Sun07272014

News

No block-party fees = good move

There’s no downside to getting to know your neighbors. If you don’t know them well, following are two ideas to get you started.

• Host a block party. Not only is summer the ideal time to throw a get-together, but the city is issuing permits free of charge.

The Los Altos City Council agreed at its June 25 meeting to eliminate block-party permit fees, effective July 1. According to city spokeswoman Erica Ray, the council reached the decision after reviewing revenue generated from block-party fees in fiscal year 2012. At a cost of $105 per permit, the city collected $2,400 in fees.

“Council felt the $2,400 cost to the city was worth subsidizing in order to promote building community and encourage residents to take advantage of the opportunity to host block parties in their neighborhoods,” Ray said.

Don’t set up those folding chairs quite yet, however, as permits are still required. Residents must secure a permit through the police department and submit it to city hall at least 10 days prior to the event. To download a copy of the permit application, visit losaltosca.gov/police/forms.html. Email the completed application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Now residents can apply that $105 toward the barbecue, not the bureaucrats. We offer a big thanks to city staff and the city council for making this happen.

• Join the new emergency preparedness movement. The Los Altos Community Foundation’s Los Altos PREPARE program is scheduled to launch Community Action Teams for neighborhoods 6-9 p.m. Aug. 6 as part of National Night Out. It should be a great opportunity to mingle, learn about residential safety programs and have a little fun at the same time.

Attendees will also hear more about the PREPARE program, which the foundation launched this year to coordinate residents, agencies and others to ensure effective response to major disasters and emergencies. Resident Sherie Dodsworth founded PREPARE, in part, after she discovered that Los Altos had no such program – the city cut funding for its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program some years back. Good going, Sherie. For more information, visit www.lacf.org.

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