News

Guest Opinion: In search of a Cubberley champion

City, school district in middle of developing a new master plan for sprawling campus

She was knitting quietly during a meeting. Then she remarked that someone was going to need to step forward to lead the charge. It turns out that I was the one and now we have wonderful new and improved libraries in Palo Alto, despite all the people who said we couldn't get it done.

When I delivered a petition with over a thousand names on it to the mayor, she said my elementary school kids would be in college before we solved our library problem. When the polling said we didn't have enough votes, I practically begged the City Council to give our team a chance. When the Great Recession started, I looked on the brightest side I could find and said we'd pay a lower interest rate on the bond. And now I spend time on Thursday mornings at Ada's Cafe, looking at Mitchell Park Library which gets thousands of visitors every week. So Margaret Mead was right: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

It's time for another person to step forward, build a team, and lead the charge: this time, on behalf of Cubberley Community Center. Because the only thing that's going to force the school district and the city to keep working together to rebuild Cubberley and figure out how to pay for it is another positive, grassroots effort.

What's the problem we are trying to solve?

The problem is that the building, vintage 1955 and 64 years old, is in unacceptable condition. It simply does not meet the standards we expect in Palo Alto. We've rebuilt libraries and fire stations and upgraded Lucie Stern; we improve parks and repave roads every year; and we will build a new police station next year. But the city doesn't own most of the Cubberley site, so we can't redevelop it without the school district's participation. And while the school district recently passed a bond to continue to rebuild schools (which I supported), Cubberley was unfortunately not part of that plan.

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Three years ago, then-City Manager Jim Keene and then-school district Superintendent Max McGee signed a Cubberley Futures Compact. You can practically hear the music swelling when you read their inspirational words: "We simply must get there. We must take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity." We have made excellent progress — the city and the school district split the funding for a talented and creative consultant, Concordia, who ran a collaborative and iterative process to co-create a new master plan using the input from hundreds of people — but there are many decisions to be made and hurdles to overcome. The five-year lease agreement the City Council recommended earlier this month (on a 6 to 1 vote with me opposed) unfortunately extends the time for making any real decisions by years.

Somewhere in Palo Alto, right now, there's a person or perhaps a small group of people, who can look at that beautiful master plan, with 70% more green space and almost double the amount of program space, and know how wonderful the new Cubberley will be for our whole community. I don't know who they are, but I am asking them to step forward and take on this challenge. Is this a big challenge? Absolutely. Is the status quo OK? Absolutely not.

What makes this complicated?

First, physical ownership is split between the school district and the city. Then the school district leases its space to the city, which subleases to all the tenants whom residents know and love. Second, rebuilding the site will need to happen in stages, accommodating current tenants and programs as we go. Third, this is going to be expensive. It's time to start figuring out the funding options, which might include some private sources.

Fourth, there's an important decision to be made about providing housing on the site. Should it be there? I say yes. And for whom? Teachers make sense, as many of the teachers who lived in Palo Alto and taught my children have retired and new teachers simply cannot afford to live here, even if they are partnered with someone in the tech industry.

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Seniors who qualify for affordable housing would benefit from the amazing array of possible services and programs at this site — including those provided by the nonprofit Avenidas, Heart Fit for Life cardiac therapy and art studios and at the therapeutic swimming pool. Seniors would also have the opportunity to volunteer at a preschool or for the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, plus they'd have access to a grocery store and public transportation,

So, what's the path forward? Find a small group of people and band together. Read the citizens' report from 2012 and the robust, proposed master plan. Learn about the current tenants and think about who might be motivated to help them get wonderful new spaces. Start writing up FAQs (e.g., Is there space for a new school? Yes!). Come to council meetings and school board meetings to demand that decisions be made. We cannot make meaningful progress until and unless Palo Alto Unified decides the community can rebuild this space that the school district hasn't used in 40 years.

When we first walked into the new Mitchell Park Library, the library director said to me, "You know, when you die, they are going to name this after you." I said, "That's fine, but from now until then I'm going to enjoy it." Honestly, if I die tomorrow, I will know that I have left something for the next generation (aside from two wonderful young adults and one friendly but badly trained dog). So I am telling you, whoever you are, that this will be the most meaningful work you have ever done. It will require a relentlessly positive attitude, a willingness to dig into the details, the ability to keep twisting the Rubik's cube until all the colors line up for everyone, the knack for getting people to join you, and a refusal to take "no" for an answer.

Someone has to get up every day and look at their list and figure out what has to be done next so we can get this place rebuilt. Is it you?

Alison Cormack serves on the Palo Alto City Council and chaired the successful 2008 library bond measure. If you want to step forward to rebuild Cubberley, she can be reached at [email protected]

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Guest Opinion: In search of a Cubberley champion

City, school district in middle of developing a new master plan for sprawling campus

by /

Uploaded: Fri, Oct 25, 2019, 6:58 am
Updated: Mon, Oct 28, 2019, 8:40 am

She was knitting quietly during a meeting. Then she remarked that someone was going to need to step forward to lead the charge. It turns out that I was the one and now we have wonderful new and improved libraries in Palo Alto, despite all the people who said we couldn't get it done.

When I delivered a petition with over a thousand names on it to the mayor, she said my elementary school kids would be in college before we solved our library problem. When the polling said we didn't have enough votes, I practically begged the City Council to give our team a chance. When the Great Recession started, I looked on the brightest side I could find and said we'd pay a lower interest rate on the bond. And now I spend time on Thursday mornings at Ada's Cafe, looking at Mitchell Park Library which gets thousands of visitors every week. So Margaret Mead was right: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

It's time for another person to step forward, build a team, and lead the charge: this time, on behalf of Cubberley Community Center. Because the only thing that's going to force the school district and the city to keep working together to rebuild Cubberley and figure out how to pay for it is another positive, grassroots effort.

What's the problem we are trying to solve?

The problem is that the building, vintage 1955 and 64 years old, is in unacceptable condition. It simply does not meet the standards we expect in Palo Alto. We've rebuilt libraries and fire stations and upgraded Lucie Stern; we improve parks and repave roads every year; and we will build a new police station next year. But the city doesn't own most of the Cubberley site, so we can't redevelop it without the school district's participation. And while the school district recently passed a bond to continue to rebuild schools (which I supported), Cubberley was unfortunately not part of that plan.

Three years ago, then-City Manager Jim Keene and then-school district Superintendent Max McGee signed a Cubberley Futures Compact. You can practically hear the music swelling when you read their inspirational words: "We simply must get there. We must take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity." We have made excellent progress — the city and the school district split the funding for a talented and creative consultant, Concordia, who ran a collaborative and iterative process to co-create a new master plan using the input from hundreds of people — but there are many decisions to be made and hurdles to overcome. The five-year lease agreement the City Council recommended earlier this month (on a 6 to 1 vote with me opposed) unfortunately extends the time for making any real decisions by years.

Somewhere in Palo Alto, right now, there's a person or perhaps a small group of people, who can look at that beautiful master plan, with 70% more green space and almost double the amount of program space, and know how wonderful the new Cubberley will be for our whole community. I don't know who they are, but I am asking them to step forward and take on this challenge. Is this a big challenge? Absolutely. Is the status quo OK? Absolutely not.

What makes this complicated?

First, physical ownership is split between the school district and the city. Then the school district leases its space to the city, which subleases to all the tenants whom residents know and love. Second, rebuilding the site will need to happen in stages, accommodating current tenants and programs as we go. Third, this is going to be expensive. It's time to start figuring out the funding options, which might include some private sources.

Fourth, there's an important decision to be made about providing housing on the site. Should it be there? I say yes. And for whom? Teachers make sense, as many of the teachers who lived in Palo Alto and taught my children have retired and new teachers simply cannot afford to live here, even if they are partnered with someone in the tech industry.

Seniors who qualify for affordable housing would benefit from the amazing array of possible services and programs at this site — including those provided by the nonprofit Avenidas, Heart Fit for Life cardiac therapy and art studios and at the therapeutic swimming pool. Seniors would also have the opportunity to volunteer at a preschool or for the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, plus they'd have access to a grocery store and public transportation,

So, what's the path forward? Find a small group of people and band together. Read the citizens' report from 2012 and the robust, proposed master plan. Learn about the current tenants and think about who might be motivated to help them get wonderful new spaces. Start writing up FAQs (e.g., Is there space for a new school? Yes!). Come to council meetings and school board meetings to demand that decisions be made. We cannot make meaningful progress until and unless Palo Alto Unified decides the community can rebuild this space that the school district hasn't used in 40 years.

When we first walked into the new Mitchell Park Library, the library director said to me, "You know, when you die, they are going to name this after you." I said, "That's fine, but from now until then I'm going to enjoy it." Honestly, if I die tomorrow, I will know that I have left something for the next generation (aside from two wonderful young adults and one friendly but badly trained dog). So I am telling you, whoever you are, that this will be the most meaningful work you have ever done. It will require a relentlessly positive attitude, a willingness to dig into the details, the ability to keep twisting the Rubik's cube until all the colors line up for everyone, the knack for getting people to join you, and a refusal to take "no" for an answer.

Someone has to get up every day and look at their list and figure out what has to be done next so we can get this place rebuilt. Is it you?

Alison Cormack serves on the Palo Alto City Council and chaired the successful 2008 library bond measure. If you want to step forward to rebuild Cubberley, she can be reached at [email protected]

Comments

Incredulous
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 25, 2019 at 11:01 am
Incredulous, Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 25, 2019 at 11:01 am
60 people like this

[Portion removed.]

So according to Alison Cormack, what the world needs is more Alison Cormacks. Duly noted! Maybe Council Member Cormack can figure out how to do a better job of making her case to persuade her colleagues and the community [portion removed.]


Also shocked
Barron Park
on Oct 25, 2019 at 1:34 pm
Also shocked, Barron Park
on Oct 25, 2019 at 1:34 pm
45 people like this

I’m also astounded by the arrogance in this opinion piece, coupled with a Councilmember abdicating responsibility to lead on that issue that was a centerpiece of her campaign.

Thank you, PA Online, for publishing this.


incredulous 2
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2019 at 2:13 pm
incredulous 2, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 25, 2019 at 2:13 pm
14 people like this



"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Indeed

Until another small group of people can come around and target to destroy anything to get what they want.


Samuel L.
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 25, 2019 at 3:43 pm
Samuel L., Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Oct 25, 2019 at 3:43 pm
36 people like this

The best part was her quoted reaction to the library director telling her that it would be named after her when she dies. Her reaction was, "That's fine..." Like it is expected that they would change the name of the library.

[Portion removed.]


It's not that broken
Registered user
Midtown
on Oct 25, 2019 at 4:11 pm
It's not that broken, Midtown
Registered user
on Oct 25, 2019 at 4:11 pm
29 people like this

My two cents: I spend some time at Cubberley and find it a refreshing, slower change of pace than other parts of Palo Alto. It is not shiny and new but it is functional and well used. I would use funds for our pension problems, our traffic problems, the train crossings, and affordable housing before I would invest hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild Cubberley.


A Citizen
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2019 at 5:00 pm
A Citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2019 at 5:00 pm
18 people like this

As someone who has been involved civically for a long time, even in changing laws, and who has been the person who gets the ball rolling (the hardest work and the least appreciated), I appreciate what Alison Cormack is talking about. So often there is a strong desire to achieve something in a group or community, but it takes a special kind of person to do the heavy lifting to get it off the ground. Lots of people will help once things are rolling, but very few will help get it started. I don't even like her perspective at City Hall, and I'm even annoyed that in planning Mitchell, they promised a portable stage instead of an actual performing stage, then took away even that without any public input. Yet I am deeply grateful for what she did at Mitchell Park, and I think the cheap pot shots above should be removed. Clearly they come from someone who has never done anything like this for the sake of the community. I totally get what she's asking for and why, because I have been that person. And if I hadn't been so burned by trying to work with our school district in the past, I might have been willing to do it.

Alison, what you did with the City, you need to understand that getting the school district to work with you is a completely different beast.

Even fighting the City on development issues will not bring down the kind of vile, backstabbing, gaslighting, underhanded, scheming, manipulative, dismissive, lying, sociopathic, evilness on you that the school district will if you push them even for really positive, totally win-win things. (First of all, the district people have historically not believed in win-win -- they don't trust ANYTHING that might serve more than one purpose.)

It's going to be hard to find someone to work on Cubberly because those who have a stake in the schools who maintain a good relationship with them, mainly do so because they are at best yes-men (like PTA and head of secondary curriculum). Anyone with the backbone to push even against inertia and for 100% beneficial change is likely to be gaslighted, dismissed, and retaliated against so viciously they could never be effective at partnering with the district. Our district culture is just not amenable to partnering with parents, the community, anyone. There is a reason it's been so hard to get anything done at Cubberly, when there have already been great citizen commissions with recommendations.

Look, the last facilities bond was nearly $400 million dollars. That's a lot of money. How much did it cost to completely rebuild a new library and community center from scratch, about 1/10th of that? Look at the cost of school construction even in very expensive areas like ours, and consider what I just said, and see if you think we got even close to what we could have for our money, including that most of the construction happened during the recession. That's like 9 or 10 new Mitchell Parks, or, say, 4 Mitchell parks and 10 new elementary schools. There was money for Cubberly, and definitely bond language to allow it, and even community members asking the district to include Cubberly in the planning.

If you watched the way that money was spent, it was absolutely not spent in a cost effective way, and best enriched the various construction interests (worked best for them), because there was no entity on the school district side charged with ensuring the money was spent the most effectively and to get the best value for the district (the oversight committee did not do that, that's not their purpose ACCORDING TO THEM). The district people trusted the construction professionals, and let's just say, they didn't give the most cost effective advice.

If you read the previous facilities bond, it was written expressly to give the district the leeway to use it for Cubberly if they wanted to. If you say that to them, they'll tell you that there are all kinds of requirements on how the bond money is spent so they couldn't do that, but if you actually point out that the district didn't fulfill many of the specific promises and specifications in the bond, they'll tell you the bond language is just a loose guide and they don't really HAVE to do any of it. Indeed, there are no laws that give citizens any leverage to ensure the community gets what it's promised when they vote to spend the money.

What makes this complicated? I can tell you, but you really have to experience the breathtaking evilness for yourself to even believe that such behavior could come out of people who are supposed to be public servants working on behalf of children. If we were talking about rebuilding a community center for the city, it's one thing. But we're talking about PAUSD. What you read in the papers is not the half of it.


Cover up culture
Community Center
on Oct 25, 2019 at 9:17 pm
Cover up culture, Community Center
on Oct 25, 2019 at 9:17 pm
23 people like this

No teacher housing. They are not low income. Seniors and disabled folks are. One analysis showed that Pausd teachers make more on a daily basis than the average tech worker in the Bay Area. Should we be constructing housing on public lands for tech workers?

Pausd is the second highest paying unified school district in the state. Employment listings in the spring showed few openings for teachers even though there are more than 800 full time teaching positions at PAUSD. Recruitment is not an issue, but educating our low income students is. Focusing on education would be good.

No privatizing a public resource, our public lands for a special interest.


Holy cow
Midtown
on Oct 26, 2019 at 10:40 pm
Holy cow, Midtown
on Oct 26, 2019 at 10:40 pm
24 people like this

[Post removed.]


No Housing at Cubberley
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 11:46 am
No Housing at Cubberley, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 11:46 am
23 people like this

The community meetings at Cubberley were achieving consensus until Councilmember Cormack hijacked the process and insisted that housing be included in all options. Still, most did not want housing there. There are better places for low income housing.


OMG
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 1:40 pm
OMG, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 1:40 pm
15 people like this

[Post removed.]


A Citizen
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 3:45 pm
A Citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 3:45 pm
8 people like this

@Housing,
I thought the district owned properly all the way over to San Antonio next to that new hotel monstrosity (looks like the borg collective is taking over both sides of the street and never wants us to have sunshine again). Now that there's no sunshine or greenery over there ever again, it sure seems like putting in some townhomes for young teachers would be a good use of the space on that side.

I have no good words to say about what Scharff and the overdevelopment 5 did to our town, but even the Weekly published Cormack's role in getting the Mitchell Park redo to happen. Those early efforts to get the ball rolling are the hardest and least appreciated. Criticize where it's due, but be a grown up enough to also acknowledge when people do some good. She's trying to find an early heavy lifter for Cubberley. She just doesn't realize that people who could for Cubberley know the district better than she does.


No Housing at Cubberley
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 10:18 pm
No Housing at Cubberley, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2019 at 10:18 pm
6 people like this

@A Citizen,

The school district owns the site at 525 San Antonio. It is zoned single family residential and has private school there now. It is adjacent to single family homes towards Alma. This location is between Middlefield and Alma on the logical "north" side of the street. The big hotels are between Middlefield and Leghorn on the other side of the street, so not near that school district site adjacent to Cubberley (but actually a separate parcel).


PA resident
College Terrace
on Oct 29, 2019 at 1:52 pm
PA resident, College Terrace
on Oct 29, 2019 at 1:52 pm
23 people like this

I can't make sense of this editorial. Cormack seems to think:

1. She's awesome
2. Her colleagues on the City Council, and the school board, suck
3. Someone else should fix the problem

Am I missing something?


Samuel L.
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm
Samuel L., Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed.]


A Citizen
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 2:09 pm
A Citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 2:09 pm
3 people like this

@ PA Resident,

If you've never been the person who takes responsibility to get things rolling on just about anything difficult, you wouldn't understand. It's the most difficult and unsung role. In fact, there's even a type of person who recognizes that's going on and likes to swoop in when things get easier and take credit and control.

It is a lonely and hard job being the person who gets the ball rolling. Alison Cormack is pointing out that just citizens got the ball rolling on Mitchell Park, and she thinks just citizens could do the same for Cubberley, she's just clearly unfamiliar with the ways the school district punishes people for getting involved to fix problems. (Problems?! We don't have problems! You must be punished for thinking it! We must gossip about you and do nasty things to your child in school to pressure you to stop!)

Trouble is, the people willing to get the ball rolling are those unique individuals precisely because most people won't.


Old Timer
College Terrace
on Oct 29, 2019 at 2:44 pm
Old Timer, College Terrace
on Oct 29, 2019 at 2:44 pm
7 people like this

@PA resident, that summary seems about right to me. Oh yeah, and they should name the library after her, it's only fair.


Property Developers for Housing
Downtown North
on Oct 29, 2019 at 2:50 pm
Property Developers for Housing, Downtown North
on Oct 29, 2019 at 2:50 pm
7 people like this

Property Developers are the biggest supporters of Housing in Cubberley. That land is worth hundreds of millions, and it is very hard to stop their cash influencing our politics. They kick-back to lobbyists and campaigns. But once they have made their money they move on, with Palo Altans without any open space or public buildings. So no housing on Cubberley - it's one of the few open spaces left.

Also fix those playing fields - broken sprinklers and full of holes.


Ken Horowitz
University South
on Oct 29, 2019 at 3:56 pm
Ken Horowitz, University South
on Oct 29, 2019 at 3:56 pm
4 people like this

The Cubberley site (except for the eight acres owned by the City) is a PAUSD problem. PAUSD has been unwilling to compromise for forty years as to future plans except to hold on to it and get the City to pay rent for it. The City Council should no longer be an enabler and walk away from the Cubberley agreement when it ends in a few months. Only then, will the PAUSD Board of Education step up and make the meaningful improvements Cubberley so badly needs. PAUSD would lose $5M per year rent and be responsible for the maintenance and other issues of unsafe and run-down buildings. If the City extends the current agreement, another five years will pass, and we will be talking about what to do with Cubberley in every election cycle until then


Shame on the Weekly
College Terrace
on Oct 29, 2019 at 4:01 pm
Shame on the Weekly, College Terrace
on Oct 29, 2019 at 4:01 pm
19 people like this

Wow, the Weekly publishes an embarrassingly self-promoting piece by an elected official; readers point it out; and then Bill Johnson goes through and white-washes the comments.

Alison Cormack is an elected official and then actually wrote this embarrassing piece - she certainly should be able to accept the (apparently widely shared) feedback on how she comes off to her constituents.

If they don't want the feedback, Cormack shouldn't write it and the Weekly shouldn't publish it. How do you justify this, Bill Johnson?


Confused
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 29, 2019 at 4:13 pm
Confused, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 29, 2019 at 4:13 pm
8 people like this

@Ken Horowitz, I must be confused. How can the school district invest to upgrade buildings it leases long-term to the city and doesn't use for school kids? They are in the education business, not the property rental business. They don't upgrade the other facilities they rent out (Fremont Hills, Garland, 525 San Antonio) - the tenants pay for maintenance and improvements.

If the city wants to improve the buildings it owns (most of them) or leases (the rest), I'm sure they can. In fact, isn't that what they've been doing with the $1.8M a year that was cut out of the lease last time?

If the city wants to stop renting the school's portion of Cubberley for community use, I suppose they can, and the district can just go out and find other tenants. The community seems to get good use out of those facilities and fields, but if the city didn't want to make them available any more, that's their call.


A Citizen
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 5:06 pm
A Citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2019 at 5:06 pm
3 people like this

@Confused
"They are in the education business, not the property rental business."

When a lot of us pushed for the district to include rebuilding Cubberley as part of the last facilities bond, in fact that was one of the arguments from the district for not doing it -- the rent. (I know, holes in that argument you could drive trucks through, but at the district office, it's all talk-to-the-hand if you try to use facts.)


Ken Horowitz
University South
on Oct 29, 2019 at 8:19 pm
Ken Horowitz, University South
on Oct 29, 2019 at 8:19 pm
2 people like this

@Confused
The PAUSD/City lease agreement is no longer long-term. It expires in two months. A five year extension has been proposed and the City Council has to approve it at an upcoming meeting. The City does own 8 acres and can continue its community
center for non-profits on their property. In addition, I am certain that there are other sites besides the 28 acres owned by PAUSD to house the other rentals. Perhaps the City would save money and put it to use on the many projects that need those funds. Currently PAUSD is acting as an absentee landlord; they lease their property to the City and the City is the current tenants’ present landlord. PAUSD has had a sweet deal for too long, and it is time for the City to say no more. Cubberley deserves a better fate.


Confused
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 29, 2019 at 8:43 pm
Confused, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 29, 2019 at 8:43 pm
15 people like this

@Ken Horowitz, sure the city could leave Cubberley, though I haven't heard any council members or staff suggest that. If so, I hope they would be decent enough to give the District more than two months notice (might be required in the lease in fact).

But if they do, the District will just find another tenant. I don't understand why you think the current arrangement is a "sweet deal" for the District. 25 acres of land for long-term lease in Palo Alto should be pretty valuable - I'm sure they would find another tenant.

You seem to think the District is doing someone a disservice - why? Their job is to make sure the land is available if they eventually need a school site. The district learned it's lesson when it sold sites in the '80s. Their job isn't to build a community center or help the city do so - in fact, it's probably not allowed for them to use their money that way. The city has its 8 acres and can build what they want, and also improve the buildings on the land they lease. What exactly do you think the school district should be doing?


Still confused
Community Center
on Oct 30, 2019 at 12:57 pm
Still confused, Community Center
on Oct 30, 2019 at 12:57 pm
11 people like this

Confused is right. What is hard to understand is what Cormack is looking for. Why isn't it the City Council's job to take the next step and say what they want to build at Cubberley, negotiate with the school district about the land configuration, and then issue a bond to pay for it?

Is Cormack saying that the council isn't capable of that level of planning and decisionmaking? If so, I agree.

Or is there something else that she's saying?

Ms. Cormack, I imagine that you're reading these comments. How about some clarification for your constituents?


incredulous 2
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2019 at 3:42 pm
incredulous 2, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2019 at 3:42 pm
3 people like this

still confused,

"What is hard to understand is what Cormack is looking for. Why isn't it the City Council's job to take the next step and say what they want to build at Cubberley, negotiate with the school district about the land configuration, and then issue a bond to pay for it?"

Raising money relies on something which the community will get behind. Oh and there would also be a need to trust leadership.

Tough job description (leadership, trust), not to mention issues about transparency. Hmm who can we call?


A Citizen
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 2:54 pm
A Citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 2:54 pm
1 person likes this

2,
Again, can’t believe I am defending Cormack, but she has said what she wants plainly and clearly. She wants some citizen leadership to get the ball rolling at Cubberley because the powers that be won’t do it and keep failing us.

She couldn’t be any clearer. She’s hoping the right person will read this and step up to the plate because she’s done it at Mitchell and she’s serving in Council now. It’s time for someone else.

We are in desperate need of citizen leadership to counter the takeover of our town by large soulless companies. We are in desperate need of people who will take the lead on safety so that it’s way more of a priority in decision making before there is a disaster here. The problems are acute enough that getting a movement is way less difficult than getting the ball rolling

The problem is that making a general call like this never works, Alison. You have to find people yourself so you can have enough of a conversation to convince them. And you’ll have to find people who don’t already know how proactively horrible our district people Anne. And you’ll have to be there to give them power to get things done. This is not like Mitchell.


A Citizen
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 2:56 pm
A Citizen , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2019 at 2:56 pm
2 people like this

And you’ll have to find people who don’t already know how proactively horrible our district people ARE.

Darned autocorrect!


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