The Palo Alto Weekly Features Tim Gray (Click here for the entire story)

The October 3 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly features interviews of several candidates for City Council, including me. You can also view the entire October 3 edition in pdf form by clicking on the image of the cover. The overview, titled "Finances, infrastructure and the city's future" begins on page 21, and my interview is on page 24. The following is excerpted from the interview: Also, see the entire video of the interview at .

Tim Gray

Candidate Tim Gray takes a break along Park Boulevard

Charleston Meadows resident Tim Gray, 47, was spurred into service by a column published in the Weekly by former Mayor Vic Ojakian, calling for
additional City Council candidates.

Until then, he said, he had always been content to let others take care of city business.

An accountant and business consultant with his firm,Treasury Advocates, Gray said he can bring fresh management and fiscal insight to the city.

Gray admits he’s still learning about city operations, but says he can encourage financial responsibility and additional community input if elected to the council.

“I’m running on the platform of citizen participation,” he said. “When there is a sense of fairness, there can be consensus and support for action. It’s not a naïve, idealistic concept.”

Before his desire solidified to involve himself in city responsibilities, Gray was best known as a former financial leader at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

He spent seven years shaping the finances of the then new Children’s Hospital, where his wife is still an employee, Gray said. Because of her affiliation, he would be conflicted out of voting on Stanford-related issues if elected.

He acknowledges that he is biased about the proposed Stanford Medical Center. The expansion is much-needed and wonderful, but Stanford should still help compensate for some of its consequences, Gray said.

Gray said he’s a strong supporter of environmental efforts, but will advocate ensuring programs such as the Zero Waste effort as user-friendly.

“All the idealism in the world isn’t going to get people to take care of the Earth. We have to make it convenient,” he said.

He’s also a big proponent of cost-effective environmental efforts.

“Being Green and financial discipline are not in conflict with each other,” he said.

The most significant challenge facing Palo Alto is the task of “making room for all the people that want to participate in this wonderful place,” according to Gray.

He said that by encouraging resident involvement, and carefully analyzing existing plans, the city should carefully balance the effects of growth.

In particular, the community needs to make sure that additional growth doesn’t harm the schools, he said.

He and his wife, Susan, know a thing or two about the schools. They adopted three children: 8-year-old Catherine and twins Michael and Julia, 5, from southern California foster homes.

“Creating a family has been something that’s beyond the sum of its parts,” Gray said. “Reaching out to the community is a nice and natural next step.”

Gray said he also opened his wallet to a homeless man he met in downtown Palo Alto, helping the man secure a place to live in Lytton Gardens.

In the past, Gray admitted, he sometimes wanted to be right so badly he damaged business relationships. But he’s wiser now.

“I learned that credit and blame are not really commodities that have any currency. It’s really in the relationships and keeping positive relationships that makes life work,” Gray said.

Birth place: Lewiston, Idaho
Profession: Business financial consultant
Affiliation with Stanford University or other major conflicts: Yes
Currently reading: Feynman Lectures on Physics by Richard Phillips Feynman.
Favorite food: Salmon
Vehicle: Blue Honda Pilot
Hobbies: Golfing, stone sculpting
Web site:
How to contact: “Contact Tim” link on Web site.
Staff Writer Becky Trout can be e-mailed at


Email from a Manager at a leading high tech company

Okay…. Now I have become your supporter for sure. I actually printed the last line that you said during your interview and repeated in our staff meeting today. It has profound meaning and everyone who listened to it thought that we should adopt it as the Vision for our team!

From the article: “I learned that credit and blame are not really commodities that have any currency. It’s really in the relationships and keeping positive relationships that makes life work”

Identify withheld for confidentiality

Tim's Response:

Thank you for your encouragement. My experience is that this kind of thinking can really move things forward. Nobody ever built a new library with either credit or blame. This has some pragmatic financial benefits to any organization. So much time can be wasted on "saving face" that the original purpose of creating the greatest benefit for all is sometimes left behind. I will take a stand for exercising a "stewardship of a public trust". My experience is that people are tired of the "same old politics," and are energized by greater candor and want to "get it done."

Tim's interview.

Tim your interview is really inspiring, and I will be delighted with your leadership in Palo Alto. It seems to me that you would resonate to the notion, "Greet all things with a joyful mind"......I am really honored to have the opportunity to be on your side......

Tim's response:

Thank you noting the positive momentum of this "Campagn of Ideas." Can you imagine if the essence of the slogan were really part of a City Government that was a first class service organization? At least this is a quality that I try to set as an example for my three small children. They are watching "Daddy's" actions closely.

Thank you for your appreciation,


Additional link to news story about League of Women Voters Forum

Tim Gray received favorable mention in the Palo Alto Weekly article about the League of Women Voters' Candidate Forum.

Click this link for the entire article:

Excerpts from that article are as follows:

Wednesday's forum was the second event in two days hosted by the League of Women Voters. About 110 Palo Altoans attended Tuesday evening's forum at St. Andrew's United Method Church. Half as many voters came to Wednesday's midday panel at Lucie Stern Community Center.

Most attendees topped 40 years old and several said it was their first exposure to this year's slate of candidates. Ten men and one woman are vying for four open council seats.

Fielding questions from the audience, the candidates demonstrated how familiar they were with Palo Alto issues and tried to communicate, in brief two-minute statements, why they were the man (or woman) for the job.

Greenmeadow resident Nancy O'Keefe said she attended because she was "not too impressed with the City Council in the last few years." After Tuesday's forum, she said she thought Yeh and Tim Gray had done well.

South Palo Alto resident Alma Phillips said she was looking for "a problem solver and a cooperator."

Tuesday's event had helped her eliminate some candidates, but she still wasn't sure who would win her vote.

Old Palo Alto resident Leslie Braun came Wednesday to see which candidate could "streamline operations so we can be run more efficiently."

At Tuesday's forum, candidates were asked how they would deal with the divide, and perceived government favoritism, between north and south Palo Alto.

Gray said he would encourage citizen participation and work to strengthen the community's "points of agreement."

The forums will be rebroadcast Oct. 27 and Nov. 3, according to the League of Women Voters. Broadcast times can be found at .