Editorial: Ship has sailed on Hillview plan

After decades of talk, the city of Los Altos is on track to rebuild its dilapidated Hillview Community Center. Well, maybe not.

It seems at least three members on the five-member Los Altos City Council are not satisfied with the current design and footprint, which they contend is too small and too costly. Mayor Lynette Lee Eng thinks the city can get a better “bang for our buck.”

That may be true, but where was this input during the 50 public meetings and two-year process that ended with the $34.7 million, 24,500-square-foot plan, set for construction this summer? And why did two of these members, who are raising questions now, vote for the initial design review plan back in September?

The irony is, in a quest for a bigger “bang for the buck,” the council could end up with a project costing a lot more and taking a lot longer to complete.

Unfortunately, this may not end up in the building of a better center, but with no center at all – wasting nearly $2 million already spent on the design phase, not to mention wasting a lot of people’s time.

No project is going to be perfect. While it’s appropriate to want the best plan possible, there’s a point of no return, where a decision is made and you go forward. There was a large window of opportunity for shaping the direction of this rebuild. It’s closed.

The city and its residents have developed a promising facility plan that has been years, if not decades, in the making. At this point, council members should stay out of the way and let it happen.

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The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

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