Editor's note: Los Altos Patch is running the full remarks of the six candidates who addressed the Los Altos Rotary Club on Sept. 20. We will run them in the order we receive them from council candidates. Patch invited all candidates to send in their remarks made last Thursday.
Good Afternoon Los Altos Rotary!
I’m Jerry Sorensen and I am running for City Council.
We live in a great city – I like to call it an Oasis of a City.
Now you may have heard that I am running:
- To get my way!
- Because I was treated poorly by the City process
- Or - Because I am mad!!
Well I am mad! – But not for the reasons some of you to think! I am mad for the same reasons that all Los Altos should be mad!
I am mad because of this chart. [Brings out a chart on large format]
This chart represents data that was developed by the City of Los Altos. What it shows is that retail sales have dropped in real dollar terms by 40% since 1995! How many of you have taken a 40% pay cut since 1995? Well our merchants and property owners have!
And the real point of separation for Los Altos—related to surrounding communities —was nine years ago in 2003! Nine years ago!!
If you want to change this trend I am the guy to vote for.
Through my research I have solved the riddle of the economically vibrant downtown, and how Los Altos can move forward.
For all the exciting details you can view my presentation on vibrant downtowns on my web site.
It is my research into this trend, and the solutions that I have identified, for downtown, for parking, and for traffic, that have actually led me to run for City Council.
Two keys to vibrance in Los Altos:
- Office Development
Office Development. Office development can only happen if developers can make money. Currently developers can neither trust the development process to be efficient and non political. Nor can they make money given the current zoning ordinances. Every commercial project requires significant variances to financially succeed. Therefore, approval of every project is ultimately a political decision.
Parking. Through my research, I have become an expert on parking. So much so that I have done consulting for other municipalities. So much so that my wife and children forbid me from talking about parking in mixed company!!
Now you may have heard that I am in favor of paid parking. I know this is the rumor that is being promoted by some in town. But of course, it is not true, just like so many other things that are said, they just don’t pass your Four-way test! But false, politically motivated rumors make for great political fodder.
What am I in favor of? In finding a solution to the parking issues, and challenges that have faced Los Altos for forty years.
Recently I have developed parking management options that integrate technology.
I am in favor of bringing these options to the community.
Whatever solution is adopted must be fully supported by the merchants. What a concept — support from the community affected. Without community support it will not work, it will fail. And we don’t need any more failure in downtown Los Altos!!
Secondly on parking, I have developed parking layouts that, depending on our choices, can add up to 330 parking stalls into the plazas, very economically. This would accommodate 50 years of development!
I might add that some thought the plazas could not be any more efficient than they currently are. Really? That is a great approach! Accept defeat before we even try.
Traffic. I have found a solution for the traffic concerns that have plagued Los Altos for 30 years, which will save the residents thousands of hours and thousands of gallons of gasoline annually.
I fully support good governance, term limits, expanding the council to seven members, to reduce the influence of a few, the recording of all meetings, so that they can be properly represented and reported on.
Finally civility. I think our recent altercations with the School Board demonstrates a lack of collaboration, a lack of civility, and a focus on agendas rather than solutions.
I believe our council should show leadership in this effort, not pursue acrimony!!
With all thy getting, get understanding!! With understanding we will find solutions to our challenges!!
To move Los Altos Forward, vote for Jerry Sorensen on November 6th!!