As we head into the final month of the year, we’re throwing a few thumbs your way.
Thumbs-up: We continue to marvel at our annual Festival of Lights Parade, which took place Sunday. The well-run event drew a large crowd to downtown Los Altos again this year – it’s the gift that keeps on giving. What’s most amazing is the small group of volunteers – under the Festival of Lights Parade Association – who work year-round for no other reason than putting on a great parade for the community. To those selfless volunteers: a big thank you for an event that is uniquely Los Altos.
Thumbs-up: To Abigail Ahrens’ Enchanté boutique hotel, whose groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled today. The 18-unit project fills the long-vacant site (at last!) at the corner of Main Street and San Antonio Road. The hotel, which will include a bistro and bar, will have the distinction of being the only hotel in downtown Los Altos. The additional transient occupancy tax for the city won’t hurt, either.
Thumbs-up: To new Los Altos City Councilwomen Jan Pepper and Jeannie Bruins and re-elected incumbent Megan Satterlee. Congratulations to Pepper in particular, who garnered the most votes in the history of Los Altos council elections. She notched 9,256 votes, beating the previous record by 2,674. The new members are scheduled to be sworn in at Tuesday’s council meeting. We’d also like to thank outgoing councilmen Ron Packard and David Casas for their eight-year service.
Thumbs-down: To voter passage of Measure M, a misguided initiative that caps salaries on top administrators’ positions at El Camino Hospital. A majority of voters bought a hospital union’s message that administrators, particularly CEO Tomi Ryba, are overpaid, and taxpayers are footing the bill. In fact, Ryba’s salary is in the mid-range for comparative hospitals and paid entirely through hospital operations. Regrettably, the hospital must now spend money challenging the legality of Measure M – a battle it has a good chance of winning.
Thumbs-up: Congratulations to the city of Los Altos on its 60th anniversary of incorporation (a gala celebration is scheduled Saturday). We might gripe from time to time, but we’re sure we speak for many when we say there’s no place we’d rather be.