City may add police and fire staff after years of cuts | May 6, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 6, 2022

City may add police and fire staff after years of cuts

With economy coming back online, proposed city operating budget jumps by nearly one-third

by Gennady Sheyner

With the local economy picking up steam, the Palo Alto City Council on Monday kicked off its review of a budget that would add dozens of positions, expand library hours, beef up staffing in the city's police and fire departments and fund major upgrades to the city's wastewater plant.

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Email Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner at [email protected]


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 3, 2022 at 8:36 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Whereas restoring jobs in the field is a productive use of funds, I am wary about the creating of new desk jobs with fancy titles and vague job descriptions.

Over the past two years we have suffered the loss of the shuttle and although the new foot bridge is open, some of the other projects appear to be painfully slow. I think also that there should be money spent on infrastructure improvements such as some of the intersections that cause so many problems around town. As far as parking, we have been promised electronic signage, meters and simple payment system, and as far as I know nothing has been started on these.

We have too many chiefs and not enough worker bees (for want of a better way of saying it in PC times) and desk jobs should not take the entire budget surplus. Infrastructure is how the majority of residents see the City at work on a day to day basis. Ignoring infrastructure to place emphasis on backroom work may come back to haunt the City planners in the future. Mental health is indeed a necessary area to explore so that would be the one area I would be happy seeing money spent, but the pot is not bottomless and financial caution is wise.

Posted by Longterm Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 3, 2022 at 11:04 am

Longterm Resident is a registered user.

Many comments attached to this article and the one yesterday on the same topic note that the city staff is bloated and often ineffective—particularly in administrative (as opposed to service) units. As only one example, I'm struck by the staffing level of the City Manager's Office: City Manager (1.0 FTE), Deputy City Manager (1.0 FTE), Assistant City Manager (1.0 FTE), Assistant to the City Manager (3.0 FTE, with 2.0 of the 3.0 new for next year), Executive Assistant to the City Manager (1.0 FTE), Administrative Assistant (2.0 FTE). Then there are a Senior Management Analyst (1.0), Chief Communications Officer (1.0), Manager of Communications (1.0) and Senior Management Analyst (1.0 new for 2023). That's 12.0 FTE in the City Manager's Office proposed in the budget for next year. I wish I could honestly say that it's unbelievable, but it is too true.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 3, 2022 at 11:13 am

Online Name is a registered user.

" The utility measure, meanwhile, would bolster the city's general fund by another $7 million annually. The council would have broad discretion on how to spend these funds."

"Another $7 million annually" is on top of the $20,000,000 annually the city has been "overcharging" us for many, many years. They still owe us $12,500,000 from the legal judgment the judge ordered PA to repay us.

Just say no to that. Shame on the city for pulling this sneaky ploy where they've hired a consultant to tweak the ballot language AND a full-time SENIOR Utility staffer to lobby us!

Shame on them. Restore ALL the library hours to what they were.

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