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Palo Alto's behind-the-scenes movers and shakers

Original post made on Jan 4, 2013

They may not be elected officials or department heads, but five members of the City of Palo Alto staff are almost certain to play critical roles in some of the city's most pressing problems and boldest initiatives in 2013.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 4, 2013, 9:16 AM

Comments (19)

Posted by Carroll Harrington
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 4, 2013 at 7:28 am

Palo Alto is lucky to have these outstanding employees. I have worked with Phil, Jamie and Shiva, and they are dedicated to doing their best for our community.

Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm

The link in this article does not work.

If I was responsible for how Palo Alto is managed I would not want my name out there either! ;-)

Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2013 at 10:15 am

Behind the scenes public officials? That kind of explains why there is so little transparency at City Hall these days. The Weekly doesn't seem to see that as a problem--like so many of the residents do!

Sad, really sad!

Posted by Wow
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 6, 2013 at 11:15 am

Jamie Rodriguez is the tool of the "cars are evil" clique. Cars are the lifeblood of palo alto. the belief that getting rid of car lanes gets rid of traffic is ridulous. Ellen Fletcher is gone-- time to abandon her misguided notions regarding commuting.

Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm

> James Keene

What’s really interesting is that the City Manager is not identified as a “mover and shaker”. Why not? Isn’t he the person that should be making the decisions that are so wondrous that we see why he’s being compensated at over $300K a year?

> Steve Emslie

Given Mr. Emslie’s key role in the Arrillaga project on University Avenue—shouldn’t Mr. Emslie be at the top of the list—because he has no doubt been “moving an skakin’” with the best of them?

> If it succeeds, the program would both lower customer bills
> and make the city's electric utility smarter and more efficient.

This program is a joke. It is an example of how far behind the technology wheel the Palo Alto City Utility really is. The idea (if you can call it that) is that if people don't use as much electricity--then their bills will be lower. Utter genius, that is!

Posted by Paco
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jan 6, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Keene isn't mentioned because he is merely a puppet for Klein and certain other council members. His salary/compensation is closer to
$500,000 a year simply for nodding his head affirmatively everytime a council member speaks. Great job if you can get it! Accomplishing 10 years of record deficit budgets definitely puts the city manager and other management personel mentioned in this article in a special class all by themselves. Condoning their lack of leadership and management skills hardly deserves praise. Perhaps The Weekly is trying to redefine the term "mover and shakers". What a pity!

Posted by City Employee
a resident of another community
on Jan 6, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Pamela Antil has no clue about how the police or fire departments function.

Posted by Wow
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 6, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Paco--- many long time readers know what the Weekly's agenda is--- it is all about revenue flow and gaining favor with certain higher ups in the city. Most stories regarding our city needed to be viewed for what they are (the term " self-serving" comes to mind

Posted by Jo Ann
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 7, 2013 at 11:25 am

Maybe Mr. Rodriguez can spent 2 days at Town & Country Shopping Center facing the Embarcadero to see what's going on outside his office. Let him look at the traffic both ways and then turn around and look at the gridlock in the parking lot.

Let him stand outside at 11PM watching the dumb traffic lights go red for the non-existent students.

Maybe he can help me plan a route to get home from T&C to Embarcadero and Middlefield that doesn't take me 10 extra miles ti get home to avoid the backups.

Posted by Pissed off on Arastradero
a resident of Gunn High School
on Jan 7, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Mr Rodriques has done more harm to this city in 2 years than I thought possible. He has created gridlock on anything he has touched.

I think he should be fired.

Posted by Misha
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Very glad to see recognition for Rob de Geus, the heart and soul behind PSN and whose energy and dedication kept it going. A good man, a hard worker, and a great leader. We are lucky to have him in our community.

Posted by Misha
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm

On the other hand, Jaime Rodriguez needs to spend time with the average citizen on the roads for which he is responsible and particularly those he has messed up with his crazy visions that seem to make no one happy. In two years, what a mess he has made on some key roads. Let's hoping he gets bored here and moves on...

Posted by Marcie
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I agree that Jaime Rodriguez should have been fired years ago. Palo Alto cannot seem to hire a decent transportation specialist.

Posted by Rod
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

There is an axiom among City employees that goes something like this:

"The new manager will always be worse than the old manager"

Can anyone find an exception to that?

Posted by Area Man
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2013 at 9:40 pm

The article reads more like a bubbly press release than a legitimate news piece.

Posted by Sofia
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2013 at 12:50 am

Wondering? sez: "This program is a joke. It is an example of how far behind the technology wheel the Palo Alto City Utility really is. The idea (if you can call it that) is that if people don't use as much electricity--then their bills will be lower. Utter genius, that is!"

Nah -- as soon as they figure out that their revenues are down, they'll raise our rates!

Posted by Crescent Park Mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 10, 2013 at 1:58 am

You can't miss the fact that it is almost impossible to get anything done in this town! Palo Altons have strong opinions that push and pull the issues in every direction.

These are great folks working tirelessly on our behalf to figure out how to get things done. You couldn't pay me enough money to do what they do. We are lucky to have them!!

Posted by PA Recreation
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Mar 27, 2013 at 8:57 pm

It's too bad Rob de Geus has focused all his energy into Project Safety Net and has neglected the rest of the Recreation Department. I applaud his efforts for PSN, but the rest of the Recreation programs have been run into the ground under his leadership. The Teen Center at Cubberley no longer exists because of failed leadership, both de Geus and the Teen Coordinator, who by the way was promoted to Supervisor for their lack of leadership. Now Mr. de Geus has been promoted to Asst Director of Community Services.....can anyone tell me why the Community Services Department needs 2 Assistant Directors?

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