Policy

Addressing Increased Fire Risk

It's time to take proactive measures to reduce our fire risk: undergrounding utility lines, addressing substandard roads, waiving fees to remove dead trees, encouraging use of fire-resistant landscape screening and creation of defensible space, and improving resident disaster training.  In a serious disaster, our emergency services will be overwhelmed, and our residents must have the knowledge and skills to help themselves and their neighbors until the professionals arrive.

 

Serving the Residents and Fostering Community

As the Green Sheets said, the vision of our Town’s founders was to “build a friendly town meeting kind of a community, with a neighbor from down the road on the council and control in our own hands, where it belongs”.  Not only should we be getting resident input and seeking competitive bids before spending millions of their dollars, we should follow through on resident surveys and be responsive to resident concerns, especially those related to infrastructure maintenance, Town services, and public safety.

Pathways

Pathways are our sidewalks, our kids’ safe route to school, our hiking and riding trails, our neighborhood connections, and, in many cases, our means of emergency access.  I support fulfillment of the decades-old vision of a Town-wide Pathways system connecting all our neighborhoods. Off-road pathways, in particular, need to be planned with sensitivity to residents along the path and privacy issues need to be mitigated as much as reasonable, but not to the extent that a new development has any kind of absolute veto rights over a reasonable path connecting the neighborhood. 

 

Good Governance and Transparency

California’s open meeting rules ensure the right of the public to witness, participate in, and provide input to decision-making.  Unfortunately, a loophole exists which is frequently misused Council Ad Hoc subcommittees.  Los Altos Hills needs to close the loophole with a "Sunshine Ordinance".  We need to increase public engagement through increased use of Town Hall meetings, community forums, mailers, and online tools, and make it easier for residents to participate in their Town government.

High-Speed Internet Access

High-speed internet access is more important than ever with the demands of the pandemic. Yet many residents have limited service options, and incumbent providers Comcast and AT&T do not have incentive to deploy advanced technologies such as Fiber to the Home.  The Town should improve access by expanding its cost-sharing program to cover more than just Comcast, installing conduit for third-party fiber during undergrounding or other infrastructure work, and helping resident groups organize solutions for their own neighborhoods.

 

CA Housing Legislation / ADUs

Our region is facing a severe housing shortage, which is driving up rents and the cost of living throughout the Bay Area. Given much of the Town is already developed, our ability to add new housing stock is limited. Encouraging creation of ADUs in a way which conforms to our setbacks and one acre minimums is a reasonable way to contribute to solving this regional problem without pushing our infrastructure past its breaking point.