Budget Cuts Target CT Library (Again)

The City Manager presented a proposed FY2022 budget to the City Council on Monday and, once again, the College Terrace Library is on the chopping block. The current proposal recommends closing the College Terrace, Downtown, and Children’s libraries to the public in favor of vending machines for contactless distribution.

The College Terrace Library is most than just a library – it’s a gathering place and hub for residents of College Terrace, Evergreen Park, Southgate, Mayfield, Ventura, Barron Park, Stanford, and beyond. And as we emerge from the pandemic, we’ll need community centers like the College Terrace Library more than ever.

Our local Fire Station #2 (on Hanover St.) is also targeted for further service reductions. The station currently experiences “brownouts” during weekday nights and weekends; these would be extended to all day, every day. This means the station would be shut down anytime firefighters at the station are on leave.

This staffing model would result in longer response times and a reduced ability to handle simultaneous calls. Every second counts in an emergency and relying on backfill from a station across town, or worse, elsewhere in the county, puts residents’ lives in jeopardy. And with California’s increasingly dangerous fire seasons, full staffing for EMS and fire suppression alike is critical.

As with last year’s budget discussions, we encourage neighbors to let the City Council know how you feel about these potential budget cuts. Two ways for you to do that:

  1. Email the City Council at city.council@cityofpaloalto.org and let them know how important the College Terrace Library and Fire Station #2 are to you and our community.
  2. Attend the City‘s Budget Town Hall on Thursday night at 6pm via Zoom. City Staff will share details about the proposed budget and share how residents can engage with the process in the coming weeks. Register here.

The Council will begin budget hearings to discuss potential cuts next Tuesday and Wednesday. You can find the schedule on the City‘s budget website.

CTRA Board Meeting Agenda: April 21, 2021

The next CTRA board meeting will be Wednesday, April 21, at 7:00pm via Zoom. All College Terrace residents are welcome to attend! Use this link to access the meeting.

At this month’s meeting, we’ll have a guest speaker: Megan Swezey-Fogarty, Stanford’s Associate Vice President for Community Engagement. Other topics include budget cuts at the College Terrace library, PHZ and RMD zoning, and a discussion of the board’s goals for 2021-22. Read the full agenda.

Around the Terrace: April 18, 2021

Here are some recent announcements and news stories of interest to College Terrace and the surrounding area.

  • City Limits Use of PHZ Zoning
    The City Council voted at its meeting last Monday to restrict the use of Planned Home Zoning (PHZ) in single-family neighborhoods. The decision essentially kills the proposed apartment complex at the corner of Wellesley and College, which relied on the PHZ program.
  • Recent Power Outages Explained
    In the past few weeks, Palo Alto has experienced a handful of large power outages. In this post, Utilities Director Dean Batchelor outlines what happened and improvements the department is making (particularly regarding public communication around outages) and things customers can do during outages to help.
  • FOPAL Pop-Up Book, Record, CD Sale
    The Friends of the Palo Alto Library (FOPAL) will have a special sale April 24-25 at Cubberley Community Center.  This sale includes used pop-up books (for children and adults), vinyl LPs, and CDs.  FOPAL is a non-profit organization and proceeds are raised exclusively for the support of the Palo Alto Libraries.