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Palo Alto and Bloomington seek to transcend political divides -- one Town Hall at a time

Original post made on Aug 31, 2023

After forging a "sibling city" partnership and enjoying a honeymoon period full of tours and festivities, Palo Alto and Bloomington, Indiana, are now setting the stage for some tougher conversations.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 31, 2023, 8:24 AM

Comments (9)

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 31, 2023 at 9:23 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Why do I get the impression that this is a freeby vacation for city staff and council members?

Posted by Mondoman
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 31, 2023 at 10:27 am

Mondoman is a registered user.

"There's David Starr Jordan..." I'm pretty sure he's one of those who aren't to be named, at least in the PAUSD.

However, Hofstadter of "Gödel, Escher, Bach" fame is an excellent speaker choice.

Posted by Wilhelm Reich
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 31, 2023 at 11:17 am

Wilhelm Reich is a registered user.

How many 'sister cities' does Palo Alto need?

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 31, 2023 at 12:10 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Agree with Bystander that this is a freeby vacation for city staff and council members.

Why are we wasting money on this when the city's so "broke" it still can't keep the libraries open 7 days a week and keeps raising our utility rates to cover boondoggles like this?

Posted by Ocam's Razor
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 31, 2023 at 3:00 pm

Ocam's Razor is a registered user.

Any Palo Alto City Council or employee that travels on an Indiana boondoggle must pay for all expenses out of their own pockets. Not one dollar of city budget money should be spent on this. If there is a budget category for this then zero it out and move the money to fiber optic deployments.

Indiana is pretty well run so the PA city council chooses a liberal city to align with so they learn nothing except for the menu in the local hotels.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 31, 2023 at 3:53 pm

Resident is a registered user.

I recall from a recent city council discussion that Councilmembers are required to pay for their own travel to sister cities, even when representing the city.
Also, the current city budget includes staffing for libraries to be open at pre-COVID levels including seven days a Mitchell. The city is currently hiring the staff to do that.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 31, 2023 at 5:25 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Resident, are you sure about council members being required to pay their own expenses? I just searched PAO and didn't find that info but did find a 2018 blog by Diana Diamond blog entitled Questions on my mind about Palo Alto" asking:

• Why do we have three or four of our city officials travel at city expense to welcome a new city someplace on this globe as a council-declared “sister city” -- and then they take occasional trips to visit our sisters? A council boondoggle, perhaps?

Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 31, 2023 at 9:17 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

Wow, this comments session never fails to live below my expectations. The curmudgeons are always out in force.

Posted by S. Underwood
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 31, 2023 at 9:50 pm

S. Underwood is a registered user.

As someone who knows Indiana and Bloomington, it's hard to say that a visit to Bloomington or I.U. is a "boondoggle" ... not exactly Belize... but kind of a "Why?" sort of thing for me...

Bloomington's county (Monroe) is always a blue one. I checked my visceral approximations on Wikipedia, and confirmed that Bloomington is about 60% of the county's population. Monroe County was 63% Biden voters (cf. ~70% for Santa Clara County), and I'd say (back to approx.) that Bloomington was ~75-80% Biden voters with the neighboring, more rural, towns pulling that down. Not exactly a visit to political diversity. The idea that they're describing this as a trip to encounter diversity is just kind of absurd.

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