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Palo Alto in 2010: budget woes, environment

Original post made on Jan 2, 2010

Depending on whom you ask, 2010 will either be a year of painful adjustments in Palo Alto or a time of unprecedented opportunities. With the city facing a structural budget deficit of about $10 million and just about every major revenue source on the wane, officials are bracing for service cuts, tough negotiations with labor unions and a growing infrastructure backlog.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, January 2, 2010, 9:21 AM

Comments (31)

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Posted by Henry
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 2, 2010 at 9:07 pm

> its largest labor union is reporting a crisis of morale

Awww .. geee .. with people in this Union making an average of $71+K, and benefits bringing the total to hire these guys up to $117K .. and each also in line for a pension for life that is worth around $2.5M (guaranteed) if they live thirty years, and more if they live longer after retirement.

And with jobs that are generally low-expected outcome, and often so over-regulated with "work rules" that it's hard to fire them if they don't do much more than show up on the job ..

And with unemployment at almost 13% here in California and these guys are working ..

So .. if they really are that unmotivated for that kind of salary and benefits package (which included health care as retirees) .. then they know where the door is ..

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Posted by Am I dreaming?
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 2, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Remind me again of why the city is negotiating with the unions again. How about take it or leave it as Henry suggests. Heaven help us if someone did the actuarial calculations on the pension and medical benefits for city employees; guess what, the city would probably be insolvent! Time to get used to the "new normal"; the private sector can adapt to an economic slowdown but somehow governments believe that they should be immune. And how about that $5 million cost overrun that the finance office missed until December of this year. Where is the investigation behind that? Could it be a union employee didn't want the city's "true" fiscal situation known in the midst of negotiations over their next contract? Gotta love when the supervisor in that area "takes responsibility for this issue" and sacks the person responsible for the screw-up. That's leadership! Where's the city council asking the hard questions? If I read one more puff piece about how the world looks to Palo Alto as a model for greenness, I am going to puke. Time for the city to figure out how to do more with less of the green stuff (dollars that would be).

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Posted by Tim
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Never understood if those people think that city employees have so good, then why don't they get a job with the city. I look at their website and they are hiring. Maybe it is easier to sit at the computer and complain. Lazy...I guess.

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jan 2, 2010 at 11:32 pm

There are several facets to PA's budget problems. One of the major ones seldom mentioned are the "drunken sailor" spending by PA during the dot com boom years. Revenues were way up during those years and every pet project imaginable was funded.... And they still are!

Also during those years CalPers was doing so well with their investments that they didn't charge PA their share of employee retirements, while at that same time PA employees were paying their share into CalPers. CalPers was doing so well, Pete Wilson raided their funds. Raided the pension of elderly retired workers to fund the plethora of social programs designed to make and keep liberal voters.

And what did PA do with the CalPers savings during those years? Did they save the money for a "rainy day". No, they spent it all on "new" programs.

A good starting point to roll back the "drunken sailor" spending would be rolling back programs and staff to 1990 levels.

Another facet has been addressed in Town Square. Namely the deliberate actions of City Council to drive out retail and revenue sources. Lots said, but no corrective action to date.

Most of the "sour grapes" posters complaining about PA employee benefits use the argument that they lost their shirt in their 401K's so PA employees should also suffer in their pensions. Most all of 401K'ers had investments that were based directly or indirectly on profits made through usury in the housing market. To those folks, might I suggest there is a 2000 year old book that can advise you on the consequences of usury.

The "sour grapes" posters never mention where CalPers would be if it weren't raided by Pete Wilson, and where it would be in PA if they saved the CalPers windfall for a rainy day.

To the "sour grapes" posters, your attempt to bring others down to your level because of your poor choices gives new life and meaning to the term "Shallow Alto"

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Posted by conservative87
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 3, 2010 at 8:13 am

This clearly shows how badly out of control our bureaucracy has become. For our survival as a viable society we must scrap this unworkable system and start over again. Bureaucrats should not earn more than the average citizen that pays them. It must reflect the private sector. Only 8% of the private sector is unionize, and this sector is seriously damaged, due to the unions. The question is: Why are government workers unionize against us that pay them. If you receive a paycheck from a government agency, you must not belong to any union. There are plenty of laws that protect your rights. Our children deserve better.

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Posted by Henry
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 3, 2010 at 10:15 am

The argument about "sour grapes" misses the point. What's being talked about here is not "bringing people down", but try to correct a mistake that was made over the years, at various levels of government all over the US, by elected officials without any accountability, who promised to transfer future taxpayer funds to government employees, in terms of post-retirement benefits (i.e.--pensions and health care). These promises for the transfer of vast sums of money, were made by these elected officials without any idea of where the revenues of each such promising agency would come from, and now amount up to promises that these agencies cannot keep.

One-by-one, local, state and federal government agencies are now recognizing they cannot pay these benefits promised in the past without seriously impacting the current financial state-of-affairs of these agencies. The magnitude of these promises is so great that some small towns are declaring bankruptcy in order to free themselves from these contractual promises. The link below is an example of just one of dozens of articles appearing in newspapers all over the United States (and actually all over the world) reporting on pension and health care benefits for retirees that cannot be funded:

Web Link

This is not about "bringing people down in", but it's about "saving the ship".

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Posted by Wha?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm

"Bureaucrats should not earn more than the average citizen that pays them." And what is the average income and salary of the "average citizens" that pay the workers in Palo Alto? Do they bring home 70k a year? Really?

Another question for you all - is it cheaper to run off the long time union folks, as the city council and Keene are now by threatening to reduce benfits in the future causing an exodus of skilled workers, and then hire for the position at the lowest pay scale? Is that really cheaper? The retiree gets their pension and the new worker will have to be trained - which costs money. Very few workers can walk in and do the job, regardless of what is said in these threads.

Cheaper, really?

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Posted by Henry
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 3, 2010 at 6:46 pm

> The retiree gets their pension and the new worker will have to
> be trained - which costs money. Very few workers can walk in
> and do the job, regardless of what is said in these threads.


For starters .. it's doubtful that "all the skilled workers" will leave their jobs because there is a wage reduction, or a benefit reduction. Where are they going to go? Remember--these are people who don't want to work in for-profit enterprises, where meritorious service is a part of the job requirement, and companies go out-of-business, whether the workers like it or not.

Training .. well people come and go all the time .. even in government enterprises. How do the new people manage to learn the jobs? Is there a formal "training course" where government workers go for 1-2 years to learn how to "shuffle paper" and layer "red tape"? No .. not really. They learn the job like most people--OJT: On-the-Job Training. Some companies in the Silicon Valley have seen as much as 30% turnover during the boom years, and maybe 15% during less boom-times. Companies (and the military--which has a constant turnover problem) usually recognize that having a reasonably comprehensive SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) is necessary to get the "inside scoop" on any job into a document that can be reviewed by all of the peers in the group, and refined to the point that if someone comes into the group unexpectedly that all of the key vocabulary, procedures, goals, missions and "go-to-guys" are laid out well enough that a new person would not be totally lost. There are also consultants (previous occupants of these jobs) that could be called upon to help in the training. And there there is job/information-flow redesign--which means that the old job description will be jettisoned and a new one put in place. This happens all the time when Information Technolgy is introduced into the workplace.

If the City Auditor were at all worth her salt, she would schedule an SOP Audit every five years or so--and then make certain that the City Council understood where the City Manager had failed in doing his/her job in making sure that the information needed to run the City organization was not locked in the employees' heads.

The basic issue here is: "Is the City Manager doing his job dealing with training?"

> Bureaucrats making more than residents.

Well .. the last Census was in Y.2000. so the data is very old. At that time, the average individual salary in Palo Alto was 94,000 (although there are a number of different ways to determine salary). At last count, over 400 "bureaucrats" in the City Government were making over $100K, and some were very close to $200K.

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Posted by don
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm

What puzzles me is that the City business "coordinator" did not advise the prior and present city manager that we were losing a significant number of businesses in the past two years. Belt tightening should have begun 2 years ago, but too many pet projects continued to be funded.

Go to East Bayshore Blvd and Embarcadero east of 101 and count the number of empty buildings. When they were full, they contributed significantly to the General Revenue Fund. Now 2/3 of them are empty. And the one ideal spot for a car dealership at the corner of Embarcadero and East Bayshore is now another building which duplicates the empty ones.

And why spend money on reducing California business district lanes from 4 to 2? When that was tried in the Midtown area a few years ago, it was a disaster. More money for a poorly thought out project.

Will our various councils and planners never learn?

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Posted by resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 4, 2010 at 11:29 am

Re. budgetary concerns. It has become a joke among Palo Altans that we know which street will have utility will the the most recently repaired/resurfaced street. The lack of coordination between departments is creating a situation where street maintenance is being done twice, where once should be enough with proper coordination. It is only common sense that resurfacing should be done AFTER below ground maintenance. It does "create" work, however....

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Posted by John
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2010 at 11:35 am

I think serious consideration should be given to bankruptcy. Many large companies (eg the airlines) have done this in the last few years. That way all the contracts can be voided and PA can start again with a more sensible approach. This may include the same (or even higher) salaries but without the pension, medical expenss that are slowly but surely bringing the city to its knees. Even starting this process would I think be beneficial in getting the unions to realize the gravity of the situation.

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Posted by Too Much Traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2010 at 12:09 pm

The City Council will be spending tonight's session in a PA version of a lovefest--they will be issuing proclamations praising Kishimoto, Morton, Drekmeier and Barton for their service on the council. Then there will be much patting of one another on the back for a job well done. No point in dealing with the cities pressing financial issues. After all, our council was "misled" so there is nothing they can do.

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Posted by Toady
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 4, 2010 at 12:53 pm

When even Willie Brown recognizes the unions as an issue, you know discontent is widespread. SEIU better watch out, because the rug is feeling awfully loose...

Web Link

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Posted by PAPD - Critic
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 4, 2010 at 1:13 pm

One area which should be examined is the re-classification of Police officers from non-exempt to exempt status. The difference is they currently receive overtime as a non-exempt employee. (office clerk)

In one case, an officer received 95k in overtime while working as a 911 dispatch employee. (should also be exempt)

In federal guideline terms (FLSA) they should be considered professional employees and therefore exempt from overtime.

In simple terms, all overtime wages are added to the base formula for retirement calculation purposes. Retired PAPD Michael Yore is one example whose monthly pension ballooned to over 10K.

He received overtime throughout his career. (detective sargent)

If looked at, tremendous saving can be realized to the city and for this reason police officers assignments be reevaluated as non-exempt and included in any part of future union negotiations.

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Posted by exempt employee
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I agree that overtime seems to be out of control, but police officers and dispatchers will never be classified as exempt employees. There are many other factors to consider, such as whether they supervise other employees, have hiring/firing authority, etc.

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Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 4, 2010 at 3:32 pm

"Bureaucrats should not earn more than the average citizen that pays them."

Why not? Your banker makes a lot more than you do, and who do you think pays for that? Popeye? Have you ever wondered where your mortgage interest and credit card megacharges go?

But why not stop whining and get a better job? Or do an internet startup in your garage?

"And what is the average income and salary of the "average citizens" that pay the workers in Palo Alto? Do they bring home 70k a year? Really?"

Um, yes. The US Census (Web Link=) puts Palo Alto's 2008 median household income at $126,741; its per-capita income at $70,065. Ain't the irony delicious?

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Posted by Posting of HRC
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 4, 2010 at 3:32 pm

To: The Palo Alto Community Dated: November 12, 2009
From: The Human Relations Commission
Dear Fellow Residents and Members of the City Staff:
Long-running labor negotiations, such as those that just ended and will begin soon again, stir up
a wide range of feelings. As we listened to and read what was being said, we wondered, as
perhaps some of you did also, what we might do to help so many good people put important
working relationships back together. With this note, we offer some suggestions to that end,
suggestions that we hope will stir reflection and discussion in the community.
In committing these thoughts to paper, we are not taking sides in past and coming negotiations.
That’s not our business. What the HRC cares about is our shared humanity. Whether from the
perspective of citizen, tax-payer, worker, manager, elected or appointed official, new comer or
long-time resident, each of us occupies a place as part of a larger, interdependent, and shared
history and set of aspirations. We took that into account as we looked forward.
In reading the letters to editors, blogs, and news stories and in listening to Council meetings and
more casual conversations, four themes stood out.
Stereotypes usually get it wrong when we use them to simplify complex relationships such as
management and labor, taxpayer and city worker, city finances and family budgets. Few of us
have a good working knowledge of all sides of issues, so we reach for shortcuts. But if we let
stereotypes shut down that vital mix of critical thinking and empathy, we’re not in the real
conversation about the issues.
Respect in long-running and hard-bargaining negotiations is difficult to preserve and, once lost,
even more difficult to re-establish. But healthy working relationships cannot exist without it.
When respect is present, we see each other more clearly, listen to one another more carefully,
value understanding, and are more inclined to compromise for the good of the whole.
Work is one of the primary sources of meaning in our lives. But when the adversarial side of
negotiations dominates the horizon, taking sides seems a natural thing to do. Work tends to
shrink to tasks to be accomplished or hours on the job. These clearly have significance, but work
is more than that. It is one of the major ways we connect with each other, contribute to some
larger whole, make things happen that benefit both ourselves and others. Whether we are the
producers of work or its consumers, we are stakeholders in positive, long-term relationships.
Community—both the idea and the reality—resonates with many Palo Altans. We value our
neighborhoods, our business districts, our schools, our arts, culture, libraries, parks and so much
else that we share. As citizens, residents, voters, and users of these facets of our community, we
are also stewards of them. So too are the city staff members. And the City itself must make
effective use of the funds entrusted to it to build and maintain our social, human, physical, and
civic capital.
We are in this together. Though highly structured, collective bargaining and those involved in it
exist in a context. The elements of the context that the HRC would like to emphasize in this
letter to the Palo Alto community, namely, the danger of stereotypes, the essential importance of
respect, the meaning of work, and the many-sided significance of community deserve, we
believe, careful and continuous consideration now and in the future. Palo Alto’s history is one
of the whole exceeding the sum of the parts. We hope the continuation of that history will be an
essential part of the next round of negotiations.
HRC Mission: To address human relations issues, including promotion of
awareness, understanding and resolution of actual or potential conflicts,
discrimination, or injustice while encouraging community building and civic

Like this comment
Posted by Henry
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 4, 2010 at 6:13 pm

> "Bureaucrats should not earn more than the average
> citizen that pays them." Why not? Your banker makes
> a lot more than you do, and who do you think pays for that?

And who exactly, is a "Banker?" Anyone who works in a bank? Most of the people working at the counters are not all that well paid, and generally are not considered as "Bankers". Are you talking about Bank Managers? or Loan Officers? or Department Heads?

Well .. what is the difference between a "Banker", and a "City Bureaucrat"? For starters .. "Bankers" produce something (when they are not tanking their banks). They produce loans (typically) so that people can buy homes, start/expand businesses, etc. But what do "City Bureaucrats" produce? How many of them actually create wealth, or even do anything to facilitate the creation of wealth?

Certainly here in Palo Alto .. it's pretty clear than many of our "Bureaucrats" have spent most of their time trying to stop growth, and the creation of wealth in the process.

Oh .. and when banks fail (as about 125 did last year) .. "Bankers" often lose their jobs .. and hopefully many of these guys will end up going to jail for breaking the law. But when "City Bureaucrats" break the law, or just fail at their jobs .. they generally don't get fired .. and virtually never go to jail, no matter what the offense.

> where your mortgage interest and credit card megacharges go?

Well .. let's not forget that the "mortgage interest" is what one agrees to pay the bank for the loan one uses to buy one's house. Hopefully, that interest does not just pay "Bankers", but ultimately goes to provide additional loans to other people and businesses.

But Money to "Bureaucrats" .. it does what?

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Posted by Wha?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2010 at 11:12 am

To the HRC group and their compassionate posting - thank you! The stereotypes of the "bureaucrats" and "city staff" are insulting and demeaning to the many that work day in and day out for the good of the city. Just as insulting it the stereotype of the citizens of Palo Alto as entitled rich cats. Many have money, obviously, but just as many have compassion and seek to understand the problems the city is facing.

Thanks again, and I will try to ignore the mud slinging going on here.

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Posted by Wha?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2010 at 11:17 am

Oh, and as to average income in PA, let's not use a 10 year old figure, ok?

Try this:

"According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $119,046, and the median income for a family was $153,197.[9] "

Web Link

Hmmm, I am not sure that figure includes benefits, but it is well beyond the figures made by the average staff person on the city payroll - which I recall was aorund $72,000 a year without benefits.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 5, 2010 at 12:56 pm

This commentary is not an "arguement" it is about real people and real families. Employees who are devoted to their jobs and their community. Palo Alto has great services, because employees
perform their work to contribute to the betterment of Palo Alto and take pride in their work.

The average employee in SEIU made $73,000 gross wage a year in October 2009 ...and after the $360 a month deduction and subtraction of tuition refund (imposed in October 2009) the gross in 2010 is now averaging: $67,500.

The increased payments to pension $360 a month came directly out of employee wages. The employee tuition benefit has also been removed of $1000 a year.

$59,000 is "sustainability" for Santa Clara County in 2010. Can a family live on that on that? How do they repair their car? Pay for daycare? Help disabled parents?

In 2000 the average worker made about $65,000 - 67,000 gross which was about $17,000 over sustainability.

In 2010 they will average $8,500. over sustainability.

The current "average" of employee wage puts HALF THE EMPLOYEES below 67,500 and after taxes most of those now below sustainability. Employees with incomes of 67,500.000 do not usually have home tax deductions.

This is not a complaint - it is about facts. Employees are proud to work for Palo Alto and love their community.

These are skilled jobs with employees who have picked up additional work through increased city employee vacancies over the past 5 years. These workers should be respected for their contribution to the city and their productivity.

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Posted by Henry
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 5, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Ok .. let’s use the latest Federal Data ,,

There are two salary groups in the PA City Government—SIEU (a little less than 700 employtees) and various other bargaining units of managerial, professional and public safety employees making up another 450 employees or so.

The data released by the City shows that the SIEU-types average about $71K in salary and cost the City about $117K, when the benefits are thrown in. For the other employee groups, the data released to various entities, like the Daily Post, show that over 400 people now make more than $100K (and many are creeping up on $200K). It doesn’t pay to average these two groups, as that simply confuses the issues.

When we look at data provided by the BLS (rather than the Census), we find that –

The Privileged Public Sector:
Web Link

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports state and local government workers get paid 33% more than their private sector counterparts. If you add in the pensions and other benefits, the difference is over 40%. In New York alone, public sector wages and benefits since 2000 have grown twice as fast as the average private sector worker.

While the Census data does look at total income in the home, the Palo Alto City data does not. So, trying to compare these two can result in some “apples and oranges” comparisons. It is a shame that the City is not able to provide total home income, however.

And then there is this other little problem of governments being short about $2T to pay all of the outlandish pensions which have been promised--

US public pensions 'facing $2,000bn shortfall':
Web Link

Here in Palo Alto, these retirement package benefits have become so expensive that the City is now spending 20% of the General Fund on payments to various funds to pay people who don’t work for the City (or who never did).

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Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Perhaps if we're all tired of the mismanagement in the Palo Alto Government we should elect a fiscal CONSERVATIVE to town council. The results of the last election were terrible. We elected a bunch of people with the same views as the last council.

The current system does encourage an opposition party to have any seats. Perhaps if there are 4 seats open, each voter should be allowed to vote for just 2 candidates. That would encourage more council members with different points of view. Isn't that what the liberals say they value???

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Posted by Too Much Traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2010 at 2:20 pm

George--one of the problems with council elections is that candidates are not allowed to really run against one another. For some reason disagreeing with an opponent for the council is considered to be a personal attack and is frowned upon in genteel Palo Alto politics. All the candidates parrot the same lines about Palo Alto and how wonderful it is and how great the services are here, but no one actually addresses policy issues, competence of other council members etc. Does anyone think that someone like Larry Klein deserved to be re-elected after his performance on the council during the last 4 years (I mean, how many times can an elected official, who is supposedly a hot shot lawyer claim to have been misled by the people he is supposed to be keeping an eye on?).
Bottom line is that council members with different points of view are discouraged in Palo Alto.

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Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm

How can we expect anything to get fixed if we're riding on the same railroad tracks that the prior council laid? How do you change directions if no one will express an opposing view?

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Posted by the overviewer
a resident of another community
on Jan 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm

"With the city facing a structural budget deficit of about $10 million and just about every major revenue source on the wane, city officials are bracing for service cuts, tough negotiations with labor unions and a growing infrastructure backlog."

So my question is, with in the $10 million deficit, does that total include the $4.8 million missing dollars from the budget dept/via info from the apologetic and remorseful oversight as stated by budget manager Lalo Perez?

Web Link

Seems as though the issue regarding the $4.8 mill has been pushed under the red carpet.
Seems questionable at best.
Seems a little suspicious that this has gone into a moot mode.

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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 5, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Wha?: The number you quoted ($153,197) is the MEDIAN income for a Palo Alto family. That’s just the number in the middle, not the average.

Henry: Thanks for your analysis of the wage issues. There’s far too much apples-to-oranges comparisons going on.

George: The same people always run for city council. They may have different names, but they all drink the same Kool-Aid and they all spout the same feel-good rhetoric.

And Palo Altans vote for the same people every election. While many of us complain about the way the city is run, Larry Klein got re-elected to the council and he got more votes than any other candidate.

For the last 10 years at least, the council has avoided taking a hard look at the budget. Now they’re surprised that there’s a deficit in this “special” city with so many services. Services cost money and require staff. We simply can’t afford them all, but it’s politically incorrect to consider cutting anything that some special interest group feels we can’t live without.

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Posted by opus
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 6, 2010 at 3:00 am

anybody figure out where the missing $4.8 million from the city's general fund went? here we had the city manager and his top officials hiding the fact from the public and city council that somehow a $4.8 million deficit was unaccounted for in the current budget but recently and calmly suggested they would fix the "mistake" by draining reserve funds and then replacing the reserve funds with payments of $1.2 million the general fund for the next four years. Wow, really? and here we worry about someone making $72,000 a year salary? maybe we should worry about the big picture and the fact that palo alto leaders have been using the same creative financing for years to fund pet projects and cover "mistakes" and now point to their own employees while these so called leaders duck and cover from the public backlash. how very sad that we as citizens chose poor leaders who lack the basic financing and accounting skills necessary to maintain a balanced budget. does any one of your posters really beleive that any money saved by employee salary reductions or concessions will be used wisely? let's try and figure out what happened to the missing $4.8 million and work our way down the dysfuntional leadship ladder from there and make the necessary personel changes to fix the budget. finger pointing and name calling by unqualified weekend quarterbacks who claim one group alone is responsible for the current deficit breeds ignorance and only clouds judgement. maybe its time to find a manager who has the basic skills to be a leader and who has the common sense to fix the problem first and then place the blame second. good luck!

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Posted by the overviewer
a resident of another community
on Jan 6, 2010 at 10:20 am

Thanks opus for your words.
My analysis of the financial paralysis at the CPA is:

If my math is correct, and say (hypothetically) the $4.8 million is found then the actual budget deficit of about $10 million would be corrected to $5.2 million.

My questions in regard to the scary maxi-recession fiasco within the City of Palo Alto:

1. Why haven't the Palo Alto citizens who pay for much of the service cost within the city been given some sort of follow-up to the (now) mysterious missing "fix it mistake" $4.8 million?
2. Has an investigation been launched by the police department regarding the issue?
3. Has the missing money been accounted for?
Has the person who (alledgedly) made the error been questioned or made accountable?
4. If the total deficit is $10 million, and if this total were to include the missing $4.8 million, then in reality shouldn't the actual total of the budget deficit be $14.8 million?

In conclusion to all the confusion,
I will leave you with this humorous quote from the famous Peter Griffin of "Family Guy."

"Now I may be an idiot, but there is one thing I am not, sir, and that, sir, is an idiot."

and a little healing quote from famed psychologist Arnold H Glasgow

Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects."


One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.

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Posted by Management
a resident of University South
on Jan 6, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Our employees may be stupid, but they're slow. That way they don't make too many mistakes.

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Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports state and local government workers get paid 33% more than their private sector counterparts. If you add in the pensions and other benefits, the difference is over 40%."

Therefore the smart people will go get jobs with the government instead of whining about government employees being better paid.

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By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 708 views

They Are the Lucky Ones
By Max Greenberg | 1 comment | 62 views


One more week to vote!

Don't forget to cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 29th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 21st issue of the Palo Alto Weekly.