The Weekly ran a story that listed Palo Alto’s capital improvement priorities planned for June 2007 to June 2008.
The following are not my priorities, nor, do I suspect, would they be the priorities of many residents. They total $5,584,000.
• Remodeling the kitchen, dayroom and training room in the fire station on the Stanford campus — $60,000
• Updating the electrical and mechanical systems at Cubberley Community Center — $1.325 million
• Improving the electrical and lighting systems at the Municipal Service Center — $1.05 million
• Design and review of the proposed police headquarters at Page Mill Road and Park Boulevard — $600,000
• Replacing fencing and fixing dugout and parking at Baylands Athletic Complex — $580,000
• Restoring roadways and parking in Foothills Park — $525,000
• Completing Greer Park by installing landscaping, pathways and furnishings — $400,000
• Renovating playground equipment and other portions of Peers Park — $444,000
• Repairing and resurfacing tennis and basketball courts throughout the city — $425,000
• Sprucing up California Avenue —A $175,000
My reaction: Some of these will better satisfy the city staff than the residents: remodeling the fire station, improving the municipal service center.
As for designing the new police station, I keep on wondering how much money the city is going to spend on a proposed station before it lets voter decide if we want to pay for this station, estimated to cost around $50 million. The council has already authorized a $1 million Environmental Impact Report for the station. Yet a survey found the proposal cannot garner necessary residential support – plus we won’t even vote on this police station proposal until November 2008.
Repairing playing fields and tennis courts is all right, except not as many people play tennis now.
I do think that sprucing up California Avenue is great.
In fact, if I were to put together a priority list for the city, mine would include:
• Repairing the roads at a more rapid rate. We are $28 million behind in road improvements. Have you seen the condition of Waverley Street in front of the Gamble Gardens? It’s a mess.
• Sprucing up the downtown: clean sidewalks, colorful banners, installing tree lights on Hamilton and Lytton Avenues, more directional signage.
• Transforming the plaza in front of City Hall into a seating area with an array of planters, tables, umbrellas and chairs, so people could sit and enjoy the downtown – and each other.
• Finding ways to trim utility department costs so we don’t see an average $360 increase in our utility bills each year, like we are probably going to get this year.
• Improving our libraries.
What are your priorities?