The Paly Voice

Palo Alto City Council elections fast approaching

Becca Raffel, Author

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The Palo Alto City Council will hold its first ever even-year election this November featuring eight candidates running for four seats.

Candidates include incumbents Pat Burt, who was mayor of Palo Alto in 2010, and Greg Schmid. Other candidates include former mayor Liz Kniss, attorney Marc Berman and panhandler Victor Frost.

Frost adds to the diverse pool of candidates as he runs for City Council again. He last ran in 2009, finishing last out of 14 candidates.

According to Palo Alto Online, Frost is a common face around Palo Alto, usually residing across the street from the Whole Foods Market. He has been cited 12 times for violating Palo Alto’s sit-lie ordinance, which is intended to clear up sidewalks and prohibit sitting or lying there for excessive periods of time. Frost fought these charges last year claiming that the sit-lie ordinance violated his first amendment rights to equal protection, and was ultimately found guilty. Opponent Kniss supported a form of this ordinance when it was announced.

Burt’s official website states that he “would like to finish the work he’s begun.”

His goals if he were re-elected include to making the community “well-prepared for emergencies,” and to “maintain our exceptional city services and quality of life.”

Kniss, who was mayor in 1994 and 2000, has also served on the City Council before. In an interview with Palo Alto Online, she mentions one of her goals as increasing the city’s “sustainability.” She has since served as the Santa Clara County Supervisor.

Schmid, on his offical re-election website, states the importance of the “critical choices” the city must face in the upcoming years, including improving the city’s “livability” and infrastructure.

This year, although the field of candidates is the smallest since 1985, the jobs that must be tackled are not. Issues that this election revolve around include a large budget deficit and Palo Alto union issues and negotiation. Crime also remains a factor, as the Palo Alto crime rate has drastically increased this year.

The City Council elections will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

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