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.
Good afternoon. My name is Megan Satterlee and I am seeking re-election to the Los Altos City Council.
Thank you for hosting this candidates’ forum. And, thank you for the opportunity to serve you these past 5 years. In 2007 when I was here Stanford had just beaten USC at SC in football. That resulted in large fines, if I recall correctly. As a Stanford grad, I couldn't be happier with the result this past Saturday and I am hoping, with your help, that the results come November 6th will also prove favorable.
Today Los Altos continues to be a wonderful place to live and raise a family. My husband and I feel quite fortunate to be able to raise our 2 year old son here.
Let me start by telling you a bit about myself. I grew up just a few miles away in Portola Valley. I earned my bachelor's degree in international relations at Stanford, and went on to receive both a law degree and an MBA at UCLA. This education has served me well in my 15-plus-year career at Hewlett-Packard and as a councilmember.
Early in my life, I came to appreciate the importance of reliability. That appreciation helped shape how I act as a councilmember.
In 2007, I promised you that I would:
- Ensure a balanced budget
- Promote a vibrant and charming downtown AND
- Enhance traffic safety, especially near schools
I have followed through on these commitments.
Despite the difficult economic times, I approved balanced budgets while at the same time putting a plan in place to grow our reserves to 20% by FY14. To help ensure long term economic solvency, I also approved two labor contracts that included adding a second tier pension plan and increasing employee contributions. While I am pleased with the progress we have made, there is more work to be done.
In downtown, I voted for zoning changes that balance the need to refresh the town and preserve its character. The City also invested in infrastructure improvements. As a result, we are seeing private investment. Tired buildings are being replaced, storefronts are being refreshed, and vacancy rates are down.
There were just two vacant storefronts on Main Street in August. In addition, I supported a parking management study to enable informed decisions that encourage the types of retail and restaurants we want to see. I am thrilled to say a new Safeway has been approved.
I have supported pedestrian and bicycle improvements throughout the City. A number have been completed including crosswalks on San Antonio and at locations related to safe routes to schools. In addition, I voted to adopt a long term planning document to address speeds on collectors.
Other accomplishments that I am proud of include
- hiring a new city manager;
- signing a new garbage contract which has increased our diversion to 71%, faster than expected;
- reducing the backlog of Capital Improvement Projects,
- increasing content on the City's website; AND
- approving a contract to improve the layout and navigation.
In order to achieve these results, I approached my role as a council member in the following ways:
- Begin with thorough preparation
- Listen to all input
- Consider both the short term and long term implications of every decision
- Promote efficient decision making, clear prioritization and accountability
- Strive to be a role model for respect and civility; and
- Work to create a culture of continuous improvement.
One area that we have tried to continuously improve is the engagement of residents. Webcasting as well as the use of sandwich boards for noticing traffic related projects have been a good start, but this area deserves more attention.
I believe that our city can remain a great place to live and raise a family. The challenges remain much the same: ensure sound fiscal practices, keep our commercial districts thriving, promote the safe use of our roads for all - drivers, cyclists and pedestrians and find ways to engage with all residents.
I am grateful to you for giving me the chance to serve. I respectfully ask for your vote. Thank you.