Thank you to all who responded to the City’s and Supervisor Simitian’s 2022 priorities surveys and reached out to the Mayor and City Manager. Palo Alto City Council priorities are defined as “a topic that will receive significant attention during the year.”
On Saturday February 5th at 8:30 AM Palo Alto City Council will meet to decide on priorities for 2022. Public comment is usually set at the beginning of the Council retreat. The meeting is virtual. Please JOIN via Phone or Zoom details here, WE NEED YOU!
CALL TO ACTION!
Ask Council to make FAA Engagement a 2022 priority!
Due to the very narrow timeline that is given to respond to final FAA airspace actions affecting the City, it's critical and it has become urgent for Council to prioritize FAA engagement. There are currently several FAA actions--airspace procedures for SFO, SJC and OAK--that have started or will start the 60-day window for City response. The City’s “fast track” process enacted in 2019 is in place for the City to not miss opportunities to engage the FAA. This policy only works when Council and City staff enforce the fast track process which requires Council attention, staff time, and being on the Council agenda.
Among the candidate issues for 2022 priorities are Climate and Housing as expressed by those who participated in both City and Supervisor Simitian surveys. Aviation noise and pollution are in the top three concerns for the City survey. Health concerns are a priority in both surveys.
Over the years City leadership has maintained that Council’s political leverage is best applied to what they have control over, such as local policies rather than state, national or global issues. They have used this reasoning to push back on making aviation pollution a top priority for the City notwithstanding climate is a global issue. There is no question that aviation noise and air pollution are community priorities--if not the highest priority for hundreds of Palo Alto residents. We need the City to be proactive on addressing FAA actions, including to propose design alternatives to the FAA.
The City has everything to lead on this matter where inaction also has long term consequences, including Climate and Health impacts. Mayor Pat Burt, Councilmembers Eric Filseth, Tom DuBois and Greg Tanaka have been following this issue since 2014. Councilmember Lydia Kou helped lead on the Fast Track Process enactment. Councilmember Alison Cormack voted to approve the Fast Track process. Councilmember Stone has sat on the SCSC Roundtable. Palo Alto City Manager Ed Shikada has managed the City’s professional aviation study and other staff work over the years. All continually hear from citizens. It is now time for action from our elected representatives.