09012016Thu
Last updateWed, 31 Aug 2016 5pm

Read the fine print: Vote responsibly: Editorial

The filing date for candidacy is over. This is where you come in. Voters must start their homework early in what promises to be one of the busiest and most controversial general elections in recent memory.

With a Nov. 8 ballot chock-full of national, regional and local races, we can easily get distracted by the noisiest national voices and ignore those closer to home, those whose outcomes may impact us the most.


A good time to try off-leash dog areas?: Editorial

Some of us in Los Altos often say we don’t want to be like Mountain View. Like that’s a bad thing. No, we don’t want our neighboring city’s traffic and high-density housing. But Mountain View does some wonderful things that Los Altos can’t possibly do with its limited resources, like the Mountain View council’s recent approval of a 67-unit affordable housing complex with 30 units set aside for veterans. The city contributed $7 million to the project.

Mountain View also has successfully executed a program that doesn’t require a big budget and that Los Altos should emulate: establishment of off-leash dog areas in city parks.

Land purchase the best LASD solution: Editorial

Los Altos School District trustees were expected Monday night to sign off on the purchase of a property at 5150 El Camino Real in Los Altos. The 4-acre site is being eyed as the new location for Bullis Charter School and its 900 students.

The action caps a frustrating 18-month search by district officials to find suitable property in one of the most expensive regions in the country. The high cost of land limits the district to purchasing one site when two would be ideal, despite access to $150 million under the Measure N bond, approved by voters in 2014.

Appropriate name change for plaza

The Los Altos City Council did the right thing, albeit with a 3-2 vote, in electing to add the word “Veterans” to the downtown Community Plaza at Main and State streets.

The July 12 action caps a successful campaign, led by the Rotary Club of Los Altos, to rename the small plaza in honor of local veterans who served through the generations, from World War II to Afghanistan. Some died protecting our freedoms. Those who remain will surely feel appreciation for the citywide recognition.

Oh, behave!: Editorial

It’s a good thing the young historical essay contest winners and Girl Scouts recognized at the beginning of the May 10 Los Altos City Council meeting didn’t stay for the duration. They would have witnessed a poor example of civic engagement at a meeting marred by needless drama and dysfunctional leadership.

First, the approval of a resolution disbanding the city’s downtown parking committee over Brown Act (the state’s open meetings law) violations drew protests from both committee members and their opponents, chiefly two former Los Altos mayors, Ron Packard and David Casas. Their group, Friends of Los Altos, raised the Brown Act violations and triggered a third-party investigation. The arbiter agreed that there were violations and recommended disbanding the committee. However, the arbiter also ruled that the city could use the information the committee gathered as part of the public process for creating a downtown parking plan. That didn’t sit well with Casas and Packard, both of whom issued threatening responses (Casas: “Tonight is not the end of this saga – this is not going to go away.” And Packard: “We did not threaten to sue the city, although tonight we’re coming close to it.”). View the webcast at losaltosca.gov to see for yourself.

Pay now or pay later: Editorial

As we head into the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View are reflecting the current healthy economy with healthy budgets.

An increase in property taxes, which account for much of the local budgets, has Los Altos filling positions left vacant since the 2008 recession. Mountain View is hiring an additional 24 staffers to handle the deluge of projects accompanying the city’s phenomenal growth.

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Downtown Los Altos Farmers’ Market is slated to open 4 p.m. Thursday along State Street. It runs every Thursday through September. It’s an opportunity to shop for fresh produce and meet friends.


 

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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