Opportunity to Rank 2021 Council Priorities and Share Input
Each year, Palo Alto City Council reviews its priorities for the year ahead at its annual Council Retreat. A Council priority is defined as a topic that will receive significant attention during the year. Typically, priorities have a three-year time limit, although some may continue beyond that time period.
The Council Priorities for 2020 were:
- Housing: with an emphasis on affordable housing
- Sustainability: in the context of the changing climate
- Mobility: improving mobility for all.
For more detailed information on the 2020 City Council Priorities, check this website and CMR 11034 - Discussion and Selection of 2020 Council Priorities.
The 2020 three Council priorities were chosen from a list of eleven submitted by Council Members and discussed at their annual retreat on February 1, 2020. Priorities are meant to give overarching themes to the year's actions and focus by the City Council. While the priorities selected are bigger picture, the topics that fall under can be very detailed. Topics discussed last year included pursuing a business tax, reconstructing Cubberley Community Center, and addressing transportation and traffic issues by expanding the City's shuttle program and promoting alternatives to solo driving.
Carryover priorities from previous years include:
- 2018: Grade Separation, Transportation
- 2019: Climate Change, Fiscal Sustainability
This Policy and Services Committee staff report from their December 2020 meeting provides background on Council priority setting and other related items. The Policy and Services Committee is tasked at the end of each year with collecting City staff suggestions and coming up with some of their suggestions based on their work over the past year. The list you'll find below comes from the aforementioned December meeting of the Policy and Services Committee.
What is Different This Year?
The National Citizen Survey, not conducted in 2019, was launched in 2020 and is currently collecting similar information on community priorities for Palo Alto. The survey was open to a random sampling of residents last month and will open to the public for general responses later this month. With this additional layer of feedback, the Council will have even more community input on their upcoming decisions on priorities and could help inform the budget process and other annual City processes and decision-making. Community feedback is an important aspect of City Council decision-making processes and there are many opportunities to express your input and ideas on upcoming community issues.
This online community survey seeks to help the Council rank the list of priorities that the Policy and Services Committee has forwarded for Council consideration at their retreat. Input received through this platform will be provided to the City Council in preparation for their retreat. The Council retreat agenda and meeting details will be posted online several days in advance of the retreat here: www.cityofpaloalto.org/councilagendas.
The City values your engagement. Thank you in advance for your input!
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