Around town: Tom DuBois applauded for his work as mayor of Palo Alto in 2021 | News

In the latest Around Town column, news about the recognition of the work of City Council member Tom DuBois as Palo Alto’s main elected official in 2021 and the tensions surrounding the selection of mayor and vice-mayor this year.

PASSIONATE GOODBYE … During his last meeting as mayor of Palo Alto, Tom dubois received a good start from his colleagues, who approved a resolution of appreciation and gratitude on Jan. 3 for leading the city through a most unusual year.

The resolution recognizes the many projects that DuBois has championed for years and which have taken important steps to become a reality in 2021, including the restoration of the Roth building, the construction of the new public security building, the approval of an 88-apartment “transitional housing” project near the Baylands and the creation of a new “sister city” program to foster dialogue between the Red States and blues.

But in a nod to the madness of 2021, he also calls out DuBois for being the first mayor in the city’s 127-year history to virtually pronounce the city’s state address and for being “the first to do it in shorts “.

DuBois concluded his tenure by thanking his family, friends, fellow council and city staff for all the support he has received over the past year. “It was truly an honor to serve as mayor last year. It truly is a huge privilege to serve this community,” said DuBois. “It’s an amazing community, very educated and very involved. It doesn’t make it easy, but it sure makes it interesting.”

POPULARITY CONTEST … The first Palo Alto city council meeting of the year is usually a festive and ceremonial affair, a time when council members choose their new mayor and vice mayor, thank the outgoing mayor, and treat each other to goodies in the lobby. from the town hall. But for the board member Alison cormack, this year’s rally has been a lifelong disappointment.

Despite garnering the most votes in the 2018 council race, Cormack has been sidelined for the vice-mayor and mayor positions since that election. In early 2020, when she and Tom dubois each received three votes for vice-mayor (Greg Tanaka did not vote for anyone, creating an impasse), she stepped down to allow DuBois to take the post, which usually serves as a stepping stone to becoming mayor. ‘Next year. The 2020 elections further bolstered the majority for the council’s slow growing “residentialist” camp. Now in the political minority, Cormack saw the council choose Pat burt on her to become vice-mayor in 2021.

And on January 3, his colleagues voted to appoint Burt mayor despite Cormack’s argument that the post should go to Lydia Kou, in recognition of Kou’s many years of community service and the city’s growing Asian American population.

After the vote, Cormack suggested the city follow the lead of neighboring towns like Mountain View and Menlo Park, where the mayor and vice-mayor are chosen based on seniority rather than politics. “Our neighbors seem to be handling this with a lot less drama, and it’s easier,” she said. Cormack said she hopes council will reconsider its process for electing mayor and deputy mayor at her annual retreat.

Liz kniss, a three-time former mayor, also said she supported the selection of mayors and deputy mayors on a rotational basis. “It has been mentioned a number of times in the past. This may be the year it actually happens.”

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