The Santa Clara Grand Jury found that our Palo Alto Council and City staff circumvented the public process and ignored the city's own policies about leasing of public land during closed-door negotiations over 27 University and 7.7 acres of parkland next to Foothills Park. The city recently responded.
Public officials need to work hard to earn the public trust. If elected, I will push for openness and transparency to greatest degree legally possible.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We need a city government that works for residents.
We need zoning laws that maintain the residential nature of our city.
We need efficiency and transparency in city government.
If elected, my priorities will be:
Sensible development that benefits residents
- Approve only high quality projects that improve Palo Alto. New construction should not exceed the established 50 foot height limit and buildings must have appropriate setbacks from the street and fully account for community impact of how its occupants get to work -- through on-site parking, public transportation, enforced TDMs, in garages or through a fair residential parking permit program.
- End the era of exceptions; zoning exceptions should be few. Reform PC Zoning. Address problems with our review process that allows massive projects to stay in the pipeline far longer than they should.
- Reduce the jobs-housing imbalance. Palo Alto continues to approve plans to build large office spaces, or convert retail to office space, leading to the demand for more and more housing. We should not change zoning to increase office space.
- Work to maintain Palo Alto's independence from state mandates and regional control as much as possible. We want to be good neighbors, but we need thoughtful development that takes into consideration the unique local conditions we have. We must not trade away the beauty of our city to meet regional population pressures. That said, affordable housing is a major concern and that is the one area where I will support more dense development, but only if placed near walkable services and transit hubs.
Openness and Transparency
I want to:
- Enhance opportunities for public input on decisions that affect your lives.
- Require clearer, balanced staff reports
- Ensure reports are available 2 weeks before council meetings so there is time for public review
- Use HARD data to base decisions
- Insist that cumulative impacts be considered when projects are proposed
- Be vigilant against “closed door” meetings
Focus on making sure the City and School District work together as a cohesive whole
- A big focus of mine will be collaboration and cooperation between the city and the school district to protect our neighborhood schools. Our city's development and density choices have a direct impact on the quality of our schools, and most of us are very proud of the fact that our city provides excellent education for our children. My votes will be shaped by whether developments enhance our quality of life, and whether the schools will be overwhelmed by the pace of change.
- Cubberley is a key resource not just for south Palo Alto, but the whole city. I will build on the work done by the Cubberley Community Action Committee – such as underground parking, two story buildings for both a high school AND a community center.
Protection of our local retail
- We need to zone for the future and ensure there are specific areas for retail to thrive, in neighborhoods, downtown, California Avenue and along El Camino.
- We need to attract and support locally owned, non-franchise businesses.
Productivity through Technology: Fiber to the Home
- Palo Alto has proven it can serve the public by running its own utilities, and High Speed Internet service should be a part of that. High speed internet access using the city's existing, but not fully used, fiber optic ring should be a key part of our city infrastructure.
- I will support the city establishing a service to provide fiber to the homes of all Palo Altans. In the 21st century, information should be considered a basic utility. Done right, broadband infrastructure can pay for itself, enable productivity through technology, and deliver revenue to the city.
I am eager to have the chance to serve the people of Palo Alto and excited about affecting positive change. If elected, I will work to pass an updated Comprehensive Plan that clearly states residents DO come first and controls commercial growth. I will dedicate myself to the balanced evolution of Palo Alto. I want this beautiful city to continue to be a place that people love to call home.
I ask for your support and your vote. Thank you.