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Committee backs plan to outsource street sweeping

Original post made on Dec 4, 2013

Saying that they are following the will of the people to streamline city costs, the Palo Alto Finance Committee voted unanimously to back outsourcing street-sweeping services.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 9:59 AM

Comments (12)

Posted by FoxBait, a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 4, 2013 at 10:51 am

All I can say is why are South Palo Alto residents being discriminated yet again? Don't our streets deserve to be swept like the same streets in downtown or Cal. Ave. during the same regularity? If we are trying to save money for the City why can't it be across the board for the whole city? South Palo Alto has more housing density with more trees being planted and their leaves do fall just like any other tree in Downtown and Cal. Ave. and they need to be swept before the drains get plugged up not to mention other litter that are strewn that needs to be picked up! I find this very discriminatory indeed. Its like saying that South Palo Alto does not need to look clean and beautiful at all times because....


Posted by midtowner, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 4, 2013 at 11:21 am

Reducing street sweeping from March 1 through October would be a hardship for our cul-de-sac which has a cork oak. This cork oak drops its leaves (tons of them) every mid-April. If our cul-de-sac were to be swept every other week in April, it would be really messy. On top of that, the cork oak is a city tree, so we can't prune it back to reduce the amount of leaves. Please reconsider the proposed schedule.


Posted by 35 year resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 4, 2013 at 11:25 am

What data does union rep Adkins have that supports her claim that services won't be as good? Perhaps they'll be better. If the unions weren't gouging cities with benefits demands, they'd still have a job.


Posted by 35 year resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

What data does the union representative have that can prove service won't be as good? Perhaps, it'll be better. If the unions representing city employees weren't so greedy the sweepers might still have jobs.


Posted by 35 year resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 4, 2013 at 11:51 am

What data does the union rep have that supports her claim that services will not be as good? If the union wasn't so greedy, perhaps the sweepers would have jobs in 2014.


Posted by Modify this, please., a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm

They should maintain weekly street sweeping throughout the city in the fall when large volumes of leaf debris in the street present road hazards for cars and bikes and can clog storm drains. This is a liability if one person is killed or one home is flooded.

Agree with Burt's comment about fair wages, though wording may need some modification.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 4, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Why no mention of getting stricter with parking on sweeping days? If cars are parked then it will be at least a month between sweepings of a particular spot. It would be much better to sweep efficiently if the parked cars were ticketed, but never heard of anyone in Palo Alto getting a ticket for parking on street sweeping day.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm

This all seems so overly complicated. I think street sweeping is a practical, appropriate city service. I am not sure about outsourcing; but I do believe the sweeping should be more than every other week.
Instituting a complicated schedule and outsourcing scheme with requirement for "living wage" and etc. will require bureaucratic oversight, perhaps more than what we have now, and may cause trouble when there is massive leaf drop and then heavy rains. Keep it simple; street sweeping services don't have to be that elaborate with 1000 pages of regulations. Street sweeping looks effective to me and I would prefer the money spent on this clearly visible public service rather than the idiotic umpteen costly studies and...costly payments for LOBBYISTS! in Sacramento (re: highspeed rail - check it out)that well appear to be money down the drain.


Posted by Mike, a resident of University South
on Dec 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm

@FoxBait, Forest Avenue gets swept 3 or 4 times per year.

What determines how often a particular street gets swept?


Posted by Too Funny, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Too funny! Scmid and Burt can't even decide what the difference is between a living wage and a fair wage. How will they ever decide what the difference is between a low bid and a fair bid. The dysfunctional city council and city manager claim they are only following "the will of the people" with this proposal, even after less than a week ago telling residents that they plan to form committees to determine what is needed to become more in touch with the community. I guess the Palo Alto Weekly got the "will of the people" quote from the $250,000 City PR Manager. The only losers in this proposal are the residents of Palo Alto who will receive less service and no reduction in fees. Guess we can use the $500,000 savings to hire more city PR people to tell us what a great deal we're getting.


Posted by jardins, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm

In my own view, "the will of the people" should translate into the firing of the city manager and all his unnecessary minion-managers, plus the dumping of many (not all) of the city council.




Posted by Whose will?, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

The council et al is again misguided ( or just plain lying) when saying they are only doing the will of the people. If they really were, they would all resign, including the city manager. Most of them are guilty of conflicts of interest and should not be serving in the first place. Others may have received bribes.

BTW, on my particular street, the street sweeper comes by once during the fall and whenever a new house is being built.


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