Citizen watchdogs praised for years of volunteering

Herb Borock, center, receives a proclamation from Palo Alto Mayor Lydia Kou, surrounded by council members. From left, the council members are Greg Tanaka, Vicki Veenker, Ed Lauing, Borock, Kou, Greer Stone, Julie Lythcott-Haims and Pat Burt.

Daily Post Staff Writer

Palo Alto City Council tonight (Dec. 18) recognized two government watchdogs, Bob Moss and Herb Borock, for their decades of involvement with the city.

Moss, 90, has been volunteering and advocating on local issues for more than 50 years. He said he was still out cleaning up graffiti on Sunday.

Bob Moss

“It’s important that in a city like Palo Alto, people don’t just come in and do nothing,” Moss said tonight. “They should be involved with the neighborhood, the community and the entire environment. And I’ve been trying to do that for decades, and once in a while I actually succeed.”

Moss’s wife of 68 years, Harriet Moss, their two sons and two daughters were in attendance.

Mayor Lydia Kou said ever since she moved to the Barron Park neighborhood, Moss has been keeping her and her neighbors updated about what’s going on.

“I really appreciate that you don’t only talk about things. You actually take action on it,” Kou said.
Borock, 80, said that Moss was a tough act to follow.

When Borock moved to Palo Alto, democracy was rooted in local neighborhood organizations that Moss and others participated in, he said.

“We’ve been going through a change over time,” Borock said. “It’s become more difficult for people to organize that way as the community changes and as the desires of developers and activities, both statewide and nationally, are changing.”

Councilman Ed Lauing said he quickly learned who Borock was after joining the Parks and Recreation Commission in 2010 and hearing his public comments.

“He did his homework,” Lauing said. “It wasn’t just an opinion. It was something that he did research on. And it was about other people, not just him.”

Borock scrutinizes public agendas to make sure the city is following the law.

Kou thanked him for “ensuring democracy is preserved.”

“Please continue helping us here in the city and keeping an eye on us,” she said.

1 Comment

  1. Palo Alto is lucky to have Herb and Bob, but the citizens need more advocates. Finding people with the time and interest isn’t easy. And the City makes it hard to persevere. That’s why these honors are so surprising. With all of the closed meetings and secret documents, you’d think the City would have run these guys out of town years ago.

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