Letters to the Editor - week of Feb. 20

Potential candidates: What about competency?

The media and their audiences are all excited because of the increased number of young people, women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, gays and transgenders who are entering politics. Clearly missing are short people, tall people, fat people, skinny people, bald people, and don’t forget hairy people.

But the most important qualification of all is never, ever mentioned verbally or in writing. That qualification is competency. The focus of all the new and past candidates applying for a political job is telling you what’s wrong, and what they will do. Not difficult. Match that with a pleasant personality and an articulate ability to speak and you have an elected politician. By the way, those are the same requirements for a successful used-car salesperson.

The way you determine what a person is capable of doing (their competency) is by examining what they have done. Then you extrapolate that into how it fits what they say they will do. This is what the entire rest of the world does when applying for a job – except politicians.

Poppy’s Rule: When competency is not an integrated requirement, incompetency becomes the order of the day.

Consequently, we have accumulated a potpourri of politicians whose skills are manifested in getting the job, but are very limited or nonexistent for doing the job. The result: a dysfunctional government with all its predictable consequences.

Allen Cymrot

Mountain View

Advocate supports LAHS Green Team

Bravo to the Los Altos High School Green Team for hosting its fifth annual Students for Green High Schools Conference at Google Inc.’s Sunnyvale campus Jan. 26 (“LAHS Green Team spreads sustainability,” Jan. 23).

With 16 high schools from throughout the Bay Area participating, this student-run conference must have been a huge endeavor for these students. It is inspiring to see so many young people taking action on the sustainability of our planet. As Green Team co-captain Anya Gupta stated, “We do it to bring environmentally minded people from around the Bay Area together to discuss topics like climate change, and most importantly, what we can do in our schools.”

Coincidentally, the same day the students were meeting, 250 people (a dozen or so from Los Altos and Los Altos Hills) attended Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s NorCal Regional Conference at Menlo Atherton High School, celebrating the fact that the bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (with U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo as an original co-sponsor) had just been introduced in the House of Representative Jan. 24.

This legislation is effective, good for people and good for the economy. We owe it to our youth to support this bill.

Paula Danz

Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteer

Los Altos

LA Planning Commission ‘dismissed’ residents

I recently attended a Los Altos Planning Commission meeting in reference to a proposed subdivision. I was disturbed by the process due to the following:

1. The commission dismissed our concerns that the development was not compatible with the neighborhood. I know of instances where they rejected plans for two-story homes that were within building guidelines due to neighbors who were concerned with compatibility.

The commission’s decisions are arbitrary and highly subjective. Why were our concerns quickly dismissed when other residents were taken much more seriously?

2. One of the commissioners stated very clearly that he had already made up his mind and wondered why we were even talking about this.

There is no reason to even be having such a meeting if they are not going to have an open mind and be open to discussion.

3. Only 20 percent of our development of 80 homes was informed of this meeting, and it was at the last minute. The residents who live directly across from the proposal were not even informed.

I understand that the commissioners are volunteers, but it should be their responsibility to look after the best interests of their fellow Los Altans.

Emily Wu

Los Altos

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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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