News

As Palo Alto picks next mayor, all eyes on Kniss

Despite state investigation, political veteran expected to assume central chair on City Council

To become a Palo Alto mayor, a City Council member typically has to meet two requirements: a vice mayoral term in the prior year and an ability to get along with colleagues.

Given these traditions, Liz Kniss is the odds-on favorite to win the honor on Monday, when the council chooses its mayor and vice mayor for 2018. A political veteran who twice held the position during her prior council stint, Kniss served as vice mayor in 2017, a year in which her side of the council's political divide held a majority.


Vice Mayor Liz Kniss. Photo by Veronica Weber.

City Councilman Eric Filseth. Photo by Veronica Weber.

City Councilman Cory Wolbach. Photo by Veronica Weber.
Kniss has been a leading advocate on one of the council's most pressing issues -- housing -- and has generally opposed policies that restrict development. A strong supporter of various "healthy city" initiatives, including efforts to reduce car idling and a registration system for tobacco retailers, she often found herself in alliance with Councilwoman Karen Holman, a colleague with staunchly residentialist views.

Yet her potential ascendancy to the mayor's chair is also unusual in another respect. If elected, she will be sworn in as Palo Alto's mayor while also facing a state Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) probe over her failure to report a series of developers' contribution before the November 2016 election. In addition, she had failed to list the occupations of 18 contributors to her campaign, listing them as "unknown."

During the 2016 campaign -- her 10th run for an elected office -- Kniss had initially said she would not accept developers' contributions but later reversed this decision. And though several developers who gave her money told the Weekly (or indicated in their filings) that they had given her cash well before the Nov. 8, 2016, election, she did not report these $1,000-or-more contributions within 24 hours of receiving them, as required by state law. Instead, she reported these contributions on Jan. 11, well after she was re-elected to the council with more votes than any other candidate.

The FPPC investigation began in March and is still in progress as of this week. By contrast, the FPPC's 2017 investigations against council members Adrian Fine and Greg Tanaka were each resolved within a few months of being opened.

When asked about the length of time the Kniss probe has taken, FPPC spokesman Jay Wierenga said the agency works to ensure that every investigation is both thorough and timely. He said the agency is aware of the city's looming elections and "tries to take them into consideration."

"The flip side is you can't rush, or hurry, or skip any aspects of any investigation simply to try to accommodate those types of dates, since that in and of itself could undermine or compromise any investigation," Wierenga said.

Whichever way the council's vote goes, it should have a familiar ring for Kniss, a retired nurse and former Santa Clara County supervisor, who served as mayor in 1994 and 2000. If elected by her colleagues, she will join former Councilman Larry Klein (who was mayor in 1984, 1989 and 2008) as the only other person to hold the position three times since Kirke Comstock served as mayor in 1971, 1972 and 1973.

At the same time, Kniss also knows what it's like to be a vice mayor who does not move on to the top spot. She found herself in that position in 2014, when Palo Alto voters elected a slow-growth "residentialist" majority, led by Holman. In response, then-Vice Mayor Kniss made the unusual move in January 2015 of nominating Holman for the mayoral position -- a post that is often described as "ceremonial" but that gives a council member the power to shape agendas and run meetings.

While the council has generally deferred to the tradition of electing last year's vice mayor as this year's mayor, 2015 wasn't the only exception to the rule. In 2016, Vice Mayor Greg Schmid was narrowly passed over for the central chair in favor of former Councilman Pat Burt. A year ago, the tradition was restored, when then-Vice Mayor Greg Scharff was unanimously elected mayor.

If Kniss doesn't take the mayor's seat Monday, the position could go to one of two other likely candidates for the role: council members Eric Filseth and Cory Wolbach. If she does, one of them will have a strong shot at getting elected vice mayor -- a vote that often provides the only measure of suspense in the annual reorganizational meeting.

Filseth, a retired tech CEO, served in 2017 as chair of the council's Finance Committee and is the council's strongest voice for addressing the city's ballooning pension liabilities. Though he was elected in 2014 as part of the "residentialist" wave, he has governed as a moderate and has often assumed Burt's former role as the council's swing vote.

Wolbach, who was also elected in 2014, chaired the Policy and Services Committee and helped craft the city's policies on marijuana, surveillance technology and smoking. A Democratic activist and staunch housing advocate, Wolbach has voted consistently with Kniss and Scharff throughout the year and could have the edge if the council splits among partisan lines.

Both Filseth and Wolbach will be up for re-election in November, when the council size will shrink from nine to seven members.

The council seat of Councilman Tom DuBois, who chaired the Rail Committee in 2017, will also be up for grabs later this year. When it comes to the vice-mayorship, his general affiliation with the council's slow-growth minority may make it more difficult for him to win five votes on Monday.

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Comments

101 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2018 at 9:49 am

I really hope that Ms. Kniss and the rest of the council reach an understanding and that she does NOT become mayor this time around. I think the FPPC investigation is reason enough.


75 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2018 at 10:24 am

[Post removed.]


99 people like this
Posted by Rose
a resident of Mayfield
on Jan 5, 2018 at 10:49 am

Given that Kniss is still being investigated for improper campaign financing, the other council members should NOT vote to make her mayor. We deserve ethical, unreproachable behavior from our city leaders.


81 people like this
Posted by Tricky Liz
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2018 at 10:59 am

>several developers who gave her money told the Weekly (or indicated in their filings) that they had given her cash well before the Nov. 8, 2016, election, she did not report these $1,000-or-more contributions ...until well after she was elected<

She explained at the time that showing that big money might influence how people voted.

[Portion removed.]


66 people like this
Posted by Susan
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2018 at 11:11 am

[Posr removed.]


88 people like this
Posted by Ann from Crescent Park
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 5, 2018 at 12:34 pm

[Portion removed.] She has sold out our city to developers, creating an unmanageable traffic situation and a general degradation of lithe quality of life in Palo Alto. There MUST be a better choice.

City Council members: please do what’s right and select someone else.


76 people like this
Posted by Low Bar
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm

From what the FPPC says here, one surmises that the investigation is taking so long because there is so much to investigate and evidence to amass against Kniss. Each developer's donation, cash or check, that she didn't report is a separate potential violation against her - i.e., at least 15. That's a major breach of election law.

Her financial reports are available to the public - she did what she is accused of and admitted it, but justified it by saying her treasurer got sick and couldn't report. All she had to do was get her campaign manager to fill in but she didn't - Kniss allowed the donations to be made by developers without attribution to her great advantage.
We deserve a mayor with integrity who got elected honestly. This is not Liz Kniss.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood:

>> Liz Kniss (etc.)

That is a different Anon than myself. Not that I copyrighted Anon or anything. ;-)


36 people like this
Posted by bikermom
a resident of Mayfield
on Jan 5, 2018 at 3:20 pm

[Post removed.]


7 people like this
Posted by J Baer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2018 at 3:33 pm

The investigation of Kniss is spilling into the next election cycle. While the evidence appears damning it’s unfortunate the Fair political practices commission hasn’t issued its ruling. At this point Council should appoint Kniss Mayor with the caveat that if violations are found to have occurred she will step down. That’s seems to be the ethical thing to do at the point.


38 people like this
Posted by Tricky Liz
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 5, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Liz has another trick she uses from the dais. She calls on one of her supporters who has spoken, or who is in the audience, to ask them a pseudo-question.

She gives them a public moment to reward them for their support and to pretend they are enlightening her. Yuk.


7 people like this
Posted by Sea Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2018 at 3:45 pm

It’s my honor to recommend Liz.

She is well qualified and experienced.

Regards

Sea Reddy.


37 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2018 at 4:23 pm

Posted by Sea Reddy, a resident of College Terrace:

>> It’s my honor to recommend Liz. She is well qualified and experienced.

That is enough for you? I disagree. I think the logical thing for Ms. Kniss to do is to take herself out of the running because of the FPPC investigation (and what led up to it).


55 people like this
Posted by Mama
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 5, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Liz Kniss needs to find something else to do now that she’s sold our once fair city to the developers and other special interests.
Please let’s not reward her by making her mayor.


33 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 5, 2018 at 5:36 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Of the 3 candidates bandied about for mayor, only Eric Filseth is paying attention to the big dollar and cents issues like our huge unfunded pension liabilities.

I'd like to hear the candidates address the absurd amount of money we're spending for unwanted traffic calming (close to $10,000,000) and other things like the Grand Boulevard (El Camino) initiative.,

I'd like them to declare a moratorium on under-parked "car lite" developments until there's some hard evidence rather than "feel good hopes and dreams" schemes that bear little relationship to reality.


45 people like this
Posted by wink and a nod
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2018 at 6:05 pm

If this Council majority elects Kniss as Mayor
in a wink and a nod at her behavior and blatant developer ties to pursue its own agenda which is absolutely destroying the City, steps toward recall of Kniss, as well as Fine and Tanaka, who also
violated campaign reporting rules, should begin
immediately. This Council majority must be
replaced. Recalls should begin even if Kniss
isn't elected Mayor. We are in a crisis here -
a real mess.


16 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2018 at 6:12 pm

Annette is a registered user.

What would it take to change the way our mayor is chosen? I assume the charter would have to be amended. In a perfect world, I'd like to see residents vote for mayor. Another thought is to link the line of succession to votes such that the person with the most votes in an election becomes mayor in the January following the election and the person with the 2nd highest vote tally serves as vice mayor (or president-elect)and moves into the mayor position the following year. And so on. This could eliminate some of the political gamesmanship that precedes the January seat change and result in more collaboration. Emphasis on could; Palo Alto has become absurdly political.


15 people like this
Posted by Abitarian
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 5, 2018 at 6:36 pm

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 5, 2018 at 6:41 pm

Wink And a nod- so why don't you get the ball rolling on the recall. You and your fellow members of the holman clique ( pasz) have been talking recall since the last election. Bet you had no problem with holman and the finder fee scandal


38 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 5, 2018 at 9:39 pm

The Palo Alto City Council and the City Manager have their own private little “club” at City Hall. Their motto is: “I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine.” What a disgrace. This all comes at the expense of the residents and taxpayers in Palo Alto. Drain the swamp!


19 people like this
Posted by Developer Money Poisons Honest Government
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 5, 2018 at 10:04 pm

[Post removed.]


23 people like this
Posted by Stop the joke
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2018 at 4:16 am

Tricky Liz,

"Liz has another trick she uses from the dais. She calls on one of her supporters who has spoken, or who is in the audience, to ask them a pseudo-question.

She gives them a public moment to reward them for their support and to pretend they are enlightening her. Yuk."

Kniss should be disqualified for these tricks and for being under investigation for election violations.

Council can't follow these traditions of just picking a Mayor because they were Vice Mayor and have "ability to get along with colleagues" what kind of a hurdle is that?

Stop the joke


38 people like this
Posted by Anne
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 6, 2018 at 9:53 am

City Council, PLEASE do not elect Kniss as mayor. This would send a terrible message. Her unresolved campaign donations investigation is disqualifying.


6 people like this
Posted by Dog Lover
a resident of University South
on Jan 6, 2018 at 10:35 am

All this vitriol against Kniss. Please give me ONE instance where you think her vote was unduly cast for (gasp!) those "corrupt" developers. You spit out nasty accusations but don't prove your point. Kniss seems to have an even hand in her votes and has done this city a lot of good over the years. If someone can be "bought off" for $1,000, then votes can be bought cheap. Her donors support her because they feel she reflects their values.
[Portion removed.]
If you don't like Kniss, fine. Don't support her, but realize there are a lot of residents who have watched her over the years in all the offices she's held and think she's done a great, moderate job.


25 people like this
Posted by Stop the joke
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2018 at 11:00 am

Dog Lover,

"If someone can be "bought off" for $1,000, then votes can be bought cheap."

Palo Alto gets sold cheap (really cheap) to developers all the time.

We're in big trouble with the "values" that would give Kniss a pass. Kniss lost her privilege to be my Mayor by her lack of ability to get along with the campaign donation rules she has admitted to perpetrating, and for the other tricks. A delay in the investigation is a distraction.

Cronies will elect Kniss, if she makes it, and that will be shameful.

Anyone looking to get re-elected can forget my vote if they vote for Kniss as Mayor.


39 people like this
Posted by Stop the joke
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2018 at 11:06 am


"During the 2016 campaign -- her 10th run for an elected office -- Kniss had initially said she would not accept developers' contributions but later reversed this decision. And though several developers who gave her money told the Weekly (or indicated in their filings) that they had given her cash well before the Nov. 8, 2016, election, she did not report these $1,000-or-more contributions within 24 hours of receiving them, as required by state law. Instead, she reported these contributions on Jan. 11, well after she was re-elected to the council with more votes than any other candidate."

This is not an "oops" kind of thing


2 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 6, 2018 at 1:47 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 6, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

[Post removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


43 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 6, 2018 at 3:23 pm

when an elected official receives contributions from developers, even after promising they wouldn't, and always votes for development, and also has a hyper development bent, it is labelled in certain terms, very unflattering terms, anywhere else, except in Palo Alto. In Palo Alto, describing what and who Liz Kniss really is, and I think more and more residents realize who and what she actually is, would be deleted, like in this form for example.


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 6, 2018 at 6:58 pm

Is the Weekly trying to lobby for the next mayor? The headers for articles are misleading.


3 people like this
Posted by Dog Lover
a resident of University South
on Jan 7, 2018 at 10:10 am

@ mauricio - please let me know what developments you and the other posters you're talking about. Which ones that supposedly Kniss supported that wasn't also supported by the "residentialist" community? I haven't seen a whole bunch of development and she also voted to deny the Mercedes dealership at the old Ming's site even though it is zoned for a 5-story commercial building. Seems that everyone is getting stirred up and using this as a straw-man -- you must be taking your cues from someone who's got an ax to grind but there is doesn't seem to be a whole lot of substance here. Please explain yourselves.


27 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 7, 2018 at 10:21 am

Online Name is a registered user.

@Dog Lover, read the full article -- and earlier ones -- about how the investigation into Ms. Kniss's acceptance of developer campaign contributions is still ongoing.

Why it's taken then so long to complete the investigation and issue their findings is of course another question.

Either way, Ms. Kniss should recuse herself.


37 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 7, 2018 at 11:04 am

I wish for Ms. Kniss to retire.


31 people like this
Posted by Tricky Liz
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 7, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Dog lover wants more substance. ok
here is a PARTIAL list of money she received from development interests:

$2,500 from Calif Assoc.of Realtors
$1,875 from Thoits Brothers, a development firm
$1,250 from Hatco Associates LLC --(affiliated with Thoits)
$999 from Charles "Chop" Keenan
$999 each from THREE others from Keenan's firm
$999 from Premier Property
$1,000 from Joseph Martignetti
$500 from developer Jim Baer
$250 each from two employees of Jones Lang LaSalle -commercial real estate
$1,875 from Palo Alto Improvement Company

This is a partial list of contributions received earlier but not reported until after the election. The tricksters contributing $999 are noteworthy as well.


2 people like this
Posted by Sea Reddyc
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 8, 2018 at 8:17 am

Palo Alto is at a pivotal moment that can make a big contribution by electing a great leader as mayor tonight.

I suggest the following criteria for mayor.
Request City council on these elements to pick the leaders:

Innovation
Integrity
Inclusion

Respectfully

Sea Reddy


1 person likes this
Posted by Dog Lover
a resident of University South
on Jan 8, 2018 at 8:37 am

@ Tricky Liz (seems you're taking the lead from our President to give disparaging nicknames to people, too bad),

Ok, so she received some donations from so-called "evil developers" who are well-established folks in the community who probably have roots here longer than you. She's also received donations from hundreds of others. Show me where she's voted for their projects and where she was the leading voice of "development". You seem to think that she's been "bought" but show absolutely NO evidence that she's voted for their projects. You're just putting out talking points that have been given to you by those who oppose her. It's fine if you don't like her stand on policies, but don't accuse her of being on the take -- that's not a substantive argument. Tell me where you don't like her stand on issues and we can discuss that. Negative spewing is not helpful for decent dialogue and debate.


27 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2018 at 8:59 am

Posted by Sea Reddyc, a resident of College Terrace, wrote:
15 minutes ago

>> I suggest the following criteria for mayor. (...) Innovation, Integrity, Inclusion

The position of mayor in Palo Alto has two responsibilities: it is a symbolic or honorary position, and, the mayor can somewhat influence the agenda as well as manage meetings. As such, I think that the two criteria are:

Integrity
Good at directing public meetings

Is there anyone on the city council who has not accepted developer money, is not under investigation for anything, and, is good at directing public meetings? If so, I suggest the Liz Kniss defer to that person.

As for the innovation part: how about we -stop- trying "to innovate" with things that have been proven not to work for the benefit of the public, like upzoning oversized underparked "PC" developments that offer "community benefits" or whatever?

The fact is that there is already too much office space in Palo Alto. Stop "innovating" to increase the amount of office space.


30 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 8, 2018 at 11:17 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Liz Kniss has had an informal business relationship with developers for decades. It's a well coordinated relationship in which developers donate money to her a few days before the elections, since those donations don't have to be reported until after the elections. Meanwhile, knowing those donations would come in, she is free to spend her own money, or borrow money she knows she would be reimbursed for by the real estate industry. This is perhaps not illegal technically, but it is highly immoral and shoddy. She has become a master at playing these games, and there is a reason developers have been supporting her political campaigns for so long.


6 people like this
Posted by Eric Rosenblum
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 8, 2018 at 12:46 pm

I've had the pleasure of getting to know Liz over the past few years, as I've volunteered on the PTC and gotten involved in other housing and transportation-related initiatives.

Liz is really an asset to this community. She makes time and makes herself available to members of the community to understand the issues that impact them. She is not always aligned with my points of view (in general, I think that she is a centrist around housing-related issues... she is probably much more skeptical of rapid growth than I), but I always feel like I get a fair hearing from her.

I think that we would be lucky to have Liz as mayor.


25 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm

I agree with those who say Kniss's acceptance of real estate money after she said she would not, the devious way she hid the contributions until after the election and her ongoing support of development interests disqualify her from being mayor.

But I haven't heard any one comment on the fact that she is something we don't need here in Palo Alto: a career politician. Kniss has been running for something on my ballot for decades. Most politicians from Palo Alto who can't stop running for office move up and on from City Council seats to other higher offices. If they lose, they're done. Kniss went from CC to County Supervisor and because of a quirk in the term limits law now has been inflicting herself on us vis City Council membership again.

She may get elected because of name recognition, but that doesn't mean that she should be mayor. Having less politically experienced people serve us on CC has always been an asset. Kniss is so warmly ensconced in bed with special interests that she doesn't realize what an outlier she is. Her easy familiarity with political pleaders like developers adds a greasy ugliness to Palo Alto politics.

Let's end "Knissism" before it kills what is left of Palo Alto's tradition of amateur politicians. Otherwise, you can be sure she won't be the last City Council Member with a long investigation by the FPCC.


22 people like this
Posted by Stop the joke
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Eric Rosenblum

"Liz is really an asset to this community. She makes time and makes herself available to members of the community to understand the issues that impact them."

She is absent a lot, but she apparently makes time for you. As a Palantir exec "involved in other housing and transportation-related initiatives" your endorsement gives even more pause.

Plantir housing and transportation initiatives are the same as developer interests. If Kniss is a "centrist," Palo Alto cannot afford a "centrist,"


27 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 8, 2018 at 2:10 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

If Ms. Kniss cared about the "community: and the issues that impact us, perhaps she would have / could have done something to stop the outrageous expenditures of "traffic calming" when it's impossible to calm traffic when you're continually developing more offices and adding more jobs and when we should be using those millions of dollars to reduce our unfunded pension liabilities.

The fairy tales that housing will become more affordable when we're adding 4 times more jobs than housing, that developments can be under-parked because they're going to be "car light" and that we don't need cars to go about OUR daily business while we're over-run by commuters if absurd.

Why WE should pay for the commuters to over-run is another absurdity promulgated by the very employers who want us to pay THEIR expenses.

Enough with Liz. Enough with the absurd fairy tales. Residents should take priority over businesses.,


1 person likes this
Posted by Sea Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 8, 2018 at 2:30 pm

My recommendatiion

Judge political and business leaders on the three pillars

A. Innovation
B Integrity
C. Inclusion

For example Palo Alto Onlinr article mentions Cory potential. The author Gennady we know is a great guy. Does have the integrity to name Cory without bias or some one suggesting?

I am not accusing;but Integrity is self earned and personal and ethical come in play.

My pick of score 27.5 out of 30 for Liz Ness is my personal assessment based on what I observed in the last four years. I could be wrong. But, she will be s great mayor in my opinion. It’s time for females to lead us this year.

Respectfully


5 people like this
Posted by Near Charleston
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 8, 2018 at 2:42 pm

"My pick of score 27.5 out of 30 for Liz Ness is my personal assessment based on what I observed in the last four years."

- I knew you were talking about someone else. Glad this got resolved.


3 people like this
Posted by Gina Dalma
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 8, 2018 at 2:45 pm

I am proud of how the past election shaped our city (yes to Kniss, Wolbach, Fine and Tanaka) and how we are moving forward. More folks are at the table, we are looking at serious options for more housing for all, we are forward-looking and strategic.

Liz has been very much a part of this. She is in the community listening and learning and also representing our community well outside of its boundaries. I hope that she becomes mayor and once she does, that she becomes a stronger advocate for more housing for all and continues to listen, learn and act as she has always done. We would be lucky to have her!


18 people like this
Posted by Stop the joke
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2018 at 3:29 pm

GIna Dalma,

"I am proud of how the past election shaped our city (yes to Kniss, Wolbach, Fine and Tanaka) and how we are moving forward."

Forward does not mean solving problems, honesty and transparency, or that the beneficiaries are Palo Alto residents.

Moving forward with Kniss is cronyism per post above

" a career politician. Kniss has been running for something on my ballot for decades. Most politicians from Palo Alto who can't stop running for office move up and on from City Council seats to other higher offices. If they lose, they're done. Kniss went from CC to County Supervisor and because of a quirk in the term limits law now has been inflicting herself on us vis City Council membership again."


21 people like this
Posted by Start now
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2018 at 3:39 pm

@Gina
An utter disconnect between political ideals and reality/pragmatic outcomes is as ugly and counterproductive on the Left as on the Right.

Supporting policies that make local real estate vastly more expensive, displace lower and middle income people, all for some false promises about housing as companies transform Palo Alto into company towns with no place for the people you ostensibly care about, makes you no better than those on the Right who keep voting for Republicans no matter how fiscally irresponsible their ideology is in practice.

There isn't a scenario between here and Hong Kong where public transit or denser housing will make housing affordable, and companies with tech workers are only using you for their own selfish purposes. I don't want you the change any of your ideals, I am only asking that you Wake up.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as they say. Kniss admitted to the newspaper that she was hesitant to declare developer money because of the public perception, but that is precisely why we have disclosure laws. There is no sense in waiting for the FPPC, they are impotent apologists, who couldn't be bothered to wonder why Tanaka, Fine, and Kniss did exactly the same scheme to hide developer cash. While the FPPC didn't exactly exonerate Fine, they said he "misled" the public, they basically said he was too young and precious to be held to account for his misleading the public, and I'm sure never asked whether he is benefiting in any way by doing his employer' bidding on council aaa result of that misleading.

No, Kniss should not be mayor. Those of you who think there should be a recall, stop waiting for someone else and just get the forms and start the process. If you go to various neighborhood groups around town, you will find help. Someone has to start the ball rolling.


26 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 8, 2018 at 3:55 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

For all intent and purposes, there is no difference whatsoever between what Palantir wants Palo Alto to become and what developers want. Therefore an endorsement of Kniss by Eric Rosenblum is so ironic and telling. Of course he is endorsing her as the next mayor. This is exactly what is so wrong with Liz Kniss, why she shouldn't become mayor and why she needs to be defeated in her next re election attempt, or even better encouraged to stop running for office perpetually. She embodies everything that is wrong with the new Palo Alto.


16 people like this
Posted by Cynthia Rowern
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 9, 2018 at 9:58 am

I'm so glad most here agree that WE DO NOT WANT LIZ KNISS! She is neither a leader nor a community-minded person, but a mean spirited gossiper. After Greg, we deserve - and need - much better. Mountain View and Sunnyvale have incredible mayors and their cities are thriving because of their leadership, while we are NOT.

------>>> So, now what?? How can we mobilize and stop a disaster year with Liz? <<---------


5 people like this
Posted by You got what you deserved
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 9, 2018 at 10:29 am

Cynthia- why don't you get the ball rolling on that recall. People on this forum have been talking about it since the last election. Of course you realize that the people complaining on this forum represent a tiny minority of residents and that Liz got the most votes info the last election.


7 people like this
Posted by Gus L.
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 10, 2018 at 5:58 am

Perhaps a draining of our own Swamp is in order...


6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2018 at 10:57 am

@Dog Lover
“Ok, so she received some donations from so-called "evil developers" … show me where she's voted for their projects and where she was the leading voice of "development". “


How about this one, undermining the office cap?

Wolbach voted with the 5-4 majority (made up of Mayor Greg Scharff, Vice Mayor Liz Kniss and Councilmen Adrian Fine and Greg Tanaka) in support of two changes to make the cap less restrictive [and] undercut its effectiveness … both changes were important to developers (although they would prefer that the cap be eliminated altogether), and it is disappointing, but hardly a surprise, that — with the exception of Wolbach — those candidates who supported these changes have received political and financial support from development interests.

Where are the voices wishing for more office-building construction? We don't hear them and we challenge the five council members to point them out … the irony and hypocrisy of this is that the same majority that voted Tuesday to make more commercial development easier has been advocating repeatedly for more housing. If there is one documentable result of the current office-cap restrictions, it is that it has led to more housing projects where office development would have otherwise been likely.

Web Link


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