Wed04162014

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Bruins, Pepper sworn in as council’s newest members: Councilwomen cite better communication,


Photo By: Photos by Ellie van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Councilwomen Jeannie Bruins, from left, and Jan Pepper promise increased transparency.

Los Altos’ newest city councilmembers echoed a familiar theme Dec. 4 as they took their seats on the dais for the first time.

In their opening remarks as councilwomen, Jeannie Bruins and Jan Pepper pledged, among other things, to work toward increased transparency.

Their remarks came moments before the city’s newest – and youngest – mayor, Jarrett Fishpaw, announced his theme of communication for his tenure at the city’s helm.

Bruins told the audience that she was honored to serve on “your city council, and sincerely thank you for the trust you have placed in me and in all of us up here.”

She then recited the themes, common throughout her campaign, of promising transparency, using good judgment and listening to residents as the basis for her service over the next four years.

“To those of you out here who came out tonight and for those of you watching at home, we do need your input to make sound decisions up here,” she said. “This is a very important part of making it your government. With our collective intelligence, I think we are going to be stronger together.”

Pepper, who garnered the largest number of votes in the city’s history Nov. 6, voiced similar sentiments, telling residents her first priority as a councilwoman is to improve communications between the city and its residents.

“I’m counting on you to voice your views, to actively participate, to share your amazing talent and brainpower as we work together to accomplish great things over the next four years,” said Pepper, who also cited specific priorities such as ongoing school issues and increasing downtown vibrancy. “As I said many times during my campaign, I will emphasize the qualities of transparency and integrity as a city councilmember, and I will represent everyone here.”

Building on her public remarks Dec. 4, Pepper told the Town Crier she would encourage grassroots efforts such as neighborhood meetings among the council, city staff and residents to talk earnestly about issues and seek input.

She added that increasing the lines of the communication between the city and neighborhood organizations like the Los Altos Neighborhood Network, as well as other tactics, could help accomplish those goals.

“We’re a small town, but it’s a very well-informed community with people who have very good ideas,” she said. “Let’s build on those.”

Bruins later told the Town Crier she’s eager to work with her colleagues to set the coming year’s goals during the council’s annual retreat.

“It will allow us the opportunity to test the waters and see where we stand with each other on issues,” she said.

Bruins added that she was “tickled pink” by Fishpaw’s theme of communication to mark his tenure as mayor.

“He sees an opening where we can do something about it,” Bruins said of Fishpaw, “and sincerely engage our residents.”

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