The vote for a community center (Measure A) is coming up, and there is only a general vision offered to motivate Los Altans to fund $65 million for a new community center.
The specific design and financial details associated with a genuine, complete plan are absent. We have no idea of what the overall project costs will be, such as total build cost, operating and staffing cost, and utilization assumptions. There are also other phases of the overall Civic Center revitalization, of which this is just a part, which in the long run may substantially add to the total.
The primary motivator given for voting in favor of Measure A at this point in time is the availability of low interest rates.
The Federal Reserve seems to be in no hurry to raise rates, and I see no reason to rush through a vote for an expensive project on which the homework has just not been done. The city should absolutely get out of the habit of asking for money for a project without a comprehensive, complete plan clearly specifying precisely what the money is going to be spent on and what the total costs will be.
The last school bond passed in this fashion, and perhaps the city feels that this is a convenient new approach for flexible funding.
A vision is open to many different interpretations and spins, and can be made compelling to a broad spectrum of people. The downside is that what actually materializes out of a vision may be vastly different than your interpretation and expectations.
A detailed plan is required so you can approve or disapprove a clearly defined project and its associated lifetime costs.
Vote NO on Measure A.
Roger Heyder is a Los Altos resident.