Letters to the Editor: Parks issue, motorcycle officers, dog parks

What’s to study? Put parks issue on ballot

Thank you to the Town Crier for its recent articles on the parks initiative in Los Altos. From what I’ve read, the group that organized this initiative has met all of the legal requirements for putting this measure on the ballot, including obtaining almost twice the number of signatures necessary.

Why does the Los Altos City Council talk about “studying” the measure and producing their own “counter initiative”? Put it on the ballot and let we the people study it and vote on it. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.

Paul Boetius

Los Altos

Reconsider addition of LAH motorcycle officer

After reading the article “Sheriff’s Office moves to bolster LAH presence” (May 2), I felt compelled to write a letter to the editor of the Town Crier.

Although everyone is in favor of reducing the crime rate in Los Altos Hills, I was surprised to read that the proposed solution was equivalent to highway robbery.

At the cost of $95,000 for an additional 465 hours, the town of Los Altos Hills is surely being robbed. Consider that at this rate, Los Altos Hills is being charged more than $204 per hour for an annual rate of $425,000 per year for a single motorcycle officer.

Perhaps it’s time to reconsider the cost of the service provided by the Sheriff’s Office and try a simple test case.

Keep the patrol deputy and drop the motorcycle officer (whose primary job is to issue traffic tickets) and see if the crime rate increases or decreases after a year’s test run.

Ted Lawson

(No address given)

Dog-park decision subverts democracy

The Town Crier article of May 23 declared that the Los Altos Parks and Recreation Commission had “nixed” the idea of a dog park (“Parks & Rec nixes dog park, pursues off-leash hours”).

This is incorrect. There was an earlier failed motion by the subcommittee suggesting that the Los Altos City Council consider the 10,000-square-foot expansion area at the new Hillview Community Center for a fenced-in dog park. This motion was based on its studies, the wishes of residents and the results of the survey, which overwhelmingly showed 38 percent more people wanted a dog park over off-leash hours.

The subcommittee also recommended that off-leash dogs not be allowed on sports fields for obvious health benefits for children at play and family gatherings on the grass, disqualifying Grant Park and a few others.

The subcommittee motion failed, since it was overtaken by the chairman in favor of off-leash hours. He forcefully steered the commission to favor his personal desires, ignoring the recommendations of the subcommittee, residents’ input and survey results, since he lives near Grant Park and likes to walk his dog there in the mornings.

Is this the way democracy is supposed to work? It’s time for the chairman to stop pushing his personal agenda and listen to residents’ input and survey results.

Zahra Ardehali

Los Altos

LASD lacks need, funds for 10th campus

As a four-year new parent to the community, I have learned a lot about the ongoing battle over the school facilities. After all of the extensive research and analysis I have done, I am strongly against the proposal to purchase a 10th site. The Los Altos School District doesn’t have the need or the funding to support a 10th site. Here is why:

• The enrollment growth doesn’t show the need for a new school. The most recent demographer report has indicated very clearly that the medium scenario for enrollment in the Los Altos School District is a decline of 78 students now through 2025. This number has taken into consideration all of the approved-to-be-built, completed and work-in-progress projects in the north of El Camino Real area, which accounts for 208 students.

In other words, based on all expected projects, it is highly likely that what the district has today is what the district will have for the next seven years, if not less. So a 10th site is not a must-have for the foreseeable future.

• Financially, the district doesn’t have the funds to support its plan. Below is the math based on the district’s proposed cost included in the draft master plan: Existing campus improvement – $207.6 million; new 900-student campus – $57 million (the master plan footnote indicated that it’s likely to be $65 million); middle-school conversion – $16.4 million; total – $281 million (or $289 million).

However, $57 million for the new 900-student campus is way underestimated. My calculation with a conservative estimate on the land and the construction, etc., after the $97 million contribution from Mountain View, will be in the range of $105 million to $125 million. So basically, the district has a plan to spend $329 million to $349 million, when it only has $150 million of Measure N money.

I strongly request that the Los Altos School District make judicious use of taxpayers’ money and come up with a solution based on the resources it has today. The details of my calculation and all supporting information can be found at nextdoor.com/news_feed/?post=83214013.

Ying Liu

Los Altos

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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