Letters to the Editor: Schools races, LAH issues

Schools community must work together

In the Town Crier’s Oct. 7 editorial endorsing Grace Mah, I was dismayed to see the claim that “helping vulnerable populations” is not something our community needs to be concerned with. Just as bad, in the middle of a pandemic emergency, is the later insinuation that support for and from teachers is a sign of disregard for students and families.

I would have thought it was clear by now that we cannot keep acting like a series of walled towns fighting zero-sum battles; we are all in this together and need more than ever to reach out and work to ensure that all can thrive.

Bryan Johnson
Los Altos School District Board of Trustees president

Reject slate running for LAH council

I’ve been so focused on election drama at a national level that I neglected to pay attention to the election drama playing out right now, right here in Los Altos Hills – until I read the Town Crier’s recent article about the dreadful behavior of Nina Sutaria, wife of Jay Sutaria who is running for city council (“Los Altos Hills committee chairwoman resigns following accusations of misbehavior,” Sept. 18).

It’s clear that the Sutaria family has an agenda: They want to extend a pathway that runs near their property. As I looked into the issue, I realized that Mr. Sutaria is running as part of a slate of candidates that includes Linda Swan (also mentioned in the Town Crier article) and Stanley Q. Mok. If the slate wins, they will have a majority on the council and will be able to push through anything they want, including an extension of this particular pathway.

The other issue that’s important to this slate of candidates is developing a recreation building on property that’s now the Little League baseball fields, something the Sutarias and Swans have been pushing for via the Parks and Recreation Committee.
I don’t know enough – yet – about either issue to know whether they would be good for our town or not so good. I do know, however, that I want my elected representatives to solicit community input before they take over private property for a path or pave over the baseball fields to build an expensive indoor rec center.

By all means, let’s elect one of the members of this slate to the council so that their opinions can be heard. But for the sake of robust discussion and good governance, we must make sure that they don’t gain a majority and drown out all other voices.

Let’s be sure that Los Altos Hills’ elected representatives behave better than our national politicians. Vote for diversity on the council, not for a dual-issue slate.

Katie Roper
Los Altos Hills

Vote ‘no’ on Caltrain ballot measure

My ballot recently arrived, and I see that Caltrain wants more of our money despite increased working from home. There have also been reports that special interests, including contractors, unions and advocacy groups, are throwing $1.3 million into pushing this regressive Caltrain sales-tax increase.

Vote “no” on Measure RR. Sales taxes already contribute into making the Bay Area a horribly expensive place to live, especially for people of modest means, who must pay the greatest percentage of their income in these regressive taxes and fees. Each increase by itself does not amount to much, but the cumulative effect is to add to the unaffordability of the region.

The tax proposal fails to take into account that residents are suffering an economic hit from the never-ending lockdowns.

Recommending a sales-tax increase during these difficult times is simply tone-deaf. Since the shutdowns began, government has shown little sympathy to residents who have been ruined financially.

A better idea is to do a top-to-bottom review of Caltrain’s spending and figure out how they can participate in the sacrifices demanded of normal residents. If voters feel Caltrain must have more money despite increased working from home, the solution is diverting existing funds from the overpriced BART extension to San Jose (eliminate the Santa Clara portion and/or expensive tunneling alternatives) or high-speed rail.

Better yet, raise taxes on the rich tech companies that are responsible for the congestion problem.

Either way, say “no” to the special interests and stop the sales-tax increases.

Bill Hough
Los Altos

MVLA needs new leadership

Neither Phil Faillace nor Sanjay Dave is good for Los Altos. (Nor is Fiona Walter.)

I live near Mountain View High School. These Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees members have allowed school traffic to overrun our neighborhood twice a day every school day. Lines of cars back up sometimes to the 85 freeway and pollute our air for hours. Talk about a group with a tin ear for the threats of climate change and the role that every American and every American institution must play in addressing carbon emissions.

They’re all looking in the rearview mirror, caught in the amber of a lost and discredited time. They have jammed policies down our throats and ignored neighbors’ pleas for a holistic vision of how the school operates within the larger community.

They’ve transformed the school from an asset to a liability, a polluter of all types, including litter and sound.

And the example they’ve set for the students? Selfishness triumphs and might makes right.

Sharon Simonson
Los Altos

Hills residents: Thank you for LAHCFD support

I would like to express grateful thanks to all of the community for contributing your voice to the Oct. 6 meeting of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

More than 130 Los Altos Hills residents spoke in opposition to the proposal by the Board of Supervisors for consolidation and suspension of authority for the Los Altos Hills County Fire District (LAHCFD). Additionally, many letters from former mayors, neighboring city managers and friendly firefighters were received. Your voice was heard!

We are most appreciative that you supported Supervisor Joe Simitian’s motion that was also supported by supervisors Mike Wasserman, Susan Ellenberg and Cindy Chavez to accept the two audits and oppose consolidation, but that allowed for further study and evaluation of countywide fire services by Central County Fire and future study by the Local Agency Formation Commission. Regrettably, Supervisor Dave Cortese opposed.

The LAHCFD is working with the county counsel to mitigate any needed/suggested changes and will report to the Board of Supervisors monthly. In the meantime, the fire district is working on its 2020-2022 Strategic Plan that will include a forward-looking Integrated Hazardous Fuel Reduction Program – including vegetation and fuel reduction, and shaded fuel breaks.

George Tyson
Los Altos Hills

City Council member and LAHCFD commissioner

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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