• Re-elect Greg Scharff!

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

 I have had the honor of serving the residents of Palo Alto on the City Council for the past five years and as your Mayor in 2013.  Serving the neighborhoods of Palo Alto at City Hall has been the most rewarding and challenging job I have ever undertaken.

 When I was elected, we had the challenge of the “Great Recession” and the back-to-back years of budget crisis in Sacramento. I am proud of our work on the City Council during those uncertain economic times to maintain our high quality of life and provide residents with excellent public safety and city services.  I am also proud of my leadership role on these other key issues during my first term on Council:   

  • Balancing the budget while enhancing city services.

  • Structural Budget reform that has placed Palo Alto in the position to resolve its infrastructure backlog through a comprehensive plan to address our city-wide infrastructure needs.

  • Implementing benefit and pension reform measures that structurally balance the budget and fund the City’s infrastructure needs.

  • Reducing Traffic and Parking Congestion.  Launching a focused effort to reduce traffic and parking congestion, developing solutions that protect neighborhood parking and reduce congestion on our streets and roads, and closing parking loop holes to ensure that future development projects are fully parked.

  • A moratorium on PC Zoning.  Calling for as Mayor, and then putting into place with my Council colleagues, a moratorium on the PC Zoning process

  • Protecting Retail.  I have been a strong advocate for expanded retail in our City.  Stopping the conversion of Retail to Office space and supporting expanded ground floor retail protections has been a priority of mine.  I spearheaded putting in place a ground floor retail requirement on Emerson Street between University and Forest as this area was in the process of converting to office.  I tried to protect Rudy’s and Zibbibo from converting to office space but lost on a 5-4 Council vote.  I will continue to work hard to support and protect our retail.

  • Instituted a Public Art Requirement for private development projects.  Great communities have great public art.  For far too long, developers have not had to provide public art as part of their projects.

  • Crescent Park Permit Parking.  As Mayor, implemented the successful Crescent Park Permit Parking Program to stop parking intrusion in that neighborhood and restore quality of Life

  • Residential Permit Parking.  I have strongly advocated for a Residential Permit Parking Program citywide to remove cars from our most impacted neighborhoods that is expected to be implemented by the end of the year.

  • High Speed Rail.  Protecting Palo Alto from the effects that High Speed Rail would have on the community while preserving options for alternative transportation

  • Achieving 100% carbon neutral electricity with no rate increases in our electricity rates for the last five (5) years

  • Investing in Streets, Parks, Fire Stations, Libraries and other City facilities.  Palo Alto’s infrastructure is vital to our high quality of life.  City facilities like police and fire stations must be earthquake safe. Investing in public works projects to fix our streets, libraries, parks and aging sewer and utility infrastructure has been my priority.

  • Prioritized fixing our streets and sidewalks.  We more than doubled the budget for repairing and repaving our streets.  Work is underway on 50 lane miles of streets this year, and the City expects to increase its Pavement Condition Index score (which ranges from 0 to a perfect 100) to 80, which would be one of the highest in the region. 

  • Banned smoking in our parks.  

  • Palo Alto 311.  Worked with City staff to develop a Palo Alto 311 Mobile Application that allows citizens to initiate requests for City services in a manner most convenient for them.

  • Fiber to the Premises.  Strongly advocated for Fiber to the Premises.

  • Marijuana Dispensaries.  Led the Campaign to keep Marijuana dispensaries out of Palo Alto

  • Cogswell Plaza Renovation & Free WIFI.  

  • Know Your Neighbor’s Grant Program.  Developed with former Mayor Yiaway Yeh the “Know your Neighbors Neighborhood Grant Program,” which has successfully brought neighbors throughout Palo Alto together and built community

  • Supported and Advocated for More Safe Routes to School for Students in our new Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

  • Worked to ensure a modern and stable 911 emergency communications network.

  • Bike Paths and bridges.  I have worked hard to make Palo Alto bike and pedestrian friendly.  Through my efforts, Palo Alto will have a bike bridge across 101 and we are working hard to fully implement our bike and pedestrian master plan.

During my first term, I have been an ardent advocate for: 1) protecting and preserving our quality of life; 2) ensuring a sound fiscal future for the City, which includes fully funding our infrastructure needs and reforming employee pension and benefit obligations; 3) promoting a healthy and sustainable environment; and 4) solving our parking, traffic and transportation issues.

It is easy to forget all the great things about our amazing town and how fortunate we are to live in a safe, prosperous community with top-notch public safety departments, great parks and recreation facilities, award-winning schools, and a vibrant local economy.  Today, Palo Alto is once again the center of innovation, technology, and enjoying a robust local economy and job growth.  However, this prosperity brings potential risks to our continued quality of life if not managed appropriately.  

 Understandably, many residents are frustrated and anxious about the impact these factors are having on parking, traffic, growth, and the overall quality of life in their neighborhood.

 I share these same concerns and, if elected to a second term, will use my proven leadership and commitment to Palo Alto to address them.

 As we head into the City Council election, I am fully committed to protecting and preserving the quality of life in Palo Alto.  I am running for another term on the City Council this November with several key goals/priorities: 

  • Complete a new Comprehensive Plan that reflects and respects the needs of current homeowners and residents in land use decisions.

  • Eliminate the PC Zoning process.

  • Implement a citywide parking and traffic plan that reduces traffic congestion, restricts the use of neighborhood streets for office parking, and increases pedestrian safety.

  • Build a new Public Safety building and 911 Communications Center designed to modern seismic standards to ensure our police and fire departments are able to fully function after a major disaster.

Together we can keep Palo Alto a world class place to live and work. With your help, we can do it. I appreciate your support.

I would appreciate your support through a contribution, an endorsement, displaying a lawn sign, walking a precinct, and asking your friends to support me on November 4th.  

Please feel free to call me at 650-868-9303 to share your thoughts about Palo Alto or email me at Gregscharff@icloud.com.

 

Thank you.


Greg Scharff