MY THREE MAIN GOALS
Move the Big Issues Before Council Forward. This includes the Community Center rebuild, traffic safety and improvements, upgrading our public facilities and implementing the portions of the downtown vision plan that align with my positions below.
Be a Champion for All Neighborhoods and Business Districts. This includes ensuring resources are invested throughout the City.
- Preserve the Things We Love About Los Altos. This includes maintaining quality services for our residents and the charm and character of Los Altos as we plan for the future.
MY LEADERSHIP APPROACH
This is an exciting time for our City. The next City Council must have the right leadership approach, experience, and the breadth and depth of knowledge to make the big decisions Los Altos will face over the next couple years. City Council needs leaders who are willing to make the tough decisions and not be swayed by political expediency, can bridge divisions in our community, and will ensure decisions are consistent with our community values. I have the right approach to be that leader.
My leadership approach involves:
- Engaging and reaching out to all corners of our City
- Reviewing what has already been done to avoid expending City resources unnecessarily
- Building trust through communication and following through on commitments
- Identifying common ground with fellow City Council members to move issues forward
- Working with community groups, stakeholders and school boards to promote what’s in the best interest of the community
- Exploring alternatives that would reduce environmental harm and financial impact to the City and residents
- Being proactive and seeking out long-term solutions whenever possible
- Understanding the short and long-term impacts of a decision
- Balancing the tradeoffs and communicating them clearly
- Making decisions after a thorough analysis
Here are my positions on several issues currently facing Los Altos. We may not agree on all the issues below, but I promise you that if I am elected, I will respect and listen to all voices and opinions on all issues because I believe that is what all Council Members should do.
I support increasing vibrancy in downtown Los Altos. From my own personal experience and as reflected in the City-wide survey conducted by the City, a majority of Los Altans want more restaurants, shops and gathering places downtown. The City recently adopted a visioning plan that will serve as a guideline in its decision-making process. I will support the portions of the plan that promote sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions, economic vibrancy and powerful and solid architectural design guidelines that align with the charm and character of Los Altos. The projected implementation for the visioning plan is over 25 years, but I believe there are things the City can do immediately to start increasing the vibrancy. This includes modifying the zoning to allow for uses that will increase the number of people in downtown throughout the day, such as exploring allowing professional office space in the rear of buildings. This would make our downtown more attractive to restaurants to open or relocate to Los Altos.
With increased vibrancy, the City will need a parking solution for downtown, such as an underground or above ground parking structure, that meets the need and still maintains the charm and character of downtown. We currently hear from residents who live close to Downtown that visitors and workers are parking on their residential streets. To reduce the impact on these neighborhoods, we will, at a minimum, need to replace the loss of the current parking spaces and increased demand that will occur with the implementation of the plan. Another important consideration is the funding for a parking structure. I believe this is an area where the City should explore public-private partnerships to alleviate the cost burden on Los Altans.
Traffic Safety and Improvements
I support investing more in traffic safety and road improvements in the different neighborhoods and throughout the City. Traffic safety is a major concern around our schools, shopping districts, City facilities, El Monte, San Antonio, Miramonte, Foothill Expressway and El Camino. As a Council member, I would continue to make traffic safety a priority by supporting safe routes to school, traffic safety and improvements in neighborhoods, and more pedestrian and bike friendly options. Increased traffic in our community is also a regional issue that must be addressed at a regional level. I support working with other jurisdictions and employers to identify and implement housing and transit solutions that will significantly reduce vehicular traffic on our roads.
I support having a variety of housing options in Los Altos, including accessory dwelling units and higher density housing on El Camino. With limited land, and the increasing jobs-housing imbalance in Silicon Valley, we have to consider different housing solutions, and higher density is one of the most feasible solutions. High density housing will help seniors, families, teachers, emergency responders and service workers, people we all rely on daily. Development on El Camino, however, should be done in a manner that mitigates the impact on the existing neighbors. I will support creative ways to reduce the noise and traffic impact on the neighbors.
I oppose Measure C. As a former Chair and member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, I care about protecting our parks and open spaces. I have also been endorsed by the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters. But Measure C goes too far. In addition to requiring any sale of city-owned land to go to the voters, Measure C also requires leases go to the voters. This ties the hands of City Council to exercise its fundamental authority to make public policy decisions. The City, for instance, currently has leases with entities that provide services to our community, such as fire stations. If Measure C passes, the City would have to expend time and resources going to the voters for such leases. The language in Measure C is also vague in several sections, which means there will be lawsuits to clarify and interpret the language, costing the City time and resources. For example, it is not clear what conditions need to be satisfied for existing leases to be exempt from going to the voters. I support having a local law that requires any sale of parks and open space to go to the voters. We also need to make restoring trust in our City Council a priority.
Community Center Rebuild
I support the Community Center rebuild. Our Community Center should be right-sized to meet the programming needs of the community. As a former Chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission, I supported maintaining the soccer field, having dedicated and separate senior and teen centers, and also taking the opportunity to add more green space in Los Altos. We also need to ensure that we are only spending what we need to in order to have a Community Center of which we all can be proud. I support exploring different funding sources for the Community Center so as to avoid having to seek a special tax or bond measure. As the former Vice-Chair of the Grant Writing Committee, I would encourage the City to also explore grant opportunities.