Those experienced with Planning Commissioners and Councilmembers will firmly state “Don’t expect to show up on the night of the hearing and ask for what you want. You need to talk with the decision-makers well in advance during the planning stages. By Council night, it’s a done deal.”
Heeding that advice, months in advance, the Sunnyvale Heritage District Neighbors began reaching out to the Sunnyvale Councilmembers and Commissioners to voice concerns regarding the impacts of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Project and PAMF EIR. We contacted and scheduled meetings with each Councilmember individually, as they are not allowed to meet collectively prior to a project hearing.
The Councilmembers contact emails were readily available on the city website, or requested through Heidi Kirk.
The Commissioners, on the other hand, were difficult to locate and contact. Unlike the Councilmembers, the Commissioners do not have city emails. Therefore, locating, connecting with, and setting up meetings with the Commissioners was difficult.
When we asked Planner Trudi Ryan for help to meet with the Commissioners, we were told “you’re on your own! We cannot provide City Commissioners emails or contact info to you nor do we assist in setting up a meeting”
In contrast,Trudi offered to hand deliver email invitations personally from PAMF to the Sunnyvale Planning Commissioners.
In email dated 2/9/09, Trudi writes PAMF Linda Spencer and helpfully states “I can forward e-mail messages, or I will be seeing the Planning Commission tonight for their meeting and can hand deliver if I have something by 5:00pm today. Your choice.”
PAMF David Jury, within two hours, sends an email to Trudi advising the Sunnyvale Commissioners that they will be considering the Environmental Impact Report and Application for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in April. Jury requests contact from those that would be willing to meet with he and Dr. Slavin stating desire to talk briefly about the project and either answer any questions posed or hear about specifics issues that Commissioners would like to address.