Community Insights Group is the team of “tech-savvy volunteers” who offer “an effective online polling program the city should take a hard look at,” as noted in the Town Crier’s May 31 editorial (“More public engagement for Hillview”).
We’re flattered by the compliment and in total agreement about the need for public engagement in community decisions, yet we can help our city do more. We see ourselves as facilitators of community collaboration who help create decisions community members can support.
Effective collaboration begins with trust, and we hope to establish a trusted partnership with the Los Altos community. We empathize with the city council and staff on the tough decisions they face regarding Hillview Community Center. With the community data from previous outreach efforts, the priority of replacing the facilities while supporting current activities and the designated $25 million in funding, we agree with the city council that the newly appointed 11-person task force has sufficient information and resources to make recommendations on the facilities and design of the new center.
We do believe that Community Insights Group’s consulting services could be useful for developing the civic center beyond the current plan. We offer an online town hall where thousands of community members can collaborate. Community members identify their personal preferences, discuss options with each other and discover majority-supported, minimally opposed solutions.
We’re delighted to bring a new approach to the forefront, and eager to support the city council and staff on their many difficult decisions. We will be pleased to offer our services when appropriate.
Bette Houtchens, Gary Anderson and Larry Baron
Community Insights Group