Fiscal Sustainability: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is fiscal sustainability and how is the City of Palo Alto working to achieve this?

A: Fiscal sustainability means being able to deliver the high level of services our community has come to rely on as efficiently as possible. It means being able to deliver services cost-effectively, being able to preserve them as the community grows and evolves and making investments the community needs, such as emergency services, police and fire.

Q: How will the City build upon these services and maintain the community’s quality of life?

A: Palo Alto has always been a safe, beautiful, and vibrant place to live, work and raise a family, and City services help keep it that way. As the economy improves, the City will seek ways to build upon services and continue its focus on fiscal sustainability. Even with new service delivery methods, it will be a long time before services reach pre-pandemic levels. The community conversation about these issues is timely and will help to inform the City’s planning moving forward.

Q: What priorities are important to the Palo Alto community right now?

A: In recent conversations, your neighbors have identified priorities that enhance the essential services we rely on, including:

  • Maintaining the City’s ability to fund basic services
  • Enhancing City services such as library hours and adding police and fire services
  • Investing in community-owned assets like roads and community centers
  • Funding affordable housing
  • Increasing fire staffing/improving emergency response times
  • Maintaining clean downtown/commercial corridors
  • Addressing homelessness
  • Preparing for earthquake or flooding
  • Advancing local efforts to reduce carbon emissions

The City is seeking community input on service priorities that will help inform future conversations on the City’s budget and how we maintain those services.

Q: How can I provide input?

A: Please visit the Fiscal Sustainability Community Conversation page for more information and to provide feedback on YOUR priorities.