Making her (story) All-female LA council must work together, despite differences

It appears that this is the Los Altos City Council’s “Year of the Woman,” as the newly elected Anita Enander and Neysa Fligor join incumbents Jeannie Bruins, Lynette Lee Eng and Jan Pepper on the dais.

Enander told the Town Crier the day after the Nov. 6 election that it was premature to confirm she had snagged a council seat, as the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters had only tallied 50 percent of the votes. The election results page on the registrar’s website, however, indicated that 100 percent of Los Altos’ precincts had reported.

Two days after the election, Fligor was still in shock at her probable victory. She was the top vote-getter, leading the closest candidate, Enander, by 11 percent. After Fligor lost her quest for a council seat in 2016 by just six votes, Los Altos voters made it clear they did not want her to remain the one that got away.

“It’s still sinking in, but I am honored and humbled by the support I received and I look forward to serving on city council,” Fligor said.

As of Monday morning, Fligor, with 31.54 percent of the vote, and Enander, with 20.89 percent, knocked off fellow contenders incumbent Mayor Jean Mordo (20.27 percent), Nancy Bremeau (18.13 percent) and Teresa Morris (9.17 percent).

A tale of two candidates

While Fligor and Enander shared a victory, they part ways with their positions on some of the issues. Enander supported Measure C, a land-use initiative shot down by 52.25 percent of voters. Fligor said she opposed Measure C because of its ability to “tie the hands of city council to exercise its fundamental authority to make public policy decisions.”

Like Enander, Lee Eng supported Measure C. Bruins and Pepper were part of the majority led by Mordo that passed amendments to the city’s general plan and zoning ordinance calling for voter approval for the sale, lease or rezoning of all city-owned land designated “parks” or “other open space.” Yes on Measure C supporters considered the amendments a move to counter their proposed initiative, which required voter approval for all city-owned land regardless of designation.

Enander and Fligor may be new to the council, but they are not new to local civic leadership.

Enander previously served on the Los Altos Planning Commission, where she devoted her time to land-use and project development proposals for two years. Prior to that, she was a member of the Downtown Buildings Committee, appointed by a previous council to listen to residents and advise when it came to zoning code changes and procedures for the downtown area.

Fligor has served on the El Camino Healthcare District Board of Directors and Los Altos’ Parks and Recreation and Grant Writing commissions. She also participated in Los Altos Community Foundation’s LEAD program.

Fligor’s platform included finding common ground with fellow council members to move issues forward, a promise that may prove useful when addressing downtown vibrancy, parking and the overall pace of development.

Enander emphasized that she’s committed to acting on behalf of residents, vowing on her campaign website that she will seek long-term solutions for Los Altos when it comes to matters such as the city’s budget. She disagreed with the last council’s decision to use park reserve funds and borrow money to build the new Hillview Community Center, against the recommendation of the city’s finance director.

“The largesse of escalating property tax revenue can’t be counted on for the future,” Enander wrote on her website.

Fligor, on the other hand, has commented during forums and online that she supports the community center overhaul because it will appropriately meet the needs of the community. While Los Altos deserves a large, luxurious place to gather, she said, there may be an opportunity to meet in the middle: She is open to exploring alternative funding, such as a grant, to avoid a tax or bond measure.

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