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Green City = Elected Mayor?

Original post made by Periwinkle, Downtown North, on Jun 29, 2007

Web Link

Notice that every one of the cities on this list has an ELECTED mayor.

Charter change, anyone?

Comments (16)

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Posted by pattie
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 29, 2007 at 6:12 pm

Houston, Dallas, Miami, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and other non-green cities also have elected mayors. So what?!

And anyone who thinks our mayor isn't "Green" enough hasn't been paying attention to her galavanting around the country touting various green-ness issues at photo-ops and the like.

We might be better off with an elected mayor...but green city status isn't a very compelling reason to do so.

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Posted by Broccoli
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 29, 2007 at 7:04 pm

pattie, the Mayor is green, but she isn't a lean green legislating machine...that's what we need...

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Posted by Kiwi
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 29, 2007 at 7:10 pm

The mayor has been an environmentalist all her life. Too bad Broccoli has a hate on the mayor and even if he has to stretch the logic and the truth, he expresses it again and again. She's not green enough. right. What's behind the animus, Broccoli?

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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 29, 2007 at 8:53 pm

Not sure where Broccoli is coming from, but as far as i am concerned our mayor is a self-absorbed, self-proclaimed environmentalist who has no concern for the real problems facing our city--it is climate change and photo-ops for her 24 hours a day. And on those rare occasions when she strays from the "climate change" agenda, it is to whine about too much traffic, i.e. Stanford Stadium remodel--too much traffic on Embarcadero Road (btw, guess who lives on that street??) football game saturdays, rebuild one of the leading hospitals in the world--too much traffic in PA.
Let's elect a real mayor sooner instaed of these "I have a personal agenda that comes first" politocos.

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Posted by Broccoli
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 29, 2007 at 10:17 pm

Kiwi, it's not easy being green...

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Posted by Howard
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 29, 2007 at 10:47 pm

We shouldn't fall for the Green hype. The fact that we chose to live in one of the mildest climates in the country automatically gives each of us five gold stars on the Green scale even if we all drove SUVs and burned our trash. Most other places are gulping energy for air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter. It is foolish for us to adopt these symbolic and expensive Green initiatives when the rest of the country and the world is so far behind us due solely to climate.

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Posted by TJ
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 30, 2007 at 10:27 pm

I'm opposed to an elected Mayor in Palo Alto because he or she would want an enormouse six figure salary; bigger than the Superintendent of Schools, and he/she would want a big fancy office on the top floor of City Hall that we'd have to pay for.

What would a full time Mayor do for the money - sit around for photo ops, and issue PR proclamations? What a waste of money. You are assuming of course we'd elect a good Mayor for four years, suppose we got a lousy Mayor for four years!!!

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Posted by Broccoli
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 30, 2007 at 11:31 pm

six figure salary = accountability

no salary = no accountability

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Posted by Herb Borock
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 2, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Large cities have directly elected Mayors. The link provided by Periwinkle names the ten greenest cities, 5 cities that need help getting green, and 5 cities that are greener than you think. The survey apparently limited itself to the 258 cities in the United States that have at least 100,000 population, and 17 of the 20 chosen in all three categories are among the largest 47 cities in the country (July 1, 2006, population estimate by the U. S. Census Bureau); only Grand Rapids, Salt Lake City, and Berkeley in the list have populations of less than 200,000. The primary advocate of a directly elected Mayor has been former Mayor Gary Fazzino whose advocacy for a directly elected Mayor was most recently mentioned in a question from the Weekly in their May 23, 2007, interview with the Mayors of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Mountain View. See also Jay Thorwaldson's column from five years ago at Web Link If Fazzino was talking about changing the City Manager instead of changing the way we elect the Mayor, it would make a more interesting discussion. How about Fazzino for City Manager, instead of Fazzino for directly elected Mayor?

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Posted by Broccoli
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 3, 2007 at 1:04 am

Fazzino wouldn't make a very good elected mayor; he was a part of City Council legacy that failed to build infrastructure when we had the dollars. Fazzino is a nice guy - very likeable, congenial, etc., but he's not the kind of leader that Palo Alto needs.

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Posted by Kiwi
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 3, 2007 at 8:49 am

So who would be a good mayor?

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Posted by Broccoli
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 3, 2007 at 11:27 am

Good question. Certainly, it would have to be someone who was able to vision a comprehensive future for Palo Alto, and be willing to be held accountable making that vision a successful reality.

By default, I would not include any person who currently is or has been a City Council member. We need new blood, and fresh ideas. There may be one or three current Council members capable of carrying the elected mayorial mantle, but I'd have to be convinced.

We also need a new kind of politician. The current system mitigates against bold leadership. It also handcuffs our city, because we move too slowly.

I would look for someone who has had substantial success in the private sector, or who has had substantial non-elective success in the public sector.

The mayor would also have to be collaborative by nature - not just with other City Council members, but with many other constituencies.

It would be instructive for our city to have two or three people vying for mayor, versus what we have now - which is a bunch of people (good people) making promises as they run for City Council, with little or no power to implement those promises. It would be refreshing to hear a leadership vision for a change, instead of the pablum-like promises that evolve during most municipal campaigns (in Palo Alto, and other cities that don't have elected mayors).

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Posted by Kiwi
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 3, 2007 at 12:55 pm

So you are just dreaming and wishing. (or posturing?)
Actually I like Herb Borok's idea of Gary Fazzino for City Manager. He listens. I have no idea whether he would consider it.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 4, 2007 at 5:33 pm

What we need is a cheerleading squad for the likes of our current mayor and council, and a bunch of anonymous drudges to take care of the store.

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Posted by A Neighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 6, 2007 at 7:01 am

Kiwi, Gary Fazzino has been advocating for elected Mayor for years so he can become the elected Mayor!!!! Big mistake, time for him stay close to home and be a full time father to his new born twin babies - and believe me that is a full time job!!!!

However, it is time to reduce the size of our City Council from 9 to 7 members, this would help streamline Council meetings and perhaps make better decisions.

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Posted by Emek Beracha Member
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 6, 2007 at 7:46 am

Gary Fazzino was part of the City Council during the initial debate on the eruv issue. His fellow council members and himself refused to go n record with a vote on the issue. In addition he supported the untenable council "solution" to the eruv issue (painting the eruv on the poles, which is not a real solution).
in addition, he did not speak out about some of the ridiculous and biased comments made during the discussion before the city council at that time.
In light of that, Mr Fazzino is unfit to serve as mayor

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