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Palo Alto mayor to present 'State of the City' tonight

Original post made on Feb 27, 2013

Palo Alto Mayor Greg Scharff will lay out his vision for the city and highlight recent accomplishments in his "State of the City" speech tonight, Feb. 27.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 9:11 AM

Comments (10)

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Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 27, 2013 at 11:35 am

The City Council is considering ways to pay for our infrastructure and public safety needs. Naturally and predictably they default to yet another proposed bond measure and potential tax increase. Absolutely unreal.

One of the primary functions of our city leaders and elected officials is to operate with our public funds in a responsible manner. That would include working within a balanced budget, and providing for our essential infrastructure and public safety needs. After all, without those elements being in place, our overall quality of life in the big scheme falls at risk of serious compromise.

So why has it reached this point? Why do we find ourselves incapable, or perhaps unwilling, to allocate the required funds to pay for our essential needs? In my opinion, because our city leaders have never set any solid financial priorities. They have ignored and dismissed our vital and essential civic needs, preoccupying themselves instead with special interest groups, niche projects, and feel good programs and services. This has been going for many, many years. On one hand they decry our current fiscal circumstances as being unprecedented and grave, while in the other they continue to approve and dole out millions of dollars in public funds for bike bridges, golf course remodels, bike bridges, new playgrounds, community center make-overs, and commercial district beautification. The list goes on.

Our city leaders are seemingly incapable of demonstrating the common sense and courage to say no to the many special interest groups and niche programs and services. We continue to publicly support programs such as the Children's Theater and the Opportunity Center. When discussion arose to outsource our animal services, a move that would save us several million dollars over time, these same city leaders allowed themselves to be shouted down by a vocal minority. They concern themselves more with their own image, to not appear uncaring or insensitive, than they do with the greater good.

I will oppose and work defiantly against any future proposals which involve a bond measure and tax increase to pay for our essential civic needs. The city council must be sent a message. You cannot keep spending public funds in a frivolous, irresponsible manner, and expect to return to the tax payers crying poor. Please demonstrate some fiscal responsibility and common sense.

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Posted by Wondering
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 27, 2013 at 11:45 am

Very odd location for an official event. It traditionally has been successful at city hall.
Cant help wondering whether the mayor will receive any private advantage from the car company for the free publicity he is giving them.

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Posted by Marcos
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Dear Wondering, this event was held last year at the JCC, and the year before that at the Cubberly theater. Basically the mayors are trying to have this annual event at different parts of the city.

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Posted by Keep-It-Public
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Moving the event to different parts of the City that are public spaces is OK. Tesla is not public--although the $500M publicly-backed loan makes one kind of think it ought to be.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Time to put the horse before the cart. Put infrastructure as a top priority and ask for a vote for extra money for fluff projects!

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Posted by Don't get it
a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm

A very strange place to locate a Palo Alto State of the City address since most of Deer Creek Road is located in the Stanford Industrial Park. Perhaps Tesla expects you to buy a car while you're there!!!

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Posted by Wondering
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm

The reasoning behind having previous State of the City addresses at Cubberley and JCC were presumably to give the that part of the city a sense of being included, since city hall is relatively north.
But at Tesla? Maybe it is intended to be inclusive for Developer Arrillaga who lives somewhere out there.

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Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Are we really well served by an annual shuffle of goals and mayors? Palo Alto is famous for its process so unless each successive mayor continues goals of the previous steward it seems to me the exercise has a high level of futility, regardless of where the annual recitation is done. I wonder if anyone else would like to see goals such as: an elected mayor, a longer term for mayor, a smaller council, and an established method of accountability for key personnel in city management.

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Posted by No genius
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Havinge attended these things before, I am sure it will be and understatement of problems, less than honest, and the mayor will save the really important concerns of the citizens for last, long after most people have given up and left.

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Posted by Liz
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Annette: No I am against a Mayor having a longer term than one year because in that event it becomes a permanent job and the Mayor would require a salary in excess of $300,000. It would be another huge waste of money for PA. What would the City Manager do anyway?

Actually, the one year system works very well, but what doesn't work is having a 9 member city council which should be reduced to 7 members.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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