Alex Comsa is running for the Palo Alto City Council.
Comsa works is a real estate agent and the founder of the Cosma Group, a real estate agency affiliated with Palo Alto Coldwell Banker. He was born in Transylvania, Romania, and moved to the Bay Area in 1997.
“I believe the city council will benefit from my land use expertise, from my balanced approach to housing and common sense,” Comsa said. “I truly believe that we [immigrants] need a bit more representation in [the] city council.”
Comsa said he wants to prioritize affordable housing and that the city won’t be able to construct the state-mandated 6,086 units by 2031 unless it changes its approach. He said he believes that the city should focus on turning “dormant” city-owned properties that are generally unused or not creating revenue into affordable housing units.
“The city is not set up to produce affordable housing as we speak,” Comsa said. “It’s just a fact that affordable housing projects don’t come our way, you know, falling from the blue sky in our laps.”
Comsa said he wants to create a real estate division for the city council to help create housing units to meet the state mandate. The division would be made up of professionals ranging in specifications and would help act as an in-house resource for the city to manage various projects, like large housing developments, according to Comsa.
Measure K, a business tax to be voted on by residents, is projected to raise $9.6 million for affordable housing, rail improvements and public safety. Comsa said he wants to use the funds to fill more police department positions.
“From talking to the police chief and other people, I think those funds [from Measure K] will be critical for improving our public safety in general,” Comsa said.
Comsa said he believes the key to electrifying the city is upgrading its power grid. This year, Palo Alto had 19 unplanned power outages, with eight impacting over 500 customers. By upgrading the power grid, Comsa says the city can support the growing amount of private electric appliances.
“If we were to talk about electrification in general, I would support funds [that] go to improving our electrical grid,” Comsa said. “So accelerating electrification is great, but we also have to keep in mind that we have to keep up with the infrastructure to support that.”
Comsa also supports to incentivizing residents to switch to electric water heaters.
Comsa said he wants to increase the diversity of small businesses and give them increased opportunities to settle in Palo Alto.
“I truly believe that these [small businesses] need a lot of help,” Comsa said. “I would be interested in helping them … when it comes to getting permits a bit more faster, [there is] really a high barrier to even opening something in downtown.”
To learn more about Comsa, visit his website here.