News

With new rules, City Council looks to tighten its grip over boards, commissions

Proposed handbook to lay out policies on removing commissioners, creating work plans

The Palo Alto City Council will consider on Oct. 19 new rules for appointing and removing commissioners. Embarcadero Media file photo by Veronica Weber.

For decades, Palo Alto's boards and commissions have fulfilled a variety of disparate functions: advising the City Council, gathering public input, serving as stepping stones for the politically ambitious and, at times, pushing back against council policies.

Now, the council is preparing to push back. After nearly a year of exploration, the council plans to approve on Monday a new set of rules for boards and commissions that will, among other things, establish term limits, lay out a process for removing commissioners, restrict interactions between commissioners and the media and give the council more power to shape the commissions' agendas.

The proposed changes follow a period in which the council has found itself at odds with several of its volunteer advisers. In June, a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission resigned in frustration after the council repeatedly delayed action on the commission's proposal to expand access to Foothills Park to nonresidents on a trial basis. The former commissioner, Ryan McCauley, wrote in his letter of resignation that he "cannot abide the Council majority's deliberate and politically calculated inaction."

The council has also been heavily criticized by former Human Relations Commission member Steven Lee, who concluded his term in August and who is now running for a council seat. Lee suggested in a June opinion piece that the council's decision to cut the number of seats on his commission from seven to five was an act of retaliation against him by the council "for speaking out against their status quo."

The council has also struggled in recent years to find answers to such questions as: How does one remove a commissioner? What kind of training should be provided to new members? Should subcommittees be allowed?

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support Palo Alto Online for as little as $5/month.

Learn more

The council's new handbook will answer these, and other, questions. But as the handbook makes clear, the new rules will also create a system in which commissioners have less autonomy to defy council wishes or to pursue projects that don't have explicit City Hall approval.

If adopted, the new rules would effectively end the current system in which each board and commission operates by its own rules and has a distinct identity. The Parks and Recreation Commission, for instance, has been relying heavily in recent years on ad hoc committees to proactively push particular projects, whether constructing new dog parks or expanding Foothills Park access. The Human Relations Commission has also emerged as a persistent advocate for more aggressive action, whether in revising police policies pertaining to excessive force or promoting projects that focus on diversity and inclusion.

The Planning and Transportation Commission has been more careful about hewing to council directions. It has also historically mirrored the council by splitting into two camps and engaging in lengthy, internal squabbles between those who tend to support more growth and those who favor more restrictions on development.

The council has been exploring changes to the commission system since last December, when then-Mayor Eric Filseth appointed an ad hoc committee to explore potential changes. The committee, which consists of Vice Mayor Tom DuBois and Councilwoman Alison Cormack, has since surveyed past and present commissioners, looked at examples from other cities and issued a set of recommendations, which the council plans to approve on Oct. 19.

Over the course of the survey, Cormack and DuBois found that the city has no clear procedures for creating work plans for commissions and defining the roles of city staff that support boards and commissions. In a February memo that summed up their findings, Cormack and DuBois noted that some respondents have expressed concern about the "lack of clarity or involvement from the City Council." They also pointed to concern about how "a few board members and commissioners have treated staff and their colleagues over the years."

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Sign up

"While this behavior appears to be quite rare, the ad hoc committee is concerned about the impact on our professional staff and the important work that they do with the boards and commissions," Cormack and DuBois wrote.

While the council currently doesn't have an established process for removing a commissioner, the new handbook makes it clear that the council can do so "at any time, for any reason" and that commissioners "are not entitled to any process in the event Council removes them from service."

"The City Council may remove a member by a majority vote of the City Council without cause, notice or hearing," the handbook states.

Absence from meetings would now constitute grounds for removal. Under a proposed policy, if a commissioner misses more than a third of the commission's meetings during a calendar year, the absences will be reported to the council. This may result in the commissioner's removal, the policy states.

"When reviewing commissioners for reappointment, attendance at commission meetings will be given significant consideration," the policy states.

The new rules also require each board and commission to submit an annual plan to the council, which would then vote to approve it. If a commission wants to add another priority, its chair would have to make a request to the council. Boards and commissions, the new policy states, "should refrain from expending their time and that of the staff liaison on items that have not been approved by the City Council."

Another proposed policy would limit board and commission members to two successive four-year terms. After that, the individual would not be eligible for appointment to the same board for at least two years after the last term's expiration.

The handbook also includes rules that restrict — though not entirely eliminate — the ability of commissioners to speak to the media. Even though commissioners are not employees of the city, the rulebook asks them to "route questions through the Chair in collaboration with the City's Chief Communications Officer." This will effectively give City Manager Ed Shikada's office a role in shaping how commissioners respond to media inquiries.

To justify this policy, the handbook states with no evidence that a commissioner's actions and comments are "often interpreted to be that of the entire (commission), the staff, or the City." But while the handbook suggests that statements to the media "should generally be avoided," it also provides guidelines for commissioners to use when addressing them. This includes clarifying when someone is speaking as a private resident (rather than in their capacity as a commissioner); not making promises that are binding on the commission, staff or the council; and avoiding speculations.

In addition to establishing new rules, the council also plans to continue its ongoing effort to pare down commission seats. Having recently disbanded the Library Advisory Commission and reduced the number of seats on both the Public Art Commission and the Human Relations Commission from five to seven, the council now plans to do the same to the Parks and Recreation Commission.

At the same time, the latest recommendations from staff and the ad hoc committee veer away from some of the most dramatic changes that the city had considered earlier this year. These include proposals to establish a Senior Commission; to split the Planning and Transportation Commission into two; and to adopt a system in which every council appoints one commissioner to the planning commission to represent his or her views.

Councilman Greg Tanaka, who supports having each council member appoint a planning commissioner, said at a Feb. 24 council meeting that doing so will increase the trust between the council and its most influential advisory panel. The council would then feel more comfortable adopting the commission's recommendations without rehashing all the issues that the panel had already debated.

"Until we are able to trust our commissions and board members, we will not necessarily take their recommendations," Tanaka said at the February meeting.

Cormack suggested at the time that adopting the new handbook would go a long way to addressing the problems that the council has experienced with its commissions. She noted, however, that these problems are relatively "small" and that most of the respondents to the ad hoc committee's survey reflected "how much pride people take in serving and how well most of our boards and commissions function."

"But that doesn't mean that just because we have norms, that we don't need some rules," Cormack said.

Craving a new voice in Peninsula dining?

Sign up for the Peninsula Foodist newsletter.

Sign up now

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

With new rules, City Council looks to tighten its grip over boards, commissions

Proposed handbook to lay out policies on removing commissioners, creating work plans

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Oct 14, 2020, 2:29 pm

For decades, Palo Alto's boards and commissions have fulfilled a variety of disparate functions: advising the City Council, gathering public input, serving as stepping stones for the politically ambitious and, at times, pushing back against council policies.

Now, the council is preparing to push back. After nearly a year of exploration, the council plans to approve on Monday a new set of rules for boards and commissions that will, among other things, establish term limits, lay out a process for removing commissioners, restrict interactions between commissioners and the media and give the council more power to shape the commissions' agendas.

The proposed changes follow a period in which the council has found itself at odds with several of its volunteer advisers. In June, a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission resigned in frustration after the council repeatedly delayed action on the commission's proposal to expand access to Foothills Park to nonresidents on a trial basis. The former commissioner, Ryan McCauley, wrote in his letter of resignation that he "cannot abide the Council majority's deliberate and politically calculated inaction."

The council has also been heavily criticized by former Human Relations Commission member Steven Lee, who concluded his term in August and who is now running for a council seat. Lee suggested in a June opinion piece that the council's decision to cut the number of seats on his commission from seven to five was an act of retaliation against him by the council "for speaking out against their status quo."

The council has also struggled in recent years to find answers to such questions as: How does one remove a commissioner? What kind of training should be provided to new members? Should subcommittees be allowed?

The council's new handbook will answer these, and other, questions. But as the handbook makes clear, the new rules will also create a system in which commissioners have less autonomy to defy council wishes or to pursue projects that don't have explicit City Hall approval.

If adopted, the new rules would effectively end the current system in which each board and commission operates by its own rules and has a distinct identity. The Parks and Recreation Commission, for instance, has been relying heavily in recent years on ad hoc committees to proactively push particular projects, whether constructing new dog parks or expanding Foothills Park access. The Human Relations Commission has also emerged as a persistent advocate for more aggressive action, whether in revising police policies pertaining to excessive force or promoting projects that focus on diversity and inclusion.

The Planning and Transportation Commission has been more careful about hewing to council directions. It has also historically mirrored the council by splitting into two camps and engaging in lengthy, internal squabbles between those who tend to support more growth and those who favor more restrictions on development.

The council has been exploring changes to the commission system since last December, when then-Mayor Eric Filseth appointed an ad hoc committee to explore potential changes. The committee, which consists of Vice Mayor Tom DuBois and Councilwoman Alison Cormack, has since surveyed past and present commissioners, looked at examples from other cities and issued a set of recommendations, which the council plans to approve on Oct. 19.

Over the course of the survey, Cormack and DuBois found that the city has no clear procedures for creating work plans for commissions and defining the roles of city staff that support boards and commissions. In a February memo that summed up their findings, Cormack and DuBois noted that some respondents have expressed concern about the "lack of clarity or involvement from the City Council." They also pointed to concern about how "a few board members and commissioners have treated staff and their colleagues over the years."

"While this behavior appears to be quite rare, the ad hoc committee is concerned about the impact on our professional staff and the important work that they do with the boards and commissions," Cormack and DuBois wrote.

While the council currently doesn't have an established process for removing a commissioner, the new handbook makes it clear that the council can do so "at any time, for any reason" and that commissioners "are not entitled to any process in the event Council removes them from service."

"The City Council may remove a member by a majority vote of the City Council without cause, notice or hearing," the handbook states.

Absence from meetings would now constitute grounds for removal. Under a proposed policy, if a commissioner misses more than a third of the commission's meetings during a calendar year, the absences will be reported to the council. This may result in the commissioner's removal, the policy states.

"When reviewing commissioners for reappointment, attendance at commission meetings will be given significant consideration," the policy states.

The new rules also require each board and commission to submit an annual plan to the council, which would then vote to approve it. If a commission wants to add another priority, its chair would have to make a request to the council. Boards and commissions, the new policy states, "should refrain from expending their time and that of the staff liaison on items that have not been approved by the City Council."

Another proposed policy would limit board and commission members to two successive four-year terms. After that, the individual would not be eligible for appointment to the same board for at least two years after the last term's expiration.

The handbook also includes rules that restrict — though not entirely eliminate — the ability of commissioners to speak to the media. Even though commissioners are not employees of the city, the rulebook asks them to "route questions through the Chair in collaboration with the City's Chief Communications Officer." This will effectively give City Manager Ed Shikada's office a role in shaping how commissioners respond to media inquiries.

To justify this policy, the handbook states with no evidence that a commissioner's actions and comments are "often interpreted to be that of the entire (commission), the staff, or the City." But while the handbook suggests that statements to the media "should generally be avoided," it also provides guidelines for commissioners to use when addressing them. This includes clarifying when someone is speaking as a private resident (rather than in their capacity as a commissioner); not making promises that are binding on the commission, staff or the council; and avoiding speculations.

In addition to establishing new rules, the council also plans to continue its ongoing effort to pare down commission seats. Having recently disbanded the Library Advisory Commission and reduced the number of seats on both the Public Art Commission and the Human Relations Commission from five to seven, the council now plans to do the same to the Parks and Recreation Commission.

At the same time, the latest recommendations from staff and the ad hoc committee veer away from some of the most dramatic changes that the city had considered earlier this year. These include proposals to establish a Senior Commission; to split the Planning and Transportation Commission into two; and to adopt a system in which every council appoints one commissioner to the planning commission to represent his or her views.

Councilman Greg Tanaka, who supports having each council member appoint a planning commissioner, said at a Feb. 24 council meeting that doing so will increase the trust between the council and its most influential advisory panel. The council would then feel more comfortable adopting the commission's recommendations without rehashing all the issues that the panel had already debated.

"Until we are able to trust our commissions and board members, we will not necessarily take their recommendations," Tanaka said at the February meeting.

Cormack suggested at the time that adopting the new handbook would go a long way to addressing the problems that the council has experienced with its commissions. She noted, however, that these problems are relatively "small" and that most of the respondents to the ad hoc committee's survey reflected "how much pride people take in serving and how well most of our boards and commissions function."

"But that doesn't mean that just because we have norms, that we don't need some rules," Cormack said.

Comments

accountability
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 14, 2020 at 5:03 pm
accountability, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 5:03 pm
20 people like this

"create a system in which commissioners have less autonomy to defy council wishes or to pursue projects that don't have explicit City Hall approval."

The major difference is council members are elected. These other positions are appointments of trust, made by council on our behalf. Unfortunately, in more recent years there seems to have been a misunderstanding by some council appointees as to their role. Behaving instead as if they have been given carte blanche to pursue their own personal agendas and goals and accountable to no one.


ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 14, 2020 at 7:10 pm
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 7:10 pm
19 people like this

I agree that trust is a critical quality when it comes to council members, commissioners and city staff. What exactly triggered this handbook? It appears to me as I have witnessed many planning and transportation commission meetings that a commissioner whose behavior was not professional is responsible. This commissioner has berated the public and even a fellow commissioner. The ninety year old Elaine Meyer used a word that Michael Alchek found objectionable -- cabal. I witnessed his shouting at her from the dais. The public stood to object to his unconscionable and irrational behavior. The chair, Ed Lauing, had to caution Alchek to cease and desist. Another issue that has in my opinion contributed to the spawning of the handbook is the 'garagegate.' Alchek used his position to his advantage regarding the city code. This was clearly an abuse of power and he got away with it. Why wasn't he made to adhere to zoning law like everybody else? I have witnessed bad behavior on the part of this individual but not other commissioners. Therefore I conclude that because the city attorney and the council were weak and unable to dismiss the offending commissioner they now want a handbook.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 15, 2020 at 10:35 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 10:35 am
9 people like this

During this summer when the PACC members were on vacation we had various people who serve on commissions opting to voice their positions on topics in the press. Some of those issues surfaced to the national press. And some of our local papers took up causes as major topics. This felt like a set-up. A take-over. A coupe. Coercion.
Some of these people are running for office so they were in effect using taxpayer money and time to front their political asperations and goals.

Generally we appreciate people who serve on commissions as they are providing their advice on many topics in which they have expertise. That does not mean that every piece of advice they provide has to be acted on.

In every major company there are rules concerning venting company business to the press. There are specific offices that are designated for that discussion of management direction.

There is a process in city government where a topic or issue is reviewed with some conclusions that are then provided to the city manager and PACC for their review and discussion, and action if required. Since it appears that that "normal" execution and practice has been trampled on suggest that an agreement be executed by each person who serves on a commission to follow a specific, itemized set of principles that they will follow in the process of their contribution of service. In that manner we will not end up with a city who is asking "who is in charge?" And of course since most resolutions require some form financing a signature by the finance staff that the budget can accommodate the end result of the decision. We, as a city, cannot have our city budget co-opted by special interests acting on their interests.


Barron Park dad
Registered user
Barron Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 12:27 pm
Barron Park dad, Barron Park
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 12:27 pm
15 people like this

This proposed change to give the City Council more power over the Boards & Commissions is fine. Why? Because the people elected the City Council members, and thus we expect them to be accountable. Board and Commission members whom we did not elect and thus not accountable to the people therefore SHOULD BE accountable to the City Council.


Observer
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 15, 2020 at 1:42 pm
Observer, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 1:42 pm
15 people like this

The PACC might want to also examine certain similar behavior - speaking or writing as an individual purporting to represent a council consensus - by members of the group. I recall two recent instances of Mayor Fine utilizing city stationery to communicate positions on issues (an example being advocacy for SB50). There should be some consequences for such transgressions by council members in addition to commission members.


Paly02
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:24 pm
Paly02, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 2:24 pm
8 people like this

After getting our city in trouble twice with the ACLU over the past few months, why not infringe upon free speech again? With respect, not everything should go through the City Manager. The City Manager already controls City Council communication with the police department, which is problematic for police reform. Why should the City Manager now also control communication between Commission members and the media?


Problematic Commissioners
Registered user
Community Center
on Oct 15, 2020 at 4:07 pm
Problematic Commissioners, Community Center
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 4:07 pm
16 people like this

Or you could have just fired Alcheck for 'garagegate' and his heavy handed attempts to further what was best for himself and his agenda including yelling at others. Steven Lee was another particularly aggressive (yelling and making others cry) commissioner who should have been fired before he wrote 'its all about me' editorial to the Palo Alto Weekly.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 15, 2020 at 4:20 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 4:20 pm
2 people like this

Comments above - when the city accepts a person to contribute their time on a commission they are serving the city as an organization contributor - not themselves - one hopes. To accept a position on a commission then do an end run around the city management is contrary to every norm of organizations. We expect our city to run in an organized manner with respect to overall management. This was not a good summer with groups trying to undermine the city in general and that is NOT APPRECIATED.


Mark Weiss
Registered user
Downtown North
on Oct 15, 2020 at 5:25 pm
Mark Weiss, Downtown North
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 5:25 pm
4 people like this

I’d eliminate the Chief Communication Officer if their the one who wrote this thing, rather than try to handcuff or hamstring the commissioners.
But more fundamentally I’m concerned about the trend away from a robust Democracy, with debate and dissent.
Who told Ed and Adrian to do this?
I think Alchek is a red herring or stalking horse.
Interview 40 people who’ve applied to commissions, not just the 60 recent “BCC members” who replied to a poll.
Palo Alto doesn’t want its microcosm of “a more perfect Union”.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 15, 2020 at 9:27 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2020 at 9:27 pm
Like this comment

People make comments - Mark - what is the end result of these actions? If people are wheeling and dealing in their own sphere of influence and usurping authority for any one issue then where are they going with their actions. Get to the end result and the COST of that end result.
Example - FHP - people usurping the city budget to support higher maintenance cost, and personnel cost with no regard for what in the budget is going to be eliminated. We had a local judge who threatened legal action - read coercion - and now we have the ACLU frothing at the mouth. So now the city budget has been usurped again for even higher costs and now we are sidelined to address the legal actions.

That is your end result of people who basically have no fiscal responsibility trying to manipulate the city budget to their own ends. Ans it is unclear if they have any fiscal knowledge to even understand what the impact is of their actions.


Simple Guideline
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2020 at 7:07 am
Simple Guideline, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 16, 2020 at 7:07 am
7 people like this

There is one simple guidleline that respects the free speech rights of volunteer Commissioners. They just need to do as most do now - state they are speaking for themselves and not as a Commissioner on issues.

Surely that is sufficient, and surely staff nor council members don't presume to silence Commissioners altogether. If they do, they are looking at a lawsuit.

Commissioners need to be given real training on how to conduct good meetings, that the Chair must reign in uncivil behavior by Commissioners, and the public who rudely address Commissioners at times. And City Attorney's often provide weak or no support at all at meetings. This needs to change.

Council needs to reign in their own conduct - council member Cormack runs amok constantly, knowing no boundries when a liason to Commissions, or when taking over the Cubberley community process at the 11th hour (even now creating a community group to carry on her plans there).

There does need to be a some minimal process and cause to dismiss a Commissioner, otherwise it can be at political whim.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 16, 2020 at 7:54 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 16, 2020 at 7:54 am
2 people like this

Love the comment above - "looking at a law suit". PA is a small suburban city in a county that includes San Jose - the major city in the county. PA's history revolves around SU and the spin-off of technology that results from the proximity to the university. PA has a longer history than many of the surrounding suburban cities that were fields of fruit trees and ground level crops. Most companies that had a birth in this city have moved on to other surrounding cities because those cities have the available land for large production facilities and available housing. That results in PA school closures as families with school age children move out to the newer, cheaper housing where the emerging companies are building large facilities.

That reduces the tax base of this city. We have "commissioners" who have inflated their importance to the region in general who are attempting to coopt this cities budget to support their political agenda. The emergence of technology in this small suburban city which then moves outward they somehow translate into their importance.

So they will threaten a law suit if the city does not kowtow to their agenda? We did not vote for these people and they are not on the city payroll. If their agenda is bigger then this city then they need to move out to a larger city where they can usurp that cities budget. And their attempts to coopt this cities resources are not appreciated. Those attempts become very visible. Possibly they work for companies who need housing for their employees and we are the target for those companies.

Those companies need to focus on how they can locate subsidiary locations in cheaper, inner state locations. Proximity to universities usually work well. Lots now in the east bay and inner state locations.


mxhr
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Oct 17, 2020 at 7:36 pm
mxhr, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Oct 17, 2020 at 7:36 pm
3 people like this

Speaking truth to power always earns the ire of the powerful. Not sure this effort to "reign in" the appointees is anything but an effort to suppress those on the commissions and boards that speak for many of us in Palo Alto. And enough already with the Alcheck nonsense.

This is verbatim the minutes from the meeting where Alcheck mentioned Elaine Meyer (no edits). Read for yourself. The comments above are clearly uninformed. It's mind-boggling to me how often people refer to this specific example as proof of Alcheck's unprofessionalism. Educate yourself and read up.

PTC Meeting July 25, 2018

"Commissioner Alcheck: Ok that’s sort of what I understood the ballot measure to say. Ok, so I’m going to… are you setting time limits or are we… ok, so I’m going to… I’m just going to address one thing about process real quick. I’m glad Elaine Miller that you joined us tonight. I was hoping I’d have an opportunity to meet you. I want you to know that when I saw your Next-Door post on Monday at 4 because I get the roundup, I was a little disappointed. Because you wrote and I’ll quote it because I think it’s worth… that we all work setting the tone here, which is you said that the development cabal on the PTC is concerned about the Citizens Initiative to restrain office growth will pass. And so, the Planning Commission has scheduled a discussion to raise the Downtown Cap to preempt the election and the expression of the citizen’s voice. I think it’s safe to assume that when you say development cabal you are referring to some nefarious group of which you believe I am a member. And if that’s the case I just… I want you to know that none of the Commissioners before, all of which are volunteers, have any oversight or influence on agendizing an item like the one before you… before us tonight. In fact, I had only begun and had not yet finished reviewing this item when I saw your post and so I just hope that everybody knows that there’s no effort… the cabal members are… did not ask Staff to bring this forward. And you know you may not realize it but on our Commission’s website my contact information is provided and I really wish you’d called me before suggesting that somehow there was nefarious intent."

If that's the sort of comment that you find objectionable, then we should talk more about some of the things your favorite council members have said in the last 6 months alone. Oh and don't get me started on the nonsense that is carport-gate. The only fact about that story is that the FPPC didn't pursue an investigation. Alchek's accusers call that a conspiracy or it could just be that the FPPC didn't think there was anything ethically wrong. I guess it depends where you stand on conspiracy theories.

Support those who speak truth to power. Vote for the progressives!


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 18, 2020 at 11:27 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 18, 2020 at 11:27 am
Like this comment

Excellent article today - 10/18 in the Bay Area News group (SJM) Business Section - "Match your personality type to the right job." This gives a breakdown of the Myers-Briggs test that many large companies use to best position their employees in the right jobs to develop career paths for their employees. How people function in general and how they solve problems.

Companies know that there are people who are excellent in selling a product, and then there are people who are excellent in actually managing how to get that product produced. People who have skill sets in accounting, marketing, engineering, management, etc. Check this out - you will find yourself and how you project yourself in life. Introvert? Extrovert? Organized?, etc.

Working on teams means that you all recognize that everyone is not going to approach any topic in the same way. But each person on the team can bring a perspective for the future success of the endeavor.

The topics for the PACC encounter every variable out there. So a suggestion - "speak truth to power" only means something to a portion of the audience. Another portion of the audience views that as gibberish and wants to know specific facts, figures, projections of how any activity will be managed, and how much will this cost. And where is the money coming from.

The people who threaten law suits have an approach that is totally different then other participants who are looking for other type information - how to actually execute an effort successfully. Law suits do not work well for that type.

Worth your time to find out who you are and how that is working for you.

Other note of interest - Sunnyvale is the second biggest city in Santa Clara County. They are going to elect their mayor rather then let the city council chose a mayor. Based on the type of comments we are seeing I think that is a good move for this city - we have obvious disagreements on where this city is suppose to be going.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 19, 2020 at 4:20 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2020 at 4:20 pm
Like this comment

Sorry MXHR - maybe people get ired by the "truth to power" comment because it does not identify a specific problem and a specific solution. It does not lay out a case for what ever a person is talking about. The comment - in itself - means nothing other then the person has a gripe. So identify the gripe with specific terms and a solution that you are looking for.

Possibly the person making that statement does not have a proper response so think that statement is just a delaying tactic to a definite resolution to a problem. It is an obfuscation to resolution. Maybe that is the goal? In these political times people are posturing and positioning with no stated end result in mind. Just trying out their current desire to be an "activist" and join the political fray.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.