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LWVLeague of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Santa Clara County, CA November 8, 2005 Election
Smart Voter

Jack Morton
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Council Member; City of Palo Alto


Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. What specific steps would you support to balance the financial needs of the city with a changing regional business climate and potential effects on the quality of life in the area?

With due regard for our existing revenue stream and carefull oversight of expenditures, Palo Alto should hopefully be able to minimize the effects of the down turn. As Chair/Member of the Finance Committee, I have approved four balanced budgets that preserved community services and reduced staffing levels back to those of 1999. Attention will still have to be paid to reducing expenditures and we residents will have to begin showing businesses that we welcome their presence and appreciate their contributions to our community.

2. What are your priorities with regard to the balance of neighborhood issues and the broader needs of all Palo Alto?

The character of Palo Alto depends on the richness of our neighborhoods. For the most part, neigborhood issues like traffic and preservation of services are City wide issues. Occassionally, a solution like the initial traffic calming measures for Downtown North do not jibe with the needs of even all the residents of that neighborhood. Then we need to take a step back and find common ground for the common good. I was pleased to provide an alternative solution which removed some of the barriers but still accomplished the goal of reducing cut through traffic. That solution has an 85% acceptance rate. Issues like the departure of Hyatt and Albertsons required that the City become a more active participant in finding common ground sooner. No one wins by the loss of millions of dollars in needed tax revenue.

3. Where do you stand on the goal of retaining socio-economic diversity in Palo Alto, and if you support that goal, what steps would you take to achieve it?

The key to socio-economic diversity is affordable housing.Palo Alto has an admirable record of creating affordable housing. We established our own Housing Corporation which has just now completed the Oak Court development in what has turned out to be the area of town. All PAHC projects are integrated into the community and enable individuals whose income levels might otherwise limit their housing choices to fully participate in our community. I was pleased to vote for Oak Court and for the Housing Element which the Council submitted to the state and which the state approved. In that report, the City identifies areas in the City which might provide sites for other successful projects. The problem for Palo Alto as elsewhere in the mid-peninsula is that land is prohibitive and projects are expensive to build. In spite of that, we have been able to do ourselves proud. With the opening of the Opportunity Center next spring, Palo Alto will have provided a facility to help the most destitute in our society.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League. 

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 3, 2005 12:31
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