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Scharff, Shepherd to lead City Council in 2013

Original post made on Jan 8, 2013

The Palo Alto City Council ushered in the new year Monday night by choosing Greg Scharff and Nancy Shepherd as its mayor and vice mayor for 2013.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, January 7, 2013, 8:41 PM

Comments (10)

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Posted by Dark-Days-Ahead
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2013 at 9:30 am

> Klein also rejected the notion that a mayor is strictly a
> ceremonial position in Palo Alto. The position involves
> not only chairing meetings but also representing the city
> in other communities, in the United States and abroad.

The Charter does not remotely suggest that the City of Palo Alto has any municipal authority outside its borders. So, it’s not at all clear what role an unelected Mayor should be trying to assert beyond Palo Alto’s borders. Certainly inviting people to visit our town is within the role of Mayor, but to promote national policies, or international policies—which might reflect only the mindset of a few people—is not appropriate, and should perhaps even become the basis for a Council recall.

> "I think Greg has shown that he is a leader for our community," Klein said.

Our form of government is “representative”, meaning that there is a conveyance of political power from “the people” to individuals who are elected (but sometimes selected) to make decisions for everyone. There is no mention of “leaders” in our municipal Charter, or any of the foundation documents of our government (state/federal constitutions). Leaders are people who generally expect the “little people” to follow them, rather than to discern the sentiments of the majority and make decisions that reflect those sentiments.

After Scharff’s clear statements favoring massive buildings (relative to a recent PC zoning: “The building is the benefit”), it’s difficult to believe that there will be anything that remotely reflects the general sentiments of Palo Altans—just his clients in the building trades.

It is difficult to understand how a city that is populated with as many well-educated people can end up electing the likes of Peter Drekmeier and Gregg Scharff.

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Posted by Egotists rule
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 8, 2013 at 10:47 am

Dark days said:It is difficult to understand how a city that is populated with as many well-educated people can end up electing the likes of Peter Drekmeier and Gregg Scharff.
I agree and I would add Kniss and the new kid, Marc Berman. He sounded like a high school boy talking about himself and joking round. Ignorance wont stand in his way though, the other developer lawyers will tell him how to vote.
Kniss was unbelievable in the tastelessness of her speeches. She used her time to praise her own ELECTION committee and she went off the dais to give flowers to her election committee. Her egocentricity set a new low for inappropriate self-praise.

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Posted by Timothy Gray
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jan 8, 2013 at 11:38 am

The elected officials keep congratualting themselves for doing a great job, but somehow the job is not getting done.

Let's be optomistic and hope for a change:

1. A list of priortitized city services, and meaningful reductions to the bloated City budget.

2. Stop the gifts to developers and uphold the principles of our comprehensive plan.

3. Stop robbing the Utility funds to pay for City operations.

In the end, we need to show that we spend no more per resident than any other Bay Area city.

We have a long way to go. I hope that the voters will hold the elected officials accountable for these pragmatic expectations. We sure spend a lot of time on pomp and circumstance for being a relatively small business compared to the companies most residents work for. Let's ask for fewer words and more results.

Hope springs eternal, but there are no historical data points indicating brighter days. Instead we can look to Bond Issues as a substitute for fiscal responsibility, and breaking Prop. 13 as a substitute for living within our means.

Greg Scharf, I hope you read this and take us in a new direction.

Best regards,

Tim Gray

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Posted by communitymember
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 8, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Thank you, Tim Gray, for stating so clearly what many Palo Altans want.

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Posted by Alice Smith
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Last night's ceremony was impressive for its acknowledgement of the fine work and dedication of those who volunteer their intellect, compassion and foresight to civil duty.

In a democracy, with a representative form of government, we learn to stop, look and listen. Integrity and dedication have been the hallmarks of Yiaway Yeh and Sid Espinosa's service. I commend the new council on its efforts and know that these 9 men and women will ensure that what we are privileged to enjoy in Palo Alto continues: a livable community with the capacity to plan for the future, to make sure the public is involved in that planning and decision-making and to focus on a greener, safer, saner place to live.

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Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Dark days-- not only the two you mentioned, but also Morton, kishimoto and burch. Plus we just elected kiss again!! After she manipulated the system to ensure an election year that would suit her needs.
I am honestly surprised given the shenanigans over the last decade we have not booted a few more council members a la Eakins.
Timothy is right on. Instead we get another evening of back slapping and self congratulations. Get ready for another year of crumbling infrastructure and consultants fees while we plan to build an expensive bike bridge over 101 so that all can see how wonderful PA is.
Too bad, Timothy was not elected to the council. Unfortunately he spoke his mind regarding our "leaders" and their shill, the PA Weekly.

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Posted by lazlo
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 8, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Scharff is just another of Klein's yes men. It is no wonder Klein unashamedly nominated his junior partner. Too bad we don't have any councilmembers willing to show leadership or act independently, but choose only to follow blindly where others have already failed. What a pity.

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Posted by Rob
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 8, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Scharff has shown that he could care less about the citizens and employees of Palo Alto. What he does care about is "rubbing elbows" with the big builders that keep invading our town.

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Posted by Fighting Negativity
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 9, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Glad to see a few glimmers of positivity in these comments. Thanks to Sid and Yiaway for their service. I appreciate the valuable, dedicated service of these wonderful people.

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Posted by Missing the story
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 12, 2013 at 8:27 pm

The story here isn't Scharff it's shephard. Why did three council members vote against her? That's unusual. I suspect it's because they think she is not up to the job of mayor intellectually and they don't want to put her next in line for it. But no one asked them or if they did the paper didn't publish their responses. If you have ever talked with her then you know that she's very nice but not going to be able to swim in the deep end of the intellectual pool. Since this is Palo Alto the partners the mayor has to deal with in industry and with Stanford require a higher degree of horsepower. At least she's not a self promoting old crone or a spoiled brat (welcome to our two newest members!). But she's basically a hat rack. Good for Pat Burt and the others for trying to maintain some standards.

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