Posted by Marrol, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Feb 27, 2013 at 11:35 am
The City Council is considering ways to pay for our infrastructure and public safety needs. Naturally and predictably they default to yet another proposed bond measure and potential tax increase. Absolutely unreal.
One of the primary functions of our city leaders and elected officials is to operate with our public funds in a responsible manner. That would include working within a balanced budget, and providing for our essential infrastructure and public safety needs. After all, without those elements being in place, our overall quality of life in the big scheme falls at risk of serious compromise.
So why has it reached this point? Why do we find ourselves incapable, or perhaps unwilling, to allocate the required funds to pay for our essential needs? In my opinion, because our city leaders have never set any solid financial priorities. They have ignored and dismissed our vital and essential civic needs, preoccupying themselves instead with special interest groups, niche projects, and feel good programs and services. This has been going for many, many years. On one hand they decry our current fiscal circumstances as being unprecedented and grave, while in the other they continue to approve and dole out millions of dollars in public funds for bike bridges, golf course remodels, bike bridges, new playgrounds, community center make-overs, and commercial district beautification. The list goes on.
Our city leaders are seemingly incapable of demonstrating the common sense and courage to say no to the many special interest groups and niche programs and services. We continue to publicly support programs such as the Children's Theater and the Opportunity Center. When discussion arose to outsource our animal services, a move that would save us several million dollars over time, these same city leaders allowed themselves to be shouted down by a vocal minority. They concern themselves more with their own image, to not appear uncaring or insensitive, than they do with the greater good.
I will oppose and work defiantly against any future proposals which involve a bond measure and tax increase to pay for our essential civic needs. The city council must be sent a message. You cannot keep spending public funds in a frivolous, irresponsible manner, and expect to return to the tax payers crying poor. Please demonstrate some fiscal responsibility and common sense.
Posted by Don't get it, a resident of the Green Acres neighborhood, on Feb 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm
A very strange place to locate a Palo Alto State of the City address since most of Deer Creek Road is located in the Stanford Industrial Park. Perhaps Tesla expects you to buy a car while you're there!!!
Posted by Annette, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Feb 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm
Are we really well served by an annual shuffle of goals and mayors? Palo Alto is famous for its process so unless each successive mayor continues goals of the previous steward it seems to me the exercise has a high level of futility, regardless of where the annual recitation is done. I wonder if anyone else would like to see goals such as: an elected mayor, a longer term for mayor, a smaller council, and an established method of accountability for key personnel in city management.
Posted by No genius, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Feb 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm
Havinge attended these things before, I am sure it will be and understatement of problems, less than honest, and the mayor will save the really important concerns of the citizens for last, long after most people have given up and left.
Posted by Liz, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Feb 27, 2013 at 9:54 pm
Annette: No I am against a Mayor having a longer term than one year because in that event it becomes a permanent job and the Mayor would require a salary in excess of $300,000. It would be another huge waste of money for PA. What would the City Manager do anyway?
Actually, the one year system works very well, but what doesn't work is having a 9 member city council which should be reduced to 7 members.