Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 15, 2012

City View

A round-up of Palo Alto government action this week

City Council (June 11)

Budget: The council began its public hearing on City Manager James Keene's proposed budget for fiscal year 2013. The council is scheduled to continue the hearing and approve the budget on June 18. Action: None

Board of Education (June 12)

Facilities bond tax rate: The board set the 2012-13 tax rate on facilities bonds passed in 1995 and 2008 at $60 per $100,000 of assessed valuation, the maximum permitted under California's Proposition 39. Yes: Caswell, Klausner, Tom, Townsend

No: Mitchell

Budget: The board discussed a proposed 2012-13 district operating budget of $163.2 million, using reserve funds to make up a $5.5 million shortfall in revenue. Action: None

Homework policy: The board approved a new homework policy, specifying suggested amounts of time students should spend on homework, with implementation up to principals. Yes: Unanimous

High school counseling: The board heard reports from high school principals on their efforts to improve guidance-counseling programs. Action: None

Council Finance Committee (June 12)

Massage: The committee discussed proposed revisions to the city's massage ordinance and recommended approving the latest staff proposal, which excludes reflexology practitioners and does not include a logbook requirement for local massage establishments. Yes: Unanimous

Hotline: The committee discussed and approved proposed policies for the city's new Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline for city employees. Yes: Unanimous

City Council Rail Committee (June 13)

High-Speed Rail: The committee discussed appropriation language for California's high-speed rail project. The committee did not vote but agreed to call another meeting at a later date to consider the city's position on the appropriation.

Action: None

Planning and Transportation Commission (June 13)

1095 Channing Ave.: The commission discussed a request for conditional use permit to allow operation of a new pre-kindergarten program and day-care program at an existing private school. The commission continued the item to a later date. Yes: Keller, Michael, Tanaka, Tuma Absent: Fineberg, Martinez

City Council (June 13)

Infrastructure: The council held a retreat to discuss the city's infrastructure needs, including a new public-safety building. The council discussed a proposal by developer Jay Paul to partner with the city on the new facility and tentatively scheduled a pre-screening session for Sept. 4 to discuss the proposal further. Action: None

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