City reminds retailers of paper-bag fees

Town Crier File Photo
Former Los Altos Economic Development Director Kathy Kleinbaum hands out reusable bags in 2013 ahead of the city’s plastic-bag ban ordinance. The city last week issued a notice reminding retailers that the price of resuable bags will remain at 10 cents.

The Los Altos City Council last year voted to amend the city’s bag fee ordinance so that the price charged customers for a reusable or recyclable bag remained at 10 cents. But it seems that some retailers didn’t get the memo, according to city officials.

Last week, the city distributed a notice to retailers, reminding them that the council approved the amendment to the city’s reusable bag fee ordinance in November. Specifically, the council unanimously voted to keep the charge of 10 cents per bag in place – negating the planned increase to 25 cents per bag originally slated for Jan. 1.


Council holds off on paying down Rosita Park debt

Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The city of Los Altos opted not to prepay the remaining principal it owes for the purchase of the Rosita Park site in the 1990s, a bid to shore up its financing strategy for a new community center.

The Los Altos City Council last week postponed a vote that would have paid down more than $1.6 million in city debt – for a very specific reason.

The council delayed voting for the prepayment of $1.67 million outstanding in the remaining principal for Certificates of Participation (COP) issued to purchase the 5.5-acre St. William School site – now Rosita Park. The council opted to delay the prepayment after some councilmembers expressed concern that the action could adversely affect the city’s still-to-be-determined financing strategy for a new community center and park (see page 1).


Council seeks more options for community center

Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further options in the city’s bid to replace the aging Hillview Community Center.

The council voted 3-2 to appropriate $3,800 more for consultant Anderson Brulé Architects (ABA) to present councilmembers with additional conceptual designs and cost options to consider in advance of the final report. Councilwomen Jeannie Bruins and Megan Satterlee cast the dissenting votes.


City council seeks clarity on open government policy


The Los Altos City Council last week decided against adopting a policy that aims for greater government transparency – at least for now.


New faces, new mayor take center stage at council

Diego Abeloos/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council welcomed new members Jean Mordo, left, and Mary Prochnow.

The Los Altos City Council last week performed its annual changing of the guard – and added two new faces in the process.


Carpenter, Fishpaw bid farewell to council

Val Carpenter and Jarrett Fishpaw officially ended their respective tenures on the Los Altos City Council last week during the council’s reorganization ceremony.

Carpenter highlights achievements

For Carpenter, the conclusion of her second term completed a 14-year run of public service that began with stints on the Los Altos Historical Commission and the Planning and Transportation Commission. Carpenter served nine years on the council, beginning in 2005, with two yearlong stints as mayor.


Former symphony executive guilty of tax fraud

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office last week reported that former Peninsula Symphony Executive Director Stephen Jay Carlton has been found guilty of tax fraud.

Superior Court Judge Allison Danner ruled Dec. 3 that Carlton was guilty of one misdemeanor and two felony counts for filing false tax returns from 2010 through 2012. The ruling follows a one-day trial Nov. 24.


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