The oblique logic of Palo Alto Commissions selection


On behalf of the City Council, I want to thank you for your application to be a member of the Planning and Transportation Commission and for your interest in and willingness to serve our city.  This is the kind of public involvement that makes Palo Alto a great city.

While your application was not successful at this time, there will be other openings in this and other appointed bodies.  I encourage you to maintain your interest, involvement, and willingness to serve.  Our city needs dedicated and caring people like you.

If you are interested in other opportunities please let me know.  I can add your name to a distribution list I email recruitment information to, if you are interested.

Thank you again for your time and effort.  If you have any questions at all, please let me know.


Ronna Jojola Gonsalves

Deputy City Clerk | City of Palo Alto

250 Hamilton Avenue | Palo Alto, CA  94301

650-329-2267 | |\clerk

Just as I joke that when I applied for Library Advisory Commission I was apparently penalized for mentioning too many authors and books, someone proffered that the trick to getting on Transportation and Planning Commission in this recent round was to never have attended even one of their meetings previously. Read for yourself.
edit to add, 9 months later, post-election: The Weekly reports that Council is revamping the run-up to commission and board selection, by limiting interviews to 10 minutes (huh?) and feting members with lavish parties, more lavish than something that could happen at City Hall. At first I started to post on their site with what I see as the good and bad of the process, and then I deleted; later I added this comment to a nearby story about the harbor:
(which I assume will be deleted since no one at PAW has a sense of humor)

Posted by Mark Weiss , a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, 0 minutes ago

What the article does not say is that this is a pro-development seal pup and is being groomed for a seat on the planning commission….

(presumably to replace Arthur Keller….)

The commissioner article, in comments, has this relatively courageous post by “Henry from Downtown North”

Larry Klein is personally responsible for demeaning and alienating so many members of the public that it is stunningly disingenuous for him to make statements about honoring commissioners. Actions speak louder than words!

Here is a ping-back to a related sentiment by yours svayambh-paly, from a ways back, on “Plastic Alto”: this.

edit to add, again, about 40 minutes later: Floodgate Dolly, the Mayoral Candidate and seal pup, goes into the lexicon of great Palo Alto critters like Rufus the Bobcat, the black mambo snake and the mountain lion shot by a member of public safety, who either told me or told the paper that she later had a good cry.


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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