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Greg Tanaka, Palo Alto's leading fiscal hawk, seeks another four years on City Council

Original post made on Jul 22, 2020

Greg Tanaka, a tech CEO who over the past four years has established himself as the City Council's most vocal fiscal hawk, announced Wednesday that he will seek a second council term.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 4:15 PM

Comments (75)

21 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:22 pm

Tanaka's business model is having businesses spy on its customer, towards building surveillance society, run by big business.
In my personal encounters with him, he seems to have zero compassion.
For a tech guy, he does not seem particularly good in math.
He panders to the far right and quasi-libertarians.

I admire the fact he has good balance, enough to ride a motorized skateboard -- and the sense to wear a helmet - -but on the other hand I have a photo of him riding his skateboard down the halls of Cubberley right past a NO SKATEBOARDING sign, which apparently doesn't apply to him.

Why does he hold office hours in the pantry of the old Cubberley High cafeteria -- he's odd, part and parcel --?!


7 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:29 pm

GS references above Tanaka's odd stance about the Percent for Art program at the new police station: Peter Wegner has more talent in his little finger than Greg Tanaka has in his entire foot.
We need an artist on council to balance all the yes-people, tech-people and cliches.


13 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:30 pm

You said it: "odd man out". Odd man, hopefully out of office.


11 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:38 pm

Let's compare Liz Kniss and Greg Tanaka.
I have no idea how Greg Tanaka got into power, other than he rode the wave of a very powerful special interest, Downtown interests i.e. the developers, as GS notes and lists above.
How could a guy abstain from voting for mayor (unless, unlikely, he did what he did to clear the way for Alison to do what she did, look classy by folding)?
Liz Kniss on the other hand, ultmate politician. I don't agree with her half the time but I admire her, she has a certain charm. Amazing.
The one other thing I give Greg credit for, besides being good on a skateboard, I mention above, is that in 2009 or 2010 he came to the Public Art Commission winter party at Bryant Street Gallery - ironic, since he more recently is among it's enemies.
If we have to have an incumbent, I hope its Lydia.
My favorite newcomer is Rebecca Eisenberg who challenges status quo because she was Elizabeth Warren's protegee at Harvard Law.
Who did Tanaka study with?


28 people like this
Posted by Jessica Lee
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:39 pm

I've attended his office hours and I gotta say- Tanaka really makes the City work for us. Tanaka has been consistently taking time out every single Sunday to hold office hours. He truly listens to everybody's opinion because he represents us. Tanaka is who we need right now to get us on the right path to economic recovery.

Another 4 years? Yes, please! Tanaka for another 4!


23 people like this
Posted by Maximilian Goetz
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:47 pm

I'm 18 and I will be voting for the first time this November. Greg Tanaka is the clear frontrunner here -- a council member who listens to his constituents and is able to have a level head in dealing with our budget. All of those are extremely important, and even more so with the COVID-19 pandemic. I don't know of any other Councilmember who holds office hours for two every Sunday. Tanaka is a dedicated politician and father, I'm inspired and am so glad that in my first time voting for a council member, it will be for Councilman Tanaka.


31 people like this
Posted by Kathy
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:49 pm

Thank goodness someone is trying to mind the store. Thanks for running Greg. Get with it other city council members. How can you possibly give raises at this time? Time to let some people go if you can't figure out how not to give raises. No more multi year union contracts. No more hiring. Time to think about your residents instead of unionized public employees.


27 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:50 pm

Commenting 4 times doesn't make your comments 4 times as valid, just a helpful note of advice.

Glad to see Tanaka running. very open about issues and willing to reach out to constituents. not sure if I've seen the same about other council members.


15 people like this
Posted by Rebecca
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2020 at 4:52 pm

Thrilled to hear this! Hope he keeps up the good work.


18 people like this
Posted by Y.L
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:01 pm

It is rare to find someone fiscal responsible to tax payers and sensible to the silent majority in the community these days. Yes to Greg.


13 people like this
Posted by Susan
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:01 pm

Glad to see this. I’ve followed Tanaka since he was first elected.i like his pragmatic style. He gets things done and makes decisions based on the data.


9 people like this
Posted by Jenna Marks
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:02 pm

I will say it again and again. A councilmember who actually cares about the residents. I met with Greg a few months ago as a concerned parent who does not support the distribution of flavored tobacco products. Greg listened to me empathetically and took action to protect our children.


9 people like this
Posted by Bella
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:03 pm

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5 people like this
Posted by Jennifer Meder
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:06 pm

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5 people like this
Posted by Charlotte Johnson
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:09 pm

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10 people like this
Posted by Greenacres
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:25 pm

I support Rebecca Eisenberg and I support Lydia Kou. I really want Councilmembers who put residents first and an end to the Build-baby-build contingent that made the train wreck from the pandemic so much worse. I once voted for Kniss long ago, but the way Fine deceived the voters in the way he didn't report his campaign contributions (according to the FPPC), and Kniss did the same (although she is still in review by FPPC, wonder why it's taking so long), and the way she regularly sided with developers against residents, I hope she leaves politics altogether. Like Greg Scharff in the past, she says whatever to get elected, then would side with developers.

Because we do not have rank choice voting, I may just bullet vote for Kou and Eisenberg. But I may also vote for Tanaka IF I think there will be a resident-focused majority. I think Tanaka was often the only person willing to stand up against everyone else on either side of issues and be completely honest and reflective. Way back before there was a referendum at Maybell, Tanaka (on the planning commission) warned that residents were going to be unhappy if they just approved things as is, and he was the only one at City Hall who saw the rancor coming. He was the only one on the commission who listened. We do need someone who is fiscally careful, as Tanaka is (as opposed to "fiscal conservatives" who are NOT).

Tanaka is capable of listening and being thoughtfully pragmatic. We desperately need a resident-focused majority for the FIRST time, so we need at least 2 councilmembers who are unequivocally resident-focused. Sorry, I don't know why Burt gets called a "residentialist."

I'm very concerned that without ranked choice voting, we will have vote-splitting again. I hope the candidates running as residentialists will self-assess their chances at a certain point and bow out so that they don't ensure we get another useless caustic developer-ist majority.


30 people like this
Posted by Ryu
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 22, 2020 at 5:39 pm

This guy has always seemed off to me.

Yes, you can cut city spending and rely on the private sector for development. I believe that's Tanaka's ideology, based on his real estate developer support (some of which he failed to disclose, don't forget, leading to that fine by the state campaign ethics commission) and his consistent rallying cry against even the most widely-agreed-upon spending measures.

But then what? Palo Alto gets hoards of new office space and no affordable housing. The government, there to protect its citizens, suddenly has no teeth to prevent private interests from reigning. The point of city council is to work for a better Palo Alto, not to strip Palo Alto of as many services as possible. Cutting spending is not a vision. It's a tactic - to what end, I'm not sure.

I admire that Greg has office hours and listens to citizens, and I have many friends who appreciate his dedication to fiscal responsibility. But everyone can get on board with eliminating "excessive spending." The problem is that Greg Tanaka seems to view ALL spending as excessive. I would challenge him to talk about the investments he wants to make in our community, not just the line items he can't wait to eliminate.

I'm all for a rebel but when you find yourself the sole dissenter over and over again on a politically heterogenous council, you aren't playing devil's advocate anymore - you're just a barrier to real progress.


43 people like this
Posted by Ineffective
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 22, 2020 at 6:50 pm

Tanaka has accomplished very little other than campaign finance violations from the last time he ran for office. Being the lone vote on issues is an indication that he is incapable of getting anything done. He has been unable to convince other council members of his views. He is not colloborative, he is not convincing. I can't think of a single thing he initated and got council support for in 4 years. During this time of the Coronavirus, we need people who can work together to move the city forward. He has become quite active since he started campaigning several months ago. But ask yourself - what has he actually done?


11 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 22, 2020 at 7:06 pm

We need strong council members who question the city and some of the crazy expenditures, especially the recent capital spending during the pandemic. We need a lot more push back from council which should be demanding that the city staff and city attorney hear from residents about the ridiculous growth targets from MTA/ABAG at a time when office space is already going begging, layoffs are happening and workers are increasingly working at home.

I'd like to hear more from Tanaka about his stance on the ABAG/MTA targets as well as the views of all the other candidates.


29 people like this
Posted by StackedParking
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 22, 2020 at 7:14 pm

The only thing I've seen Mr. Tanaka advocate for passionately is stacked parking garages with car elevators. I don't know why but he seems to want that in every project that comes to council. Maybe he owns stock in a car elevator company


6 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 22, 2020 at 8:17 pm

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2 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 22, 2020 at 8:37 pm

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4 people like this
Posted by Angie
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 8:55 pm

You forgot Raven Malone!


Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:01 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Like this comment
Posted by Name
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:04 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


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Posted by Jared
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:04 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


42 people like this
Posted by LH
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:08 pm

So, for the Tanaka supporters, if you knew that he add already raised several thousand dollars from developers (all gifts on 12/31/19) much from entities associated with Sand Hill Property, would you feel the same?


40 people like this
Posted by Wait a minute! What?!
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:23 pm

Wait a minute, the Weekly article claims Tanaka got "financial support from numerous developers" in the second half of 2019 - but he only just announced - what's that about? That seems super shady!

He got in trouble last time for improperly disclosing big donations from office developers in the last days of his campaign in 2016. Now he's taking them before he announces he's running so that no one will notice?

Web Link




4 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:53 pm

Every time I have watched the PACC meetings Greg asks good questions. He does understand math - I think he is an excel master - which the City Manager is not. Glad he is there.


35 people like this
Posted by Bad for Renters
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2020 at 10:29 pm

That he is trying to hide his donations from developer yet again is at least in a way consistent with his anti- renter sentiments.

He voted against more protection from displacement, against rent increase regulation and relocation assistance for tenants kicked out of the President Hotel and more. Renters are nearly half the households in town. Why would any of them vote for him against their interests?

And why does anyone think he’s a big affordable housing advocate? He’s slipping on that sheep’s skin for the election while you let him pull the wool over your eyes. Look at his voting record.

He’ll watch the money alright - his pocket and those of the privileged where he’s getting his campaign money.


11 people like this
Posted by A Palo Alto Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2020 at 1:21 am

Greg Tanaka is dedicated to his craft; listening and acting on what concerns residents voice out. He hosts weekly office hours for 2 hours for anyone who has a concern they want to see change for which he then reflects through his questions, comments, and most importantly his vote at each City Council meeting. As someone who has attended his office hours before, I can see the effort and good intentions he has behind setting up the meeting. The office hours not only helps him understand each council agenda topic more deeply but also allows him to be able to understand the different stances from constituents.

In the above article, he is painted as a “fiscal hawk” however I noticed his continuous push for lowering the extremely high utility rates in our city. This is an important step in helping struggling local businesses during this COVID-19 pandemic. His budget decisions and motions on council have only been backed by large amounts of research, analysis, and logic.

Greg Tanaka truly is a hardworking, dedicated, understanding person who puts others before himself. He said before while responding to a constituent asking why he holds his weekly zoom office hours and he responded by describing his passion and that he enjoys hearing the constituents concerns. Although you may have a set view of Greg Tanaka, I hope you can take into account all the helpful things he has done. Tanaka has my vote and I hope he will have yours along with mine!


3 people like this
Posted by Republicans for Tanaka
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:35 am

As a Republican he certainly has my vote. He’s the only conservative on council, speaking out against government size and spending. His efforts to reduce government programs, his positions against handouts to renters and low income housing, and his obstructionism have got my vote.


32 people like this
Posted by Pandering
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 23, 2020 at 7:40 am

His pandering to business has been appalling. Fiscal hawk? More like Ann Rand disciple. Anytime a handout to business comes up he’s the first to propose even more funding. He has repeatedly put business interests ahead of residents.


38 people like this
Posted by anon
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 9:01 am

This thread is a bit of a mess with so many people trying to post under Multiple names!
Skirting the rules and ring sneaky appears to be Tanaka’s MO.

Last election he changed his part affiliation from republican to democrat to get elected.
Campaigned on a residentialist platform
but took money and favors from developers. By the latter I mean the giant oversized illegal sign on the top of a building across from the train station downtown. A violation he didn’t get caught for though was fined for other violations.
His voting record has been pro business anti renters and residents period.
Sure during the recent grueling budget reductions he stonewalled on a few issues
to make it appear he is pro resident.
Honestly I don’t understand why the weekly calls him “fiscal hawk”?
He nitpicks on small issues often failing to see that his theory is incorrect, but seems to miss the big issues! “Can’t see the forest for the trees”

Bottom line: Tanaka is all business all the time, doesn’t support residents and doesn’t grasp the important issues !!!
NO MORE TANAKA!!!


39 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 10:06 am

I don't like how Tanaka operates. Yes, he does hold office hours on Zoom. He records the conversations and then uses them in his Facebook advertising. Do people he talks to even know that they are being used for advertising? If you talk to people, just hear what they have to say, don't turn around to use it in your advertising.
He recently sent an email that pretended to be a survey with a clear aim of getting names and contact information for his campaign. He seems rushed and makes judgements and decisions without getting to a full understanding of the issues.
Tanaka does not show integrity and judgement that we need on City Council. I will not be voting for him.


7 people like this
Posted by Thoughts
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 10:10 am

This comment section is a mess. It's a shame that so many people try to fake post. Either way, I am happy that Tanaka is running again. He is not perfect, but he sticks to his guns and really cares for the people of PA. He championed the project on Cali. Ave which I personally loved. His office hours provide good insight to how he tackles problems. He is a really great listener and follows up without failure. I hope he gets another four years, and I for one appreciate that he is putting our budget first. We can't continue our prosperity without proper funding and millions of dollars in debt.


9 people like this
Posted by Good News!
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 23, 2020 at 10:20 am

It confuses me as to why some see him as a villain. IMO his office hours are really a great help. I once attended one and after the meeting he made sure that my problem was properly investigated. Although not every issue can be resolved, they can certainly be heard. His office hours are posted all over the place so people can see his stance and his work. I once wanted to see how he felt with development projects, so I looked at the office hour that had that topic and got it. Although I don’t agree with every vote he makes, I appreciate the amount of time he spends trying to decide on voting. For have proper backbone, and showing qualities of true leadership and care for his fellow Palo Altan, he has my vote.


13 people like this
Posted by Dems for Tanaka
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 23, 2020 at 10:43 am

Honestly it seems like this comment section is being weaponized by the other campaigns to hit on Tanaka. Tanaka is not a conservative, as some posts above suggest. His policies on spending are not cutting handouts, but they are saving lives by focusing on the essentials. Has no one seen his efforts to cut the utility rates and save local businesses? His analysis of information and budgeting is all to stop our city from going into financial ruin. He critiques OVER spending, not general spending. I have been voting blue for over 40 years and I am glad to say that with Tanaka l will continue that trend!


29 people like this
Posted by Follow the money
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2020 at 10:45 am

Like Liz Kniss (who has been under investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission for over three years now for hiding political contributions from developers!), Tanaka has gamed the system to hide his developer connections while ramping up his "residentialist" rhetoric come election time. In preparation for his reelection campaign, Tanaka accepted $13,000 from developers on a single day(!) in December 2019 (well before announcing his candidacy and, more importantly, while most voters aren't watching).

Just take a look at his January 23, 2020 FPPC Campaign filing: Web Link


29 people like this
Posted by Follow the money
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2020 at 11:49 am

@PA Weekly - Knowing that PA voters are concerned about the outsized influence of developers in city decisions, its disappointing that you didn't provide more detail about how unusual it is for a campaign to collect large donations outside of the closely monitored election season. And omitted any mention of the FPPC investigation that resulted in a fine for wrongdoing by the 2016 Tanaka campaign - also associated with developer money. Web Link

Also, while you promote Mr. Tanaka as a "fiscal hawk," it's disappointing you didn't scrutinize what spending he thinks is "sensible" in the time of COVID-19. In times of crisis, communities rely on government for more, not less support. Wish you'd explored how planned to offer "new ways to provide services to residents at a time of plummeting revenues" and how he would prioritize among needed services.


29 people like this
Posted by Whatsbeendone
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 23, 2020 at 12:23 pm

The article highlights he is finance chair this year but I don’t think they’ve met and done anything. Zero. The Mayor ran the budget meetings. Seriously after four years, what has Tanaka accomplished?


24 people like this
Posted by mjh
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 23, 2020 at 1:24 pm

To my mind the most telling action Tenaka took was while in his first months of office. During his election campaign he had accepted a $5,000 campaign donation from a member of the Wong family. Meanwhile the Wong family were in a multi-year fight with the city to develop a building they owned on University Avenue which they wanted to be significantly larger than the city's regulations allowed. The Wong's final appeal reached the council's agenda shortly after Tanaka was seated as a new council member. Tanaka did not disclose this conflict of interest but when this $5,000 donation came to light days before the council meeting in question was Tanaka abruptly returned the $5,000 and insisted on participating in the council discussion to advocate and vote to support the Wong's council appeal. Some six months later I was told that the same member of the Wong family had reimbursed Tanaka's campaign fund the $5,000.


10 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 23, 2020 at 1:33 pm

Happy that Tanaka is there to hold the line on spending. And the comments here! People - you are out of control. And the people who are now running to be on the PACC are out of control. The lady lawyer - her comments on FHP indicated a total lack of legal knowledge. And Lee? That is a instigator.


15 people like this
Posted by Ryu
a resident of University South
on Jul 23, 2020 at 1:40 pm

LOL I was wondering why many of the early comments were mentioning the same specific talking points... now that I see someone was trying to comment multiple times under different names, it all makes sense. Mr. Tanaka should have told his campaign team to leave only one comment per person or to register for different accounts!


Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 23, 2020 at 2:09 pm

Addendum to above: I actually support the Wong’s in that I believe that during a build baby build era they were unfairly forced to wait their turn at 429. Likewise and in a different way sandhill property does more than they are given credit for.
So I would say Eisenberg, maybe Raven Malone, maybe Lydia and then hold the nose for the next choice but never bullet ballot and not bloody likely GT


30 people like this
Posted by He doesn't know what he is doing!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Tanaka isn't a fiscal conservative - he just votes no on everything unless it is pro development. He doesn't do the hard work to understand the issues that come before the council. He doesn't read the hundreds of pages of documentation that are sent out to council members every week and then asks stupid questions of staff. He is an obstructionist and doesn't help to move the city forward. He just gets in the way of anything that isn't development and sulks and pretends that he cares about our city's finances!


32 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2020 at 2:31 pm

>> On land-use issues, Tanaka has been generally aligned with council members who favor more permissive growth policies, including Mayor Adrian Fine, Councilwoman Liz Kniss and Cormack.

Says it all right there.

And, as far as the "fiscal hawk" thing -- "all hat, no cattle". He talks a good line, but, where are the accomplishments?


23 people like this
Posted by Hmmmm
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2020 at 3:12 pm

Nice guy....Listens politely to you and then does nothing because after four years on Council he still hasn't figured out how to be effective getting things done.


4 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 23, 2020 at 4:06 pm

Hilarious. It's open season on Palo Alto Online by people on various campaigns. On this thread and other announcement threads as well.

This is 2020. These sorts of astroturfing comments are not effective anymore. Or if they are effective, that says a lot (unfortunately) about the residents of Palo Alto.

Still susceptible to Russian- and CCP-style of misinformation campaigns?


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 5:25 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


13 people like this
Posted by PleaseWatchHim
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 23, 2020 at 5:55 pm

Watch any city council video from last year (before he started campaigning). If you can understand what he's saying and how that is helping the city then vote for him. Seriously! Try it!


2 people like this
Posted by check out his fb for proof
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 23, 2020 at 6:22 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


1 person likes this
Posted by The Voice of Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2020 at 1:21 am

[Post removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by LH
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 24, 2020 at 6:22 am

Latest filing, another $2,500 from Jon Goldman of Premier Properties. Mr. Goldman does not live in Palo Alto. (And, an interesting $10,000 from Richard Karp of TicTran). If you support a pro-real estate and pro-business council, Tanaka is your candidate. Question for the Weekly, why are some filings up and some not?


2 people like this
Posted by Asians For Tanaka
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 24, 2020 at 8:31 am

Mr. Tanaka advocates municipal
fiscal austerity and supports lucrative development projects which will enable Palo Alto to equal or surpass the ranks of larger cities.

He is a quiet & soft-spoken visionary who reflects the best interests of all Palo Alto residents.

There is a huge difference between a bribe & a campaign donation as nearly ALL candidates running for office will accept gratuities for future considerations.


10 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 24, 2020 at 8:42 am

Posted by Asians For Tanaka, a resident of Charleston Meadows

>> Mr. Tanaka advocates municipal fiscal austerity

As above, he likes to talk about it. Results?

>> and supports lucrative development projects

"Lucrative" for the city payroll and the developers. Not for residents and resident *services*, which have been in a long decline.

>> which will enable Palo Alto to equal or surpass the ranks of larger cities.

Technically, this is known as the "Edifice Complex". (See "The Peter Principle").

This is Palo Alto, not Manhattan. We don't want or need high-rise office buildings. We don't want or need to surpass the ranks of New York or Hong Kong. Please take your Brobdingnagian buildings somewhere else where they will fit in, someplace where the uneducated are impressed by "towers".


13 people like this
Posted by LH
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 24, 2020 at 8:52 am

@Asians for Tanaka. If Mr. Karp agrees with Mr. Tanaka's priorities and has found him to be responsive to his concerns in general, I don't have a problem with his donation. However, public officials are not allowed to "accept gratuities for future considerations". That's considered a bribe, and it's a felony.


7 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 24, 2020 at 9:08 am

I’ve been watching Greg Tanaka for 11 years and he has never had an idea. OK check that one idea: now you can teach a second grader that 3.7 or 3.77 is smaller than four.
Every meeting every item every concept Greg will say “3.77 is smaller than four let’s pay 3.77 not four” or “The budget is 4 million if we cut it in half it is, um, 2 million
Let’s pay 2 million that 4 million that will save the taxpayers uh 2 million”.
I literally asked him once why he uses Caltech as part of his email address and he says he went there and I said you mean like continuing education community out reach?(There was a pol in East Palo alto caught exaggerating his relationship with Stanford)
He literally says I have a plan to use the Internet to spy on people for the sake of big business and apparently people give him money for that.


2 people like this
Posted by Asians For Tanaka
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 24, 2020 at 9:32 am

>> We don't want or need high-rise office buildings. We don't want or need to surpass the ranks of New York or Hong Kong. Please take your Brobdingnagian buildings somewhere else where they will fit in, someplace where the uneducated are impressed by "towers".

Many well-educated & successful business people also admire high-rise office towers.

Palo Alto will never attain the international heights of New York or Hong Kong but can embrace progress.

>> However, public officials are not allowed to "accept gratuities for future considerations". That's considered a bribe, and it's a felony.

In many countries the key is to be discreet.


1 person likes this
Posted by barbara
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2020 at 3:25 pm

we all make a tacit agreement to keep our democracy working - might we be able to discuss opinions without vitriol?
i will support greg because he understands how the budget is funded and also knows how to responsibly spend those funds.
there isa nexus between public investment and infrastructure.


3 people like this
Posted by James Logan
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 24, 2020 at 3:38 pm

Most politicians are irresponsible when it comes to spending public money. Mr. Tanaka has correctly pointed out the many examples of waste and excess in the city budget and proposed reductions that will align expenses with future income. An income that will be much lower than past years and at a level that requires a conservative rather than liberal approach to dealing with city issues.


2 people like this
Posted by Asians For Tanaka
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 24, 2020 at 3:44 pm

>>It confuses me as to why some see him as a villain.

Portrayed is a better word. Some Asian voters view this as xenophobia on the part of his detractors.

>>We need an artist on council to balance all the yes-people, tech-people and cliches.

Artists as a rule do not make good businessmen or bankers.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 24, 2020 at 7:45 pm

I like him on the board. He is on top of spending. Go Greg - you have fans.


13 people like this
Posted by ALB
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 24, 2020 at 7:48 pm

I remember very well a large gathering for candidates running for council --
a kick off. I was standing a few feet away from the host who stated to Tanaka, "So I hear you are in the pocket of developers." Greg Tanaka began to flap his arms rapidly as if to take flight in a denial dance saying, "no, no that is not true." When I look at his 'fiscal hawk' votes I see a misinformed person who wanted to cut the budget regarding fire services. There is only ONE vote where he stood by the residents and that was to save the CT library. All of his other support has been given to developers.


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Posted by Mark has a weird ax to grind
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 24, 2020 at 8:20 pm

Mark seems to be a single issue voter - art. Or something. Sadly his posts aren’t credible or even understandable. I believe Tanaka voted against a $4m art mural that Weis was support. Frankly I’m glad Tanaka votes against this silly wastes like this. Not all locals have deep pockets. Has my vote.


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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 24, 2020 at 8:28 pm

To be clear: staff inexplicably cut 1 of the four elements of the Percent for Art portion of the budget for the new police station. I spoke at council, asking the item be pulled from consent calendar until this was understood— it was an LED multicolor abstract element, not the “fingerprint” Genady mentions. Voters, and council approve and expanded Percent For Art. Greg voted against this item, to protest — mootly- the project as a whole.
I later met with Greg to discuss our respective views.
If you ask Greg today, to discuss this matter, I doubt he could explain this clearly — nor name the artist, Peter Wegner —- beyond saying something inane like “$300,00 for art, that’s too much. Let’s pay 150,000)


5 people like this
Posted by Asians For Tanaka
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 25, 2020 at 8:40 am

In terms of art, the key decision makers for the CPA seem to have very poor taste as reflected by the 'broken bike rack' and 'unicorn palm tree' gracing the center island on California Avenue...both utter wastes of money.

When I first moved to PA, I recall a hideous wooden sculpture called 'Friends' on Embarcadero Road near the lawn bowling lanes. I was later informed that it was a 'gift' from some city in Sweden and over a period of time, I this monstrosity of ugliness was frequently vandalized until finally removed for 'safekeeping'.

Though the interpretation of art is purely subjective, there are no quality examples of good public art currently being displayed in Palo Alto and those who are responsible for their display should be held accountable.

A lousy artist or his/her work cannot be blamed...only the purchaser.

During these times requiring fiscal austerity, there is no need to be spending taxpayer dollars towards more visual crap.


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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 25, 2020 at 12:49 pm

I’d say Palo Alto’s art collection is easily worth $20m. Art is excellent stimulus spending. (In comparison, though apples to orange groves, Stanford Industrial Park alone generates $18B in leaseholds).
It worries me that our community can harbor high functioning illiterates innumerates and people who can’t see art.
At the PAHA event on tape by Brian George about Matt Bowling’s history of our City Greg Brown said the Linkopingers laughed at our story and said the soft wood carving were meant to be discarded not repaired. They were vandalized because shock jock Mancow Muller told his juvenile listeners to vandalize them, bring him the heads.
Franco didn’t like art. Picasso didn’t like Franco. Winning.


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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 25, 2020 at 12:57 pm

It says $7b here, five years ago, but Griego has used my number in other circumstances.
Web Link

It’s hardly the only line of I inquiry I use to describe our policy malaise but another way I describe the phenomenon that both Greg Tanaka and @Asians For Tanaka illustrate is that Palo Alto is the place where people live in $2 million homes but complain about spending $1 per capita on public art.


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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 25, 2020 at 1:01 pm

Societies that worship power but don’t understand art are also societies history shows that line up undesirables and non-conformists machine gun them push them into graves for example Germany Spain North Korea.


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Posted by Asians For Tanaka
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 25, 2020 at 1:34 pm

>"It worries me that our community can harbor high functioning illiterates innumerates and people who can’t see art."

^ Spoken like the pseudo-intellectuals in Cate Blanchett's 'Manefesto' (aka bags of wind).

>"...the Linkopingers laughed at our story and said the soft wood carving were meant to be discarded not repaired."

^ In other words, it was a joke on Palo Alto...sending disposable crap the Palo Alto Art Commission could label as modern European art to further exemplify its enlightenment.

How pedestrian.

> "
Societies that worship power but don’t understand art are also societies history shows that line up undesirables and non-conformists machine gun them push them into graves for example Germany Spain North Korea.

^ Talk about exaggeration. Palo Alto is not reflective of those countries.

Perhaps a vote for Mr. Tanaka will prevent further city spending for visual eyesores that only the truly enlightened consider art.

No wooden 'freebies' either and good riddance to disposable art.


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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 26, 2020 at 12:56 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 26, 2020 at 1:33 am

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 26, 2020 at 8:05 am

Greg Tanaka is ritualistic in his opposition to governed expenditure


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Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 26, 2020 at 8:08 am

And he likes to film it


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