A critical piece of Palo Alto history that should not be forgotten

The criminal case against Palo Alto officers Craig Lee and Michael Kan

May 3, 2005

Dear Mr. George Kennedy & Ms. Karyn Sinunu:

I am writing to you to request that your office retry the criminal case against Palo Alto police officers Michael Kan and Craig Lee. I would like to make some observations and comments regarding the recently completed trial in this matter wherein the jury ultimately hung 8 to 4 for guilty. I would then like to comment on the importance of this case being retried. I hope you will consider all of my comments in the constructive manner in which they are intended.

Comments re the recently completed trial of Defendants Kan & Lee

First I think it is important to acknowledge the fine work performed during the course of all of the proceedings in this matter by Deputy District Attorney Peter Waite. Not only was his preparation and presentation of the case outstanding, but it was apparent that his confidence in the strength of the case grew as the matter proceeded. No doubt the case was not tried without some mistakes and at least one questionable judgment call, but, given all of the many pressures and roles being balanced, it was an outstanding job. By the time the case went to the jury it was my observation/opinion that Mr. Waite had out performed the very talented attorneys for the defendants. (I sat through the entire PX and trial in this matter.)

From the perspective of a former public defender and trial lawyer it was clear to me that Mr. Waite and his investigative team (Sgt. Mike Denson and Sgt. Ron Watson from the PAPD) left few stones unturned in an effort to assure that the prosecution in this matter was both professionally managed and aggressively pursued.

I had no sense during the trial of this matter, despite the obvious political pressures and ramifications for the entire prosecution team, that at anytime that the prosecution team treated this case lightly or in any fashion differently than any other serious felony matter. Finally, Mr. Waite, in an example that more public servants should model, made himself available to members of the public who had endless questions for and observations to share with him.

During the jury selection process in this case Mr. Waite’s questions and the nature of the responses by prospective jurors re the role of race, racial profiling, the right of citizens to be free of undue and unwarranted harassment by the police etc., were both fascinating and instructive re the current public mood towards law enforcement. Had the voir dire process been taped it would have made a provocative documentary on the current status of the relationship between law enforcement and the community. As indicted by the responses during voir dire, as it currently stands, the relationship appears tenuous at best.

There were numerous jurors who expressed just barely restrained anger re the recent killing of Bic Cau Tran by San Jose police officer Chad Marshall and similarly deep concern re other recent high profile killings by members of the SJPD.

What came across strongest from the jury selection process is that both the depth and width of anger and concern over misconduct by law enforcement in this county is much greater than reflected by the mainstream media in Santa Clara County. Whereas the conventional wisdom has been that police cases are hard to successfully prosecute in this county the current dynamically shifting demographics, combined with a well informed citizenry re police misconduct issues, may well have changed the landscape permanently. Given the above, it would appear that police prosecutions are much more like to be successful in this county now and in the future.

During the course of the jury selection the defense exercised a peremptory challenge against the one black female who made it into the jury box. Given the quality of her responses to the questions posed by attorneys for both sides it was clear that this prospective juror was totally free of bias for either side.

Despite the fact that Mr. Waite made an appropriate Batson/Wheeler objection that the defense, specifically attorney Harry Stern, had exercised the challenge in a in a racially discriminatory fashion the judge, Andrea Bryan, declined to ask defense council for a showing of specific bias (to establish a race–neutral reasons for the strike) or to find a prima facie case for requiring a response by the defense. The judge should have reseated the juror in the presence of the entire panel as a clear message to the defense that the racist removal of a fair minded juror would not be tolerated. (Case law clearly supports the notion that one race based peremptory challenge is sufficient to trigger the remedies contemplated by Batson/Wheeler and its descendants.)

Given that only three African-Americans were in the initial jury panel of approximately 160 perspective jurors called for in this case, there is little doubt that the discriminatory strike of the one black female to make it into the jury box denied the people a jury made up of a cross-section of the community and thus a fair trial.

The following quotes serve as a reminder of the impact of a discriminatory challenge based on race in the context of this case: … “The harm from discriminatory jury selection extends beyond that inflicted on the defendant and the excluded juror to touch the entire community.” Batson V. Kentucky, 476 U.S, at 77 (1986).

“The need for public confidence is especially high in cases involving race-related crimes. In such cases, emotions in the affected community will inevitably be heated and volatile. Public confidence in the integrity of the criminal justice system is essential for preserving community peace in trials involving race related crimes.” (Citations omitted). Finally, as to Judge Bryan’s role in denying the community a fair trial the following is pertinent: “Be it at the hands of the state or the defense, if a court allows the juror to be excluded because of group bias, it is a willing participant in a scheme that could only undermine the very foundation of our system of justice—our citizens’ ” (citations omitted).

In addition to the failure of Judge Andrea Bryan to perform her constitutional responsibility to ensure the selection of a fair jury in this matter it was apparent that the court allowed the atmosphere surrounding the trial to favor the defense. Not only did the court appear to bend over backwards to rule in favor of the defense on issues where you would normally not expect such favorable rulings, but the court personnel, including the bailiffs, routinely acted with favoritism to members of law enforcement. This included providing preferential seating in the courtroom to members of law enforcement, to allowing outbursts by law enforcement spectators to go unpunished while, at the same time, closely monitoring the conduct of non-law enforcement citizens in the courtroom to the point of a constitutional chill on access.

Despite all of the efforts by the court and its personnel to tamper with the jury selection, evidentiary rulings, deny equal access to the courtroom to the public versus members of law enforcement, all in a thinly veiled attempt to direct a verdict of acquittal, 8 members of the community still rendered a verdict of guilty refusing, in the greatest tradition of independent jurors, to buckle under the weight of the intimidating atmosphere allowed to exist by Judge Andrea Bryan. All of this speaks volumes re the strength of the evidence in this case and the fine job done by the prosecution team.

Despite the fact that only 8 of the 12 jurors in this case voted for guilty the verdict was still one of historic proportions in Santa Clara County. I know of no other case in recent Santa Clara County history where 8 jurors have voted to convict police officers for the beating of an African-American citizen. This result calls out for a retrial.

Conclusion re why case should be retried.

Community sentiment: I have enclosed an editorial from the Palo Alto Daily News, Accused officers should be retried, April 20, 2005, outlining some of the reasons why this case should be retried and encouraging your office to do so, both in the interest of the Palo Alto Police Department and the Community at large.

Given the statements attributed to Karyn Sinunu in the San Jose Mercury News (enclosed), (April 19, 2005), that the district attorney usually retries hung juries and given that in this case 8 citizens voted for guilty under the difficult conditions described in the first section of this letter, failure to do so in this case would feed into the perception that there is two standards of justice in this community, one for the ordinary citizen and one for police officers.

Given comments in a recent article in The Recorder, April 27, 2005, that there will be a chase for endorsements by police and law enforcement groups by the presumed candidates for District Attorney in 2006, and given Ms. Sinunu’s apparent intent to run for this position, failure to retry this case might well be seen as decision based on political expediency rather than the merits of retying this case.

It is clear that this case would likely not have come to light but for the courageous act of a few “whistle blowing” members of the PAPD willing to break down the traditional “code of silence” that so perniciously permeates much of law enforcement in this community. By the jury’s verdict in this case the community has spoken: it is time, once and for all, to send the message that the so-called “code of silence” will not longer be tolerated by those we entrust with the awesome power of the badge. Failure to retry this case would discourage officers in the future to speak out against rogue officers in their ranks and, as result, put the public at risk of more unwarranted beatings and deaths.

Given all of the above, the strength of the evidence presented in the first trial, the resources and efforts expended by the prosecution, the strong likelihood of a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt at a second trial, the efforts of the trial judge to sabotage the prosecution’s case in the first trial, and the strong public support for a retrial in this matter it is my request that you exercise your prosecutorial discretion in favor of a retrial in this case.

Post Script:

This letter requesting a retrial of Kan & Lee was originally sent out on May 3, 2005. Ultimately the DA declined to retry the case against officers Kan & Lee. In a miscarriage of justice Kan & Lee were allowed to plead guilty to one count each of disturbing the peace, as an infraction, with a maximum punishment of a $250 fine.

Palo Palo firefighters get hosed down

The Daily News
Diana Diamond The Daily News

Good grief, Diana Diamond of the Daily News is having a conniption over Palo Alto firefighters’ new work schedule.

Diamond objects to the two 24-hour working days on duty followed by four 24-hour days off duty schedule being implemented in the Palo Alto Fire Department. Diamond complains that firefighters lounge around most of the time while on duty and therefore don’t deserve nor justify so much time off.

However if you look more closely at the overall situation you will find that Diamond’s rationale is not logical and therefore is more about envy of a group of people who have created an niche industry that pays them what the market will bear than it does with exploiting tax payers.

Diamond points out that each fireman will be working 10 days a month while getting 20 days off under the new schedule. This would amount to working 120 days a year while getting 240 days off.* Diamond compares this to most workers in the private sector that work 5 days a week with 2 days off; or working 260 days a year with 104 days off. *

The problem with Diamond’s logic is she is comparing days to days and not hours to hours. Most professionals work 40 hours a week; or 40 hours every 7 days. Minus two weeks vacation per year that equates to 2,000 hours a year. Firemen are working 48 hours every 6 days. Minus two weeks of vacation per year that equates to 2,784 hours a year.

One could argue how much pay and benefits firemen should receive for their services but that is not the argument here. The argument is over what firemen are being paid to do. First and foremost firemen are being paid to be highly skilled in fire suppression and emergency responsiveness for individual and community needs.

Secondarily firemen are being paid to be available when needed; being paid to be “on-call.” Palo Alto is paying firemen to be on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year. For each 24 hour day fireman slot the city is paying for 8,760 hours of service per year.

Every day for every fireman slot there are three 8 hour shifts that need to be filled. These shifts could be divvied up between three different firemen or between two firemen working one 12 hour shift each or one fireman working one 24 hour shift. Regardless of how the hours are split up between firemen the 24 hours of service from a highly trained fireman is being paid for.

Ultimately Diamond’s complaint is not about firemen being overly compensated for their services but in how firemen are divvying up the hours of service they provide to the people of Palo Alto. What should it matter to Diamond if three different people are working three different shifts in 24 hours or if one person is working the three shifts the same 24 hours of service?

If Palo Alto thought that it was being exploited by the Fireman’s Union collectively bargaining to obtain unreasonable compensation than Palo Alto could just as easily out source all medical emergencies to a private paramedic/emergency medical service provider the same way the city has out sourced the street sweepers while rolling back the fire department’s personnel to a few full time employees and enlist the services of hundreds of Palo Alto residents into a primarily volunteer fire department.

And If that be the case are you Diana Diamond willing to put in 10 hours a month training and cleaning fire equipment in addition to getting up at 2:00am in the morning at a moments notice when your phone rings to help put out a fire on the other side of town knowing full well you will have to get to your own full-time job by 9:00am?

(* Numbers not exact and not including holiday’s or vacation time; rounding off for simplicity.)

City of Palo Alto – Secret Funding Planned

City of Palo Alto – Secret Funding Plan Look for a variation of this in your mailbox next year, and every year after 2016. The City has made hefty promises of pensions and healthcare benefits to employees that cannot possibly be paid in a stagnant economy that has stripmined the middle class and small business.

The only “fixes” that don’t alienate city unions, cops and firemen or tax-burdened residents are dramatic increases in junk fees, i.e. “fees for use,” and borrowing money by selling bonds. Here’s an example of the City’s future ‘funding letter.’ Dear Resident: As you may have read, the costs of fulfilling our pension and healthcare promises to our retired and current employees have soared. And we’d like to pay ourselves even more in the years ahead.

As a result, pensions, healthcare and the annual interest due on city bonds (money we borrowed in the past) now consume almost all tax revenues. Without additional funding, we will have to lay off all current employees and close City Hall, the libraries, the fire and police departments, parks and recreation, all city departments and definitely all of the schools. To avoid this, we are asking you to approve increases in ‘fees for use’ of various items and the sale of new bonds to raise desperately needed funding. Here are the proposed fees for use:

1. A 50% annual increase in city garbage collection fees for the next decade, after which we anticipate an annual increase of 20% each year until 2096.

2. Building permits for any project under $5,000 will cost a minimum of $5,000. Fees for larger projects will start at $10,000 and rise on a sliding scale based on the value of the project.

3. Homeowners and contractors caught attempting to evade the building permit process will be fined a minimum of $5,000 or 200% of the estimated cost of their project, whichever is higher.

4. All street parking in the city will require an annual parking permit of $1,200 per vehicle per year.

5. Day use of all city parks will now cost $10 per person per day. Reserving BBQ grills and tables will cost $100.

6. Internet and wifi service in the city will be taxed $1,000 annually per household.

7. Residents will be taxed $100 each annually, payable on the first of January, for consuming the city’s air.

8. Parking violations will be increased from $35 per violation to $500 per violation.

9. Asking city staff for information about city regulations will cost $10, payable before the question is asked.

10. All residents will pay a sidewalk usage fee of $100 annually.

11. A hotel tax of 100% of the cost the room will be imposed from January 1, 2016, including private AirBnB rentals of rooms and apartments.

12. Every home-based business must obtain a ‘city business license’ annually for a sliding-scale fee that starts at $1,000. Anyone caught evading this tax will be jailed as a financial terrorist for depriving city employees of their livelihoods.

13. Global Warming Impact Fee $ 1,500 per household. Residents who cannot afford the new fees can deed their homes to the city, and pay rent to live in the home they once owned. Unfortunately, the new fees for use will only pay a fraction of the salaries of our employees, managers, assistant managers and assistant to assistant managers and so we also need your approval of new bonds:

BOND A: $30 million to keep the libraries open for two years.

BOND B: $30 million to keep City Hall open for two years.

BOND C: $30 million to make City Hall pretty

BOND D: $30 million to fill potholes in city streets for two years.

BOND E: $30 million to keep the city parks open for two years.

BOND F: $30 million to keep the city Public Affairs department funded for two years, so they can continue explaining why the city is broke and why it’s such a great place to live.

BOND G: $30 million to hire retired employees pulling down $9,000 a month in pensions and benefits for $100,000 per year as “consultants.”

BOND H: $30 million to fund a public-relations campaign for two years extolling the city’s “green initiatives” and selling the city’s potential to global corporations.

BOND I: $30 million to fund tax breaks for global corporations that open an office in the city.

BOND J: $30 million to fund Lawsuits against corporations that may cause global warming or increase traffic.

BOND K:$ 30 million for studies on how to raise more revenues from new fees for use.

BOND L: $30 million to fund more appeals like this for increased ‘fees for use’ and the issuance of more bonds to fund everyday city functions that city employees don’t feel like doing.

BOND M: $30 million to purchase a surplus M1 Abrams tank for crowd control and to root out financial terrorists depriving the city of the revenue it deserves. With your support, the city managers expect revenues may cover expenses by 2096, assuming the city’s functions have been fully automated and there are only 12 employees left. City Business Hours for 2016: 11am-Noon, Closed Every Afternoon for lunch.

Wheel’s fall off car camping ban in Palo Alto

Palo Alto’s car camping ban was struck down after some City Council members agreed it could provoke lawsuits after a similar ban in Los Angeles was deemed unconstitutional.

The 7-1 vote to get rid of the ban, with Councilwoman Karen Holman absent and Councilman Larry Klein voting no, came Monday night after city Attorney Molly stump warned the council that current law could expose the city to lawsuits.

Pro and con

A handful of car camping ban opponents showed up to speak, although Councilwoman Liz Kniss said she got 50 emails from people who wanted to keep the ban. “Many of you who see this the same way have come forward but many others have stayed home tonight, “she said.

The City Council passed the ban in 2013, but the city decided to put the ban on hold in December when it learned of a case that was brought challenging the ban in Los Angeles.

Court case

In June, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Los Angeles ban, which prohibited the use of cars “as living quarters,” was unconstitutional because it was too difficult for people to know when they were breaking the law.

“The legal landscapes have changed dramatically, “Councilman Marc Berman said. “This is the right thing to do and the compassionate thing to do.”

Councilman Klein had different views. “I think this is a mistake for a variety of reasons, “he said. “There is no final determination as to whether this is unconstitutional,” he said.

He added that ditching the ban will make Palo Alto a magnet for car campers, since virtually all neighboring cities have some kind of law that bans car camping.

Cubberley ban

Another ban on car camping remains in effect in Palo Alto – a law prohibiting people from sleeping in their cars while parked overnight Cubberley Community Center 4000 Middlefield Road.

The ban was passed because of the concern that Cubberley had become a “de facto homeless shelter,” in the words of City Manager Jim Keene. The city also shut down the public showers the homeless had been using at Cubberley

Cheyenne Desertrain vs. City of Los Angeles

Opinion United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Article powered by Dragon Dictation an ipad App

Full version: http://www.padailypost.com

Palo Alto Police Chief Dennis Burns Lies to Federal Judge

On October 19, 2010 Palo Alto City Manager James Keene’s police chief, Dennis Burns, informed Tony Ciampi through Burns’ attorney, (Steven Sherman), and subordinate staff Chief Dennis Burnsthat Ciampi could not have a copy of the MAV videos containing the watermark because the watermark was proprietary.

Police Chief Dennis Burns, (through his attorney) reiterated this LIE to three federal judges: Patricia Trumbull; Paul Grewal; and Lucy Koh.

For the complete evidentiary list of Chief Burns’ lies and acts of destroying and falsifying evidence, including audio/video recordings go to:  http://chiefburns.weebly.com/

Upon being exposed as lying about the proprietary nature of the watermark, Judge Grewal ordered Chief Burns to turn over the MAV videos containing the watermark by April 29, 2011.  However Chief Burns refused claiming that only one person, Brian Furtado, in the entire police department was capable of making a copy of the MAV videos and that he would not be back from vacation until May 3, 2011.

Brian Furtado recently sent out an email detailing that Dacia Tavarez can make copies of the MAV videos on an URGENT basis during Furtado’s absence contradicting Chief Burns’ assertion to Judge Grewal again exposing Chief Burns as a liar.

It is clear and convincing that Chief Burns intentionally removed the watermark from the MAV recordings when there was absolutely no reason to and then lied about it.  It is clear that Chief Burns did not want anyone other than Brian Furtado making copies of the MAV recordings which leads one to conclude that other persons would detect problems with the MAV videos that Burns and Furtado are not being honest about.

Perhaps it could be found on the tamper proof hard drives that were secured into evidence according to Palo Alto City Policy?  Oh, that’s right; Chief Burns destroyed the videos contained on the tamper proof hard drives in violation of his own policy.

Palo Alto Police Officer Kelly Burger verified that four taser probes were discharged during during the March 15, 2008 from two separate taser gun firings.  Palo Alto Police Officer Temores’ MAV video ostensibly captures the entire incident, however there is only one taser gun firing recorded on Temores’ MAV video.  Perhaps the two taser probes fired from Officer Temores’ taser gun could shed some light as to why his firing was not recorded on his video cameras.  Oh, that’s right; Chief Burns oversaw the destruction of Temores’ Taser probes, wires, cartridge and AFIDS in violation of department policy.

http://chiefburns.weebly.com/exhibit-5.html

City Manager James Keene appointed Dennis Burns Police Chief to in part bring necessary change to the Palo Alto Police Department.  Are the above actions the kind of change that Mr. Keene was seeking?  Should Mr. Keene be reprimanding his Chief?  After trying to worm their way out of their lie, Federal Judge Paul Grewal orders Attorney Steven Sherman and Dennis Burns to turn over the MAV recordings containing the watermark.

 

 Exhibit 8E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City Manager James Keene housing subsidy by City of Palo Alto

Gentlemen and Ladies:

When Mr. Keene was selected to be the City Manager in 2008, the City Council expressed a requirement for him to live within the City limits as had been done with prior Managers.

He expressed an inability to do so without financial assistance as he owned a home in the Rockridge area of Oakland near Berkeley which would not sell quickly. The City therefore agreed to provide him with both temporary housing assistance and to help him buy a permanent home.

The provisions detailing that assistance are shown in the attachment “Keene_comp.pdf”, which I have previously sent to you as well. The pertinent sections in that document relating to the home purchase begin in section 6.3 on page 5, and are spelled out in sections 6.3.4, 6.3.6, and 6.5.

The net result of all this is that Keene lives in a $1.875 million house towards which he put up no cash himself, pays only on a $444,000 loan (and even that at a below market rate interest loan from the City), and the City paid the other $1.41 million.

Note that he pays no rent to the City for that $1.41M share, nor does he pay the property taxes on that City share. Thus, a man who makes a base salary of $260,000 per year pays only 1/4 of the cost to live in a $1.875M house in Palo Alto.

The purchase price and cost shares of the home are shown in the documents JKeene_deed2 and Keene_house_report. Note that the house was purchased in March 2010, some 18 months after he started as City Manager.

The attachment JKeene_deed1 simply shows the transaction placing the house in a family trust – an interesting move for a house which is 75% owned by the City. Note that the trust makes no mention of the 75% ownership by the City, and in fact refers to “all of that certain real property”…..

One might ask what kind of landlord lets a tenant or partner live rent free in the majority owners share of the property. If it is rent free, then it is either a subsidy or compensation and should be declared as such.

The value of that subsidy can be easily calculated. A loan in the amount of $1.41M would be a “Jumbo” loan in the financial market, and would carry an interest rate of 5.5% at current rates, which calculates to a payment of $5.68 per $1000.00 financed per month. For a “loan” of $1.41M that has a value of $8009 per month, call it $8k per month for the sake of discussion.

Similarly, the property tax payment value can be computed. A home valued at $1.875M would have a beginning base property tax rate of 1% per year, not including special assessments and tax increases for schools, libraries, etc. At that 1% base alone, the annual property taxes would be $18,750.00 or $1562.00 per month. The City paid share (subsidy) of that at 75% is $1172 per month, or $14,064.00 per year.

Thus, the  value of the housing subsidy/compensation that Keene receives from the City in the form of principal, interest, and property tax payment shares at 75% of the total is $8000 + $1172 or $9172 per month, equaling $110,064 per year. Let’s call it $110k per year for the sake of discussion, on top of his base salary of $260 plus other compensation as previously discussed.

Oh, by the way, that house he owned in Oakland/Berkeley that wouldn’t sell and thereby necessitated all this City “assistance”? It sold in July 2009 for $1,006,000. See the attachment Keene_Oklnd_hse_sale for confirmation.

Thus, the Palo Alto home was actually purchased some 9 months after the Berkeley home was sold, raising the question of why such assistance was still required at all.

No pay down of the City “assistance” has been noted subsequent to that sale. One wonders what Keene did with the proceeds from the sale of his prior home, since he obviously did not put it into the Palo Alto house even though he had ample time to do so.

Perhaps it should have been used to reduce the amount of the City subsidy, which came out of General Fund Reserves, and could thus have freed up additional funds for the City’s infrastructure backlog needs.

In the final installment I will summarize what I believe to be the total annual value of all of the compensation Mr. Keene receives from the City.

Sincerely,

James’ Dough

Were talken’ trash again

♪♪Take out the papers and the trash….or you won’t get no spending cash….kick the rate increases in the ass….Yakety yak Palo Alto Free Press will talk back ♪♪

Mini- me

For many in Palo Alto the idea of having to pay more in refuse rates is bound to cause some to “trash talk” our civic leadership and the finance committee for the rate increases but that does not have to be the case.

For one thing, you can purchase a trash compactor and reduce the size of your weekly trash, to the size of a shopping bag.  Doing so, can in fact result in substantial savings.

As an example, if you currently use a 32 gallon container, your new monthly charge will become $37.48 under the new purposed fee schedule.

However, if you purchase a trash compactor you can down size from a 32 gallon to a mini at the purposed new rate of $20.52.

This would result in a monthly saving of $16.96 or annualized, the savings would be $203.52.

Trash compactors run anywhere from Whirlpool GX900QPP Under-$228.00 to $1000.00 depending on your needs and family size.  So from a ROI perspective [return on investment] you can hope to realize your savings after the first year.  So start turning in your old trash containers and stop talking trash and realize the green savings.

Originally published on: Jul 27, 2011 @ 11:28

City Palo Alto Utility Rip Off – Protest Letter Dead Line June 13th

PROTEST LETTER

Palo Alto Utility Rate Increase

City of Palo Alto No Water / Sewer Rate Hikes

The undersigned residents of Palo Alto do not want to pay any increase for Water and Sewer related Utilities.

The increase for 2011 is 17 %,

2012 is 17 % again.

2013 it’s 16 % more again.

This is too much.  Unnecessary.  A rip off for the following reasons.

1. For years we have paid Utility Bills for Water improvement  and that money would be available today if the City had not secretly taken Millions of Dollars ($16 Million in 2010) from the Utility Department and used that money in the General Fund to pay retiree’s pensions, lifetime healthcare and pet projects of council members.  The City has wasted the money and deserves no more.

2. The Hetch Hetchy water system may need an upgrade but the public needs to see the plan before a Billion Dollar Boondoggle is unleashed.

3. “Water Rates must go up because residents are using less.” People conserved and now the City needs more money to do less.  Ridiculous.

4. “The City needs a 100 % Service Charge increase.” Nonsense! The Utility already receives $12.3 Million for checking meters, fixing old pipes, billing and answering the phone. Do we have to pay the City twice to do their job?   No!

5. The City is wasteful and sneaky.  It will only accept  written letters to stop this rip off now.  (No phone calls, no emails, no vote, only written letters).  No money.

Mail in your letters to city manager Jim [James] Keene.   City must receive it by June 13th, 2011

City of Palo Alto  250 Hamiltion Ave  PA 94301  Re: Water Rate Protest

__________________   ___________________________   __________

Name                             Address                                             Utility # or APN #