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.
The grand jury report confirmed what many of us suspected and knew - that we can do better as a city.
The "27 University Project" proposed two 10 story office buildings. Such a large project, that greatly exceeds our zoning, should not have been discussed in private. Once it became public, the project continued to live for far too long.
Just as shocking were discussions to sell 7.7 acress in the Palo Alto Foothills for $125,000 to the same developer that proposed the 27 University project. The sweet deal was discussed behind closed doors. Luckily, it was brought into the light of day that the land was deeded as park land. Thanks to the Grand Jury for not letting this fundamental issue of trust fade away and be ignored.
The Palo Alto Weekly articles summarize what occurred well.
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