Regional Cooperation -- Opportunity for Greater Services at Lower Cost

Regionalization is a theme that needs to be embraced by the City of Palo Alto. Some ideas will work and others will not, but we need to explore the possibilities with an open mind.

For example, we all know that disasters do not confine themselves to political boundaries, yet we have a separate director of Emergency Preparedness, and a portion of the Public Safety facility involves an Emergency command center, yet these seem to be resources that could be shared with Stanford? Mountain View? Los Altos? Menlo Park? etc.

This kind of consideration, and full participation by the citizens in the results of the analysis should be a first priority of City Leadership.

Perhaps there are other aspects. The possibility of a shared Evidence Room (so needed by our Police Department) needs to be explored. There must be other opportunities for regional cooperation -- vs. the not-invented-here perspective. Besides, criminals don't respect the political boundaries of Peninsula cities.

Another artificial barrier is City Departments. Already, Police Chief Dennis Burns fills the additional role of Fire Chief, putting Public Safety under a single Director. There are more opportunities like this.

With Palo Alto City costs believed to be significantly greater than cities of comparable or even greater size, we must be open to benchmarking, and then having a public discussion about significant variances vs. turning out the P.R. to justify the higher expenditure.

We can get to the bottom of this with solid arithmetic. Let's get it done.


Citizen Gray