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No environmental committee

Original post made by Not so fast, Duveneck/St. Francis, on May 14, 2007

the PA Daily News is to be commended for thier editorial yesterday against the formation of an environmental committee in Palo Alto

Web Link

We have enough committees, blue ribbon panels etc in our city.
We do not need another one. What we need is action by our leaders to deal with the infrastructure, school, library and financial problems facing our city.

unfortunately, our current leader, one-issue Yoriko, is only interested in climate change, which apparently is the flavor of the year for the city council. There does not appear to be any leadership provided by our mayor with regard to the other problems facing our city.

Just an example of where this leads us--do you remember what our last mayor's "issue" was?? It was emergency preparedness. Did this issue get completed to our satisfaction? Apparently not given the response (or lack thereof) to the recent fire in redwood city and the failure to get out proper notification to the residents of PA. However once Yoriko became mayor in January, the issue of emergency preparedness was put on the far back burner (in other words never to be dealt with again during the year).

We do not need new committees with their bureaucracy's to burden our financially stretched city even further. We need leadership by our elected officials and for them to start making difficult choices with regard to budget and other issues,even if it means upsetting some people.

Comments (11)

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Posted by Pam
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2007 at 2:19 pm

Our globally minded city council can't manage to do the basic things they were elected to do: keep the streets maintained and the residents safe, and the other things local governments normally are expected to do.

Dealing with the many competing interests - like unions and city activists - is difficult and divisive.

And so they resort to cheap grandstanding stunts like this one - pretending that they are doing something besides wasting ever more money - by creating another commission of city pooh-bahs.

Since she's doing absolutely nothing to solve the problems residents have locally, I wish our mayor would stick to photo-ops trumpeting her green credentials and let our strife-crippled city bureaucracy limp along unmolested by her grandiose save-the-world schemes.

This whole thing makes me sick.

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Posted by Tyler Hanley
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on May 14, 2007 at 3:43 pm

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

The Weekly also came out in opposition to the Environmental an April 25, 2007 editorial:

Web Link

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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 14, 2007 at 3:54 pm

You are right, Tyler. I should have mentioned your editorial also and I think that is where I probably remembered the Kleinberg push for emergency preparedness last year from.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 14, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Look at how fast the repairs to the Bay Bridge ramp are going as compared to the act that some earthquake damage has not yet been repaired 18 years later. This delay is primarily caused by regulatory interference that often questions our very right to exist. Committees kill progress and even maintenance. If the council has finally agreed they are not up to the job, I suggest they all retire.

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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 14, 2007 at 6:39 pm

You are so right Walter. What is interesting is that the other 8 members of the city council seem to bend to the will of the mayor, one-issue Yoriko, and do not exhibit any desire to address issues other than climate change. Clearly there could be a majority and they could address the issues facing our city with or without the input of yoriko.
Will this happen? I doubt it. It is easier to suggest the formation of another committee or blue/green ribbon panel that can scrutinize issues for years, thereby allowing our city council to avoid making tough decisions.

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Posted by Bern Beecham
a resident of Downtown North
on May 15, 2007 at 11:43 am

Not So Fast,

For the record, the Council did not vote to establish an Environmental Commission. In fact, there was a bare majority to even send it to committee.


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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 15, 2007 at 11:58 am


The council has not voted yet about the issue because it is still in committee--is that correct? But a majority voted to send it to committee, where it will be studied further and then it will be brought to a vote by the council--is that correct?

According to the PA Weekly story about that initial vote:

Web Link

you were absent and did not cast a vote.
So, how will you vote when it does come before the council?

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Wondering
a resident of Barron Park
on May 17, 2007 at 11:57 am

Not so fast, read Bern's message again so you will have the answer to your question.
or pseudo question.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 17, 2007 at 12:13 pm

Wondering-- [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Our city is facing numerous problems and Mayor Kishimoto is providing absolutely no leadership on any issue--her only focus seems to be "climate change". I think in general, our city council has been very disappointing in addressing issues and making tough decisions and our mayor is really useless in providing the kind of leadership we need.
I started after only a month in office in response to her State of the City Address. I think our city should expect more from our elected offials besides constant photo-ops. She is an elected politician--if she cannot stand the heat she should get out of the kitchen.
Of course the question of the pwoer of the mayor in this city is also one of my points--that maybe the city does need a directly elected mayor that will be responsible to the voters and be expected to provide leadership for the council in addressing issues facing the city--instaed of a backroom chosen perosn based solely on seniority and whether or not the person has "played by the PA rules" (i.e. I guess that is why Morton is not vice-mayor now--he is too much of a gadfly).
You also need to go back and read my initial post--I stated that the city did not need another commission--which was what the editorials of both the PA Daily and Weekly stated-I never mentioned how the city council voted on the issue. So I am not sure what Bern's point was.
Hope i addressed you concerns to your satisfaction

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Posted by Wondering
a resident of Barron Park
on May 17, 2007 at 2:18 pm

>I have seen her as a city council member over the years and she has basically been about one issue --either trying to turn Embarcadero Raod into a one lane street or now as mayor about "climate change".

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] There has been no discussion of Embarcadero "Raod" for years. And she has intelligent, informed opinions on most issues. You don't have to agree with her but your summary about her interests is uninformed. Maybe you haven't been paying attention.
I don't know why Morton is not vice mayor, but my opinion is that he seldom knows what he is talking about. He himself describes his brain as that of an accountant. Problem is, being a council member requires a lot more than that. And he is pompous and long winded. I don't know any inside story, just what is plainly visible to the world.

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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 17, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Wondering--[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
I never said that the Embarcadero road issue was a current one. I was using that to make a point that yoriko focuses on a single issue--years ago it was Embarcadero Road, today it is "climate change". I have been paying attention to Yoriko and her actions-- as I have stated previously, I think she is a terrible mayor and our city, in these times, deserves better. While she may have intelligent, informed opinions, she does not provide leadership or guidance, as a mayor should.

I tend to agree with you about Morton. However, in the past becoming vice-mayor and then mayor has always been done by seniority, ergo my point about the backroom nature of the choice of mayor and vice-mayor and the issue of playing by the "PA rules".

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