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By Paul Losch

Local or Regional Solutions?

Uploaded: Mar 26, 2011

I tend to have a bias toward local problem solving.

And there are instances when local problem solving does not make sense.

This Byxbee Park composting project is the current example. I have my own opinions about undedicating parkland and the merits of the proposed composting initiative, but that is not the point.

It all sounds well and good to put a composting facility adjacent to the water treatment facility. But I have not seen any data that compares how that same compostible material "pencils out" if it were taken to existing facilities, such a Gilroy. It is not a simple study, but it needs to be done if voters are going to make an informed decision.

There are other regional issues.

We lack adequate athletic facilities, both indoor and outdoor, for all the people who wish to contribute their athleticism, fitness, and enjoyment socially. I have witnessed this first hand during my time on the City of Palo Alto Parks and Recreation Commission.

It has affected how playing areas are utilized in Palo Alto, but more importantly, it has demonstrated how numerous cities in this area are dealing with demand that is far in excess of supply.

I drive home from work every day along HiWay 101 and see all that Moffet Field land that could help address the lack of open playing fields. How about some gyms in that massive complex?

I see the potential here in Palo Alto to add gymnasium space with the last bond capital program, and despite some conversations I have had with folks in a position to make it part of how we re-build the schools, which could make this town part of the solution to a regional problem, I am not sure we are getting anywhere.

My main point is that too many times we take a local approach, and fail because what was needed was a regional approach. It depends on the topic of course.