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Editorial: A worthy gamble by Palo Alto city manager

Original post made on Sep 9, 2011

For many Palo Alto residents, the quality of city government comes down to how they and their architects and contractors are treated when trying to navigate the city's building permit labyrinth.

Read the full ediorial here Web Link posted Friday, September 9, 2011, 12:00 AM

Comments (6)

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Posted by svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 9, 2011 at 6:26 am

Ms Holman should explain her vote. Why dosen't the Weekly find out why she is against this change. There is clearly a problem and the city is trying to address it. COme on--Weekly, for too long you have let our local "leaders" slide by not following up with hard hitting news stories. There have been plenty of examples of our "leaders" screwing up (HSR vote, PACT, California avenue trees, budget deficit) and the Weekly has done no investigative reporting whatsoever.

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Posted by Regular Reader
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 9, 2011 at 7:01 am

The Weekly did report on why Holman voted against the proposal in its original article Web Link:

"Holman was the only council member to oppose the staff proposals, arguing that they don't go far enough in ensuring transparency. The reforms, she said, are geared primarily toward helping applicants achieve their goals more efficiently. They don't, however, take into account the concerns of the greater community, which may differ from those of the applicant, she said."

Before you are so quick to criticize, perhaps read a bit more carefully? The Weekly is by far the most reliable coverage we get. Can it be better? Of course. But to say they do no investigative reporting is silly. To take just one example I'm most familiar with, their coverage of the Children's Theater fiasco was spot on and made a big impact.

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Posted by svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 9, 2011 at 7:29 am

Regular reader--you are correct. I missed that part.

I see it also states:
"They don't, however, take into account the concerns of the greater community, which may differ from those of the applicant, she said."

That is a problem. And that is what is wrong with the Palo Alto process and what is wrong with council members like Holman. The"concerns" of the "greater community" are too enough put ahead of the rights of the property owner, even when they are following the rules to the letter. We have seen many (too many) examples of this. Holman has long been a proponent of usurping private property rights for her vision of the "greater good"--remember her role in the historic land grab ordinance, which was handily defeated by the voters. People like Holman need to learn that they cannot exercise absolute control over property they do not own--be it for their misguided vision of what the greater community wants.

I will take issue with their investigative reporting. Their work on the PACT scandal was way off the mark.. They let the issue of conflict of interest from two sitting councilmembers (Klein and Morton) slide and they sugar coated Briggs' acts of malfeasance--probably so as not to upset the very very vocal local contingent that has ensured that the PACT continues to receive $1+ million per year, even as our streets go unrepaired (it is a local treasure they say).
Sorry, the Weekly can and should do better--less focus on advertising and more on journalism.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I agree 100% with svetoid.

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Posted by svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm

svatoid is a registered user.

you see, Walter, we can occasionally agree on something

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Posted by Do need transparency
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 12, 2011 at 11:29 am

The way to find out why a vote went the way it did is to listen to the tape of the meeting, not just to throw hostility into the town square forum.
The Media Center does a great job of posting the videos and the video is divided into agenda items so you can find the parts you are interested in.
How about less venom, more facts.
Greater transparency in city actions is desperately needed on many fronts.

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