Wed08202014

News

LAH councilmen get early jump, declare quest for re-election

NEWS LAHCouncilSlate WaldeckRadford

When Gary Waldeck and John Radford first ran for Los Altos Hills City Council in 2010, they were political adversaries, each seeking a seat. Four years later, they not only get along well, Waldeck and Radford intend to run for re-election as a slate.

Waldeck and Radford announced their candidacies for the two open seats last week, well before the Aug. 8 filing deadline. The election is scheduled Nov. 4. They decided to run together to cut campaign costs and, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, suggested that it would burden residents with fewer election materials.

“We’ll do one mailer, keep it low-key and simple,” Radford said. “We’ll save residents time reading brochures.”

Radford and Waldeck said two main reasons are driving their decision to seek another four years: unfinished business and the enjoyment of doing business as councilmembers. The two described the town councils of recent years as professional and productive. Among the highlights: a solvent budget with deep reserves and a streamlined, full-disclosure guide to home building that has all but removed the controversies of past years.

In the wake of a town move to assume management of Westwind Community Barn, the council split 3-2 on the recent hiring of a concessionaire to oversee programs. Waldeck, who was on the minority side of the vote, described his approach.

“It’s just business – it’s done and you move on,” he said, adding that he looks forward to working with the new concessionaire.

Waldeck and Radford said the Westwind hire is just the beginning of a process that could take two to three years to bring programs at the historical site up to speed.

“It’s going to take some time to get it where we want it to be,” Radford said. “We need to bring back confidence in our boarding programs, our riding programs.”

Another concern they want to address is the issue of public versus private roads.

Of the 360 roads in town, approximately one-third are private, the councilmen said. In several cases, private roads have fallen into disrepair when not enough homeowners would agree to pay for upkeep. As a result, many residents are turning to the town to make roads public so that the town will maintain them.

“We said, ‘All right, if you bring the road up to building standards, we’ll accept the road,’” Waldeck said.

The town accepted 17 new public roads last year, a move that could pose a fiscal challenge, they said, as new requests to make roads public come before council.

“We’ve got to find ways of funding more infrastructure,” Radford said.

One handicap they pointed to was the state’s allocation of property taxes – a little more than 5 percent goes to the town of Los Altos Hills.

Both vowed to lobby for “redirection” of some of those taxes back to the town.

Radford, a town resident since 1998, runs his own compensation surveying business, Radford Associates. Waldeck, a retired aerospace professional, has lived in town since 2005.

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