Los Altos voters are trying to decide whether to vote for Measure A. Do we want to replace our dilapidated Hillview Community Center and build a new pool facility to replace the former Covington pool? The decision is personal for each of us.
If Measure A passes, what would be my cost, and how would I benefit? My example might be of help.
What is the cost to me? Even though our home is worth more than $1 million, the maximum out-of-pocket cost if Measure A passes is one cup of coffee every three weeks from Peet’s or Starbucks. The calculation includes a reduction in my income tax because I itemize deductions such as property taxes.
What would be my benefit? I would enjoy using our new community center and new senior center, and I might use the warm pool for exercise classes. Our grandson could learn to swim when he visits in the summer. My property value would benefit when young families thinking of moving here see that this city cares about its recreation facilities and that these facilities can benefit their children, themselves and perhaps their parents.
What if Measure A does not pass? We would continue to be embarrassed by our dilapidated and limited facilities for who knows how long. You need to do your own analysis, but I am guessing I am typical of voters my age – 77.
Reading multiple viewpoints on Measure A helps clarify the issues. From what I’ve read, the biggest point of contention seems to be the proposed aquatic center. Mayor Jan Pepper implies that these two pools will represent only approximately 15 percent of the total cost of the project (“Yes to seniors, yes to families and yes on Measure A,” Sept. 30).
Meanwhile, Katherine and Larry Lang pointed out that what makes pools expensive is not the construction costs, but the long-term maintenance costs (“Measure A needs a business plan,” Sept. 30).
I would like to know the basis of Mayor Pepper’s assumption that the proposed pools would be “self-supporting.” I ask for hard numbers in terms of realistic staffing costs, maintenance and liability, as well as the number of swimmers expected and the fees they would pay.
I thank the Town Crier for helping to air the debate.
Measure A would make more sense to me if the proposed community center were actually somewhere central to the entire community, such as Loyola Corners. Why should everyone close to downtown (including me) get the benefit of proximity?
I’d also have more faith if our city government and staff had a proven record of fiscal responsibility and sound judgment. Given the bungled property sale of 400 Main St. and the astonishing First Street debacle, I’d need to see a more believable history before voting anything but “No wAy.”
I’ve been impressed by the lively debate in the Town Crier regarding the proposed bond Measure A, designed to fund a large, competitive swimming pool complex and even larger community center.
My dad, George Estill, was sworn in as city councilman the same day Los Altos was incorporated as a city: Dec. 1, 1952. I was just a teenager then, but I remember how hard the city council worked to make Los Altos unique. More trees were planted here, and less concrete was poured. That was thanks to my father, who later became mayor, and the other leaders of our community.
Their vision looks very forward- thinking today, as we face an increasingly congested and paved-over valley. That’s why I’m not supporting Measure A to build this multistory building and concrete complex on quiet Hillview Avenue. Los Altos deserves something that is smaller in scale and much more beautiful.
George and Jo Estill
I’ve read the ballot language for Measure A and I’m still not sure what we would get for $65 million (plus $25 million of city reserves).
If the bond passes, will there be a 10,000-square-foot dedicated space for seniors, as the Town Crier suggested Sept. 16, or the 1,000 square feet suggested by some supporters of the bond? Will the soon-to-be evicted Children’s Corner Preschool be invited back? There are countless additional questions that are left hanging.
Why can’t our leaders let us know how they will be spending our money before we give it to them?
They could at least give us a prioritized list of what they will spend the money on and be held accountable to spend against that prioritized list until the funds are exhausted. Otherwise, we have to vote on the bond without knowing what we’ll really get.
As a Los Altos resident for 38 years, I prefer not to dispute details with my neighbors. But I must report that the most recent marketing survey of Los Altos residents, cited by John Day and Maridee Charlton of the Community Pool Foundation (“Pool supporters refute opposing argument,” Sept. 23), got its positive response on pools by asking residents if they would favor a “self-supporting pool” complex. That was a loaded question.
Unfortunately, the proposed pool complex is only going to be self-supporting in the sense that we, the Los Altos taxpayers, will support it ourselves. We’ll pay to build it, pay to service its debt, pay to keep it full of water and then pay again when we want to swim there.
Here we are, in the middle of a drought of historic duration and severity, letting our lawns and gardens die and not flushing our toilets in order to save water. Where’s the logic in building three pools? I know the Community Pool Foundation means well, but I’m voting “no” on Measure A.