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Kou and Stone to lead Palo Alto as mayor, vice mayor

Original post made on Jan 10, 2023

Lydia Kou, a real estate agent who in her six years on the City Council established herself as a leading critic of Sacramento housing mandates and a chief skeptic about new developments, will serve as Palo Alto mayor in 2023.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, January 9, 2023, 8:23 PM

Comments (20)

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2023 at 10:10 am

Bystander is a registered user.

I also am pleased that Kou was elected mayor (congratulations), but because she was best choice for the role and not because of her gender or race.

Posted by Rose
a resident of Mayfield
on Jan 10, 2023 at 10:43 am

Rose is a registered user.

Congratulations to Mayor Kou and Vice Mayor Stone. Thank you for your years of dedicated, careful and thoughtful leadership. I know you’ll serve us well. You bring all the qualities we need: experience, passion, attention to details, empathy, and energy. We are lucky to have you.

Posted by Local Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 10, 2023 at 10:49 am

Local Resident is a registered user.

Very proud to have such caring, capable and passionate citizens serving as Mayor and Vice Mayor.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 10, 2023 at 10:53 am

Online Name is a registered user.

I too am pleased with the results and and also not because of gender or race but because Ms Kou and Mr Stone are qualified, well-informed and dig deep into the issues while fighting for us, the residents.

As for JHL's question, ""To me, tonight the pertinent question is not: 'Why Council member Tanaka for vice mayor?' but 'Why not?'" there are many answers to that for anyone who's been paying attention, including the fact that PA as a city doesn't need to get into the Crypto business, that he doesn't follow through on getting answers to residents' questions and that he's never met a big development project he doesn't like

I was struck by the constant harping on which candidates have historically gotten the most vote and that there might be several reasons for that, including the big dollar backing of developers from Palo Alto and, more critically, from outsiders.

We need the most capable leaders, not ones the most money can buy.

Congratulations to Mayor Kou and Vice Mayor Stone. Well-deserved.

Posted by Palo Alto well-wisher
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 10, 2023 at 11:25 am

Palo Alto well-wisher is a registered user.

The system of passing the leadership from one person to another does not sound very democratic to me. This only encourages patting each other on the back and inter-praising, if I may use this term, as can be seen from the article above.
It remains to be seen though whether the new elected officials will deliver. Palo Alto has become more and more of a provincial town these days due, in large part, to the residentialist policies.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 10, 2023 at 11:29 am

Resident is a registered user.

Greg Tanaka's so called "office hours" are frequently live-streamed without him giving the citizen guests advanced notice of his plans to publicly broadcast their conversation. He has done this to at least two people I know - neither had advanced warning he was doing this and were asked permission on the spot while streaming. He posted one of the office hours livestreams on Next Door with a clickbaity title and unnecessarily put a spotlight on a quiet neighbor who simply had a question.
Quite unprofessional and unbecoming of a leader in my opinion.

Posted by What Will They Do Next
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2023 at 12:18 pm

What Will They Do Next is a registered user.

Happy for Lydia Kou as she is what everyone else has already stated. That being said, it's long past time for tax paying citizens to elect a mayor instead of relying on council to appoint one of their own.

Posted by property tax
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 10, 2023 at 12:53 pm

property tax is a registered user.

Both Kou and Stone elevation to Mayor & Vice Mayor are well deserved - they've shown that their first priority are the residents; Ms. Venker's comments are a distraction, and would have better kept to herself.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 10, 2023 at 1:26 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"Lydia Kou, a real estate agent who in her six years on the Palo Alto City Council established herself as a leading critic of Sacramento housing mandates and a chief skeptic on new developments, will serve as Palo Alto mayor in 2023."

Maybe Palo Alto Online can explain why it's bad to criticize policies that ignore the reality of our tanking economy, the huge number of tech layoffs, the pullout of major business tenants -- like Visa from Cal Ave just today -- and mandates that don't account for droughts, floods, fires, etc. Funny how there's rarely criticism of institutions like Stanford, Google and other landlords who are displacing rent-controlled apartment complex tenants and contributing to homelessness.

Any reaction to Gov Newson's announcement TODAY that programs have to be cut now that years of budget surpluses have become a $22,5 Billion deficit?
Web Link

Following up on @Residents comments above, Mr. Tanaka has also listed everyone who's ever written him a letter as a supporter / endorser but to his credit he has removed the names of the people who've objected. Eventually.

I'll always remember my discussion with him about how the Middlefield bollards were backing up traffic INTO the Oregon intersection and how dangerous it was to get stuck there with multiple lanes of traffic speeding at you. He said, "Oh, my son goes to Jordan. I always wondering about those jams." Attempts to find out if he'd ever followed up or done anything to correct the problem got no where -- except my being added BACK onto his list of supporters.

Just two more "why not's" for JHL.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 10, 2023 at 2:41 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

This is good news - thank you to our new Mayor and Vice Mayor for their service.
- And yes, residents should come first in their prioritization of interests.

Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 10, 2023 at 2:51 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

Well, Julie Lythcott-Haims having voted for Greg Tanaka for Mayor has already reinforced my decision not to vote for her. If she'd paid any attention to Greg Tanaka's self-serving time on the Palo Alto City Council, she would not have voted that way.

Posted by rita vrhel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 10, 2023 at 7:02 pm

rita vrhel is a registered user.

Delighted to see Ms. Kou elected Mayor and Mr. Stone Vice - Mayor. Bodes well for 2023.

Mr. Tanaka would be a lousy, IMO, Vice Mayor or Mayor. He is not a coherent speaker and wanders in his conversations. Can not see him setting an agenda. Use to drive Jim Keane to distraction which was amusing.

Mr Tanaka is also very pro-development; whatever the cost to PA.

Length of time on the Council should not be the criteria for any Leadership position.

Dedication, interest in issues above and beyond what is "required", actually reading the Staff reports and understanding them rather than promoting a personal agenda, ability to work with colleagues, wiliness to consider all sides of an issue and listening to residents and their concerns, IMO, qualifies a person for a leadership role.

Again congratulations to Lydia and Greer.

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 10, 2023 at 10:20 pm

Annette is a registered user.

Reading this report, I wondered what the reporter would have written had the outcome been other than Kou and Stone. There seems to be opinion in the report; Ms. Kou is much more than the "chief skeptic" on new developments. Those who attended the meeting heard numerous reasons why the Council voted as it did, for both Mayor and Vice Mayor. I think it is great that the top leadership positions are occupied by two Palo Altans who have demonstrated objectivity and have unassailable records of service to Palo Alto residents.

Posted by Nonsense
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 11, 2023 at 2:03 am

Nonsense is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

Posted by Anne
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 11, 2023 at 2:54 pm

Anne is a registered user.

I am also disappointed that Lythcott-Haims supported Greg Tanaka. I spoke to him once during his office hours and he didn't listen to me at all. He is fully committed to a pro-business, pro-developer, residents be damned approach. And as Gennady reports, he is almost always at odds with fellow council members. Lythcott-Haims showed poor judgement; let's hope this isn't a harbinger of things to come. Vicki Veenker gets it. I will miss Filseth and DuBois.

Posted by Silver Linings
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2023 at 11:47 am

Silver Linings is a registered user.

Congratulations to Lydia Kou and Greer Stone! Well deserved. I completely concur about Lydia’s motivations being about serving the community, and about the thoughtfulness that marks both Lydia’s and Greer’s service. Thank you both for your past and future service to all people of this community.

Posted by Native to the BAY
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 12, 2023 at 12:14 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

I hope VP. Stone will bone up on the true, real number of PA residents living, surviving on poverty wages or of those barely living in our streets RV's . I'd like a full accounting of the data of our most recent census. An accounting of the rise in rents, fuel, foods and goods at a local level. And a better , transparent, oversight accounting of non-profit contracts between the city and Life Moves, Project Sentinel and others. Too. A full accounting of CM Shikada's over abundance of excuses during lock-downs, fires, floods and protests. "We were as unprepared as everyone else". He has used this in his city report time and time again. How much distrust for emergency preparedness is there in this statement? A lot.

Posted by toransu
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 20, 2023 at 7:49 pm

toransu is a registered user.

Oh fantastic, now we get someone who is in the pocket of big real estate making decisions on housing. I doubt Kou is going to do anything that might threaten to lower her commissions from selling houses. Not to mention a man who decided he needed to speak in defense at his nonce of a half brother's trial.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 21, 2023 at 10:16 am

Online Name is a registered user.

@toransu, try looking at Mayor Kou's voting record and public pronouncements and try to get beyond your buzzwords and biases. You might also check to see who's gotten the most campaign contributions from deep-pocketed developers and -- trust me -- it wasn't Mayor Kou. In fact she and her family were repeatedly threatened by a nonsense-spouting YIMBY.

Posted by Eric Filseth
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 21, 2023 at 12:26 pm

Eric Filseth is a registered user.

A YIMBY from the "1%" too, if memory serves

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