Mon10202014

Letters to the Editor

Consider cost of community pool

The Los Altos Pool Foundation flier paints an attractive picture of a community pool but omits one key fact: the cost.

Pool enthusiasts base their presentation on Menlo Park’s Burgess Pool, which is leased to an outside firm that assumes sole financial responsibility for operation, maintenance and expenses (including locker rooms and showers) and utilities including electrical, gas and water.

The total cost of running the pool in fiscal year 2013-2014 was $158,200. The total revenue was $153,000. So, as the flier states, the pool is largely self-supporting. But first it must be built.

The flier asks, “Who will pay for the facility?” and answers, “A bond measure …” i.e., you and I. It also states, “The City Council must approve its construction.”

The Los Altos City Council may decide whether a pool is included in the community center bond, which is still under discussion. But it is the voters who will determine whether the bond is approved.

The total cost of Burgess Pool was $6,834,639 back in 2006 (see tinyurl.com/orufyqf). With debt financing, we can assume a total cost of $12 million or $13 million.

Before deciding whether to support a community pool, please consider the price tag.

Pat Marriott

Los Altos

Are Los Altos parks overwatered?

The current restrictions on water usage for irrigation don’t seem to apply to Los Altos city parks or Los Altos School District fields. The playing fields of the schools and high school and the parks – e.g., Rosita and Shoup – are as green and overwatered as ever.

What gives?

Arnie Testa

Los Altos

LA should not pay for Mtn. View expansion

Two separate articles in the Aug. 6 Town Crier seemed quite related and relevant to all Los Altos taxpayers.

The front-page article, “LASD board still hammering out bond details,” clarified the main reason for a new school bond. Specifically it records that “district trustees have emphasized that their No. 1 priority is dealing with enrollment growth.”

The letter to the editor by former Los Altos Mayor Frank Verlot, “Mtn. View’s housing imbalance, LASD impact,” clarifies the source of the enrollment growth: “The district has already been heavily impacted by all the new higher-density residential units in this growing part of Mountain View (The Village at San Antonio Center) within district boundaries.”

He correctly points out: “Mountain View needs to step up and work with the district to help find another suitable school location within this higher-growth part of Mountain View. The burden of solving this ever-growing capacity issue should not fall on Los Altos alone.”

It is clear that the rich corporation responsible for this massive buildup is not paying enough school taxes. Otherwise, why would Los Altos residents be asked to fund this bond with the increase of their property taxes?

F. Jamzadeh

Los Altos

Stop whining about downtown improvements

This is addressed to all the whiners who complain about the improvements in downtown Los Altos.

You seem to want things as they were years ago. My question to you: Do you still drive a horse and buggy or a stick-shift car? Do you have a TV, a computer, a cellphone and air conditioning in your home? If you don’t like the convenience of Safeway, shop at Draeger’s Market.

I am 84 years old and own my condo within the Los Altos downtown triangle. I grew up in the Bay Area. So please don’t tell me about the “good old days.”

James B. Powell

Los Altos

Take the simple path to protect pets

You may count me among those whom Robert Tacy labeled “do-gooders” in his July 30 letter to the editor regarding the coyotes in our area (“Coyote preservation called into question”).

I have great respect and admiration for Wile E. Coyote and appreciate the work the coyotes do in keeping the rabbit, rat, ground squirrel, etc., populations under control.

I also know that they would love to make a meal of my two small dogs.

A week or so ago as I sat in my kitchen near Los Altos Country Club at 4:45 a.m., my small male Westie began barking up a storm outside, much louder and faster than usual.

I hurried out to find a very healthy, grown coyote (50 pounds) standing in the driveway just on the other side of a wrought-iron fence. When the coyote saw me, it casually turned around and trotted back down the driveway.

My solution? Just what Ruth Troetschler recommends in her Aug. 13 letter to the editor (“Biologist counters ‘do-gooder’ label”): Keep the dogs inside at night so that Mr. Coyote can feed on rats and other vermin.

Richard Sutherland

Los Altos

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