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Cormack, DuBois and Filseth win Palo Alto council seats

Original post made on Nov 6, 2018

Alison Cormack scored an emphatic victory in the race for the Palo Alto City Council on Tuesday, while incumbent Palo Alto council members Tom DuBois and Eric Filseth were comfortably re-elected to fresh four-year terms.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 8:25 PM

Comments (60)

4 people like this
Posted by Norman Beamer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 6, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Chart says "2 seats open" for council??


53 people like this
Posted by BP
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 6, 2018 at 9:00 pm

seems the pro-growth business lobby was able to finance their candidate to victory.


32 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2018 at 9:42 pm

am creeped out that Cormack out of nowhere is leading, oh forgot she’s not out of nowhere and how can I forget how Fine and Tanaka got elected

will be good to now see how Corm$ack votes once elected and maybe she’ll find her voice before we can know what hit us by next election


77 people like this
Posted by The Irony
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 6, 2018 at 9:48 pm

It took him 4 years, but it looks like Cory will finally make some progress with regard to adding "civility" to the council.


58 people like this
Posted by Rogue Treader
a resident of Green Acres
on Nov 6, 2018 at 10:32 pm

Great to have Eric and Tom re-elected.

Looking ahead to 2020, it looks like there will be 4 seats open - spots currently held by Kniss, Tanaka, Fine, and Kou - but Kniss will be termed out and cannot run.

Assuming Kou gets one of the top 4 slots, then the slow growth contingent only needs to flip one of the 3 Kniss/Tanaka/Fine spots to regain the majority.

Put another way, in 2020, assuming Kou finishes in the top 4, then the slow growth contingent just needs one additional candidate to finish in the top 4. If that happens, the slow growth will regain a 4-3 majority on the council. Is that correct?


61 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 12:08 am

"To have a challenger beat all the incumbents, it just shows that there's plenty of work to be done when it comes to rebuilding trust," Cormack said”

Trust in City governance has eroded because of the majority voting block and the shenanigans of majority council members which Cormack will either be part of or not.

Clearly two incumbents from the minority getting re-elected speaks volumes so Cormack may want to get a reality check about what her le$d with money from people really means but at any rate all eyes will be on her votes now


51 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 12:11 am

Cormack’s lead with money from non-Palo Alto residents

foundation for trust?


33 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 12:11 am

Can't help feeling shocked that Cormack got most votes, although not too surprised she got elected.

I do hope Boone tries again. He had the odds piled against him and it is a shame he did not do better. We need someone like him on Council.


15 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2018 at 6:10 am

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

A new face and voice and let's hope she will be open and willing to study issues carefully (her business background and prior involvement and leadership in the community are great assets), and listen to different points of view before voting. Let's hope she will be an independent thinker and not follow lock step with the other Kniss groomed pro growth CC members. If she holds true with how she advertises herself she could be a critical swing vote, much like Pat Burt was on council.

So, welcome aboard Alison. You out-shined and out signed the rest. Your signs were everywhere and your ads popped up everywhere. Your face became familiar. I saw you in line at the check out counter at Piazza's once and I recognized you immediately.


35 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 7, 2018 at 6:53 am

The Santa Clara County Registrar of voters does not publish the percentage of registered voters that a candidate receives—which would offer a more realistic view of how the electorate responded to a given candidate. However, the Registrar does publish a summary dataset which includes the number of registered voters in each jurisdiction/district, so this statistic can be easily computed.

This year, the number of Palo Alto registered voters is 39866. So, looking at the candidate with the most votes for City Council, this person received 8703 votes—making the percentage of registered voters who voted for this person at just 18%. Given the amount of outside money this candidate received, as well as “in-kind” contributions—this person has not been seen all that favorably by the Palo Alto electorate.

Sadly, we have seem far too many Council elections end up with only about one-third of the registered voters actually casting votes for Council members—meaning that Palo Alto government is driven, or fashioned, more by special interests than not.


51 people like this
Posted by JCP
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:02 am

Cormack wants to rebuild public trust? How about some transparency, starting now. Her connections to local wealth interests appears to be solid.


19 people like this
Posted by Bye, Bye Cory
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:24 am

[Post removed.]


22 people like this
Posted by Pull up the drawbridge
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:32 am

With the re-election of Tom DuBois and Eric Filseth, the voters have clearly said they do not want any new housing in town. Congratulations Palo Alto on a net loss of housing in 2018 (President Hotel) as traffic continues worsen for the people who commute here for work. People who don't want more housing can deflect the real issues by complaining about developers but at the end of the day these people are not being honest about what's really going on. They're secretly delighted that a restricted housing supply doubles their property value every 5 years, that they pay very little in property taxes which strangles the city's ability to provide services, and younger generations are relegated to long, miserable commutes to get to jobs. I'm amazed how selfish so many people here are. But go ahead and complain about developers who want to add to the housing supply. That will solve the problem...


19 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:55 am

Why do I get the feeling that building trust is the new civility?





47 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:57 am

>restricted housing supply doubles their property value
>every 5 years, that they pay very little in property taxes
>which strangles the city's ability to provide services,

Comments like this one appear in blogs often, but are rarely backed up by much in the way of facts. The reality is that housing prices have not doubled every five years, going back to the early 1960s. The actual doubling rate is somewhere between 10 and 12 years. What is really not true is that the number of initial-assessment homes in Palo Alto (assessed at 1976 prices) goes down yearly, and those homes that trade hands are reassessed at market prices when these residential properties are sold. It is an open question as to how much higher home prices can increase without having a collapse in the market, however.

The change in assessment for these pre-Prop.13 homes is often 10x to 20x. The issue here, which too many people seem unaware—is that property taxes are apportioned by the Legislature via a bill called AB-8. In Palo Alto, about 46% of every property tax dollar goes to the school district. The City gets about 9%. The City’s property tax revenues are projected to increase from $41M in 2019 to $73M by 2028. And these projection grow every year after that. The City’s operating budget for this year is about $207M—and is projected to grow to $286M ten years out. It really is difficult to understand how these increases in revenue are “strangling services”.

Claims about people not paying property tax because of a “restricted housing supply” simply do not wash in the light of day.


43 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 7, 2018 at 8:41 am

mauricio is a registered user.

The comment about how restricting housing supply doubles property values every 5 years is not only factually wrong, it is wrong on all counts. Every desirable city I know of anywhere in the world where building spree have been allowed has actually suffered from significant appreciation of housing prices. Increase in urbanization creates more demand for housing and more housing construction will not reverse that trend, it will increase it. More housing means more traffic into town to service that housing create more traffic into town needed to service the new housing, and more traffic in general, as it increases car trips even if the new residents don't have cars.

There are many case studies. I urge the poster to study Sao Paulo, which has gone through a massive housing development which made housing actually much less affordable and seriously increased homelessness and crime.

This area has far too many jobs which put tremendous pressure on housing availability and keeps their prices abnormally high. Coupled with foreign buying, it's a situation that can be dealt with only after serious pressure on companies to relocate and expand elsewhere and serious curbs on foreign buying. More housing development would worsen this situation, not improve it.


7 people like this
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Duveneck School
on Nov 7, 2018 at 8:52 am

Cormack actually left a personal note that she stopped by my house. Pounding the pavement is the way to go, I don't know why other candidates don't do this, it's so obvious.


27 people like this
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 7, 2018 at 9:00 am

No disespect intended ; just a question.
How do you know Cormack herself wrote and left the note if you were not at home to receive it???


33 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 7, 2018 at 9:14 am

@Palo Altan - just about every candidate "walks" as the campaign parlance puts it. That was Wolbach's signature campaign effort four years ago, and Dharap's this year.

I'd say with Cormack, her true distinguishing feature was $35K in independent expenditures (all mailers I would guess) on top of a huge campaign fundraising effort. Money talks in Palo Alto campaigns, and the development money certainly backed Cormack. She might be a good council member anyway, but it isn't a promising start.


60 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Nov 7, 2018 at 9:15 am

@ Pull up the drawbridge
You live in Crescent Park and you're complaining that the housing supply is too restricted? Are you advocating to make your own neighborhood more dense in some way? Maybe by hosting vehicle dwellers? Somehow I've missed the Crescent Park development proposals, perhaps buried under the avalanche of attempts to demolish the character of the Ventura neighborhood by packing people more densely together than our precious free-range California chickens.

Time for Filseth and DuBois to redouble their efforts to bring some sense to the City Council.


3 people like this
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Duveneck School
on Nov 7, 2018 at 9:30 am

@Palo Altan of Evergreen Park: Are you implying that someone wrote a note claiming to be her and signed her name?

@ Resident: No other candidate for CC or School Board knocked on my door and I am home most of the time.


4 people like this
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Duveneck School
on Nov 7, 2018 at 9:34 am

@Resident: Kathy Jordan raised the most money and is not leading in votes. Trump raised half the money that Hillary raised, and this occurs in other elections too. Money raised is not a guarantee of a win.


4 people like this
Posted by Pull up the drawbridge
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2018 at 9:43 am

I rent in Crescent Park and would like to see some low-rise development near the train station. It would be nice to be able to buy a condo in town instead of paying rent which means paying someone else's mortgage. If I could buy something near the transit center I could get rid of my car. Otherwise we're looking at leaving Palo Alto next year.


21 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 7, 2018 at 9:45 am

@Palo Altan - money matters, a lot. Jordan, with no name recognition and no endorsements of any kind, is in the hunt for school board. She spent double what the next person spent. Cormack out-mailed and out-advertised Filseth and Dubois, probably by a factor of two. So yes, money is not definitive, but it makes a huge difference esp. in otherwise low profile races.


11 people like this
Posted by @PullUp
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:09 am

@Pull Up The Drawbridge, I'm curious why you think a new development near the train station would be more affordable than existing condos (for instance the high rise on Alma at Palo Alto Avenue. Or, the low rise ones on Everett. ) And, why low rise? Would you really give up your car? Since you wrote "we", would any one else in the household continue to have a car? What if your job/situation changed and you needed a car? Would you move?


56 people like this
Posted by Tom DuBois
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:11 am

Tom DuBois is a registered user.

I want to congratulate all the candidates for running strong campaigns. It was relatively clean discussion of the issues with very little negative campaigning and I think we should all be proud of that.

All of the candidates wanted what they believe is best for Palo Alto. We recognize the intense pressures we are under as a city and we need to come up with innovate solutions to address them. I hope the council will work well together to come up with reasonable, data driven policies that continue to make Palo Alto a jewel on the peninsula. And while we didn't always agree, I want to thank Cory Wolbach for his public service.

Now it's time to make that shift back from campaigning to working together productively. Welcome, Alison, to the Council. I hope the community will join me in reaching out to everyone that will be on the new Council to find common ground and help forge compromises that serve the best interests of all of us.


59 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:14 am

@Pull up the Drawbridge
Your refrain that DuBois and Filseth are opposed to all housing is far from true. This voting record shows that they have been generally supportive of housing, but they have successfully sought to rein in office growth, the main driver of our jobs/housing imbalance, Web Link.
As for the President Hotel apartments, the current council majority, led of Wolbach, Fine, Scharff, Kniss and Tanaka eliminated the downtown office cap last year. If that cap had remained, the speculators would have not bought the president since it would have been clear that they would not have been able to convert it to commercial. In addition, restricting new office development downtown is key to getting what you are seeking and the whole council is supporting, more residential downtown. as long is office can be built there with higher returns that residential, then that's what we'll get.
Fortunately, Cormack stated during the campaign that she supports reinstating the downtown cap so there may be a new council majority to do that.


40 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:27 am

Posted by Pull up the drawbridge, a resident of Crescent Park, wrote:

>> the re-election of Tom DuBois and Eric Filseth,

Factually correct.

>> the voters [...] the problem...

Sorry, there isn't a nice way to say it: you are being conned by the developers. I understand that you are frustrated by the high price of housing here; I can only say that you ought to be asking your employer why they don't open satellite offices in other attractive locations, such as the way HP used to do it. As long as more office space is built in Palo Alto, housing will become ever more unaffordable and traffic will become ever more unacceptable.


15 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:29 am

I tend to think that it has to be said that money makes a very big difference to elections here in Palo Alto.

Name recognition by those who spend very little time reading up on the candidates, watching the debates online or in person, or even reading some of the comments on Town Square means that many people vote because someone is familiar rather than anything else. Cormack's biggest plus was name recognition because of her work on Mitchell Park library, PTA involvement and the fact that she had more money to spend on publicity than Pat Boone.

It is very obvious to me that DuBois and Filseth were a team and most who voted for one would also vote for the other. The likelihood is that would mean their supporters, if they indeed decided to vote on a third candidate, took a gamble and voted with the one they were most familiar with.

Pat Boone didn't stand a chance against big money. Even two days before election I heard some voters say "Who? My parents had a Christmas album of his".

Money buys elections, no doubt about it.

As for school board, I think the only reason the second seat is so close is because of the smear campaign invoked against Jordan in the past week. Whether it is deserved or not is not the point. It worked. The other big thing in her favor was the Asian social media promotion. At least social media is a free form of advertising and will probably continue to be very important over the next elections.

Such a shame that so much money is spent and so much of what it is spent on went straight into our recycling.


3 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:32 am

“Can’t help feeling shocked that Cormack got most votes, although not surprised she got elected”

It was predictable and inevitable that Cormack would get the most votes.


47 people like this
Posted by PB1102
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:34 am

PB1102 is a registered user.

Former Council Candidate Pat Boone:

The number 2,239 will be forever printed in my mind, those are the total number of votes I achieved during the 2018 Palo Alto City Council election.

It was an amazing run that began just over six months ago after a coffee conversation at Town and Country with my friend and Palo Alto Resident Bob Stafanski.

We knew this would be an uphill climb for me to win, but my heart to run was all in. I just felt the current Council needed a fresh new direction especially when trying to fix our traffic headaches, housing shortage, and managing business growth.

Throughout the campaign, I hit the ground running on getting verse during an amazing listen tour, I’ve met so many people who have taught me so much. I am truly grateful for all the new friends I’ve met.

I admit I struggled throughout this race to be a strong candidate in knowing all the issues, but I was always serious about my run and candidacy. As a political newcomer in a small town, I guess the outcome would be tough but I never gave up.

The debates and forums were amazing and getting to know my challengers and learning from them has been the greatest experience of all for me.

Alison, Eric, Tom, and Corey are decent people with wonderful hearts. They to like me love our city and want only the best for all of us. Now that the election is over I want us all to support our new Council and give them the chance and time to succeed. We can’t expect one election to solve all our problems, but it’s a great start.

I’m proud of my grassroots campaign that gained less than $1000 in donations, it was a clean campaign with no special interest money attached.

As for what’s next for me, I will continue to fight for the rights of everyone in Palo Alto - residents and our business owners. I plan to head back to the communities, I’ll get more involved in our town, and even consider a city appointed position.

But I’m not going away, I will continue to build upon the progress I’ve made in the past few months and hopefully in the future will leave the door open for another run to be your Councilman.

Now the next chapter begins today, expect to see a lot more of me for now on.

Thank you Palo Alto!

Pat Boone
Palo Alto City Council Candidate


37 people like this
Posted by Who is Cormack
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:51 am

Cormack was given $50,000 worth of mailers from:
The giant lobbying group for the rental housing and development industry, California Apartment Assoc.
And the coyly named “Innovation for Everyone” that the CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (lobbying group for 400 Silicon Valley corporations), Carl Guardino is listed first and foremost on its website.

Cormack says she knew nothing about the mailer in advance which distanced herself from this benificene - but she neglected to say that the law forbids any candidate from coordinating with givers of such support, so of course she wouldn’t have.

Clearly each giver saw Cormack as a candidate that would advance their goals even if they differ from city resident’s or they wouldn’t have invested in her.


41 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:52 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Palo Alto residents, who generally work insane hours, tend to vote on name recognition and don't bother to actually find out candidates actually positions. Cormack who was well financed and kept sending out sleek election materials rich on platitudes and cliches and poor on specifics, was already well known anyway due to her library bond leadership. There is no doubt that many voters who do not support massive development voted for her, just like they voted for Cory Wolbach 4 years ago. I suspect they will discover very soon what her actual positions on development, including commercial development are, and that their surprised will not be a very pleasant one.


29 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:53 am

Cormack’s lead was predicted and predictable and is not separable, unfortunately, from being an artifact of pool instead of ranked choice voting.

There were two clear factions. Palo Alto resident-focused (Dubois and Filseth) and developer-focused (Wohlbach). Cormack is an unknown and was endorsed by the Weekly. Boone is an unknown and new in town. He seems more resident-focused, but so did Scharff whose misrepresentations about himself are thankfully clear enough to voters for him to lose his bid to be a Fox in the open-space protection henhouse. I hope Boone will volunteer and become a known entity, as Kou and Dauber (schools) did and won 2nd races.

With two clear factions, and three open spots, if everyone on both sides voted for Cormack, who was recommended by the Weekly, she would have gotten closer to twice as many votes, even if she were everyone’s distant third choice. The fact that she didn’t get twice as many votes speaks to the priorities of the voters in either camp. The split of the vote was in part the result of a lack of ranked choice voting. If we had ranked choice voting, then the third seat would have been more in play, and it’s possible that Wolbach would have taken the third seat. I suppose it’s a wash because if we had ranked choice when he ran the first time, he probably would have lost to Kou. People’s preferences should matter in a field, otherwise it’s possible for someone no one feels strongly about to beat someone far more voters do feel strongly about.

We need ranked choice in Council and Board elections. It’s too easy for everyone ‘s last choice to come out on top or even displace a preferred candidate. I am not trying to take away from Cormack’s victory, she would just as likely have taken the third spot in ranked choice. But the flip side is that without it, her vote total can’t be viewed as a mandate.


17 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2018 at 11:19 am

In the paper this morning it commented on Cory - noting that he wanted to turn Stanford Research Park into housing. Note to the winners do not go there or you will be out. We need the tax base of the large corporations that are located there. Note that major corporations are moving to San Mateo County and south Santa Clara county who are flourishing with the increased tax base.

You want to go somewhere go to all of the buildings for lease on East and West Bayshore. Those building sit empty forever. It is a disgrace. They are paid off, have a low tax base. and take up valuable space in the city. Who ever owns those buildings should be targeted to turn those buildings into useable space for housing or commercial use. They do not contribute to the tax base of the city, county, or state. So why we look for locations for housing that is where to look.

And do not look at Cubberly for housing. You want to keep adding families to the city population then you have to add school space for the children.

Maybe the city should print out where the city already owns land, where the county already owns land, and what institutions of record are sitting unoccupied. It would also help if we do not allow foreign corporations to be entitled to purchase major buildings in the city. I was surprised to read that the BofA on University was purchased by a Chinese corporation. The next council has it's work cut out for them and we have our work to make sure they are functioning in a clear and transparent manner.


31 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 11:29 am

"With the re-election of Tom DuBois and Eric Filseth, the voters have clearly said they do not want any new housing in town …they're secretly delighted that a restricted housing supply doubles their property value”


That kind of divisive and juvenile (and simply untrue) language is undoubtedly one of the reasons voters rejected Wolbach, who often indulged in it himself: “to quote Star Wars, everything you just said is wrong,” “opposing voters acted out of fear and ignorance,” “meet me in the back of council chambers,” and so on.

This emotionally charged rhetoric of polarization and exclusion is unfortunately standard practice now in politics and advocacy, as an artifice to fire up ideological people. But too many individuals in political circles (“Pull the Drawbridge” indeed) go a step farther and confuse that language with reality. Fortunately voters didn’t.


3 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2018 at 11:29 am

"We need ranked choice in Council and Board elections. "

Ugh. That's the last thing we need. San Francisco Board of Supervisors elections are a mess because of RCV. I like that candidates run on their own (even though the developer truthers believe otherwise). It essentially brings a party-like system and alliances to our elections. Do we really need to have slates and single party voting in Palo Alto elections? I would hope that we are smarter than that.


23 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2018 at 12:02 pm

The Santa Clara County Democratic Party backed both Wolbach, who finished fourth, and very strongly Measure F, a terrible proposition which was which was crushed at the polls.

It would appear that CADEM is directly opposed to Palo Alto voters.


14 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2018 at 12:20 pm

I agree that ranked choice is a total disaster. It is a bunch of people gaming the system. Reading the results in the paper this morning it is very clear who the winners and loser are by numerical count.

One thing to consider is a mayor who is voted on by the citizens. Everyone else has a mayor that was voted on. PA's current system sets up a preselected mayor who is typically of the same POV as the current mayor so the ability to change the cities POV is limited. SInce we are a city that ends up in national papers is it time to have a mayor that we voted on who represents us?


13 people like this
Posted by Congrats to Alison, Tom and Eric
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 7, 2018 at 12:56 pm

Alison Cormack is a very careful and deep thinker, as well as being someone who GETS THINGS DONE. She will undoubtably serve Palo Alto well. She cares very deeply about our community.
I am optimistic about the new composition of our City Council. Thank you to all who serve! Now it's time to get to work!


8 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Nov 7, 2018 at 2:31 pm

Dubois and Filseth were good candidates who were incumbents. Cormack was a great candidate who was not an incumbent.

The residential need to wake up to the fact that their obstructionism is not as popular a message as the CAN DO message.

If you want to get Kou re-elected p, you are going to have to make her a much more positive force. Her message of NO NO NO is losing appeal.


7 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2018 at 2:45 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

@Tom Dubois,

"I hope the council will work well together to come up with reasonable, data driven policies that continue to make Palo Alto a jewel on the peninsula. And while we didn't always agree, I want to thank Cory Wolbach for his public service."

Well said, and I second your thoughts and thanks to Cory. I too disagreed with him on issues but his heart was in the right place, he sincerely believed, and I sincerely believe he believed, on solving the housing problem. Except for the differences on the downtown office cap I think all CC members supported the same goals...they just had different approaches on how to solve them. The biggest turmoil was on housing...what type of housing, where, zoning changes required, height limits raised, parking, etc.

Once the VTA site development is completed and occupied, some serious data gathering needs to happen. I said it before and Tom Dubois said it too by approving it as a 'pilot project'. Don't just walk away from it thinking it was a huge success and move on to build another one just like it without checking to see how well this one worked out and fit into the neighboring community. Find out how well the under-parked idea worked out. The dreamers' hope and assumption is that most renters won't own cars because they will be able to walk, bike, or get free or cheap and timely public transit. Now I have to admit to being a dreamer because there won't be anybody to gather the data in the first place, or to enforce rules and regulations/restrictions as conditions of a lease agreement.

So, another like project will be proposed and CC will have to deal with it just like they did with the VTA project.

@Pat Burt, thanks for not just fading away...your voice and opinions are always welcome.

Your analysis of what happened to the President Hotel makes some sense, but none of those people you named would ever admit to it.

And yes, I liken Alison's opportunity to serve and be a swing vote on CC to yours when you served. But, if she turns out to be a Cory clone on CC then it might end up being a one term and out experience for her. Let's give her lots of slack in the beginning until she establishes a voting record. I would personally challenge her on how successful the ADU's have been since she is a big supporter of them.

Here I go again, I want some data gathering on where they have been built, who the inhabitants are (I want to meet one granny living in them...who knows, we might hit it off together. lol!) how well they are being accepted in the neighborhoods, any parking issues, etc. And I admit again to being a dreamer because, unless I bother to do all that investigative research myself, it will never happen.

Re 'Pull up the drawbridge' remarks. I don't need to say much about it because so many others have. The accusations about Tom and Eric are false although opponents and their supporters kept repeating that mantra during the campaign. I think the results of the campaign speak for themselves. Our electorate is, for the most part, an astute group and a lot smarter than many people give us credit for.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Nov 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Mauricio,

Do you think Google will stop growing in Mountain View and Facebook stop growing in Menlo Park because you don’t want to build more housing in Palo Alto? That is an extremely obtuse point of view. Palo Alto already has a major housing/jobs imbalance. How can you be so self-righteous to say only Palo Alto is allowed to have more jobs than its housing can support?


3 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Google and Fb are correctly growing in other locations and other cities. We do not have to be responsible for providing housing to them since their tax base is in Menlo Park and Mountain View, as well as other locations. Their locations were detailed in the recent walk out by the ladies. And East PA is getting the benefit of proximity with people buying there as investment properties. Our job is to grow our tax base by attracting major corporations to stay here - presumably Stanford Research Park. We need to focus on those entities that create growth without sacrificing tax benefits as a tradeoff. Reports in the papers say we need money to meet our fiscal obligations regarding the retirement plan so do not keep pushing the problem down the road. And do not keep making concessions to attract occupants for empty buildings. Everyone else out there is racking and stacking what land is available and how to grow a better opportunity for those locations. Time to rack and stack and get answers on run-down properties that are unoccupied and put them to good use.


36 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 7, 2018 at 4:21 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Why exactly should Palo Alto develop housing for the employees of corporations located in Menlo Park and Mountain View? It's a weird phenomenon in which employees who don't even work in Palo Alto demand from the town they don't reside in to build housing that fit their income. People who will change job location several times during their career in the most mobile job market in the nation/world, demand the same. This gives the term 'self entitlement' an even worse meaning than it already has..


2 people like this
Posted by liz kniss
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 7, 2018 at 4:55 pm

None of the comments attributed to "Kniss Inc", were posted by me. It is troubling enough to have anonymous comments casually posted, but impersonating another person is insulting and irresponsible.
Those comments should be ferreted out and removed by the person responsible for editing the postings.
Why is this not done?


Moderator's Note: The comments posted under the name "Kniss Inc" had already been changed by the moderator to simply "Resident."


3 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 7, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Recently came upon the following service of the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters--a web-page where a voter can check to see if his/her mail-in ballot has been received and counted:

Web Link


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2018 at 5:07 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Ranked choice voting
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 7, 2018 at 5:32 pm

Ranked choice voting is a registered user.

I like ranked choice voting. It helps to weed out the more divisive candidates or options, because it provides a way for people to indicate dislike (low rank) as well as like (high rank).

Without that, we end up electing more divisive candidates, or choosing more divisive options, rather than those that have broader appeal.

I was thinking about this in the context of Cubberley. We were given instructions to "star the things we like". So each person put two stars on things they liked. Nowhere was it reflected that some of the options receiving stars (e.g., housing) were much more divisive than other options receiving stars (e.g., performing arts).

The main downside I can see to ranked choice voting is it requires voters to be more informed, and to handle somewhat more complexity, which admittedly is a real downside.


3 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 7, 2018 at 7:37 pm

I have question.

There are some who claim that those who won seats on the Council in this past election were “excellent candidates”. I don’t think that they were—in that none of them seems to have solid positions on key issues facing the City. We were bombarded with non-stop fliers—filled to the brim with endorsements, many from people and organizations not located in Palo Alto. None of the Candidates revealed their contributions and contributors.

The City is looking at billions of dollars of possible expenditures in the coming years. The unfunded pension liability could grow to a billion dollars one of these days While there has been some talk about how to pay down the UAL, and maybe using a different discount rate when paying covered salary contributions. But not one of the candidates has produced a spreadsheet that provides at least a model of how this unfunded liability can be paid down within a specific period of time.

The long-term infrastructure costs are not known, although P/W is working on a database and application software that may finally, after more than 100 years, will give the Council and the public a fairly good view of the state of the infrastructure and an estimate as to what it will cost to repair/refurbish its assets. The current Council infrastructure plan, which is costed at about $350M was provided to the public without estimates of the finance debt—which can easily be more than $100M, about 30% of the published costs.

And the list goes on and one ..

In the past, there have been three, or four, public meetings where the Candidates answer questions put to them by organizations, and the public. There may have been one of these things, but if there were not very many of these public presentations—how can anyone really know the Candidates?

So—with so little information about the Candidates generally available—why makes any of these folks “excellent candidates”?


5 people like this
Posted by Socs
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2018 at 10:31 pm

@Wayne Martin

No one will ever qualify to be an excellent candidate in your book. Why not run yourself and be “the” excellent candidate?


1 person likes this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 7, 2018 at 11:42 pm

@Socs:

Was interested in a discussion--not a put-down.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 8, 2018 at 9:22 am

People's attention in PA is highly tuned to how and where new property relations are occurring. If any changes are made at Cubberly then it will be put up to a vote. If taxpayer funds are used to support a location then taxpayers will vote on what ever changes are occurring. Cubbbrly is needed as a back up to a growing population of residents who have children and need to expand the school choices. It is currently a good place for Avenidas while the downtown property is being upgraded.
As to properties that are owned by corporations and private companies that is another thorn - less control over how property used. So go back to underperforming properties that are for lease and start working those issues.


5 people like this
Posted by Pat Markevitch
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 8, 2018 at 9:32 am

Wayne Martin, I don't think Socs meant that as a put down. I understand your questions because I have met you before and I know that you are data driven and you do your research.

These fliers are very expensive and if our budgets are limited, we have to choose what goes on them. That means it usually ends up being endorsement, quotes and bullet points. It would be great to send one out on each key issue but then we run the risk of "mailer fatigue" with the voters.

For a more comprehensive view of a candidate, visit their website. You can pretty much tell from the content if they are going to be qualified or not.


15 people like this
Posted by Follow the money? What you know and have done matters.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 8, 2018 at 10:46 am

Follow the money? What you know and have done matters. is a registered user.

I attended the Council forums. If Pat Boone wants to run successfully, he should serve on the PTC or Utilities Commission where he can learn more about how our local government operates. He also should attend more Council meetings. (This is good advice for anyone who wants to run for Council.) His knowledge of local issues, especially traffic and land use, was extremely thin, though he is very well spoken. He has potential to be a good candidate in the future...if he does the groundwork he needs to do to make himself one.

I agree with the previous writer who said Cormack didn't reveal deep understanding of transportation and land use issues and made no real commitments. She leaned heavily on her advocacy work for the libraries--which I commend and appreciate, but I'm not sure it makes her fit for Council. We'll learn who she is by watching her vote. It will be very interesting.


5 people like this
Posted by StarSpring
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 8, 2018 at 1:44 pm

StarSpring is a registered user.

Housing is not the issue here. We want reduced -demand- through reduced corporate development, hence reduced courting of developers, and -zero- financing of things like the Children's Museum through developer givaways.


9 people like this
Posted by The Cynic
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 8, 2018 at 2:41 pm

>> So—with so little information about the Candidates generally available—why makes any of these folks “excellent candidates”?

Because the candidates themselves believe they are 'excellent candidates' and endorse the notion that the less you know about them, the better.

> Cormack actually left a personal note that she stopped by my house.
>> No disespect intended ; just a question.
How do you know Cormack herself wrote and left the note if you were not at home to receive it???

Geeze. Haven't you two ever heard of a handwriting machine? Presidents use them to send out various congratulatory and commemorative letters to citizens.

Was the note personally addressed to you by name?

If all those purported notes were actually written by hand, Ms. Cormack might be nursing a mild case of carpal-tunnel syndrome.


7 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 8, 2018 at 4:52 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Quote-We want reduced -demand- through reduced corporate development, hence reduced courting of developers.

Wonderful idea, but we will never get it with Liz Kniss, Greg Tanaka, Adrian Fine And almost certainly Alison Cormack on the city council.


3 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 9, 2018 at 9:08 pm

@mauricio, we gpt rid of Wolbach by a wide margin. We will remove the others, and the City Manager, soon.


5 people like this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 9, 2018 at 9:22 pm

@chris, the residentialists. Especially Kou, have it exactly right and they are winning. No more development. Period. Palo Alto is not an office complex. Palo Alto is a community that should protect it’s own. Tax Palantir out of existance and we will have affordable housing. Wolbach, Kniss, Fine and others have damaged our community in ways that we may be unable to recover from. We need them out! Now!


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