City Manager Weekly Blog Series: March 7, 2022
Learn about City of Palo Alto updates and news.
Each Council meeting, City Manager Ed Shikada provides “City Manager Comments” sharing recent City news, and updates for the community to stay informed on important issues. This blog series summarizes these weekly updates.
You can also watch the City Manager share this week’s updates and news at the March 7, 2022 Council meeting.
Timestamped City Council Video: City Council Meeting — March 7, 2022
COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATE
County Removed Mask Mandate, Masks Strongly Recommended
Based on a reduction of COVID-19 trends, Santa Clara County Public Health Officials announced the end of the mask mandate as of March 2 and to ensure community health and safety, the County is strongly recommending the public to wear masks indoors, especially in crowded public spaces.
As a result, the City is strongly recommending wearing masks in all City facilities at this time. We appreciate the public’s help in keeping our community and staff safe and healthy.
Reminder: Free Community COVID-19 Testing
The City of Palo Alto and Curative are partnering together to continue offering increased testing options for the community. A new Curative testing Kiosk at Mitchell Park located at 600 E Meadow Dr. is available Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Our test site with the County as a partner continues at the Palo Alto Art Center Auditorium on March 11 and 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Santa Clara County provides free testing by appointment only twice a month. Testing appointments will be available 7 days in advance of the testing dates.
Find testing location options and appointments at www.cityofpaloalto.org/testing.
Order additional free at-home COVID tests at covidtests.gov
Each residential address can order as many as four additional free tests from the Federal government. This is in addition to previous test kits ordered.
RESIDENTIAL PARKING PERMIT PROGRAM
On March 1, 2022, a new online permit purchase portal was launched for Residential Preferential Parking permit customers in the Downtown and Evergreen-Park Mayfield neighborhoods. Purchased permits will be valid beginning April 1, 2022. City staff and Duncan Solutions team members are available to help community members with the online portal via email, phone, and in-person appointments. There were concerns raised that have now been corrected with the web portal.
For more information and to request assistance, visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/Parking.
CIVIC CENTER PLAZA WATERPROOFING
The Civic Center Plaza’s waterproofing repair project is scheduled to start this week on March 9 and is expected to last two months. This project involves the demolition and replacement of the existing waterproofing system that runs the length of the plaza deck at City Hall.
During the project, access to the front door of City Hall may be limited, but access will be maintained through at least one door.
There may be loud noise during the initial stage of construction between 8 a.m. — 5 p.m. and should quiet down during installation.
UPCOMING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Police Chief Selection: The City Manager launched a community engagement process to help inform the Police Chief selection process. Join the conversation by sharing community priorities for the Police Department and key skills needed of the next Police Chief as the selection effort gets underway. Attend a virtual community listening session this week at the Human Relations Commission-hosted session on March 10 at 6 p.m. Other listening sessions are set for March 19 and March 31. Learn more at www.cityofpaloalto.org/PoliceChiefSelection.
Objective Standards: The City is in the process of updating the Zoning Ordinance to convert existing subjective standards to objective standards for multifamily residential and mixed-use projects to meet new requirements under State law. Join us for a second virtual community meeting on March 22 from 6 to 8 p.m.
For these community meetings and more, visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/Calendar.
FISCAL SUSTAINABILITY COMMUNITY MEETING
Staff continue to focus on the November 2022 potential ballot measure Community and Stakeholder Engagement Plan approved by Council. Focus Group sessions are well underway, and staff is planning on a presenting progress report at the Finance Committee in March and Council in April. An informational mailer was sent late last week, and a second round of polls will launch this week.
A community informational session is scheduled for March 29 at 6 p.m.
For more information and to register for the community meeting, go to www.cityofpaloalto.org/FiscalSustainability.
ARTLIFT MICROGRANTS CALL FOR ARTISTS
The Palo Alto Public Art Program is making ten $4,000 Microgrants available to artists and creatives with the goal of helping the community find connection and joy through the arts and creative outlets.
Deadline to apply is March 31 at 11:59 p.m.
For more information, call the Public Art Program at (650) 329–2227 or visit cityofpaloalto.org/publicart.
MAY FETE PARADE IS BACK!
We’re excited to announce that the 2022 May Fete parade and festival is back for its 98th year! Save the date for Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. Gather your family or friends and show off your float making skills and take-home big prizes in this parade along University Ave with kids walking their pets, riding bikes, pulling wagons and showing off homemade floats. No group? No problem! Walk with the City of Palo Alto’s Friends, Family and Pets category — we’d love to have you! More details coming soon!
Save the date, visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/MayFete.
NOTABLE TENTATIVE UPCOMING COUNCIL ITEMS
- Semi-Annual Council Discussion with the Independent Police Auditor
- Staff update on Citywide community engagement efforts planned for the 2022 calendar year
- Foothills Fire Mitigation and Safety Improvements Strategy
- 2023–31 Housing Element Update
- Objective Standards Follow-up Actions
- Follow-up on actions related to SB9
- Review and Approval of Project Workplans for 2022 City Council Priorities
- Police Department Annual Update
Find City Council meeting agendas, minutes, and videos at cityofpaloalto.org/councilagendas.
STAY INFORMED AND STAY CONNECTED, JOIN THE CONVERSATION!
Read the City Manager Comments Blog Series at: Medium.com/paloaltoconnect
Gain Coronavirus Updates at: CityofPaloAlto.org/Coronavirus
Sign Up for City Updates at: CityofPaloAlto.org/newslettersignup