Town Square

Post a New Topic

PAUSD and CPA Officials Should Hold Virtual Office Hours

Original post made by Wayne Martin, Fairmeadow, on Jun 17, 2013

Transparency continues to be a problem with government, at all levels, in my opinion. Local government agencies, like the PAUSD and the City of Palo Alto (CPA), could open the window on the inner workings of the PAUSD, a little, by taking advantage of social networking tools, like Skype, Instant Messenger, and Google/VideoChat, by offering “Virtual Office Hours”—which would provide the public access to each of you, singly, or in small groups, to discuss issues, ideas, or changes to anything from the schedule to the curriculum.

This story contains 295 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.

Comments (2)

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 17, 2013 at 10:27 am

It can be difficult to connect with government officials and get our input/opinions taken into consideration. Your idea of additional channels is good, but remember not everyone is techie. I have an elderly relative who is very politically engaged yet does not even use email.
I have not emailed PA city council members (when I otherwise would like to have done) owing to lack of time/short notice of some issue and the fact that my email address would be disclosed. Snail mail is time consuming with the necessary lead time to be timely before a vote.
A lot of people do express opinions on this forum and it would make sense for PAUSD and city elected officials to at least glance at it. Two great examples: school calendar changes & road narrowings within the city.
Palo Alto is a surprisingly large, costly city operation and it would be better if more people gave input and that input was considered. I feel more confortable with more oversight (public and local news media!!!), rather than less.
When I have contacted Congresswoman Eshoo's office, I have had timely response.
Bad experiences recently and in past with State Senator's office.
I have emailed both CA senators numerous times and have only the faint hope that my opinion is tallied on some list. I have typically received boilerplate, VERY delayed response, although Senator Feinstein's office has sent some slightly personalized responses; Boxer's office, to my recollection, has been almost totally non-responsive/non-acknowledging.
I think it's important that citizens DO give input, their opinions on bills/issues at the appropriate levels of elected government, so thank you for even bringing this up to remind people to try to do that. All we can do is try.
We are a long way from Washington, D.C. and it is clear we are viewed as an ATM for political campaigns, although CA elected representatives are typically powerful, WE individual citizens are not insofar as our opinions/input. Exmple: demonizing the "rich" as families making 250K, when cost of living in our area is so much greater than almost every other area of the country, yet broad-brush statements/decisions/laws/rulings are made applying to us all, without acknowledgement of our situation and input.


Like this comment
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I would like to thank Board Member Dana Tom for bringing up my suggestion of having Board Members, and other School Officials, be available, on-line, for increased access by the public. The essence of the idea can be found here:

Web Link

All of the “technology” is readily available to everyone, so why shouldn’t we expect our elected officials to make use of the tools that Silicon Valley has made available over the years?


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Opening alert: iTalico in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 2 comments | 4,288 views

Work: What Happens when your Relationship is in Trouble?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 902 views

When to get on a Retirement Community wait list
By Max Greenberg | 0 comments | 569 views