Thu04172014

Satterlee, Pelham, Bruins for LA council: Editorial

Some candidates seek office claiming experience. That can be both good and bad, depending on how the experience went. But with three open seats – a majority – on the five-seat Los Altos City Council Nov. 6, we have an opportunity to both retain experience and get a fresh start.

We think incumbent Megan Satterlee and challengers Anabel Pelham and Jeannie Bruins are the best choices.

All three share a common thread: They’re congenial people who respect residents and have the ability to make sound, reasonable decisions.

Satterlee has been on the short end of many 4-1 votes, but she’s proven a rational, independent thinker who believes in due diligence. For instance, when a last-minute, reworked parking agreement with Safeway came before the council just a few minutes before the session began, Satterlee said no – not because she didn’t want an agreement, but because she wasn’t given time to read it. We appreciate her investigation into pension reform for the city. As a resident of south Los Altos (along with Bruins), she has an appreciation for representing the entire city.

Bruins, who served on the Planning Commission for two years, brings knowledge of the city’s public-approval process and an understanding of where the city’s failings lie. Both she and Satterlee have seen city plans adopted without first soliciting residents’ input. With issues such as notification of public meetings, Bruins sees a need for the city to go beyond the letter of the law to address the spirit of the law – not simply post agendas on the door the Friday before Tuesday council meetings. She promotes enhanced outreach so that residents can be better informed.

Pelham, a university professor, has a wealth of good, creative ideas for improving the city and emphasizes implementing them through public-private partnerships. She’s behind the World Health Organization’s designation of Los Altos as an “Age Friendly City.” The status means increased visibility and access to funding for a variety of projects, such as a senior shuttle. She also sees free citywide WiFi as a benefit. We agree.

Two big challenges – downtown growth and resolving the charter school dispute – loom for the city. We think these three are up to the challenge.

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