Carpenter, Cole for Los Altos council

The five candidates running for two seats on the Los Altos City Council have brought commitment, energy and fresh ideas to the table as the city faces an exciting, though uncertain, future. Downtown development and rebuilding the 18-acre civic center in the next few years are among the top priorities on their agendas.

Through their candidacies, challengers Nancy Carlson and Jarrett Fishpaw, in particular, have sparked positive, spirited discussions on the city’s issues. Ultimately, however, we feel more comfortable endorsing those with prior council experience – incumbent Val Carpenter and former councilman Curtis Cole – on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Carpenter served on a council that oversaw a spate of activity and positioned the city to move forward in a proactive direction. She participated on downtown zoning and development committees that advocated for zoning changes to allow additional office and residential space – attracting more people and jump-starting revitalization efforts. A key accomplishment during her tenure was the council’s hiring of city manager Doug Schmitz, whose know-how and initiative have been integral to countless local improvements.

Cole, with his insider’s knowlege of city processes, has an advantage over the nonincumbent candidates. We appreciate his goal to prioritize improving services for youth and seniors.

Our endorsements of Cole and Carpenter are not slam dunks. Although they are known factors, they also offer more of the same. That’s mostly good, but it also means a council accustomed to conducting matters with a business-as-usual approach. Electing Fishpaw, 23, would mean a fresh perspective, plus representation for the town’s younger demographic. His involvement could inspire other young residents to get involved in local politics.

We were impressed with Fishpaw. A little seasoning and dues paying – serving on city boards or commissions, for instance – will certainly pave the way for this potential future councilmember.

Radford, Sherlock for LAH council

The Los Altos Hills City Council’s days of dysfunction are long gone. Over the past decade, councilmembers made great strides to improve services, streamline processes and balance budgets. The three candidates vying for two seats on the council have tough acts to follow. We think John Radford and Joan Sherlock are the best choices.

Radford offers sound reasoning, involvement and accomplishment. His expertise in surveying led to community consensus on the design for the new town hall. We value his ability to listen and weigh diverse viewpoints.

Sherlock’s commitment to emergency preparedness – she organized events to bring neighbors together on the issue – speaks to her initiative and drive, as do her priorities to address road safety and the needs of seniors. This town native knows the history, the people and the issues, backward and forward, and has energy to burn. Best of all, we appreciate her desire to retain the town’s rural atmosphere.

You can’t go wrong with Radford and Sherlock on Nov. 2.

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