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Connecting the dots...

Original post made by John, College Terrace, on Dec 2, 2007

Since Chop Keenan is in the news, I thought I would remind Palo Alto residents that he was willing to solve the police station issue (Web Link ). Of course, in typical PA fashion, he was rejected.

A few years ago, we hired a head librarian from Pacific Grove. She studied our library situation, and determined that the current branch system is obsolete. A major new and modern central library would be better. She was ignored. She quit.

Now, we are being asked to support BOTH a new (and very expesnive) police station, as well as a very expensive update of Mitchell Park branch library.

A very rough guess as to what these decisions will cost us is about $50M.

The new ABAG requirements will cost Palo Alto about $300M.

Perhaps I am naive, but I consider these things to be big ticket items.

Our city governance is, on occasion, dysfunctional. We can only blame ourselves. They reflect the majority will.

Chop Keenan should have been welcomed, with his offer, and the branch library system should have been phased out. ABAG should just be told, "NO!".

And we wonder why we are out of money...connect the dots.

Comments (7)

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Posted by Blowing smoke
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 2, 2007 at 6:56 pm

Thanks for the link. It is amusing to read what a former council member said.
"I hear some people talking about Mr. Keenan's motivation," Councilman Vic Ojakian said. "I'll be one of those people who just thanks him. Because he happens to be a native son of Palo Alto, and I'll assume that his motivations are honorable."
Talk about a dumb (or dishonest?) way to evaluate a proposal or someone's motivation. Anyway, motivation isn't relevant. He's just blowing smoke.
And Keenan has lived most of his adult life in Woodside.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 3, 2007 at 8:44 am

I believe the Gilman Street location for the proposed Public Safety Building turned out to be too small for what both the City and Chop Keenan had in mind.

The proposed building would have far exceeded the 50 ft. height limit, and in that location was considered unacceptable. The cost of the land plus the building would have cost far more than the present proposal on the Park Boulevard site.

The building was going to include mainly commercial offices plus a Public Safety component. The lack of adequate parking facilities was also another huge problem.

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Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 3, 2007 at 11:23 am


Please provide your information sources for your claim that the proposed PSB would be too small (at 60,000 sq ft.). Also, please provide the information supporting the claim that it would violate the 50 ft. height limit (if so, by how much?).

A few neighbors objected, and the council backed away from it, as usual.

Like this comment
Posted by Forum reader
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 3, 2007 at 12:53 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 3, 2007 at 1:12 pm


Entitled to your opinion, but I am requesting actual references. I looked, but could not find them. Maybe I missed them. We should be able to ask for reference material on a blog like this.

Like this comment
Posted by bob
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 3, 2007 at 9:00 pm

"...the proposed PSB would be too small at 60,000 sq. ft."

John. I don't see where Resident claimed the PSB would be 60,000 sq. ft. either under Mr. Keenan's proposal - only estimates were made - or the current proposal of 50,000 sq. ft.

Further I sorta remember that Mr. Keenan wanted to use 3 floors for the Public Safety Building and an additional number for his commercial rentals (plus maybe underground parking which is scarce in that area).
I think this would exceed a 50 foot height limit considerably.

Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 4, 2007 at 10:49 am


I just want to get a full understanding of why the Gilman proposal was rejected. There were high hopes, then nothing. Aside from your recollections, can you provide documentation that shows that it was becasue of height limitations and/or parking and/or size restrictions. For example, I am looking for newspaper articles or meeting minutes. That's all.

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