Code enforcement: one of City Hall’s most controversial, and misunderstood, jobs

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / July 14, 2017

Staff: Less than 5 percent of cases investigated each year leads to fines

For a team that consists of just three people, Palo Alto’s code enforcers have been facing an unprecedented level of public scrutiny of late. In January, the council received the latest National Citizens Survey that showed a troubling trend: only 52 percent of the respondents rated Palo Alto code enforcement as “good” or “excellent” in 2016, down from 59 percent in 2015 and 62 percent in 2014.

Palo Alto mulls ways to strengthen code enforcement

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / May 19, 2017

City auditor to review program as survey shows increasing citizen concern

The most recent National Citizens Survey, which came out in January, shows only 52 percent of the city’s residents rating code enforcement as “good or excellent” — though most respondents also noted that they had not personally observed any code violation.

Complaint prompts state probe of Tanaka’s campaign

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / March 17, 2017

Fair Political Practices Commission launches investigation into whether Palo Alto council member inaccurately reported contributions

The agency that oversees California’s campaign-finance laws has launched an investigation into the campaign finances of Palo Alto City Councilman Greg Tanaka, who reported an influx of cash from developers after winning the election last November and who accepted and later returned $5,000 from a property owner whose project he was set to review.

Editorial: A necessary investigation

Palo Alto Weekly – by Palo Alto Weekly editorial board / March 17, 2017

State opens inquiries into Kniss and Tanaka campaign practices

State and federal campaign laws have long been rooted in the principle that the transparency of campaign contributions is the most effective way to discourage and expose special interests attempting to influence elections and public policy.

State probing Kniss’ campaign contributions

Palo Alto Weekly – by Gennady Sheyner / March 16, 2017

FPPC launches investigation into whether Palo Alto vice mayor improperly reported her contributions

Prompted by a citizen complaint, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has launched an investigation into the campaign of Palo Alto Vice Mayor Liz Kniss, whose re-election bid was boosted by a flurry of late contributions from developers and who did not disclose most of these contributions until well after the election.