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City shakes up commissions with new appointments

Original post made on Dec 15, 2021

Three influential commissions are in for changes after a series of resignations and an unusually convoluted appointment process.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 15, 2021, 9:45 AM

Comments (1)

Posted by Rebecca Eisenberg
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 15, 2021 at 2:43 pm

Rebecca Eisenberg is a registered user.

This was not a shake-up, although Palo Alto sure could use one!

As to Michael Alcheck leaving the PTC, his departure will make little difference - other than shortening meetings, abent his overlength soliloquy. Mr. Alcheck is a commercial developer by profession, and his personal and business interests will remain represented by the two corporate attorneys on the PTC who represent commercial developers for a living. Those two lawyers have proven their loyalty to their client base over the past years, by means of delivering a series of unprecedented and undeserved windfalls to billionaire real estate investors and commercial developers.

There are no other types of lawyers on the PTC, so for years the other members of the Commission - and the public - have heard only landlords' and commercial developers' interpretations of the law -- interpretations that diverge profoundly from lawyers who represent communities and small businesses for a living. Although representing community interests is something that is taken on by Ombudspersons (or City Attorneys) in better-run cities, here in Palo Alto, our leadership takes biased statements made by paid representatives of commercial developers as gospel -- whether or not they recognize that this is, in fact, what they are doing.

As to City Council's failure to appoint members to the ARB, there must be another reason, as lack of requisite skills and experiences has never prevented City Council from making appointments in the past.

If past appointments are any indication, the skills and experiences most important to City Council members are those of rubber-stamping City Council member political agendas. Given how increasingly out-of-touch City Council decisions are with the majority of community sentiment, chances are that City Council will have an increasingly difficult time finding "qualified" candidates in the future -- at least without directly recruiting allies and supporters - no doubt what they are doing now.

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