City Council Adding New Members

Palo Alto will have at least two new faces on City Council. Only two incumbents are running.

Palo Alto’s nine member City Council will have at least two new members as a result of Tuesday’s election. Four seats will be decided. Of the four, just two incumbents are running.

The six candidates have divergent opinions on the top issues facing the city. The incumbents seeking another term are Greg Schmid and Pat Burt. The four challengers are Timothy Gray, Marc Berman, Liz Kniss and Mark Weiss.

Schmid’s hot button issue is development. “ABAG (the Association of Bay Area Governments) is demanding that the City zone for housing for 18,000 new residents. As Chair of the Council’s Housing Mandate Committee, I wrote a white paper that challenged ABAG’s demographic projections. This challenge has been picked up by civic leaders throughout the Bay Area. The livability of our community—housing density, traffic, retail services, and schools—depends depends upon leadership on this issue.”

Burt’s top priority is government efficiency, “I focused on reforming our pension and benefit obligations and reducing the number of city workers in our general fund by 13% — without layoffs — while maintaining our high level of services. Our staff has become more innovative, streamlined and agile and has increased efficiency through adopting new technologies. We have managed to do more with less.”  

Gray is a Certified Pubic Accountant who has his eye on fiscal responsibility, “I am advocating for us to take an Infrastructure first approach to budgeting so that we don't get further behind in maintaining our streets and sidewalks—fully fund "keep-up" and also set aside a few more million to the "catch-up" category. We should also set aside reserves for replacing our newer facilities from day one, so that we have a meaningful pool of money to repair and replace them as needed.”

Berman’s top priority is also infrastructure, “Build a new, seismically safe public safety building and rebuild the Mitchell Park and Rinconada Park fire stations to guarantee that the community will be able to rely on a full set of emergency and public safety services when they are needed most.” 

Kniss is a current county supervisor  and has previously served on both city council and school board in Palo Alto. Kniss stresses her fiscal responsibility as she seeks to return to Palo Alto elected office, “I will put my breadth of experience and leadership skills to work to address current concerns and future opportunities.” 

Weiss is concerned about development, “We need a Residentialist push-back against the trends towards letting Downtown and Commercial Real Estate interests have too much say and sway about what is Palo Alto.”

Palo Alto Patch will have complete election results Tuesday night beginning at 8:05 p.m., just after the polls close.

Also on Palo Alto Patch:

Local Measures on the Palo Alto Ballot

Registrar of Voters Urging Vote-By-Mail Ballots Be Taken to Drop-Off Centers

Stanford Research: Candidates Should Spend Ad Dollars On Web

Stanford Professor Predicts Latino Presidential Vote


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Mark Weiss November 06, 2012 at 05:38 AM
You forgot to say that I also am a former journalist who has contributed about a dozen columns to Patch.


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