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State of the Cities: Considering the Woes All Around, Things Are Pretty Peachy For Los Altos and Los Altos Hills

Plenty to boast about in both communities, with balanced budgets, no furloughs and at least one projected surplus; Los Altos Hills mayor invites Los Altans enjoy its parks and pathways.

Los Altos Hills Mayor Ginger Summit tries to "sit there with a smile on my face and my mouth shut," said she, when she goes to regional events where the other city officials talk glumly about cutting services and positions.

Los Altos Mayor Ron Packard extolled his city's balanced budget, 22 new capital projects, a new labor contract, no layoffs, no furloughs and a projected surplus of $1.6 million.

The state of the cities, it seems, is quite good. The mayors of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills made their remarks Friday at the 's annual event, held at the .

State parks may be closing, and other jurisdictions are contemplating shorter school years, but in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, the picture painted is quite different.

"We have had a very successful year," Packard said, after ticking off a series of downtown projects, public and private, underway in downtown Los Altos, a new garbage contract, new bike lanes, and the renovation of in south Los Altos.

Tongue-in-cheek, he declared the crane to be the official city bird, in reference to the building taking place in the city.

Mayor Summit struck a different tone, inviting Los Altans to "cross the road" and take advantage of the events the town of Los Altos Hills has to offer, from the July 4 Parade that starts at and ends in , to Earth Day and the Hoedown.

"Not only are we next-door neighbors, but we are sisters and best friends, as well," she said.

She invited Los Altans to use the town's Purissima Park, programs at and pathway network.

"Why waste your time on a treadmill when you can pick your way on a pathway in some of the most beautiful countryside around?" she asked. "Enjoy some of the peace and tranquility and beauty we have."

The two communities have many places to collaborate, whether on emergency-preparedness training known as CERT programs or educational forums that allow residents to know how to safely deal with wildlife and pests.

Summit invited Los Altos to collaborate on emergency training, because "we are going to depend on each other, so we might as well train together."

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