Fri10242014

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Fishpaw becomes city’s youngest mayor


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

After being sworn in as Los Altos’ youngest mayor Dec. 4, Jarrett Fishpaw accepts well-wishes from community members in the city council chambers.

It was a night of historic proportions on more than one front for the city of Los Altos Dec. 4.

Councilman Jarrett Fishpaw, 25, became the city’s youngest mayor after the Los Altos City Council nominated him unanimously for the position.

Fishpaw’s ascension aside, the council also saw the additions of newly elected members Jeannie Bruins and Jan Pepper, replacing termed-out councilmen Ron Packard and David Casas, forming the city’s first council seating four elected women.

A standing-room-only crowd in the council chambers watched as Fishpaw presented Val Carpenter with a plaque honoring her two terms as the city’s mayor in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Carpenter remains on the council.

In his opening remarks as the city’s new mayor, Fishpaw thanked his family for instilling “a deep-rooted connection to this wonderful community.” He recalled several events as a youth that shaped his future aspirations to serve the city, from following his older brother Jonathan’s footsteps as an Eagle Scout to his days volunteering for the Los Altos Village Association.

“All along I have discovered my own path here in life,” said Fishpaw, who nominated recently re-elected Councilwoman Megan Satterlee to serve as the city’s mayor pro-tem. “Throughout my childhood, members of this community have supported me, along with countless other youth who have gone on to do amazing things.”

Fishpaw selected the theme of communication to mark his nomination as mayor, calling on his fellow councilmembers and the city’s staff to increase engagement with the city’s residents and stakeholders in the coming year.

“As mayor, I charge this council with the task of seeking additional ways to communicate with our residents, our commissions, our school districts and our businesses,” he said. “We will drive community engagement in discussions, early and often. Clear and honest communication is always in the public’s best interest.”

Fishpaw alluded to the city’s recent release of an internal memo detailing interest in the city-owned property at First and Main streets as a step toward more open lines of communication by the city.

“Our previous council has made bold steps, even in this last week, to pave the way for this council to proceed unencumbered with issues from the past in order to pursue this theme,” he noted.

The new mayor called on residents to actively participate in the decision-making process by letting their voices be heard.

“We as a council, along with city staff, will continue to be receptive during public comments, we will be approachable prior to meetings and we will be considerate of those who take the time to engage with us,” he said. “We will be in the community, bringing information to you in new ways. Bring us your feedback.”

In her closing remarks as the city’s mayor for the past year, Carpenter thanked her family for their support, as well as Casas, who offered her a key piece of advice upon her election to the council in 2005.

“When I was first elected to the Los Altos City Council, then-Mayor David Casas said to me, ‘Congratulations. You now represent the people who voted for you, the people who didn’t vote for you and the people who didn’t vote,’” she said, drawing a chorus of laughter from the crowd. “That wise perspective has guided me ever since.”

Carpenter later told the Town Crier she’s confident in Fishpaw’s ability to lead the city in the coming year, citing his previous two years as a councilman and his personality as strengths.

“He’s so affable,” she said of Fishpaw. “He just has a very positive attitude and gets along with everyone. He’s deeply rooted in this community and he’s really captured everyone’s imagination.”

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