Town Square

Former Mayor Sandy Eakins dies

Original post made on Jan 7, 2013

Sandra Brown Eakins, a former Palo Alto mayor and civic activist, died Jan. 2 at her home in Oakland after a long illness. She helped organize the League of Women Voters-sponsored Smart Voter election-information site, helped found the Palo Verde Neighborhood Association and served on the Palo Alto Art Commission.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, January 7, 2013, 9:56 AM


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Posted by Leon Kaplan
a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2013 at 10:58 am

I am saddened by Sandy's passing. She was an extraordinary woman and a powerful and skillful voice for the arts. More than that she was a close and valued friend who provided wise counsel to me whenever I needed it. I was blessed to have had her in my life.

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Posted by moi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Dear family and friends of Ms. Eakins,

What a remarkable person.

Thank you for sharing her with our community.

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Posted by Henrietta J. Burroughs
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Sandy and I were classmates in Leadership Midpeninsula in the early '90s and we carpooled to and from our class.

I followed the work she did when she served on the Palo Alto Public Art Commission, the Planning Commission and on the Palo Alto City Council. I shared her disappointment when she lost her bid to be re-elected to the Palo Alto City Council. I am truly saddened to read about her death.

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Posted by Unknown soldier
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm

There is no reason to speak ill of the now departed. It’s a shame that we don’t have a clear memory of the folks who have served in the various roles of government, and in the decision process—be they elected, or selected.

After her first term on the Council, Eakins was the focus of a concerted effort by Palo Altans disaffected by her vision of what local government should be. Unfortunately, it’s been about ten years since that time, and there is not easy to recreate the contributions that might be attributed to Ms. Eakins, as well as the problems she created.

During Eakins time on the Council, the Daily News had begun to ask hard questions, and print all sorts of information about the internals of Palo Alto City Government—such as the names and salaries of the employees. Eakins was not pleased at these questions, and horrified that this information was being made public. At one point, she made her displeasure known by proclaiming that “the Daily News is trying to bring down Palo Alto [government]”.

Of course, printing the salaries was not going “overthrow” the government—but to Sandy Eakins, and her supporters in/around the government—the release of any information about the internals was too, too, much and should not be allowed.

Eakins was clearly a “statist”, with a clear vision of an ever-larger government. It was no surprise that she (and two of her colleagues) were the targets of local political action to remove them from the Council, and replacing them with people who were more open-minded, and far less sure that “government was the only answer”.

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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Joe ---I would hardly consider two of the new council memos elected that year, ksihinoto and Morton, as open-minded. And certainly butch, who was rmeelected, was a very narrow minded individual. Bravo to the voters for booting her out of office then-- she was a perfect example of the imperious, Self appointed ruling class

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm

> ksihinoto and Morton, as open-minded

Fair point. But there was no way of knowning that until after they were elected.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm

I loved her aesthetic sense, support of the arts (which was long-term, unceasing, direct, ranged from one-on-one to city-wide), & her pragmatic political legacy (SmartVoter & PALWV). She helped several talented artists gain a career foothold & I appreciated how she enjoyed those whose lives were more offbeat & boho than hers. I also very much liked her family. May she rest in peace and may they continue to share her love of beauty and art.

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Posted by Chris Kenrick
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 8, 2013 at 11:42 am

I am sorry to hear about this loss. Sandy was a contributor to the community and to the causes she cared about, and she will be greatly missed.

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Posted by anne
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Ms Eakins comes from a generation of women who served our community in ways we haven't even begun to appreciate, and I fear there are few replacing them for the energy and time they put into doing the hard work of making life better for the rest of us.

My condolences to the family, and gratitude for the many unsung contributions she made to our community.