Measure A needs a business plan
Los Altos Measure A proponents claim its aquatic center will be self-funding with no supporting details.
Pools are expensive. No private investor would fund a multimillion-dollar project without a rigorous business plan. Public investment requires similar scrutiny.
San Fernando undertook a comparable pool project. In 2008, they opened a three-pool aquatic complex funded by city-issued bonds. Originally intended for year-round use, by 2010, it was closed for nine months of the year to cut cost. Still smothering the budget, last year it was turned over to Los Angeles County.
Shedding the pools improved city finances by $700,000 per year, but residents still bear the bond obligation. Their mayor said, “Unfortunately, the upkeep of the pool is not sustainable for the city. The decision to build the pool, they should have thought it through a little bit more because of the long-term cost for the staffing level, the insurance and overall cost of maintaining the swimming pool.”
San Fernando is not unique. The Mendocino district was forced into bankruptcy by their aquatic center. The Crescent City pool runs an annual deficit of $264,000. Escondido has considered closing its pools to reduce its deficit. Vote No on Measure A.
Katherine and Larry Lang Los Altos
Seniors need their own space
Thank you for expressing what a lot of us seniors feel. I used to be a great supporter of our senior center, but for the past three years I have chosen to go to Cupertino.
Although I am not opposed to sharing a dedicated Senior Center with others, I urge a No Vote on Measure A until the City Council guarantees we will have our own space.
K. Gabrielle Tiemann
Former Senior Commission member
Senior pens poem promoting new center
Dear Los Altos Council, so young and bright; dedicated to our town, meeting night after night.
Now in my 80s and looking up ahead, old ugly Hillview leaves much to be said.
Ghastly when I took a son there in ’72. It’s not gotten better – what can we do?
Los Altos houses get beautified on every street. Aren’t there dollars to spare for a senior retreat?
Get proper armchairs to help push us up tall, to make sure us seniors won’t accidently fall.
Put in bright lights so we can see our way clear, so we’ll go to events there, year after year.
Replace kiddie toilets with proper tall ones; that won’t break old hips or any old bones.
Making a silk purse from that old sow’s ear, 33 percent of Los Altos, us seniors will loudly cheer!
Fix that old eyesore, make something inviting. Attract more people, by doing the right thing.
Won’t take a lot, not mega millions. Do it on time, make good decisions.
Try to remember that you’ll all soon get older. It’s time for a good senior center, so be bolder.
Women’s caucus endorses Measure A
The Los Altos Women’s Caucus, an organization engaging women in the civic affairs of our city, enthusiastically endorses Measure A, the proposed bond issue to help fund a new community center and swim center.
We believe that the Hillview Community Center, built 70 years ago, has outlived its usefulness and its outdated facilities discourage community use.
The proposed community center, approximately 55,000 square feet, will be a multigenerational building with programs for all Los Altans, from tots to elders. We have been assured by the city council that there will be a top-notch senior center with robust programs for this large segment of Los Altans. Your newspaper called for at least 10,000 square feet devoted to seniors and we are confident the council will make sure that happens.
We also support the proposed swim center. We think a vibrant swim program will be a huge asset to the town. The pools will not only be available for competitive swimmers, but also for those who want to have swim lessons or just take a casual swim.
We urge our fellow citizens to seek accurate information about the proposed bond measure. When they are informed, we are confident they will join us in voting yes on this measure that will provide these much needed improvements to our wonderful city.
The Los Altos Women’s Caucus
Civic center plan changed, so should EIR
The recent letter by Maria Lonergan (“Civic center project needs new EIR,” Sept. 9) needs to be taken seriously by the city and residents, including all changes to “the plan.”
EIRs typically need a significant reality check and must be taken with a grain of salt. Consultants that peddle their “expertise” at creating EIRs have one primary mission: Revenue generation. There is no concern for the community they do not live in. Using an outdated EIR on a new project is unacceptable.
EIRs are typically “cookbooked” with no actual, firsthand knowledge of traffic flows or local resident concerns. An example: Intersections are evaluated for Levels Of Service (LOS). The intent is it to gauge how much traffic an area or intersection can accommodate. The issue: Who determines LOS? Your friendly federal government and Caltrans!
What does that mean? Los Altos is treated exactly the same as Los Angeles or San Francisco. If I wanted to live in those locales, I would. I don’t. Therefore, when an EIR states the LOS is acceptable, I ask myself, “Acceptable to whom?”
A complete, thoroughly reviewed and carefully examined new EIR for the Civic Center is required, including all new updates and the premises of pools, overall size, parking and access. Los Altos deserves better than a cookbook, go-through-the-motions effort.