Town Square

After pandemic slump, Palo Alto budget set to grow by nearly a third

Original post made on May 2, 2022

Palo Alto's operating budget would swell by nearly a third over the next year thanks in large part to new utility projects, growing labor costs and increased investment in public safety under a proposal from City Manager Ed Shikada.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, May 2, 2022, 9:52 AM


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 2, 2022 at 11:25 am

Bystander is a registered user.

So it seems that with an increase in the available funds will mean an increase in City staff. Something tells me we have heard this before, more people in City Hall eating up funds that could be used for things like reinstating the shuttle, improving parking, improving some of our most congested intersections, etc.

It would be interesting to see how income v expenditure at Foothills Nature Preserve are contributing or costing us.

Lastly, we rumors of several lawsuits pending, it would be fair to ask just how much of this increase in budget is going to end up in legal fees.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 2, 2022 at 12:20 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

The city has only itself to blame for its economic woes due to over-reliance on the hotel tax and on commuters vs other thriving locales that have weathered the pandemic much better than PA. Yet here we go again projecting a huge increase in hotel tax revenue to justify more spending and hiring.

Also, the city wants to legitimize its practice of overcharging residents $20,000,000 a year to subsidize the general fund yet this article ignores any revenue projections for the long-overdue business tax. Maybe that's because they've staffed up with new hires and consultants to ensure that we pass the Utility Transfer tax rather than the business tax.

Shikada and his crew are NOT serving the residents well, only themselves. (I also didn't see anything there re our unfunded pension liabilities in this article.)

Posted by Barron Park Denizen
a resident of Barron Park
on May 2, 2022 at 1:13 pm

Barron Park Denizen is a registered user.

With the City's pensions and rail crossings both seriously underfunded by hundreds of millions, there is no surplus. Securing rail funding should be top priority, plus making a contribution to shave some of the pension liability. An Equity and Inclusion officer is a trendy but ill-considered frittering of scarce funds.

Posted by cr
a resident of Monroe Park
on May 2, 2022 at 4:49 pm

cr is a registered user.

Is the idea by using taxpayer money on a equity and inclusion officer to help staff learn how to include resident feedback and well being in their decision making? I don’t think most residence with support spending money on such a position. A budget that is growing by over 30% and almost $1 billion for a town of just over 60,000 residents is too much. That equates to almost $17,000 for every man, woman and child just for city services!

Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on May 2, 2022 at 5:27 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

The two people speaking here with any political, community, or economic sense seems to me to be Bystander and Baron Park Denizen. Palo Alto should concentrate upon quality of life (including traffic and parking problems) for its EXISTING residents. And that means freezing the number of overpaid demi-bureaucratic incompetents at City Hall so more funds are available for improving the lives of existing community, tax-paying residents. Rail crossing and general spending on community traffic and parking improvements are FAR more important the paying the grossly overpaid salaries and pensions of new, useless City Hall employees.

Time for Palo Alto to get its priorities right. Serve its residents, their quality of life, their transportation, and their safety. Isn't that what competent city government is supposed to be about? Serve residents first, especially TAXPAYERS.