East Palo Alto council candidates address city's challenges | September 30, 2016 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 30, 2016

East Palo Alto council candidates address city's challenges

Gentrification, evictions, water supply and infrastructure funding top list of concerns

by Sue Dremann

The Nov. 8 election could prove pivotal for the City of East Palo Alto as it faces an affordable-housing crisis, gentrification pressures, a dearth of water that's hindering economic development, and a need for funding to maintain law-enforcement staffing and to rebuild roads and water infrastructure.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at sdremann@paweekly.com.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 24, 2016 at 5:45 pm

I'm sorry to say this but Goff's answers demonstrate his ignorance of our current laws and the efforts that the incumbents have been making to deal with our lack of water and address gentrification to the degree that a council can. I hope other voters see through his posturing so that they know how little he actually knows. He doesn't sound ready for prime time. I truly had hoped for more from him.

Like this comment
Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 25, 2016 at 8:08 am

1. how will candidates deal with the discrimination EPA has received at the hands of CALTRANS in having no sound wall barrier between a portion of highway 101 and the Light Tree apartments on East Bayshore Road near Clark. All other peninsula towns have this. It is CALTRANS policy to have a sound wall between residential districts and a highway.

2. At a recent city council meeting where the owner of the self-storage business at E. Bayshore and Pulgas applied for approval for some redevelopment to the business and used the term "add curb appeal to EPA", Lisa Yarbrough-Gauthier wagged her finger at the owner saying to effect " we don't do/say that here, EPA doesn't need appeal." Is this a person we want on the city council. Of course EPA needs more curb appeal. E.g. EPA is depending on Measure P to bring ~$M more in sales tax revenue just to maintain its already meager, inadequate basic city services. I say meager and inadequate because its known the city needs multi-millions in public works improvements (e.g., roads, sidewalks)(it never implemented the Bay Road "trunk" improvements recommended by the experts panel about 4 years ago), the crime rate is a 2-4 times that of surrounding communities, the city is dirty in that graffiti is readily seen everywhere, everyday, people urinate in public at the Home Depot (day workers), at the Garden Market on Clark, Code Enforcement is inadequate (out of towners come to town in the wee hours and dumb truck loads of garbage with impunity). Of course EPA needs more curb appeal if it is to attract more shoppers so to increase sales so to increase sales tax revenue, and so to increase new business investment, so to increase new jobs for residents. Lets not elect more qualified leaders who can bring EPA out of its current state of being the ghetto of Silicon Valley into a 21st century city we can all be proud of, where people are not afraid to visit and where businesses want to locate and to live.

Like this comment
Posted by Measure P?
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 26, 2016 at 7:27 am

How is EPA's Measure P different than Belmont's Measure I? And not just as flawed?

I.e., no accountability - marketed to raise funds for public safety and public works but in fact would go into general funds and could be used for staff salaries, pensions, the cities Rent Control Board and low income housing projects.

Just as with Belmont, its is past city council's fault for not maintaining city streets, planning for police budgets, etc.

See, "Belmont sales tax measure debated: Half-cent increase up to voters in November" at Web Link.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 26, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Measure P - the city's boards and commissions are voluntary positions. I'd think that by this time of the year next year's budget would be finalized so there's no dependence on revenue from that measure if it passes. Some of the funding for public safety will be running out, so the measure is one way to plan ahead. And since you brought up the rent board you should note that a big chunk of funding that their program has has been used for other departments. The program is revenue generating and a previous windfall has really helped the city, if I recall correctly.

I don't have a problem with the revenue going into general funds. I'm tired of the city losing good staff who leave for higher paying jobs in wealthier cities. There's always lots of money lost when staff turns over. It's up to us to hold elected official accountable for the use of these types of funds. It's much more likely that if all three measures pass that the funds will be used as indicated, especially if the monies are replacing expiring funding.

I'm happy to pay a slight sales tax increase when I shop at the local big box stores. Better here than a different city! After all, it's not coming out of my grocery or prescription money. It's coming from items I don't buy too often. I do believe that my quality of life is increased by these measures, and that I'm responsible for holding my elected officials accountable in our representative democracy.

I do hope you make your views known to your elected officials. Our local votes truly count and your opinion matters

Like this comment
Posted by Jones
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 14, 2016 at 8:15 am

The same 3 [portion removed] who got EPA into its poor situation were again elected to the city council. EPA should have term limits and/or minimum qualifications for its elected officials. E.g., an expert panel of advisers warned the city of several critical things the city had to address to continue its redevelopment plans. This was the Urban Land Institute Report in 2012. . One of those was the water issue. Other were needed "trunk infrastructure" and "parcel aggregation" on the Bay road project. However, on this year did the city council petition the SFPUC for additional water allocations and approach M.V. for water. Did EPA accomplish any of the recommended actions of the Urban Land Institute Report?

The Redevelopment Agency's purpose was elimination of urban blight*. Has EPA continue this effort at all since dissolution of the Redevelopment agency or simply used that dissolution as an excuse to stop all elimination of urban blight via redevelopment.

* "Under the new financing structure, cities and counties were
given the authority to declare areas as blighted and in need of
urban renewal," Web Link

**East Palo Alto
Technical Assistance
Panel(Web Link)

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