There have been many news stories, articles, social media posts and communications related to the Los Altos City Council’s “Resolution Taking a Leadership Role on an Issue Negatively Impacting the Los Altos Community.” The city council adopted the Leadership Resolution, by majority vote, to address the issue involving a text message from a resident to a council member, which was referenced at the Nov. 24 council meeting. I will not attempt to correct all the misinformation, misstatements and misunderstandings regarding the Leadership Resolution, but I do want to clarify what the resolution is and what it is not. I also invite everyone to read the final Leadership Resolution adopted May 25 and draw their own conclusion.
At the Nov. 24 council meeting, a text message was referenced and reacted to, and there were assumptions made about the text message, but the content of the text message was not disclosed on the public record. The Leadership Resolution, which is now part of the city council’s record, provides the content of the referenced text message and gives a timeline of relevant facts that led to the adoption of the Leadership Resolution. The resolution also incorporates feedback from all five council members and from community members. Having the Leadership Resolution as part of the public record helps to provide the full picture of the situation.
The Leadership Resolution, however, does not ask anyone to apologize or resign; it does not defend the actions or statements of anyone or any group; it does not question how someone may have felt or what they thought when they read or sent the text message; it has nothing to do with the School Resource Officer program or someone’s vote related to that program; it does not seek to discipline, punish or embarrass anyone, or take any sides; and there are no ulterior motives to passing the resolution.
Like many residents, I hoped that this issue would have been resolved over the past couple months without the need for formal council action. I also understand that some residents believe this matter should be resolved privately, and I agree that even with the Leadership Resolution, the council member and resident should participate in some private discussion, whenever they are ready to do so. There are also residents who do not support the Leadership Resolution, and I do not expect to change their minds with this column.
But I do ask that even if you do not agree with the Leadership Resolution, let’s all be thoughtful in our actions and statements going forward with the goal of not escalating or increasing the divisiveness in our community. Some of the language and rhetoric I have seen over the past few days do not represent Los Altos, and that language is hurtful, divisive, embarrassing and disappointing. In Los Altos, we celebrate our diversity and stand with our Black, Brown and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. We support things that unite us, not divide us. We have built a beautiful community here, so let’s not tear it down with our words or actions, and we should definitely not have people who don’t know our community define us. Instead, let’s take this as an opportunity to learn and grow together as a community.
Thanks to everyone for your patience, engagement and support over the past six months. I have seen firsthand how we supported each other through a global pandemic, and I have no doubt we will get through this as well.
Neysa Fligor is mayor of Los Altos.