Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 15, 2013

City View

A round-up of Palo Alto government action this week

City Council (Feb. 11)

Housing: The council approved a letter appealing the housing mandate issued by the Association of Bay Area Governments. The letter focuses on reassigning 350 housing units from the city's allocation to Santa Clara County's. Yes: Berman, Burt, Holman, Kniss, Price, Scharff, Schmid, Shepherd No: Klein

2455 El Camino Real: The council discussed a proposal by Pollock Financial Group for a four-story building at the intersection of El Camino Real and Page Mill Road. The council asked the developer to return with a revised package of public benefits. Action: None

Procedures: The council voted to raise from two to three the number of council members required to remove an item from the agenda's consent calendar. Yes: Berman, Burt, Kniss, Price, Scharff, Shepherd No: Holman, Klein, Schmid

Board of Education (Feb. 12)

Construction bonds: The board authorized the issuance and sale of $70 million in bonds as part of the $378 million "Strong Schools" bond program approved by voters in 2008. Yes: Unanimous

State legislation: The board endorsed Senate Constitutional Amendment 3, which would lower the two-thirds majority required for passage of a parcel tax to 55 percent. Yes: Unanimous

Bullying policy: The board discussed potential updates to the district's policy on bullying and heard testimony about a December 2012 finding by the U.S. Department of Education that a Palo Alto middle-school student's civil rights were violated in a poorly managed, long-term bullying case. Action: None

Paly athletic construction: The board discussed the possibility of rebuilding Palo Alto High School's indoor athletic facilities by 2015 because of a prospective $20 million donation by an anonymous family. Action: None

Summer school: The board heard a report on plans for 2013 summer school dates and fees. Action: None

Council Policy and Services Committee (Feb. 12)

Liaison: The committee discussed the role of a council liaison, including the frequency with which a liaison should attend commission meetings, and voted to direct staff to revise the definition of a liaison. The committee agreed that a council liaison should be appointed for two years and that the liaison should not be asked to attend every meeting of the commission to which he or she is assigned. Yes: Klein, Kniss, Price Absent: Holman

Council Rail Committee (Feb. 13)

Funding: The committee discussed proposed modifications to SB1029, which approved funding for high-speed rail. Additional language would create further assurances that funds would be provided for the electrification of Caltrain. Yes: Burt, Klein, Kniss Absent: Shepherd

Planning and Transportation Commission (Feb. 13)

Senior housing: The commission voted to initiate a "planned community" zone at 567 and 595 Maybell Ave. to enable construction of a 60-unit affordable-housing complex for seniors and 15 single-family homes. Yes: Alcheck, Keller, Martinez, Michael No: Panelli, Tanaka

Utilities Advisory Commission (Feb. 13)

Finances: The commission discussed the city's water-resources alternatives and saw a presentation on financial projections for electric, gas, water and wastewater utilities. Action: None

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