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City Manager Weekly Blog Series: November 29, 2021

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.

This week’s City Manager Comments were not shared verbally at the meeting. You can watch the November 29, 2021 Council meeting here.

Timestamped City Council Video: City Council Meeting — November 29, 2021


Omicron variant*

The first Omicron variant case in California, and subsequently the nation, was announced yesterday, Wednesday December 1. The WHO designated it as a ‘variant of concern’. This is an evolving issue, and we are monitoring it in conjunction with Santa Clara County.

Health officials are urging everyone to get vaccinated or get the booster shot if you’re eligible, wear a mask, get tested and stay home if you are sick.

*This is an update to Monday’s City Manager Comments due to the evolving nature of the pandemic.

Learn more about the Omicron variant by visiting the California Department Public Health fact sheet.

All Californians 5 years and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination

Contact your current healthcare provider or visit to schedule your appointment.

Get Vaccinated — Go to or reach out to your health provider.

Pfizer, Moderna and J&J booster shot available —

The booster shot is recommended for adults who received a second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago, and for people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

Free COVID-19 Testing Continues

Palo Alto Unified School District expanded testing efforts at Cubberley Pavilion, Monday — Friday from 10 a.m. — 6 p.m. No advanced registration is required but it is recommended. Curative testing continues to be offered every Tuesday at the Mitchell Park Library parking lot and Wednesday at City Hall.

Schedule an appointment that works with your schedule today!


Work progresses at the Public Safety Building site at 250 Sherman Ave.

The next major construction milestone will be the concrete foundation slab installation, which includes 5,400 cubic yards of concrete poured in two phases. Concrete pouring is weather dependent.

Given the magnitude of work involved and to minimize traffic impacts in the area, work will take place:

  • Saturday, December 4 from 3 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 11 from 3 a.m. to 8 p.m.

For more about the Public Safety Building, visit


In response to the recent organized retail burglary in downtown staff met with local businesses owners to talk about additional police patrols. The Palo Alto Police Department is monitoring this regional issue and partnering closely with other law enforcement agencies.

Auto burglary is a common crime in every retail area in the Bay Area. Thieves count on shoppers leaving valuables in their cars, take care to place items out of sight and do not leave anything in your vehicle, including your trunk, while shopping.

Promptly and directly report suspicious behavior to the police department’s 24-hour dispatch center (650) 329–2413 or 9–1–1.

Support Palo Alto local businesses this holiday season by shopping local, whether it’s online or in person.

For more information about crime prevention tips, go here.


Join staff for the next Housing Element Working Group meeting this Thursday, December 2 from 5:30–8:30 p.m. To join, click here.

The next Housing Element Ad Hoc Committee meeting will be Thursday, December 16 from 5–6:30 p.m. For more information, click here.


Join the community for the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December 3 at 5:30–7 p.m. Watch in person at Lytton Plaza or via the City’s YouTube channel.

The Studio Holiday Art Sale showcases unique artworks created by local artists working in the studios at the Palo Alto Art Center and opens to the public on Saturday, December 4 from 10 a.m. — 4 p.m.

Decorate the exterior of your home, a front door/window, or your business in holiday-themed décor! Sign up to participate in the holiday decorating contest by December 15.

Holiday Toy Drive: drop off unwrapped gifts to the Lucie Stern Community Center by December 15.

For these events and more, visit


The next Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP) Ad Hoc Committee meeting is next Thursday, December 9 from 9–11:30 a.m. Staff and committee members will discuss mobility and the City’s mobility programs

Register to join and learn more at


The Household Hazardous Waste station will be closed on December 25 for Christmas and January 1 for New Year’s Day.

If your regular street sweeping day is on Friday, for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve your street will be swept on either the Thursday before or the Monday following the holiday. No other routes will be affected.

The four weeks following Christmas day, holiday trees will be collected by GreenWaste curbside.

For more about the holiday waste schedule, go here.


City Council will be on recess from December 15 through January 2.

December 6

  • SB 9 Development Standards Ordinance Adoption
  • Potential Redevelopment of New Parking in the Downtown

December 13

  • NVCAP Concept Plan Review
  • Sustainability/Climate Action Ad Hoc Update

January 3, 2022 — Council Organizational Meeting

January 2022

  • Potential Business Tax Actions
  • Long-Range Financial Forecast

Find City Council meeting agendas, minutes, and videos at


Read the City Manager Comments Blog Series at:

Gain Coronavirus Updates at:

Sign Up for City Updates at:



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