Around Town | July 27, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - July 27, 2012

Around Town

BEATING THE DEADLINE... Three new playing fields. A redesigned Baylands golf course with a "Wow" factor. New plazas and wider sidewalks on a soon-to-be two-lane California Avenue. A revised massage ordinance. A refreshed Cogswell Plaza. New contracts for workers represented by the city's largest labor union and by its police-managers union. These are just some of the big-ticket items the Palo Alto City Council green-lighted Monday in its final meeting before a month-long break. There was one item, however, that the council didn't get to during the seven-and-a-half-hour meeting: high-speed rail. Lawmakers were scheduled to consider endorsing a citizens' initiative to cut off future funding for the locally unpopular $68 billion project. Shortly before midnight, the council agreed to address the issue at its first meeting after the break. Even this proved to be a blessing in disguise. The two Republicans leading the initiative announced Wednesday that they are suspending their campaign for the revote. Former U.S. Rep. George Radanovich and current state Sen. Doug LaMalfa issued a statement on the campaign website that the initiative is suspended "while litigation brought against high-speed rail in Central Valley moves through the court system." They vowed, however, that the effort is not dead, just delayed for a while. Radanovich called the decision to suspend the campaign "a postponement of what I see as a future initiative allowing voters the opportunity to tell politicians in Sacramento that they don't want a California high-speed rail system plagued with budget overruns and repeated failure to meet every deadline."

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Another REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY on the Planning Commission and a highly competent expert booted out.
Burt, Scharff, and Klein are leaving their scars on the city and the developers can have a party. The 1 percenters take care of one another.

Posted by Fred Balin
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 27, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Fred Balin is a registered user.

.. know almost nothing about the new P&TC members, yet am still shocked over the council's decision to not reappoint Susan Fineberg.

She was a model commissioner ...
... extremely intelligent
É and dedicated É
... always exceptionally prepared,
... fluent in the Comp Plan, Zoning Code, overarching statewide rules and legal constraints,
É always asking thoughtful, relevant questions of staff and colleagues
... always interacting in the most respectful manner no matter how contentious an issue

Low key, while also clear and direct,

She took her role as a "chief inspector" for the council and representative of the public interest very seriously

She believed strongly in proper process, transparency, and inclusion ...

and she was her own person, not afraid to make to her own, best judgment

Maybe these were part of disappointing reasoning by which she was not reappointed: the desire for more malleable, quicker, pre-planned outcomes over thoughtful, studied, independent consideration

.. her departure over a series of votes, and until proven differently, rests unfavorably on this council.

Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Susan Fineberg was a commissioner who represented the residents of Palo Alto rather than the developers. Her most recent votes on the Lytton Gateway and other high density projects most likely irritated the developer crowd who are represented by Jim Baer. That's why a majority of the council voted Susan out. They don't like anyone on the Planning Commission asking tough questions - it puts the council on the spot.

Return the favor - don't vote for Pat Burt this November.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Susan Fineberg was a commissioner who represented the residents of Palo Alto ...
By appointing a REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY, Burt, Scharff (Real Estate attorney), and Klein (investment attorney) can be assured that developers will sail through the commission.

Posted by PA Tax Payer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2012 at 10:59 am

Three new soccer fields east of H.101 for whom? Whose going to use them, residents of EPA? And, Palo Alto will be paying for all this!! Meanwhile, it's revealed that the soccer fields at the corner of El Camino Real and Page Mill are left empty most of the time, nobody is using them because there's nowhere to park!!!

Another dumb, dumb, decision on the part of our out of touch CC.

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