Santa Clara County, CA November 2, 1999 Election
Smart Voter

Leadership principles

By Craig Woods

Candidate for Council Member; City of Palo Alto; Unexpired Short Term

This information is provided by the candidate
Characteristics of decision-making that I will advocate
The next council will face complex issues on traffic, parking, large-scale development, our neighborhoods, affordable housing, schools, infrastructure and of course historic preservation. There are three principles I will advocate that characterize the kind of leadership I will provide:

Clear Objectives- we need clear goals and objectives.

Decisions should be based on facts, not supposition, analysis not emotional reaction. For example, as we deal with traffic issues, we must be realistic about what is possible and what is not possible. We should do more to encourage people to use alternate transportation such as shuttles and bicycles, but we should be realistic about the need for more parking. As we deal with traffic issues, we should make sure that we understand the underlying causes and that we don't make the situation worse. As we deal with budget issues, we should look ways for improve our financial health, but it shouldn't be at the expense of seniors on fixed incomes. As we deal with neighborhoods and housing, we should make sure that clear objectives and achievable goals guide the development of new design review proposals.

Open Communication The people of Palo Alto are intelligent and civic-minded. Most of us have chosen to live here or stay here despite the high cost of living. We love the community and we like our neighbors and we are willing to do what is right for the community when these choices reflect values that we share. Open discussion and debate of the issues should be encouraged, especially at the City Council, but in an unemotional way. Debate and different viewpoints are not divisive, they are the foundation of democracy. The public should have access to information that effects us, such as development proposals, and city reports. Proposals that have direct impacts on homeowners should be clearly and objectively communicated. And those of us on the council need to listen to the entire community, not just those who share a particular viewpoint. We should also look for new ways to strengthen and unify our community through communication. There are fantastic opportunities to link people, neighborhoods, schools and our entire city through the internet. The current Fiber to the home trial barely scratches the surface of what will be possible.

Efficient Processes There are too many processes that are not serving the community well. We need to make sure that our tax dollars are used wisely and invested in the community. For example, consultants can serve a useful role, but this kind of spending should be carefully watched. There are more things that need to be done than we have dollars for. Priority should be given to programs that directly benefit the community, that benefit our schools, libraries and parks.

Taking too long to address issues represents a huge cost and drain on our resources and goodwill. These hurt the community and individuals. They foster cynicism about our city and city government. They discourage people from participating. They also directly hurt the people caught in broken processes.

All of these principles are linked. Efficient processes requires clear objectives, objectives and issues have to be openly communicated to the public. These are the keys to restoring confidence in the ability of our city government to effectively deal with complex issues and this is the kind of leadership I have demonstrated and will bring to the city council.

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ca/scl Created from information supplied by the candidate: September 22, 1999 10:59
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