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Residents seek 'neighborhood-friendly' candidates

Original post made on Oct 17, 2007

Turning out for a forum sponsored by the Palo Alto Neighborhoods (PAN) group last Thursday, nine of the 11 individuals running for a seat on the City Council did their best to win the neighborhood vote.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 17, 2007, 12:00 AM

Comments (47)

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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 17, 2007 at 9:11 am

Two parts of this article stand out and deserve comment:

1)"The candidates were unanimous in stating their desire to expand the role of neighborhood groups in city decision-making, including everything from lengthening the lead time for residents to receive council agenda packets so that they have time to formulate responses, to developing citizen working groups to help council members address issues that have an impact on neighborhoods."

Sounds to me that the candidates were kowtowing to these "neighborhood leaders". We need to cut back on the role of neighborhood groups in city decision making--we have seen in recent years how these groups can hold up projects and drive businesses from town.
until we have a city council that can tell these groups, enough is enough, time to move on--it will be business as usual.

2)"The nine candidates were quizzed on how they might address future city planning, given that many residents felt the city failed to protect neighborhood retail and keep a valuable hotel in town, at the Alma Plaza and Rickey's Hyatt sites, respectively."

I find the above hypocritical on the part of PAN--it was these neighborhood leaders/groups that dragged the Alma Plaza and Hyatt process on for so long that the retailers threw in the towel and left town. In fact the Alma Plaza issue is still not resolved since the latest incarnation of the group that has held up construction at Alma Plaza, friends of Alma Plaza, are still not finished playing their "too much retail/not enough retail" game for the site.

Clearly these neighborhood groups have been leading the Planning Commission and the City Council around by the nose for years.


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Posted by Jeremy Loski
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 17, 2007 at 12:27 pm

Not so fast, The fact is that we DO need neighborhood input to our Council. The PROBLEM is that many of those who claim to be representing their neighborhoods are full time political hobbyists - insiders that have, over years, been able to insinuate their voice into Palo Alto's political scene with a an influence that far outweighs the validity of their ideas, or their incomplete visions for a sustainable Palo Alto future.

What we need isi MORE COMPREHENSIVE, and BETTER input from our neighborhoods. Right now, we're not getting that.

Political involvement is a very difficult thing to motivate, especially in a city where a good part of the demographic is more than nominally comfortable, and relatively insulated from the harm and delay that poor decisions can lead to.

Too many of our neighborhood residents are presented with a skewed version of what our city is, or what it should be, by a relative *few* hard-core, no-growth-oriented neighborhood leaders.

PAN is filled with ardent political activists, who really do care about their city. Their passion is not being belittled here. What I'm questioning is the the "let's satisfy everyone" demeanor that past Councils have had (and that has thankfully begun to fade with this last Council).

Hopefully, the premier candidates were aware of the hornets nest that is PAN, and skewed their answers accordingly, so as to satisfy those in PAN who think that this city is their own personal sandbox.

There are ***10's of thousands** of Palo Altans that PAN members DO NOT speak for. I want to find a way to include THOSE voices, and do so more than once every two years at the polls.

That said, our political leaders MUST find a way to tap into the "silent majorty" of Palo Altans who remain uninvolved in the local political scene.

I don't know what the answers are to this dilemma, but we'd better find a way to get fresh, new voices coming from the neighborhood groups, or this city will rot from elongated process, created by those who are determined to stall growth.

Their fav candidate this year is Greg Schmid. Be careful about pulling lever for Schmid - an otherwise good guy, who has been recruited specifically to insert the heavy-handed voice of some of the more determined neighborhood leaders in this city. Schmid is the hard-core no-growther's candidate du jour, this year.

Also, I think it's absurd that Council packets shuold have to be released earlier so that a certain few people (who know our city's civil code backwards and forwards) can pick over those packets - ad infinitum - and have even MORE time than they have had in the past to hold up process in this city.

I agree with Not so fast (who I don't often agree with) on the hypocritcal nature of what went on re: hotels. The very people who have caused years of project delay, and cramped our retail base want MORE input? Please, spare us all.

We need political leaders who are willing to listen to everyone, but have the wisdom to "draw the line" and make hard decisions.


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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 17, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Jeremy--I will agree with you-we do need neighborhood input--butthe right kind of input--not the kind that has been going on for years and that you discuss in you well written post


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Posted by Jeff
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2007 at 2:22 pm

I'm in favor of getting neighborhood input to a point. The problem with neighborhood groups is they tend to have a very insular way of looking at their particular neighborhood issue.

Our City Council and our new City Council needs to make decisions based on what is best, in the long run, for the whole City, instead of bowing down to a select few in a particular neighborhood who are always on hand to speak out at City Council Meetings.


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Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 17, 2007 at 2:35 pm

Jeremy,

I agree with you on one thing:

There IS a silent majority that is voiceless.

Furthermore, that silent majority is completely against ABAG housing suggestions/mandates. It is, indeed, important for the new council to draw the line, and REJECT ABAG!


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Posted by How about YOU
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2007 at 2:52 pm

Jeremy-Notsofast,
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] What is YOUR involvement in the public process.
We have read your messages again and again. How are YOU participating?


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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 17, 2007 at 3:02 pm

How About you--
I participate by voting in every election and by examining council/city decisions and criticizing them if necessary.
How do you participate in your community?

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by How about YOU
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2007 at 3:11 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Have you every joined a neighborhood group to see if anyone agrees with you?
You VOTE? that's participation? [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Jeremy Loski
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 17, 2007 at 5:30 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Why shuold one's level of civic involvement be questioned, by any other resident? We're all in this together, aren't we?

Or, do weekly jaunts down to Council meetings - Council packet in hand - with stacked notes made to speak on every issue under the sun count one in as a "superior citizen"?

I'll turn this around a bit and ask "how about YOU" what level of involvement s/he has had in holding up process on any number of issues, including housing or commercial development over the years. How about you,"How abouy YOU?"?

John, as far as ABAG goes, might I suggest you look at the fastest growing portion of our city, and tell me that thw residents who move in there, as well as the residents who have moved in here over the last decade, and the residents that will cycle in as older residents cycle out over the next decade or so are going to want to limit growth, or even *think* about limiting commercial growth here.

We're talking about a new generation of residents that care about this city, but haven't been politicized yet. Just wait until they start to get an inkling about what's been going on for years every Monday evening - with small coteries of neighborhood leaders using due process to cripple infrastructure and limit our city's tax base.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 17, 2007 at 5:45 pm

Jeremy,

"New generations" become old generation very quickly. as their own interests are threatened. You could put a labor camp in Foothills Park or the Stanford hills, and all of those workers,even if living in tents, would henceforth declare their own priorities, and try to keep out the future people who live in the creekbeds.

Your argument is nonsensical. Keep building jobs in Palo Alto, but do NOT build more housing. The workers will get here, and they will live where they can afford and choose to live. Like Manhattan.


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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 18, 2007 at 8:54 am

How about you--sorry you do not think that voting is participation in the public process.
There is nothing wrong with neighborhood groups, though the question always arises in my mind whether they are truly representing their neighborhood.
Also, as a poster above has noted, these groups tend to look at things from the vantage point of their neighborhood only and not the city as a whole and what is good for it.
Neighborhood groups should be listened to up to a point.we cannot continue with business as usual with them--i.e. the city council giving them unlimited input and refusing to cut things off after a certain period of time.
This meeting with PAN did not do any of the candidates a favor in my book--it seems that they were going out of their way to give them more power in our city decisions.


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Posted by How about YOU
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2007 at 11:23 am

It is obvious you didn't attend the meeting. Not all of the candidates were in favor of more democratic representation. Dan Dykwel said that neighborhood groups Balkanize the city.
I nearly laughed out loud.
I got this flash in my mind of Dan Quayle who used words he didn't know how to spell. In this case he doesn't know the meaning. I suppose what he meant is they oppose the developers who want to build ugly, oversized buildings. Well they don't usually succeed, but they try. I applaud their efforts.
I think Dykwel is our very own Dan Quayle.


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Posted by Elect Dan Dykwel
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 18, 2007 at 1:09 pm

How about YOU,

Dan Dykwel has been selling quality of life to Palo Altans for 15 years; he has supported community dialogue more than just about anybody else running for Council; he is PTA Council President; he has led efforts to pass library and PAUSD bonds; he is the sponsor of the Black and White Ball, passing all poroceeds on to PAUSD and local recreation programs. He has also expressed concern about ABAG numbers, and so on.

It looks to me like you shuold look more carefully into each candidate's background, before making nagative personal attacks.







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Posted by How about YOU
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2007 at 2:33 pm

He may be a nice man, I don't know him. What is relevant to the election is
1) he is a real estate broker
2) so is his wife
3) she is on the Board of the developer-banker dominated Chamber of Commerce
4) he sees resident participation as getting in the way of development
These facts are relevant to the important issues in this election.


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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 18, 2007 at 3:22 pm

How about you--how is all this relevant to you?
You are a resident of another community.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 18, 2007 at 3:42 pm

Neighborhood groups can have useful input because they are familiar with what their neighbors like about the neighborhood and the city and what they don't like. Some people in the neighborhood are interested in a particular issue and they share information that others might miss. I noticed a newspaper article about the day care center near the corner of San Antonio and Middlefield. It said that the owners were ready to retire and sell the property. The owners were looking into possible uses of the property as anyone would do. This information interested my neighbors because we had just learned of five possible developments in South Palo Alto.

Some people are concerned about the effects of global warming on a state that has dry seasons and an expanding population. It seems prudent to grow slowly and avoid large developments.


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Posted by Be careful who you vote for
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 18, 2007 at 6:18 pm

Let's look at Greg Schmid; he's backed by some of the most ardent no-growth zealots in Palo Alto.

When I look at Schmid's election committee, it has PALO ALTO PROCESS written all over it! the entire group is OLD THINKING, and retro in their collective approach to sustainable development in this area.

These are the people who have been in favor of holding up development after development. These are the people we have to thank for vacant lots at 195 Park Blvd; for the Hyatt-Rickey's, Edgewood Plaza, and Alma PLaza fiascos - and so on.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Yes be careful
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 18, 2007 at 10:16 pm

I agree, be careful who you vote for. If you like what you see on the corner of San Antonio and El Camino, and if you like what you see at 800 High street, and you like the humongous development in the 3000s on West Bayshore, then vote for real estate and developer supported candidates.


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Posted by Be careful who you vote for
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 18, 2007 at 11:49 pm

You might recall that 800 High St. was *forced* to a vote from the pressure brought by the anti-development crowd. You might also recall that the citizens of this city boted FOR the High St. development, and it's turned out to be quite nice. How much did anti-growth supporters cost our city with that one? $Millions!$ (lost tax revenues, community dissention, lost new resident expenditures, etc. etc.)

These are the same people who support Greg Schmid. It's plain as day; just look at Schmid's election committee. It's full of people that have been extremely down on City Council, and have gone the extra mile to hold up development. It's also full of ex-Council persons who *failed* to get our indrastructure rebuilt when we had the money.

Do we really want a guy (Schmid) that these people are supporting in office, in 21st century Palo Alto?

This is the same group of people who delayed the Hyatt project and CAUSED the the development you're whining about at El Camino and Arastradero (through their interminable challenges to Hyatt).

We need to *get out from under the RETRO activity that is caused by these anti-development folks. They are costing us taxpayer dollars, and costing new residents inflated housing costs (borne of delay).

Greg Schmid will be a force to freeze Palo Alto's future opportunity; he's done admirable service in the past, but his time has come, and gone. We need to move on to people who have effective new ideas, and not retreads.


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Posted by PA Mother
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 19, 2007 at 12:17 am

I have been to two forums, and I really liked Greg Schmid.
He is honest, and I believe that he will be careful in his decisions.
He also has experience with Palo Alto schools, and realizes the rapid growth. I think he will carefully make his decisions. He knows our city and what we need. I feel that he will not make unwise hasty decisions that we will later regret. He has my vote.





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Posted by Be careful who you vote for
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 19, 2007 at 12:32 am

PA Mother: "I feel that he (Greg Schmid) will not make unwise hasty decisions that we will later regret.

You said it! "Hasty" is not something Greg Schmid will be. He wil enagage the tactics of *delay*, just as his many supporters have in the past.

And, oh, yeah, we usually come to like the projects that get built in spite of these delays.

Greg Schmid should enjoy the work he did isomem years ago for the BOE, instead of letting himself get sucked into a retro positin on urban growth, that's out of step with the 21st century, and Palo Alto's sustainable future.


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Posted by steve levy
a resident of University South
on Oct 19, 2007 at 9:41 am

I am supporting Greg Schmid in the City Council race.

I have been a strong supporter of more housing in Palo Alto both in the Town Square and in the Weekly and more recently before Council relative to the ABAG housing policies.

I am supporting Greg based on many years of knowing him and having talked with him several times in this election cycle.

I think Greg will bring an open mind to development issues in Palo Alto. I value his expertise and experience and understand that he may not always agree with my position on individual projects.

I believe in electing talented people with experience and dedication to making Palo Alto a better place to live and work.

My experience with Greg professionally and during his School Board term make me agree with PA mom who said "He is honest, and I believe that he will be careful in his decisions."


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Posted by Jeremy Loski
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 19, 2007 at 10:25 am

Steve, did you look at Schmid's election committee? You have to be kidding. Greg Schmid may be a great guy, and have done great service while he was on the BOE, but which one of his election committee members is not an anti-growth zealot, and/or a past City Council member who let infrastructure spending lie fallow, thus contributing to our current mess? Name one.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] I've seen him in the forums; he IS measured, but he is also AGAINST the very things that you seem to support. Strange.

Frankly, I can't name one current Council member or City Council hopeful that isn't "honest, and I believe that he will be careful in his decisions". They're all good people, but THEY DIFFER IN THEIR VISION FOR OUR CITY.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 19, 2007 at 10:51 am

If Greg Schmid has an open and careful mind, he will vote against the ABAG nonsense. I know someone who is supporting him, and he strongly oppose the ABAG deal. I think I will vote for Schmid.


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Posted by steve levy
a resident of University South
on Oct 19, 2007 at 11:21 am

Jeremy,

I have enjoyed your posts in the Town Square and can partly understand your puzzlement.

I don't generally judge people by who is on their election committee when I know them personally. I have talked with Greg directly about development issues and am convinced he does not have an ideological position whatever his committee members might think.

But there are many reasons outside of development issues to support Greg's candidacy.

As I listen to what concerns people there is tremendous concern about fiscal planning and management, concern about infrastructure planning, about negotiation for public benefits realtive to new developments and a general desire for more trust and open process in Palo Alto government.

These areas go directly to Greg's professional experience and his local experience on the School Board. I believe these competencies are not shared by all the candidates whom I assume, like you, are honest.

I would have difficulty supporting a candidate for federal office who supported the war in Iraq or was anti-abortion but I have no trouble supporting Greg for Palo Alto council even if he may vote differently than I wish on a specific development.

I choose to trust my personal experience with Greg and judge him as himself and not who some of his supporters are. I was aware of everything you wrote about when I endorsed Greg. Rather than questioning my judgement, which is based on personal experience, perhaps you could reconsider that Greg has appeal that is broader than the folks you disagree with on his election committee and that there are a broad range of issues important in Palo Alto.

On ths issue of process and delay, I think Palo Alto is in substantial disagreement about the direction of the City re development. Rather than repeat each project fight as if it were a brand new and isolated issue, Greg's idea of creating plans for development will probably actually speed approvals by forcing us to face up to our disagreements and pushing through.

It is the same reasoning that led ABAG to call for using the Housing Element updates to formulate plans so that housing "can occur".

Re the ABAG housing allocation, I see planning through the Housing Element update as the only possible way to get any agreement on whether and how Palo Alto can help the needed housing to occur.

So, although "planning" has been identified in Palo Alto with delay, this is not how it works in other jurisdiction that I work with and not my understanding of how Greg would apply the concept in Palo Alto.



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Posted by Jeremy Loski
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 19, 2007 at 1:16 pm

Steve,

"Rather than repeat each project fight as if it were a brand new and isolated issue, Greg's idea of creating plans for development will probably actually speed approvals by forcing us to face up to our disagreements and pushing through."

What people are missing with Schmid (a good person), is that "creating plans for development" is something that he has committed to try to accomplish for his supporters. THAT is the opening that they are banking on.

Yes, Schmid is an able guy, and a nice man, but he is (nased on his answers in the forums0 somewhat out of touch re: the indrastructure issues we have today (I don't see strong committment to projects that re ready to roll), and he seems to nostalgic for the past.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Planning is something we MUST do, but the devil is in the planning details, and THAT's where Schmid comes off as a worrisome candidate. He has equivovated in the forums, so I'm not sure that he doesn't have an agenda that more than not supports a few neighborhood leaders I know, and some others who are stalwart in their attempts to tamp down sustainability (fiscal and otherwisde) in Palo Alto. btw, these people are all well-meaning, but rather out of touch of what this city and region will need to move forward.

It's a VERY parochial bunch who use any means possible to accomplish their ends. They have COST this city a lot of social capital, good will, and an early jump start at maintaining sustainability.


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Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 19, 2007 at 1:41 pm

Jeremy,

That list of Schmid supporters is all over the map, in terms of specific goals and intrests.

The reason I thnk I will vote for him is (from his own talking points):

"We need to protect our most important sources of new revenues: the increase in property taxes based on annual sales of existing homes. "

The ABAG deal will NOT enhance our property values. It will HURT them. It will not solve ANY current issues, but it will exaccerbate some of them. Schimd is probably smart enough to see through all the regionalist propaganda. I can understand why you are against him.


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Posted by Jeremy Loski
a resident of South of Midtown
on Oct 19, 2007 at 2:36 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
"Regionalist Propaganda"...

Look back in 10 years and tell me that efforts not to better come to cooperative efforts in transportation and housing has not hurt this region, relative to others.

Greg Schmid doesn't see that; his concerns are dramatically parochial, and he's backed by the absolute core of the most anti-growth segment of neighborhood leaders in our city.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 19, 2007 at 2:52 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Alyssa
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 19, 2007 at 2:57 pm

I'm not sure I can vote for anyone who, in Steve Levy's words, can support a process, "...using the Housing Element updates to formulate plans so that housing "can occur"."

This is bureaucratic gobbledy-gook at its finest.

Housing isn't something that "can occur" if we use Housing Element updates. We expect our elective representatives to make active decisions about how much housing (or retail or anythng else) we will allow. ABAG's and Levy's formulation makes it seem like we elect people who are expected to passively sit around while housing "occurs".

I don't know if Loski, et al. are right that Schmid is a tool of no-growth zealots, or if Levy is right that Schmid is a reasonable accomodator. But if he's that hard to pin down, maybe he isn't someone we want on our Council at a time when openness and honesty are major issues.Web Link


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Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 19, 2007 at 2:59 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by steve levy
a resident of University South
on Oct 19, 2007 at 4:31 pm

Alyssa,

If you have questions about Greg's positions I would encourage you to call or email him or ask at one of the candidate forums. I am reporting what he tells me in our conversaations but everyone should find out for themselves. I don't find Greg "hard to pin down" but I have the advantage of a lot of personal contact.

You are absolutely right that we elect people to make active decisions, not just sit around and be passive.

Greg and I think of planning as a very active tool for decision making. Planning and the Housing Element are not passive at all. The "can occur" phrase comes from the idea that if Palo Alto doesn't identify places where housing "can occur" then we will end up just fighting over every single project. Identifying places where housing "can occur" is therefore an active step in establishing a frameowrk that can allow individual project review to go more quickly.

I know that "planning" is often associated with delay. But in a community at odds over development, active participation by residents in debating the plan (in this case the Housing Element update) is our best hope at moving forward with actions that have enough agreement to get enacted and, hopefully, reduce some of the acrimony that we have seen recently in PA over development issues.

I am not saying "wait until we have a plan" before making any decisions but rather to use the regular Housing Element update, when it occurs, as an active tool to move forward.


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Posted by Jeremy Loski
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 19, 2007 at 5:22 pm

Steve, what voices is Greg Schmid going to listen to - and give most credance to - when it comes time to decide where planning "can occur".

I have not been encouraged when I hear him speak in the forums, because his election committee's known preferences are consistant with what he says. Step back and take another look, in that context.

Might I suggest you look up the *activity* records of the people on Greg Schmid's election committee. These are people that Greg Schmid has chosen to be his closest advisors. Why would they be there is he hadn't assured them that he would be voting in ways that pleased them?

Among Schmid's election committee are some of the most ardent local *critics* of the kind of growth that you favor. How can Schmid lean in your direction, when his campaign committee is leaning in the opposite direction? It doesn't add up.

Look at the PTOD, as one example. Some members of Schmid's campaign committee are going to noodle that zoning development to death; they are also going to want to take flexibility AWAY from Council when it comes to planning options.

The citizen who is costing our city big $$$ with his suit to hold up 195 Page Mill is a Schmid supporter. Greg Schmid is good at talking the talk, but he will not walk the walk. He's been a politician, and knows what it takes to get elected.

Frankly, I don't think he has the momentum, or the support base to make it. That said, this is going to be a pretty wild race, with some interesting peripheral candidates, Nadim, Ross, Gray, Smokey, etc. appealing to a large enough collective base that we may see some real surprises.

Last, Schmid is NOT a regionalist. On that alone, I'm surprised to see you supporting him. IN any case, nobody will know what levers youy pull in the voting booth, so you can change your mind, discreetly. I won't tell. :-)


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Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 19, 2007 at 6:06 pm

"Last, Schmid is NOT a regionalist."

Exactly, Jeremy. That is why I am supporting him!

For all potential Palo Alto voters: If you want to stop ABAG, vote for Schmid.


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Posted by Jeremy Loski
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 19, 2007 at 6:19 pm

John, Whether you like it or not, we're all in this together. You're either a functional regionalist, or a dysfunctional regionalist. See you at the polls.


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Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 19, 2007 at 6:29 pm

I am a localist, and quite content to be so. We do not need ABAG. Palo Alto is doing pretty well, although it has been slipping some, due to "we're all in this together" schemes.

We need growth in Palo Alto, but we do NOT need massive new housing projects. Individuals will make their own choices.


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Posted by Francine Storey
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 19, 2007 at 6:44 pm

I agree with John. We don't need some ABAG uber-bureaucrats telling us how to run our city, how many houses we should allow...or anything else of that nature.

Growth will not "just happen" unless we and other cities around here let it happen (or create conditions where it "can occur"..have you ever seen a more Orwellian phraseology?). If enough cities tell ABAG to stuff-it, we'll exist without the 'regionwide' growth that Loski, Levy, and their corporate and developer patrons want. It's a choice we have, not some dictate, and certainly not some inevitability despite what some of the rhetoric here would lead you to believe.

If corporations can't get the workers they want locally, they'll go elsewhere. We won't be as "dynamic". We won't be the center of the universe, or even of the tech world perhaps. It will be a harder place to strike it rich.

But maybe it'll be a better place to live. And we have the right to make that choice.

Vote against any candidate who gives the slightest kiss of lip service to ABAG's nonsense.


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 19, 2007 at 8:37 pm


If Palo Alto gets more over crowded with high density housing, big hotels, and added traffic, the quality of life here will deteriorate even further.

The schools are already bursting at the seams.

The wealthy people will move to the hills, or simply leave the state. I know of three families that are contemplating moving this summer for this exact reason. It is simply too overcrowded here, and they feel that the schools are not as good as what they thought they would be.

Some parents simply cannot take the stress of driving their kids to various elementary schools that are spread out all over the city, being stuck in traffic, and having to drive so far to do their weekly shopping. Many people avoid going downtown and to Stanford Shopping Center because of the traffic.

If you over build, people will leave!

I have seen this happen in other cities in California.

The families with children that move into the lower income housing will likely not be able to contribute to PIE, and certainly will not be contributing their fair share in property taxes.

We know of a family with 4 elementary school children who are wait listed for low income housing here. Even though they make WELL OVER $130,000 a year, they are able to qualify for scholarships, discounts, and special programs that other parents who own property here cannot afford. I am sure that there are many other families like them on the waiting list.

Over build, and you will see what happens.

The realtors will love it, even if the housing prices fall, they will still make a lot of money just by the sheer movement of people out here.

This is just something to think about.


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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 19, 2007 at 8:45 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 20, 2007 at 7:30 am

I have had two posts edited by the staff, because I said that I would not vote from Schmid becuase he has a certain neighborhood leader on his election committee.
Would the editors care to enlighten me as to why those posts were considered so "offensive"??


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Posted by Tyler Hanley
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Oct 20, 2007 at 10:04 am

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

They aren't offensive, just inappropriate. Imagine if everyone started posting individual names of people in the community who they objected to or disliked. Stick to the positions of the candidates and the issues facing the community and there won't be a problem. Slamming a candidate because someone has endorsed them doesn't contribute to a very informed discussion.


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Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 20, 2007 at 11:04 am

Parent,

I'm with you on a lot of this, but I'm all for hotels--lots of tax money without huge demand on our schools and services. I mean, the Hyatt Rickey's site would be better for the city overall if it were still a hotel.

In fact, I'd be fine with the Edgewood Plaza site being turned into a hotel with a minimall that included a coffee joint. Heck, I'll dream a little more--said hotel will have a spa in it!

I have some friends who live behind a sizeable hotel--it's totally peaceful. I'd rather live next to a good hotel than an apartment building--no risk of that one crazy, noisy tenant you can get.


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Posted by Anna
a resident of Southgate
on Oct 20, 2007 at 11:51 am

While I can understand why gratuitous mentions of "individual names of people in the community" generally are not necessarily helpful to the discussion(s) here, Not so fast was posting the names of people who: 1. are leaders of neighborhood groups that have taken positions on issues germaine to the election and 2. have agreed to have their names publicly identified with candidates for office on websites and printed matter by endorsing them.

Presumably the candidates wish to have themselves associated with their endorsers as well, and by simple inference with any public stances of their endorsers. (If for example, a candidate were endorsed by some well known neo-Nazi leader, I think that would be fair game for discussion - and would be a reason to base one's vote on.)

So in this case, as in some others, I think the policies of Palo Alto Online moderators have reduced, rather than contributed to, useful discussion of community matters.

They have every right to do this of course, but it makes this a less useful tool than it otherwise might be for community discussion.


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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 20, 2007 at 12:19 pm

I will not vote for Schmid because he has someone working on his election committee who I feel has not had the best interests of PA, as a whole, in the past.
This person has been publicly identified as being on the election committee and therefor by extension I assume that the candidate shares many of his beliefs. Based on that I feel that I cannot vote for said candidate.
As Anna stated, the candidates on their websites and in their mailings identify who these people are and I therefore assume that they want to be associated with them.
My naming of these people was therefore not gratuitous, but an opinion and response to their having these people working for them for an election to the city council.
Finally, I did not slam Schmid--I stated a valid reason fo rnot voting for him.
Your censorship was out of place in this political debate.


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Posted by High time to censor him
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 20, 2007 at 9:50 pm

Removing that vile comment was appropriate.
Problem is, Not so fast cannot be stopped. He repeats and repeats and repeats until everyone has left the room. Then he brings on his alter-egos to agree with him for example OhlonePar and Anna here. The only ones missing are Loski and Mike. You can expect them to appear soon. Maybe Periwinkle, or some new name.
It is my impression that the Weekly has been protecting this unsavory writer and his many pseudonyms (some of which appear on this page) because of who he is. He has been making nasty comments about nimbys, naysayers and nogrowthers and about the individual in this thread for some time and the Weekly has been protecting him and his destructive behavior.
This Town Square writer has lowered the forum's tone to the point that many decent people won't get near it.


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Posted by Carreylynn
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 22, 2007 at 2:35 pm

I am going for somebody who isn't "in the loop" like everyone else. I personally enjoyed Bill Ross and his comments. He was the only candidate who actually answered the questions and wasn't vague or ambiguous. We need a fresh voice on council and quite honestly somebody who will read the information and know what it means. I spoke with Mr. Ross after the meeting and I must say you should too. He really opened my eyes to our problems here in our city. Take the time and make the effort our city is worth it.


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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 23, 2007 at 7:41 am

High time to censor him--just came upon your post here and your post in the Pacific Art LEague thread under the name of "forum observer".
One word in response to your comment---WRONG.


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