News

Editorial: Karen Holman for Midpeninsula Open Space District Board

Open space district needs Holman's experience, passion and temperament

After 46 years representing the Palo Alto area as an elected board member of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) -- a public agency she helped create in 1972 -- Palo Alto resident Nonette Hanko has decided to step down when her term ends this year.

She encouraged her friend and MROSD community advisory board member Karen Holman, who is now completing nine years as a Palo Alto City Councilwoman, to run for her Ward 5 seat. The ward includes East Palo Alto and portions of Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Stanford.

Holman began seeking endorsements, filed her papers and has won the support of all seven of the other MROSD directors.

Much to her surprise, Palo Alto City Councilman Greg Scharff, who has usually taken polar-opposite positions from Holman on city land use and zoning issues while they have served alongside each other on the council, entered the race a few days before the filing deadline. Like Holman, Scharff is facing the council's term limit and cannot pursue re-election to the council.

In the only two city elections they have competed in, Holman out-polled Scharff both times, in spite of Scharff's spending an unprecedented $100,000 of mostly his own money in his re-election campaign in 2014. He says he is largely self-funding this campaign as well, and Holman will likely be far outspent. With no major issues differentiating the two, voters must weigh who will be more effective and committed to the work of the district.

Scharff points to his financial experience as a real-estate attorney, a councilman and as a representative on regional bodies that allocate funds for, among other things, environmental restoration projects. His attendance record on some of his regional assignments show he has spread himself too thin. In the last two years, he has missed more meetings of the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Agency than he has attended. And he missed five of the seven meetings of a Caltrain advisory committee. In both cases, his failure to attend these meetings deprived Palo Alto of representation.

We believe Holman is the better choice. Her service on the city's planning commission and council and as mayor, and her MROSD involvement (including co-chairing the strategic-planning advisory committee), make her a more prepared and passionate candidate than Scharff, who has not taken a strong interest in environmental issues during his nine years on the council.

More importantly, we have seen both Holman's and Scharff's leadership styles, including when each served as Palo Alto mayor, and we think Holman brings a much more collaborative approach and a temperament better suited for an MROSD board that is functioning well in a non-political environment.

With no major controversial issues facing the open-space district and no significant disagreements between Holman and Scharff on how the district is implementing the vision plan adopted five years ago or allocating funds from the 2014 bond measure, Holman is the best candidate to ensure the continued success of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

Related content:

Holman, Scharff to vie for board seat on open-space district

Find more coverage on Palo Alto races and measures, including upcoming election events and videos of voter-education events here.

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Comments

74 people like this
Posted by Karen Endorsed by entire Openspace District Board
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 16, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Karen is endorsed by all the members of the current Mid-pennisula Openspace District for the Board seat that she is running for. As Mayor and City Council member of Palo Alto she has consistently demonstrated a thoughtful, collaborative, caring and conscientious style of leadership. Now that she will be ending her second term as a city council member this is a great position for her based on her expertise and areas of interest. Thank you Karen.


83 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 16, 2018 at 12:57 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Karen's also endorsed by the Palo Alto Post which did a recent series of articles on the race and how Mr. Scharff is so over-committed with his ABAG and other commissions that's he's missed many meetings and is sending his pro-development colleague Adrian Fine to represent him / us in his place.

There's an obvious conflict between ABAG's hyper-development goals and open space.

Karen's the clear choice.


77 people like this
Posted by It's About Trust
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 16, 2018 at 1:14 pm

The Weekly nailed why Holman is the clear choice.
In addition to concerns about whether Scharff is truly committed to serving us on the open space board, they rightly question whether this election will be determined by his ability to essentially buy himself another office.
While Palo Altans have now seen him in action enough to question if he can be trusted, the rest of the district resides in west Menlo Park and East Palo Alto where neither candidate is well known. He can flood those areas with expensive advertising. Hopefully, Holman's support from most of the elected officials in those areas, along with her good reputation will carry the day.


75 people like this
Posted by Scharff Misses Meetings
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm

Scharff also missed half the meetings in 2017 on the BCDC, which he touts as his background for being on the Open Space District board. The only open space we need regarding Mr. Scharff is emptying his seat on the Council.

We do not need a pro-development real estate attorney on the Open Space District board.

Vote for Karen Holman!


12 people like this
Posted by The Preservationist Vote
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 16, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Who does the PA-based members of the Sierra Club endorse?


70 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 16, 2018 at 2:16 pm

Annette is a registered user.

"Scharff, who has not taken a strong interest in environmental issues during his eight years on the council."

The quote above is an understatement. I was quite surprised to read that Scharff was running for this position b/c it doesn't fit. And I think it helpful for voters to be made aware of the attendance (actually lack thereof) issue. We are best served by people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and live up to their commitments. Ms. Holman has demonstrated that she is that sort of person; I think it makes perfect sense that she is seeking to continue her environmental advocacy by serving on this board.


72 people like this
Posted by Environmentalist
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2018 at 2:28 pm

The Sierra Club endorsed Holman, as did Congresswomen Anna Eschoo and Environmentalist Lennie Roberts.

Karen is so far the superior candidate in this race - I am not at all surprised the Weekly recognized it too. We in Palo Alto have watched Holman and Scharff - Holman’s integrity and experience far outshines Scharff’s, as do her environmental creds.

Our open spaces will be protected and will thrive and expand with her election.


58 people like this
Posted by Andrew Boone
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 16, 2018 at 4:03 pm

I, Andrew Boone, enthusiastically endorse Karen Holman for Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space Board. This editorial is spot-on and reflects my impressions of Holman and Scharff over the past 8 years I have been watching the Palo Alto City Council.


45 people like this
Posted by Fred Balin
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 16, 2018 at 7:58 pm

Fred Balin is a registered user.

The editorial states:

"In the only two city elections they have competed in, Holman out-polled Scharff both times, in spite of Scharff's spending an unprecedented $100,000 of mostly his own money in his re-election campaign in 2014. He says he is largely self-funding this campaign as well, and Holman will likely be far outspent.”

Yup.
- $60K of his own money, in Scharff's 2014 re-election run for city council, out of a total of $97.5K raised.
- $81.15K of his own money, to date, in his current Ward 5 MROSD candidacy out of $83K raised. Whoa!

Compared with:
- $25.5K in total contributions, Holman received in 2014.
- $12.5K in total contributions, she has received to date in the Ward 5 MROSD race.

But this election goes beyond Palo Alto experience and name recognition and into all of East Palo Alto, parts of Menlo Park and Stanford as well. In those areas, mailers and online advertising compete most directly with feet on the street, literature drops on doorsteps, and personal interactions. And as deserved (I feel) as the PA Online/Weekly endorsement is, the effectiveness of Astroturf vs Grassroots outside of home base may, in fact, determine the overall outcome.


16 people like this
Posted by Scharff is the better Candidate
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 16, 2018 at 10:43 pm

Scharff has served the community well over the past nine years. He is well liked by his colleagues and has been chosen Mayor and Vice Mayor twice. He has been fiscally responsible and chaired the finance committee twice. At the Santa Clara Cities Association he has served as both Vice President and President. On the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, he has been endorsed by all members and the executive Director. Clearly the weekly got it wrong., Scharff is well liked by his peers and colleagues and is extremely effective.


14 people like this
Posted by The League of Conservation Voters Endorsed Scharff
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 16, 2018 at 10:51 pm

Scharff has the endorsement of many strong environmentalists and environmental organizations including the League of Conservation Voters. Scharff has worked hard on BCDC and The San Francisco Bay restoration authority to protect our Bay, fight climate change and restore our baylands.


14 people like this
Posted by Scharff is smart and effective
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 16, 2018 at 11:00 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names.]


14 people like this
Posted by Blackbeardsmom
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 16, 2018 at 11:08 pm

Wow! This entire thread is nothing but a vile load nonsense attacking the best mayor our city has ever seen.
Scharff is the only choice for this position. He is far more experienced, has a proven record of working for the greater good of the citizens of our city, and is by far the most intellectual and big picture thinker of these two candidates. To make ridiculous comments referring to his developing Open Space is ludicrous.

His commitments to a variety of Bay Area agencies over the years give him the breadth of experience and knowledge needed in this position. He is deeply committed to our environment and our precious Open Space and if any of you actually talked TO him about this and (not about him), you’d see I’m right.

Holman is not a team player. She has repeatedly interrupted council members, disregarded the public, and displayed absolutely ZERO leadership skills in a public forum. She does not have what it takes to fill this seat. She also has many friends in the various agencies and committees that have endorsed her.

Scharff isn’t the best candidate, he’s the ONLY CANDIDATE




12 people like this
Posted by Vote Scharff
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 16, 2018 at 11:11 pm

Scharff was a great Mayor and has really worked hard for the people of Palo Alto. He is a strong environmentalist and as the Open Space District prepares to spend $300,000,000 in our tax dollars I want someone with Scharff financial expertise.


12 people like this
Posted by Holman - bride to nowhere
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 16, 2018 at 11:18 pm

Karen Holman is the single worst council member we have seen in decades. Just says no to anything! While she was mayor the city wasted tens of millions on silly projects like the bike bridge.

Scharff has shown financial stewardship and a good understanding of the community. He has my support!


7 people like this
Posted by Scharff Gets Things Done
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Oct 16, 2018 at 11:28 pm

Scharff gets things done. The City infrastructure plan, Carbon Neutral Electricity, A South Bay Airport Roundtable, fully funding our Urban Canopy Masterplan. Holman a Bike Bridge Beauty contest and a history museum?


10 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 16, 2018 at 11:29 pm

Let's not forget Scharff's first time on Santa Clara County recycle and reduction commission he showed up 15 minutes late.
Next meetings he did not show up at all.

Not that Holman is a better choice. Bicycle bridge architect "contest" comes to mind.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 16, 2018 at 11:37 pm

[Post removed.]


52 people like this
Posted by Environmentalist
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2018 at 7:13 am

Wow - something magical must have happened between 11 and midnight last night when nine comments were all posted for Greg Scharff stating a slew of inaccurate things about Holman.
Wonder how that happened?


49 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2018 at 8:12 am

Karen Holman clearly has the most interest, dedication, and open space expertise.


6 people like this
Posted by The Cynic
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 17, 2018 at 8:17 am

Based on the comments so far, neither one is a good candidate.

Any other alternatives?


48 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2018 at 10:29 am

Posted by The Cynic, a resident of Community Center

>> Based on the comments so far, neither one is a good candidate.

Actually, Karen Holman is a great candidate. Assuming, that is, that the goal actually is -open space-.


38 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 17, 2018 at 10:45 am

Environmentalist above alluded to the nine posts that appeared between 11-12pm yesterday.

I'll call them the nine posts "that went bump in the night"!

They contained preposterous untruths about Holman's leadership, manner and professionalism over 9 years on city council, preceded by 8 on the planning commission.

These posts are just plain ridiculous and will not take away the plain truth that Holman is better suited for this job and that the existing board members, ALL of them, have endorsed her and see a future working together with her.


52 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 17, 2018 at 10:46 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Frankly, Greg Scharff running for this position is utterly grotesque. It's akin to an avid meat eater and animal trophy hunter running to be president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals. He is militantly pro development. During his CC tenure he has shown zero genguine interest in issues related to open space and environmental protection, issues that go hand in hand. He is not only not a strong environmentalist, he is no environmentalist at all. If he had his way every open space would be paved and building over. he has been a disastrous mayor and councilman. His candidacy literally makes me nauseous.


37 people like this
Posted by Kelly Ann
a resident of University South
on Oct 17, 2018 at 11:23 am

Thanks to others for noting the nine consecutive posts last night in less than an hour effusively praising Scharff and attacking Holman.
Even more interesting is that they all share they same hyperbolic style of over the top attempts to belittle Holman along with exalted praise for Scharff. My favorite was the claim that Scharff was "the best mayor our city has ever seen". The only other times I have heard such effusive praise of Scharff was when it came from, well, Greg Scharff himself.
It seems like the demeaning of opponents and extreme self congratulation that now comes out of the White House has caught on in Palo Alto, at least from one source.


29 people like this
Posted by StarSpring
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 17, 2018 at 11:31 am

StarSpring is a registered user.

Scharff has favored spending millions of dollars Palo Alto does not have on a bike route for a minority of rabid bicyclists - solely benefiting construction companies at the expense of the majority of our citizens. Over development combined with the reduction of transit corridors has resulted in gridlock and vastly extended commute hours. How much extra pollution do you imagine that pumps into out atmosphere every day? Unless you want condos and a shopping center in Foothill Park, vote for Karen Holman.


12 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2018 at 11:48 am

Posted by Kelly Ann, a resident of University South

>> Thanks to others for noting the nine consecutive posts last night in less than an hour effusively praising Scharff and attacking Holman.
Even more interesting is that they all share they same hyperbolic style of over the top attempts to belittle Holman along with exalted praise for Scharff.

It could also be a -faux drapeaux- operation attempting to discredit either Scharff, or, the opponents of Scharff, or, both.

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]

Regardless, Karen Holman has a great resume' for this position, and, Greg Scharff does not.


40 people like this
Posted by zayda
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 17, 2018 at 11:54 am

Scharff ia a NO SHOW

A review of the official minutes and/or video of the meetings shows the following attendance record for Greg Scharff:
Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission – Jan 2015 to Dec 2016: Attended 1 meeting, missed 6 meetings.
SFCJPA (San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority): Jan 2015 to Mar 2018: Missed 8 meetings, attended 5 meetings (one arrived late).
SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission (alt. for Dave Cortese for SCC): Jan 2013 to Dec 2017:Missed 30 meetings, attended 36 meetings (3 left early)
(NOTE: Cortese never attended any of the BCDC meetings, so if Scharff was absent, there was no SCC representative)


24 people like this
Posted by wayne douglass
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2018 at 12:02 pm

wayne douglass is a registered user.

Sure, why not Karen Holman?
When somebody asked me if I was satisfied with the outcome of the election when I ran for office, I said except for my not being elected, I could live with everybody who was, but one. Karen was one I could live with, and the voters agreed by giving her the highest plurality in the election.


31 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 17, 2018 at 12:14 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

"Scharff ia a NO SHOW"

Mercifully.


42 people like this
Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 17, 2018 at 12:15 pm

The fact that seven comments praising Mr. Scharff suddenly and magically came in around midnight and all within one hour of each other, seems somewhat of a cheeky and an "in cahoots" effort. Not a good and trustworthy way at all to start trying to get the majority of the votes.

I have known Karen Holman for a very long time, and I find her to be honest, unpretentious, hard-working, modest and balanced. She has consistently and loyally given her time to the duties she committed to for the benefit of Palo Alto and its citizens over the past many years.


39 people like this
Posted by Profiles in Cowardice
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Karen Holman has impressed me from the first day I met her. She has dedicated her life to serving this community, and has no greater political ambitions than serving our community (the same cannot be said for her opponent, who appears to be using this seat as a placeholder until an opportunity arises to run for higher office).

Karen is endorsed by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Sierra Club, the Palo Alto Weekly, and the Palo Alto Post, as well as the entire Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District Board.

Regarding the string of midnight posts praising Karen's opponent, I find it interesting that all posts were written within an hour, during a time where most people would be sleeping, all contain the same hyperbolic praise, and most strategically highlight Scharff's name in the post's name. Look at most of the genuine posts on this thread, they are either people's real names, or other monikers, but they are not opportunities to advertise a candidate's name. I think it is clear either the candidate himself, or one of his paid political consultants, attempted to flood the comments with praise.

I will be voting for Karen Holman. The choice is clear.


36 people like this
Posted by Kelly Ann
a resident of University South
on Oct 17, 2018 at 2:08 pm

@zayda
Your data is eye opening about Scharff's attendance record at important regional bodies where he has committed to represent the city. That's on top of his abysmal attendence on the flood control agency and the Caltrain advisory group that the Weekly and Daily Post cited.
Last Friday the Post questioned him on that attendance. He claimed that him missing the San Francisquito Creek "thing" meetings "has injured the creek at all". Really? He can't even remember the name of the Joint Powers Board that he is supposed to sit on. Besides, his role is not to avoid injury to the creek, it's to oversee the spending of $100M to protect thousands of homes and families in Palo Alto.
Despite the facts, Scharff also said in the Post that "my attendence record on most of these things is actually really, really good".
I'm looking forward to a flurry of similarly worded postings tonight on this thread claiming that Scharff has the greatest attendance record in the history of the city council.


30 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 17, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

The same thing happened when the Weekly endorsed Tom DuBois, Eric Filseth, and Alison Cormack for City Council. The first 8 or 9 comments disagreed with the endorsement and raved about Cory Wolbach.

I find this "astroturfing" of the Town Square pretty disgusting.

Nine comments saying false things about Karen Holman, a truly fine person, within one hour and late at night, is unbelievable.

I guess there's no way to prevent this kind of dishonest commenting. I wish there were. Do they think we're stupid!


7 people like this
Posted by Fred Balin
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 17, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Fred Balin is a registered user.

Correcting an error in my post here of yesterday as well in the editorial: Stanford is not part of Ward 5 of the Open Space District.

Ward 5 does include:
- Palo Alto, except, for some reason, Downtown North and Professorville,
- All of East Palo Alto, and
- Parts of Menlo Park, including Belle Haven, Suburban Park - Lorelei Manor - Flood Park Triangle, The Willows, South of Seminary / Village Oaks, and Menlo Oaks.

Map at Web Link


51 people like this
Posted by margaret heath
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 17, 2018 at 4:13 pm

margaret heath is a registered user.

That Greg Scharff is willing and feels it is necessary to spend over $80K of his own money (to date) would appear to be an admission of just how formidable and better qualified a candidate he believes Karen Holman to be.


47 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 17, 2018 at 4:20 pm

"That Greg Scharff is willing and feels it is necessary to spend over $80K of his own money (to date) is in itself an admission of just how formidable and better qualified a candidate he believes Karen Holman to be."

It also says he wants this office very, very much.

Why?

Let's not risk our open lands by finding out. Vote for Holman.


43 people like this
Posted by Vote for Karen Holman
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 17, 2018 at 4:32 pm

Vote for Karen Holman is a registered user.

Karen has my vote. She is passionate about preserving open spaces. Greg Scharff is passionate about growth--which might be okay if we weren't talking about a Mid Peninsula Open Space District Board seat.

I trust Karen to do a great job.


6 people like this
Posted by This Smells Fishy
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 18, 2018 at 1:06 pm

This Smells Fishy is a registered user.

Interesting that there is not one criticism or mention that the fix appeared to be in to give this seat to Karen Holman. While the article mentions that the incumbent encouraged Karen to run and take over, it doesn't mention that she told Karen several months before the filing deadline but didn't bother to announce it so that no one else knew. Karen filed a couple of weeks before the deadline when she was planning to run for months, but Greg filed just before the deadline because he didn't know the seat was open until about a week earlier. That's not exactly democracy at work.

This office is ultimately about the fiscal responsibility to administer the funds dedicated to Open Space. Greg has consistently taken leadership on the Council on financial matters and has proven to be fiscally responsible. Karen, not so much. If you want out money to be spent responsibly, Greg is the right choice.


22 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 18, 2018 at 2:20 pm

Annette is a registered user.

I don't think candidates think we are stupid; I think they simply bank on the effectiveness of name recognition. Campaign materials all look and sound the same; there's rarely anything new in any of them. The names change is all. No doubt there are studies that show how many "hits" of a name it takes to assure that a certain % of voters will vote for someone simply b/c that person's name is familiar.

This is a great argument for campaign finance reform. The ability to outspend an opponent = the ability to buy a seat. Should you doubt this, think back on the Berman/Veenker race. Berman's campaign was well funded and our mailboxes and digital spaces were inundated with his name. We've got a couple of candidates doing the same thing in the current CC campaign. And we have Scharff with a huge war chest to spend on winning a seat on a board that is antithetical to his primary alignment: development. This makes no sense.

If ever we needed a grass roots movement to take back our own votes, that time is now. When I see someone spending an inordinate amount of money on a campaign, particularly a local one, I immediately question why that is necessary and why the person cannot rely on their own merits and experience to win a campaign. Maybe the answer is simply that it is easier to buy a seat rather than earn it. I favor candidates, like Holman, who wow me with their knowledge, experience, and expertise over the ones who simply flash their name over and over and over and . . .


7 people like this
Posted by Don't vote for ms. No
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 18, 2018 at 2:26 pm

This smells fishy-- thanks for mentioning the whole issue. The weekly naturally will not look into it as they do holmans bidding. BTW, did the committee give Holman her endorsement before they even interviewed scharff??????

Two terms sum up Holman -- finders fees and iconic bike bridge over 101


33 people like this
Posted by margaret heath
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 18, 2018 at 3:27 pm

margaret heath is a registered user.

What is newsworthy is that Greg Scharff has already put over $81K of his own money into his campaign. He has hired a Berkeley PR firm to run his campaign, send out multiple mailings of glossy flyers, use Nation Builder to buy online ads. All for a seat an organization he has no prior involvement with, not even a record of donating as far as I know, because there is no other position he can run for until 2020.

Perhaps Greg Scharff's need to spend over $81K of his own money to try to defeat Karen Holman indicates what a formidable and well qualified candidate he believes her to be.


5 people like this
Posted by No no no to karen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Margaret heath- what is noteworthy about holman is that in 9 years on the council she has accomplished nothing.
She had opposed every reasonable attempt for housing and development in the city. Her crowning " achievement" is of course the never built bike bridge over 101.

Also of note is the smear campaign orchestrated by her fellow traveler, Patrick burt. Naturally Holman denied any knowledge of it in the daily post ,( as expected karen's personal propoganda sheet published nothing about it)


30 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 18, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

I've never heard Karen attack people from the dais the way Scharff has done repeatedly.

If he was so opposed to limiting office development that he marginalized concerned community members and insulted current and former city officials, what will he do to destroy open space?

We have to wonder why he's spending so much of his own money on this campaign and how his ABAG position will sync with the open space philosophy.


28 people like this
Posted by margaret heath
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 18, 2018 at 7:38 pm

margaret heath is a registered user.

It is a well known fact among some of us that Greg Scharff has an abysmal record of attendance at some of the boards he sits on. It is no secret and Pat Burt didn't need to inform Karen Holman ahead of time that he intended to make this information public.

Having followed Karen Holman's participation on the Planning Commission for 8 years, and following that her two terms on the council, I do not agree with your assessment of her accomplishments. Apparently a lot of other people do not agree with you either given the number of endorsements and volunteers willing to donate their time and money for her campaigns. Unlike Greg Scharff who has to pay PR firms to run his campaigns.


18 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 18, 2018 at 7:56 pm

Let's not forget Scharff's participation for the urban canopy master plan. I recall when all the mature trees were cut down on California Ave. Most of the business owners were not consulted. Most (that are still around) are still upset with that fiasco.


Remember: Scharff is a real estate attorney.


21 people like this
Posted by Kelly Ann
a resident of University South
on Oct 20, 2018 at 1:51 pm

Scharff appears to have been born again, now as an open space advocate.
When he ran for city council in 2009 he asserted that "he strongly opposes high-density housing and its negative impacts on our schools, parks and services in Palo Alto". After governing with a strong pro-development slant, Scharff returned to campaigning as a residentialist in 2014 when he had to spend a then record nearly $100,000 to get re-elected, mostly his own money. He subsequently led pro-commercial development initiatives and attacked the residentialist minority on the council.
Fool me once...fool me twice...fool me three times?


17 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Oct 27, 2018 at 1:07 pm



Mr. Scharff is more interested in collecting a long list of memberships in a variety of organizations and then neglecting to participate in meetings.He has managed to self nominate himself to several of these memberships as if they were trophies to be collected and left on a mantle for display.He is stretched too thin to do justice to his obligations on these organizations.He has admitted that he has not participated.Lack of participation has led to several meetings cancelled during his tenure. He does not deserve to be elected to the board.

Membership on the board should be limited to candidates who will devote all the required time to help protect our environment.We must not let Mr. Scharff buy this membership and then neglect the organization.


7 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2018 at 10:40 pm

"We must not let Mr. Scharff buy this membership and then neglect the organization."

Or worse, let Mr. Scharff turn his wrecking ball manner on MROSD.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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