Town Square

Palo Alto bids farewell to popular planning director

Original post made on Jun 18, 2013

Palo Alto on Monday gave an emotional sendoff to Planning Director Curtis Williams, whose mild-mannered leadership, passion for community engagement and encyclopedic knowledge of local zoning laws won praise from even some of the city's most vehement land-use critics.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 17, 2013, 9:32 PM


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Posted by longtime Palo Altan
a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 18, 2013 at 2:44 am

As someone who is very much at odds with Williams now, and how it seems like staff has been engaged in advocacy for one side in the Maybell project, I agree with Bob Moss. Williams knows how to treat everyone with respect so people are really engaging and not just being humored, even when he disagrees. He is willing to say he disagrees and provide information, rather than being manipulative. I respect that. I also like him personally, even while I hate what he is doing! It's a difficult job, and I think he's been one of the better ones.

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Posted by John
a resident of Woodside
on Jun 18, 2013 at 10:25 am

Curtis- I got to know you when you worked in Woodside. You've earned the respect in Palo Alto, too. Good luck in retirement.

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Posted by Concerned Retiree
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 18, 2013 at 10:51 am

Curtis Williams will be missed. He was knowledgable, fair, candid, and got the job done. Wish there were many more like him in the public sector.

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Posted by Naphtali
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 18, 2013 at 11:19 am

You were terrific in this post, Curtis. I'm one of the few who were in your shoes. I truly admire your style and accomplishments.

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Posted by Sherry Bijan
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Farewell and all the best to you Curtis. You did a phenomonal job during your tenure @ city hall. Leaving very big shoes to be filled.

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Posted by Marlene Prendergast
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Curtis Willams is an admirable public servant in every sense of the word.

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Posted by Dexter Hake
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jun 18, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Curtis, It was a real treat to see you work here in LÅH. Kindness, knowledge, and all that was in the lead article. Palo Alto was fortunate to have you as Planning Director.

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Posted by Joseph Kott
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 19, 2013 at 8:11 am

Kudos to Curtis Williams for his stellar service to Palo Alto! Curtis is a pro's pro, a highly-respected, credentialed urban planner with a master's degree from UCLA in urban planning. His thoughtful, intelligent, and patient approach to planning and development issues was perfect for Palo Alto. The professionalism he brought to the position of Director of Planning and Community Environment was welcomed and appreciated community-wide.

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Posted by oh well
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm

...and so the exodus of qualified employees continues.... How unfortunate that residents are left only with a dysfuntional city council and a city manager whose only concern is hiring and expanding his "shadow organization" of management personel who are "yes men" and whose education and people skills are minimal. Curtis, congratulation on retirement and leaving with your dignity intact.

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Posted by Lisa Van Dusen
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 25, 2013 at 9:51 am

Curtis has been a model city leader in his collaborative approach, commitment to transparency and making decisions that will help make Palo Alto a walkable, transit-friendly, community as we densify going forward. Thank you for your years of gracious service!