Filseth, DuBois, Cormack are top Palo Alto picks

It’s troubling that a city with Palo Alto’s resources is so heavily weighed down by retirement debt. When measured on a per household basis, the city has one of the largest local government pension shortfalls in California.

Click here for a complete list of our election recommendations.

While residents’ focus has been on housing, transportation and related growth issues, voters’ first priority should be electing council members who will work to get the city’s financial house in order. The alternative is a future with limited services.

Five candidates are running for three seats on the council, which is shrinking from nine to seven members with this election. We recommend voters re-elect incumbents Eric Filseth and Tom DuBois, and support first-time candidate Alison Cormack. They are best suited to deal with Palo Alto’s challenging financial outlook.

Filseth, having served on the city’s finance committee, is particularly well-versed on the pension issue. His chief concern is taking steps to keep pension costs, which now account for 8 percent of general fund spending, from growing to 20 percent in the next 5-10 years. He was a strong advocate for paring $4 million from the city’s budget this summer to sock away funds to reduce the pension shortfall.

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