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Our Palo Alto way to decide

Original post made by diana diamond, Palo Alto Online blogger, on May 24, 2008

As many of you may have read in Wednesday’s Weekly, I am leaving this paper and my blog to join a new paper in town, the Daily Post, which will be run by former Daily News founders Dave Price and Jim Pavelich, whom I have worked with before. Yes, there will be three papers in town.

I want to thank Weekly Publisher Bill Johnson and Editor Jay Thorwaldson for the opportunity of writing both my column and blog — work I have really appreciated and enjoyed doing.

One of the fun things about Palo Alto is there is so much to write about. If it’s not the handling of the Children’s Theatre investigation, it’s what happened at the latest city council meeting or the condition of our roads or how much this city is spending on everything. And as these blogs have shown, we are not of one mind in this city.

We think we could be and that is why we go through what is called the “Palo Alto Proceess.” We spend endless hours – weeks and months – debating whether we should accept or reject something. And because we are a bright community, there is this feeling that there must be one right way to go, one way to compromise, one way to cater to both sides. That’s why it takes us so long to do anything in town much less decide on anything.

But if some residents are for building a new police station, and some are against it, how do you compromise/ Build half a building?

Maybe the answer is more referenda, and the majority would determine what we should do. But that is cumbersome and expensive, and we have elected a city council to make these decisions for us.

The Palo Alto Process is an institution now; changes will come very slowly. It’s the Palo Alto way, I have learned.

In the meantime, thank all of you for all your responses – your agreements and disagreements — with what I have written. I have read and appreciated the spirit of nearly all of them.

Comments (8)

Like this comment
Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Good Luck Diana...

Like this comment
Posted by Jay Thorwaldson
editor emeritus
on May 24, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Jay Thorwaldson is a registered user.

It's been interesting and fun, Diana. We welcome both the competition and the common cause of seeking to report fully local news. I guess your departure means I'll have to post occasionally on my blog now. Hm.


Like this comment
Posted by Goofy
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Sheesh! More of the same! We can expect a decrease in quality reporting now, with Price's people back in town, more of Diamond's inanity, and the Weekly's preciously transparent attempts to look like a sophisticated newspaper.

Like this comment
Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Give it up Jay, You just look the others way. As you always have.

Like this comment
Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2008 at 6:59 pm

Diane. No Jay to stop you now. Want to do the story we talked about??

Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on May 25, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Sorry you're leaving the Weekly, but I'll look for you in the new Post. You always provide a fresh perspective and we need that as we wade through the Palo Alto process.

Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 26, 2008 at 6:36 pm


The Palo Alto way to decide. Good title.

With the forthcoming school bond we are being asked to approve a bond. While it is undoubtedly needed for all the right reasons, there is a growing number of people who feel it is too big. Rather than voting yes we are in danger of getting a no vote, not from people who think that the schools don't need some money, but rather that they don't think this is the right bond. The problem is, if we do get a no vote on this, the schools are going to be in a mess. We are already growing at a rate of knots and if we don't get some money then we are going to be in a dire situation very quickly, possibly before a new bond can get organised.

This is Silicon Valley, the heart of the technology capital of the world and our schools are in a very sorry state when it comes to comparable areas of the country (if there is such a thing). We are in a sorry state when it comes to infrastructure and California as a whole has low scores. Palo Alto schools are the bright spot when it comes to scores in the State, but if we can't get the infrastructure up to scratch, then we will be looking like the poor relation. B4E didn't hold up because everything cost more than expected and much could not be done, particularly for those schools last on the list. This Bond is supposed to make sure that this doesn't happen again. If we are not careful, nothing will be done.

The Palo Alto way, is nothing gets done.

Like this comment
Posted by web design company
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2011 at 12:06 am

Hi Diana, actually this is my first visit to ur blog and i was very much impressed with ur presentation of the topic u have shared here.I was very happy being here.Thank you !!

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