City Council

Los Altos City Council Candidates 2014 – Unendorsement Matrix

Which Two will you vote for?
Written by lalahpolitico


Los Altos City Council Candidates 2014, Mary Prochow, Jean Mordo, Jarrett Fishpaw, Alex Glew, Karen Berner

Los Altos City Council Candidates 2014

The Unendorsement Matrix for Los Altos City Council Candidates 2014 returns in a new format. My goal is to try to tease out differences in candidates’ positions.  This year, I reviewed the tapes of the two forums ,Oct. 1 and Oct. 6, carefully trying to capture the highlights of each candidate’s answer to an important question.  The two forums had about 70% overlapping questions, so I blended the candidates’ answers from the two forums. Sometimes I added a summary after each candidate’s nuggets,  such as [YES]  or [NO] if the topic/question is that simple. In my transcriptions, I have tried to capture and restate their spirit and intention, not to produce a literal quote. I could not reduce the content to a matrix this year. Please do send me corrections and complaints about my portrayal of these candidates’ positions.

I did not include responses from all questions asked, omitting mainly the ones I regarded as silly “junk” questions.  If you want to hear the informative candidate statements and have the time, I recommend viewing the 90 minute KMVT forum of Oct. 6.  It has close-ups and superior audio. There are opening and closing candidate statements. I have not transcribed or summarized the statements, but do include some pertinent personal info below. Or if you are pressed for time, see my  post of the Oct. 6 KMVT video which has time markers for each 5 minute question and the opening and closing statements. ] *footnote


These within document links do work.  They land you just a bit ABOVE the questions. So please just scroll up a little bit. Thanks!


Is Los Altos a village?

Downtown Parking Structure?

Connect Downtown with Civic Center?

Community Pool?

Library Expansion?

Outsource Police?

Civic Center Phase I bond?

Fan of First Street?

Height Limit Main & State Streets?


Measure N – City/School Relations?


Bike Trail vs. Fallenleaf?

Bikes & Pedestrians?


Loyola Corner / North vs. South?

Government Transparency?


Candidate’s Residence / Property?

Candidate’s Occupation / Experience

Endorsements – Town Crier?  LAF? FOLA?

Vote for only one, not two?




Is Los Altos a village / town / city?

All Los Altos City Council Candidates 2014 agreed it was a village/town.

[hr] [hr]
Parking Structure Still Possible

Parking Structure Still Possible


What is your position on a downtown Parking Structure?

 Mary Prochow – First we need a specific plan for the downtown and civic center area. Any construction would require a participation of downtown Property Owners.  In the mean time, there could be consideration of modern parking meters that accept credit cards. And encourage more walking and biking.  I agree with Glew that we need more parking at the civic center. There could be shuttles or even golf carts. We could try the mobile apps Berner is suggesting.   Some time has to pass before we know what we really need. [MAYBE]

John Mordo – I agree we need a specific plan. I’m not in favor of meters because paid parking is unpopular. Restripping would be cheaper, but not that much cheaper, and is disliked because it dings your car up. So YES, I am in favor of some kind of garage in cooperation with Property Owners.  Since 1993, there have been many, many  parking studies.  The main reason to build a garage is to have a “parking in lieu” program to permit development.  Even one story stores are under parked.  To go to the permitted two stories is not possible because the owner/developer can’t provide the required extra parking. [YES]

Jarrett Fishpaw – Lunch hour parking can be a problem.  The City’s Parking Management Plan study rejected restripping. YES, within 5 years we can do a garage. The city has used programs such as valet parking during the holiday season.  Shuttles are unlikely.  VTA buses run at a loss. The question is how will we pay for it, whatever it is. I agree with Mordo that a “parking in lieu program” is important for normal renewal downtown.   [YES]

Alex Glew – We could get immediate relief by arranging for offsite parking for 200 or 300  spots. Do this as a test. Perhaps all downtown employees. Shuttle to them to church lots.  See how that feels, if it makes a difference. If that experiment works, only then spend the money on a garage. I’d like to see more parking at the Civic Center. [MAYBE]

Karen Berner – A garage is expensive. Right away we could try mobile app technology like “Spot On” which lets people pay for unused nearby parking. Let’s try alternatives first. During festivals, let Uber set up a “taxi “stand. [Editor: A whole floor of parking at Schwab is unused] [MAYBE]


[hr] [hr]


How would you connect the downtown with the civic center?



Mary Prochow –  We need to have the “intention” to connect them.  We need a specific plan which decides how to.  Some possibilities that occur to me:  bring the theatre forward to San Antonio;  face all the buildings toward downtown.  Perhaps there could be a small shuttle or golf carts to ferry people from the civic center building to downtown.

Jean Mordo – I agree with Mary that we need a specific plan. The traffic is getting worse and worse making it less and less pleasant to cross San Antonio on foot.  I agree with Glew that a footbridge over it would be delightful.  Furthermore, if we could build enough parking structures downtown, it might become possible to  make a street or alley pedestrian only.

Alex Glew – Across San Antonio Road, in order of increasing costs: improve the presence of the crosswalks; install a pedestrian overpass; build a pedestrian underpass; build an automobile underpass paving a big plaza over it.  Also I’d like to see more underground parking at the civic center [which might connect to downtown via a pedestrian underpass]

Jarrett Fishpaw –  I’m definitely not in support of a pedestrian overpass or underpass. There may be an opportunity to relocate some of the civic services now on the civic center to downtown. I’m not sure about the desirability of a roundabout.

Karen Berner – I’d look into a roundabout.  Certainly the cross walks could be more clearly marked and better lighted.


[hr] [hr]
public swimming pool

Is there room for a pool downtown? Should there be a north and south pool instead?

Is the Pool a must have for the Community Center? Y/N. What is you position on the Community Pool as part of the Phase I bond issue? …



Mary Prochow – No, not necessarily. There may be a strong desire to provide a pool, but we may want to use the civic center land differently.  There is space at the junior highs.   Let’s cooperate… a community pool would be greener than keeping our private pools.  [NO]

Jean Mordo – Yes, if we want a successful bond we should include the pool. It adds sizzle compare to just rebuilding a decrepit existing building – Hillview. The city will not really be paying to operate it. We need to provide the location and space. City of Los Altos Hills may participate in funding.  [YES]

Jarret Fishpaw – No, it is not a must have.  The current plan just creates a path for private parties to put it together.  A pool is not a core city service – police, roads, sewer…The council voted to provide a location for the pool.  This item may or may not fit into the Phase I budget. Perhaps if there were donations. [NO]

Alex Glew – Yes, based on the polls.  Nobody has a pool that large in their yard. Only a city can provide it. Santa Clara has a great pool. It benefits seniors who can do water aerobics ands kids too.  18% of the City is comprised of seniors.  I think we can get enough community support for it in the bond. [YES]

Karen Berner – The poll only supported $20 M.  But the community center with pool reached $60M. How badly do we need it? Is there another way to pay for it?  [besides adding it to the bond.]? [Lalahpolitico: at the first forum Berner was pro, but seems to have rethought the finances.]  [NO]

[hr] [hr] los_altos_library_gallery08

Is Library expansion in your priorities for the Civic Center?

Mary Prochow – Looking forward we have to consider how e-readers may affect the size of the library. We will need to hold as many books? Some of library functions, like events, might be part of the community center. We would want a good connection. Clearly Hillview is the most deteriorated building, so I doubt it will make the cut of the first couple of buildings to replace. [LOW]

Jean Mordo – The library is the most popular service we have. Parcel taxes [that he helped shepherd] to support it always pass. If we combine some private money with some public funds we can expand the library and we should. I think it is too small. Right now if they put a new book on the shelf, they have to take a older one off. [HIGH, YES]

Jarrett Fishpaw – Our library is one of the newer facilities on the civic center. [1990’s remodel]. So it is less likely to be replaced. We already have two lovely libraries. [ LOW]

Alex Glew – Libraries are important to the education of children,  It is right up there.  Even if we rely on pixels more and more, the library is a place of learning and meeting. It’s program rooms are important. Seniors and kids need it. [MODERATE – HIGH]

Karen Berner – I love the library and walk to it with my son.  However we need to pause and think how it will be used in the future. We can check out ebooks virtually from our devices. Maybe the event rooms for the community center and the library can be shared. [Unclear more space is required.] [LOW] [hr] [hr]

a lego police station

Should the Police Station be built mid-town? Do we need a jail or can use Mountain View?

Is having the County Sheriff provide police services for the City something we should consider or not?


[Daily Post alleged the Sheriff can do it for $4M while the City is now paying $8M to support our police.]

Mary Prochow –  I agree with the prior speakers.  We could look at it again.  It is controversial  We would weigh price vs. response time.  [CONSIDER but…]

Jean Mordo – Fire is now outsourced to the County.  They are located here. The only difference is the County pays them. Cost went up in part because of County pensions which we cannot control. As for the police. I could not make a decision without data.  I doubt the sheriff can provide the same quality for half as much. Show me.  But I’d look at it.  [CONSIDER but. NO OUTSOURCE}

Jarret Fishpaw – It is  major City expense. Fire and police together are half of our budget. And Mordo is correct that we don’t negotiate the labor contract with the firemen.  The fire bill gone up.  I agree with Mordo, it’s about the quality numbers. I understand the Sheriff doesn’t want new contracts right now anyway. [CONSIDER but. NO OUTSOURCE]

Alex Glew –  The first year the County took over fire services they brook a bridge and an expensive fire truck at Loyola corners! 6 or 7 years ago staff did a comparative cost / quality study of police services. In my opinion, I think of police as a core city service that should not be outsourced.  I think having a few minutes response times vs. A 15 minutes response time is very significant.  Keep it close.  And I agree with Jarret, keeping it with the city lets us control our labor and pension costs. [NO OUTSOURCE]

Karen Berner – Part of the charm of Los Altos is the personalized police service.  Our city police are part of the village. They know the streets. [NO OUTSOURCE]

LALAHPOLITICO:  The more interesting question – Would you consider relocating the police station building to mid-town? — was never asked at either forum.

[hr] [hr]
Billboard for Los Altos Civic Center Bond

Billboard for Los Altos Civic Center Bond

Comment on the Financing of the Civic Center Phase I bond.

Mary Prochow – I agree with several of the candidates who replied before me, namely “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” When you are polling people it is hard to communicate excitement. What are the things they want?  Then sell it to the population.

Jean Mordo – I challenge the numbers from Andersen Brûlée architects.  They added 30-40% in “soft costs.”  If we do a fixed price contract and manage it well, we can do better.  The numbers are just excessive. [Lalahpolitico: The story is that when Mordo joined the LAH town council, he took the stalled Town Hall Center project, got it redesigned and constructed by a new set of architect/contractors for over 30% less money in a year. ]

Furthermore, if we do a JPA (Joint Powers Agreement) with Los Altos Hills, similar to what we did to support the Los Altos Libraries, we can get more bond money support.  LAH has 1/4 the population of LA but has 30-40% of the assessed property value.  And I agree with Glew, that is if we concretely show the public the benefits of the project, we can raise the $20M bond support to double or more.

Alex Glew – The survey showed only $20M of voter support.  But the plan costs $70M.  This is a deadend unless the city can create excitement by describing the plan concretely and in detail.  The way to do that is with lifelike  3-D models of the whole downtown and civic center. Create a new commission to plan the center, market the center and execute the center.

Jarrett Fishpaw – I agree that the way the polling was done, the context, the benefits, the concreteness of the project did not come shining through. So the $20M of voter bond support  is a floor.  With the possible participation from the town of LAH,  bond measure support might reach $45M.  Because of those considerations, the council recently voted to support a $60-70M price tag on the project.

Karen Berner – The survey showed that the public would vote for up to $20M in a bond.  We can ask the residents of Los Altos Hills to participate to get the number up.  Also the City has $15M in a fund that can be used.

[hr] [hr]

The Morris Project's primary facade is along First Street

The Morris Project’s primary facade is along First Street

Are you a fan of First Street? Is it a template for the future?

Mary Prochow– I’m not a fan of First Street. We should have used story-poles or 3-d to give a sense of scale to the public. Some of the buildings need more details, staggered setbacks, heights. I would have preferred we did not rezone then. The height is a problem for me. Safeway is capable of much more attractive new buildings than we got. I’m not going to revisit whether the sale of the city lot at First and Main should have been made.  However, I am disappointed with what we got there [public benefit, etc.]  [NO}

Jean Mordo – Not a fan. I agree with Mary and her reasons. First Street is too narrow for the height. Maybe on some streets the height is ok, we just need more setback.  That would allow in more daylight.  [NO]

Jarret Fishpaw – This huge investment of private developers on First Street  is a success. Yes, we can refine how we do the setbacks from the street and maybe adjust the maximum height. But once the landscaping comes in we will appreciate these new assets. The 4 story Randy Lamb Spanish style condo building was approved before I came to council. [YES, with tweaks]

Alex Glew – Not a fan.  I think 80 / 20, people are not in love with it. It is a difficult street to develop and has scarce parking. We need a 3D model of the whole of downtown.  Then a proposed development can be inserted into that model and the public and the city planning decision makers can really see it.  Palo Alto and Mountain View have their skyscrapers, and we have our First Street. [NO]

Berner -The First Street buildings don’t feel that bad to me. However, I would not use that as a template for the future.  I did go on Mayor Saterlee’s walking tour.  We should stagger building heights and the setbacks.  Some people say that 1st and Main is overbearing. They say the Safeway is too modern and too big.  Personally I really like the convenient ground floor parking underneath the Safeway. So the result is not so bad. I like the new condo, however we should adjust the zoning. [Not so bad but, NO]


[hr] [hr]

The hotel fireplace will be a prominent feature from this view

The hotel fireplace will be a prominent feature from this view

What is you position on raising the maximum height  on Main and State Streets downtown from the current limit of  30 ft (about two stories) to 45 feet (3-4 stories)?


Mary Prochow – We need a specific plan for the whole of downtown and the civic center. I don’t agree with “spot zoning.”  The zoning downtown was changed recently without regard to the Downtown Design Guidelines written in 1994 and revised in 2004.  The rezoning occurred without the context of those guidelines. [NO?]

Jean Mordo – No, not now. Lots of parcels on State and Main could go from one story to two story first.  Let’s keep the look we’ve got. [NO]

Jarret Fishpaw – I want to remind people that the new building at 400 Main (corner of first) is a 30 foot building.  We have changed how the City measures height – it is now to the exterior roofline, not the interior ceiling. I do not support taller than 30 feet on Main and State. [NO]

Alex Glew – Downtown should remain “cozy.” Follow the design guidelines. [NO]

Karen Berner – People are against raising heights. I personally like the smaller buildings.  I consider Los Altos to be a town. [NO]


[hr] [hr]

Pablo Luther, Doug Smith, Megan Satterlee, Jeannie Bruins discuss two City-owned Los Altos sites for school district use

Pablo Luther, Doug Smith of the School District, Megan Satterlee, Jeannie Bruins of the Los Altos City Council, discuss two City-owned Los Altos sites for school district use

What do you think of Measure N and the city-school relationship?



Mary Prochow – I led the first school bond effort in 1999 – KLASS.  Let’s not set up barriers. We must step out of the Mountain View vs. Los Altos and the Disctrict vs. Bullis mentality.  Perhaps we need to add some area employers to the mix.  We need a committee to oversee the spending so it is carefully spent. [ Y on N; end the hostilities]

Jean Mordo – We need two new schools. We need the money. It is in our selfish interest to pass N because it raises the value of our homes. We need a more amicable relationship with the District [ Y on N; end the hostilities]

Alex Glew – The City needs to redefine our peer groups, reach out to to all the jurisdictions. We must fulfill our mission as city in providing city services.  I would like to see Bullis Charter reopen in LAH and also to put a school in  the NEC area.  (north of El Camino). The bond language is problematic. The money needs to be watched carefully. With the last bond there were cost overruns that caused the district to close the only public school in LAH, and then the charter emerged and we’ve had a decade of controversy.  [Y on N; city should do its job]

Jarrett Fishpaw –  When I went to LA High School enrollment was 1100. Now it is at 1900. The same growth has affected the k-8 District. I have issues with the bond language, but I support Measure N.  I don’t like that only a couple of City parks are being “called out” as “defended” from being purchased with the funds.  The City needs to fulfill its mission and liaise with as many jurisdictions as possible. [Y on N; city should do its job]

Karen Berner – I support Measure N even though it hurts my pocketbook. It will pay for one or maybe two schools?  But is it enough to handle all the growth? Enrollment is up 25%. And more housing is coming.  [Lalahpolitico:  Berner does not speak to the recent history of the “eminent domain” turbulence?]    [Y on N]

[hr] [hr]

Does the Steven Creek bike trail belong on Fallenleaf?

Mary Prochow – I don’t know if Bernardo in Sunnyvale is the best alternative. I need to look at it.  But I definitely want to see this trail network completed.

Jean Mordo – I also like the trail network.  I don’t know which route is best.

Alex Glew – I reviewed it when there was pushback from Fallenleaf neighborhood.  I don’t think that the trail works there. [NO]

Jarrett Fishpaw – We need to partner with our neighbors like Sunnyvale.{NO]

Karen Berner – The best place for it is Sunnyvale on Bernardo, which will become a one-way street in some parts.  NOT on Fallenleaf. {NO]


[hr] [hr]

What is you vision for Loyola Corners? How can S. Los Altans feel more a part of greater Los Altos?

Mary Prochow – Loyola was divided up by Southern Pacific decades ago.  We should try to make walking in the area safer.  Like the other candidates, I believe Los Altans have the same issues no matter where in town they live.  They chose their  preferred distance from downtown when they purchased their home.  What they want is someone willing to listen when they do have some local neighborhood concerns.  For example, in the Grand Park area, people would like to see some senior services provided.

Jean Mordo –  The squeaky wheel gets the grease!  I would address Loyola  local issues as they came up. On my campaign, I walked that area with my wife just recently.  It is a legend that there are two separate cities –  a North Los Altos and a South Los Altos.  Yes they have some local issues – Fallenleaf, Loyola bridge – but mostly they wanted to ask questions about my positions on downtown and the civic center.

Alex Glew – I live in Loyola Corners.  We call it mid-Los Altos.  It’s true there are not a lot of City facilities there. A bit more attention could be paid to the tennis courts.

Jarrett Fishpaw – It would be great to eliminate the overpass bridge and have a on grade intersection. But that can’t happen as the County owns the bridge and is paying for the rebuild there right now. Is is one of our “boutique” shopping districts.  It was a long wait for the County to do the bridge; once it is done we can invest in sidewalk and other infrastructure.

Karen Berner – It’s taken forever, but the new bridge is good news for Loyola. The pedestrian situation around the Loyola Post Office feels a little dangerous; more could be done.  I agree with Mordo that people’s issues were the same across all of Los Altos : The Civic Center; School sites; Downtown parking/traffic


[hr] [hr]   

City Hall has made progress in Government Transparency over several years

City Hall has made progress in Government Transparency over several years

Define good government? / When you get citizen input how do you get consensus but avoid group think? /Would you include community groups in planning – for example Los Altos Forward?  / Would you support a 2-term limit with no return?


Mary Prochow – Communicate the city’s motives, intentions, and actions. Deliver core services. Be fiscally sound. Be stalwart leaders. / I’ve been part of a lot of different groups – I really listen / I would take planning input from all.  Regarding Los Altos Forward, I think they are promoting vitality.  Also Passarelle has done good things, such as bring in Fred Kent to speak on planning.  I commend them.  Basically, the city should listen to all at certain stages in planning.  / Yes , I favor an absolute 2-term limit.

Jean Mordo – Be transparent, listen to the people, get things done.  Apply the rules evenly without favoritism. / Weird question – I would extend what Bruins and Pepper are doing – having regular citizen engagement meetings for topic or geographic areas /  Some people have a negative opinion of “special interests,” but you know, actually we are all special interests. Listen to them all during planning. Balance them out. Property owners, merchants, etc. Listen to them but balance them.  / No, I do not favor a 2-term limit.  When you’ve had a bad council person there is a temptation to prevent them from coming back. But it also would prevent good people from coming back.

Alex Glew – Provide core services. Exercise leadership. Build consensus.  Plan / Encourage citizen to email in ideas to me, meet the people with the best ideas, then I’d try to build consensus around the best idea I’d heard /  The city is the “sum of all its special interests.”  Don’t let any one dominate. Don’t give undue agenda time.  Bring in formal facilitators if needed.  / No, I do not favor a 2-term limit.  It’s not a problem in Los Altos. Not  priority.

Jarrett Fishpaw – Provide the city core services like roads, sewers and sidewalk…Do so reliably and responsively.  We can be proud our City excels at this. / I’ve had 4 years of “office hours” at the Main Street Cafe every Sunday. At council, I try to get the other to converge on my thought /   / No, I do not favor a 2-term limit.  It has not been an issue.

Karen Berner –  ? /  I like to receive email from citizens as I am now; I do respond. And the meeting Bruins and Pepper have organized are very good and should continue. /   I would include Los Altos Forward or other groups up to, not IN the planning process.  / Yes , I favor an absolute 2-term limit.



Los Altos bike lane marking, San Antonio Road

Los Altos bike lane marking, San Antonio Road

 Cars, Bikes Pedestrians. How do they relate to downtown and the greater community? What are your thoughts on integration of these three?


Mary Prochow – There are problems all over town. Greentown does great things. Another group encourages kids to bike to school. Yet many parents express fears about having their kids bike. Perhaps parent could volunteer to lead more bike trains to school.   Right now on downtown first street, bikes are impossible.

Jean Mordo – I agree with the others, I’d like to add that if we can get a solution for parking downtown, we could have a pedestrian only street downtown.  If we had a garage we could do it.

Jarrett Fishpaw – The State and Main streetscaping that was recently completed was designed to make intersections wider and streets narrower, slowing down the car traffic.  That is good for bikes.  The City collector street plan includes lots of bike path improvements on the list.  Also the city’s Capital Improvement Projects list includes projects around schools traffic safety.  There is a big project for Blach now.

Alex Glew – The cut through car traffic makes biking hard.  We are part of the greater metro. We need to work with the jurisdictions that control 280, Foothill, El Camino, especially to reduce traffic near our schools.

Karen Berner – I am finding the new 3 ft. Rule very hard, especially near downtown.  The intersection at Main and second needs something – traffic light maybe.   When we get the new school sites, the traffic planning there will be important.  As Glew says, the gridlock on 85 and 280 is causing drivers to try to take the backroads near our schools. Perhaps we can talk to the corporations to get them to help their employees get to work in other ways besides cars.  Pasarelle is doing some volunteer work to update the intersection at Foothill and Edith, where many Gardner School students have to cross Foothill to get to and from school.

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Candidate’s Residence – Property

Section 3

Mary Prochow – Home in North Los Altos,  about 1 mile from downtown. Santa Rita School Area. Also owns a Main Street building where her real estate business is located. [Lalahpolitico: she will have to recuse herself at times.]

Jean Mordo -Home in downtown or at least North Los Altos ? Gardner Bullis School Area? [Lalahpolitico: Will he have to recuse himself?]

Alex Glew – Home in Mid-Los Altos, near Loyola Corners. Loyola School Area. [A decade ago he lived near Egan Jr. High]

Jarrett Fishpaw – Home adjacent to downtown Los Altos. Near Cuesta and San Antonio. Covington School Area. [Lalahpolitico: At least once, Fishpaw has had to recuse himself.]

Karen Berner –  in North Los Altos walking distance to the library.  Could be Almond, Covington, Bullis-Gardner, or Santa Rita Area?

[hr] [hr]

Occupation, Education, Related Experience

Mary Prochow – “Local Business Owner,”commercial real estate, lived here since 1981, age “68,” Chair of many local Los Altos non-profits and corporations including: Rotary AIDS project, Chamber of Commerce, Board of Realtors, Community Foundation, Bank of Los Altos.

Jean Mordo – “semi-retired,”  executive CFO, lived in LAH about 12 years, in Los Altos about 2 years, age “69,” Los Altos Hills Planning Commission and 2 terms as City of LAH council member.

Alex Glew – “Professional Engineer,” mechanical, Ph.D. in materials science from Stanford, business owner, materials science consulting business located in Mountain View, age “50.”

Jarrett Fishpaw – “Realtor/Los Altos Councilmember,” UC Santa Cruz – MS Applied Economics,  born, raised and public-schooled in Los Altos, age “27,” current one term as Los Altos council member.

Karen Berner – “Community Volunteer,”  part-time public relations for tech, Los Altos High School STEM speakers program, stay-at-home mom, moved to Los Altos from Sunnyvale in 2011, age 40ish(?). Children at Los Altos High School.

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Endorsements – Actual and Virtual


The Los Altos Town Crier newspaper endorsed Mary Prochow and Jean Mordo on Oct. 8.  The Los Altos Forward interest group  – associated with vibrancy, gentle development, and some downtown property owners but with some residents and “Green Living” proponents too – is a a 501c3 and cannot do political endorsements.   Some downtown property owners and LAF members were very unhappy with the previous Council’s development decisions for First Street and Main Street, feeling that owners were not treated equally – in particular the Packard Foundation, the Enchante Hotel and the Morris project were felt to be favorited by the previous Council.   Some near-downtown and downtown residents and LAF members say that the residents did not get enough “public benefits” from these new developments on First and Main. Etc.  Some Main & State Street  property owner and LAF members feel the parking issue was made a lot worse by the previous Council’s development decisions. Some people downtown and elsewhere around town also feel that zoning and planning processes were not applied consistently or fairly for all comers. Both Prochow and Mordo think of Los Altos as a village or a town. And Lalahpolitico believes them.

The countervailing group to the “vibrancy proponents”  is  Friends of Los Altos. Its leaders are comprised largely of some ex-council members,  with whom LAF leaders are rather annoyed.  FOLA endorses incumbent Jarrett Fishpaw, whom they mentored when he was  newbie councilman,  and also endorses the older, wiser newcomer Alex Glew.  FOLA feels they best represent the “village-oriented” residentialists in Los Altos.  FOLA has acquired the once very popular Los Altos Neighborhood Network, which Lalahpolitco associates with conservative, residential points of view.  These folks say we like it “pretty much the way it is now” with very “gentle development.”

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Your Voting Strategy – Vote only for ONE?


There are two city council seats open.  If you second choice is not “close” in you mind or heart to your first choice, then VOTE ONLY for your first choice.  For example, if you are a one issue voter – you want a pool – don’t vote for that otherwise nice second candidate who is not enthusiastic about your pool.  Ditto, for library lovers.

If you cast a vote for your second choice, that person may get MORE votes than your first choice, making your first choice a loser. Think about it.

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*The Los Altos Forward Oct 1. Forum video is nice in so far as the tape was chopped into twenty-one  3 to 5 minute segments, one for each question.  However, I did not like that there are no-close ups of candidates speaking and that they omitted the interviewer asking the question !! There were 3 moderators: Dave Price of the Daily Post and Bruce Barton of the Town Crier and Robin Abrams of Los Altos Forward.  Their scenes and voices were left on the editing/cutting floor. In the edited video segments a question is presented as a TEXT slide WITHOUT VOICEOVER.  You have to read it for yourself. This is very bad for the visually impaired. 



About the author


Norma Schroder is an economics & market researcher by trade and ardent independent journalist, photographer and videographer by avocation. Enthralled by the growth of the tech industry over the decades, she became fascinated with the business of local politics only in the past several years.

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