Varying views on Measure C: Beware of misleading measure, proponents

Measure C’s campaign seems based on misleading people.

Many people felt misled when they signed the petition to qualify Measure C for the ballot believing it would simply protect our parks. More than 30 of them asked the city to withdraw their signatures. One petition signer wrote, “(Measure C has) implications far beyond what I was told.”

The Measure C website was “pro parks” and then changed focus with many misleading statements, including suggesting if Measure C passes that there won’t be expensive elections asking voters to make routine city business decisions.

No matter what, there will be – for starters, Measure C cost us $49,771 to be on the ballot this November. Taxpayer money spent on unnecessary elections and legal fees would be better spent on city services like fire protection, safe routes to schools and improved services for seniors and youth. 

The Measure C website also states it:

• Does not affect leases for our fire stations, libraries, etc. – but the League of Women Voters says it will.

• “Applies only to city-owned land” – but a city staff report states it applies to some private property.

Why the misleading information? Consider the sources.

First, there’s Victor Ajlouny’s Eagle Communications – Measure C’s campaign consultant. NBC reported in 2014 that a former San Jose police officer claimed in sworn testimony that Ajlouny advised him to lie. What kind of advice is Ajlouny giving the Measure C campaign?

Second, there’s Gravis Marketing. In August, the Measure C campaign conducted a phone survey in Los Altos, and Gravis Marketing sent an email survey. Measure C proponent Jim Jolly told the Town Crier he commissioned polling by phone only.

A Fair Political Practices Commission complaint I filed about the Gravis survey forced the C campaign to report more than $5,666 in undisclosed donations for the survey, yet Jolly still denies paying Gravis. Why?

Finally, former Los Altos Mayor Ron Packard represented the Yes on Measure C side in a debate, an ironic twist understood by many. As a city council member, Packard voted to sell the city-owned property at First and Main streets (400 Main) – the example Measure C proponents use of past city councils selling public land. With Packard still on the council, the council approved the 400 Main canyon-type development plan for the Cetrella complex. Many in the community felt misled about the sale.

Note the pattern here?

Don’t be misled into voting for Measure C the way people were misled into signing the petition to put it on the ballot.

Kim Cranston is a Los Altos community activist and property owner.

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You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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