Most of us would like to hit the reset button on 2020, a year mired in COVID-19, protests over racial injustice, wildfires and smoky orange skies.
Locally, we’d like to hit the reset button on the Los Altos City Council. We thank members for granting $250,000 this year to help struggling small businesses during the pandemic. But by and large, this council is unproductive and lacks good judgment. With issues such as the 40 Main St. proposal, they fought the law and the law won. Now, taxpayers are footing the bill for more legal fees than ever at the expense of city services.
With three seats open on the five-seat council, we have an opportunity for a fresh start. Of the seven candidates vying in the Nov. 3 election, we’re endorsing Kuljeet Kalkat, Sally Meadows and Jonathan Weinberg.
All three have strong experience on city boards. They’ve shown they can put in the time. They’re collaborative and want to serve all residents. And each brings a needed skill set to the council. Kalkat offers financial acumen, Meadows excels at planning and Weinberg, an attorney, provides a strong legal perspective.
Kalkat is in his fourth year on the city’s Financial Commission. He is an accomplished tech exec and the former Los Altos small-business owner of Cranberry Scoop. He believes in careful budget management and respecting the recommendations of city commissions – recommendations he sees too often ignored.
Meadows has served more than eight years on city commissions, the last four on the Planning Commission. She is organized and inclusive. The retired biotech marketing exec is a strategic thinker who believes in data-driven decision making. And she does her homework. We believe her presence on the council will lead to more productive meetings.
Weinberg, who specializes in real estate and trust law, is in his fifth year on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission. He’ll bring wisdom and foster a good working relationship among council members – and the commissions that advise them. He’ll also temper the council’s temptation to challenge cases in court that the city has little or no chance of winning.
Kalkat, Meadows and Weinberg offer practical and empathetic approaches to serving Los Altos. They deserve your vote Nov. 3.
You can find a list of all of our interviews with local candidates, election-related news and Town Crier editorial board endorsements in our Election 2020 section. Want to read more about our Los Altos candidates in detail? We have a Q&A with each of them here.
Note: This story has been updated to correct an error in the original article regarding Sally Meadows' commission experience.