April 22, 1998

June Fleming, City Manager
250 Hamilton St.
Palo Alto, CA 94306

Dear June,

The Board of the Barron Park Association is concerned about the lack of preparation for emergencies in Palo Alto. We feel that the consideration of the problems with the response to the flooding on San Francisquito Creek on February 2nd and 3rd is being narrowly focused on that specific instance. We urge that your focus instead be part of a re-evaluation of the City's response to the whole range of potential emergencies and disasters, including floods, earthquakes, toxic leaks and any other unforseen disaster which could occur in Palo Alto.

We urge the City Council to expedite funding for this activity at an appropriate level, monitor progress, and keep neighborhoods informed.

It is our feeling that a single focal point not connected with any one branch of the city government would be more able to focus on emergency plans and coordinate these across departments. They would also be better able to give a realistic view of what citizens should expect in a major disaster. We believe that it is critical that the City's emergency preparedness activities take into account the participation of the residents and neighborhood groups. The current on-again/off-again activity, due in part to funding and staffing problems, is sapping the energy and interest of volunteers.

The Barron Park Association has a long history of working with the City on various disaster preparedness projects. We are ready to continue this partnership but vitally need to know that steady progress is being made to prepare our citizens for the next disaster.


Will Beckett, president

cc: Palo Alto City Council