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Palo Alto seeks ideas for renovating Rinconada Park

Original post made on Apr 12, 2012

Rinconada Park, one of Palo Alto's most used open spaces, features many desirable attractions, but a lack of paths, well-defined park entrances and signage keeps people from experiencing the park's gems, residents told city staff Tuesday night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 12, 2012, 4:30 PM

Comments (56)

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Posted by parent
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm

How about creating family-friendly bike routes to the park? Right now getting there with the kids is a real hassle because of dangerous streets to cross in the west (Middlefield Road) or south (Oregon Expressway).


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Posted by DogWalker
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm

There's a very strange little corner by the electrical power plant where I've seen abandoned arm chairs and at times have smelled wafts of burning weed... Once walked by there with my kids and we came upon a man urinating on one those trees in the Magical Forest. He didn't even step into the forest to find some privacy, but just stood there right next to path! The public toilets are just a minute walk from there too.

The rest of the park is really nice and pleasant, but the proposed improvements sound even nicer!


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Posted by Midtown Rez
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm

How about instead of wasting money on recreation, we focus on priorities and fix the infrastructure problems first? Isn't the city still complaining that there's not enough money to fix aging roads, etc, etc? Shouldn't we spend money on necessities first? It seems like the park rejuvenation project can wait.


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Posted by C
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm

I seldom see Palo altans using the park.. A 100% waste.


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Posted by Hopkins
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 12, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Transform that baby only pool into a multi-use pool. so kids of all ages including babies and parents can enjoy too. that baby pool is only used in the summer by residents and lots of non-Palo Alto residents. 8 month a year the baby pool is there not being used at all. Lots of kids swim at the BIG pool on the side weekdays in the afternoon and the space in the big pool is not enough for everyone. Palo Alto is growing in population and to transform that baby pool to be use also for babies but also for kids of all ages with a 25 yard long and 8 swim lanes with one shallow side for small kids and families to enjoy would be great besides to have a pools being utilize all year long by PASA.


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Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 13, 2012 at 8:33 am

I noted that apparently the park will not be renovated for a number of years, but I have to say that with so many other vastly more important priorities on the table this overture is unnecessary and sends a poor message. Our civic leaders must realize that their actions speak louder than words. You cannot proclaim a fiscal emergency on one hand, and then turn around and host an open forum on a park renovation. Seriously? The city is facing a financial crisis. We have to cope with annual budget deficits. Cuts and sacrifices are being made in infrastructure and public safety. Apparently we cannot fund these vital needs without another bond measure and tax increase. And with all this going on, when our leaders should be displaying a focused effort on solving these problems, what do they do? They host a park renovation meeting of course. Unbelievable. Could you please just work on the priorities, especially during these difficult financial times. Like Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burned.


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Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 13, 2012 at 9:34 am

@ Marrol--

Since you are the World's Greatest Expert on Civic Financial Responsibility, I expect to see your name at the top of the list of candidates for City Council next time around. Otherwise, all of your lecturing on these threads is just going to waste.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

A very central, prominent park IS important! It doesn't take great imagination to realize this is a central civic area of this city.
It will not be renovated "...for years"...why not? I don't think this is much of an expenditure, it IS a typical city responsibility, it IS a prominent park tons of people drive, bike, walk by ALL THE TIME and if we can get better use out of it (better pathways, refreshened landscaping, better uses), then WHY NOT initiate ideas to make it happen? I have been underwhelmed by this place in the years I have lived nearby. The pool is ok,just ok, I go in it occasionally -- but why doesn't city of PA compare with other cities - like Pleasanton, ett., with similar images and see how their city pools/parks are used and how they look.
I am also in favor of fixing the areas where the roadways are poor. I am NOT in favor of the $1M/year subsidy to PACT and other luxury city expenditures, like adding specialty city staff, which happens all too often.


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Posted by Silly
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

I agree with Marol that we have more important priorities. We walk through the park often on our way to the library. It seems fine. The paths are fine.

When did we get so stupid that we need more signage to indicate paved sidewalks?

Fix the infrastructure. City staff have too much time on their hands.

Speaking of parks and waste, the geniuses have again closed half of the Mitchell Park dog park for reseeding until JUNE when they will again neglect to water it. WASTE WASTE STUPID WASTE.


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Posted by this is hard to swallow
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

North PA just got all THREE of your libraries renovated and/or expanded. Your Art Center is now getting attention. You are getting a new theater. Now you are whining about minor imperfections of a perfectly serviceable park. A number of Council members, possibly a majority, are ready to waltz away from Cubberley in the south, possibly causing us to lose the only significant public site we have for child care, arts, after-school programs of all kinds, and sports. We are grateful for the new Mitchell Park Library (replacing the old Mitchall Park library), but don't forget that not so long ago they CLOSED the ONLY other library south of Oregon Expwy. We have not forgotten this. When was the last time the city closed ANY public facility in the north? Aside from the new Mitchell Park facility, we don't have much of anything else.

Look at a comprehensive list of built city facilities. You will see the vast majority are in the relatively small northeast quadrant of the city. For heavens sake, if you live in north Palo Alto, count your lucky stars and quit your whining. Your extremely comfortable lifestyle is subsidized by the rest of the city...and your lack of gratitude irritates the people who pay for it.

Before we tackle the low priority problems of Rinconada, let's figure out how to deal with the deficits that will be created in the south by the Cubberley problems that have been exacerbated by unrestrained and unplanned housing growth in this area.


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Posted by Barbara
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

We really need to renovate Rinconada Park? Are you kidding? Aren't there more important issues? Get the priorities straight. Think: Palo Alto Animal Shelter -- that the City residents need; renovating the park with paths, signage, etc., etc. is plain silly, to say nothing of the cost.


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Posted by amy
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 13, 2012 at 11:20 am

not a priority, infrastructure is.


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Posted by Follow the money
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm

The city seems to have money for park renovations, El Camino Park, Hoover Park, now Rinconada. And everything needs millions of dollars.
How much does it have to cost to put in a few pedestrian pathways? What is really going on? Makework for employees? Empire building in the Parks Dept?


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Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I agree with all of the people that believe there are more important things the City can do with money, besides try to spend it on upgrading another park in North Palo Alto.
We are lucky to have all the parks we do in PA, if you don't want to go to Rinconada because of the way it looks, smells, etc., go to another park within a 5 minute drive (or less!).
To Our City Council: (As if they ever listen to US - the residents!!)
Don't waste money on changing streets. Just FIX them.
Help with the Magical Bridge project...
Help keep our animal shelter alive...
Stop allowing more housing without schools to accommodate all those children!

Why do WE have to keep telling you how to do your job, and why don't you ever listen to US - everything we, the residents, say, is just common sense.


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Posted by A Neighbor
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I used to love to use Rinconada Park with my children,for all its wonderful sections, but now my kids are adults and living their own lives elsewhere in the state. Rinconada has few places to park, except to find a place blocks away in its residential section, so I don't go there. If I want to swim, there are two pools in my area, one is indoors with heated water the year around. I would prefer that Palo Alto PAY OFF all its debts and save up for the increases ahead and for the the future, so that we don't have that crisis of tight money again. We spent enough money for now! No more for at least 5 years. Have some common sense! But there are things that we should do first. Our sidewalks are a tripping mess and our streets continue to need repairs. That is more important than paths and signs we don't need.


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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm

The things I would like to see at Rinconada -

Signs to the bathrooms prominently displayed at the parks and tennis courts (I lived here for 10 years before I realized there were bathrooms!)

An summer pass to Rinconada pool for residents and a MUCH larger daily charge for non-residents.

More trash receptacles, especially for the weekend barbecues.

The field turned into a usable soccer, etc. field.

The paths are fine as are the playgrounds.


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Posted by room to relax
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 13, 2012 at 7:57 pm

More grass space at the pool.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm


Most people who use the park on weekends are not Palo Alto residents

We should set up control gates and charge non Palo Alto residents $5 to $10 each per day for use of our park, pool and Children s Zoo.

Also what do we charge for non PA residence to use Jordan school fields for soccer?


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Posted by jardins
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 13, 2012 at 10:40 pm

This surely is the city of Invent-a-Need AND Insist-on-"Fixing"-What- Ain't-Broke AND Ruin-the-Services that our ethical and public-spirited predecessors thoughtfully established.

Many people have advanced degrees and incomes here, but where is common sense and an enlightened sense of priorities?

Why is the city council allowing the city manager to create expensive new managerial positions when they say we can't afford animal services?? Today we read about the new position of "Urban Forester" and "an exhaustive nationwide search" for someone worthy to fill this? Was neither of the two internal candidates worthy?

And now we are being asked to think of ways of spending money on Rinconada Park . . .


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I'd vote for Marrol in a hot second. We desperately need at least one person who has common sense and is fiscally responsibility on the city council.

Insanity reigns at City Hall. Council wants to close the animal shelter, raise taxes and/or put a bond issue on the ballot to pay for infrastructure, yet it can't stop itself from looking for new and UNNECESSARY ways to spend our money. How much has already been spent on this consultant? How much city staff time is spent on this?

And who are these residents who want "a Parisian feel by adding a snack shack or café"? Why not a replica of the Eiffel Tower? Where do they think the money comes from?

> "A very central, prominent park IS important! It doesn't take great imagination to realize this is a central civic area of this city."

How many residents actually spend time at this "central civic area of the city"?

> " … tons of people drive, bike, walk by ALL THE TIME …"

How many people are in a ton? If they're at the park "ALL THE TIME," can I go down there now at 10 pm and count a ton of people swarming around?

> "I don't think this is much of an expenditure, it IS a typical city responsibility,…"

You have no idea how much any of this will cost because there isn't even a plan yet. You don't even know how much the consultant is charging. Can you not understand the fact that there is no spare money lying around anywhere to pay for this?

No more ideas, visions, plans or consultants until ALL the essentials are fully funded and the reserve fund is topped off for future needs!


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 15, 2012 at 9:12 am

I thought Frank Benest won the "hiring new managers" and "experts" winner. But Jim Keene is trumping him in mega bucks. A social worker for the children? A water expert to help us design our gardens? (See the latest Design brochure). Experts here, experts there - with staff, phones, supplies, expense account. Silly Hall is out of control. A multimillion footbridge to the Baylands? For how many people? And this weak council hasn't the guts to just say "NO". Whenever a 'Blue Ribbon Committee" gets involved - with some of the same cast of characters, the projects multiply and costs go up. They are in their own la-la-land. Where ever you look, there's a civic fight going on - California Avenue, Arastradero Road, downtown parking, the Bayiands, school boundaries, ABAG, Stanford, traffic, 50' height limit, "community benefits' (what a farce)....and the list goes on- even massage parlors. Enough already. But does City Hall ever listen - do they "Hear the people cry " as in Le Miserable. Maybe we should march on the barricades.


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 15, 2012 at 9:33 am

Rinconada is used almost exclusively by non-residents, especially on weekends, so spending anything on it beyond regular maintenance would be a waste of money during lean times. I hardly ever agree with Sharon but she is spot on this time. Non-residents are using Jordan athletic fields and others for soccer and you would be hard pressed to see Palo Alto residents in Rinconada and other parks on weekends. We should apply the Foothill Park policy to our parks and athletic fields and charge non-residents for their use. We are told we have to eliminate a vital service like the animal shelter, but we subsidize the use of our parks by non-residents.


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 15, 2012 at 11:41 am

This makes me think of a homeowner with a dilapidated house who is strapped for cash, can't afford repairs and can't pay the mortgage, yet has hired an architect and a landscaper to design a prestigious estate. Completely irresponsible! And the irresponsibility is compounded by the fact that taxpayers are footing the bills.

Do the residents at these "visioning" meetings not realize that THEY will be the ones paying for all the paths and signs and Parisian cafes?


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Wow, Palo Alto is quite a "community." When your neighbors suggest sticking to fiscal responsibility and physical infrastructure repair, many of the responders turn on them

So Palo Altans want to keep non-residents out of more of your parks, but they repeatedly demand donations of more Stanford land for PA's exclusive recreation. Stunning. especially since your existing park facilities/resident ratio is among the highest in the U.S. (just like the mean PA income and real estate prices).

But right now you have a fiscal emergency and won't pay the taxes required for the quality you demand. You turn on the officials you elect when they try to implement the quixotic projects you elected them for. You turn on your police and fire personnel whose jobs are to protect you, as well as other city workers who keep the place running but just need to pay their bills in this crazy Peninsula economy.

If you need repairs and also want more fluff projects pay for those things. You can't expect a free ride.


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Turning on the emergency employees by voting for that vile Measure D was one of the most shameful episodes in this city's history, but you can't lump all residents together since a sizable minority voted against D. Let those who supported D have it on their conscience.
It's also unrelated to the parks issue. Non-residents are widely using the parks and athletic fields while residents pay for their upkeep and repair. It would only be fair for non-residents to help pay for the upkeep and repair of facilities which they actually use more than residents.


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Passing Measure D and beginning to rein in the ridiculously over compensated and under worked union employees was a good first step in re-establishing fiscal responsibility in Palo Alto. If we continue to work on establishing prudent spending plans we will again have the funds to keep out libraries open and out parks upgraded. We need to remove the union funded politicians, starting with Price, then Shepherd.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

For a community to decide that it is paying more in wages and benefits (including pensions) for the people who serve that community than either a free market price would justify or than the community can afford is not 'turning on' those employees but rather turning ON common sense.


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Speaking like a true corporatist.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 15, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I just do not believe that local government should be a welfare state for its employees.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Local government "a welfare state for its employees"? Mr. Carpenter, that statement is ugly and -- judging from your more measured opinions on these pages -- shocking and terribly disappointing.

The wealthy citizens of this community have no idea what it takes to pay the bills for a middle class household in this area.

Civil Service clerks, cops, firefighters, etc. simply do not have high-tech level bank accounts, stocks, and investment income. Most cannot afford to live here -- they did not buy homes when real estate prices were normal and now must commute long distances for their jobs here. And the job market sucks, so they are stuck and just hope not to be laid off.

It is stunning how the local citizens in this incredibly wealthy area are so cheap.


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm

neighbor - sorry but I find your comment regarding Carpenter's remarks, calling them "shocking and terribly disappointing" silly. What is so shocking about stating that government employees should be paid at a market rate, and not welfare. The reason we can't balance a budget in this country and we are passing on an unsustainable level of debt to future generations, is partly due to over paying government employees. We also need to raise taxes on all Americans.

It is not true that any one has to travel long distances to buy a house in this area. There are a number of houses in East Menlo Park that are for sale for under $400K. That is affordable on a union salary of a fire employee, police officer, or teacher. If both parents work (like most of us), you can double the price and find a place in most surrounding cities.



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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Neighbor - what do you think is the role of local government? To serve its citizens or to provide well above market wages and benefits to its employees?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 15, 2012 at 7:56 pm

BTW - if you have ever had the personal responsibility of balancing the budget of a local government you would realize that it IS a zero sum game. It is impossible to pay public employees above market wages and pensions and also meet the necessary and legitimate needs if the citizen whom you were elected to serve.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2012 at 8:24 pm

The workers deserve compensation equal to similar titles/responsibilities found in private industries that are located in the cities they work in - i.e., comparable wage levels for comparable work in Atherton, Menlo Park, and Palo Alto.

Maybe a bonus for their aggravation would be their version of bonuses and stock options in local industry (JOKE...keep calm!)

And, Mr. Carpenter -- I had a career in government (working on budgets and planning) in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Wilmington Delaware before finishing my Ph.D.


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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm

neighbor - what's the logic of your approach to wages? The wages of city workers should be based on the wages of private sector workers in the towns where they work? So, for instance, should RWC and EPA cops make a lot less than, say, Atherton, cops because non-cops in Atherton make a lot of money?

That may seem "fair" but it doesn't work in the market. You'll end up with gold-plated cops in Atherton and no cops (or terrible ones) in EPA. The pricing system (including for wages) is one of the key mechanisms of a market economy, right?



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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Neighbor -
1 - Being 'in government' (which I also have been including service in the Federal Office of Management and Budget) is very different than being an elected official (which I have also been) who must make the hard either-or decisions,
2 - Do you really think that groceries, insurance, gasoline and telephone services should be more expensive in Palo Alto than in East Palo Alto? In fact, the reverse is often true.
3 - Why should our local firefighters, for example, who choose to live (elsewhere even though their individual income are equal to the local median FAMILY income) be paid 30% more than the local firefighters are paid in the communities where our firefighters actually live?
4 - Why should our local firefighters be paid well more than TWICE as much and have much better pensions than US Forest Service smokejumpers who parachute out of planes to put out forest fires and who fight more fires in a month than our firefighters do in a year?


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Posted by Hero
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2012 at 7:34 am

I am so disappointed in the posters on this board. Why can't you understand that firefighters are amazing, strong, and special. We should be paid $200K per year and work 1 day a week. Do I have to remind you that we all have graduated from high school, have taken six months of post high school training, and can lift a fire hose. You should demand that your elected officials hire more of us because you never know when an emergency will take place and you don't want to be sorry that we were not there to rescue you.

Please get a grip and pay more attention to posters like neighbor. She has a PHd and understands how valuable we are. She also has done budgeting for government so she understands why government employees are so valuable and how un-important it is to make sure budgets are balanced.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:08 am

Dear "Hero"
I guess assuming that I am a "She" is part of your weak and pathetic attempt at sarcasm.


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:10 am

I was grateful to receive the following information from the city staff. I just hope someone is prioritizing all the infrastructure needs and sorting the wishes from the needs.

Regarding the Rinconada Park Long Range Plan.

In June 2011, City Council authorized Capital Improvement Project PE-12003 for the master planning and design of improvements to Rinconada Park. (Reference page 122 of the CIP budget). On February 13, 2012, Council approved the contract with Verde Design for the long range planning process (contract not to exceed $140,000). A copy of the staff report for the contract proposal can be found on-line at the City's web site (Council agenda for February 13, 2012.)

Tennis courts, asphalt pathways, benches, tables, irrigation systems, restroom buildings, drinking fountains, are all part of the City's infrastructure that need to be maintained and periodically replaced.

In 2010, Council had approved CIP PE-08001 in the amount of $775,000 to "upgrade and renovate safe and accessibility improvements at Rinconada Park." The brief project description said that "funding of this project will focus on repairing existing infrastructure in need of repair. The Project also includes new trash and recycling receptacles in accordance with the City's Zero Waste program." Acknowledging how precious capital dollar are for needed infrastructure, staff and the Council decided to delay the actual implementation of improvements until park user needs could be better defined through a stakeholder and community engagement process, and prioritization of improvements to this regional park could be established.

You should know that many of our park and community center improvements are made through the contributions of individual donors. Contributions from families paid for ¾ of the cost of the recent Heritage playground project; for 2/3 of the cost of the renovation of Lytton Plaza; the Art Center Foundation paid for 2/3 of the cost of the Art Center expansion costs; and the Friends of the Magical Bridge have pledged to contribute $1,300,000 towards the City's contribution of $300,000 for improvements at Mitchell Park.

If you would like to participate in the next Community meeting on the Park – even if you only wish to say you are satisfied with Rinconada Park as it is – you are urged to attend the next meeting which is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, June 5th at the Lucie Stern Community Center.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 16, 2012 at 10:37 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Neighbor - You still haven't answered these questions:

2 - Do you really think that groceries, insurance, gasoline and telephone services should be more expensive in Palo Alto than in East Palo Alto? In fact, the reverse is often true.

3 - Why should our local firefighters, for example, who choose to live elsewhere (even though their individual incomes are equal to the local median FAMILY income) be paid 30% more than the local firefighters are paid in the communities where our firefighters actually live?

4 - Why should our local firefighters be paid well more than TWICE as much and have much better pensions than US Forest Service smokejumpers who parachute out of planes to put out forest fires and who fight more fires in a month than our firefighters do in a year?


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Posted by Ronald L.
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:41 am

I vote to re-open the snack bar at the pool (opens to Pool and Park).


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2012 at 11:47 am

Neighbor states: The workers deserve compensation equal to similar titles/responsibilities found in private industries that are located in the cities they work in - i.e., comparable wage levels for comparable work in Atherton, Menlo Park, and Palo Alto.

Ambulance drivers in Santa Clara County make around $50K per year. They work a lot harder than ff's but it is comparable work so let's pay them comparable wages ... $50K per year.

The average ff in Santa Clara County is in the top 10% of nation wide income earners. If it is a dual income family with the other spouse working as a nurse, ff, cop, teacher etc, they are 1%'s. Yer Neighbor is "shocked" when some one suggests government employees should be paid at market rate.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:44 am

I swore that I would not respond anymore to this letter nonsense, but otherwise smart folks are going off the deep end. Ambulance drivers work harder than Firefighters?

Yes, it's time to trim actual fat from budgets but the real need is to REPEAL PROPOSITION 13.

OK Mr. Carpenter.....drum roll......you're on, have fun.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 17, 2012 at 9:43 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Neighbor - You still haven't answered these questions:

2 - Do you really think that groceries, insurance, gasoline and telephone services should be more expensive in Palo Alto than in East Palo Alto? In fact, the reverse is often true.

3 - Why should our local firefighters, for example, who choose to live elsewhere (even though their individual incomes are equal to the local median FAMILY income) be paid 30% more than the local firefighters are paid in the communities where our firefighters actually live?

4 - Why should our local firefighters be paid well more than TWICE as much and have much better pensions than US Forest Service smokejumpers who parachute out of planes to put out forest fires and who fight more fires in a month than our firefighters do in a year?


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Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Because you get what you paid for. How about some indignation over officers of financial institutions who were bailed out by public money after the 2008 financial meltdown and then proceeded to shamefully reward themselves with fantastic bonuses?
The culprit in the chronic deficits our state and cities suffer is Prop. 13. Until it's amended and older multimillionaires living in mansions aren't allowed to get away with paying a fraction of what young couples pay in property taxes on starter homes , we will have this systemic crisis. Blaming hard working cops and firefighters for the financial disaster caused by 13 is silly and demagogic.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Revising or eliminating Prop 13 would change revenues. The issue here is NOT revenues but expenditures, particularly long term pension liabilities. Just because an agency has more revenue does NOT mean that they should pay above market salaries and pensions, or pay a premium for gasoline or paper or anything else.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm

"How about some indignation over officers of financial institutions who were bailed out by public money after the 2008 financial meltdown and then proceeded to shamefully reward themselves with fantastic bonuses?"

Are you talking about Fannie and Freddie and Obama largesse?


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Those who use the park should pay for the park.

Non Palo Alto residents are the main users of the park as well as Jordan playing fields.

Non residents must pay for the upkeep of these parks--as they use them and cause the wear and tear

BBQs by non residents should be charged $ 15 per participant plus $100 for the fire pit

Entrance fee to the park for non residence and pool should be $10 for each and the same for the Zoo.


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Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm

@ Sharon and others--

Since no one is checking ID's at the park, how do we know that a majority of Rinconada users are not Palo Alto residents? Is it because they are "persons of color"? Or do you have some other evidence?


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm


As we check residents ID we will discover-- that makes legal sense

The parks in question are predominately used by non Palo Alto residents according to most PA residents

The issue is -those who use our parks must pay for the upkeep.

Nothing more -nothing less

We must apply the Foot Hill Park policy to our parks

Some communist activists may try to make issue about race

We are Chinese and we are tax payers

The issue is about tax payers rights--not ethnicity


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm

addendum

We are American Chines -
- as are an increasing number of PA property owners-

-we will not tolerate freeloaders any more on our tax dollars.

race is irrelevant


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2012 at 8:44 am

Sharon
The racism in your posts are always shocking and sad. But this post just illustrates how totalitarian your suggestion is. It's bad enough that Foothill Park has such a policy.

Check out the meaning of "community."


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Posted by protected assets
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 18, 2012 at 9:00 am

But, neighbor, Sharon is a protected asset of the PA Weekly. So she can say whatever she wants on any thread. Criticism or disagreement with her will be dealt with severely.
Most PA residents I spoke with have no idea who uses our parks and all of them do not recall being surveyed by a Chinese-American woman named Sharon regarding PA park usage.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 18, 2012 at 10:14 am

neighbor - you still haven't answered Carpenter's questions about why PA union government employees doing comparable work should be compensated more than employees in the private sector or in communities where they live. i'm hoping you have seen the fallacy of your arguments and have decided not to continue arguing that notion.

while I agree it would be a change to have a policy of having folks pay for the use of parks, it might be worth it. there are already rangers on duty and they could ask to see ID. non residents would pay a fee. folks ought to pay for services they use, right. i realize your experience is with Federal budgeting and those budgets haven't been balanced for a while. but i'd like to see PA parks open and well maintained, and out budgets balanced.

also, please be careful when using the race card. i understand that race is an issue in our society, but try to focus on the issues at hand.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2012 at 10:30 am

1. Sharon raised the race card, as she often does. I called her on it.

2. I have no intention of engaging with Mr. Carpenter on this issue. While I agree with him on many issues, I disagree on this one. We won't convince each other otherwise,

It's a gorgeous day, and I'm going to enjoy it rather than engaging in more nonsense.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

neighbor - it is a beautiful day, hope you enjoy it.

1.) i don't agree with Sharon on many of her posts, but you brought in race to this discussion. you may decided she implied it, but you brought it in.

2.) i totally understand why you won't answer Carpenter's questions. it makes no sense to pay some workers more for equal work, just because they are in a government union. that is a losing argument.

enjoy your government pension!


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