City Council Top Priorities

I am volunteering for a community service job. The Palo Alto City Council election is November 6.

No glamour -- just simple principals:

-- Responsible spending that makes room for repair of aging infrastructure. Built a future with sustainable financial balance.
-- Openness, transparency, and fairness in all council actions.
-- Curb abuses of zoning loopholes that do not honor the spirit of the City's Comprehensive Plan, causing congestion, and sidesteps funding of increased demand on infrastructure and schools.
-- Protect the integrity of fees charged to the Utility Enterprise Fund, to assure that Utility rate payers are not used to avoid financial responsibility.
-- Filter all actions through the lens of environmental responsibility.

Given my experience in Finance, one of the first things I did after deciding to run for City Council was to visit the City's Budget Office and pick up a copy of the two-inch thick Operating Budget. I was pleased to learn that the budget was formulated around four priorities that were set in consultation with Palo Alto citizens:

-- Global Climate Protection
-- Sustainable Budget
-- Emergency Planning

Citizen participation is invited as the priorities will be reset each year.

I will also offer support and cooperation to our Police Chief Dennis Burns in advancing his declared top priority, Community Policing and improved Community / Police relations. Let the mending continue.

I will advocate for broader participation in setting the priorities each year. Once priorities have been established, I will diligently work to guard those priorities.

A sure way to protect the momentum of forward progress is to avoid getting distracted on issues that might seem important at the time, but are not aligned with the declared priorities. Keeping an intense focus will allow the Council to be decisive and get the job done. I will honor and strengthen the tradition of setting priorities to reflect the greatest public benefit. Once the community has spoken, we’ll get moving on implementing these plans.