Letters to the Editor: Week of Oct. 24

Measure C grants residents stewardship

On Oct. 9, the Los Altos City Council passed a city ordinance (to temporarily preserve parks and open space) that fails to preserve the Hillview soccer and baseball fields, children’s park, apricot orchards, Neutra House, Bus Barn Theater, History House, and more. The ordinance also leaves public and institutional land, including downtown’s parking plazas, at risk of disposition without resident input.

I am concerned that our historical apricot orchards could be compromised or removed as part of future Hillview/Civic Center development. This must be prevented at all costs. Why haven’t the historical orchard plaques been installed? This “oversight” makes me wonder.

I am pro-development and pro-town character. Both can be achieved. I would not want to see valuable community resources ruined, sold or leased, without majority citizen support. Measure C accomplishes this. Once we sell or lease our land, we cannot get it back. (Look at the plight of our school district – after sites were sold, we cannot get them back.)

We need to approach development and our community assets thoughtfully. Our citizens care about both.

Measure C makes Los Altos citizens the responsible stewards of our community lands – to ensure that they survive for future generations. We want to preserve the town character that brought us here in the first place.

Cathy Bowers

Los Altos

Other cities do not have similar measures

The Yes on C website states: “Many cities have similar requirements. … Most recently, in 2016 both Santa Clara and Milpitas passed initiatives similar to this.”

I researched this and found that no cities in Santa Clara County have requirements that are really similar to those proposed by Measure C.

Measure C proponents use Milpitas and Santa Clara as cities that have passed similar ballot measures, but in fact, those measures were not similar to Measure C. According to The Mercury News (Oct. 18, 2016), the Milpitas and Santa Clara measures are “limited to parks and open space designated in the cities’ general plans. They don’t require elections to renew every deal cities have. ... They were written with the help of city attorneys and placed on the ballot by city councils.” These were collaborative measures, supported by both citizens and their city governments, and they are very different from Measure C.

A measure more similar to Measure C was defeated by Sunnyvale voters in 2016. According to The Mercury News (Oct. 18, 2016), the Sunnyvale measure “was placed on the ballot by disgruntled residents. It is sloppy legislation with a vast, costly and damaging reach – covering nearly all publicly owned or leased land, ... requiring expensive elections even to renew leases that clearly are in the public interest.”

I’m voting “no” on Measure C.

Harry Guy

Los Altos

Voyageur du Temps report ‘off-base’

I enjoyed the title of the article about Voyageur du Temps closing its doors, in your Sept. 26 edition (“All or muffin: Voyageur du Temps bets on negotiation, forced to vacate”). However, the rest of the story did a disservice to the landlords.

The Armstrong family has deep roots in Los Altos, and has always sought the best for our downtown.

Without even asking anyone, I knew immediately upon reading the article that it was off-base: Of all tenants to “blame the landlord,” because the tenant in question had not only poured substantial resources into tenant improvements but still had gargantuan assets, such a claim was unfounded.

Having a reporter fall into the trap of simply repeating what the tenant’s staff may have said is simply circulating rumors and besmirching reputations. For those who made a quick read of the article, it makes it seem as if the landlord was greedy and the tenant was crying poor-mouth – which is way off-base.

The restaurant appears to have begun as a vanity project; the reasons for misinformation about its demise also appear motivated by vanity. The staff and patrons may be dismayed, but just as the public never warmed to Andy Rubin’s “Essential” Phone, it seems that the Rubins determined it was not essential to keep the restaurant going – and now their bakery is toast.

Harry Price

Los Altos

Candidates not candid about party affiliation

The other day, out of curiosity, I emailed all five Los Altos City Council candidates and asked for their party affiliations.

Nancy Bremeau, Jean Mordo and Neysa Fligor responded to say that this is a “nonpartisan” election, but that they were registered Democrats. Teresa Morris would not tell me in writing, repeating this was a nonpartisan election and that she would only discuss it in person. I never heard back from Anita Enander.

Personally, I find it very unhelpful for office candidates and sponsors of city-related measures to not be candid about their party registrations. It should be on their webpages. What on earth is a “nonpartisan election” in these fraught and hyperpartisan times?

Dick Schreiber

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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