Support the Freedom to Vote Act

I am a parent in Los Altos.

The Freedom to Vote Act sets national standards for us to safely and freely cast our ballots, ensure every vote is counted, and elect people who will deliver for us.

Our senators need to deliver the Freedom to Vote Act to the American people, and to do that, they need to fix the Jim Crow filibuster that is blocking progress of this overwhelmingly popular and urgently needed legislation.

Our senators must do everything they can to pass the Freedom to Vote Act, including fixing the filibuster, to realize the promise of democracy for all.

Be sure to mention your senator by name so it can be included in their office clips!

Maureen Griffin

Los Altos

PARC: Dog owners deserve better

After more than 13 years, the Los Altos Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) mainly discovered that dogs bark and a few will dig holes and voted 4-2 to start over on establishing a dog park. Can you imagine that?

PARC ignored over 300 dog owners who wanted to work with the Little League and nearby Hillview venues to solve the identified problems (after choosing the worst place for a pilot program and too far away from most residents to use).

PARC ignored repeated public requests to add perimeter fences at most of our parks for the safety of kids and dogs. Commissioners also ignored pleas for fencing around playgrounds to keep dogs away from kids or passing waste like other towns do.

Why did PARC ignore pilot program requests from a member for enforcement, 100% oversight and immediate response if issues occurred?

Without off-leash hours, owners will continue to illegally let pets off-leash mainly for exercise in the morning but are more afraid to socialize with dogs during the 4-6 p.m. window. Ain’t that a shame?

Residents can call police when dogs are off-leash (even when no other people are present), but no amount of enforcement will ever stop off-leash activity. It just makes for bad relationships.

Many dog owners are fed up and want the city council to immediately implement off-leash hours at most parks so we can walk to them. While the 55%-45% community split intimidates the council to do nothing – dog owners deserve better.

Frank Martin

Los Altos

New center needs kid-focused tweaks

I am happy that we have a new community center in Los Altos. However, I am not happy with the hours. I am at school most of those open hours. I haven’t been able to go inside yet.

Also, there is a lot of open space at the back of the center. There is only one playground that is quite small and for little kids. I think there should also be a bigger playground for bigger kids.

Thank you for listening to my opinion on the center.

Teddy Biggs, age 12

Los Altos

ALPR technology works ‘remarkably well’

Following the recent Town Crier coverage of the approval of automatic license plate reader (ALPR) cameras in Los Altos Hills, a couple of clarifications may be helpful.

The ALPR systems are designed by Flock Safety with privacy concerns in mind.

No photos are taken of occupants; no gender, race or appearance; and no personally identifiable information is recorded. The cameras take only still photos, no video, and record only the rear license plate, make and color of the rear of vehicles on a public street, where there is no expectation of privacy.

The data is not accessible by Flock or the town – the only personnel who can access the data are trained law enforcement from the Sheriff’s Office, under a case number that must be documented.

Absent a specific investigational need, the data is deleted after 30 days. An annual audit of access records is required by state law.

Finally, there are specific state and local penalties for violating these safeguards. These systems should help curtail crime in our town. They have worked remarkably well in other cities. We should give them a try.

Rajiv Bhateja

Los Altos Hills

LA council adopted ‘censure’ policy

Jeanine Valadez thinks accountability is good policy for the Los Altos City Council and residents (“Other Voices,” Oct. 20). I agree.

She says, “It’s legal to hold elected officials accountable. … Accountability is not discipline. … People want accountability in governance.” All true.

Regrettably, none of this relates to the censure policy approved by Mayor Neysa Fligor and council members Weinberg and Meadows. Sure, they renamed it an “accountability policy,” but that’s just putting lipstick on a pig.

In the Oct. 12 draft, the word “censure” appears 20 times. The word “accountability” is not mentioned at all. Without amending the policy’s language to match the new title, it’s still all about censure. Renaming was an obvious ploy to placate the overwhelming majority of public commenters who oppose the policy.

Los Altans are well aware that “accountability” and “censure” have distinctly different meanings.

We are smart enough to have held our city council accountable for over 50 years without need of a punitive policy. We vote with our feet, our voices – and ultimately our ballots.

Pat Marriott

Los Altos