The City Council voted 4-0, with Councilman Ruben Abrica absent, on Tuesday to approve a contract with Jaime Fontes, the former city manager of Greenfield, a city in Monterey County. His first day will be May 1.
"I believe that East Palo Alto can become a regional leader in terms of economic development and sustainable finance but the kind that supports a multicultural and multilingual community in terms of public safety, public health, education, housing and infrastructure," Fontes said.
In his positions managing other cities, he has supported developing a cannabis industry in an agricultural municipality and shepherded complex multimillion-dollar projects related to real estate and wastewater treatment.
Fontes graduated from Nogales High School in Nogales, Arizona, a city just north of the U.S.-Mexico border. He has a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University and doctorate of law from Western State University College of Law. Prior to his city manager positions, he was employed by San Diego County's Department of Public Works as a real estate program coordinator, supervising real property agent and senior real property agent; was CEO for the Economic Development Authority on the Tohono O'Odham Nation in Arizona; and was the real estate manager and assistant planning chief for Maricopa County in Arizona, according to Nogales International news.
City approves contract for downtown valets
With plans for a new downtown garage now in limbo, Palo Alto officials are looking to boost capacity at existing parking structures by hiring valets to park people's cars during busy lunchtime hours.
That's the direction the City Council took on Monday, when it voted 6-1, with Councilman Greg Tanaka dissenting, to approve a $900,000 contract with SP Plus, the company that has been providing valet services at the Alma/High Street garage (also known as Lot R) since early 2015. City officials say the valet program has allowed an additional 50 vehicles to be parked per day at the garage.
The new three-year contract will allow SP Plus to continue its valet work at the prominent downtown garage while also potentially expand it to the Bryant/Lytton garage and the Cowper/Webster garage. The expansion to the two garages would be based on need and occupancy, according to a report from the Office of Transportation. Staff estimate that stationing parking valets at the three garages between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. would boost each garage's capacity by about 75 cars, or 150 cars total.
The program can also be spread to other garages and surface lots in the future, if needed, the report states.
Because the valets will increase the capacity of the three garages, the city will be able to sell more parking permits. Releasing up to 150 additional permits would result in a revenue increase of up to $112,500, the staff report states.
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