News

Fine, DuBois to lead Palo Alto council in 2020

New mayor vows to focus on housing, transportation and economic vitality

Adrian Fine, one of Palo Alto's most passionate housing advocates, will have a chance to directly shape the City Council agenda this year after his colleagues chose him Monday to serve as mayor in 2020.

Fine, who at 33 is the youngest council member, will be joined in the center of the council's dais by Tom DuBois, who narrowly edged Councilwoman Alison Cormack for the vice mayor's position after one of the most competitive contests in recent years. DuBois won the race after Cormack, having fallen one vote shy of getting the nod for vice mayor, threw her support to DuBois, surprising her colleagues and ensuring his election by a single vote.

While the mayoral election was largely a foregone conclusion, given the city's loosely followed custom of promoting the prior year's vice mayor to the mayor's chair, the race for the 2020 vice mayor proved razor-thin, with votes falling largely along political lines.

The three council members affiliated with the slow-growth "residentialist" philosophy — Eric Filseth, Lydia Kou and DuBois — all supported DuBois, who joined the council in 2015 and who was re-elected in 2018. The council members who are more aggressive when it comes to housing growth — Liz Kniss, Fine and Cormack — supported Cormack, the top vote-getter in the 2018 election.

Councilman Greg Tanaka, who ran with the more pro-growth candidates in 2016 but who has since emerged as the council's top fiscal hawk and most common dissenter, abstained from voting for either vice mayoral candidate, creating a potential deadlock. But after Cormack's nomination failed by a 3-3 vote, she offered her vote to DuBois, giving him the edge. The council then elected DuBois as vice mayor 4-2, with Fine and Kniss dissenting and Tanaka abstaining.

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Fine's election was far less dramatic, with six council members voting to make him mayor. Only Kou, Fine's political adversary, abstained, citing Fine's support for Senate Bill 50, a proposal by state Sen. Scott Wiener to loosen zoning rules near transit and job-rich areas (the bill was held over from last year and will be considered by the state Legislature early this year). Kou said she was concerned about Fine's support for SB 50, which she characterized as a "top-down" and "one-size-fits-all" legislation.

"As an immigrant, I can never understand why a government of the people, by the people and for the people would abdicate its local control of our government," Kou said. "However, I will not get in the way of this nomination and I do wish our upcoming Mayor Fine the best and I hope there will be fairness throughout this year to the entire council."

Other council members had no reservations about electing Fine, a former planning commissioner who now works at Autonomic, a company that makes software for connected vehicles. Kniss, who ran alongside Fine in 2016, lauded him for his intelligence and critical thinking. And Tanaka, who served with Fine on the planning commission before both were elected to the council in 2016 and who nominated him for mayor on Monday, cited Fine's background in technology and planning, his status as the council's only renter and his experience in running meetings as qualities that will make him a strong mayor.

"I've seen his leadership skills and ability to facilitate meetings," Tanaka said of Fine. "I think he will serve the council well in that role."

Immediately after the vote, Fine said his top issues of concern are housing, transportation and economic vitality. He pointed at the city's goal of building about 300 units of housing per year, a target that the city has failed to meet in each of the past two years. The city's actual production — between 50 and 60 units — is not good enough, he said.

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"We need to figure out what Palo Alto looks like in five, 10, 20 and 50 years," Fine said. "I think that's a challenge for all of us."

Fine said he was committed to working on finding a 21st century solution to the city's traffic problems, including reaching a decision on redesigning the rail corridor this year. He also said he was concerned about the recent closures of longtime businesses and suggested that the city needs to do more to prepare for a potential economic recession on the horizon.

The real drama came immediately after the mayoral election, when Kniss nominated Cormack for the vice mayoral position. Filseth, who received an ovation after concluding his final meeting as mayor, followed by nominating DuBois, noting that he has served on every council committee, including as chairman of the Finance Committee.

Kniss praised Cormack as "a person who pays attention to detail," both when conducting council business and when meeting residents in the community. She also lauded Cormack for holding office hours for residents at Ada's Café and for being a dog owner, an asset when it comes to getting out of the house and meeting neighbors.

"She has been very effective with us on the council and I think she notices what we're doing and notices that very well," Kniss said.

While no one objected to Cormack's nomination, Filseth threw his support behind DuBois, who was first elected in 2014 and who has not yet held a leadership position despite chairing numerous committees. Filseth called DuBois "consistently thoughtful and a voice for reason and data-driven thinking." He also said it would be a better reflection of the community to have representatives from both political camps occupy the top two leadership positions, much as was the case in 2019.

"No one agrees on everything," Filseth said. "Like in every group, there are some ideological alignments on the council and non-alignments. In my view, that's a good thing. That diversity of thinking is also present in the community."

Cormack's vote for DuBois vice mayor appeared to have caught her colleagues — including DuBois himself — by surprise.

"I honestly prepared no comments because I didn't think I was going to be elected tonight," said DuBois, who served with Cormack on the Finance Committee last year and who is currently working with her on a two-member ad hoc committee that is looking at refining the rules for local commissioners.

Cormack, for her part, earned praise for casting a deciding vote for someone who was running against her. Kou, who often doesn't see eye-to-eye with Cormack on issues relating to development, lauded her for displaying "graciousness." Former City Councilwoman Karen Holman, who was elected mayor in 2015 after getting the most votes in the 2014 election, shared the sentiment.

"What happened tonight was magnanimous, almost unheard of, and speaks well to both of your characters," Holman said.

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Fine, DuBois to lead Palo Alto council in 2020

New mayor vows to focus on housing, transportation and economic vitality

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Jan 6, 2020, 8:30 pm

Adrian Fine, one of Palo Alto's most passionate housing advocates, will have a chance to directly shape the City Council agenda this year after his colleagues chose him Monday to serve as mayor in 2020.

Fine, who at 33 is the youngest council member, will be joined in the center of the council's dais by Tom DuBois, who narrowly edged Councilwoman Alison Cormack for the vice mayor's position after one of the most competitive contests in recent years. DuBois won the race after Cormack, having fallen one vote shy of getting the nod for vice mayor, threw her support to DuBois, surprising her colleagues and ensuring his election by a single vote.

While the mayoral election was largely a foregone conclusion, given the city's loosely followed custom of promoting the prior year's vice mayor to the mayor's chair, the race for the 2020 vice mayor proved razor-thin, with votes falling largely along political lines.

The three council members affiliated with the slow-growth "residentialist" philosophy — Eric Filseth, Lydia Kou and DuBois — all supported DuBois, who joined the council in 2015 and who was re-elected in 2018. The council members who are more aggressive when it comes to housing growth — Liz Kniss, Fine and Cormack — supported Cormack, the top vote-getter in the 2018 election.

Councilman Greg Tanaka, who ran with the more pro-growth candidates in 2016 but who has since emerged as the council's top fiscal hawk and most common dissenter, abstained from voting for either vice mayoral candidate, creating a potential deadlock. But after Cormack's nomination failed by a 3-3 vote, she offered her vote to DuBois, giving him the edge. The council then elected DuBois as vice mayor 4-2, with Fine and Kniss dissenting and Tanaka abstaining.

Fine's election was far less dramatic, with six council members voting to make him mayor. Only Kou, Fine's political adversary, abstained, citing Fine's support for Senate Bill 50, a proposal by state Sen. Scott Wiener to loosen zoning rules near transit and job-rich areas (the bill was held over from last year and will be considered by the state Legislature early this year). Kou said she was concerned about Fine's support for SB 50, which she characterized as a "top-down" and "one-size-fits-all" legislation.

"As an immigrant, I can never understand why a government of the people, by the people and for the people would abdicate its local control of our government," Kou said. "However, I will not get in the way of this nomination and I do wish our upcoming Mayor Fine the best and I hope there will be fairness throughout this year to the entire council."

Other council members had no reservations about electing Fine, a former planning commissioner who now works at Autonomic, a company that makes software for connected vehicles. Kniss, who ran alongside Fine in 2016, lauded him for his intelligence and critical thinking. And Tanaka, who served with Fine on the planning commission before both were elected to the council in 2016 and who nominated him for mayor on Monday, cited Fine's background in technology and planning, his status as the council's only renter and his experience in running meetings as qualities that will make him a strong mayor.

"I've seen his leadership skills and ability to facilitate meetings," Tanaka said of Fine. "I think he will serve the council well in that role."

Immediately after the vote, Fine said his top issues of concern are housing, transportation and economic vitality. He pointed at the city's goal of building about 300 units of housing per year, a target that the city has failed to meet in each of the past two years. The city's actual production — between 50 and 60 units — is not good enough, he said.

"We need to figure out what Palo Alto looks like in five, 10, 20 and 50 years," Fine said. "I think that's a challenge for all of us."

Fine said he was committed to working on finding a 21st century solution to the city's traffic problems, including reaching a decision on redesigning the rail corridor this year. He also said he was concerned about the recent closures of longtime businesses and suggested that the city needs to do more to prepare for a potential economic recession on the horizon.

The real drama came immediately after the mayoral election, when Kniss nominated Cormack for the vice mayoral position. Filseth, who received an ovation after concluding his final meeting as mayor, followed by nominating DuBois, noting that he has served on every council committee, including as chairman of the Finance Committee.

Kniss praised Cormack as "a person who pays attention to detail," both when conducting council business and when meeting residents in the community. She also lauded Cormack for holding office hours for residents at Ada's Café and for being a dog owner, an asset when it comes to getting out of the house and meeting neighbors.

"She has been very effective with us on the council and I think she notices what we're doing and notices that very well," Kniss said.

While no one objected to Cormack's nomination, Filseth threw his support behind DuBois, who was first elected in 2014 and who has not yet held a leadership position despite chairing numerous committees. Filseth called DuBois "consistently thoughtful and a voice for reason and data-driven thinking." He also said it would be a better reflection of the community to have representatives from both political camps occupy the top two leadership positions, much as was the case in 2019.

"No one agrees on everything," Filseth said. "Like in every group, there are some ideological alignments on the council and non-alignments. In my view, that's a good thing. That diversity of thinking is also present in the community."

Cormack's vote for DuBois vice mayor appeared to have caught her colleagues — including DuBois himself — by surprise.

"I honestly prepared no comments because I didn't think I was going to be elected tonight," said DuBois, who served with Cormack on the Finance Committee last year and who is currently working with her on a two-member ad hoc committee that is looking at refining the rules for local commissioners.

Cormack, for her part, earned praise for casting a deciding vote for someone who was running against her. Kou, who often doesn't see eye-to-eye with Cormack on issues relating to development, lauded her for displaying "graciousness." Former City Councilwoman Karen Holman, who was elected mayor in 2015 after getting the most votes in the 2014 election, shared the sentiment.

"What happened tonight was magnanimous, almost unheard of, and speaks well to both of your characters," Holman said.

Comments

yuck
College Terrace
on Jan 6, 2020 at 9:02 pm
yuck, College Terrace
on Jan 6, 2020 at 9:02 pm
135 people like this

The thought of a pro-development PAF member as mayor of Palo Alto makes me want to barf...


Ken Horowitz
University South
on Jan 6, 2020 at 9:19 pm
Ken Horowitz, University South
on Jan 6, 2020 at 9:19 pm
26 people like this

Congratulations to new mayor Fine. As also a renter and concerned about housing in Palo Alto, I was very happy about your
election by the City Council. It was well deserved and I know you will do a great job!


Fine is Not Pro-Renter
Crescent Park
on Jan 6, 2020 at 9:30 pm
Fine is Not Pro-Renter, Crescent Park
on Jan 6, 2020 at 9:30 pm
111 people like this

Fine voted AGAINST renter protections in Palo Alto, more than once I believe. He also did not support using the former VTA parking lot for affordable housing, which is the type of housing we most desperately need. Fine is no friend of renters. He is a friend of developers.


Independent
Esther Clark Park
on Jan 6, 2020 at 9:41 pm
Independent, Esther Clark Park
on Jan 6, 2020 at 9:41 pm
77 people like this

No to Adrian Fine and soviet style diktats! Yes to the free market, private property rights, and liberty.


Another Giveaway
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 12:26 am
Another Giveaway, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 12:26 am
117 people like this

Just about everything that is wrong with Palo Alto can be traced back to the corrupt relationship between the real-estate industry and politicians. Our city government has been turned into little more than a chamber of commerce for the real-estate industry.


It’s Tanaka
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 7:21 am
It’s Tanaka, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 7:21 am
79 people like this

Not enough emphasis on councilman Tanaka’s bold abstention - twice! He tied up the first vote that resulted in Cormack capitulating. If he were wily he could be a centrist swing vote with the power that brings, but I doubt that will happen.

The fact that DuBois was supremely more qualified than newbie Cormack for Vice Mayor was clear, but Kniss and Fine seldom first think of what is best for residents and the city, but of what primarily best promotes their Silicon Valley development agenda.


Civil Discourse
Downtown North
on Jan 7, 2020 at 7:22 am
Civil Discourse, Downtown North
on Jan 7, 2020 at 7:22 am
78 people like this

A few days ago, then Palo Alto Mayor Erik Filseth wrote an opinion piece in the Palo Alto Daily in which he argued that tech companies should fully mitigate their impacts on towns and cities. On twitter, “Palo Alto YIMBY” called it a “Garbage Galaxy Brain take on SB 50 from our mayor, a retired tech executive.” Now, whether or not you support SB 50, I hope you will agree that this is not a very productive tweet. As of now, it has 25 likes. Most of those who did like it don’t live in Palo Alto, by the way. But let’s talk about those Palo Alto residents who did like it. We have Planning Commissioner Cari Templeton. We have Planning Commission candidate Angie Evans. And, we have Silicon Valley Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Gina Dalma. How are these community leaders contributing to a meaningful dialogue when they encourage this kind of sophomoric ad-hominem rather than meaningful discussion? And, does our new mayor plan to encourage his supporters to move beyond this kind of rhetoric?


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2020 at 7:49 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jan 7, 2020 at 7:49 am
25 people like this

I think the annual practice of deciding priorities is a problem that stands in the way of progress. Our priorities should be constant, like a mission statement. Annual goals should support the priorities. What does the City value most? Commercial development? Education? A functional infrastructure? Public safety? Diversity (of all sorts, including economic)? Housing? Economic viability?

Every year CC holds a special meeting to determine priorities that inevitably reflect the new mayor's mindset on various issues. After that, CC has about 11 months (effectively more like 10) to accomplish whatever it is they have decided to do. Sometimes progress is made, but more often the big issues remain unfinished. Example: grade separation. I think we'd be better off if we figured out what our long term priorities are and then set annual goals that support those priorities.

And make the annual planning meeting one that is exclusively for CC and the public. Have the City Manager and Staff weigh in another time. So often we hear the City Manager advise what Staff cannot do. It is important to know that of course, but the public and CC should drive what the City's priorities and annual goals are, not the City Manager and Staff. It often seems like the tail wags the dog in Palo Alto. I think it's time to reverse that.


Anon
Evergreen Park
on Jan 7, 2020 at 9:36 am
Anon, Evergreen Park
on Jan 7, 2020 at 9:36 am
38 people like this

As to comment by “civil discourse”
I am shocked that a seated planning commissioner who has appeared to conduct herself with decorum would “like “ such a facile and polarizing comment. I agree it was a personal attack rather than a thoughtful disagreement.
Politics and civic leadership is meant to inclusive
Giving a “thumbs up” to that kind of comment is the opposite.... it is bullying and degrading the thoughtful work of others


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 7, 2020 at 9:50 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jan 7, 2020 at 9:50 am
87 people like this

Re civil discourse, young Mr. Fine has a vivid history of being arrogant, divisive, rude and dismissive of residents and facts running counter to his his agenda -- sort of like his mentor Ms Kniss denying we have a traffic problem.

We deserve much better.


Eric Rosenblum
Downtown North
on Jan 7, 2020 at 10:01 am
Eric Rosenblum, Downtown North
on Jan 7, 2020 at 10:01 am
15 people like this

Congratulations to both Fine and DuBois. Both have put in many years of service to our community, and both should be thanked.

I am personally excited that Fine, as a tireless housing and public transportation advocate, got the nod. Housing cost/ availability and gridlock are top issues for our community, and the two issues are tightly intertwined. He'll be a great leader to make progress on both.


Kudos to Cormack
Registered user
University South
on Jan 7, 2020 at 10:28 am
Kudos to Cormack, University South
Registered user
on Jan 7, 2020 at 10:28 am
40 people like this

For recognizing the depth of Dubois' commitment and experience. When you have good people who work together respectfully, even and especially when disagreeing, you get better outcomes.

I just hope that Fine can show similar maturity.


Incivil discourse
College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2020 at 10:38 am
Incivil discourse, College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2020 at 10:38 am
14 people like this

Using the comments section of the Palo Alto Weekly to call out "unproductive discourse" is the height of hypocrisy. This website's comments section is rife with some of the most vile things I've ever read (some of which get deleted, but that's beside the point).

The top comment with 50 likes says the Mayor Fine "makes me want to barf." By contrast, stating that an op-ed is garbage and noting that the former mayor is part of the industry he scapegoats is relatively benign.

The weekly could promote civil discourse by requiring real identities, but they don't. In the mean time, don't complain if people use other platforms to complain about the ridiculous NIMBYism in our city.


Resident
Midtown
on Jan 7, 2020 at 11:04 am
Resident, Midtown
on Jan 7, 2020 at 11:04 am
24 people like this

Be careful what you wish for. The day when we completely lose our internet anonymity will not be a good day.

It's trendy to slam anyone being honest as engaging in "uncivil discourse".
Sometimes the truth must be told, even if it's done bluntly or harshly.
I want to know what people REALLY think.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 7, 2020 at 11:07 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jan 7, 2020 at 11:07 am
66 people like this

"Ridiculous nimbyism in our city"

How uncivil of us to complain about the 6:1 jobs housing imbalance while the pro-development majority keeps approving yet more offices while pushing car-light fairy tales that allow developers to shove under-parked buildings down our throats while STILL failing to adapt the parking garages to show available spaces and while STILL failing to sync traffic lights,

How silly of us to get testy about the waste of our time and money sitting in traffic and never-ending meetings about the wonders of public transit while the VTA -- on whose board our new mayor sits -- is a joke that locates bus stops so close to major intersections that the traffic backs up INTO intersections and that can't even hire bus drivers because they can't afford to live here. (Mr. Fine, care to comment?)

How ridiculous of us to care about all the RVs on El Camino where -- by the way -- we're still waiting for the VTA and the County and Stanford and the other "stakeholders" to fix a traffic light.

Silly, ridiculous us for complaining and expecting better.


Anneke
Professorville
on Jan 7, 2020 at 11:37 am
Anneke, Professorville
on Jan 7, 2020 at 11:37 am
8 people like this

All of us need to be diplomats, and even if we disagree with a person's belief, a public expression of our disagreement needs to be diplomatic. We can disagree agreeably.

Council members spend a tremendous amount of effort and time in leading our beloved city. It deserves our recognition and our gratitude.

Congratulations to our new mayor and vice mayor.


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jan 7, 2020 at 11:41 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jan 7, 2020 at 11:41 am
4 people like this

I wanna point out the Gunn slant here: Adrian is a Gunn graduate correct? not that many Gunn grads have ever served as mayor; Yiaway Yehcomes to mind. He’s also one of the youngest I would think And one of the relatively few Jews. I’ve never voted for him but we have a rapport that is to say he listens to people.
Thom meanwhile is the parent of a gunn. volleyball champion.
Tom also plays basketball which if anyone knows me is part of a secret Cabal here that I pretend exists.
Class act by Alison for yielding. Her campaign manager by the way Mrs. Russell is the mother of a former gunn basketball star


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2020 at 11:53 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jan 7, 2020 at 11:53 am
59 people like this

I marvel at all "pro housing" claims and have come to hear them as nothing more than political gab aimed at gaining votes. In California, this happens at every level of government. Fine, Weiner, Newsome. Everyone is in favor of housing - and has been for enough years now that if the claims were sincere, the jobs:housing hole we are in wouldn't be as deep and wide as it is.

Filseth is exactly right about full mitigation and I thank him for his opinion piece.

This is Palo Alto where the word "affordable" simply doesn't pair with the word "housing". This is also where workforce housing for those with community-serving jobs is practically non-existent, where there isn't much in the way of available land for building, and where the combined cost of land + construction doesn't pencil out for "affordable" housing let alone BMR housing. Just this week we learned that the developer who owns Fry's has NO INTEREST in residential development there. Developers do what they do to make money, not to take a financial bath.

Bottom line? Talk's cheap; housing isn't. Next time you hear a politician say he or she favors housing, ask that person to get specific. And if the answer sounds like SB50, withhold your support. That legislation is not the answer. Filseth is right about that, too.




Joe
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 12:20 pm
Joe, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 12:20 pm
53 people like this

It's too soon to suggest that Fine be recalled -- but it's not too soon to begin to find a residentialist to replace Fine at the next election. Palo Alto needs him off of the dais as soon as possible.


Przemek Gardias
Community Center
on Jan 7, 2020 at 12:25 pm
Przemek Gardias, Community Center
on Jan 7, 2020 at 12:25 pm
6 people like this

Congratulations to the new mayor and vice-mayor. This continues meaningful contribution of Planning and Transportation commissioners to our town. Still awaiting Councilman Greg Tanaka to step up to the mayoral seat. Also hoping for new candidates from the PTC in the upcoming elections, like Doria Summa or past ones like Arthur Keller.

Happy New Year


Incivil discourse
College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2020 at 12:48 pm
Incivil discourse, College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2020 at 12:48 pm
14 people like this

I invite the PASZers to get there own houses in order before policing the speech of pro-housers. Apropros of nothing in the article, "Civil discourse" chose to go on the attack in this comments section in attempt to intimidate community members for engaging with a tweet he/she disagrees with. Team NO has never bothered to hold themselves to such a standard of civility.

Case in point: Councilmember Kou tweeted "Silicon Valley’s Useful Idiots". Her tweet was "liked" 5 times and the only Palo Altan to like the tweet was sitting Planning Commissioner Doria Summa. Calling people idiots: extremely productive, very civil. Big donor Helyn Maclean also bizzarely tweeted the Zillow estimate of a renter planning commission applicant's rent. Very normal, very healthy.

May I suggest to Bill Johnson that Twitter is a more appropriate forum on which to critique tweets?


Useful Idiots
Los Altos Hills
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:03 pm
Useful Idiots, Los Altos Hills
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:03 pm
26 people like this


Found it...Web Link

ROFL...truth hurts. Still laughing

excerpt "Tech elites paid for the rope that may hang them.

The term “useful idiot,” often credited to Vladimir Lenin, applies to people supporting a cause or movement injurious to their own self-interest. Nowhere is this more relevant these days than in Silicon Valley, a place dominated by brilliant technologists and marketers who often seem to have the social and political acuity of middle schoolers, as evidenced by their strong support for progressive Democrats poised to destroy the underpinnings of their businesses."


Resident
Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm
Resident, Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm
45 people like this

"Case in point: Councilmember Kou tweeted "Silicon Valley’s Useful Idiots"..."

@Uncivil discourse - you probably know this, but she was tweeting the title of a analysis of Silicon Valley politics, and "useful idiots" is a term of art, coined by V. Lenin, describing a certain kind of political advocate. Her comment wasn't insulting or ad hominem - as the subtitle explained, the article is about how "Tech elites paid for the rope that may hang them."

I've never known Lydia Kou to be anything but civil - I can't say that of everybody in Palo Alto politics.


Anon
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm
Anon, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:05 pm
31 people like this

Posted by Incivil discourse, a resident of College Terrace

>> I invite the PASZers to get there own houses in order before policing the speech of pro-housers. [...] Team NO has never bothered to hold themselves to such a standard of civility.

I'm all in favor of civility. I wouldn't call someone "pro-housing", however, who is actually supporting projects that add to the housing deficit wrt jobs by adding more office jobs than housing residents. I would call such a person "pro-office-space". And, IMHO, we don't need *any* more office jobs in Palo Alto.

Case in point: Councilmember Kou tweeted "Silicon Valley’s Useful Idiots".

I agree that Twitter users should use Twitter to critique other people's tweets, but, since you have posted your critique right here, I might as well point out that you clearly are not familiar with the (possibly Russian, now global) political jargon "useful idiot" ("Полезный идиот"). While derogatory, it has a specific meaning that you don't seem to be aware of. See: Web Link. Note that the same concept is also referred to as "useful innocent". And, I think that there are a lot of naive people around who support "housing" without reading the fine print. The devil is in the details.


What's up
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:35 pm
What's up, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:35 pm
5 people like this

What is with the Karen Holman comment at the end? Is it Mandatory that she get A certain amount of press coverage each year? Did she approach the weekly or was her comment solicited?


council politics
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:44 pm
council politics, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:44 pm
13 people like this

Applaud Alison for not continuing to supporti Liz, who true to form, was playing petty politics. That Alison graciously refused to continue to go along with this petty action speaks volumes about her professionalism and ethics. By doing so she also demonstrated her excellent judgement and potential to become an outstanding future vice mayor and mayor.


council politics
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:49 pm
council politics, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jan 7, 2020 at 2:49 pm
21 people like this

Karen Holman was quoted because she summed up succinctly what had just happened in a way that was complimentary to both parties.


council politics
Registered user
College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2020 at 3:03 pm
council politics, College Terrace
Registered user
on Jan 7, 2020 at 3:03 pm
39 people like this

In his speech Adrian reiterated his support of business. I hope that this is not a hint that he will support Sobrato's desire to include offices and ever more employees on the Fry's site, rather than 100% housing as currently zoned. Supporting ever more employees and digging our housing hole ever deeper undercuts his position as a housing advocate.


Fine is Pro-Development
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 7, 2020 at 3:11 pm
Fine is Pro-Development, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 7, 2020 at 3:11 pm
56 people like this

I agree that Fine is "pro-development" not "pro-housing." He voted to repeal the downtown office cap Web Link ; he voted against the city-wide office cap Web Link . So, one must conclude, he is happy to see more office space built, as well as housing. And since he presumably cares something about the housing to jobs ratio, that means we'll need a lot of both - hence, at the end, he is simply "pro-development" and "pro-density." Let's call it what it is - I have never heard him deny it.


mauricio
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 7, 2020 at 3:24 pm
mauricio, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jan 7, 2020 at 3:24 pm
59 people like this

It's impossible to be so aggressively pro commercial development, like the new mayor is, and be "pro housing" at the same time. It's an oxymoron. The new mayor is a hypocrite, bearing in mind he has also voted against renter protection. Some pro housing advocate he is. He is nothing but an embassador for the real estate development sector.


Resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 3:58 pm
Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 3:58 pm
31 people like this

I tend to think we need some council members with some common sense and with the residents' needs and concerns as top priority.

I don't think we need to have climate change issues, state and national issues as priorities for the upcoming year. We are going to be hearing enough about this in the run up to the election on all fronts and I think we should be putting our own city's issues higher.

My list would be traffic and parking, transportation, crime and safety, infrastructure and livability - in any order or combination. What matters to me most for our council to take to heart are the things that concern me as I leave my house and return later in the day. I want the priorities to show that and I want the election of the next council to reflect those priorities. It should be for those of us who live here not for those who want to live here or those who work here. We should be working to get those who work in town but live elsewhere to arrive here refreshed using a mixture of highways with efficient satellite parking and dedicated shuttles. We should be leading the way, not following like sheep. And we should be working with our neighbors not ignoring them. And we should be innovative. While we are at it, let's also get rid of VTA and look for something better.


He is Fine
College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2020 at 7:44 pm
He is Fine, College Terrace
on Jan 7, 2020 at 7:44 pm
6 people like this

And don't forget his partner: DANDY.


Another Giveaway
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 8:12 pm
Another Giveaway, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2020 at 8:12 pm
55 people like this

@Fine is Pro-Development,

I don't think Wiener and Fine are "pro-development" as much as they are "anti-suburb".

Wiener and Fine believe suburbs are at the root of all evil that afflicts our world... institutional racism, homophobia, gender inequality, homelessness, environmental injustice, antisemitism, pay inequality, global warming, etc.

Wiener and Fine are really just naive self-righteous teenagers trapped in the bodies of middle aged men.

To Wiener and Fine entering into a corrupt partnership of convenience with greedy real-estate developers, while simultaneously promoting BOTH office growth AND residential development is a minor sin justified by their righteous end goal of striking a blow to the root of all evil (suburbia).

Will Wiener and Fine ride their deal with the devil to higher office, or will the real-estate industry dump these useful-idiots as soon as they become inconvenient?


Anonymous
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 7, 2020 at 9:45 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 7, 2020 at 9:45 pm
52 people like this

Please contact your county reps, state reps to say NO on SB 50 in any form. SF and Sacramento politicians are close to dictating our zoning, to an incomprehensible and illogical degree. Everyone’s busy and working. These state politicians are not working in the interests of us, hardworking taxpayers.
I recommend getting involved ASAP.
Thank you Mayor Filseth for your representation of Palo Alto residents. I appreciated it.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 8, 2020 at 12:43 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Jan 8, 2020 at 12:43 am
30 people like this

"I invite the PASZers to get there own houses in order before policing the speech of pro-housers."

Pro-housers??

Worsening the jobs/housing imbalance is NOT pro-housing. Building under-parked hotels instead of housing is NOT pro-housing.

It's pro-GRIDLOCK. It's constant budget-busting SPENDING on questionable traffic studies, consultants, "improvements", commissions and projects.

Re PASZ, few of the thousands of people who signed the PASZ petition to cap office growth were PASZ or had even heard of PASZ. Many petition signers wanted a TOTAL cap on office development and criticized PASZ for not going far enough.

Another article said, "Fine also promised to bring a “21st-century attitude and thinking” to tackle the “simmering issues” of traffic on Embarcadero Road, the dearth of downtown parking and heavy commuter traffic choking city streets."

Okay then.

Does that mean he's finally going to reject the massive proposed expansions of Castillea and Stanford so Embarcadero doesn't get even worse? And/or that he's finally going to fix the Embarcadero / El Camino light that's been "simmering" for8 or 10 years? And/or he's finally going to get the garages updated to show available parking spaces?


Resident
Midtown
on Jan 8, 2020 at 2:10 pm
Resident, Midtown
on Jan 8, 2020 at 2:10 pm
15 people like this

"21st century thinking"= no more SOV's

They're fixated on this unworkable idea like its the holy grail


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jan 8, 2020 at 11:12 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jan 8, 2020 at 11:12 pm
12 people like this

It is interesting that Gennady calls Tanaka a fiscal hawk in that I think more fundamentally he is Palo Alto leadership's most coldly technocratic and Orwellian wonk. For example, he posts on his social media page video tapes he has made of citizens who come to his office hours (which oddly, take place in the former cafeteria kitchen of Cubberley Center). There are roughly 100 such tapes, including one he made of me in July, 2019. In that case, he edits out about 7 minutes including the very end of the meeting in which he looks at his watch, interrupts me mid-sentence, straps on a helmet, and skateboards away, up the corridors of the former high school (right past a sign that says NO SKATEBOARDING). Worse, the sentence that he couldn't care less about was me explaining that I had dropped out of the 2018 City Council election campaign because my mother was in hospice, and dying of Alzheimer's. Literally, my last words are "My mother..." Talk about heartless and clueless!
But useful to the real estate industry, no doubt.
.
Web Link


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2020 at 8:06 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jan 9, 2020 at 8:06 am
11 people like this

And further:

That he obviously edits these tapes calls to mind the current issue of “deep fakes”

Web Link

Also apropos of my assessment that he is Orwellian and cold technophile, my assessment of his start-up is that they use your cell phone to spy on you as you try to shop; to me this is very close to the classic case of Mussolini “bundling” of corporate and state interests also known as fascism and the surveillance state.


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2020 at 8:27 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jan 9, 2020 at 8:27 am
4 people like this

I want to say something hear about the discussion even buy our mayor about so-called two “camps”. Tim Gray and I were the two also ran candidates in the election that brought Berman in this back to local leader ship. Tim Gray and I were the two also ran candidates in the election that brought Berman in this back to local leadership we got 6000 and 7000 those each me without spending a dime on a campaign. We were the ones who resurrected the term “residentialist” — Actually I use the term “new residentialist”. It was a tip of the hat to the actual residential is from 1964 in at Pearson Tom Jordan and Emily Rentzel. They fight – unsuccessfully— to save 100 Palo Altans’ homes which were basically pulled out by the roots by Hewlett-Packard to create Oregon Expressway


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2020 at 8:40 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jan 9, 2020 at 8:40 am
3 people like this

(The feature timed me out before I could edit the above...)
So I’m saying that the New Residentialists and the original Residentialists — Enid, Tom Jordan and Emily— are also pro housing.
Maybe the two camps are The Representativists who listen to their neighbors and are for self- governance — as Kou would say —and The Nonrepresentativists who somehow get a lot of votes but listen mostly to the real estate industry.
Tom Dubois was mentored by Tom Jordan by the way; Jordan met with me in 2011 but through his weight behind Dubois understandably the following cycle.


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2020 at 8:43 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jan 9, 2020 at 8:43 am
7 people like this

(The feature timed me out before I could edit the above...)
So I’m saying that the New Residentialists and the original Residentialists — Enid, Tom Jordan and Emily— are also pro housing.
Maybe the two camps are The Representativists who listen to their neighbors and are for self- governance — as Kou would say —and The Nonrepresentativists who somehow get a lot of votes but listen mostly to the real estate industry.
Tom Dubois was mentored by Tom Jordan by the way; Jordan met with me in 2011 but threw his weight behind Dubois understandably the following cycle.


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on Jan 12, 2020 at 10:08 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on Jan 12, 2020 at 10:08 am
Like this comment

Anyhow good luck to Adrian
Web Link
It’s be fine.


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on Jan 12, 2020 at 10:12 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on Jan 12, 2020 at 10:12 am
Like this comment

This probably doesn’t go on this thread but I read somewhere that good vibrations at 534 Ramona now has a self service line


Mark Weiss
Downtown North
on Jan 12, 2020 at 10:23 am
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
on Jan 12, 2020 at 10:23 am
Like this comment

This probably doesn’t go on this thread but I read somewhere that good vibrations at 534 Ramona now has a self service line..
It’s all done by AI... With technology devised by Percolata a local start up


Civil Discourse
Downtown North
on Jan 19, 2020 at 9:18 pm
Civil Discourse, Downtown North
on Jan 19, 2020 at 9:18 pm
4 people like this

Planning Commissioner Cari Templeton just announced she is running for Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee. Perhaps she can address why she supports childish ad hominem attacks on fellow Democrats rather than substantive debate on the issues? It's important for voters to understand both the position and character of individuals in these positions. If you care about the future of the Democratic Party in California, I suggest you take look at her twitter account.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 19, 2020 at 10:12 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 19, 2020 at 10:12 pm
9 people like this

I think it is time that the Mayor and Vice Mayor are elected positions by the residents of PA - exclusively PA. The idea that a limited number of people - 7 are sitting around deciding who is going to drive the city train is no longer to our advantage. As you can see from the comments above there is a wide perspective as to qualifications and end results desired for the jobs.

The last thing most want - even the citizens of SF to which is his congressional district is located is a Weiner clone who is busy trying to breakdown the social structure of the city. My take on it - RV's on El Camino in PA - not other cities - is some decision that someone made that is a breakdown in our social structure. A number of decisions are being made which break down the effectiveness of the police department which further contributes to the breakdown of the social structure of the city. If that is a goal then we need to know that before any person takes office for the city.

Likewise if anyone thinks the taxpayers in the city are the last to get their requirements met then we need to know that upfront. The city taxes are not a bottomless pit that a few people can extort to support unwieldly and unpopular causes. Go no further than the streets of SF to observe how your tax dollars are being spent - no you did not get to vote on that.

I am a 4th generation California native and now resent what is happening in our state. And it is a few people who are making decisions that subvert an organized societal structure. We used to have hospitals for the mentally sick - Agnews in San Jose as example. Gone due to development. All manner of things happening that have upended the social structure and purposely so. And even worse is that some of these people come right out and say what they intend to do.
Time to start voting on these people and change up how we do business in this city.


Henriette
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2020 at 12:38 am
Henriette, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2020 at 12:38 am
10 people like this

@Resident 1,

I think you have put your finger on it, and it looks an awful lot like this Web Link


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 21, 2020 at 4:57 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 21, 2020 at 4:57 pm
8 people like this

Henriette - excellent You Tube on the growth of Marxism and how it spreads into current approaches in universities and media. Hope everyone takes a look at it. We can see in the bay area how this is being manifested and we recognize the people doing it. Thank you for sharing.


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