SILVER LINING ... Democrats took a political pummeling across the nation Tuesday, but things looked a little brighter in Palo Alto on Election Day. At the Democratic headquarters on El Camino Real, local politicians and operatives gathered late Tuesday to celebrate the election of Jerry Brown to governor, the political survival of Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate, and the election of San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon to the state Assembly. Gordon and Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, both gave the group a pep talk celebrating the parties' victories, at least in California. "We have achieved some incredible results in California," Gordon said. "We're unlike the rest of the nation and thank God!" Attendees also cheered the voters' rejection of Proposition 23, a proposal funded by Texas oil companies Tesoro and Valero that would have suspended California's law governing greenhouse-gas emissions. "Just as our beloved Giants beat Texas, we gave the boot to Texas oil companies and defeated Proposition 23," Gordon said to loud cheers.
FIXING THE CITY ... Palo Alto officials agree that the city is full of aged and damaged infrastructure that urgently needs to be repaired or replaced. In September, the City Council appointed an 18-member task force to go through the city's $500 million infrastructure backlog and think of ways to fund the needed improvements. Now, the city has a new problem — getting 18 volunteers to attend a meeting. After more than a month and a half, the task force has yet to hold a single meeting because of scheduling conflicts, the council learned this week. Its first meeting is now scheduled for December. This bit of news frustrated Councilman Larry Klein, who hoped the committee could complete its work next year and pave the way for a bond measure on the November 2011 ballot. "If people can't make the meetings, they ought to not be on the committee," Klein said.
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