- Published on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 00:00
- Written by Rich Larsen
The long Thanksgiving weekend is always a wonderful time, and particularly so this year. Thanksgiving morning Los Altos Hills won – for the fourth consecutive year – the Mayor’s Cup in our category at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot run/walk. The event is a lot of fun and benefits three worthy causes in Santa Clara County.
That same weekend, my wife, grandson JT and I participated in the annual Festival of Lights Parade, riding in the mayor’s car, a beautifully restored 1948 Buick driven by our longtime friend, John Love. The parade is a great tradition for our community and a fantastic way to begin the holiday season.
The holidays are when my family makes charitable gifts. This year we plan to send money to UC Davis in support of its breakthrough work with stem-cell therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s. In my long awareness of these diseases, this is the first therapy that actually shows promise for a cure. It is truly exciting, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine agreed by awarding UC Davis researchers a grant to conduct a four-year study on humans. We are donating via secure.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/giving/donations/online.html, but you can donate via mail as well, with special instructions that the gift is for neurodegenerative diseases.
This is my final column as mayor of Los Altos Hills. My term expires today, and a “passing of the gavel” ceremony is scheduled in the council chambers.
It has been a real pleasure to represent our town this past year. The parades have been fun, of course, but the on-the-job education – from the varied points of view that residents express to excellent programs like Leadership Education Advancement – has truly been life-enriching. A real sense of satisfaction comes from knowing that the programs we initiated will continue to contribute to the quality of life in Los Altos Hills.
There have been so many accomplishments in the past year, including, to name a few, breaking ground on the Fremont Road Safe Routes to School Pathway, annexing several neighborhood pockets into Los Altos Hills, launching our traffic safety program with bikesiliconvalley.org and seismically upgrading our corporation yard. We have also had the good fortune to include Los Altos Hills in the discussion with regional organizations such as the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the Santa Clara County Cities Association and the Valley Transportation Authority.
I look forward to serving on the city council for another four years and will continue to do my best for our town. It is important to me that our balanced approach between “property values” and “property rights” be retained, and that public safety continues to be a priority.
At the beginning of my term as mayor, my good friend John Metcalfe urged that I “be a good mayor.” I have worked hard to do so, and hope to have accomplished that in your eyes.