prevent this need for bullet voting, perhaps it would make more sense if when there are 3 seats each voter could have 3 votes and could decide whether to give their favorite candidate 3 votes, 2 votes or 1 vote. This would be fair and simple to count. If you like 2 candidates you could give one 2 votes and 1 just 1 vote. The candidates with the 3 top numbers would automatically win.


15 people like this
Posted by YES for Cory
a resident of University South
on Oct 13, 2018 at 10:10 am

YES for Cory is a registered user.

I'm in my 30's, make over $100,000, and need to live with a roommate in order to afford to live in Palo Alto. Having a family and saving for a home is financially infeasible. My friends who have been able to purchase homes in the Bay Area all did so either by (a) living with their parents or (b) a significant financial gift from their parents. I can't imagine staying unless more housing is created and that's why I'll enthusiastically be voting for Cory. [Portion removed.]

I don't believe I should need subsidized housing and would happily give up my car for a 1 bedroom apartment I could afford; however, that would require Palo Alto to actually build dense, under-parked, market-rate housing. If you're actually concerned about parking, then regulate parking. Restricting housing supply seems like an inefficient way to control parking.

The endorsements of the Post and the Weekly disappoint, but do not surprise. With many pages of full-page real estate ads, it is clear who pays their bills. The Weekly does an excellent job defending the almighty property value. When housing is scarce, real estate money is good. I wonder if either editorial board even includes a renter...

To "No for Cory"- YOU appear to be the one who is lacking in empathy. In addition to lacking empathy for Cory and his family personally, you seem to lack empathy in the plight of Palo Altans who are not housing secure and for whom home ownership is/was out of reach. Something needs to change if those of us who are not wealthy--and didn't have the opportunity to purchase a home decades ago--are to remain part of this community in years to come.


38 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 13, 2018 at 10:30 am

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Online readers aren't stupid. It was pretty easy to detect the initial rush to denounce the endorsements of Dubois and Filseth [Portion removed.] Interesting to see the range of 'likes', 34-42, but when those folks who finally woke up and rubbed the sleep out of their eyes and commented in favor of the endorsements, the 'likes' range was 60-79. [Portion removed.]


62 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 13, 2018 at 10:59 am

mauricio is a registered user.

@"Yes for Cory", Can't afford to buy or rent in Palo Alto? Guess what, I once couldn't afford it either. You live, like I did, in crappy places, save, then buy a house or condo in unglamorous places like Fremont or Daly City, and build equity. If living in Palo Alto is your heart's desire, you eventually upgrade when the opportunity arises. If you still can't afford to, you live where you can afford to live. I probably still an't afford Pebble Beach or Woodside. So what? I live where I can afford to live, and I don't demand that Pebble Beach densify for me and completely change their lifestyle and quality of life so I can have a Pebble Beach/Woodside zip code. No one his entitled to live in Palo Alto or anywhere else. Mad at foreign investors buying up P.A real estate? Blame the politicians who still allow foreign buyers to outbid all others for every P.A property?

BTW, has Cory ever raised the issue of foreign buying and control of Palo Alto real estate?


23 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2018 at 11:33 am

Posted by YES for Cory, a resident of University South

>> I'm in my 30's, make over $100,000, and need to live with a roommate in order to afford to live in Palo Alto. Having a family and saving for a home is financially infeasible.

Does this apply everywhere, or, just in Palo Alto? Can I just decide to move to Manhattan and expect to be able to afford it? Maybe if I want to live in New York City I might not be able to afford a place in Soho and I might have to settle for a dumpy place in East Flatbush?

>> and would happily give up my car for a 1 bedroom apartment I could afford; however, that would require Palo Alto to actually build dense, under-parked, market-rate housing. If you're actually concerned about parking, then regulate parking. Restricting housing supply seems like an inefficient way to control parking.

How can I be sure that you won't just buy and car and park it in the street? How can I be sure that in a few years, the new people moving in won't just buy cars and park them down the street? There are no controls on car ownership.

There may be other such places by now, but, the only place that I am sure about is urban Japan -- in Japanese cities you have to have a local parking space for your car, and, you can't park overnight in the streets. Been that way for 60 years. Over the last 40 years, Palo Alto has been going backwards on this. I'm up for a ban on overnight street parking. Anyone else willing?


54 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 13, 2018 at 11:49 am

Online Name is a registered user.

[Portion removed.]

Absolutely right, Gale Johnson. It happens regularly. One of the funniest was when Wolbach was caught writing a letter to the CC for one of his policies and against his opponents -- them, not their policies. What was laughable was he forgot to tell them not to copy his words verbatim but to try to put the issue into their own words so the CC record showa about 60 absolutely identical letters!

We need thoughtful leaders like Eric, Tom and Boone. who's working hard to understand the issues.


50 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 13, 2018 at 11:56 am

Online Name is a registered user.

"BTW, has Cory ever raised the issue of foreign buying and control of Palo Alto real estate?"

An excellent question that needs to be addressed by everyone in city and local government and quasi-govt agencies like ABAG. Other countries and cities are doing so. Where's our "leadership"?

Wayne Martin makes an excellent point above about our ballooning budget. We've got huge unfunded pension liabilities yet we keep spending. Enough.

"I'm in my 30's, make over $100,000, and need to live with a roommate in order to afford to live in Palo Alto. Having a family and saving for a home is financially infeasible."

Neither can most people. I know a CEO of a public traded company who started out with his family in a Fremont apartment.


29 people like this
Posted by vote counting
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Critical in this election with so much riding on the balance of power on the Council is the integrity of the election process itself - the counting of ballots. The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters was under a lengthy State audit last year for administrative failures, the IT Manager suddenly resigned on the eve of the 2016 election,results in the last two PA Council elections were surprising to many observers in the
outcomes and when looked at by precinct. The integrity of this election must be assured by
close monitoring of the tabulation and reporting
of results and the Council needs to address this
issue - I myself am very fearful. It is the
"elephant in the room".


57 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 13, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Vote counting's right to be concerned. When -- if ever -- will we finally have a ruling on our mayor's campaign financing irregularities that have been under investigation for years while costly decisions continue to be made?


8 people like this
Posted by YES for Cory
a resident of University South
on Oct 13, 2018 at 12:31 pm

YES for Cory is a registered user.

I see a number of people have responded to my comment by suggesting I go live somewhere cheaper, purchase a starter home in a cheaper area, build equity, and eventually move back to this community.

You fail to consider that the entire peninsula is prohibitively expensive for my income bracket until you get to places that are 1.5 hour away in traffic. So instead of living here in a modest apartment with no car, you want me to spend 3 hours a day in a car, creating even more traffic/parking issues for Palo Alto?

I'm not interested in wasting my life away in a car. It's not good for the planet or my body.

And yes, Palo Alto can and should ticket cars that are parked on the street without a permit. Palo Alto already does this aggressively downtown. Public parking also can and should cost money. It doesn't make any sense to me that parking is free and housing is prohibitively expensive. You want less traffic? Make parking more expensive!

My older colleagues who are paid on the same payscale I am were able to purchase homes and raise families in Palo Alto. I think my generation should be granted the same opportunity.


48 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2018 at 12:39 pm

"While some might argue that's what majority rule is all about and that election outcomes matter, we prefer a style of governing that doesn't trample minority voices, relies on the power of persuasion and logic and avoids dismissive or insulting personal comments."

A majority that got elected on deception that is, from pretending to being residentialists right up to election day, to pretending to be Democrats right before election day, to concealing campaign funding sources right until after election day. Bravo to the minority for fighting for integrity.


53 people like this
Posted by Facts, please
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 13, 2018 at 1:07 pm

@Gina
As someone who supported your school board candidacy, I am surprised and disappointed that you would make such a completely false claim. DuBois and Filseth have supported nearly every housing related project and policy that came before the city council over the past two years.
In addition, their success in restraining the rate of office growth is the most significant impact we can have to reduce our jobs housing imbalance. It is the massive influx of high income, tech job growth that is displacing our valued middle and lower income residents. In addition, DuBois and Filseth supported the council evaluating the full range of renter protections which Wolbach strongly opposed even considering.
Palo Alto is not a land of alternative facts where we should accept people just making stuff up. You should look up their voting records and correct your false claims.


94 people like this
Posted by There Are Other Places...Locally
a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2018 at 1:22 pm

>> I'm in my 30's, make over $100,000, and need to live with a roommate in order to afford to live in Palo Alto.

Sunnyvale has vacancies. Seriously.

>> You fail to consider that the entire peninsula is prohibitively expensive for my income bracket until you get to places that are 1.5 hour away in traffic.

Not so. Check the local listings on Trulia. You don't have to live in PA.

>>> I think my generation should be granted the same opportunity.

Are we talking Millennial entitlement? Again?

Another option...move in with your parents (and if they happen to live in Palo Alto, you're home free).


102 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 13, 2018 at 2:01 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The present market situation seems to dictate that people like 'Yes on Cory' can't afford to buy or rent in Palo Alto presently. He/she should live where he/she can afford to. He/she would be just fine with a less glamorous zip code. I know people who earn lots of money in the financial sector in NYC, yet can't afford to buy or rent a nice place in Manhattan, so they commute in at least 5 days a week from as far away as Long Island, Upstate NY, New Jersey and Connecticut. The same is true for millions of people who work in London, Paris, Tokyo and numerous other very expensive cities. They can't afford to live in those cities, so they commute in from much farther distances. How about voting for politicians who would promise to put pressure on local companies to relocate and expand to less expensive areas, which is the only solution for those who can't afford to live here?


101 people like this
Posted by There Are Other Places...Locally
a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2018 at 2:34 pm

> How about voting for politicians who would promise to put pressure on local companies to relocate and expand to less expensive areas, which is the only solution for those who can't afford to live here?

Finally. The voice of reason.

This constant whining from Millennials making big salaries in high-tech and complaining about not being able to afford a house in Palo Alto is getting old.

To the whiners...FYI, it was always challenging (financially) to afford a house in a nice safe neighborhood/town. Though houses were less 'back then', salaries were also less. Those who couldn't afford to live where they desired, bought homes or rented elsewhere.

When HP moved to places like Boise and on the outskirts of Sacramento, many employees opted to relocate and purchased houses there.

Blame it on inflation and rising cost-of-living expenditures. Such is life.

Besides, if you are one of the ones (especially a non-native of PA) clamoring for more compressed housing in Palo Alto...you represent the problem. It's not the number of available dwellings. Space is limited so look somewhere else.

Any PACC member pushing for more housing in Palo Alto is in essence, destroying the town and making it even more congested.


13 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 13, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Not always, but sometimes I agree with both Curmudgeon and Mauricio.

@YES for Cory: I'm trying to understand how you feel in your current situation. Notice I didn't say "I know how you feel" because I don't and never will know. Without challenging your feelings, I'd just like to ask a few questions.

As a renter, how much would you be able to afford to rent a studio or 1 bedroom apartment alone in PA? Nothing available now within your budget? Where have you looked? How many more additional housing units do you think it would take to drop the rental rate down to a level you could afford? The VTA project has been approved for people in your income level but I haven't seen what the rental rates will be. When they are known please let us all know if you can afford them.

Are you following the CC's efforts in the areas of rental rates and housing costs of all types, owning and renting?

Are you aware of the stances of all CC members on rental stabilization, caps, etc? You should check out how they all stand on those issues before picking one as the savior for affordable housing in PA.

What do you do? What are your skills that require you to work and live in PA? Are your skills transferable to other parts of the country where they don't have the housing costs and general high costs of living?

With 40+% of our residents being renters, they would be a very powerful voting block at election time. That's why I urge you to check out all the candidates positions on it. You might adjust your thinking on it once you know all the facts.

Good luck...you are one of many that are suffering from under housing and over employment in SV. Major changes have to be made from both ends of that spectrum in order for stabilization to occur. Politicians have seemed to be helpless, hopeless, or unwilling to make changes. In the end I think it will have to be up to companies to correct the situation, and so far they aren't making any major steps to do that. They all want to grow, grow, grow, right here in SV without taking responsibility for mitigating impacts of that growth.


36 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2018 at 4:30 pm

"My older colleagues who are paid on the same payscale I am were able to purchase homes and raise families in Palo Alto. I think my generation should be granted the same opportunity."

Older colleagues on same pay scale as you = you on same pay scale as older colleagues. An admirable situation, that. Appreciate it.

However, nobody granted your older colleagues any such opportunity. Truth is, what they got they worked to get. Often for many years. I was there and I saw it.

In summary, welcome to the real world at last, bub. Make the most of it. I do wish you the best, but you'll get it on your own, if you can.


45 people like this
Posted by Steve Dabrowski
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 13, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Cormack and Wolbach are probably going to carry the day and it will be a disaster for Palo Alto. The whole developer sponsored council will approve every half baked office building and stack and pack housing application that comes before them. Both Wolbach and Cormack are stealth candidates who only emit platitudes and "let's all get along" bromides to get elected. This is the Kniss formula for keeping a low profile and appealing tho those who don't mind seeing Palo Alto turned into Santana Row as long as everyone is polite while doing so.

For a preview of what these people will do to Palo Alto just take a drive up San Antonio from Alma to El Camino and behold the future with your own eyes.


4 people like this
Posted by Gina Dalma
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 13, 2018 at 5:30 pm

@Facts, please
I agree should have been more specific. Words do matter. I let my frustration take the better of me. Tom and Eric have voted for some affordable housing projects - but very marginal solutions to our housing crisis. We need bold action to ensure we keep building the diverse, vibrant city we need. Let's model civil discourse. Just vote!


75 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 13, 2018 at 5:57 pm

R.Davis is a registered user.

QUOTE: My older colleagues who are paid on the same payscale I am were able to purchase homes and raise families in Palo Alto. I think my generation should be granted the same opportunity.

Which means your older colleagues probably started off on a lower pay scale than you did. It took periodic raises over years for them to get the same level where you are at as a more recent employee. As Curmudgeon said, "Appreciate it." Or in other words, count your blessings.

The problem with many Millennials is that they want to have their cake and eat it too. Tell you what...start brown bagging your lunches and learn to cook at home rather than eating out 99% of the time. There's part of your down payment. Learn to curb expenses.

This Millennial entitlement mentality is starting to wear thin and perhaps it's attributable to one's upbringing...too much parental coddling and not enough emphasis on personal initiative/responsibility. [Portion removed.]









65 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

The mantra from millennials in this area seems to be: Palo Alto, San Francisco or bust. This takes the word 'entitlement' to new and ridiculous levels of chutzpah. Who gave them the right to demand housing in Palo Alto/San Francisco? They are unwilling to make any sacrifices together to where they might be able to afford it. Living in crummy apartments, shared housing in unglamorous towns, cooking at home, no six dollars trendy cups of coffee, no expensive clubs, wearing the same pair of sneakers for several years, buying cloths at Good Will. I've done all of that, including painting houses and moving furniture on weekends and holidays on top of my regular tech job, so I know what it takes. It takes a great deal of scarifies.

If you do that and still can't afford to buy or rent in Palo Alto, the capitalist system you are so fond of is telling you that you need to live where you can afford to, and it's probably not Palo Alto. You don't like long commutes? Cry me a river. I never liked them either, but I had done long commutes, probably much longer than you have to do for many years and survived. Life is just not perfect.


13 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2018 at 6:54 pm

These types of hard work stories are very typical for many of us who have lived in Palo Alto for some time. My spouse and I are others. When we married we both had relatively good jobs and were able to just about buy a home where we lived at the time. When I say buy a home, that's about it. We had a bed, but apart from that very little furniture - much of it other people's cast offs. We sat on cheap lawn chairs and we drove a car that should really have died many years before and that was our main form of transport. We gradually managed to buy some more furniture before first baby arrived and at that time replaced our only car.

Soon after that we moved to this area for work reasons (doesn't everyone). Even though we had a home to sell, we were not able to afford to buy so we rented until such time as our finances allowed. We didn't get a second car until after the first child started kindergarten and life got too complicated with only one vehicle. We lived frugally, eating out only for birthdays and anniversaries and then at fairly modest restaurants. We vacationed by camping or visiting family. Eventually we decided to buy and found a home in a nice neighborhood but not the best Palo Alto address and the home was in great need of work. We gradually did some remodeling, replacing the original kitchen and replaced the windows.

It is only in the past few years that we have found ourselves in a situation where we can say that we are comfortable financially speaking. Our property tax is high but of course not as high as those who bought more recently and probably not as low as those who have lived here 20 years or so longer than us.

We have hopefully taught our kids that you have to work and make do until such time as you can afford what you want. Apart from a mortgage we try to live within our means and pay off our credit bills each month.

That is the way we did it and now we feel that our experience can help others. Hopefully so anyway which is why we share it.


221 people like this
Posted by A Millennial View
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 13, 2018 at 7:49 pm

The American Dream was destroyed by spews of older people who are now living comfortably at the expense of a younger generation. They gave up on their youthful ideals and sold out to the material world. And now they own everything while we get the leftovers.

We are the ones paying for their Social Security and Medi-Care. The Babyboomers are the largest population in the history of the United States and we will be stuck subsidizing them for at least another 25-30 years.

About the only thing left to look forward to is the eventual diminishing of their mental capacities. Then we can finally commit them to private or state-run assisted-care facilities and assume our rightful place in American society, both economically and politically.

My PA landlord is exceptionally greedy as he keeps raising the rent every two years because others are doing the same. His triplex is already paid-off and he doesn't need the money. Now I may have to move to Mountain View or Sunnyvale in order to meet my other monthly expenses (credit cards and a 2-year Tesla lease).

I'm voting for a PACC candidate who supports rent ceilings on older dwellings and the development of more affordable housing units throughout the ENTIRE city of Palo Alto. The Village at San Antonio Road is an example of how Palo Alto should look.






34 people like this
Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2018 at 8:20 pm

"Now I may have to move to Mountain View or Sunnyvale in order to meet my other monthly expenses (credit cards and a 2-year Tesla lease)."

@Millennial - is that satire? While I tend to agree that financing of govt entitlements is not very sensible, your own sense of entitlement is breathtaking.


41 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 13, 2018 at 9:34 pm

Annette is a registered user.

@A Millennial View: I was slack-jawed while reading your post. Generations pay for one another. Which generation do you suppose paid for the public schools your generation attended? As I read all you wrote I found myself thinking that not requiring companies to more fully mitigate the impacts of commercial development is an error that pales in comparison to raising a generation that feels as you apparently do about your predecessors. I surely do hope that yours is a minority point of view.


Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 13, 2018 at 11:43 pm

My ballot will be Tom, Eric and Alison (TEA) because they are best qualifed to lead.
And that's the TEA, sis.
(My neighbor's teenager told me to say it like that)


47 people like this
Posted by Honda Civic driving Baby Boomer
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 13, 2018 at 11:53 pm

@ A Millennial View

"... older people who [...] sold out to the material world. And now they own everything while we get the leftovers."...

... says the millennial who has credit card debt and drives a Tesla! That is rather rich!

Maybe if you drove a Honda Civic, like this baby boomer, and within reasonable means, you could afford a Palo Alto rent. As a baby boomer, I scraped by to live in Palo Alto, and I still live frugally, while I do pay property taxes that help make this city what it is.


42 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 14, 2018 at 6:42 am

mauricio is a registered user.

'I can't afford rent in Palo Alto' says the millennial checking a text on her $1,250 cell phones, wearing $200 sneakers and $150 jeans and an $800 Apple watch just before boarding a plane for a ski trip to Aspen.


41 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 8:29 am

@Steve,
This is why it is important for you to vote ONLY for Filseth and Dubois, and not add your third vote to someone the development-centric faction will be voting for. And to spread the word that people should vote only for them, not cast a third vote that is essentially going to risk edging them out.

@Gina Dalma,
I am also shocked by your post, because I too voted for you largely because I saw you as a thoughtful person capable of seeing through false framing. Developers are using affordable housing and other arguments, not just here, but in other expensive places all over the world, to push for unhealthy, negative levels of development that pushes out lower income people. Meanwhile, we have many times that in hollowed out cities and towns even in this country where development money and job producers moving there would do far more for dignity and advancement of lower income workers and affordable housing. It makes no sense for that public money to be spent at maximum cost to allow companies to all crowd into here instead of improving places that need the investment.

Cory Wohlbach and PAF have talked a big game, but if you look at their history, it is to support facilitating highly paid tech workers, usually transient entry-level workforce, who are displacing lower-income workers. When Councilmembers like Dubois have supported just investigating more aggressive renter protections, the PAF contingent generally is not supportive. They tend to conflate the units with low-income people, for example I’ve heard PAF leaders talk about how they think saving Buena Vista was a shame, that they believe it should have been razed and turned into high-density apartments (nevermind what that would have done to the lives and investments of over 400 low-income local residents). I considered voting for Cory back when so I have watched and been disappointed. Affordable housing is a convenient frame for him. Building even a lot more in this expensive area will not create affordability any more than it did in Hong Kong, where they have taken it to such an extreme that building just creates human misery (apartments so small they are like human cages called coffins). They are a job center with the best transportation system in the world. All that densifying will do is create density. If you want opportunities to multiply, the investments have to be expanded to existing places that need the investment, and there are many. Dropping the office side of the equation by converting offices to housing here is a better way.

I’ve lived in the Bay Area for decades, and remember all the tech colleagues who lived in their cars or five+ to a small house or commuted from hours away way back in the 80s. It’s nothing new. Anyone who tried to put down roots experienced that struggle for decades, only to be treated to derision by younger workers leading far more advantaged lives and who believe the framing from developers. And then there will be a down cycle and people will forget that things were just as bad before when the next boom hits.

Except this time the pressure to make here a metropolis instead of improving places that really need it and would make our nation stronger and ultimately benefit far more low-imcome workers has never been stronger. There is a huge income disparity globally, and what we face is not unique, because there are so many people with so much money who see real estate - in places where they stand to make the most - as their golden goose. In fact, I see troubling signs that there is incentive to even manipulate economies and national governments to that end. Those who stand to make the most money have found a way to get people who really care about affordable housing to pave the way for them, as well as to completely subvert the environmentalists at the same time. We actually can do far better for income equity when the rules are stringently enforced and companies who want to grow take themselves and the potential for more development to places that need the development money. That also is the only effective way to support holistic solutions for low-income existing residents, not overdevelopment.

.


27 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 8:45 am

There is an arrogance to the young millenials. I blame the parents, the fact that they all got participation trophies and grew up with nannies and plenty of after school enrichment programs.

It is about time that children were taught more of the realities of life. That there is a value to hard work, saving money for the future, and being kind to older people as well as those who work hard for them. They should also learn that coming second or third of even lower is OK because we will all be there sometime, some people are not winners in everything, and managing on very little is OK. Without that, they are turning into young adults with entitlement issues.


32 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 8:48 am

@Mark Weiss,
The trouble is, if you support Tom and Eric, but also vote gor Allison, you are likely to be voting for Allison at the expense if Tom and Eric.

Let’s say there are 100 voters who favor a more holistic city government, and 100 who are development-centric. The former group will want Eric Filseth and Tom Dubois to win. The latter will want Cory Wohlbach and Allison McCormick to win. If all 100 of the holistic governance group vote Tom, Eric, and Allison, and all 100 of the development-centric group vote Cory, Allison, and Boone, then everyone gets 100 votes except Allison who will get 200, even though Eric and Tom supporters far prefer Eric Filseth and Tom Dubois to win.

Iof course, things aren’t going to be quite as even as that. But Cory has an advantage because if his incumbency, and Allison has an advantage because if the Weekly endorsement. So, many people will not understand that casting their third vote is essentially voting against a Council majority that will help swing our local politics back to rational. Cory is likely to win the third seat, and his supporters will be voting for McCormack, too.

Thus it is imperative for strong supporters of Eric Filseth and Tom Dubois to vote only for Eric and Tom. “E.T. only” casting the third vote would very likely edge out one of them and thus the Council majority.

Vote E.T. Only! E.T. for home!


62 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 14, 2018 at 8:53 am

R.Davis is a registered user.

While the privileged and sense of entitlement mentality has become a glaring trademark of the Millennial generation, I suspect that it stems from being raised in an upper middle class family environment or perhaps one preoccupied with a 'keeping up with the Jones' attitude/perspective.

During the course of my business travels, I have lodged at various motels and encountered working-class tradesmen who are also staying there during midweek layovers while on various construction projects. Many are of Millennial age (primarily Hispanic it seems), raising families and they drive nice pick-ups! Some rent apartments or own homes and our conversations have generally centered around just getting through the requisites of everyday life and there is no whining on their part or the blaming of parents for their lot in life.

This Millennial crybaby mentality is akin to a spoiled child throwing a tantrum because he/she didn't get EVERYTHING they wanted for Christmas...even though the tree was lined with presents.

So in many ways, this Millennial contempt towards an older generation can be attributed to Babyboomer parents placating their children for any number reasons. It could have been an attempt to pacify the disruptive emotional effects of a divorce, wanting more for their kids than what they had as youngsters, parental bragging rights etc.

Eventually the baby birds must leave the nest but there are apparently some younger birds who want a pre-made nest waiting for them in a nice tree.









23 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 9:37 am

@R.Davis,
I don’t think it’s necessary to look any further than developers and those they get to unwittingly carry water for them creating a false framing. They distort or just conveniently forget the past and how it has been equally or even more difficult to get a toehold in reasonable housing in this area for many decades. The arguments they use aren’t even new, it’s just that there is more pressure - and more potential profits for them now. It’s very easy to create slogans or easy false framing, such as claiming that building more will make things cheaper, when it does the opposite in an expensive desirable job center. They get away with posing the issue as if the number of people will stay the same instead of that more people will actually bring in more people to meet the new needs created by the influx as well as that companies that should move to grow will decide to stay. Imagine what a mess if Facebook had stayed here for its growth spurt.

Young people don’t know what to expect, but when they hear the drumbeat that more building will make their expensive cost of living better, they’re all for it, nevermind that it’s not going to help them, it’s really only going to create more expensive new dense housing that brings in even more traffic and density that makes their lives harder because of competition for scarcer resources. (We’ve been subject to those false arguments for decades.) They never seem to get that building more actually brings in yet more people so competition for housing in a job center will only get worse. We have only too look at Hong Kong’s history for that lesson. The only workable answer is to ensure that resources like development money and workers, and government investments, go to places that need them so that we create new job centers in addition to ours. We have Stanford, and as long as we are cognizant of protecting quality of life here, we have nothing to fear and everything to gain - everyone wins - if companies relocate rather than impose more development on already built places that don’t benefit from it.

@Mark Weiss,
Die Hard Cory supporters face the same problem. If they vote for McCormick and a lot of Filseth and Dubois voters do, too, it’s also posdible that Cory could be edged out for that third seat, too.

We must get ranked choice voting. Until we do, it’s a bad idea for anyone to cast a vote for anyone they feel lukewarm about because it is essentially a vote against a preferred candidate, especially in this race. Supporters of a more holistic approach to governance would do well to ONLY vote for Tom Dubois and Eric Filseth, and not to cast the third vote.


49 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 14, 2018 at 10:51 am

mauricio is a registered user.

I find it amazing that some highly educated and successful people keep repeating and beliving in the nonsensical mantra that developing tall high density housing will make housing in Palo Alto more affordable, when a brief research would clearly demonstrate that any desirable area around the world that experimented with it has achieved the exact opposite results.

Hong Kong, with the best public transit system in the world has never been more expensive despite mind boggling increasing density, developing endless micro units the size of coffins. London, going through its largest gentrification and conversion into housing wave since the end of WW2, has become the most expensive city in the world. Ditto for Barcelona. The examples for the fallacy of 'If we increase density prices would come down' are abound globally.

I find it both tragic and hillarious that developer water carriers like PAF and the majority in the Palo Alto city council keep repeating this deceptive fantasy without paying a political price for it.


33 people like this
Posted by Green Acres Joe
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 14, 2018 at 10:53 am

I have waited awhile before adding my comments about the Weekly’s City Council endorsements. Yes, it seemed that the Cory Wolbach supporters were out in force initially. I got the feeling that they knew beforehand that the Weekly would not endorse Cory and were ready with their erroneous characterizations of Tom Dubois and Eric Filseth’s records on Council. Others saw through that and have responded forcefully, with much higher “likes” than the Cory supporters have received. Some people can be deceived, or want to be deceived, while most people here in Palo Alto who are paying attention will not be. Having said that I have the following comments to add.

(1) I want to concur with what Rita Vrhel said above. I have been associated with Rita for the past year or so on community matters, and find her to be a clear thinker and, beyond that, a straight shooter and brilliant communicator. She tells it like it is, as she did above. I agree fully with her comments.

(2) After reading all of the comments online, I have gone back and re-read the Weekly’s City Council endorsement comments and have been impressed with its thoughtful and well written analysis. It talked candidly about where the pro-development “gang of 5” (Scharff, Kniss, Wolbach, Fine and Tanaka) have taken us. Too much commercial development, with little real consideration to where the people employed in those buildings would be living. Lip service yes to housing needs, but it should have started long ago with a dramatic reduction in new office development, so we, as a community, could have worked on tackling the very thorny problem of where people who work here will live. A recent ad in the Weekly (on page 14 of its October 12th issue, the same issue with its City Council endorsements; full disclosure, I was one of the authors of that ad) points out the fact that “during the six years between 2010 and 2016 the number of jobs in Palo Alto increased more than 7 times faster than the number of new…employed Palo Alto residents”, a worsening of the jobs/housing imbalance, as the Weekly notes. Any wonder why the price of homes and rents for rental property of all types have increased so dramatically. Do we really need to retain Cory who almost assuredly would continue the pro-development policies that he has supported since being elected in 2014? Alison Cormack, for all of her middle of the road statements (politically smart for someone who wants to get elected) is supported by the establishment and pro-development forces in this City (just look at her list of supporters and people donating to her campaign), but at least she has the potential, in my opinion, to be willing to work, for the betterment of Palo Alto, with Tom, Eric and Lydia Kou. One can always hope for better days.

I will be voting just for Tom Dubois and Eric Filseth as I want to do my part to see that they are re-elected to City Council. [I hope that Pat Boone will take the time between now and 2020 to apply for a position on a commission or similar body, so one can ascertain if he warrants serious consideration for Council two years from now, if he decides to run again (assuming that he is not elected now over three incumbents and one well-supported newcomer)].


36 people like this
Posted by Boone over Cormack
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 12:38 pm

Cormack is as much a risk as Wolbach. Both are bolsters for the well sponsored "majority." A risk of not worth taking.

The only thing people should remember before the election is that Liz Kniss, Greg Tanaka, and Adrian Fine are still on Council!!

The trio that got elected thanks to the machine of developers, chamber of commerce, power fundraising email lists, or advocacy organizations with people who mostly don't even live here or basically hate Palo Alto, and who are likely also going to make Cormack win.

Ugh - the drone of Kniss (often on open mic) telling Wolback or even Greg Scharff what to do. Tanaka and Fine then just follow. I can 100% see Cormack joining the new majority. At least Wolbach is really bad at hiding who he really serves, but we will never know with Cormack.

Oh forgot, we will know, we'll know when she votes with Liz Kniss on everything and then Tanaka and Fine will follow.

Re electing Dubois and Filseth is not enough to clean up this mess.

Why should Boone serve on a commission to learn to listen to residents? Too bad that there wasn't one more candidate to secure cleaning up this mess, but if I am asked to take risks, I'll go with Boone!


14 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 12:57 pm

@Boone Over McCormack,

I agree with that sentiment, but unfortunately, because we do no have ranked choice voting, you don’t get to choose. It is likely that Wohlbach supporters will be voting for Wohlbach, McCormack and Boone. If Filseth and Dubois supporters add to those votes, they could end up edging out one or the other.

If Dubois and Filseth are elected, then they with Kou will help bring about rational policies. If the development-centric candidates edge out either one, then they once again have their way with us. It is not worth risking. Because we do not have ranked choice voting, anyone who wants to see Filseth and Dubois win must only vote for Filseth and Dubois and not cast the third vote, which would essentially be a vote against them for someone else to edge them out. The Council majority us at stake. I am voting only for Filseth and Dubois and not casting the third vote so that it isn’t basically a vote against them.

Anyone who understands this should help others to understand, so they don’t vote against their own wishes. We need ranked choice voting.


17 people like this
Posted by enlightened
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 1:29 pm

Citizen,

Thank you for the heads up

I have changed my handle from "Boone over McCormack" to enlightened.

I will join you and ONLY vote for Dubois and Filseth and not cast a third vote.

I had a feeling the nonsense with Cormack was a distraction.


191 people like this
Posted by What Comes Around Goes Around
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 1:30 pm

>> About the only thing left to look forward to is the eventual diminishing of their mental capacities. Then we can finally commit them to private or state-run assisted-care facilities and assume our rightful place in American society, both economically and politically.

My mother (another baby boomer no less) did this to my grandmother who was diagnosed with mild dementia. She petitioned the court for a conservatorship of my grandmother's estate and now has full control of her finances. My grandmother was exiled to an assisted care facility where she now spends her remaining days watching TV, playing bingo and eating institutionalized food.

Whenever I visit my grandmother, she is very distressed at what my mother did to her but there is little that she can do at this stage of her life.

Karma being what it is, if the opportunity ever presents itself I'm going to give my mother a taste of her own medicine.

That said, I am also going to vote for any PACC candidate who believes in equal and fair housing for all.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 1:38 pm

I have decided now that I definitely think Boone is my first choice and probably only choice.

He listens as others have said and although he is a newcomer he has not been contaminated by being on other boards or commission. His fresh common sense approach and the ability to learn about an issue when he needs to find out more, is probably a better idea than being pushed into it by some of the other council members or board commissioners.

I say give him a chance. He is better than any of the other choices as he is not carrying any baggage.


26 people like this
Posted by Less Traveled Road
a resident of University South
on Oct 14, 2018 at 2:06 pm

Less Traveled Road is a registered user.

Just to put some numbers in perspective, when I moved to Palo Alto in the 1980s with a technical graduate degree from an ivy league school, I started at about $30K/year and moved into a tiny one bedroom apartment in downtown Palo Alto which was about $600/month. So now, starting salaries for techie new grads at local tech companies are about $120K. 4X what I started at, so that equates to housing at $600x4 = $2400. When I check craigslist I see a bunch of apartments in that price range. It seems to me that the ratio is about the same.


8 people like this
Posted by Homeless Millennial Techie
a resident of another community
on Oct 14, 2018 at 2:19 pm

>> I started at about $30K/year and moved into a tiny one bedroom apartment in downtown Palo Alto which was about $600/month. So now, starting salaries for techie new grads at local tech companies are about $120K. 4X what I started at, so that equates to housing at $600x4 = $2400. When I check craigslist I see a bunch of apartments in that price range. It seems to me that the ratio is about the same.

Maybe in Milpitas or San Jose but not in Palo Alto. Landlords in PA are greedy.


25 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 2:25 pm

> About the only thing left to look forward to is the eventual diminishing
> of their mental capacities. Then we can finally commit them to private
> or state-run assisted-care facilities and assume our rightful place in
> American society, both economically and politically.

Normally, I’m fine with anonymous posting—but this poster really should take a bow and identify himself/herself. I’m certain that there are a goodly number of people who have questions for this person—such as: do you plan to ever “get old”? How should people in their thirties talk to you when you’re over thirty-five? Should younger people be expected to “pay for your social security and Medicare” or will you be taking care of yourself?

My Dad was a member of the so-called “Greatest Generation”. He had to drop out of elementary school in 1929, never to graduate from high school. In those days, college was not even in the discussion of what most people were going to do with their lives after high school.

Economic circumstances saw Dad enlisting in the Military. He wanted to fly. So when WWII started, he was able to secure a slot in a flight school class. Unfortunately for him, he crashed one day during a training flight. He miraculously survived the plane’s descent from 20,000 feet—but spent the next five years in a military hospital and the rest of his life recovering.

Even though he could barely walk, he never complained about his fate in life. Given the 60M-80M killed during WWII, and the chaos left in its wake—Dad was just happy to be alive. Over time he healed to the point that he was able to join forces with two co-workers to build garages in each other’s back yards. Besides working a five-day job, Dad and his friends put in every weekend for the next nine months, or so, until all of the garages where finished. None of them were carpenters—they got a book from the library on how to build wood structures, and then applied their newly-found knowledge to the job at hand. At six years old, I found myself being the “carpenter’s helper” and came to learn what hammers and saws were all about.

Later, when it was time for separate rooms for my brother and myslef, Dad used the skills he acquired building the garages to open up the roof of our small A-frame house. Over the next six-eight months built a dormer with two bedrooms and a bath. He could never have afforded to pay someone to do this work. While he had never heard the term “sweat equity”.. he understood that if you want something done, you had better do it yourself.

After he retired, he spent the rest of his life building houses for other people—often newlyweds with little in the way of financial resources for their first home.

Having watched Dad, and his whole generation who had lived through the Great Depression and then WWII come home after war’s end and start the building boom that was the 1950s—it is beyond depressing to listen to people in their thirties who have most likely never served in the military, and are standing on the shoulders of the men and women who picked up the gauntlet after 1945 to make America the country it is today whine about not being able to have what they want.

It is really beyond depressing to read this nonsense and realize that there are a goodly number of people in this town who seem to see themselves as rightfully entitled, but have no obligations to those who have built what they now enjoy.

Well, one of these days these “Millennials” will come into “political and economic power”. It’s really hard to believe that many of these people will have the slightest idea what to do to advance our county’s values and prosperity.

PS: When I started my first job, with two degrees and 2.5 years of military service as an officer—my salary was maybe $9.7K (if memory serves). It took me a long time to save enough money for my first home, and then my acquiring it was more by good fortune than not.


61 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 14, 2018 at 2:55 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Quote: :Maybe in Milpitas or San Jose but not in Palo Alto. Landlords in PA are greedy.

Please explain to us why you have a divine right to live in Palo Alto and why Milpitas or San Jose are beneath you.

While I was saving up to buy in Palo Alto, a process that took many years and many sacrifices on all levels, I lived in, just a small sample, a studio apartment in a rat infested building on Woodland Ave, now part of E.P.A, a one bedroom apartment in a deteriorating and rat infested building on E. Okeefe St a crimeridden street at the time, now also part of EPA, shared housing in unglamorous parts of unglamorous towns like Redwood City, Union City, Fremont, and yes, Milpitas too. Obviously all these places far beneath you. Please tell us again why you are too special to make any sacrifices in order to achieve what you want, and why you deserve public help to have a Palo Alto zip code.


15 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 14, 2018 at 3:29 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

I'm a little reluctant to comment anymore because so many of my previous ones had 'portions removed' which took away the context of what I was trying to convey. But, I press on!

@ A Millennial View:

I might be wrong but I suspect you might just say things to stir up a hornet's nest and then sit back and watch what happens, i.e., comments from online followers. To whit...how much have you really studied the issues? And I ask that because of your comments!

"I'm voting for a PACC candidate who supports rent ceilings on older dwellings and the development of more affordable housing units throughout the ENTIRE city of Palo Alto. The Village at San Antonio Road is an example of how Palo Alto should look."

Let's break that down: First sentence...which candidate(s) do you have in mind? They are all in favor of 'affordable' housing, whatever that means in PA.

Second sentence: Are you serious? You want Palo Alto to look like that? If you're having rent affordability problems now don't look for a Carmel Village to solve them. And where would that massive project construction happen in PA? You must be a newbie and haven't explored the boundaries of our city limits and spaces and areas available for that kind of project. You need to get serious before any of us will take you seriously...seriously!

I could go on and on about what was there when we moved here, but it would bore you and you would have no reason to care anyway. But, just let me bore you a little bit...Sears was our main store for shopping for clothes, later appliances and tools (both hand and power), also jewelry, watches and batteries replaced in our watches...et al. A car maintenance/repair shop and tire store next door. Many other stores in the short mall area behind Sears, and a food court, perfect for us without having to drive for miles to a mega mall. Sorry, I overextended my good memories of how it was!


58 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 14, 2018 at 5:36 pm

R.Davis is a registered user.

QUOTE: Sears was our main store for shopping for clothes, later appliances and tools (both hand and power), also jewelry, watches and batteries replaced in our watches...et al. A car maintenance/repair shop and tire store next door. Many other stores in the short mall area behind Sears, and a food court, perfect for us without having to drive for miles to a mega mall. Sorry, I overextended my good memories of how it was!

I'm dating myself but does anyone remember the Co-Op grocery store on the corner of ECR and San Antonio? My parents shopped there when we were kids back in the early 1960s. They used to have 5-cent ice cream cones (singles) in the drug store section. The food court = The Menu Tree. It was similar in concept to the one at the Stanford Barn with cafeteria-style Chinese/Mexican/Italian/American food offerings. The San Antonio Hobby Shop was a personal favorite of mine along with Hal's Records.

Millennials (like so many others) tend to shop more online these days & as a result, 'window-shopping' has gradually become an activity of the past.

Town & Country Village (with the hayride wagon circling the shopping center and the amusement park in back) was also a cool place for kids as well.



134 people like this
Posted by A Gen-X Neurologist
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 14, 2018 at 6:53 pm

"About the only thing left to look forward to is the eventual diminishing of their mental capacities. Then we can finally commit them to private or state-run assisted-care facilities and assume our rightful place in American society, both economically and politically."


Babyboomers make up approximately 28% of the American population. At present, 16% of the women over 71 have Alzheimers compared with 11% of the men over 71. Roughly 1/3 of those over 85 already have this disease and it is estimated that 60-80% of those initially diagnosed with dementia will develop Alzheimers at a later date.

Since the current US population is approximately 323 million, that leaves 95 million within the baby boomer age range. Using the above %s as a basic reference point, we can assume that 15.2 million baby boomer-aged women and 10.45 million babyboomer-aged men will develop Alzheimers by age 71 and the numbers will swell to around 30 million+ for those living past 80.

At that point in time, assisted or live-in care will become absolute necessities in order to ensure the personal safety and proper administration of medications for senior patients afflicted with this disease. In addition, most will no longer be deemed capable of making responsible financial decisions on their own.

A growth industry will eventually emerge for lawyers specializing in conservatorships along with numerous 'boutique' assisted-care facilities for those who can afford it.

Like a chicken hawk circling the roost, some Millennials are playing a quiet waiting game and if you happen to be one of the unfortunate individuals to come down with dementia and/or Alzheimers, you will be screwed...especially if your children are seeking some form of financial gain or happen to be pissed-off with you.

At 47, I'm a half generation removed from the Babyboomers and I'm watching my back. Hopefully the post Millennials kids will be less aggravated with their parents.






13 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 7:35 pm

From the line about the Tesla I assume it’s a joke, a satire on boomer stereotypes of Millennials. Unless they’re already rich, nobody who’s serious about buying into an expensive area leases a Tesla.

Not that there aren’t a few entitled Millennials. But rhetoric aside, a lot of the “henry” Millennials still doing the traditional approach(two incomes, no kids, a frugal lifestyle, a used Hyundai, possibly build equity somewhere else first, and so on) really will end up eventually owning in Palo Alto or Menlo Park or Los Altos if they continue to want to. Whereas most of those pining for a privileged past that never was, while leasing their Teslas … won’t.


43 people like this
Posted by A Gen-X Neurologist
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 14, 2018 at 10:24 pm

...we can assume that 15.2 million baby boomer-aged women and 10.45 million babyboomer-aged men will develop Alzheimers [by] age 71 and the numbers will swell to around 30 million+ for those living past 80.

Correction: [after] age 71

Early onset dementia/Alzheimers is another topic of its own and a rare occurrence affecting only 5-7% of all Alzheimers cases. It affects those 65 years of age or younger.

Lastly...Despite whatever you may have read or heard regarding certain preventative measures (e.g. regular exercise, dietary recomendations, stimulating mental activities etc.), none have been medically or scientifically proven to prevent dementia or Alzheimers. They are general guidelines for a healthy lifestyle (which may or may not have an impact on the emergence of this disease).



36 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2018 at 9:00 am

R.Davis is a registered user.

QUOTE: About the only thing left to look forward to is the eventual diminishing of their mental capacities. Then we can finally commit them to private or state-run assisted-care facilities and assume our rightful place in American society, both economically and politically.

QUOTE: My mother (another baby boomer no less) did this to my grandmother who was diagnosed with mild dementia. She petitioned the court for a conservatorship of my grandmother's estate and now has full control of her finances. My grandmother was exiled to an assisted care facility where she now spends her remaining days watching TV, playing bingo and eating institutionalized food.


Regardless of the generational instigator, if this is a 'master plan' and a living trust is involved in the eventual dispersal and management of trust/estate assets, the 'incapacity' provision needs to be clearly spelled out or it can be easily abused/manipulated to the advantage of an individual seeking financial control of an estate (usually a conniving offspring designated as the Successor Trustee in a revocable trust).

All it takes to get the ball rolling is a letter from an MD (following a cognizance examination of the original Settlor/elder) stating that the person is no longer capable of managing his/her own affairs. This clears the way for a Successor Trustee to assume control of the estate and if even more control is desired, a petition to the court for a full conservatorship of the person and estate.

In many trusts, 'incapacity' is a vague term with little or no clear cut definitions. It can be temporary or permanent depending on the affliction. Since dementia has certain 'gray zones' in regards to one's ability to handle their own affairs, certain disabilities should be spelled out clearly in the trust to avoid unintended sacrifices of one's personal control over their own lives.

Based on some of the earlier comments expressing a certain contempt for previous generations, if a significant amount of financial resources and/or real property is involved in a family estate, various precautions need to be exercised in order to prevent being condemned to the 'farm' against your wishes.

And it starts with having established a quality relationship with your children. Money corrupts and this particular practice of throwing elderly parents under the bus is not as uncommon as one would imagine.







31 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2018 at 10:08 am

Posted by A Millennial View, a resident of Evergreen Park, on Oct 13, 2018 at 7:49 pm

>> The American Dream was destroyed by

Millennial View's hilarious parody got quite a reaction. You were kidding, right? BTW, how old are you -really-?

Back On Topic: clearly DuBois and Filseth are the two best candidates, but, I'm having trouble with the third slot. I don't see that any candidate has come out clearly in favor of firmly capping office space. Without that, housing initiatives are doomed to failure; we just keep falling further and further behind, and, traffic and parking continue to get worse.


34 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 15, 2018 at 10:44 am

Annette is a registered user.

I hope Anon is right and that the comments made by A Millennial View were written in jest. The Tesla lease suggests that may be the case - are 2 year leases even an option? On the other hand, about a year ago I found myself in a polite housing discussion with a young man who works for a start-up in SF. His fiancé works at FB and they live in SF. Both care very much about the housing situation. When the discussion turned to infrastructure and I inquired as to whether they are concerned about schools and classroom size for their future children the fiancé immediately chimed in to tell me that they want the changes now but are not committed to San Francisco and when they have children they will return to the east coast where they came from. That translates to: make it work for US (now) regardless of what that means for YOU. When I recollect that discussion, what A Millennial View wrote doesn't seem so far fetched.

Overall comment: one very good thing about living in Palo Alto is the abundance of smart people who can weigh in knowledgably about most any topic. What the neurologist shared with all of us is invaluable. I say "thank you" to that doctor. But I am not too worried about watching my back. My parents took care of their elders, my siblings and I are doing the same, and I anticipate that my children will do the same. And so on. What goes around really does come around. If the writer of A Millennial View was in fact serious, I suggest a change of heart.


46 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 15, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"Back On Topic: clearly DuBois and Filseth are the two best candidates, but, I'm having trouble with the third slot. I don't see that any candidate has come out clearly in favor of firmly capping office space. Without that, housing initiatives are doomed to failure; we just keep falling further and further behind, and, traffic and parking continue to get worse."

I see Boone as the clear choice for the third slot. We've heard Ms. Cormack say the that capping office space "impinges on our freedom" and that she plans on making "data-driven" decisions. Yet she sees improving the shuttle as the solution to our transportation woes, not capping office development.

You don't have to be too "data-driven" to see that it's the residents whose freedoms she'll limit, not the businesses who bring the commuters.

Mr. Boone, on the other had, has said he favors making businesses pay their fair share. Good for him. He's got my third vote.


16 people like this
Posted by Only Idiots Lease Teslas
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 15, 2018 at 1:25 pm

> The Tesla lease suggests that may be the case - are 2 year leases even an option?

Yes. Runs about $800-$1000 per month depending on the model. An in-law leases one as a business expense. The guy is all for show. [Portion removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 15, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

I so wanted to be done commenting...but so many commenters prevent me from doing it.

@Cory has my vote:

"Cory is the only one who supports housing. And he has my vote."

Please...you haven't been paying attention! But I'm sure you're not alone. They all support housing in some form and for varying income levels, and that's what separates the candidates' points of view and makes the issue so confusing. We are bombarded by terms...market rate, BMR (below market rate), affordable (the definition of that gets a wide range of answers), AMI (area median income), low income, very low income, Section 8 housing, and recently appearing on the scene...work force housing. Most voters heads are swimming/abuzz when they try to sort that out so they just pick the name of the guy they relate to and hear about first and most often about housing...and that's Cory Wolbach.

As an example, Tom Dubois voted for the VTA site housing project after pondering and considering all factors and the fact it is an under-parked project. His was a cautious approval however, saying he wanted it to serve as a 'pilot' project for future projects like that. That means collecting data and learning from the 'pilot' project. My online comment many months ago saying the same thing might have influenced him. I'll never know. He is a data driven guy as I am, you know, us engineering types. Learn all you can about the residents...how many own cars? how many own cars but won't use their cars but bike or walk or take public transportation instead (bus,train)? How many will park on the streets in neighborhoods near the project. What will the rental rates be and who will rent them...ages, singles, couples, occupations, income levels, etc. Race, ethnic backgrounds, sexual persuasions, and religious preferences shouldn't be part of the information gathering as far as I'm concerned. Others might feel it's important for some cause they want to promote.


6 people like this
Posted by Minimum Wage Positions?
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2018 at 1:38 pm

Would be interesting to hear where all the candidates stand on Minimum Wage. Do they approve delaying inflation adjustment by a year -as proposed in the Consent Calendar-? Will also be interesting to see how current council members (many of them endorsed by the Santa Clara Democratic Party) will vote tonight.


16 people like this
Posted by Only Idiots Lease Teslas
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 15, 2018 at 2:44 pm

^^^I am in support and favor of a $25.00/hour CA Minimum Wage. Though this may have an impact on some businesses (i.e. restaurants, gas stations and others), the smaller business owners can simply close their doors and go to work for someone else if worse comes to worse. It's happened before on countless occasions...no big deal. On the other hand, corporate-owned businesses can easily afford this increase and it's about time they stopped exploiting the lower-tiered employees by catering to shareholder and executive-level avarice.

I net roughly $35.00-$40.00 per hour and pay my employees who work along side me around $30.00 an hour. In time, I am hoping to increase their take-home pay as everyone has additional expenses to meet. While I am by no means wealthy, to pay them a crappy $11.00/hour would be demeaning not only to their ongoing quality work efforts but to my overall sense of personal decency as well.

If I can do it, the big-wigs most certainly can. Too see the rich get richer while the poorer workers continue to dig themselves deeper into a hole is what makes this country not so great.

No stupid Tesla for me...just an old Ford pick-up.





12 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 15, 2018 at 2:45 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

The campaign contributions issue seems to be getting more attention. One commenter..."Yes for Cory", in about the middle of the commenter list, attacked the Weekly for all the real estate ads on their website when they support the controlled growth candidates, basically calling the Weekly out as being hypocritical. That alone doesn't sway me to think ads favor candidates and that editorials necessarily conflict with the real estate ads...but read on...I have more to say about that below.

Check every newspaper in the Bay Area. They all probably survive by real estate ads (some even have entire sections devoted to it) when most people living here can't afford the homes advertised. Now that is what's most puzzling to me. But those companies still advertise and that doesn't come cheap, so in the end it's the buyers and sellers who pay the price for the advertising, and maybe some by us subscribers. Real estate companies' bottom lines must be preserved.

But beyond that...check all the campaign contributions for the candidates. It's up to you. I'm not going to do your homework for you and tell you who to vote for. Check for the contributions by real estate folks, including those from 'out of town', which I think translates to developer friendly folks also, wanting to get back in on the highly profitable action in PA with the projects supported by the pro growth friendly CC members.




11 people like this
Posted by PhotoOp
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:17 pm

I think this editorial perfectly reflects my sentiment. I will follow their recommendations.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:26 pm

I would like to see a two tier minimum wage. A 16 year old high school student working after school should not be earning the same as a 21+ year old who has experience and financial obligations. I am not sure whether it should be an age cut off of 18 or 21, but I do think that a 16 year old on a first job is benefiting from the experience of having a job more than is really pulling the same weight as an older person who is no longer a rookie at working for a living.


132 people like this
Posted by A Millenial View
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 15, 2018 at 5:36 pm

>@Millennial - is that satire?

You can call it whatever you like. I call it reality.


>>Millennial View's hilarious parody got quite a reaction. You were kidding, right? BTW, how old are you -really-?

The conveyed sentiments and pressing concerns are shared by many of my generational colleagues and friends. I was born in 1986.


>>>I hope Anon is right and that the comments made by A Millennial View were written in jest. The Tesla lease suggests that may be the case - are 2 year leases even an option?

Leasing a Tesla S was perhaps a mistake on my part as other more pressing expenditures arose. It was a personal reward for having survived a particularly stressful period at work. I probably could have gotten by with a Prius but those cars are primarily designed for older drivers (aka aging Baby Boomers) who no longer have any real automotive interests.


>>>> I surely do hope that yours is a minority point of view.

I was merely expressing my own views. The others can speak for themselves.


The latter posts about dementia (medical) and its legal ramifications made a lot of sense.


16 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 15, 2018 at 6:48 pm

Here are some updates to the campaign contributions of the candidates:

|Year……….....|Candidate……....|Contrb|Amount|
| 11/06/2018 | Alison Cormack|..229 | $93,458|
| 11/06/2018 | Cory Wolbach..|..326 | $87,025|
| 11/06/2018 | Tom DuBois…...|. …76 | $34,739|
| 11/06/2018 | Eric Filseth..| .…74 | $30,980|
| 11/06/2018 | Pat Boone……....| ….4 | $600|


25 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 15, 2018 at 7:05 pm


Here are the latest stats on Cory Walbach:

+------------------+---------------+-------------+---------------+------------+
| Candidate |$$ Outside PA | $$ Inside PA| # outside PA | # inside PA |
+------------------+---------------+-------------+--------------+-------------+
| Cory Wolbach.....|.....$3754.....|....$49482...|.....116......|.....210.....|
+------------------+---------------+-------------+--------------+-------------+

Percent Contributors Outside PA: 55%
Percent Contributions Outside PA: 43% of Total, 76% of PA Contributions

It's clear from this campaign contribution data that there are a lot of people outside of Palo Alto trying to get this candidate elected.

So .. who will he be representing if elected?


15 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 15, 2018 at 7:21 pm

Latest Data on Alyson Cormack:

+------------------+---------------+-------------+--------------+-------------+
| Candidate |$$ Outside PA | $$ Inside PA| # outside PA | $ inside PA |
+------------------+=--------------+-----------------------+------------------+
| Alyson Cormack | 14754 | 78703 | 38 | 191 |
+------------------+---------------+-------------+--------------+-------------+

Percent Total Contributors Outside PA: 16 %
Percent Contributions Outside PA: 15% of Total, 18% of PA Contributions


31 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 15, 2018 at 7:24 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Wayne, very interesting to see where the big money's going. Do you have similar breakdowns for the other candidates?

Clearly Cormack has the biggest dollar contributors since she's got the most money but has almost 100 fewer contributors than Cory.


6 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 15, 2018 at 7:25 pm

[Post removed due to repetitive post by same poster]


17 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 15, 2018 at 7:40 pm

Latest Data on Erik Filseth:

+---------------+-----------------+--------------+---------------+-------------+
| Candidate | $$ Outside PA | $$ Inside PA.| # outside PA | # inside PA |
+---------------+-----------------+--------------+--------------+-------------+
| Eric Filseth |………850……........|……31130…......|…….3…........…|…….71........|
+----------------+----------------+--------------+--------------+-------------+

Percent Total Contributors Outside PA: 4%
Percent Contributions Outside PA: 3% of Total, 3% of PA Contributions


15 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 15, 2018 at 8:04 pm

Latest Data For Tom DuBois:

+---------------+-----------------+--------------+---------------+-------------+
| Candidate | $$ Outside PA | $$ Inside PA| # outside PA | # inside PA |
+----------------+----------------+-------------+--------------+-------------+
| Tom DuBois.....|……...…$450…..…..|……$34,644…...|..…….3….....……|...…….72...……|
+--[[----------- +----------------+-------------+--------------+-------------+

Percent Total Contributors Outside PA: 4%
Percent Contributions Outside PA: 1% of Total, 1% of PA Contributions


35 people like this
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 15, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Yep, that's Cory, bought and paid for in advance! Please let's nip his "career" in the bud.


27 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 15, 2018 at 8:34 pm

Trying to square up the data for Cory Wolbach's contributions, I see that there was a typo. Cory's outside Palo Alto's contributions should be: $37,543.


41 people like this
Posted by Honda Civic driving Baby Boomer
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 15, 2018 at 9:49 pm

@ A Millenial View

"Leasing a Tesla S was perhaps a mistake on my part as other more pressing expenditures arose. It was a personal reward for having survived a particularly stressful period at work. I probably could have gotten by with a Prius but those cars are primarily designed for older drivers (aka aging Baby Boomers) who no longer have any real automotive interests."

Don't expect us to feel sorry for you. A Tesla as a reward for surviving some stress at work? With this kind of impulse buy, no wonder you cannot afford Palo Alto. In life, you most often have to make choices. Most people cannot have both the Palo Alto home and the fancy car, especially at your age (I have a child of your age by the way, who grew up in Palo Alto, but has never whined about not being able to live here).

I chose to drive "boring" inexpensive cars and also watch all my expenses. Otherwise, I could never have bought a house in Palo Alto, yes even all those years ago.

You sound extremely entitled to me.


26 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 16, 2018 at 11:12 am

Annette is a registered user.

A Millennial View - until reading your last post I had no idea that we Boomers were known for having "no real automotive interest". What a hoot! One I know has a fleet of Ferraris, several others drive Porsches, and many drive Teslas (yikes! you have something in common with Boomers!).

But this thread started out as comments on candidates and the editorial that decided to not endorse Cory W for reelection to City Council. I agree with that decision. Just yesterday I read a news item in the SVBJ about 4 Palo Alto commercial properties that recently sold for $2,000/sf. Think about that - it's crazy. And it is that sort of development practice that is distorting the real estate market and wreaking havoc on the jobs:housing imbalance, not Boomers owning homes that they worked hard for to buy.

Upheavals like the President Hotel are a wake up call that demands an assessment of our values and balance. Frankly, I don't know how our Council Majority justifies what they have done and are doing to this community, but anyone who buys their current, arguably politically motivated, interest in housing should ask some hard questions about their long-standing and disproportionate support of commercial development. Similarly hard questions should be asked of candidates seeking to get on CC. If you really want to see housing change, support for commercial development needs to change. Sadly, our reality is just that simple.


98 people like this
Posted by Make Room for the New
a resident of Mountain View
on Oct 16, 2018 at 2:01 pm

"I had no idea that we Boomers were known for having "no real automotive interest". What a hoot! One I know has a fleet of Ferraris, several others drive Porsches, and many drive Teslas (yikes! you have something in common with Boomers!)."


When a Boomer buys a fleet of expensive cars like a Ferrari or Porsches, he/she probably did it at the expense of others less fortunate. Think exploitation and unbridled ego.

This cannot be compared to a Millennial leasing a Tesla. Two different scenarios. One is based on overt greed and a lame attempt at capturing a fleeting fountain of youth while the other one tends to vary, depending on one's needs assessment. While some Millennials may appear to be self-entitled, they apparently learned this from their aging parents who over time, will eventually have no cognizant recollection of their various exploits...if what the neurosurgeon says is true. Then these old timers will be able to feign their innocence for the messed-up world they managed to create.

Only delusional Baby Boomers think 50 is the new 30. Too much pot.


4 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 16, 2018 at 2:31 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Simply FYI, the Boomer with the Ferraris doesn't fit your generalization. He is a collector. I've known this person almost my entire life and cannot knock him for pursuing his interest in cars at the expense of others. He is exceptionally smart, has a long list of advanced degrees and accomplishments, and has loved the workings of engines and fine cars since at least his early teenage years, likely before. His professional successes have allowed him the luxury of collecting what he likes. Other than the fact that they are Italian, Ferraris hold no appeal to me, but I can tell you that the person I referenced came by his hobby honestly.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Greenmeadow

on Oct 16, 2018 at 3:07 pm

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


5 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Oct 16, 2018 at 4:39 pm

The residentialists have some good points about limiting commercial growth, but they are also stuck on limiting housing. Until the residentialists come around to a more expansive view of housing development, Cormack and Wolbach will get my vote.

The residentialists seem to think that Palo Alto can set policy in isolation. I know of a town of similar size to Palo Alto where they are building some 18-story apartments and condos -- not back to back but generally close to transit lines. I don't favor lots of 18-story buildings, but I can tell you that PA's 50-foot height limit is the most dysfunctional piece of civic policy you can imagine. Can we compromise on 12-stories? To satisfy the hard-core residentialists, maybe redevelop some commercial property into housing.

What is going to become of 3000 Hanover? That would seem to be a good largesite now suitable housing.


76 people like this
Posted by Housing Discrimination Against Millenials
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 16, 2018 at 5:31 pm

>>...the Boomer with the Ferraris doesn't fit your generalization. He is a collector. I've known this person almost my entire life and cannot knock him for pursuing his interest in cars at the expense of others.

Yeah right. Just another 'down to earth' collector of Ferraris. An oxymoron if there ever was one. So how did he make all his 'bread'...by helping others succeed? Unlikely.

This sounds like another 'success story' about self-centered Boomers and their assorted toys...Martin guitars, Rolexes and gas-guzzling 'vintage' cars. They're not fooling anyone. Just living in a fantasy land they used to visit as children...my parents called it Santa's Village.

So much for the Woodstock Nation which was apparently little more than a fashion statement for privileged middle-class Boomers who eventually switched from tie-dyes to Ralph Lauren.

Not buying into any humble magnanimous Baby Boomers as a whole. No one's that gullible.


17 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 16, 2018 at 7:21 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Chris: I think the idea of redeveloping some commercial properties into housing is one that should be looked at seriously. I also see your point about building up but 18 stories or even 12 seems a bit much. Also, before we can go high(er) I think we have some prep work to do so that the growth is well and fully supported and we don't exacerbate existing problems.

@Housing Discrimination Against Millennials: the car lover is a physician who is still practicing. So, yes, he has been helping others live well. He's also a smart investor.

Regarding your moniker: I don't think there's any deliberate effort to practice housing discrimination against millennials. While that demographic may currently have the loudest voice regarding the shortage, the housing situation impacts people of all ages; just ask the residents of the President Hotel. It would not surprise me to learn that many millennials are better off than others who are housing insecure, especially if they are tech savvy and in a career that pays well. Imagine trying to live in this area on a modest income, supporting a family with children in school and learning that you were going to lose your housing. That's serious housing insecurity. Wanting to live here but not finding the housing you want is, in comparison, more what I would call being housing inconvenienced than housing insecure. Regardless, the bottom line is that we have built a big problem and we now have to figure ways to solve it.


22 people like this
Posted by A Millenial View
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 17, 2018 at 9:15 am

>...the car lover is a physician who is still practicing. So, yes, he has been helping others live well. He's also a smart investor.

Practicing what? Hopefully not owning/renting out overpriced Palo Alto residential real estate. My landlord is a retired opthamologist who still worships the dollar sign.






28 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2018 at 9:25 am

My, My.

Some young people bear a grudge against the boomer hippy generation who by the way, were a very small part of the population. Yes, there were some draft dodging, weed smoking individuals around who in fact grew up and began to understand that they had to become productive adults. And then a few of them decide to relive their youth on weekends and ride their Harleys at weekends or do whatever floats their boats in their spare time.

But some of the boomers never got into the hippy lifestyle and instead decided to start HP, Microsoft, Apple, and a few others you may have heard of too. Others pioneered organ transplants, space travel, and other technologies that you appreciate using every day.

If it wasn't for baby boomers hard work, you probably wouldn't have a job here or anywhere in high tech and would probably still think of computers as people who figured out math computations!

As I said before, I hope your parents are proud of you!


56 people like this
Posted by A Millenial View
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 17, 2018 at 10:04 am

>> But some of the boomers never got into the hippy lifestyle and instead decided to start HP, Microsoft, Apple, and a few others you may have heard of too. Others pioneered organ transplants, space travel, and other technologies that you appreciate using every day.

Geeze and as aforementioned in the other thread...

(1) HP was started in 1939 by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard (non-Baby Boomers).

And adding...

(2) Organ transplants and space travel research preceeded the Baby Boomer generation as they were too young at the time to have made any major 'pioneering' contributions. During the 1950s and 1960s, most were still children or adolescents.

Is your memory that bad or going further south?


10 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2018 at 10:08 am

Posted by A Millenial View, a resident of Evergreen Park

>> Practicing what? Hopefully not owning/renting out overpriced Palo Alto residential real estate. My landlord is a retired opthamologist who still worships the dollar sign.

I'm sorry, AMV, but, I'm confused. Help me out. Are you in favor of a more-or-less market-based rental market? Would you prefer mostly government-owned housing? What determines the locations that are considered desirable? Who gets to live in desirable locations, based on what?


10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2018 at 12:57 pm

To get back on topic.

Looking at lawn signs in the southern part of the town makes me wonder a few things.

Wolbach has done himself the great favor of going house to house around his neighborhood, could that be why so many in southern Palo Alto seem to be supporting him when perhaps they have not spent too much time studying the issues.

Cormack also has a southern core support, according to the number of lawn signs popped up in her favor almost first. She is well known by the Mitchell Park users, the local southern schools that her kids have traversed also know her. I wonder if her support is mainly from the peers and parents of kids peers due to her involvement in both rather than because they have spent time studying her position.

It worries me that some voters will just vote for someone they know or someone who they feel is a neighbor rather than because they think these candidates will benefit our CC.


4 people like this
Posted by What is the Voter Turnout %?
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 17, 2018 at 2:01 pm

>>To get back on topic.

So which PA neighborhood has the largest voting block in terms of who actually shows up to vote?


54 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 17, 2018 at 2:52 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

PAF for example, is an ideological, one issue [portion removed], i:e:all development, housing and commercial is good, the more the merrier, every person who wants to live in Palo Alto should be enabled to, so their members will vote only for PAF members or those they think would support their cause. From my experience of several decades, the rest of Palo Alto voters have no time or inclination to follow local politics, and vote almost strictly on name recognition, without having the slightest idea what the candidate actually stands for, or they believe what the candidate says, since no Palo Alto candidate would lie and deceive the voters of course.

Conduct a street random survey and you'll find out that voters have no idea what present and aspiring council members stand for. Some candidates, such as Cormack now and Walbach 4 years ago never reveal their views and use various cliches and platitude, so unless one engages in time consuming research, it is impossible to know their real views, and once they are elected it's too late.


6 people like this
Posted by A Millenial View
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 17, 2018 at 6:17 pm

> So which PA neighborhood has the largest voting block in terms of who actually shows up to vote?

Except for some of the folks here who have cited their specific reasons for various candidates, I would imagine that the average suburban voter votes by lawn sign or doesn't vote at all.


46 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 17, 2018 at 7:25 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Housing Discrimination Against Millenials and Mlllenial View, a few years back a boomer friend who was selling her house invited me up to opine on the staging. The main thing that struck me were all the new photos of a 30-something couple and their 2 cute toddlers in every room.

I asked who they were. She laughed and said, "no clue," explaining that the realtor insisted because the photos matched the target demographics of the under-35 prospects, the only US buyers expected for my friend's expensive house. And sure enough, the house was sold to someone under 35 and all the prospects were under 35.

Doesn't sound like discrimination against millenials to me.


112 people like this
Posted by A Millennial View
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 18, 2018 at 9:44 am

^^^^^ One alleged 'feel good' story doesn't make up for the current housing crisis being discussed here as there was no actual background info provided in regards to the millennial-aged picture people and their 'two cute toddlers in every room'. For all we know, their boomer-aged parents could have purchased the house for them or it was all contrived to begin with.

>>> I asked who they were. She laughed and said, "no clue," explaining that the realtor insisted because the photos matched the target demographics of the under-35 prospects, the only US buyers expected for my friend's expensive house.

^^^^ This sums it up...as it was probably just another typical sales manipulation by an enterprising RE agent. This 'baiting' strategy sounds similar to those pictures of fake people (aka models) when you buy a picture frame.

Beware of the kool-aid.


52 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 18, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

What kool-aid? Ageism is a fact widely reported for years, as have the pressures on "oldsters" simultaneously trying to help their aging parents and their kids. You do follow the news, don't you?

Skim the NextDoor daily digest; 1/3 is ads for nannies, proving the realtor's point about target demographics.

My "alleged story" is supported by facts on the local work force where only 28% over 45 are employed, the fact that SV labor surveys stop at age 44, the fact that big tech firms are replacing older US workers with $60K H1B contractors and their use of foreign contractors doubled this year, etc.

Why does this matter for local election? Ask yourselves if our policies should cater to young techie short-timers who will leave town when they too age out, who will leave their high-density housing when they have kids, who will change jobs often so they won't be living near their work.


114 people like this
Posted by Not Buying Into the Picture Perfect
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 18, 2018 at 1:38 pm

" I asked who they were. She laughed and said, "no clue," ....the realtor insisted because the photos matched the target demographics of the under-35 prospects, the only US buyers expected for my friend's expensive house. And sure enough, the house was sold to someone under 35 and all the prospects were under 35."

Trusting a mid-peninsula real estate agent around here to convey anything halfway near the truth is like trusting a rattlesnake not to bite.

Most of them will say or do anything to make a 3% commission on a multi-million dollar home listing.


37 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 18, 2018 at 2:34 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Mot Buying, who said "picture perfect"? There's nothing "perfect" about our housing market. The realtor knew his/her market demographics and you're trying too hard to deny the reality that it's young people and foreign investors buying property.

Are you also going to trash the young homeowners and young parents on NextDoor searching for nannies, playgroups, cribs, baby clothes, etc.?

We need reality-based policies, not more magical thinking about car-light developments and high-density dorm-like housing that people will leave when they age out and/or have kids.


104 people like this
Posted by Not Buying Into the Picture Perfect
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 18, 2018 at 3:09 pm

>> Are you also going to trash the young homeowners and young parents on NextDoor searching for nannies, playgroups, cribs, baby clothes, etc.?

I'm not trashing 'young parents on NextDoor'. They can do or shop for whatever they want (or actually need). I could care less.

Like the MV/Evergreen poster, I am questioning the hyperbole (aka BS) that our local RE agents are so adept at slinging. They market illusions (aka delusions) that do not reflect the real world...unless one happens to have $5M+ lying around in one's pocket.

My 'picture perfect' criticism pertains to the questionable lengths these peddlers will go to in order to market/sell a home on the peninsula. Placing snapshots of 'happy people' and their little munchkins all over the house is so tacky and lame....like a Hallmark nightmare.

You are correct...there is nothing 'picture perfect' about our current housing market. So why make a farce out of it? Ask your local RE agent.









46 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 18, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

You, I and my friend agree the photos of the happy couple and their munchkins was incredibly tacky which is why we laughed at it. I mentioned it to refute the claim that millenials are facing housing discrimination when they're a prime market here along with foreign investors.

I agree that unrealistic expectations are being pushed and I'd like to see a moratorium on office construction and for PA do something about the foreign investment/speculation that's pushing up prices. I'd also I'd like the big tech companies to stop flooding the market with under-paid contractors packed into "hacker hotels" thus raising rents for everyone.

The same big tech companies, developers and realtors catering to foreign investors are throwing lots of money into this campaign backing the 2 pro-development candidates who raised 3 times what the slow-growth candidates did. That's pretty horrifying.

Enough already. We need sensible, thoughtful planning, not magical thinking and "build baby build" rhetoric.


85 people like this
Posted by A Millennial View
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 18, 2018 at 5:35 pm

[Portion removed.]

Perhaps one thing both generations may (or may not) agree on...

A sizable number of midpeninsula real estate agents are nothing more than a herd of flim-flamming carpetbaggers who will do anything to milk the current housing crisis.

[Portion removed.]


33 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 18, 2018 at 7:38 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

So A Millennial View, who are you supporting for City Council and why?

You exhaustively listed everyone/evrything you don't like -- car-hating boomers, real estate agents, your greedy retired landlord who worships the almighty dollar, the entire older generation that's destroyed the American Dream for you, your older co-workers making the same salary after years/decades on the job as you, a 32-yr-old with less experience and seniority... so please enlighten us.

Humble apologies if I missed any others you dislike.


58 people like this
Posted by A Millenial View
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 18, 2018 at 8:05 pm

^^^^^Having another senior moment? That's OK.

If you scroll back, you will find that the comment pertaining to older co-workers making the same salary after years/decades on the job as myself was posted by another individual...Yes for COREY/University South. Please give credit where the credit is due.

As for 'car-hating boomers'...if you scroll back again, you will find that post can be attributed to someone named 'Housing Discrimination' (or something along those lines) and that person was apparently condemning expensive 'car-LOVING boomers'.

Now that we've got that straight and in response to your query...I am going to 'write-in' my candidate of choice. To date, all of the candidates currently campaigning for PACC office leave much to be desired. And being a disgruntled idealist, I will 'burn-up' my vote rather than compromise it.

Symbolically...it's kind of like Jimi Hendrix igniting his guitar at Monterey.

You're probably old enough to recall that occasion.


21 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Here we go again with all the boomers v millenials arguments.

I do believe this thread is about choosing the next CC.

Can we please keep on topic?


36 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2018 at 11:19 pm

@Resident,
Thank you for asking to get back on topic, but one common kind of troll makes superfluous comments in order to flood a comment area and divert attention from good arguments and information they have no good way to counter. People above have been talking about the importance of "bullet voting" for Tom and Eric.

“We need reality-based policies, not more magical thinking about car-light developments and high-density dorm-like housing that people will leave when they age out and/or have kids.”

Exactly.

@chris
“The residentialists have some good points about limiting commercial growth, but they are also stuck on limiting housing. Until the residentialists come around to a more expansive view of housing development,”

People like you are stuck on the idea that building housing is about creating spaces for those who are here, without appreciating that more building in a desirable place will only accelerate housing demand as more people move in. The reality is that building more housing creates more demand for support services for those people, meaning yet more jobs and more people. Density in this kind of place simply begets density.

Building denser creates its own kind of population gravity. It may have been necessary in Hong Kong, but it is not necessary here. The previous poster is right. We’ve been through this wave before, they were called yuppies, and they are who drove up the price of Los Altos real estate when they got older and realized dorm-like housing is not much fun. But there will always be people who will move into those little spaces. In a nation as vast as ours, though, with so many hollowed out places in need of renewal, this is just not necessary, it’s ultimately just insanity for the sake of a few already rich people’s profits.

Rather than creating sub-optimal, horrendously expensive housing when the infrastructure already is straining under the existing density, we should be looking at the problem from a much more big picture way. There are many parts of the country, including in California, where the jobs and development money would be welcome and would multiply the number of job centers that are also nice places to live. There are many, many places where some investment by the public in renewed public assets that make the places attractive would then create additional options for new job centers (and thus, actual affordable housing). The trouble is that developers want to sell us their lies to get us to do whatever they want so they can maximize their money. The damage being done here is happening globally in other nice places where developers can make money. Real estate is one of the most popular investments for the uber rich, and there is a lot of capital now globally at the top.

They want to privatize profits and make the public deal with all the problems, including the safety, environmental, personal, etc. And like the poster above points out, the current people helping to carry water for the developers by clamoring for these changes, they’ll move out when they tired of it and go where they can find single-family homes, too.

Residentialists are not against housing. They’re for looking at civic responsibilities holistically, and not carrying water for development interests who are profiting at the expense of all residents. We do not need more housing here, we need a lower day worker population. Companies need to take a page from Facebook and move where they can expand, not be so selfish. We could stand to convert office space to retail and housing to rebalance things.

Companies have the power to solve this, the richest ones need to start realizing that they cannot all grow the way they want here without doing a lot of damage to communities and people, as they already have all over the Bay Area including SF. My life every day, the lives and education of my children, our health, our safety, our productivity, our time with friends, our hobbies, our ability to see family and lead the lives we sacrificed to put down roots here for, etc etc — are compromised EVERY DAY because of the overdevelopment of the last ten years. Our needs as residents of this town matter, too.

I am voting for Eric and Tom, and only for Eric Filseth and Tom Dubois, because using the third vote for Allison Cormack, since the PAF crowd will be voting for her, too, could lead to her bumping one of them. It’s called bullet voting, and it’s necessary because we do not have ranked choice voting. We do not want to end up with both Cory and Allison, just because people didn't understand that using their third vote would essentially be voting against their preferred two candidates.


38 people like this
Posted by A Millenial View
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 19, 2018 at 8:59 am

>...one common kind of troll makes superfluous comments in order to flood a comment area and divert attention from good arguments and information they have no good way to counter.

A closed ear often uses this argument when they themselves are unwilling (or unable) to address and correct a standing problem/issue or have a vested interest in the status quo.

Trolling is unnecessary rudeness and making disparaging personal attacks. Except for some generalized observations/comments pertaining to the perceptions of an older generation, there has been no trolling in this particular thread. Just some major concerns and a 'so what are you going to do about it?' query.


>> “We need reality-based policies, not more magical thinking about car-light developments and high-density dorm-like housing that people will leave when they age out and/or have kids.”

In light of some earlier threads regarding the traffic congestion now permeating Palo Alto and other communities within close proximity, one would think that 'car-light' developments would be welcome as an alternative.

As for 'dorm-like housing' that people will leave once they 'age-out' or have kids, don't some senior citizens and various families still reside in Palo Alto-based apartments and/or high-rises?


>>> Companies have the power to solve this, the richest ones need to start realizing that they cannot all grow the way they want here without doing a lot of damage to communities and people, as they already have all over the Bay Area including SF.

Agreed. So what are the corporate board of directors doing about it as they are the ones with the executive power and financial accesses to do so.


>>>>There are many parts of the country, including in California, where the jobs and development money would be welcome and would multiply the number of job centers that are also nice places to live.

There are also many 'parts of the country, including California' that are not nice places to live, where some individuals may have reservations about moving to. I'm sure you can easily identify those areas as some are 'nicer' than others.


>>>>> The trouble is that developers want to sell us their lies to get us to do whatever they want so they can maximize their money. The damage being done here is happening globally in other nice places where developers can make money. Real estate is one of the most popular investments for the uber rich, and there is a lot of capital now globally at the top.

So how do you propose ridding ourselves of these money-grubbing developers and parasitical RE agents while at the same time maintaining PA 'quality of life' concerns and affordable housing issues?

This thread is about pro-active PACC members representing one side or the other (sort of). Meanwhile you still have disgruntled residentialists and disgruntled younger people (along with those of lower income) being displaced by the high cost of PA housing. One cannot simply relocate if the jobs aren't there.

Campaign promises are little more than some politician trying placate a certain mindset. Meanwhile, everyone is being sold a bill of goods.


28 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 19, 2018 at 10:56 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Millenials support pro growth politicians who will not put pressure on companies to relocate, politicians who carry water for the greedy real estate and development industry. How is that the fault of residentialists? They put their trust in groups like PAF, which is in essence a PAC for the real estate development industry. How is that the fault of residentialists?

Look around Palo Alto, do you see wide multi lane boulevards avenues that indicate it can become a dense metropolis?

Palo Alto is not affordable to all but a few, and that hasn't changed for many decades. Attaching the word affordable to it is absurd.

Young people need to put pressure on politicians, so they put pressure on companies to relocated and expand where they are actually needed and where housing is much more available and less expensive. Nothing is going to change if they don't. Some more dense housing will create an accelerated demand for more housing and push housing prices higher, as it does everywhere else in the world. It will make things worse for them and for everybody else except developers.


31 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 19, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Annette is a registered user.

This week I read a SVBJ article about 4 Palo Alto office buildings that sold for more than $2k/sf. As the ramifications of that sunk in I felt ill. Developers develop for ROI and in Palo Alto that translates to office space. And that translates to more demand for housing. And that translates to more friction and hostility of the sort evident in this forum. The law of supply and demand is simple: we will never move the needle on the housing problem until we address the demand side of the equation. And with commercial property valued at $2k/sf - well, who are we kidding with all this talk about housing?

Things have gotten paradoxical. Our growth and prosperity have become ruinous, not only of our built environment but of lives. We are creating housing insecurity and homelessness. The problems are so severe that they diminish any sense of pride and accomplishment that might otherwise accompany all the entrepreneurial successes that germinate here.

It is time to encourage companies, especially the large ones like FB and Google and Apple, to grow where growth can be accommodated, where land is at least relatively affordable, and where housing can be built and sustained. Make new meccas. It's destructive to stay the course we are on.

There's not much most of us can do about this other than vote only for those candidates who are the most likely to endeavor to get us moving in a more realistic, sustainable direction.


25 people like this
Posted by Dream On
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 19, 2018 at 1:54 pm

> Millenials support pro growth politicians who will not put pressure on companies to relocate, politicians who carry water for the greedy real estate and development industry... Young people need to put pressure on politicians, so they put pressure on companies to relocated and expand where they are actually needed and where housing is much more available and less expensive.

Do any PACC members actually have the guts to stand-up & stem the tide of over development...addressing solutions to residential occupancy problems & forcing corporations to relocate?

Some say they do but nothing ever changes. Same old song & dance act.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 19, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Dream On. Perhaps Pat Boone is the guy you are looking for.


16 people like this
Posted by Millennials & Boomers Agree...
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 19, 2018 at 6:30 pm

> Campaign promises are little more than some politician trying placate a certain mindset. Meanwhile, everyone is being sold a bill of goods.
>> Same old song & dance act.

Welcome to the world of American politics where a candidate's expressed platform means absolutely little.

Once elected, they do as they damn well please.

Surely you weren't born yesterday.


30 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 19, 2018 at 8:01 pm

@Millenial,
Trolling can also be people who try to divert a conversation when they have no legitimate answer to facts and a strong argument, as has happened here. Several times people above got so off track, a number of posters asked that things be brought back on topic.

The topic was the need for people who want to elect Eric Filseth and Tom Dubois (if they are for holistic governance) or even Corey Wohlbach, for that matter (if they are for overdevelopment), to vote ONLY for the candidate(s) they want to see elected, because any votes cast for a distant third are actually votes cast against the favored candidates. This is an artifact of our not having a ranked choice vote.

“Car light” developments are great, if one doesn’t need a car at all, and that’s just not realistic here. The only legitimate car light developments would be the one being planned near Ventura on El Camino for primarily people with developmental disabilities. We can all look at past local developments where we were promised they wouldn’t need parking and they are all overpacked and overflowing. The nature of transportation is changing anyway with technology. We should not be choking off our options and destroying any chance for greenspace and walkability through this urban canyon ugliness. Again, it is simply not necessary. It is not even good for our nation for everyone to crowd into here.


>>> Companies have the power to solve this, the richest ones need to start realizing that they cannot all grow the way they want here without doing a lot of damage to communities and people, as they already have all over the Bay Area including SF.

Agreed. So what are the corporate board of directors doing about it as they are the ones with the executive power an d financial accesses to do so.”

Glad we can agree on something. Local governments can also stop enabling the developers who are profiting from destroying local civic life. (There are many ways that can happen, including strengthening zoning, which actually protects residents like the renters in President hotel or others who get displaced when zoning is weakened and developers have their way.). Then market forces help companies make the right choice for the sake of their workers and our nation. Governments could also make the choice to get together and make the civic investments to create new centers of innovation to attract people to them. You are right that there are many places that are NOT nice to move to, which is why it makes no sense for development money to be destroying what is nice about this place for the profit of a few, when it could be making other places nicer, or expanding the number of nice places.

One cannot simply relocate if the jobs aren’t there, but places like Facebook have relocated in order to expand. The trouble is that the modern ethos is that companies should be able to take advantage of all the many public investments that allow those companies to become successful — the infrastructure, public works, electricity grid, ports, airports, roads, legal system, stability from the military and diplomatic services, democracy, libraries, educational system and health infrastructure (for educated and healthy workers), monetary system, etc etc etc — but they don’t want to have to pay back when they become successful. They want the public to bear the costs of all the burdens they foist on the local communities, too.

Palo Alto real estate has been high since before it was even Palo Alto, because of Stanford. You aren’t going to make Palo Alto real estate cheap by overbuilding, you are just going to make Palo Alto populated by people who are happy with density (transient entry-level workers), who leave when they get too miserable (while others happily crowd in). Just ask Hong Kong.

Go take a drive between here and Salt Lake City. There are many, many nice places that could be settled almost like the Wild West, or that could be made nice on a fraction of the investment that many of these successful companies took advantage of from the public to become what they are.

Tom and Eric are the only candidates that will for sure govern from the bigger, civically responsible picture. I am voting only for Tom Dubois and Eric Filseth, and NOT casting the third vote so that I do not vote against them with it.


26 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 19, 2018 at 10:25 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

From today's Merc. Web Link Thoughts?

"Filseth considers the pension debt and healthcare costs the city’s most serious challenge over the next four years. He said if the city doesn’t pay down the interest on pension debt each year, it could eat up as much as 40 percent of the city’s operational budget within 10 to 15 years, making it difficult for the city to provide basic core services like fire and police.

“It is a very long-term thing and it will touch everything we want to do for a long time to come,” Filseth said. “We need to change some things or there is going to be a crisis.”

With a new city manager coming in next year, DuBois thinks the city should streamline projects, end the practice of meeting with developers outside of public settings and open labor negotiations to public scrutiny.

“We need to get more transparent in every decision we make,” DuBois said.


33 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2018 at 12:07 am

@Dream On at Stanford,
It's not a question of guts. It's a question of Council majority. As the article pointed out, those who are beholden to developers such as Adrian Fine, who the election commission said "misled" voters in regards to his hiding major campaign contributions from developers until after the election) have been in a majority in City Council, and they have behaved without regard to the input of the minority, something much like the national administration but unprecedented in local politics.

If Filseth and Dubois are elected, there will still be an overdevelopment majority, however, there will be a chance a few years later to fix that, and it will be more like the days when Burt was a sort of swing vote (there has never been a true residentialist majority). And, I believe Tanaka can be an independent voice if citizens reach out to him regularly so he hears them and not just the other developer mouth pieces on council, so if Filseth and Dubois are re-elected, things will be much more balanced again than they have been the last several years.


14 people like this
Posted by A Compromise...
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on Oct 20, 2018 at 1:40 pm

What if the City of Palo Alto were to annex East Palo Alto and then designate that area for development?

Meanwhile restrict any further commercial developments within the current city boundaries.

In this way, both the pro-development and residentialist factions would be pacified.

The East Palo Alto schools could also be absorbed by the PAUSD.

The infusion of PA values into EPA would vastly improve the EPA neighborhood from the standpoint of raising its overall quality of life.


48 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 20, 2018 at 5:51 pm

QUOTE: What if the City of Palo Alto were to annex East Palo Alto and then designate that area for development?

EPA could then be renamed North Crescent Park as many of its residents seem to enjoy passing through and visiting our neighborhood.


48 people like this
Posted by A Busy Night on Hamilton
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 20, 2018 at 6:18 pm

>> EPA could then be renamed North Crescent Park as many of its residents seem to enjoy passing through and visiting our neighborhood.

Especially on Halloween. When we first moved here, I never realized there were so many kids in Crescent Park until my neighbor later informed me that many of them came over from East Palo Alto to trick or treat.





6 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 20, 2018 at 8:35 pm

>"Filseth considers the pension debt and healthcare costs the city’s most serious
>challenge over the next four years. He said if the city doesn’t pay down the
>interest on pension debt each year, it could eat up as much as 40 percent
>of the city’s operational budget within 10 to 15 years, making it difficult
>for the city to provide basic core services like fire and police.

Salaries are the driving force here. Filseth has voted to increase spending so that the average cost-to-employ for PA employees has jumped from about $148K/employee to about $206K/employee/year. If Filseth continues on the Council for four more years, he will likely vote for such costs to increase by another $50K-$60K/employee—bringing the average cost-to-employee amount to about $260K/employee. (Public safety employee costs are much higher.)

Three of the four Council Members on the Finance Committee just voted to increase salaries for the City’s employees, and award a >4% increase to public safety. Filseth did not seem to have a problem with these increases—even though the pension obligations go up with salary increases.

The City’s 10-year projections, which Filseth approved, show that 60%-65% of the operational budget will be spent in salaries and pensions. The budget projections show a yearly increase that will bring about $1B dollars into the City’s budget. Filseth has yet to acknowledge these facts in his campaign comments. He has yet to lay out his plan to reduce the growing unfunded liability (UAL) that is now over $400M and growing rapidly. If Filseth’s plan is to actually start diverting money to the UAL from the General Fund, he needs to lay his cards on the table and provide a plan based on the current City’s 10-year projections.

Has he?


48 people like this
Posted by On Seneca
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 21, 2018 at 8:41 am

>>EPA could then be renamed North Crescent Park as many of its residents seem to enjoy passing through and visiting our neighborhood.

As in trespassing and residential burglaries?

A PAPD representative once told us that due to certain proximities and 101 access some neighborhoods are more prone than others.


38 people like this
Posted by Halloween 2018
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 21, 2018 at 2:30 pm

> Especially on Halloween. When we first moved here, I never realized there were so many kids in Crescent Park until my neighbor later informed me that many of them came over from East Palo Alto to trick or treat.

This reminds me of an amusing anecdote that happened back in the late 1990s...
One of our older residents was handing out candy on Halloween and when some costumed children knocked on his door around 10PM, he said something along the lines of "You spooks are out kind of late this evening." Though he meant no harm, the EPA mother who was walking with the kids got kind of ticked.

Moral of the story...best to be PC in Crescent Park on Halloween Night.


26 people like this
Posted by View From Main Street
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 21, 2018 at 6:15 pm

^^^^ Should children from neighboring cities be transported to other neighborhoods just to collect candy on Halloween? It seems out of line IMO.

In our neighborhood, we are acquainted with most of the children as they reside on adjacent streets and the younger ones are usually accompanied by a parent, many of whom we know.

The evening Halloween run generally lasts a couple of hours and is usually over by 8:30-9PM at the latest.

If we got bombarded by out-of-town trick or treaters past 10PM, I would simply turn down the lights and not answer the door as they should be working their own neighborhoods.


24 people like this
Posted by Voter Curiosity
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 21, 2018 at 7:14 pm

> "Filseth considers the pension debt and healthcare costs the city’s most serious challenge over the next four years. He said if the city doesn’t pay down the interest on pension debt each year, it could eat up as much as 40 percent
of the city’s operational budget within 10 to 15 years...

BUT

>> Filseth has voted to increase spending so that the average cost-to-employ for PA employees has jumped from about $148K/employee to about $206K/employee/year. If Filseth continues on the Council for four more years, he will likely vote for such costs to increase by another $50K-$60K/employee—bringing the average cost-to-employee amount to about $260K/employee.


Are developers and city employees the only ones getting richer in Palo Alto?

An 'anti-development' candidate who's in favor of spending more on city-employee salaries/benefits doesn't sound all that great to me...just the usual rehash of Democrats wasting tax-payer dollars vs Republicans favoring big business (in PA's case...developers).


2 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 22, 2018 at 9:25 am

R.Davis is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by Truth Matters
a resident of University South
on Oct 22, 2018 at 11:32 am

I just saw that the Weekly has a summary of their editorials on key city issues over the past two years. Voters should should check it out and compare the records of Wolbach compared to DuBois and Filseth, Web Link.
A few that leap off the page just from this year; "Unprecedented Obfuscation" on 9/14/18, "This week the Minority Rules" on 8/31/18, "Our Civility Contagion" on 6/22/18, "Hold Firm on office Cap" on 4/27/18.


22 people like this
Posted by Truth Matters
a resident of University South
on Oct 22, 2018 at 2:36 pm

Palo Alto Matters newsletter just put out their election guide, Web Link. It includes great summaries of the voting records on the three incumbent candidates on key issues and a separate summary of their housing votes.
Wolbach has been claiming in debates, his brochures and in the press that he ran against commercial growth. The record over the past two years is very clear that he consistently supported aggressive commercial growth, except for a couple of recent reversals once he began to run for re-election. The voting record and the Weekly editorials make the truth clear.


22 people like this
Posted by Holy Cow
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 22, 2018 at 5:11 pm

@truth Matters
That is an amazing list of flip flops by Wolbach. Just so you know, he is again campaigning as a residentilist, claiming he has been true to his original promises about not supporting big commercial growth. That takes nerves.


16 people like this
Posted by Voter Curiosity
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 22, 2018 at 5:30 pm

> Wolbach has been claiming in debates, his brochures and in the press that he ran against commercial growth. The record over the past two years is very clear that he consistently supported aggressive commercial growth, except for a couple of recent reversals once he began to run for re-election.

How can he appease both sides of the coin and get re-elected?

>> That is an amazing list of flip flops by Wolbach.

How can either side take his 'platform' seriously from the standpoint of 'truth in advertising'?

So far I am reading two candidates incorporating 'doublespeak'...Filseth and Wolbach.


22 people like this
Posted by Truthiness
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 23, 2018 at 2:31 pm

Wow. Simply Wow!

The Palo Alto matters research should be required voting for every Palo Alto voter. While a bit dense it’s clear Wolbach flips to residentialist once every four years. His votes with fine to increase commercial development , to allow commercial use in R1(!), and others. Simply astounding.

Web Link


13 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2018 at 3:26 pm

To Bullet Voters, you have 3 votes and if you use only 2 then you are giving one of the others a chance. I say use your 3rd vote for Boone and let him have a chance to go beyond our boundaries, talk to our neighbors, and have some fresh ideas that might work.

Give Boone a chance.


110 people like this
Posted by Another Millennial View
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2018 at 6:16 pm

I was driving down Mathilda Avenue in Sunnyvale downtown and noticed all of the 5 story housing units and office buildings. Everything was pretty compressed and while I can understand that some folks (most notably the older ones) wouldn't want to live in such a surrounding, it didn't seem all that bad. Yes, there was traffic congestion but those newer high rises looked a lot better than 99% of the crappy old houses on the other side of Mathilda.

All in all, the downtown side of Mathilda had a modern look wheras the older side looked like a faded remnant of the past...run down to a certain extent and with wasted land that could be put to better use (i.e. more high rise office/housing units).

I will be voting pro-developer candidate. While there are older parts of Palo Alto that could/should be preserved for posterity and nostalgia, there are other areas (Barron Park, South Palo Alto, South of Midtown etc.) that could be put to far better use if they were eradicated/demolished and rebuilt with modern high-rise living units.

I see the issue as not so much as residentialist vs developer but rather one of of 'where to' initiate full scale Palo Alto redevelopment in order to fulfill the pressing requirements of both affordable and accessible housing.

As a cash-strapped Millennial, I can understand those of my generation who feel a certain contempt towards the older people who they suspect are inhibiting their options of where to reside. In my case, I am not particularly tied down to Palo Alto so I'd be willing to relocate anywhere that offers a reasonable quality of life environment and atmosphere. Everyone's case is different.

That said, if Filseth, DuBois and Cormack are adamantly against further development in Palo Alto then I will not be voting for them as many of my peers are pro-development when it comes to housing. The Millennial vote over time will become a force to be reckoned with as older, more staunchly residentialist PA seniors either pass on or as previously noted, begin to lose their marbles and are eventually committed to rest homes for the aged and incapacitated.








18 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2018 at 7:20 pm

[Post removed.]


38 people like this
Posted by Another Millennial View
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2018 at 9:34 pm

[Portion removed.]
But getting back on topic...it is interesting to note that none of the current PACC candidates have actively addressed any Millennial concerns nor have they acknowleged the Millennial voting bloc. It is more of an upcoming election reflective of the needs and wishes of an older generation [portion removed].







8 people like this
Posted by Another Giveaway
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2018 at 10:34 pm

Millennials became irrelevant last year when their short lived 2-3 year long reign as the most populous generation ended. Demographic power is now in the hands of generation Z and their number will shape future priorities.

Generational roulette sucks. After living for three decades in the shadow of the boomer generation, millenials will live the rest of their lives living in the shadow of generation Z.


2 people like this
Posted by Another Millenial View
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2018 at 8:01 am

> Demographic power is now in the hands of generation Z and their number will shape future priorities.

> Generation Z is still too young to do anything empowering at this point. But I do see your clairvoyance to a certain extent. It seems that every other generation (for better or for worse) has the most impact on the times.


>> Generational roulette sucks. After living for three decades in the shadow of the boomer generation, millenials will live the rest of their lives living in the shadow of generation Z.

Interesting observation/commentary. Is this what happened to Gen X (the so-called slacker generation)? They seemed to have been overshadowed by the Baby Boomers in terms of overall numbers and self-serving objectives.


29 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 24, 2018 at 8:19 am

Online Name is a registered user.

The CC election isn't a generation war and harping on the generations is just a distraction.

Besides, all of us will be supporting the current and city employees in their lavish retirements. Good for Eric Filseth for focusing on the unfunded pension liabilities.

Why does Cory think hiring more transportation employees will fix our traffic problems rather than simply make our pension liabilities worse? The report the city allowed the traffic consultant to present on Monday night was a joke -- that WE paid for.

We're already on our 3d multi-million dollar consultant and still no progress. The city can't even manage the parking permit program or an accurate business registry


42 people like this
Posted by Another Millennial View
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2018 at 8:33 am

> Good for Eric Filseth for focusing on the unfunded pension liabilities.

But according to Wayne Martin in an earlier post...

>> Filseth has voted to increase spending so that the average cost-to-employ for PA employees has jumped from about $148K/employee to about $206K/employee/year. If Filseth continues on the Council for four more years, he will likely vote for such costs to increase by another $50K-$60K/employee—bringing the average cost-to-employee amount to about $260K/employee.

So where are the fiscal sensibilities in Mr. Filseth's platform? A FOCUS on unfunded pension liabilities with another FOCUS on making them even larger?


>>The CC election isn't a generation war and harping on the generations is just a distraction.

It is merely a reflection of one. The real 'distractions' are these candidates of a certain age and dubious perspective [portion removed].


20 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 24, 2018 at 8:52 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Wayne Martin can -- and will -- say whatever he wants but the FACT is that Filseth's only been on the council only since 2015 so it's unfair to blame him for all the city's woes and mismanagement when he's identifying a real problem. Prior to that he was a TOP executive at Cadence, a major publicly traded design automation company.

Let's start dealing with the REAL issues that effect us ALL.


32 people like this
Posted by Another Millennial View
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2018 at 9:33 am

> Wayne Martin can -- and will -- say whatever he wants but the FACT is that Filseth's only been on the council only since 2015 so it's unfair to blame him for all the city's woes and mismanagement...

Except that Mr. Martin is not running for public office. Mr. Filseth is.

Voters deserve some semblance of 'truth in advertising' when it comes to a candidate's expressed views. To identify and address the funding of city employee salaries/pensions as a key fiscal concern and then to promote the expansion of them raises some questions as to where the candidate actually stands on the issue. Is he striving to curtail excessive spending or validating more spending? The bottom line is that actions (e.g. one's voting record) speak louder than words.

Clarity and forthrightness is the key as doublespeak is a commonly used strategy in the world of politics.


10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2018 at 9:35 am

"The CC election isn't a generation war and harping on the generations is just a distraction." - Online Name

hear hear


29 people like this
Posted by Eric Filseth
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 24, 2018 at 10:12 am

Wayne Martin’s numbers are essentially correct: citywide employee average total compensation has risen from $148K per year in FY2015 to $207K in FY2019, an average of 7% per year.

Within that figure, Salaries alone have grown on average about 5% per year, higher than inflation, though roughly on par with recent General Fund revenue growth rates.

The much faster increases, which have considerably driven Wayne’s numbers, have been in Benefits; and especially pension benefits, which rose over that period almost 13% per year and are still accelerating. The City’s single fastest-growing major expense is actually the amortization payment on the existing $500M+ unfunded pension liability. That payment alone is now increasing 17% per year and currently constitutes about 8% of the General Fund, about $17M per year. This $17M cuts into the City’s ability to fund Fire, Police, Community Services and other functions, and increasing very rapidly. This is the reason I and the Finance Committee may have appeared to pay a disproportionate amount of attention to this topic -- in my view it’s the most serious threat.

For multiple reasons, I believe the rapid growth in this number cannot be stopped in the short term; but if we act quickly we can avert a crisis in the long term. Failure to act will lead to extremely undesirable circumstances; the numbers are incontrovertible. For those masochists interested in really slogging through this, I’ve posted a presentation on my web site, at: Web Link

The quick summary is to: (1) recalculate our pension finances using realistic investment-return rates, not CalPERS projections; (2) fully fund the correct Normal Cost based on (1), so we stop adding new debt; and (3) develop a realistic amortization strategy for the existing debt. The City has done the first of these things and is now grappling with the second.


Wayne’s numbers are those the City has reported. There are some nuances that need to be considered in evaluating them: changes in average worker ages, any shifts between lower-wage vs higher-wage workers and so forth; and of course, the errors in CalPERS’ estimates of our benefits costs. But fundamentally Wayne is correct.

Fair wage growth for employees, the city’s ability to attract and retain qualified applicants in this region, etc are complicated issues. The whole system of public-sector compensation, the impact of how comparables are calculated, and the movement (or lack of it) of workers between public and private sectors has been well-documented elsewhere, and anybody interested in a deeper dive ought to read the 2010 Santa Clara County Grand Jury study at Web Link

I don’t believe this system will be changed overnight, and in my opinion the priority at this time is to tackle the pension-cost issue.


8 people like this
Posted by Eric Filseth
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 24, 2018 at 10:13 am

Er, FY 2014.


9 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2018 at 12:16 pm

Posted by Eric Filseth, a resident of Downtown North:

>> For those masochists interested in really slogging through this, I’ve posted a presentation on my web site, at: Web Link

Excellent. Thank you! For those who haven't looked, it wasn't really that bad. I would encourage everyone to look at the linked presentation. It is very clear.

The presentation does raise a couple of questions: is the money for the retiree health benefits included in the CalPERS contribution, or, is that funded by the City pay-as-you-go, or, done some other way? The pension costs may be underfunded, but, they are, actuary-wise, extremely predictable. It seems very fixable with a little determination.

In general, actual retiree health care costs do not seem nearly as predictable. How are these health care costs predicted and funded for the future?

Also, since CalPERS is not being realistic regarding the actual rate of return, is there a risk to Palo Alto of the entire system going bust? As seemed to happen with the Enron power lawsuit, there is always a risk that Palo Alto gets negative sympathy. Is there an alternative to CalPERS? Would it make sense for another entity to manage the city's retirement funds? If not, how can CalPERS become more realistic before it is too late?


19 people like this
Posted by Residentialist Millennial Voter
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 24, 2018 at 2:24 pm

Contrary to some of my generational counterparts, I am voting for anti-development candidates. If Mr. Filseth is anti-development, he's got my vote. I personally don't give a rat's *ss about CPA employee salaries/benefits as those decisions are out of my hands and beyond my control.

That some Millennials cannot source affordable housing in Palo Alto is in essence, their problem and theirs alone. Multitudes of hideous-looking high-rise dwellings scattered about and/or bunched-up throughout Palo Alto is not the answer to the current housing shortage.

The answer is to get out of town and go somewhere else. Nobody owes you a place to live and if you cannot afford the going rental rates...consider moving to another locale, sharing a dwelling with other room-mates or get an RV. Just don't park the RV in Palo Alto.

My Boomer-aged parents are incapacitated to a certain extent. One has early-onset dementia and the other is disabled due to injuries sustained during the Korean War.
As a result, I am the primary breadwinner in our extended family household. I also pay for the property taxes, homeowner's insurance and the overall maintenance of the house. No Tesla driving privileges for me, just an older Toyota Camry and keeping a watchful eye on basic expenses. We rarely eat out or take vacations. Sound boring fellow Millennials? It is at times but I've got responsibilities to others as well.

I will be inheriting this property later down the road and when that time comes, I do not want to see Palo Alto further inundated by vast commercial and residential developments as the current PA landscape is getting run through the ringer. And yes, we have a large front lawn and a big back yard but that doesn't mean there is adequate room in our neighborhood for another apartment building or high-rise dwelling.

To my all of the spoiled, entitled, whining Millennials driving expensive cars and dining at costly restaurants every day, "Here's a quarter, call someone who cares."


6 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 24, 2018 at 9:52 pm

> I personally don't give a rat's *ss about CPA employee salaries/benefits
> those decisions are out of my hands and beyond my control.

This is a very defeatist point-of-view. Particularly since the City is looking at salary and pension obligations that are soon to skyrocket out of sight.
I put together a paper on the basics of salaries and pensions:
Web Link

The data in the analysis shows the difference between the Classic and PEPRA employee pensions based on an entry-level salary of $100K. Using growth factors from the City's data, some of the salaries will grow to over $300K a year before retirement, and the pensions for some Classic public safety people could be over $500K a year after 30 years of retirement.

It is difficult for me to understand why people would say effectively: "I don't give a damn". What good is self-government if people don't care about the costs?

The City's expenditures are on auto-pilot. None of those running for Council have been particulary open to talking about the salary/budget problem.

Even if a Candidate does talk about reducing the UAL (which is a big number now, and growing)--the dollars needed to pay down this unfunded liability needs to come from somewhere. If you don't care about these issues, then why wouldn't the Council get the impression that creating new taxes/fees/fines would not be of interest to you either?

The City's got huge financial problems that have never adequately been dealt with by the Council over the years. The current infrastructure backlog is not adequately identified by the City Manager at the moment. The 2014 Infrastructure plan only deals with a portion of the problem. With finance charges, and a complete list (looking out 30 years, at least)--the costs to the City will be over $1B. The idea of a CalTrain trench (or some mitigation) is still in the works. Add in another Billion. Still not sure how much the San Francisquito Creek work will cost. The UAL (CalPERS) could easily be upwards of a billion one of these days unless something realistic is done. Discussions of paying CalPERS contributions at a lower discount rate are reasonable--as long as the dollars required to make those payments are identified--which will likely result in lowered services. Without these dollars and services identified--we aren't making a lot of progress here.

So--maybe some people don't care about salaries and pensions--even though every municipality in CA (and the rest of the country) is facing the same issue--how to pay for pensions that ultimately give former employees two times what they were paid when they were on the job.

Don't look the the City staff to provide this information unless the Council takes more control than they have in the past--and demands it of them. And don't expect Council members to provide this information unless challenged to do so by those who do care about the growing impacts of salaries/pensions.


4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 24, 2018 at 10:21 pm

> "In general, actual retiree health care costs do not seem nearly as predictable. How are these health care costs predicted and funded for the future?"

Makes sense that we're stuck with years between retirement date and medicare, but doesn't the city healthcare liability mostly vanish for those who turn 65, whether retired or still employed? How much supplemental can we be responsible for? Excuse my ignorance for spending my life in the private sector.

> "Also, since CalPERS is not being realistic regarding the actual rate of return, is there a risk to Palo Alto of the entire system going bust?"

Actual rate of return may well be zero for this calendar year. It's been so for me.


2 people like this
Posted by Working Millenial
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2018 at 12:15 pm

I'm voting for members who will allow new and creative housing. They don't need to be hideous (as some residents fear). What we need are more options, not in the range of 3-5 million for single family homes currently available, but just below that, where where could bring in our elderly parents when they could no longer live independently, ensure our kids can stay in their public school until they leave for college without the risk of astronomical rent increase, and maybe a room to rent during emergency lean times. We know this isn't the current residents' problem since they already have their homes (good job). But we will vote for representatives who might take into consideration our preference. We just really like it here.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Posted by Working Millenial, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

What we need are more options, [...] We just really like it here.

Seriously, let's talk.


4 people like this
Posted by Another Working Millennial
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 25, 2018 at 2:38 pm

My Baby Boomer parents have done pretty well financially. Given the current price of mid-peninsula real estate, it wouldn't be unreasonable for them to take a 2nd mortgage out on their current home in the PA Hills to help me out with a down payment. Their house is already paid for + they have a humongous money-market portfolio in the event they prefer not to run with any mortgage options.

I'm going to inherit the money anyway so why not put it to good use now?

As far as high-rise living, I'll pass. I prefer to own a small 3BR/2B house near downtown PA and could meet the monthly payments providing my parents put enough down.


2 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 2, 2018 at 9:14 am

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Just curious! I've been reading ads for CC candidates and the endorsements listed for them. It seemed like Santa Clara County Supervisor, and Board President, Joe Simitian's name kept popping up. So I checked further. Sure enough he is listed in all four of the primary candidates ads as having endorsed them. Very interesting since there are only three seats to be filled.
Maybe there was an error made in one of the ads, or if not, then Simitian should make clear who his three favorite candidates are.


12 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 2, 2018 at 9:18 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Smitian endorsed 4 of the 5 candidates -- everyone except Boone -- which was sort of odd. Why bother to make such a meaningless endorsement?


2 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 3, 2018 at 9:26 am

I've amended my potential ballot from TEA to ACE or ACT, meaning that I have 1) Alison and 2) Cory and will flip a coin between Tom and Eric, my fellow residentialists -- or rather, they followed Tim Gray and I to that platform (we ran on such in 2012 and 2014).

Mrs. Wohlbach (Cory's Mom) appealed to me during a gathering that my musical trope short-shrifted Cory in that not only did he play trombone in Gunn jazz band, but he spent his first paycheck on a keyboard piano.

I've worked 25 years here as a concert promoter (and then married a Palo Alto arts commissoner) and ran for council myself 3x on "arts platform" so I took seriously when Cory told me that his musical training helps him think fluidly or improvisationally or "on his feet" when on the dais and presented with difficult decisions.

I vote according to character and capacity not platform.

I'm reasonably pleased with any outcome of this election (and I was willing to walk with Pat Boone and meet my neighbors, but he backed out -- I also invited him to shoot baskets at Johnson Park but hasn't taken me up, either).

Reasonably pleased meaning resigned: the candidates are all centrists and very little original views or ideas. Yawn. (I was campaigning for three weeks in July until I had to withdraw for personal/family reasons).

The PATC selection process will be interesting, meanwhile or shortly after election. (picked by lame ducks and current council).


26 people like this
Posted by Risk vs return
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2018 at 10:43 am

It’s rare to have an option to get high return for low risk

This election I don’t want to take risks when I know that DuBois and Filseth will do the job very well. I can’t think of two more qualified candidates and I like them.

Am glad they ran again.


6 people like this
Posted by The Reality of It All
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 3, 2018 at 2:02 pm

Having perused some of the other threads, one thing is for certain...

The Chinese and Millennial voting blocs will have a profound effect on various PA election results if these groups show up en force at the polls.


2 people like this
Posted by Stephen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 4, 2018 at 9:56 am

Re the comments about city wage/benefits costs: Does anyone (Eric Filseth?) know if the comparison that is done between city employees and other employees in the are includes lifetime benefits? It would seem that the pension benefits offered by cities (and other government entities) are substantially better than what anyone else receives - hence my question. Thanks.


4 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 4, 2018 at 10:18 am

Ah humm . . Let's talk about housing. At around 600k per unit to build a unit you're not going to get much "affordable housing" built in Palo Alto for only the very fortunate few who win the lottery. Unlike what Diamond (Stanford) thinks there are not going to get many locals willing to fund subsidized housing. They're telling their own college educated kids to leave as they'll never be able to afford a house on the peninsula. The Buena Vista trailer park is an unmitigated disaster only a liberal would wish for, not an economist.

George Drysdale social studies teacher


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2018 at 11:01 am

Posted by george drysdale, a resident of Professorville

>> Let's talk about housing. [...] The Buena Vista trailer park is an unmitigated disaster only a liberal would wish for, not an economist.

What is your definition of "liberal"? Lots of liberals thought the trailer park deal was misguided.

"Liberal can be traced back to the Latin word liber (meaning “free”)" Web Link

"Politically, it means "“a person who believes that government should be active in supporting social and political change." " {towards more personal freedom}.

BTW, there are plenty of liberal economists, making your last sentence incongruous. e.g. Paul Krugman would be a start. Web Link

Back on housing: what costs are included in your $600k figure?


16 people like this
Posted by No Sympathy for Millennial Whiners
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 4, 2018 at 1:35 pm

>> At around 600k per unit to build a unit you're not going to get much "affordable housing" built in Palo Alto for only the very fortunate few who win the lottery. Unlike what Diamond (Stanford) thinks there are not going to get many locals willing to fund subsidized housing. They're telling their own college educated kids to leave as they'll never be able to afford a house on the peninsula.

It's not the responsibility of established PA residents to provide affordable housing for others. To those clamoring for this 'pie in the sky' concept, go live somewhere else and quit whining. There are vacancies in other local cities.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2018 at 3:33 pm

"I vote according to character and capacity not platform."


Some of us look at "track record" too.

Since those may vary a lot between candidates. Not that politicians would ever say anything untrue about their character and capacity, of course. Certainly not here in Palo Alto.


17 people like this
Posted by StarSpring
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2018 at 3:58 pm

StarSpring is a registered user.

@Residentialist Millennial Voter,

I hear you, but I think the non-residentialists CC members have already thrown Palo Alto under the bus. Some boast they voted to cut office development in half(!) when they previously supported much larger caps. It is telling who changes their tune right before each election. Eliminating R1 to stuff an extra dwelling on almost every lot guarantees an under parked, over trafficked , overcrowded classrooms and generally unhealthy living space for residents. Plan B is decamping to a smaller residence in a neighboring city. Filseth has my vote, as does DuBois, but I believe we are too far gone to be sustainable as a residential community.


17 people like this
Posted by CeCi Kettendorf
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2018 at 9:30 pm

CeCi Kettendorf is a registered user.



My three sons were born and educated in Palo Alto, attended UC's and are now employed. Two of them commute an hour a day to work. All three pay a large percentage of income towards rent.
Neither I nor they would think of complaining that they can't afford to live here; I would never claim they have a right to live in Palo Alto, let alone buy here. They can buy here when they earn/save enough money, which means they will never live here. My father commuted 90 minutes a day to Washington DC from a home he could afford; I never heard him complain. I work with nurses who commute further.

I reject the mandate that companies locate here or expand here. We cannot accommodate any more growth than that already approved. We already are slotted for 4000 housing units, 1.7million square feet of office space, and Stanford's incredible expansion. It's been said a hundred times over and is very true: we cannot accommodate any more growth.


My brother is visiting from Ohio. He is hopeful that Amazon will build a headquarters outside Columbus, where there is a luxury of space and an educated workforce. Columbus is one of twenty cities eyed by Amazon as ideal places in terms of space, resources, access and cost. None of the latter describes Palo Alto.

Companies who feel the squeeze should follow Amazon's example. They should locate where it is not a struggle for them and so ruinous to the surrounding community's schools, housing, retail, commute, parking, infrastructure and open space.

I am a product of the time when we believed we should leave a place better than we found it. I am sad that that promise has been lost in Palo Alto.



13 people like this
Posted by Risk/reward
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2018 at 11:21 pm

Apparently Cormack had $46,000 +pro development lobbysts send mailers for her as “independent expenditures” and under CA campaign finance law such expenditures cannot be approved by or coordinated with the campaign they support. What a “surprise” to have pro development PACs send nearly $50K! for a candidate. And that won’t tie Cormack to developer interests?

After hearing this plus Cormack’s lack of transparency about her platform makes her all risk and the reward will be more unfettered growth problems.

I prefer the certainty of people who have a track record. Stakes are too high. I don’t think we can afford another cycle of a super majority voting quality of life down the drain.


8 people like this
Posted by PA Residential Hypocrisies
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 5, 2018 at 7:47 am

To accommodate or not to accommodate those either seeking housing in PA or refuge in the US...same topic except one is macro and the other is micro.

Who bears the overall burden for this plight? Do we dig our heels in and refuse to let others reside in Palo Alto? Or do we try to do everything possible to help new residents settle in our city?

There's a certain irony to this query in that many of my Palo Alto neighbors are against further residential development yet they support the current caravan making its way towards the United States.

Is this yet another example of an atypical OK in other places but NIMBY mentality?


24 people like this
Posted by DataNotNeeded
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 5, 2018 at 12:49 pm

@Risk/Reward - the unprecedented PAC expenditures in favor of Alison Cormack by the California Apartment Association and Carl Guardino, who represents Big Tech in the Valley.....

Alison has stated that she needs more Data before taking a stand on the many difficult issues facing us. Apparently these organizations had enough data to make a decision on Alison. They are making a $46,000 bet that she will stop additional protections for renters and she will support increased office growth.

Candidates have to seek out these endorsements by completing surveys. It's pretty disingenuous of her to suggest that she's shocked (Shocked!) at getting their support after seeking it out.


24 people like this
Posted by OutsideFunding
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 5, 2018 at 12:53 pm

I too was shocked at the huge PAC payments spporting Cormack. When you look at the money in the City Council race the story is pretty shocking. Cormack and took huge amounts of funds from outside Palo Alto. If you include PAC spending, it's close to half of the funding is people outside Palo Alto wanting to determine what happens in our town. And Wolbach is taking money from Unions, even though Council must negotiate with the Unions almost every year. How can he be unbiased? Cormack with the California Apartment Association - our renters are in for it.

Contrast that with Boone, DuBois and Filseth. DuBois and Filseth raised similiar amounts of money to Wolbach and Cormack but 99% of it is from within Palo Alto.

Just follow the money....the money trail tells me I'm voting for Boone, DuBois and Filseth.


13 people like this
Posted by Vested Interests
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 5, 2018 at 1:45 pm

> Just follow the money....

At the risk of sounding naive...

Is it safe to assume that the PACC is bought and sold by developer interests?


8 people like this
Posted by Make Palo Alto a Great City
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 5, 2018 at 6:37 pm

So many old-timers are now complaining that Palo Alto is no longer the same as it once was. Well times change and there is no going back to yesteryear.

We need more housing (additional high-rises if necessary) to accommodate the needs of younger people wishing to reside in Palo Alto. There is space for this in various parts of Palo Alto. The older and pricier residential neighborhoods will probably remain unchanged and that should pacify the residentialists who can afford to live there.

For others of lesser means, let's build more dwellings in some of the lousier parts of Palo Alto. Driving down the Palo Alto streets, we know where they are as most of these neighborhoods are eyesores. Buy the owners out and tear down these dilapidated flat-top houses. With added encouragement from visionary PACC members, developers could then seek the additional funding to do proceed even further than to date.

The modern high-rises represent the modern 21st century approach to condensed living and most Millennials do not have a problem with it. Accessability to mass transit is paramount and it can be easily accomplished through eminant domain. Added bike paths would complete the package.

It's time for Palo Alto to step up and acknowlege itself as a major Silicon Valley city and no longer a small town. The future is before us and those fighting urban evolution will eventually die-off anyway and/or become dinosaurs in a world perpetually striving towards visionary modernization.

To cling to the current Palo Alto is akin to some oldster reminiscenting about those turn of the century photographs of early 20th century PA.

For those who haven't noticed, it's the 21st century now. So get with the program or get left behind in a rocking chair counting your false teeth (or rather dental implants). Geeze.

Millennials are voting pro-developer candidates.






22 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 5, 2018 at 7:04 pm

@Make,no thanks. Not sure which is more impressive, your lack of historical perspective or sense of entitlement. Either way, it's fortunate that you are so unpersuasive and even off putting.


15 people like this
Posted by LastSecondSurprise
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 6, 2018 at 9:25 am

The last second injection of a HUGE amount of funding into the Cormack
campaign is enough for me to vote elsewhere. Ask yourself why a town of our size has that amount of cash injected by outsiders. It’s a takeover by corporate interests.


17 people like this
Posted by Truth Matters
a resident of University South
on Nov 6, 2018 at 10:56 am

Seeing half of Wolbach's funding coming from outside of Palo Alto, including from three unions, makes me question whose interests he will serve the most.
Cormack's huge $46,000 support late in the campaign from the apartment owners PAC, along with Carl Guardino and his SVLG related PAC, shows that, unlike Cormack, these business interests don't need more data to make their decisions. They have enough data on Cormack to decide that she is their candidate.
As to those who focus on character when voting, I agree that character matters, as well as platform. At the core of character of a candidate includes being honest with voters about your true positions and values, and then living up to your claims or promises once elected. Unfortunately, Wolbach has a strong record of not doing that, Web Link, and Cormack has been generally evasive to us while getting support from big business outside supporters.


2 people like this
Posted by Pro-Development Voter
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2018 at 2:48 pm

>The modern high-rises represent the modern 21st century approach to condensed living and most Millennials do not have a problem with it. Accessability to mass transit is paramount and it can be easily accomplished through eminant domain. Added bike paths would complete the package.

I love those high-rises! They make parts of Palo Alto look like a mini-Gotham.
We need more of them.

The San Antonio Road development is so cool. No more Burger King (fast food-ugh), Oshmans (mediocre sports merchandise) and Sears (who shops at Sears anymore?).

The new complex is modern, compressed and makes maximum use of available land.
Hogging-up wasted space limits practical applications.

Another Millennial for development.


11 people like this
Posted by StarSpring
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 6, 2018 at 5:19 pm

StarSpring is a registered user.

It is the wrong argument to suggest that existing residents want to deny newcomers a place to live. What we really want is to deny those people who want to overbuild the office complexes that drive the immigration that is making Palo Alto an unhealthy place to live for both newcomers and old timers alike. The Supreme Court may say that corporations are people, but corporations don't care about quality of life. There has been a net outflow of people from California as a whole. Palo Alto and the greater Bay Area is an exception to that 15 year trend, When our bubble bursts, and it will burst, we will be the next Detroit. Vote out the short-sighted, developer-friendly council members TODAY and the rest at the next election.


6 people like this
Posted by StarSpring
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 6, 2018 at 5:29 pm

StarSpring is a registered user.

Question for the "Millennials for development" posting here.

Why the heck do you want to live in Palo Alto? All of the cool Millennials are living in San Francisco and taking buses to work down here. There is no "here" here as far as nightlife, decent restaurants, and the aforementioned mass transit. Palo Alto is simply another bedroom community for the Facebook, Google, and Palantier wage slaves, Makes more sense that the advocates for development posting here are pro-development trolls. The Weekly certainly doesn't vet even registered users, let alone the unregistered ones.


8 people like this
Posted by Another Giveaway
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Maker Palo Alto Great said:

"For others of lesser means, let's build more dwellings in some of the lousier parts of Palo Alto. Driving down the Palo Alto streets, we know where they are as most of these neighborhoods are eyesores"

This makes no sense (unless you are a developer). The "eyesores" you want to tear down are already affordable homes for people of "lesser means". Anything that replaces these "eyesores" will be much more expensive eyesores priced to sell to Facebook/Google employees with $250K+ incomes.

What kind of person calls someone's home an eyesore?


5 people like this
Posted by Keep Palo Alto Palo Alto
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 6, 2018 at 9:48 pm

Yay 2018 elections. Next we remove Kniss.

Note that Lenny is finishing next to last in Mountain View.

Residents are fed up and making it known.


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