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Software engineer Brian Hamachek joins Palo Alto City Council race

Original post made on Aug 2, 2022

Brian Hamachek, a software engineer who believes developers have too much sway in Palo Alto, announced on Monday that he will run for City Council.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 1, 2022, 5:24 PM

Comments (13)

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 2, 2022 at 7:27 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Now this sounds more like it! Thank you.

Posted by ALB
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 2, 2022 at 9:11 am

ALB is a registered user.

This candidate may hold an opinion re: the expansion of Castilleja’s footprint but he never spoke/wrote to the council opposing the proposal. He is also flat out wrong re: business tax harming small businesses. [Portion removed.]

Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 2, 2022 at 12:13 pm

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

What do you know about the tunnel, Mr. Hamachek? Why would you have supported it? What would it have taken to build it? Where would the money have come from? What are the physical, fiscal, and jurisdictional constraints that drove Council's decision on this issue? I don't recall hearing you speak on this subject in public meetings when it mattered. Who are you? Where did you come from? Have you ever served on any city committee, like the Rail Committee, for instance, since you say this issue matters to you? Have you read the Comprehensive Plan or the complete city budget or the City Charter? What do you know about city operations? You may know lots about software, but I want to know what you understand about city governance--what a city council legally can and cannot do. I don't want you to learn this on the job.

I am tired of people running for office who think they know it all, but have never bothered to do any previous public service to learn the system. Start on committees and commissions. There are lots of rules staff, electeds, and appointees have to follow--for the public's protection. Do you know what they are? Inexperienced electeds (and staff) have become a problem. I'm looking for experience and a track record of public action that indicates knowledge, thoughtful values and integrity. Council is an extremely time-consuming volunteer job. I honor and am grateful to all of those who serve, even those with whom I disagree. Start by volunteering for a committee, rather than armchair quarterbacking. Help me understand what you have done in the public sphere that would give me reason to vote for you.

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 2, 2022 at 3:44 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Consider Your Options makes a very good point. City Council is supposed to direct the City Manager and Senior Staff, but as we often see here, the opposite happens. The Castilleja application and how it was handled revealed how out of whack things have gotten. This reversed dynamic will persist as long as we elect people unfamiliar with how government works - or is supposed to work. Because they will defer to the City Manager and Senior Staff. People with some City experience are far more likely to understand what the roles are, what they are expected to do, what can and should be expected from the City Manager and Senior Staff, and what should not be allowed to persist.

Posted by Chris
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 3, 2022 at 7:39 am

Chris is a registered user.

Developers having power is the number one issue in Palo Alto right now. I would've liked to hear something about environmentalism

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 3, 2022 at 8:12 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Echoing the points made above. We need CC members who will do their jobs of policing staff and the city manager so we avoid long and costly fiascos like Casti and short absurd attempts to cater to greedy landlords like Ms Cormack pushing to convert Town & Country Shopping Center to "medical/research" without A) defining the term, B) acknowledging that the pandemic was ending, C) considering the lack of sales tax revenue and D) depriving residents of a community resource that's ALWAYS packed with shoppers and diners.

When will we start seeing candidates who represent US and not the big-money backers who care more about providing more MARKET RATE housing for techies?

Palo Alto has the 2d highest rents in the country (after Jersey City, NJ). What's CC doing about that?? Offices and stores have been empty for years because the greedy landlords won't reduce rents and thus killed long-time businesses.

Where's the Chamber of Commerce? Isn't retail "commerce" or do only the big-dollar huge companies count to them??

Posted by lex22
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Aug 4, 2022 at 12:10 pm

lex22 is a registered user.

How can we say that developers have all the power when nothing ever get's built. We need housing and we need a lot of it. Let's get start building now.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 4, 2022 at 12:56 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Lots of empty buildings now. What's being done to bring rents down now the the City Manager's office has yet another assistant manager, this time in charge of housing issues and renter protections. W

hat's happening with that? I don't recall hearing anything about renter protection since the city allowed 85 people paying moderate rents to be evicted from the President Hotel lo these many years ago.

Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 4, 2022 at 2:12 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

Well, well, well! It's good to know there are others who share my same thoughts... okay, they are just opinions...about what we should be looking for in candidates for CC. Brian isn't the only candidate running for office that has no background in working as a volunteer citizen on committees, commissions, et al, to get a better feel of all the needs of our city, how/why past attempts failed, and to learn how a collaborative effort, unencumbered by the pervasiveness of politics, is sorely needed and the best way to make progress. I too, say my hat is off to anyone who runs for office. It's like taking a full load of college courses to learn so much in such a short period of time so you can make an impact. I've commented many times on the main issues: loss of the mom and pop stores that I remember, affordable housing, homelessness, and the untold truth of what the state is doing, mandating untested housing ideas, that I opine, will destroy our neighborhoods. If I said any more I would sound like a broken record. Oh my god, I forgot that very few people even understand what a broken record means anymore. Come to my house and I'll spin a few LP vinyl records and then you'll understand. Today's Palo Alto is not the same Palo Alto I remember when we moved here in 1961, bought our house in South Palo Alto in 1963, and raised our three kids here, where they got the best education possible in the PAUSD schools, to prepare them for college and future careers. For the most part I like the makeup of our current CC very much. Maybe that's because I gave substantial financial support to the campaigns of Tom and Eric. They may not remember that and that's okay. And as much as I like to poke fun and criticize Liz Kniss for grooming so many of her super progressive groupies, and being so supportive of big developers proposals, I do have to thank her (she's still going and active) for all the good things she supported to make Palo Alto and Santa Clara County a good place to live.

Posted by PA Community Advocate
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2022 at 8:17 pm

PA Community Advocate is a registered user.

We need outsiders like this!

There’s an inverse relationship between years of political experience at any level and integrity and productivity.

Term limits please!!

Posted by Curious
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 5, 2022 at 4:59 pm

Curious is a registered user.

@Curious - you ‘seem’ to be very well informed about dynamics of CC… are you involved in PA politics? Do you have any affiliations with current council members? Or potential candidates?
Who are you supporting/think voters should do due diligence on?

Re: who/where - Pretty sure Brian is a Palo Alto native.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 5, 2022 at 5:02 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Why does it say the last post was made mere minutes ago in the article list but above it says 20 HOURS. Please fix your clock. This problem has been going on for MONTHS. Unless it's an intentional ploy to boost usage by having people check NEW posts that are really OLD posts.

Posted by WilliamR
a resident of another community
on Aug 5, 2022 at 7:47 pm

WilliamR is a registered user.

@ Online Name--

I've noticed that issue with the timestamps for some time now. My guess is that if the original poster reopens the item and closes it, even if they don't make any changes, the system resets the timestamp.

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