Around Town | January 20, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 20, 2012

Around Town

SING, SING A SONG ... Palo Alto's elected leaders know all too well that it's not easy to get city residents excited about a topic as broad and vague as "infrastructure." To liven things up, former Mayor Leland Levy serenaded the council this week with a song about the subject — a subject that he and 16 of his colleagues on the city's Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Commission (IBRC) have been studying for more than a year. Levy's repertoire of politically laced musical parodies now includes close to 20 songs, including nearly forgotten masterpieces such as "Seventy-Six Folks" (based on the "Music Man" classic "Seventy-Six Trombones" and dealing with the council's budget-setting process), "Discussing Sand Hill" (based on Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill") and "Oh, Beautiful For Byron Sher," a patriotic homage to the former mayor, state assemblyman and senator. Levy's latest hit, "IBRC," draws inspiration from the Village People's "YMCA" and includes the following lyrics: "Young man, when you drive down the block/ is your auto in perpetual shock/ does your chassis tend to rumble and rock/ does your flivver quiver? And your/ daughter, is she living her dream/ playing soccer for her neighborhood team/ though conditions on the field are the extreme?/ What the way to make things better.../ Well, just you leave it to the I-B-R-C/ You can believe it that the I-B-R-C/ Have all talked the talk/ over each sidewalk/ every park, each plaza and tree/ Have been inspected by the I-B-R-C/ all flaws detected by the I-B-R-C." The song served as a preamble to the council's first discussion of the city's infrastructure, and it won a few fans on the council. Councilman Larry Klein proclaimed Levy the city's "Cole Porter" while Councilman Greg Schmid concluded the meeting by rising from his seat and, in true Village People style, pantomiming with his arms "I-B-R-C."

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