2014 Los Altos City Council Candidates Forum


“SAID” TALKS in Los Altos. Watch our potential decision makers say what they will do for Los Altos in the next 4 years regarding:


Downtown Parking: You mentioned downtown parking. People have been arguing about downtown parking for decades. Do you believe there is a parking problem now?  Do you think there will be a parking problem in 10 years?  And if so, what would you do when in office to solve that problem?



Measure N and Schools: Do you support or oppose Measure N, and give us your reasons for that, and what can the city council do to improve relationship with the schools?



Pool at Community Center: Do you see a pool as a must have for the Community Center?  Why or why not?



First Street Developments:  Do you like how the developments on First Street between Edith and Main turned out, and should those developments serve as a template for future development in the rest of downtown?



Traffic: Los Altos has thorough fares like Grant Rd and Fremont Ave that are heavily trafficked and link outside Los Altos’ jurisdictions– the backup on Fremont in the morning and evening is from lights at Hwy 85, for example).  How will you improve this kind of situation when you are in office?



Safe bike and pedestrian routes: Please describe how you would incorporate safe bike and pedestrian routes into all planning so that biking/walking is a safe and desirable option in Los Altos and not an afterthought?



Library: What is your outlook for a new library and where should it be ranked with all the civic center priorities?



City P.R. Person: In December 2012 the city hired a full-time, $86,000 a year, Public Affairs officer – a P.R. person – is that position necessary in a city government as small as Los Altos? If so, why?



Good government: How do you define good city government?



Stevens’ Creek Trail: Do you favor future expansion of Steven’s Creek trail in Los Altos?



Loyola Corners: It seems like little attention has been given to Loyola Corners over the years.  What’s your take on the needs of the area and how would you meet those needs on the council?



Citizen Input: How will you learn what citizen’s want? What will determine your response to citizen opinion? And a context statement: How do you define the difference between reaching a consensus versus succumbing to “group-think”? How would you avoid the latter?



Questions to Audience and Candidates:



Walter Singer Bust location: Stand up if you think the Walter Singer Bust should be moved from its current community plaza location to the Front of Le Boulanger where Singer’s business used to be.



Walter Singer Bust location 2: Stand up if you agree with the council’s decision, which was to move the Walter Singer bust from the Community Plaza to a location at the History Museum, which I guess actually even surprised the people at the History Museum.



Downtown parking: Is parking downtown a problem for you?



First Street developments: Stand up if you like how the First Street developments between Main and Edith have turned out.



City code limiting temporary signs: Do you support the city code that limits all temporary signs, including campaign signs, to 12 square feet?



Multiple choice – Know your Facts:



Skate park funds: Has City Council ever appropriated funds for a skate park to be built in Los Altos?



City budget: What is the size of the 2014-15 Annual City Operating and Capital Budget?



City council meetings attended: How many city council meetings have you attended in person in the last year?



Seniors: What percentage of Los Altos residents are over 65 years old?



City staff: How many fulltime employees or approved positions does the City of Los Altos employ?



City commissions: How many Commissions or committees has the Council created and staffed?



City manager job performance: How would you rate the job performance of Marcia Somers? If elected or re-elected would you retain her?



Seniors: Does the city need to do more to cater to its senior population, with elements like free shuttles, more lighting & benches in public places, or other things?



Police services: Our police services cost about $8 million per year.  The county sheriff has offered to provide the same for $4 million.  What should we do?



Community groups: Do you believe community groups should be involved in city planning processes? If so, how?



Who do you admire in Los Altos: Could you tell me who do you admire the most in Los Altos – it could be a person living or dead?



What makes you unique: What makes you unique? What makes you stand out among the rest of you?  Give me one unique quality about you that you would bring to the table that the other candidates don’t quite match up with?



Connecting Civic Center and Downtown: How would we connect the Civic Center to Downtown? Would you have any ideas?




Overflow questions from the Forum are posted at http://bit.ly/1t72fAA

Residents can continue to post and vote on questions at this link as well.


Los Altos Town Crier is continuing to publish responses to questions that have been developed by the Sponsors.


Los Altos City Council Candidates Forum

Los Altos High School Eagle Theatre

October 1, 2014, 7 p.m.


Sponsors for the Candidates Forum include:

American Association of University Women-Mountain View & Los Altos Area, Center for Age Friendly Excellence, GreenTown Los Altos, League of Women Voters–Mountain View-Los Altos, Los Altos-2020, Los Altos Community Foundation, Los Altos Education Association, Los Altos Forward, Los Altos Town Crier, Los Altos Women’s Caucus.



Local researcher seeks “Citizen Scientists”

46PARKing Day 530pm seating_goodWe are seeking “citizen scientists” to help us assess the temporary pop up park that will be built in 3rd Street in August.  There are 2 components to this assessment – and volunteers can do both, or just one.  I will explain them individually:
Discovery Tool Assessment
We have developed an app (hosted on a 7 inch Samsung tablet) that allows community residents to take photos and record audio narratives about features of their neighborhood (in this case, the pop up park) that may affect their ability to be physically active.  We are requesting that the citizen scientists use this app at 3 time points – once before the park is built (ie July 24th to 27th), once during the park (August 21st to 24th) and once after the park (the first couple of weeks in September).  Each assessment using the Discovery Tool app will take about 30 minutes, which includes all the time needed to learn how to use the app.   We will be collecting the data at 10 amnoon4 pm and 7 pm on the specified dates and each volunteer would sign up for only ONE time slot.  Preferably they would commit to doing all three assessments on the same day and time so that each person is comparing similar circumstances (for example, assessing the park while the Farmers Market is on at 7 pm would provide a very different experience compared to doing it on a Sunday evening at 7 pm)
Park User Surveys
We have previously developed a brief survey (3 pages) to gather basic data about park users and assess their perceptions of the park.  Volunteers have the opportunity to participate in this activity – which will take place on the same “during” park days as mentioned above (August 21st to 24th) (no pre or post assessment as above).  To be efficient. we are thinking that immediately following their assessment using the Discovery Tool, volunteers can gather survey data for an hour or so (or less if that is what works best for them).
So to answer your questions specifically –
  • we would like to have 4-5 adults (we have 5 youth and 3 seniors already committed),
  • they would be doing one or both of the activities described above,
  • no skills required,
  • duration for the Discovery Tool assessment = ~ 30 minutes,
  • duration for the surveys, each one takes about 10 minutes depending on how “chatty” the interviewee is – and the volunteer can do as many or few as they like,
  • dates for the assessment cover before (July 24th to 27th), during (August 21st to 24th) and after (Sept),
  • dates for the surveys are only during the park August 21st to 24th
Interested people can contact me on my cell phone at 859-229-7459 or by e-mail and I would be more than happy to tell them about our work.
Sandra J Winter, PhD, MHA
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Healthy Aging Research and Technology Solutions (HARTS) Lab
Behavioral and Technology Solutions for Life
Stanford Prevention Research Centre
Stanford University School of Medicine
Suite 100, 1070 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto CA, 94304-1334

Los Altos Forward City Council Candidates Forum

Los Altos Forward Invites You to the

Los Altos City Council Candidates Forum
Downtown Vibrancy
and Sustainability 
Thursday, September 27
Los Altos High School Auditorium
201 Almond Avenue
We encourage you to submit and prioritize questions for the candidates at:

Logo jpeg LATC

      Logo jpeg LWV Logo jpeg AAUW                      Los Altos-Mountain View Area      Los Altos-Mountain View
 Logo jpeg GreenTown LA 2LAEF_30thLogo_FINAL_300dpi

Please email info@losaltosforward.org to add your organization as a sponsor (no financial support required).