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Alison Cormack will not seek second term on Palo Alto City Council

Original post made on May 13, 2022

Alison Cormack, who was elected to the City Council in 2018 and who has been a vocal advocate for building more housing and redeveloping Cubberley Community Center, said Friday that she will not seek a second term.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 13, 2022, 5:22 PM

Comments (15)

Posted by Kevin
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on May 13, 2022 at 7:32 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

That's too bad.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 13, 2022 at 8:28 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Too bad for the developers and those looking for huge capital spending projects, maybe, regardless of what the neighbors want like the landlord's desire to convert Town & Country Shopping Center from a resident-serving shoppijg center to undefined "medical/retail" just as the recovery was starting.


Posted by felix
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2022 at 11:19 pm

felix is a registered user.

Excellent decision.
“Team” - a new euphemism for “Slate”.


Posted by PaloAltoVoter
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 14, 2022 at 1:10 am

PaloAltoVoter is a registered user.

I’m not sure Ms Cormack would work well with many. She always seems to take snarky shots at her colleagues when they are agreeing, with her being the one “to disrupt the calm”. I think it’s called micro aggression. Let’s hope we can some candidates that represent residents well.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2022 at 6:55 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Alison Cormack was well known around the community for her work on the Mitchell Park library and in the PTA. I believe many of her friends and contacts voted for her just because they knew her or knew her name. I think at least some of them were disappointed in her views which they did not know when they made their decision. I am not sure they would vote for her again.

It comes down to understanding who the candidates are before deciding to vote for them. Just because you know the person from somewhere, doesn't mean you should automatically vote for them. I wish people in Palo Alto would pay more to council elections because so many take little time choosing compared to the more noisy bigger races.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 14, 2022 at 10:37 am

Online Name is a registered user.

"I’m not sure Ms Cormack would work well with many. She always seems to take snarky shots at her colleagues when they are agreeing, with her being the one “to disrupt the calm”. I think it’s called micro aggression. Let’s hope we can some candidates that represent residents well."

In addition to her snarky shots at colleagues, you could always count on her to disrupt substantive discussions by saying, "Let's hear staff's take on this" since she and staff rarely represent residents well.

She really outdid herself representing the Town & Country landlord, giving us good giggles with her absurd insistence that patients at the proposed "medical/retail" establishments would surely go on shopping sprees while hurting, sweating and/or still drugged from recent procedures.

Re her support for campaign finance "reform," where was she while her mentor Ms. Kniss was violating campaign finance laws and why aren't they pushing to limit contributions from businesses and lobbyists as well as from residents?


Posted by community member
a resident of University South
on May 14, 2022 at 4:36 pm

community member is a registered user.

Cormack's close association with Liz Kniss says everything you need to know. Kniss was featured prominently in her pre-election fotos.
Pro developers all the way.
Hope she can be replaced with a citizen-centered candidae.


Posted by Evergreen Park Observer
a resident of Evergreen Park
7 hours ago

Evergreen Park Observer is a registered user.

Ms. Cormack made a wise decision. She aligned herself with Liz Kniss and Adrian Fine, and the last election demonstrated how voters felt about how this group rammed business/developer-first policies through the Council. Proposing a tax on residents and opposing a tax on businesses was astounding.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
7 hours ago

Online Name is a registered user.

Someone called "friends of Cubberley" posted the following on the other newspaper site:

I had hopes in Allison as a leader, but the defining moment for me was at the end of an extensive community outreach for Cubberley, she secretly instructed the consultant to add housing to the plan, thereby converting public facility to private usage. It was clearly not popular, and showed tone-deafness to the community, and the needs of a growing population. While Cubberley needs serious, action-oriented attention, I am leery of Allison’s continued involvement. Hopefully she will change her stance, and use her energy to make a long-lasting gem of a facility for an increasingly urbanized town.


Reaally?? Shameful. If true, why weren't her "secret" instructions to the consultant widely reported??

Also, I'm confused by the timing of her announcement. Why now?


Posted by chris
a resident of University South
4 hours ago

chris is a registered user.

Her timing clears the path for one more seat on the council. No candidates have yet made public announcements that they are running. People considering running for council will not have to face the headwinds of any incumbents in the election.


Posted by Observer
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
3 hours ago

Observer is a registered user.

Good riddance! For me the final straw destroying any respect for her was her support for lame duck committee appointments at the last meeting for term-ending members Kniss and Fine (along with Tanaka), with some comments justifying this hard-ball stunt as being OK not because of any ethical logic but "because they could".


Posted by PaloAltoVoter
a resident of Crescent Park
2 hours ago

PaloAltoVoter is a registered user.

Given her performance I doubt she would have been re-elected. It takes a different temperament to create coalitions on an elected body. She has not demonstrated the ability to form those coalitions. Instead she has insisted she knows the correct path and worked at odds with the rest of council.


Posted by scott
a resident of Fairmeadow
1 hour ago

scott is a registered user.

Cormack is the only remaining good member on a council that's been trying very hard to banish our children to other states by starving them for housing.

But every election is an opportunity, and at least some prominent members of the self-deportation caucus are getting termed out.


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
1 hour ago

Online Name is a registered user.

@Scott, come on. How does adding 2,000,000 more people and literally tens of millions sq feet of new offices which STILL outpaces housing growth bring down prices?? That claim never ever made any sense, nor does the refusal to admit reality like there's a DROUGHT and FIRE risk.

Sorry, she DID take a position on the drought: she tried to sell OUR water rights so a San Mateo County city so they could build an office park! Fortunately smarter heads prevailed, suggesting her short-term greed was counter-productive with the drought likely to get worse no matter what short-term gains from the IRREVOCABLE sale would have been.

She also opposes any business tax for her corporate backers while shifting the tax burdens to us because it would be wrong for THEM to pay any share, forget about their FAIR share.


Posted by scott
a resident of Fairmeadow
19 minutes ago

scott is a registered user.

Online Name, if you aren't in favor of new housing and new jobs, then you aren't in favor of keeping Palo Alto families together. Our kids need both. If we don't give them both housing and employment opportunity, then we're forcing too many of them to choose between local poverty and self-deportation.

If you've been in the Bay Area for any length of time, I'm sure you've lived through the economic displacement of loved ones. It never had to be that way. It was a path we've chosen at the ballot box for the last four decades, at least.

But the promise of democracy is we can always make a different choice, and build a better future.


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