Principles

Candidates usually list the same lofty goals, leaving voters to wonder what those elected will really do. My record serving the city is clear and consistent, both from my participation on the Downtown Buildings Committee and the Planning Commission. I will act according to the principles I have followed while serving in those positions for the past four years:

Residents First

Residents are the most important people in our city. As a member of the Downtown Buildings Committee, I talked with more than 100 residents, standing outside our grocery stores and asking what you liked – or not – about recent development downtown. People were quite willing to share their views, which helped shape our final recommendations – most significant of which was to reduce the maximum height on First Street.

Resident input was a significant reason I voted against allowing 10-12 foot high structures within 5 feet of the back fence in our residential areas, destroying the concept of neighbor-to-neighbor privacy. I also voted to maintain our parking requirements, including a full 9-foot width on parking spaces and preventing further commercial development without additional parking.

As I walk our neighborhoods during this campaign, residents have been very forthcoming with ideas and concerns.   If I’ve missed seeing you, please tell me what matters to YOU. Email: anita@anita4losaltos.org

I will answer every email.

Collect The Facts

Acting without good information would quickly sink any business. We need to collect the facts, gain relevant information from open and transparent public discussions, and then arrive at decisions. This will not only give us better decisions, it will save staff time and money. City Council should not make a decision and then find information to justify their actions. Business can’t afford a “do over.” Our residents shouldn’t pay for this mismanagement either.

I have consistently pressed for complete, factual information before deciding my vote on the Planning Commission. I have sought to reconcile inconsistent information in various parking studies, to demand more complete staff work, and to understand why our land-use and zoning maps are inconsistent. I have questioned incomplete studies  and pressed for information on how proposed developments comply – or not – with open space  and other zoning requirements.

Maintain Fiscal Discipline

Our sewers, streets, and other infrastructure require constant upgrading. We haven’t made our routes to school safe for our children. Now, Council has committed our park reserves – and plans to spend millions more in borrowed money – for a new Community Center, against the recommendation of the city’s Finance Director. Council accepted a Downtown Vision plan with no estimate of the costs to implement any of its recommendations. That is not sound fiscal discipline. The largesse of escalating property tax revenue can’t be counted on for the future. As a small business owner, I had to make careful decisions about spending money. I will treat your tax dollars for what they are – YOURS.

Treat All Parts Of The City EQUITABLY

Los Altos has the great advantage of many unique neighborhoods. Wherever one lives, city services should be delivered equitably. Concerns about traffic should be taken seriously throughout. We are one city, and what happens in one neighborhood affects us all. From maintenance of roadways to response to emergency calls, all residents should count on equal treatment.

Plan For The Long Term

Successful business owners learn to plan for the long term and to evaluate potential unintended consequences. The same applies to City Council decisions. It is easy to be distracted by appealing ideas (for which there is no budget) or to choose short-term solutions that have greater long-term costs. I will always look at the long-term effects on our budget and on our residents before making decisions.