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Where is the sense in Palo Alto government and planning?

Original post made by Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 11, 2012

Anyone who reads Palo Alto online must agree that there is a serious lack of foresight when it comes to planning issues in our town.

Alma Plaza, with all the years of talk, is building too close to the street and the traffic light issue has not been fully addressed so we can't comment on that one yet.

Mitchell Park library is costing more, causing problems with new traffic light configuration, and is a huge structure compared to the cosy setting we had before and the ebooks age is upon us.

Fairmeadow has lost some mature trees without notice and for what reason?

Housing, daycare facilities, transport and basic shopping needs are not being planned to serve each other.

Other issues come and go which do nothing but make us shake our heads and wonder. We have no money for infrastructure yet we wish to buy a post office, improve a golf course, update Cal Ave and build a bike bridge which even with grants will still cost us money we don't have. We still fund a childrens theatre and a free shuttle for some parts of town while other children don't get their after school activity funded or have no bus service at all to get them to school. Our city council don't seem to understand the words priority or infrastructure.

Where is some serious common sense when we need it?

Comments (6)

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Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 11, 2012 at 9:47 am

I could ask this question on a dozen different threads, but I'll start with this one--

Where are all of you angry people when the City Council elections come around? Complaining on these forums isn't likely to change the way the city is run. Getting a majority of people who demand accountability and fiscal conservativism elected to the Council is what matters. Why doesn't the Tea Party run a slate of strong candidates? Put together a concise, coherent, consistent platform and give the residents a chance to vote for you. Otherwise, you're just sitting behind your computer screens blowing smoke.

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Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 11, 2012 at 10:01 am

Voters in Palo Alto look at the endorsement of the Weekly and the Mercury News.
Most of the voters don't 'have a clue'. Candidate was on the School Board? "Must be OK". Voter for her. Candidate has $$ (ask from where did it come- remember Peter Drekmeier ?? - and recent candidates with union $$.) And how many of Palo Alto's growing population can even vote? .Do they know the issues? But since the Registrar of Voters evidently doesn't check, anyone and the family collie can vote. Anyone who wants to run for the next election has to start NOW. We need a council with spine.
Remember that previous council enthusiastically endorsed HSR? This one seems to delight in giving the developers and big money all sorts of 'community benefits."

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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 11, 2012 at 11:48 am

I hope people realize that it takes more than the city council to analyze and approve the projects you're complaining about. There several commissions, that are staffed by architects, builders, etc., who analyze and require changes to plans before the developments are approved.

For example, the monster JCC building along San Antonio and E Charleston had to be reviewed ARB. How the "experts" thought it was a good idea to build such a huge building right next to the road is beyond me.

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Meadow Park
on Apr 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Everyone is an expert in Palo Alto, on just about everything. I think the JCC looks nice, and will be even nicer when the street trees mature. But Crescent Park Dad doesn't like it. The original poster thinks the whole idea of building a modern library is bad - but a large majority of voters supported the library bond. Some say expanding the high schools will destroy all we hold dear; yet the bond that included those expansions was overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2008.

You can't please everyone all of the time. In Palo Alto, there is always going to be a quite vocal and articulate group of people who decry just about every thing that gets done (or not done). Not sure we get any better results, and likely somewhat worse - but unless we change the residents, I doubt it will change.

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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 15, 2012 at 10:05 pm

My complaint about the JCC is that is a huge building placed right up against the road. I'm indifferent to it's appearance otherwise.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 15, 2012 at 11:16 pm

How much did it cost to do the striping on Middlefield by Mitchell Park library, and how much is it going to cost now they are planning to return it to the original striping?

Why is there discussion about a makeover for Rinconada Park when there is talk about a tax increase to pay for infrastructure?

Where is the accountability?

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