I am struck by how underplayed the grand jury report is, in today’s Daily Post — unless they also reported on it Friday will have to check. As in: We were surprised as anyone to learn that a grand jury blasted the John Arrillaga Towers monument that we pushed so hard a couple years back. NOT.
The Weekly had already come to press Friday before they could figure out how to play this. Their cover has something softballish on it, slips my mind just what.
Council Monday should be notable for the Roxy Rapp 261 Hamilton brouhaha.
Or maybe the grand jury report is just a yawner and not a game-changer?
I will have to go to library to figure this out, back issues, current back issues.
The Post had the grand jury report as fourth lead on page one, and buried the nut graph behind a side issue about not responding soon enough to roi by Pat Marriott of Los Altos? Huh?
edit to add:
GS of the Weekly kind enough to link to an actual downloadable version of the report.
When I ran into Karen Holman this a.m. happy hunting at a yard sale, and wrote above, she mentioned she had read the report, to my having only read about the report via GS and Essinger of the Merc.
I was the sixth poster on the Weekly’s comment site, and now there are 46 posts.
edit to add, Sunday: I posted on Weekly site that the initiative to reduce council from 9 to 7 amounts to a violation in spirit of The Ralph Brown Act:
Posted by Mark Weiss, a resident of Downtown North
1 minutes ago
Mark Weiss is a registered user.
This entire initiative is in violation in spirit of The Brown Act in that it discourages public involvement in matters of governance. The Grand Jury report, among other points, describes the act in those terms. The Grand Jury report, which came out five days after this article was filed. You can link to the report here, as was reported in GS’s subsequent article.
Web Link (to Grand Jury Report)
edit to add, July sic 22, 2014, a month later: Jim Keane preliminary reaction to GJ. A formal reaction from council is due within 90 days, or by Sept. 16, 2014 or Labor Day. Neilson Buchanan told me that there was also a Grand Jury report on Palo Alto in 2004, about undedicating parkland at Terman and Rinconada (triggered by whistle blowing by Richard Placone Tom Jordan and one other).
he City has 90 days to formally respond to the Grand Jury Report and will take that formal response to the City Council for approval, as is done with all Grand Jury reports. The City wanted to provide some initial comments on the report today, following its issuance.
“There is nothing surprising or new in the report that hasn’t been written about previously or that we have not discussed already. The report talks a lot about inadequate process, whether the public process for the initial considerations on the 27 University site or recommendations related to public records act responses, or considerations of a possible sale of the City owned 7.7 Foothills site.
“We have already acknowledged that the public process around 27 University could have been better, and we have been clear about that. That said, the City’s intention was always to try to guide the preliminary project in a better direction. While the project as initially proposed by Mr. Arrillaga was focused on new office buildings, the City saw the opportunity to begin to master plan and redesign the transit center and road network at this gateway entrance to the City. There was also the potential to explore the addition of a major public benefit through a regional community theater. Funding for that work did come from the Stanford Hospital Development agreement, which specifically set aside funds to use for planning at this site. As everyone knows, the 27 University project never came to pass and current planning for that site will be included in our very public Comprehensive Plan review process now underway.
“The Grand Jury report acknowledges the unique nature of this project, and says, ‘the developer’s proposals represented an unprecedented opportunity to address major traffic problems at an intersection where little change had taken place for many years, despite decades of planning attempts.’
“Another concern in the report relates to City responses to Public Records requests. The City receives many requests for information every single day and we do a really good job of responding to the public. That said, even formal requests under the Public Records Act can come in through many different points across the City organization. For the formal public records requests, we have added a Public Records Request webpage where there is a form that can be can filled out to better track requests. Still, not everyone will go to the website first, so we are also looking into software that can be deployed across the organization to manage requests.
“Finally, some of the issues included in the Grand Jury report related to the Lee Gift Deed go back 30 years. We are accountable for contemporary decisions on this land today, and to that end, on March 24, the Council has directed that the 7.7 acres be dedicated as parkland. The City is in the process of preparing that dedication for formal Council action.”