Mayor Gregory Scharff addressed Palo Alto’s goals for the coming year in the annual State of the City speech at the Tesla Motor Headquarters on Feb. 27.
Scharff primarily focused on defining his priorities for the coming year as: “the future of downtown and California Avenue: urban design, transportation, parking and livability; infrastructure strategy and funding; and technology and the connected city.” Scharff also emphasized the importance of green energy and technology for the city in the coming year.
“Palo Alto is one of the greenest cities in America,” Scharff said.
Palo Alto city council member and former mayor Pat Burt attended the event and spoke positively about the address.
“[Scharff’s] speech was detailed and had an ambitious schedule for the city for the year,” Burt said. “The priorities are generally pretty well aligned with the council.”
Other topics Scharff touched on included sidewalks, Palo Alto’s resources, protection against flooding and the Cubberley Community Center.
“This year we’re looking at finalizing what we’re going to do in trying to solve the backlog of our infrastructure issues,” Burt said. “Innovation in technology is also something that would be a real interest.”
The council will be working to resolve issues with parking and traffic. They have begun extending retail protection in the downtown area and are looking into creating an Arts and Innovation District.
Scharff has been a leading figure during his time on Palo Alto’s city council.
“[Scharff]’s been a strong voice and leader on the council since he arrived,” Burt said. “He’s been a leader in fiscal reforms and utility matters.”
The mayor made it clear he intends to create change and advocate progress in the upcoming year.
“We are not waiting for the future to make progress, for this is the year of the future, and the future is now,” Scharff said.

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