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Editorial: Veenker, Lauing, Lythcott-Haims for Palo Alto City Council

With no incumbents running, it's a wide open race for three seats

From left, Palo Alto City Council candidates Vicki Veenker, Ed Lauing and Julie Lythcott-Haims. Photos by Magali Gauthier.

Two years ago, with the city largely shut down during the frightening pre-vaccine days of the pandemic and most city residents sticking close to home, the 2020 Palo Alto City Council election attracted the most diverse group of 10 candidates in history, including two incumbents, for four available seats.

The campaign focused on the city's COVID-19 response, racial justice, police reform, housing affordability and whether the City Council was exercising adequate oversight of City Manager Ed Shikada and his staff. (Read our 2020 endorsement editorial for more analysis of the candidates and issues back then.)

This year, it's a smaller field of seven candidates but with no incumbents. Three are currently serving on city commissions (Lauing, Summa and Forssell), one (Veenker) previously ran unsuccessfully for state Assembly, and three have no prior electoral or government experience (Lythcott-Haims, Comsa and Hamachek.)

This is only the third time in Palo Alto history (the last being in 2007) when no incumbent was on the ballot, in part because of the larger size of previous councils. With the current smaller, seven-member council, only three seats are up for election this year. Councilmembers Tom Dubois and Eric Filseth are termed out after serving for eight years and Alison Cormack chose not to seek reelection to a second term.

The last four years have seen a calming of political divisions on the council and, we believe, in the community. With strong commercial development caps and other restrictions now in place, and with a growing consensus that the city's biggest challenge is how and where, not whether, to create more affordable housing, the current council has seen little of the bickering and political jockeying so common in years past. With the abundance of empty office space and the likelihood that remote working will continue for the foreseeable future, combined with the pressures and requirements the state has placed on the city to get more housing built, the overly simplistic growth/no growth debate has subsided. And there is widespread agreement that new housing growth must not be offset by a growth in jobs.

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Strikingly, the seven candidates offer mostly nuanced differences over the important issues of housing, grade crossings, sustainability and public safety. "Area plans," in which specific areas of the city are studied and zoning changes adopted that allow for increased density, and in some cases, building heights that go beyond the current 50-foot height limit, while also spelling out desired amenities are being promoted by every candidate.

The similarity of views means voters must focus more on the qualities each candidate will bring to the council and who is best suited to crafting the policies residents will find the most compatible with community values and character.

The council's biggest challenge may be to learn to operate at a quicker pace of decision making. No one was happy with the six years it took for a decision on the Castilleja School redevelopment application, and inaction on the future of the Cubberley Community Center and long, drawn-out debate over rail crossings, among other issues, led to public frustration with their government. Too many issues get bogged down for years, causing all but the most patient and committed homeowners to tune out, while virtually excluding renters from the conversation. That must change, as must the inclination of past councils to keep striving for perfect solutions when none exist.

On the bright side, the council has approved multiple housing projects and incentives to attract more, giving hope that faster progress can and will be made to address the housing needs, especially for low and very low income residents who are valued service workers in our community.

With some major exceptions and misjudgments, such as City Manager Ed Shikada's improper use of a COVID-19 emergency powers resolution to declare a citywide curfew and his police chief's unilateral decision to begin encrypting all radio communications, the staff and council did a commendable job of navigating through the darkest days of the pandemic. Turnover, staff shortages, budget cuts and remote working has taken its toll, however, and among the council and staff priorities must be to stabilize the city workforce.

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With the pandemic response largely behind us, we're also hoping to see the three new members of the council join the efforts being made by Mayor Pat Burt, Vice Mayor Lydia Kou and Councilmember Greer Stone to increase transparency and the council's oversight of the city manager.

As our recommendations show, our interest is in selecting candidates for their varied talents, perspectives, diversity and ability to communicate effectively. While the community discussion around housing has evolved, other major issues loom: climate-action programs that require supersizing the capacity of the city's electrical grid, the ambitious Fiber to the Premises plan to provide high-speed internet access across the city, and the need to get out in front of the growing infrastructure pains that will come with the addition of thousands of new residences. The seven council members must be able to work together quickly and seamlessly to turn these and other big city visions into effective implementation that anticipates and prevents unintended consequences.

Behind our picks: collaboration skills, experience and inclusion

Our top two choices are Vicki Veenker and Ed Lauing. Veenker is a former patent litigation attorney turned professional mediator who has brought opposing sides together on issues as complex as health care and trade policy, while working at the local level to support the underserved. She was narrowly defeated by Marc Berman in the 2016 state Assembly race, after which she founded Sibling Cities USA, a nonprofit that aims to pair up similarly sized cities in different parts of the country to share best practices and perspectives on issues in common. A 30-year resident of Palo Alto, she served for 20 years on the board of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, which represented residents of the Buena Vista mobile home park. Veenker believes her mediation and policy expertise will help the city to get "unstuck and move forward" on incentives for more affordable housing development, a decision on rail crossings and the future of Cubberley as a south Palo Alto community center. Her collaboration and mediation skills and focus on outcomes will add immensely to the collective skill set of the current council.

In 2020 Ed Lauing narrowly missed being elected to the council, finishing a close fifth behind incumbent Greg Tanaka. His 15 years of service on the Planning and Transportation Commission (currently as chair) and on the Parks and Recreation Commission have given him the deepest familiarity on local issues of any of the candidates. With planning and zoning always a large part of the council's work, Lauing will be a critical resource and leader in addressing all the key land use and transportation issues facing the community. He has repeatedly demonstrated on the planning commission his ability to calmly, unemotionally and patiently stay focused on the task at hand and design a fair outcome, even when dealing with a divided community, such as he did with the Castilleja project.

He co-chairs the Housing Element Working Group, a citizens' group that created a plan for meeting the state mandate to plan for 6,086 new housing units by 2031. As an executive recruiter and former CEO of three software companies, Lauing will bring valuable corporate leadership and HR experience as the council undertakes to improve city staff performance and build more accountability into the council-manager relationship.

Our choice for the third council seat came down to Lisa Forssell and Julie Lythcott-Haims. Forssell is a Stanford University-educated computer scientist turned creative and technical director at Pixar Animation Studios. She is now on the design team at Apple. She has served on Palo Alto's Utilities Advisory Commission for the last six years and has become passionate about sustainability, renewable energy projects and the ultimate conversion from natural gas to an all-electric utility system. If elected to the council, her utility commission experience and knowledge would immediately make her the leader on city policies on sustainability and climate change.

Lythcott-Haims has lived or worked in Palo Alto for almost 30 years, first as an attorney, then as a Stanford administrator and dean of freshmen. In addition to degrees from Stanford and Harvard University, she earned an MFA in writing and has authored three nonfiction books since 2015. She has served on many local nonprofit boards and advisory groups, including the Foundation for a College Education, YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula, Palo Alto Community Fund, Partners in Education and the Community Working Group. She is a nationally recognized speaker and, by her own description, a "pretty agressive liberal Democrat." She is an unabashed advocate for racial justice and equity and takes every opportunity to prod others into honest discussions about race, discrimination and how to create a more just society.

Passionate advocates like Lythcott-Haims, whose interests in equity and human relations reach well beyond her hometown, rarely offer themselves up as candidates for local office. When they do, we think they should be supported. Palo Altans have the chance to elect a second woman of color to the city council who has repeatedly shown her dedication to this community and to improving the lives of struggling residents, whether young people in need of mental health services or people of color experiencing discrimination in housing, policing or employment. She is uniquely suited to educate her council colleagues, staff and the public about the implicit bias that courses through city institutions and practices and propose ways to correct it.

We hope Forssell, if unsuccessful, returns in two years to run again. She'll make an even better candidate after two more years of service on the Utilities Advisory Commission. But we don't think voters should pass up the opportunity to elect Lythcott-Haims while she is motivated to serve Palo Alto.

The remaining three candidates are Planning Commissioner Doria Summa, Realtor Alex Comsa and software engineer Brian Hamachek. Summa has been a Palo Alto resident for more than 35 years and a neighborhood leader and has served on the Planning and Transportation Commission for the last five years. She is a fierce defender of neighborhood interests and as a result is frequently the sole dissenter on projects before the commission. We admire her advocacy but don't believe she will be as effective at building consensus on the council as her colleague, Ed Lauing.

Alex Comsa's creative vision for Palo Alto is for large, higher density housing projects at city-owned locations such as the Palo Alto Airport and city parking lots and on Stanford land, including at Stanford Shopping Center. He points out that the city has no one with real estate expertise on either the council or city staff and is therefore ill-equipped to negotiate with developers over development project proposals. We agree but don't believe the council is the best place for such expertise.

As a born and raised Palo Altan, software engineer Brian Hamachek has focused his campaign on preserving the character of the city. He was inspired to run because he is a neighbor of Castilleja School who felt "bullied" and ignored by the school during its effort to gain city approval of its redevelopment plan. He believes developers have too much power in the city. He applied unsuccessfully three times to serve on the Planning and Transportation Commission, most recently in 2016.

We recommend voters support Vicki Veenker, Ed Lauing and Julie Lythcott-Haims for Palo Alto City Council.

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Editorial: Veenker, Lauing, Lythcott-Haims for Palo Alto City Council

With no incumbents running, it's a wide open race for three seats

by Palo Alto Weekly editorial board / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Oct 7, 2022, 6:51 am

Two years ago, with the city largely shut down during the frightening pre-vaccine days of the pandemic and most city residents sticking close to home, the 2020 Palo Alto City Council election attracted the most diverse group of 10 candidates in history, including two incumbents, for four available seats.

The campaign focused on the city's COVID-19 response, racial justice, police reform, housing affordability and whether the City Council was exercising adequate oversight of City Manager Ed Shikada and his staff. (Read our 2020 endorsement editorial for more analysis of the candidates and issues back then.)

This year, it's a smaller field of seven candidates but with no incumbents. Three are currently serving on city commissions (Lauing, Summa and Forssell), one (Veenker) previously ran unsuccessfully for state Assembly, and three have no prior electoral or government experience (Lythcott-Haims, Comsa and Hamachek.)

This is only the third time in Palo Alto history (the last being in 2007) when no incumbent was on the ballot, in part because of the larger size of previous councils. With the current smaller, seven-member council, only three seats are up for election this year. Councilmembers Tom Dubois and Eric Filseth are termed out after serving for eight years and Alison Cormack chose not to seek reelection to a second term.

The last four years have seen a calming of political divisions on the council and, we believe, in the community. With strong commercial development caps and other restrictions now in place, and with a growing consensus that the city's biggest challenge is how and where, not whether, to create more affordable housing, the current council has seen little of the bickering and political jockeying so common in years past. With the abundance of empty office space and the likelihood that remote working will continue for the foreseeable future, combined with the pressures and requirements the state has placed on the city to get more housing built, the overly simplistic growth/no growth debate has subsided. And there is widespread agreement that new housing growth must not be offset by a growth in jobs.

Strikingly, the seven candidates offer mostly nuanced differences over the important issues of housing, grade crossings, sustainability and public safety. "Area plans," in which specific areas of the city are studied and zoning changes adopted that allow for increased density, and in some cases, building heights that go beyond the current 50-foot height limit, while also spelling out desired amenities are being promoted by every candidate.

The similarity of views means voters must focus more on the qualities each candidate will bring to the council and who is best suited to crafting the policies residents will find the most compatible with community values and character.

The council's biggest challenge may be to learn to operate at a quicker pace of decision making. No one was happy with the six years it took for a decision on the Castilleja School redevelopment application, and inaction on the future of the Cubberley Community Center and long, drawn-out debate over rail crossings, among other issues, led to public frustration with their government. Too many issues get bogged down for years, causing all but the most patient and committed homeowners to tune out, while virtually excluding renters from the conversation. That must change, as must the inclination of past councils to keep striving for perfect solutions when none exist.

On the bright side, the council has approved multiple housing projects and incentives to attract more, giving hope that faster progress can and will be made to address the housing needs, especially for low and very low income residents who are valued service workers in our community.

With some major exceptions and misjudgments, such as City Manager Ed Shikada's improper use of a COVID-19 emergency powers resolution to declare a citywide curfew and his police chief's unilateral decision to begin encrypting all radio communications, the staff and council did a commendable job of navigating through the darkest days of the pandemic. Turnover, staff shortages, budget cuts and remote working has taken its toll, however, and among the council and staff priorities must be to stabilize the city workforce.

With the pandemic response largely behind us, we're also hoping to see the three new members of the council join the efforts being made by Mayor Pat Burt, Vice Mayor Lydia Kou and Councilmember Greer Stone to increase transparency and the council's oversight of the city manager.

As our recommendations show, our interest is in selecting candidates for their varied talents, perspectives, diversity and ability to communicate effectively. While the community discussion around housing has evolved, other major issues loom: climate-action programs that require supersizing the capacity of the city's electrical grid, the ambitious Fiber to the Premises plan to provide high-speed internet access across the city, and the need to get out in front of the growing infrastructure pains that will come with the addition of thousands of new residences. The seven council members must be able to work together quickly and seamlessly to turn these and other big city visions into effective implementation that anticipates and prevents unintended consequences.

Behind our picks: collaboration skills, experience and inclusion

Our top two choices are Vicki Veenker and Ed Lauing. Veenker is a former patent litigation attorney turned professional mediator who has brought opposing sides together on issues as complex as health care and trade policy, while working at the local level to support the underserved. She was narrowly defeated by Marc Berman in the 2016 state Assembly race, after which she founded Sibling Cities USA, a nonprofit that aims to pair up similarly sized cities in different parts of the country to share best practices and perspectives on issues in common. A 30-year resident of Palo Alto, she served for 20 years on the board of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, which represented residents of the Buena Vista mobile home park. Veenker believes her mediation and policy expertise will help the city to get "unstuck and move forward" on incentives for more affordable housing development, a decision on rail crossings and the future of Cubberley as a south Palo Alto community center. Her collaboration and mediation skills and focus on outcomes will add immensely to the collective skill set of the current council.

In 2020 Ed Lauing narrowly missed being elected to the council, finishing a close fifth behind incumbent Greg Tanaka. His 15 years of service on the Planning and Transportation Commission (currently as chair) and on the Parks and Recreation Commission have given him the deepest familiarity on local issues of any of the candidates. With planning and zoning always a large part of the council's work, Lauing will be a critical resource and leader in addressing all the key land use and transportation issues facing the community. He has repeatedly demonstrated on the planning commission his ability to calmly, unemotionally and patiently stay focused on the task at hand and design a fair outcome, even when dealing with a divided community, such as he did with the Castilleja project.

He co-chairs the Housing Element Working Group, a citizens' group that created a plan for meeting the state mandate to plan for 6,086 new housing units by 2031. As an executive recruiter and former CEO of three software companies, Lauing will bring valuable corporate leadership and HR experience as the council undertakes to improve city staff performance and build more accountability into the council-manager relationship.

Our choice for the third council seat came down to Lisa Forssell and Julie Lythcott-Haims. Forssell is a Stanford University-educated computer scientist turned creative and technical director at Pixar Animation Studios. She is now on the design team at Apple. She has served on Palo Alto's Utilities Advisory Commission for the last six years and has become passionate about sustainability, renewable energy projects and the ultimate conversion from natural gas to an all-electric utility system. If elected to the council, her utility commission experience and knowledge would immediately make her the leader on city policies on sustainability and climate change.

Lythcott-Haims has lived or worked in Palo Alto for almost 30 years, first as an attorney, then as a Stanford administrator and dean of freshmen. In addition to degrees from Stanford and Harvard University, she earned an MFA in writing and has authored three nonfiction books since 2015. She has served on many local nonprofit boards and advisory groups, including the Foundation for a College Education, YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula, Palo Alto Community Fund, Partners in Education and the Community Working Group. She is a nationally recognized speaker and, by her own description, a "pretty agressive liberal Democrat." She is an unabashed advocate for racial justice and equity and takes every opportunity to prod others into honest discussions about race, discrimination and how to create a more just society.

Passionate advocates like Lythcott-Haims, whose interests in equity and human relations reach well beyond her hometown, rarely offer themselves up as candidates for local office. When they do, we think they should be supported. Palo Altans have the chance to elect a second woman of color to the city council who has repeatedly shown her dedication to this community and to improving the lives of struggling residents, whether young people in need of mental health services or people of color experiencing discrimination in housing, policing or employment. She is uniquely suited to educate her council colleagues, staff and the public about the implicit bias that courses through city institutions and practices and propose ways to correct it.

We hope Forssell, if unsuccessful, returns in two years to run again. She'll make an even better candidate after two more years of service on the Utilities Advisory Commission. But we don't think voters should pass up the opportunity to elect Lythcott-Haims while she is motivated to serve Palo Alto.

The remaining three candidates are Planning Commissioner Doria Summa, Realtor Alex Comsa and software engineer Brian Hamachek. Summa has been a Palo Alto resident for more than 35 years and a neighborhood leader and has served on the Planning and Transportation Commission for the last five years. She is a fierce defender of neighborhood interests and as a result is frequently the sole dissenter on projects before the commission. We admire her advocacy but don't believe she will be as effective at building consensus on the council as her colleague, Ed Lauing.

Alex Comsa's creative vision for Palo Alto is for large, higher density housing projects at city-owned locations such as the Palo Alto Airport and city parking lots and on Stanford land, including at Stanford Shopping Center. He points out that the city has no one with real estate expertise on either the council or city staff and is therefore ill-equipped to negotiate with developers over development project proposals. We agree but don't believe the council is the best place for such expertise.

As a born and raised Palo Altan, software engineer Brian Hamachek has focused his campaign on preserving the character of the city. He was inspired to run because he is a neighbor of Castilleja School who felt "bullied" and ignored by the school during its effort to gain city approval of its redevelopment plan. He believes developers have too much power in the city. He applied unsuccessfully three times to serve on the Planning and Transportation Commission, most recently in 2016.

We recommend voters support Vicki Veenker, Ed Lauing and Julie Lythcott-Haims for Palo Alto City Council.

Comments

jvpadojino
Registered user
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Oct 7, 2022 at 8:21 am
jvpadojino, digital editor of Palo Alto Online
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 8:21 am

The following comment was originally posted by PaloAltoVoter on Oct. 7:

Doria Summa’s dedication and hard work for our community compared to someone whos been uninvolved locally and says they want density in the middle of our neighborhoods and that they love SB9 (which Julie has said) makes my choice clear. I’m voting for Summa, Lauing and Veenker.


jvpadojino
Registered user
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Oct 7, 2022 at 8:22 am
jvpadojino, digital editor of Palo Alto Online
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 8:22 am

The following comment was originally posted by resident3 on Oct. 7:

This Editorial is pretty tone deaf making an assumption that everything is about housing but given that it’s their first opinion for as long as I can remember, maybe they are out of practice. The “collaborator” issue or shortening decision making time or meetings (ie reducing Council size from 9 to 7) has never helped because minds are usually made up - what wastes our time is when they are learning on the job. Picking an author and an attorney without any relevant experience (on housing for that matter) is irresponsible at this juncture when the City has made many pre-Covid miscalculations. I found the Diana Diamond analysis much more “real” with a vote for Summa, Lauing and Venkeer and while 3 will eventually get elected, I hope people will vote only for those they really know.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 7, 2022 at 8:24 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 8:24 am

I too find Diana Diamond's endorsements much more credible Several of us we betting last night on PAO's likely picks in view of their past endorsements and we called it. Unfortunately/

Congratulations on endorsing Julie who has the most donations from outside Palo Alto.

Also congrats for endorsing two of the "Three Great Candidates" whose daily saturation ads are paid for a "Committee to Support" claiming to have "no ties to a candidate or a campaign organization" without investigating who's paying big bucks for all those 1/2 page ads.

Great that PAO supports candidates backed by unknown groups whose interests the candidates will serve instead of Palo Altans but unfortunately typical of the history of backing slates like "The Kniss Kids" favoring commercial developers over residents so we're over-run with commuters 4:1 and now are paying the price in jobs-based housing mandates. Remind me again why PA's business-based economy has been slower to recover than surrounding comnunities

Here's a link to Diamond's endorsement which is well worth reading along with the comments Web Link


Anon123456
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 7, 2022 at 9:03 am
Anon123456, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 9:03 am

I support Forssell and Veenker, because I believe they know how to build coalitions and get things done. Lauing and Summa are supported by NIMBY groups like "Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning", enough said. Note that you do not have to vote 3 candidates even though you are allowed to, not voting for your 3rd choice means better chances for your 1st and 2nd choices to win.


Citizen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 7, 2022 at 9:36 am
Citizen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 9:36 am

Endorsing Julie LH is to throw a sop to the 'equity' etc movement.


Citizen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 7, 2022 at 9:41 am
Citizen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 9:41 am
Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 7, 2022 at 10:03 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 10:03 am

@Anon123456m, do you mean deep-pocketed NIMBY's like Mark Andreesen and his wife who fund the YIMBY's et al but who were recently caught protesting Atherton City Council's proposal to build multi-family housing in their fair city near their $16.600,000 Atherton manse?

The hypocrisy of their YES In YOUR BACK YARD but Never Near Mine has been in the national business press for weeks, showing just how meaningless labels like YIMBY and NIMBY are.

Here's one of the many articles Web Link entitled "Billionaire Marc ‘It's Time to Build' Andreesen Is a NIMBY"

Now can we get back discussing real issues and drop the mindless labels even though tossing them around is so much easier?


Palo Alto Resident
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Oct 7, 2022 at 11:32 am
Palo Alto Resident, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 11:32 am

I am voting for Doria Summa who actually has a lot of experience with City issues and who is one of the best prepared and knowledgeable people around. I take her over someone who has never before been involved with Palo Alto governance and is very naive about the issues any day. We have had enough of people who have no track record beforehand, and end up being disasters. To dismiss Doria as simply a "residentialist" is inaccurate and misleading. She does listen to residents -- which I frankly find refreshing and needed. She approves good housing projects and objects to those that aren't. In other words, she actually thinks about all aspects of various proposals and understands that "build, build, build" won't automatically provide affordable housing (just see Alto Locale) and won't necessarily build the diverse community we desire. I'm voting for Summa.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 7, 2022 at 11:37 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 11:37 am

The DP had a great profile of Doria today noting she supports affordable housing, not the market rate housing the developers and lobbyists like Steve Levy is pushing in his blog here. Also key is that she wants housing built on Stanford land instead of having them keep removing housing from the community which only creates more housing shortages, competition for current housing stock AND pushes up prices.

Both no brainers and not policies that can objectively be called NIMBY.


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2022 at 12:42 pm
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 12:42 pm

I saw today's Palo Alto Daily Post profile of Summa which was informative and unlike the smorgasbord of political repetitions made by others. They also announce a candidate forum on Thursday 13 at Mitchell Park which will have questions brought up by the candidates themselves for other candidates, if I saw that correctly.

Those who are not looking to build a Noah's ark by taking political bets on people without relevant experience may want to tune in.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 7, 2022 at 12:50 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 12:50 pm

Anyone know if that forum will be streamed? Thanks in advance.


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2022 at 1:30 pm
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 1:30 pm

@online name,

"Anyone know if that forum will be streamed?"

The announcement had a MidPen Media logo, so it will be streamed, I am not 100% sure but, it's at 7 pm.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 7, 2022 at 1:48 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 1:48 pm

Thanks, Resident3. I saw the MidPen Media logo but wasn't sure about the streaming.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 7, 2022 at 2:08 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 2:08 pm

If experience matter and proven work -- leave Lauing and Suma where they are on the PTC and HEWG. Why move up the ladder when they are performing such great work at the commissions and working groups now? Finish the jobs they are committed doing from start to finish. After all we are not out of the woods with the un-homed and equitable, QUALITY planned low-income housing. Or maybe they want to ensure by being on the CC next term, these homes are designated and built in a flood zone and far away from their R1zones as possible and from transit etc. Vote for the decisions that matter for the sake of our future's future: Vote Lythcott-Haims, Forrsell and Veenker !


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 7, 2022 at 2:29 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 2:29 pm

"The DP had a great profile of Doria today noting she supports affordable housing, not the market rate housing the developers and lobbyists like Steve Levy is pushing in his blog here. Also key is that she wants ****housing built on Stanford land*** instead of having them keep removing housing from the community which only creates more housing shortages, competition for current housing stock AND pushes up prices."

"Or maybe they want to ensure by being on the CC next term, these homes are designated and built in a flood zone"

Hah?! When did Stanford and Stanford Research Park and Stanford Shopping Center become flood zones?? Another laughable canard.

Speaking of Stanford, both Veenker and Lythcott-Haims were affiliated with Stanford. Will/ can they be objective on Stanford issues? Will they be recusing themselves?


Consider Your Options.
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2022 at 3:56 pm
Consider Your Options. , Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 3:56 pm

I am supporting Mr. Lauing whose work on the Planning & Transportation Commission and Parks & Recreation Commission is excellent preparation for City Council. I have collaborated successfully with him on policies that support integrating bike/walking routes connecting neighborhoods and schools to after-school destinations in our parks, like playing fields, libraries, and community centers, for instance. I found him to be thoughtful and forward thinking, and fiscally conservative--a combination I appreciate.

Ms. Veenker has the right temperament for Council. She doesn't get ruffled easily. She knows how to bring parties with different views together to solve problems. She has experience working effectively with government. That's important. I will vote for her.

Ms. Lythcott-Haims is a practiced public speaker and writer, but she has not demonstrated deep knowledge of land use and transportation, utilities, community services or the city budget-- the primary work of City Council. She needs to get her feet wet in city government before she will be ready for this role.

Ms. Forsell's work on the Utilities Advisory Commission has been good, but I'm not seeing deep knowledge or even serious interest from her on land use and transportation beyond building housing. BALANCE is key in land use and transportation planning. We need Council Members who understand comprehensive land use and transportation planning and don't just pay lip service to area planning.

Ms. Summa has a strong grasp and surprisingly good memory for land use and transportation policies, code, regulatory constraints, budget. That knowledge would serve her well on Council.

I can't vote for Comsa, Hamachek. Their values don't align with mine, and they have no experience in government. Serve on a commission or committee. Learn the ropes.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 7, 2022 at 4:36 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 4:36 pm

@onlinename both Suma and Lauing live in the center protected R1Zones are they going to objective about infill, cluster housing of mixed incomes at all economic tiers? Their affiliation w their R1 neighbors fiercely protective of their SFH ownerships that they think extends beyond property lines. Hmmm. Will they recuse themselves when it comes to more or less R1Zone protections?


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2022 at 4:54 pm
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 4:54 pm

@consider your options,

"I can't vote for Comsa, Hamachek. Their values don't align with mine.."

The Editorial makes the same case when it proposes voting for "who is best suited to crafting the policies residents will find the most compatible with community values and character."

This is where outside money matters a lot. The San Jose Mercury News made the same recommendation as the Weekly and I saw it before the Weekly's. My reaction was - well sure, the Mercury News picks people who they like and expect can learn on the job and why would they care about outside money and interests (who benefit from having less-than-qualified or unqualified on our Council). I expected better from the Weekly and though not holding my breath I hope that voters will follow the money because that is the biggest indicator of community "values and character."


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Oct 7, 2022 at 6:44 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 6:44 pm

Best of luck and success to all the candidates.

It takes certain skills to sit on the CC, and the most important skill... the ability to be an effective leader. Otherwise, you're ineffectual, and it's been going on for years.

Step up to the plate, be decisive, take action and get the job DONE.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 7, 2022 at 7:44 pm
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 7:44 pm

Remind me again why smart, capable people donate their time to serve on city commissions.

Of the seven candidates, ONLY 3 have dedicated YEARS of service to Palo Alto. Those three are Lauing, Summa, and Forssell. I am disappointed that this endorsement overlooks that and instead endorses two candidates who do not have a history of PA involvement and will be learning on the job. Worse, the candidates they overlooked have years of exactly the knowledge that is going to be needed by CC members over the next several years.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 7, 2022 at 8:30 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 8:30 pm

Echoing Annette. I'm not only disappointed but also amazed at the objection to Summa "She is a fierce defender of neighborhood interests and as a result is frequently the sole dissenter on projects before the commission. We admire her advocacy but don't believe she will be as effective at building consensus on the council as her colleague, Ed Lauing."

Not "effective at building consensus" after all her effective work on the PTC? She often was the "sole dissenter" BECAUSE she'd done her homework and had her facts in hand to defend us, the residents re "neighborhood interests " which you make sound like a bad thing? Would you prefer she defend developer and outside interests?

Re consensus-building skills, you endorsed Mayor Fine who had none. Council meetings and personal attacks got so out of control PAW felt compelled to publish several editorials denouncing the intolerable and calling for good manners, his conduct as inappropriate and intolerant. Who can forget his famous exit speech declining to run again because "There's no one here I want to work with or enjoyed working with."

Pretty amazing PAO endorsed Adrian Fine but not Doria, a well-mannered lady who respects and listens to others, who does her homework and isn't known for her public temper tantrums.

Sort of a double standard in your endorsements


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2022 at 9:08 pm
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 9:08 pm

@online name

“Re consensus-building skills, you endorsed Mayor Fine who had none. Council meetings and personal attacks got so out of control PAW felt compelled to publish several editorials denouncing the intolerable and calling for good manners, his conduct as inappropriate and intolerant. “

The Weekly’s endorsement, author of How to Raise an Adult Lythcott Haims came on the Palo Alto Council candidacy scene with an F bomb, so I suppose that’s not a double standard. But given the Weekly’s apparent fear of a “fierce” neighborhood advocate, the standard for collaboration looks arbitrary.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 8, 2022 at 8:57 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 8:57 am
Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2022 at 10:57 am
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 10:57 am

@jennifer. You said it! Good effective, decisive, honest, efficient, leaders. Fortunately we have three amazing candidate that check every box on the above: Lythcott-Haims, Veenker and Forrsell. over 50% of our population are women, near 50% residents are renters -- How about skilled, strong, transparent CC at the dias. 50/50 representative of our PA residents: renters and women. I so do not feel secure when those on current City commissions and boards steer conversations like: Not everyone can live here. Really? Why not? Isn't this our America too? We can live anywhere we desire with good intentions, where the jobs are, the transit, the independent utility, better quality of life. Vote Veenker, Forrsell, Hythcott-Haims. These dames are the "start-up" of innovative, trailblazing, change for the better for all.


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2022 at 11:39 am
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 11:39 am

@Native to the Bay,

"You said it! Good effective, decisive, honest, efficient, leaders."

Leadership can be defined by many things but trust isn't a skill. A person either has earned trust or not. And to be effective, the most powerful trait you can bring is trust.

The Weekly always calls for collaboration yet their endorsements have resulted in some of the most acrimonious combos on the dais. Much talk about community values and character but we always end up with people who fight and attack residents who have been the most vocal about paying attention to people not just square footage. Then there's the fail in assuming that everyone in Palo Alto is rich. The rich throwing money at people who have no relevant experience likely aren't the Winter Wellenbachs who were present in Council chambers for Buena Vista, or the President Hotel and speaking for what regular people think about.

Leadership is also about respect, also earned and nothing tests that more than time. If you want to get things done, you don't experiment with people which have not been tested for the very decisions you need to make and move forward.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2022 at 12:01 pm
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 12:01 pm

@Native to the Bay. I also agree w/Jennifer that it takes certain skills to be on CC and on the importance of having the ability to get things done. Palo Alto tends to discuss issues "forever" and that so often leads to increased expenses and possibly lost opportunities. The grade separation issue is a good example. I think electing candidates with solid knowledge about the PA Municipal Code is critical this time around b/c housing is going to be on the Council agenda over and over and over. For me, that means voting for Summa and Lauing.

Following that logic, the other candidate that would bring helpful knowledge and experience to the Council is Forssell rather than Veenker or Lythcott-Haims, regardless of their capabilities.

As for the "not everyone can live here" comment, I take that as a statement of an unfortunate fact, not a position of exclusion. Past Councils supported a level of commercial development that resulted in an enormous jobs:housing imbalance. I doubt that can ever be remedied, but I hope it can be improved. What housing is available here is expensive; getting in is prohibitive for many (arguably most) and down-sizing can be similarly prohibitive for seniors, which limits the sort of turnover that was more common in the past. But even with the many challenges, Palo Alto will be adding housing; the big questions will be: what type, where, and for whom. Doria Summa is a strong advocate for affordable housing.

You also mention transit. When I hear that I always think IF ONLY. The transit-oriented district idea is predicated on the existence of a robust transit system. Palo Alto does not have that, though it should. Hopefully the shuttle system will return someday; that would be a step in the right direction that would make commuting by train more feasible for those who need to get across town after arriving here and for those who live here but need to get across town for work or myriad other reasons.


Local Resident
Registered user
Community Center
on Oct 8, 2022 at 2:42 pm
Local Resident, Community Center
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 2:42 pm

So PA Weekly believes we should not vote for Doria because she listens to resident concerns unlike Julie who wants to heavily upzone single family neighborhoods and build high density buildings with no parking onsite (SB10) in the middle of them. I’ll take Doria and Ed who have served and care about the existing community and will address affordable housing in a more thoughtful way.


Paly02
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Oct 8, 2022 at 2:48 pm
Paly02, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 2:48 pm

Doria Summa seems like a smart cookie and I'm glad that the commenters here are trying to speak her case. But I wish that you would not denigrate other council hopefuls while doing that.


ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2022 at 3:19 pm
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 3:19 pm

NativetotheBay needs to fact check PA zoning. Summa does not live in a R1 district zone. She lives in RMD (NP).

She is professional and does her homework. She has put in years of service to Palo Alto residents and is the most qualifief of candidates running for council.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 8, 2022 at 3:58 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 3:58 pm

@resident3 . Well if it were MLK running for City Council I would certainly trust his leadership from the skill in which he changed an African American's life for the better during a time when it was so bad and certainly vote for him. Though I don't think he ever served on a planning or a housing element working group. And for his leadership that many in the US Presidency trusted for he proved that through a educated, strong faith based, leadership he was able to reach a level of trust with many across many platforms and multiple levels of Government. In fact, maybe the few in civil service who did not "trust" him was the FBI. My point is not a semantic one, yet candidates are worthy beyond commissions, committees and boards. These commitments are good for the resume for sure, yet it does not follow it makes someone "qualified" for any job especially one that requires, trust and leadership.


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 8, 2022 at 4:14 pm
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 4:14 pm

@Native to the Bay,

"And for his leadership that many in the US Presidency trusted for he proved that through a educated, strong faith based, leadership he was able to reach a level of trust with many across many platforms and multiple levels of Government."

That is a fact, MLK reached a level of trust with many and he was also highly qualified on all the issues that he worked on, on the many platforms that he gained trust on.

It has to be the hardest thing to do, to run, and I wish everyone well but it is a competition, and I think it's fair to point out that relevant qualifications will make Council more effective to achieve greater progress than having two people learning on the job.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2022 at 5:05 pm
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 5:05 pm

"Palo Altans have the chance to elect a second woman of color to the city council . . ."

I believe this is inaccurate. Hillary Freeman and LaDoris Cordell, also women of color, served on the Palo Alto City Council, each for one term. There's an interesting news article dated July 21, 2005 in which Freeman commented on why she was not seeking a second term.

“Explaining her decision, Freeman said the present structure of city governance . . . leaves council members with only two options: rubber stamping staff recommendations or opposing the majority. I’ve been rowing against the current . . . what we really need is to change the riverbed so that the current flows differently.” Further, she said “the solution is to have a directly elected mayor who has more power over the city manager.”

Things have not improved during the intervening 17 years. Now we have the opportunity to elect a candidate who will challenge the status quo, who will go out on a limb, who will row against the current, and who knows well the city’s municipal code and land use history. That candidate is Doria Summa and we would be remiss if we didn’t elect her.


ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2022 at 10:29 pm
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 10:29 pm

NativetotheBay you need to read and integrate the biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. You pose that he changed an African American’s life for the better. He was an American hero of the 20th century whose moral vision remains a bellweather for our country
despite these troubled times. In other words he manifested change for many whites to learn their history and open their eyes. Black people were validated.

I know one resident who did go to the city council and stand up for players who enjoyed pick up games in Johnson Park. They were unwelcome by some Palo Altans. The complainers were white. Most of the basketball players were black. One council member, Joe Simitian, responded to the concern that these players were being treated unfairly. The citizen who spoke to him on behalf of the players was Doria Summa.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 9, 2022 at 12:18 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 9, 2022 at 12:18 am

Here's a link to the article Annette references Web Link including this quote:

"Supporters believe Freeman, the first black woman elected to the council, was one of the few members willing to stand up to staff and ask "tough questions" about ***city spending.*** But she was also a consistent source of headaches for her colleagues and city administrators, who felt she asked too many nitpicky questions and often failed to get colleague support for her issues."

17 long years later we're still getting non-answers about city spending, just threats to cut services while launching costly virtue-signalling projects and non-answers to practical questions like Diana Diamond recently enumerated in her blog aasking if CPAU can deal with increased electrical demand.

We -- like Hillary Freeman and Diana Diamond -- want answers, not sloganeering, and action not platitude. And candidates with track records who can deliver:

"Doria Summa – Summa also has served several years on the Planning Commission, currently as vice chair, a post where one quickly learns the intricacies and rules and regulations of city governing, particularly in applying housing and office requirements. She is an independent thinker, and is not afraid to differ with her colleagues. Her philosophy has often made her the sole dissenter on development proposals, which is refreshing."

Like Freeman, Summa asks the tough questions and stand for what the community wants, not outside interests.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 9, 2022 at 12:21 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 9, 2022 at 12:21 am

@ALB. Your post is the last thing I will read tonight and I thank you for sharing that story. You have provided yet another reason why a vote for Doria Summa is well placed. She does good things quietly and effectively, without a trace of virtue signaling. Again, thanks.


resident
Registered user
Midtown
on Oct 9, 2022 at 12:49 am
resident, Midtown
Registered user
on Oct 9, 2022 at 12:49 am

I'm voting for Doria Summa. Thank you for giving more reasons to support my choice.


Palo Alto native
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2022 at 2:23 pm
Palo Alto native, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 9, 2022 at 2:23 pm

[Portion removed.]I am very surprised that Ed Lauing and Doris Summa with the most experience and stamina were not both endorsed as the top 2 candidates for CC. After sitting through 6 years of Castilleja hearings and meetings, these 2 Commissioners have proven their leadership, and both deserve your endorsement. Doria does her homework, knows the zoning codes and Comp Plan, development issues inside and out. City Staff was so biased in most of the Castilleja Reports, bending over backwards to give the everything they wanted. Thank Goodness that Doria was able to point out inaccuracies and missing wording from Staff’s supposed objective reports. We need someone with this type of knowledge to have transparency in City Council decision making. As far as the current CC, Pat Burt seems like the only leader who can ask tough questions, understands details and big picture of housing, and development in Palo Alto. Two of the current CC have shown through their comments and questions that they don’t have the knowledge and expertise to handle the job. Hopefully, the women who don’t get elected this time, will run again in 2 years after serving on the Planning Commission where they can prove if they are up to the job.


Citizen
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2022 at 8:19 pm
Citizen, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 9, 2022 at 8:19 pm

City Council is a harder job than it used to be because it's a smaller council. It's a full-time volunteer position, basically. I think nothing can take the place of volunteering for actual civic work as a qualification.

As much as I like Lythcott-Haims and hope she will put in the time as other candidates have then run again next time (as some of our best elected officials have done), her experience on boards is not the same as experience volunteering for city commissions. I hate to say it, but as smart as she is, she's also frankly used to being deferred to. Things have died down on city council because we got a lot of problem solvers in there who were willing to consider different needs and perspectives. I think Lythcott-Haims, without more civic experience, is likely to destroy that balance--she needs to learn how to be passionate while also hearing all the people she would be serving. She can do great work on all the issues she says she's passionate about while getting the hands-on experience necessary to do a good job serving the community.

I hope she can put in the time volunteering for city commissions and run again. If she wouldn't consider running again because she doesn't get elected first try, then she was never serious about serving our community in the first place.

That said, I actually would suggest that she would be fantastic for school board and has lots of relevant experience there already, and school board has been a great stepping stone for positions like county supervisor or even state assembly. I'd vote for her over M Berman. For CC, past civic volunteering is a must. These candidates have been here many years--to me, there's something wrong/missing if someone never had the time to get that experience but wants to go right to being on Council.


Easy8
Registered user
Green Acres
on Oct 10, 2022 at 7:22 pm
Easy8, Green Acres
Registered user
on Oct 10, 2022 at 7:22 pm

Here are some quotes from Julia Lythcott-Haims on the Daily Post. She has stated she is very progressive. Personally, as a moderate pragmatist, she sounds a bit too far left for me.

"Lythcott-Haims said she wants to leave the small details up to city employees, leaving council to talk about issues of human rights, values and what is proper in Palo Alto."

She wouldn’t support a ballot initiative on whether to get rid of natural gas in the city (and instead mandate the change). “I don’t think voters should get to decide on whether we’re going to listen to scientists about saving the planet,” she said in an interview.

"I also want our city's leaders whether elected, hired, or appointed, to stop avoiding talking about race. "

Web Link


Joe in Green Acres
Registered user
Green Acres
on Oct 11, 2022 at 10:30 am
Joe in Green Acres, Green Acres
Registered user
on Oct 11, 2022 at 10:30 am

When you want the services of a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant, a plumber, an electrician or any other service provider, you want someone with experience and not one who will be an “on-the-job learner” at your expense. The same should be true with a Palo Alto City Council member.

Doria Summa and Ed Lauing are the only two City Council candidates who, with their many years of experience and City service, having been appointed and re-appointed to the City’s Planning and Transportation Commission, can and will “hit the ground running” when faced with a wide variety of issues if elected. They have seen them before during their many years on the Commission and know how to navigate the complexities of the Council’s processes and studies.

In my opinion, they are the type of people this City needs on its Council. I urge you to seriously consider their candidacies and support them with your votes if you agree with me that we need people experienced in City matters on Council, as opposed to those who have no such experience or virtually none and will take many years to know what Doria and Ed know now.


Resident
Registered user
Meadow Park
on Oct 11, 2022 at 5:33 pm
Resident, Meadow Park
Registered user
on Oct 11, 2022 at 5:33 pm

I want to point out that Summa and Lauing are not the only candidates with city government experience, Forssell has been a Utilities Commissioner for 6 years including a stint as chair, and manages a budget of $300M+. Of all the city roles, I feel like the Utilities Commissioners have a thankless, unglamorous, and super important job; so her involvement says a lot about her character I think.


Reid
Registered user
Midtown
on Oct 11, 2022 at 5:54 pm
Reid, Midtown
Registered user
on Oct 11, 2022 at 5:54 pm

So far in the comments, I see a lot of residents citing experience as one of the most important qualifications for council. Experience is great, but let me share my thinking. The city council is like a board of directors: they have the power to hire, fire, and evaluate Ed Shikada, the city manager and chief executive of city staff. To me, the most important qualification to be on city council are values.

If you want more of the same status-quo policies that have driven up rents and the cost of living in our community to unsustainable levels, vote for the experienced insiders responsible for those policies. If you want real change that will ensure the prosperity of our city for generations to come, vote for candidates that believe in the future, not the past. To me, that means Lisa Forssell and Julie Lythcott-Haimes.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 11, 2022 at 6:30 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 11, 2022 at 6:30 pm

@ALB so when Joe Simitian was a PACC member, Doria was not on a commission or committee. Yet you are chalking this admirable advocacy by Ms. Summa at Johnson Park for the sake of our African American park participants as part of her "experience" (BTW Johnson is one of the only PA parks to have a BB court and your reason for voting for her). As well Lisa, Vicki and Julie have many such advocacy work and history on their side too. Using "experience" as a qualifier is like reasoning why MFH can't be built in a neighborhoodecasue it's "not in the character" or "doesn't pencil out" or "it's not a one size fits all solution" All of these terms are jargon junk. One of the best CC first time council member (with no City commission "experience") I so admired, who got tons of work done was a 32 year-old, Asian American, Harvard graduate in another California County. Sadly too he only served one term and later started Public Bike co. in SF. We should be inviting, cultivating energy, youth, qualification which include more than "service on another touted commission or city committee, group". Especially in these "new times" having so many many trifecta of problems at hand. A better balanced Council is a dire imperative. Not just another round of "who you know". Way behind the eight ball with homes for humans, culture, aging, youth support services, missing middle, recession, Pandemic, economy, infrastructure social and civic -- JULIE, LISA and Vicki are on target .


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 11, 2022 at 7:21 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 11, 2022 at 7:21 pm

"f you want real change that will ensure the prosperity of our city for generations to come, vote for candidates that believe in the future, not the past. To me, that means Lisa Forssell and Julie Lythcott-Haimes."

I've seen their ads saying that housing will bring prosperity to our schools, our neighborhoods, etc, How -- specifically will this miracle be accomplished so it can "pencils out" because last I heard no one was giving away land.

Re costs of living and high rents, anyone looked at a property tax bill lately? The assessed value of the land is valued at way more than the houses on it. Anyone who follows national and business news knows that starter houses are being replaced nationally by bigger more expensive houses.

Why? Land costs. Builders have to charge more to cover land cost. .

So unless land miraculously gets cheaper here -- it would be great to hear specifics, not vague promises.

Read Doug Noran's excellent in-deoth blog nn this campaign and questions we should all consider that have been lost in the rah-rah boosterism of the media coverage.


Web Link


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 11, 2022 at 9:31 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 11, 2022 at 9:31 pm

@online name what is not vague & glaringly clear is the fact that California has 160,000 un-homed & those are just the PIT numbers . The largest number in all of USA. Why this is not declared a state of emergency for immediate federal intervention, I don't know what is. Prop 13, Regan Recessions, the gut of State's redevelopment, Great Recession & climate calamities are tied to a toxic capitalism in our un real estate markets. Greed, wage stagnation. So 50 years of a tax hack job has gauged decent livable standards for humans in our state, the generation suffering this calamity: those who had nothing to starter a home with in the last 4 decades couple w rise of extreme wealth. Yeah so a piece of private property costs, so the property owner is going to build bigger to even out their tax result. That is really sustainable for climate footprint. One specific: is to provide BMR , low-income homes within the market they are built. This brings quality of life, is cheaper, and more inclusive & feasible to the environment. Lythcott-Haims is advocates mix of housing designs and integrative financing. The way two other candidates who now serve on PTC and HEWG tout support for low-income or wage appropriate housing is to warehouse the builds which is very, very expensive and time consuming. R1Zone also have to loosen the grip on the "character of their neighborhoods" We do not live in a valley made of slicon and air. We live in a city of human dreams, desires, needs and wants -- unlike the cheap silicon that made many rich here the Real estate is just as reductive. It's gross when a property with a home, raises its prices sky high because the back fence allows a gate to access a public park. Somehow this "feature" is being co-opted as justification, raising the price by 1000's of dollars or 100,000's of dollars. If only we could equalize the property divide to represent humans & not silicon.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 12, 2022 at 8:49 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 12, 2022 at 8:49 pm

I don't disagree with a lot you say above yet you continue to ignore Prop 13 for BUSINESSES and LANDLORDS in your desire to blame homeowners and to ignore the literally hundreds of millions of dollars spent by lobbyists, businesses etc. to deny gig workers benefits and unemployment -- which in turn creates homelessness.

Now that the Feds announced plans to reform gig worker laws, shares of Uber/Lyft etc. tanked today big time BECAUSE their huge profits would be reduced.

Whenever this issue is raised, you've blamed those like me defending workers as not caring about them -- as if you know anything about us besides your stereotypes.

You blame candidates like Doria Summa for wanting to stick housing in the middle of flood plains without services when she clearly said she wants housing on Stanford land which is clearly NOT in a flood plain.

When candidates push for affordable housing, backers of high-density housing say they prefer MARKET RATE housing -- because that's what their backers want.

We've all read about rich hypocrites like Mark Andreesen and Jeremy Stoppelman who are HUGE contributors to the YIMBYs and other high-density forces while A) getting caught for opposing multi-family homes in his neighborhood and B) underpaying his workers so badly he felt compelled to relocate his HQ from PA to the East Bay leaving us with that mess near where JJ&F used to be.

Some balance would be special when discussing root causes.


eileen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 12, 2022 at 9:05 pm
eileen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 12, 2022 at 9:05 pm

Native to the BAY, I really do want to know how Julie Lythcott-Haims plans to force developers to build the affordable, below-market family housing we really need and want in this city. I think the only way is for non-profits to buy the land! I would like to have more details from the candidates.


Rebecca Eisenberg
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 13, 2022 at 2:25 am
Rebecca Eisenberg, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 13, 2022 at 2:25 am

I am concerned about the candidates that are endorsed by the mayor. Some have suggested that these candidates were recruited by him. That troubles me. I do not think it is a good idea to build consensus by hand-picking individuals that seem unlikely to disagree. I think we need more deliberation and discussion, not less. I also think we need more transparency, and fewer backroom dealings. Too often it appears that council members enter meetings with their minds made up. That is IMHO bad for local democracy.

Rather, I look for candidates who are willing and able to stand up for the community, even if it puts them in situations where they may be criticized for disagreeing. I also look for candidates with a strong commitment to community engagement -- who embrace public speakers at meetings as an opportunity to hear perspectives of residents, rather than as a time to check their fantasy football scores.

I look for candidates who maybe one day after hearing public comments, would have the courage and integrity to change their minds. I literally dream of candidates who are confident enough to recognize that admitting that you were wrong is not a bug, but rather, a feature, because learning from the community is actually a big part of the job.

And most of all, I seek candidates with heart. Because if they are not doing this for the community, why are they there?


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2022 at 5:53 am
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 13, 2022 at 5:53 am

@Rebecca Eisenberg,

“I am concerned about the candidates that are endorsed by the mayor”

That looks to be Lisa Forsell and Vicky Venkeer. Both backed by very political people, one has already run for state legislature and the other is on the Utilities commission which seems very powerful/political to me. I actually don’t see what qualified Forsell, a digital arts director for a Utilities commission but at least Forsell would not be learning on the job which is the Weekly recommendation - 2!!!! with no prior city knowledge, a punishment to the residents who bother to pay attention to Council meetings.

After lack of a record on city issues, I would agree that political endorsements are a problem, I dread another round of “Liz’ kids.” Life is too short, hoping that Palo Alto can for once elect people who have a “relevant” record to look at and aren’t so politically exposed.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 13, 2022 at 7:56 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 13, 2022 at 7:56 am

Like Eileen, I also want to know how Julie L-H expects the housing to be built. PACC struggles to identify potential locations for the 6,000+ units. That is not easy. And the actual building of units has, so far, been a financially insurmountable challenge. One answer to that is for several uber-wealthy developers to exercise massive largesse and build housing that doesn't pencil out (not likely). Another is for the State to fund its housing mandates. This is also not likely. This year, the state had a budget surplus that exceeded $125 BILLION. That means the state could have helped communities add housing. It didn't. That is a missed opportunity that offers a hint at what is valued. Call me cynical, but I think our Governor and Assembly members value reelection above everything else.

Meanwhile, we need to move the needle on housing. I don't think we will get out of the discussion loop by electing visionaries with no plans. On the other hand, we might if we elect experienced, practical people who understand the City's Comp Plan and Municipal Code and have some idea how city government works. That narrows the choices to Summa, Lauing, and Forssell. And only one of those, Summa, has demonstrated that she is willing to swim upstream.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 13, 2022 at 9:39 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 13, 2022 at 9:39 am

Annette is absolutely right about Palo Alto struggling over where to put 6,000 new housing units. As per this recent article, the entire rest of the Bay Area is also struggling about where to put 441,000 new homes in an area already gridlocked that's experiencing a long and historic drought!

"Bay Area cities running out of time to convince the state they can build 441,000 new homes
As of last week, the state had rejected 14 of the 15 housing plan drafts it received from local jurisdictions" Web Link

"Call me cynical, but I think our Governor and Assembly members value reelection above everything else. Meanwhile, we need to move the needle on housing. I don't think we will get out of the discussion loop by electing visionaries with no plans."

Waving one's magic wand won't produce housing -- or any other much-needed changes -- even if the candidates are endorsed by the mayor, this newspaper and the political establishment. For too long, CC has refused / failed to provide needed staff oversight resulting in 6+ years of expensive and divisive Casti hearings etc.

Now we have an endorsed candidate who wants even less oversight and prefers to leave pesky details to staff while she promotes the virtues of human kindness and Democratic activism regionally "and around the nation." I want to elect CC members who realize the CITY council is supposed to be focused on the CITY and that not all Palo Altans are Democrats and not all Democrats are activists.


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2022 at 10:47 am
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 13, 2022 at 10:47 am

@Annette,

“Meanwhile, we need to move the needle on housing. I don't think we will get out of the discussion loop by electing visionaries with no plans."

The Lythcott-Haims campaign reminds me of Greg Tanaka’s which means it will likely succeed. It won’t be progress though to have the Weekly’s group who may get to “yes” from 7 people on the dais…but the respect and support from residents will still be in question. That equals drama.


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2022 at 10:58 am
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 13, 2022 at 10:58 am

couldn’t edit my previous post in time, but I meant that crafting majority votes from 7 people is very different than commanding respect and broad support from residents.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 13, 2022 at 11:39 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 13, 2022 at 11:39 am

@resident3. You wrote "crafting majority votes from 7 people is very different than commanding respect and broad support from residents."

Completely agree and at the risk of further exposing my cyncial side I will add that it has been a very, very long time since City Hall concerned itself much with "respect and broad support from residents." From time to time we see individual council members who demonstrate that concern, but overall I think we see greater concern for special interests, such as developers and big business than residents. IF this weren't true we wouldn't have such an enormous jobs:housing imbalance.

There's limited access to the City Manager (and interaction is usually carefully scripted) and a common complaint is that Staff doesn't return calls. And shows a bias. That was quite evident in the Castilleja process. And Hotel President. Further, how many times have you watched dozens of community members, many stepping out of their comfort zone, go to a CC meeting to speak to CC only to be told that they have 1 minute or 2 to state their concern? Our model of municipal government and civic involvement is dysfunctional. This has been true for a long time and I think we've had a series of City Managers who prefer that status quo. Having an elected mayor and district elections would be better.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 13, 2022 at 12:33 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 13, 2022 at 12:33 pm

How can one NOT be cynical if one's paying the slightest bit of attention? The silence of the City Manager, the Mayor, the CC and the media is deafening.


Fred Balin
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 19, 2022 at 3:03 pm
Fred Balin, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2022 at 3:03 pm

The revelation in Monday’s edition of Palo Alto’s other local paper of certain email comments by council candidate Julie Lythcott-Haims brings into question premises of the Weekly’s endorsement.

For example, the editorial in her support states: “She is an unabashed advocate for racial justice and equity and takes every opportunity to prod others into honest discussions about race, discrimination and how to create a more just society.”

Last Thursday evening during a public forum within the Mitchell Park Library complex and with all seven contenders participating, another candidate challenged her view of a proposed housing development of nine years ago. It was approved by the city council, but then overturned by public referendum brought to the ballot by resident signatures and then validated by the voters. Lythcott-Haims had a chance to respond, and she did, which was fine.

But in her subsequent words to her email list, she equated her rival’s comments to someone of the Jim Crow South.

I do not see how these remarks can be seen as prodding anyone into honest discussions about race, discrimination, and how to create a more just society.

We have heard nothing about these words from either the candidate, where a sincere apology is in order, or the Weekly, which should reconsider its endorsement if that is not forthcoming.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 19, 2022 at 9:12 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 19, 2022 at 9:12 pm

@Fred Balin, interesting points. One can reasonably expect some follow-up questions for the candidate from this paper.


Evergreen Park Observer
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Oct 20, 2022 at 10:41 am
Evergreen Park Observer, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Oct 20, 2022 at 10:41 am

I agree that Julie Lythcott-Haims needs to apologize for her rant against people she disagrees with. It is too bad she took this route. No one has worked harder for affordable housing than Doria Summa. If Lythcott-Haims was interested in a dialogue, I think she would find that she and Summa would agree on many projects, and that Summa's experience would be critically necessary if the projects are to come to fruition. Lythcott-Haims is focusing on the Maybell project from years ago when the situation was very different from today. The Maybell project was voted on by the entire city. Since that time, if Lythcott-Haims looked, she would find that Summa has worked tirelessly to promote affordable housing. If you don't put in place restrictions on income levels to buy housing, all you will get is gentrification. Highly paid tech workers can outbid lower income people every day. The trickle down theory does not work in housing. The candidates' have worthy aims. The question is how to get it done.


Evergreen Park Observer
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Oct 20, 2022 at 10:51 am
Evergreen Park Observer, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Oct 20, 2022 at 10:51 am

A honest question for all of those who are promoting muti-unit, dense housing: are you pulling up the drawbridge after yourself on the chance to own your own home, and thus build wealth and housing security? Our lower income brothers and sisters should not be consigned to rental housing, beholden to large corporations that buy up large swaths of rental housing and then jack up rents year after year. How do we provide the same opportunity for stability and security?

Are you really a YIMBY if you recommend dense housing for all neighborhoods except your own? If left to their own devices, developers will buy the cheapest land they can to develop into multi-unit properties, and that land is likely to be where lower -income people live.

I don't know how many of the candidates lives in their own homes. I suspect, though, that those who do live in their own homes are very grateful for that opportunity. They have security and space to raise their families, and I wonder how many of them would be willing to give that up.

The point is not to accuse anyone, but to ask some deeper questions about what we are trying to do here -- and of course, immediate shelter is critical -- and what kind of community we want to offer a diverse population. If you don't know where you want to go, you will get there only by accident.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 20, 2022 at 11:12 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 20, 2022 at 11:12 am

Interesting question. We know for a fact that big donors to YIMBY like Mark Andreesen and his wife, daughter of one of the biggest Silicon Valley developers, are ardent supports of putting high density in YOUR neighborhood but not in theirs as the national coverage of their hypocrisy shows when they were caught opposing multi-family housing in Atherton next to their $16.600,000 manse, just one of their many single-family mansions.

The fact that they prefer market rate housing for high-paid techies able to pay $5K a month rent rather than housing for low-income workers and seniors says it all.

Years ago (2016?) Jeremy Stoppelmann, also a huge donor to YIMBY causes kept loudly pushing high density for PA near where JJ&F was until one if his workers exposed the pathetically low pay he was paying YELP workers. Her claim that she had $15,23 (or something) left after paying for rent and necessities created a 2-week media storm. After it died down, he fired her and moved YELP's hq to the East Bay, leaving us with that ugly complex at ECR and Stanford Ave.

So tired of the tech billionaires and developers spending literally hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying for the right to underpay their workers and deny gig workers benefits so they can qualify for unemployment while sticking us with the tab and the lower quality of life!

Their hypocrisy is sickening and they're using the YIMBYs et al as tools who keep parroting absurd claims that PASZ is bigger than the Chamber of Commerce!! and that it's all the fault of Prop 13 and greedy homeowners and not the the commercial landlords who "live longer" than the homeowners.

Whatever happened to critical thinking??


resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2022 at 2:07 pm
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2022 at 2:07 pm

“As our recommendations show, our interest is in selecting candidates for their varied talents, perspectives, diversity and ability to communicate effectively. “

If I landed here from some far away place, this could describe the choices for an incoming college Freshman class. Not to manage a city with 60,000 people. But it’s 2022 and elections are nothing about substance and all politics.

Fulfilling the politics part, there’s no apology from Ms Haimes that I can find about Jim Crow comments but in today’s Post she declares a major in “R1” injustice. This coincides with the money that developers look to make probablyby pushing everyone around at City Hall. Thanks Weekly, you could have actually just explained this in your article to begin with.


mjh
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 24, 2022 at 2:20 pm
mjh, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2022 at 2:20 pm
mjh
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 24, 2022 at 6:51 pm
mjh, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2022 at 6:51 pm

[Post removed; please cite source.]


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 24, 2022 at 9:09 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2022 at 9:09 pm
ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 24, 2022 at 9:56 pm
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2022 at 9:56 pm
resident3
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2022 at 8:49 am
resident3, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 25, 2022 at 8:49 am

“This is only the third time in Palo Alto history (the last being in 2007) when no incumbent was on the ballot, in part because of the larger size of previous councils. “

Also perhaps because of the now smaller councils, we are probably looking at the three new council members for 2 terms. Watching the various debates, it has become more evident that there are two different visions for Palo Alto. One is state driven, to perform to political standards with a touch of punishment, blame and divisiveness and the other is to acknowledge that there’s work to do, but that it takes time and thoughtfulness to make good decisions. At one event Brian Hamachek told an interesting story about the history of Oregon Expressway that could have ended up as a 60 mph freeway had residents not fought for the compromise it is now. While he hasn’t gotten press endorsements, I hope Hamachek sticks around.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2022 at 9:07 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 25, 2022 at 9:07 am

Like the previous poster, I like Hamachek.

I know he hasn't done much, but he has lived here and it is very apparent he loves Palo Alto. He doesn't have any political endorsements, or any developer backing, but isn't that a good thing? I would love to have him as a neighbor because I think he looks into things as someone who lives here as a primary focus. His knowledge about the town isn't always about what political decisions have been made, but how they affect residents.

I want a city council that is varied in nature. I don't want them all to have the same political viewpoint, the same strengths which also mean the same weakness. I want someone on the council who takes the time to breathe what it is actually like to walk down our streets, shop in our stores, speak to passersby and put our concerns into the discussions on the topics the council has to deal with. I think he would do that.


mjh
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 29, 2022 at 12:58 pm
mjh, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2022 at 12:58 pm

Word has it that Pat Burt has changed one of his endorsements to another candidate and has also replaced the sign outside his house to reflect that.


FredBalin
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 29, 2022 at 6:57 pm
FredBalin, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 29, 2022 at 6:57 pm

Word, indeed, is out. Mayor Burt has “revoked” his endorsement of Lisa Forssell and is “supporting” Doria Summa as per article in this weekend’s edition of another local paper.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 30, 2022 at 11:07 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2022 at 11:07 am

Endorsement do-overs? Wow. Might be a first in Palo Alto politics. Since he's done it, though, I am glad to see growing support for Summa and think she has deserved it from the get-go. We will be well served by having a Council member with her depth of knowledge regarding the complications of zoning, land use, and housing policy.


Danielle Mewes
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Oct 30, 2022 at 2:19 pm
Danielle Mewes, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2022 at 2:19 pm

I am so glad you've endorsed Julie Lythcott-Haims. She is a fresh voice that will bring some much needed diversity to the PA council. Some have tried to make her out to be an extremist, which she is not. She is however, a progressive who will challenge the status quo and hopefully keep us on track to make and accept some changes. We do not have to undo what Palo Alto is and has to offer by making it a more inclusive and affordable community. JLH loves this city and has considered it home since 2000.


Gale Johnson
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 30, 2022 at 3:35 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2022 at 3:35 pm

That’s the strength of Mayor Pat Burt and he’s used it effectively over the years…a sound centrist mind that drives the extremists nuts.


Gale Johnson
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 30, 2022 at 4:02 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2022 at 4:02 pm

[Post removed; successive comments by same poster not permitted.]


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2022 at 4:04 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2022 at 4:04 pm

I think we have had enough of politicians who attempt to tell us what we should think rather than allowing us to think for ourselves.

For those of us who have lived in Palo Alto for more than a certain number of years, we are getting worried about what is happening and why it is happening. ADUs, street furniture, lack of recreational facilities, lack of parking and additional problems of traffic flow efficiency are all major problems. Telling us to get out our bikes to go to the grocery stores, and to get rid of efficient gas heating and cooking replacing them with our inefficient electricity supply do not bode well.

I don't consider myself that old, but I am very worried about what the changes being made to town will do to it for the next generation.

Please lets stop newcomers to the town trying to make changes they think are better for us than what we want. Their preaching style is condescending. We can think for ourselves about what we want in town, after all it is why we decided to move here in the first place.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 30, 2022 at 9:08 pm
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Oct 30, 2022 at 9:08 pm

There's a meme now getting traction. It says "Boarding a plane shortly. The pilot's never flown before but he's an outsider who tells it like it is and it's time for a change."

I'm all for fresh voices and challenging the status quo but when JHL said she'll leave decisions to city staff so she's free to lobby for regional and national progressive change, she lost me. If she'd paid attention, she'd know that challenging the status quo MEANS challenging city staff, not giving them carte blanche -- as was the case in the 6+ years of hearings -- to cater to the deep-pocketed donors and waste our money on 6+ YEARS of hearings without even getting to the basics like who pays for traffic monitoring.

How will more Market Rate housing that JH:'s backers like Steve Levy and the others who paid for the pricey saturation ads for "3 Great Candidates{" make housing more affordable?? Will land get cheaper? Will more SUBSIDIZED 1-bedroom apartments renting for 3,330 in Redwood City be affordable?

JHL's donors like Casti, the Market Rate housing lobbyists, Stanford, etc., will gladly endorse candidates who give them a blank check. There;s a good reason JHL raised the most money even without filing the papers showing howi much was spent on those big saturation ads!

And she calls PASZ the "loudest voice in the room" when it's money that talks the loudest.


Marc Vincenti
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Oct 31, 2022 at 4:36 pm
Marc Vincenti, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Oct 31, 2022 at 4:36 pm

Dear Weekly,
I would find it helpful if you would offer your endorsements for state and county positions, in addition to city.
Thanks.
Marc Vincenti


Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2022 at 2:43 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Nov 1, 2022 at 2:43 pm

I support Summa, Lauing and Hamacheck


Gale Johnson
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2022 at 3:33 pm
Gale Johnson, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Nov 4, 2022 at 3:33 pm

I don’t know about you folks but my box of Crayola crayons had white, black, brown, yellow, and one that was reddish brown. We called them colored crayons. Are you not colored unless your heritage, your ancestors, came from Africa? I, too am disappointed in the Weekly’s picks. My god, Doria already knows more about housing than any of those newbies could learn in 4 years and she is not anti housing. And talk about communicating skills? I think Julie would come in last unless you’re looking for a great nationally acclaimed motivational speaker/orator. You need to be a good listener to be effective on CC. Those “Kniss Kids” days are, thankfully, slowly fading away. I’m still debating between Lisa and Vicky. I do hope one of them appeals to me personally/directly for my vote. If not I’ve got a coin in my pocket.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Nov 4, 2022 at 10:20 pm
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Nov 4, 2022 at 10:20 pm

Gale: I gather you are voting for Doria and one other. Why not stop there and give those two candidates a better chance of being elected?


Jerry Underdal
Registered user
Barron Park
on Nov 4, 2022 at 11:26 pm
Jerry Underdal, Barron Park
Registered user
on Nov 4, 2022 at 11:26 pm

What a fine lineup of council choices! Thank you all for standing for office and running campaigns that showed respect for the community and an openness to communicate with anyone with an interest in talking about the issues. Kind of how democracy is supposed to work.


Larry
Registered user
Downtown North
on Nov 5, 2022 at 4:34 pm
Larry, Downtown North
Registered user
on Nov 5, 2022 at 4:34 pm

Palo Alto's pressing problems are far beyond the ideation phase, where a wide diversity if viewpoints would be valuable. Our problems are now squarely in the implementation phase, where deep knowledge and experience are the most important qualifications. That is why Doria is by far the best candidate.


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