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City Manager Weekly Update Blog Series: May 3, 2021

Learn about recent 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 facing the community. This blog series summarizes these weekly updates.

If you’d prefer to watch the City Manager share this week’s updates and news at the May 3, 2021 Council meeting, click the video below.


County urging community members to get the vaccine as soon as possible:

Vaccination eligibility is available for everyone 16 and older, as supplies have increased. A recent blog answers community questions about the vaccine, you can read more here.

COVID-19 Testing Continues to be Critical:

  • Testing through Curative: every Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Testing by the County: May 7

Go to for timely information on upcoming testing opportunities and to book your appointment online.


Save the date on the following ways for the community to join the budget conversations:

  • City Council Budget Overview: May 3 (Presentation here.)
  • Finance Committee FY 2021–22 Budget Preview: May 4, At 2:00 P.M. (Presentation here.)
  • Online Survey Released: May 5
  • Budget Town Hall: FY 2021–22 Budget Discussion May 6, 6 P.M. (Register here.)
  • Finance Committee Budget Hearings: May 11, 12, 25, All Hearings Begin At 9:00 A.M.
  • Finance Committee Update at Council: May 17
  • City Council Budget Adoption: June 21, at 5 P.M.

Find out more by reading this News Story.


A phased reopening is planned at select library locations for browsing and pickups, by appointment only at this time:

  • Children’s Library Reopened on April 13
  • Mitchell Park Library will reopen on May 4
  • Rinconada Library will reopen on May 20

Visitors will be required to wear face coverings, follow social distancing protocols and capacity limits will be in effect.

Visit for more information.


  • Book to Action Event Series: The Library is hosting a series of virtual events inspired by the book selection, How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.
  • The Black Index Exhibit: The Palo Alto Art Center is showcasing The Black Index exhibition, featuring the work of several artists.
  • Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month Events: From a movie night in the park and author events and more, the City is hosting a series of events to celebrate all month long.

Read a recent blog post here for more details.


Housing Element Update Process Begins May 10:

Join the City Council and PTC as they kick off a joint session on the Housing Element and learn more about a community workshop planned for May 15.

Go here for more details.

South Palo Alto Bikeways Engagement Opportunities:

The City of Palo Alto is improving bicycling along East Meadow Drive, Fabian Way, and the Waverley Bike Path in South Palo Alto. Join the City for a series of upcoming engagement opportunities on this effort.

Read about all the ways to engage on this effort, here.

National River Clean Up Month:

May is National River Cleanup Month and community members can help keep trash out of our local creeks and San Francisco Bay by starting in your own neighborhood. Pick any Saturday during the month of May from 9am to noon and commit to your own socially-distanced cleanup.

Learn more and register online.


Virtual Appointment Service Now Available for Building Permit Applications

As community recovery continues, Palo Alto Planning and Development Services now offers Virtual Appointment Scheduling for building permit applications. This new service recreates the permit application reviews that used to take place in person. Residents who have already submitted applications can contact their assigned project coordinator to schedule a virtual meeting.

Go to for more.


Opting outside and visiting our local open space preserves just got a bit easier thanks to a mix of mix of public works and open space staff who completed a new parking project. A new parking lot at Pearson-Arastradero Preserve is now open, adding 22 new spaces to the existing 32 spaces, for a total of 54 spaces. Foothills Park trailhead access from parking lot is also available. Staff has heard good feedback so far visitors to the preserves last weekend.

To learn about all of the City’s Open Space Preserves, go here.


May 10:

  • Council/Planning & Transportation Commission Housing Element Joint Session

May 17:

  • Study Session on the Results of the National Community Survey
  • Finance Committee Budget Update to the City Council

May 18:

  • Study Sessions: 955 Alma St Prescreening of a Proposal to rezone and redevelop the site to a Mixed-Use Development and 2239 Wellesley Prescreening of a Proposal to rezone
  • 2023–31 Regional Housing Needs Allocation Appeal
  • 181 Addison Avenue request for review of a variance to subdivide existing lot into two

May 24:

  • Fiber to the Home Update
  • Consideration of Greenwaste Contract


  • Board & Commission Term Limits and Consolidating Recruitment
  • Independent Police Auditor (OIR) Discussion and Contract Approval
  • Direction on Zoning Interpretation related to 344 Portage (Fry’s)
  • Preferred Plan Alternative for the North Ventura Coordinated Area Plan
  • Update of Urban Water Management Plan & Water Shortage Contingency Plan
  • FY 2022 Budget Actions

For City Council meeting materials go here:


City Manager Comments Blog Series at:

Gain Coronavirus Updates at:

Sign Up for Coronavirus Updates at:

Call us: (650) 272–3181

Community Support Call Center is available to answer community questions



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