City Council

2022 Council Priorities graphic

The City of Palo Alto uses the Council-Manager organizational structure. The City Council, made up of seven members, is the governing body elected by the voters of Palo Alto. Every year, the City Council Members vote to select a new Mayor and Vice Mayor. The Council appoints the City Manager, Clerk, Attorney, and Auditor.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Set City‐wide priorities and policies and direct the City Manager to apply them
  • Make final decisions on all City matters
  • Adopt Ordinances and Resolutions
  • Approve the annual budget
  • Act as a Board of Appeals 

City Council Summer Break and Winter Closure

The City Council annually approves a Summer Break and Winter Closure as an adopted Resolution. Within those dates, Council does not hold a regular Council or Standing Committee meeting. At the January 24, 2022 City Council meeting, City Council approved the Resolution 10015 to adopt the 2022 Council Summer Break and Winter Closure dates:

  • Council Summer Break is from Wednesday, June 22, 2022 through Sunday, July 31, 2022.
  • Council Winter Closure is from Wednesday December 21, 2022 through Sunday, January 8, 2023.

City Council Priorities

Each year, the City Council reviews its priorities for the year at its annual Council Retreat. A Council priority is defined as a topic that will receive significant attention during the year. Typically, priorities have a three-year time limit, although some may continue beyond that time period.

Thank you to the community members that shared their feedback on 2022 Council priorities by emailing the Council, sharing thoughts at the retreat, and/or filling out the online survey.

On Saturday, February 5, 2022 the City Council selected the following priorities:

  1. Economic Recovery and Transition

    As part of the 2022 priorities setting, which took place February 5, 2022, City Council adopted Economic Recovery and Transition and Community Health and Safety, which closely align with this original 2021 priority. Work plan adaptation to these priorities will be considered in the coming months. This specific priority includes looking at a cohesive vision for our commercial cores.

    Read the latest progress report on the Community and Economic Recovery plan(PDF, 298KB).

  2. Climate Change - Protection and Adaptation

    In early 2020, the City of Palo Alto launched an update to the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan (S/CAP) to develop the strategies needed to meet our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2030 and other community-wide sustainability goals. This priority will further this and related work, including the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan Ad Hoc Committee work plan to help guide the development, implementation, communication, and future community engagement of the S/CAP process. 

    Read the latest progress report on the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan.(PDF, 2MB)

  3. Housing for Social and Economic Balance

    The City Council priority (from 2021) is a focus on affordable and workforce housing, funding, and achievable plans. Work plan adaptation to these priorities will be considered in the coming months.

  4. Community Health and Safety

    The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on all communities. As part of the 2022 priorities setting, City Council adopted four revised priorities, two of which are Economic Recovery and Transition and Community Health and Safety, which closely align with this original 2021 Community and Economic Recovery priority. A work plan on this priority will be considered in the coming months.

    In Palo Alto, City Council originally provided direction by adopting Community and Economic Recovery as one of four Council priorities at its annual retreat on January 30, 2021 with a resulting work plan adopted in March 22, 2021.

    At their retreat, City Council added that this priority should cover crime, mental health, air quality, noise, and a sense of belonging.

    Read the latest progress report on the City's Race & Equity work.(PDF, 404KB)


  5. View the City Council Priorities for 2022 page for more information.

State of the City Address

Every year, the Mayor of Palo Alto hosts a State of the City Address to celebrate the community, recognize accomplishments, and set goals. Public dignitaries, staff, and Palo Altans come together each year for this event. The 2022 State of the City will be held by Mayor Burt.

In 2021, former Mayor Tom DuBois hosted his State of the City Address to contemplate and celebrate the coming new year.

 Watch the 2021 State of the City Address

Council Procedures and Protocols Handbook

Palo Alto City Council strives to engage in effective and orderly meeting discussions for the City. The City Council Procedures and Protocols Handbook (Revision Date: 02/01/2020) is an informational guide on City Council's order of business and aims to enhance public participation. This handbook is organized into two sections: "Public Participation in Council Meetings" and "Council Meeting and Agenda Guidelines." The Policy and Services Committee annually reviews the handbook to ensure good parliamentary practices and protocols.

For more details, view the Procedures and Protocols Handbook(PDF, 288KB)

 


Palo Alto City Council

*Access more information on each City Council Member's profile, linked to their names.

Patrick Burt

Mayor

  • Term Expiration
    December 31, 2024

  • Telephone(650) 308-9824
  • Email Pat.Burt@CityofPaloAlto.org
  • Office Hours

    1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. at Printers Café, 320 California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA

Greg Tanaka

Council Member

  • Term Expiration
    December 31, 2024

  • Telephone(415) 968-9436
  • Email Greg.Tanaka@cityofpaloalto.org; greg@gregtanaka.org
  • Office Hours

    Most Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For the safety of our constituents, we have temporarily moved all office hours to Zoom. Drop-in appointments are possible, but scheduled appointments are preferred. To schedule an appointment, please email Councilmember.Tanaka.Office@gregtanaka.org.