A resource for folks living in or moving to Los Gatos, by Mary Pope-Handy

Los Gatos Government

Youth volunteers sought for committees and commissions in Los Gatos

April 23, 2012

Youth Volunteers needed in Los GatosThe town of Los Gatos is seeking a few good youths to volunteer their time, energy and insights for various groups that serve the town:

  • the Youth Commission
  • the Community and Senior Services Commission
  • the Parks Commission

This is a great opportunithy to get involved and contribute!  Deadline is May 9th for applications. To learn more, please see the town’s website.

Los Gatos Planning Commission Public Hearing on Creekside Sports Park at 930 University Avenue

August 20, 2011

The land at 930 University Avenue in Los Gatos is earmarked to become the long-desired sports park, the Creekside Sports Park.  The town’s planning commission is holding public hearings on Wednesday August 24 2011 at 6:00 at the Council Chambers, 110 East Main Street, Los Gatos.

Why is there a public hearing?  The town of Los Gatos needs to decide how the land will be used and accessed.  Of particular controversy is whether or not there should be a pedestrian bridge over the Los Gatos Creek, connecting the sports park to Vasona Lake County Park (and the town’s Oak Meadow Park).

Also on the docket for the evening is more discussion of the Albright Way & Winchester development (sometimes called the Netflix project to the dismay of some).

The town helpfully publishes agendas ahead of time. You can view the Los Gatos Planning Commission agenda for this particular meeting online also at the following url:

http://losgatos.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=91

Traffic Calming Meeting for Belwood Gateway area of Los Gatos

May 11, 2011

Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Director Todd Capurso leads the Belwood Gateway Traffic Calming Meeting

Update May 17, 2011:
At the meeting described below, several residents complained that Bacigalupi Drive is the worst for speeders – possibly because it is so wide near Harwood Road. Yesterday an electronic device was placed in this stretch of the road which displays how fast cars are travelling. It would be great if this slowed traffic down – thank you, Town of Los Gatos!!

Until tonight, I’d never been to a traffic calming meeting. It was anything but “calm”! Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Director Todd Capurso did a great job running the gathering despite strong feelings and loud voices.

Prior to tonight, there had been 2 other meetings just for residents along Belwood Gateway. Apparently they had a large number of signers on a petition requesting that the town of Los Gatos consider measures to slow traffic down along that road, which joins up with Almond Blossom and creates a cut through to Camden Avenue. Neither I nor other area residents were aware of the prior meetings because only Belwood Gateway residents were invited since it was that street which had requested the meeting. (Lesson # 1 of the night: if you want traffic calming measures taken in your area, get a petition signed by residents and present it to the town.)

Some of the meeting attendees at the traffic calming meeting for Belwood Gateway on May 11, 2011 at the Belwood Cabana

Since ONE of the previously proposed solutions was to partially barricade Belwood Gateway at Harwood and that would impact nearby streets, those of us in the “impacted areas” were invited to tonight’s meeting. My family and I live on Bacigalupi Drive and we would definitely be impacted if that road were blocked, so I was made aware of this ongoing process recently.

Clearly, the issue is not just along one street, though perhaps Belwood Gateway has the biggest problem due to the “shortcut” being taken. Almost unanimously, the 50 or more people present indicated that the problems are these:

  1. Many people DRIVE TOO FAST in the neighborhood
  2. Motorists IGNORE STOP SIGNS entirely or merely roll through them

Other issues were raised too, such as left turns onto courts which resulted in vehicles being on the wrong side of the road at the end of the turn or folks on Harwood Road having great difficulty backing out of their driveways, concerns about areas without sidewalks and all sorts of somewhat reckless driving. Soon neighbors were discussing speeding along Westhill and other roads too. (Also present was Los Gatos/ Monte Sereno Police Officer Sam Wonnell, who once lived in the Belwood of Los Gatos area himself. He explained that they need residents to tell them when to be present to catch speeders and those who ignore stop signs but that of course they can’t always be here.)

Los Gatos/ Monte Sereno Police Officer Sam Wonnell, a former Belwood resident, speaks to the Belwood Gateway neighbors

Todd patiently recounted the chronology of events leading to tonight’s meeting and explained, over and over, that at this meeting a solution was not going to be decided, but instead what would be firmed up was simply what residents would vote on in the future. Belwood Gateway residents would be able to vote on adding a stop sign and speed bumps. Nearby neighbors would be allowed to vote on whether or not a “triangle” could be placed at the intersection of Harwood and Belwood Gateway.

The meeting began at 6:30 and was scheduled to end at 8pm. At 8:05 the crowd was beginning to leave and many who remained began to speak so loudly that Todd could not hear questions being posed (nor answer without having to yell). It was dissolving. I left at that point. It was nice to see so many neighbors (whom I normally see only while out walking our black lab, Bella) and to learn what the process is for requesting that traffic patterns be evaluated by the town and local residents.

Voting on what should be put on the ballot for traffic calming

Now we wait for the ballots – it will probably take a month or two for them to be created and mailed out. As for me, I’m all for more speed bumps and stop signs, but I hope that they don’t block off part of that one road…it will, in my opinion, only encourage drivers to take alternate routes. I’d love to see traffic calmed throughout Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont. If only civilians could give tickets!

 

 

Los Gatos Town Council Meeting & "State of the Town"

February 22, 2011

I will begin with a confession: as a rule, I dislike large meetings and in general will do my level best to avoid them.  So I’m not what you could call a regular at the Los Gatos Town Council meetings.  But I did go tonight, and am very glad I did.

What encouraged me to attend was a part of the agenda to honor the retiring volunteers, or as they referenced it, “end of term commendations”.  My husband, Jim Handy, served as a Parks Commission volunteer for seven years (I had thought it was nine…it felt longer!). Together with Dick Konrad (another super nice volunteer from the same hard working group) and quite a few others from other commissions, he was given a nice framed statement of appreciation from the town. (In the pic below, Jim is to the right of Mayor Joe Pirzynski and Dick Konrad is to the far right – I apologise that I do not know all of the other wonderful volunteers’ names – they are from all kinds of commissions.)

Los Gatos commission volunteers are honored by the Town of Los Gatos and given a framed statement of appreciation from Mayor Joe Pirzynski

This was nicely done, as was the segment beforehand which recognized the hard work of the Fisher Middle School Kiwanis Builders Club.  They had gathered 400 pair of jeans to donate to the needy and were beautifully & appropriately honored.

But what surprised me, and may cause me to willingly go back to another town council meeting, was the very moving speech by the mayor on the “State of the Town“.  I was truly taken by what he had to say – and apparently I wasn’t the only one as he got a standing ovation when he concluded his talk.

To get it all, you’d do best by watching the video replays on the town’s site.  I wasn’t taking notes so it’s not inconceivable that I do not recall all that he said.  But I was impressed by his discussion of our town’s sense of community despite the economic challenges, what is being done to try to keep us fiscally sound, how we’re addressing some issues (roads and sidewalks in the Almond Grove need repair, the North 40 is something we should all keep our eyes on), a sense of gratitude for how involved so many residents are and a call to action – recommit yourself to volunteering where you are now and find new ways to help make our town the desireable place it is.  That can mean helping to slow down traffic, helping with any of our fabulous community projects (Shakespeare in the Park, our musical venues and so many other worthy efforts).

There was a break in the meeting before a budget was discussed, so many of us not disposed so much to meetings (I mean the middle school kids and several of us there to support our retiring volunteers), made a quiet exit.  But, not really so quiet as Jim and I saw an awful lot of people we know at the meeting and did some catching up.

This was a very positive “meeting experience” for me.  I might just have to go back again to another Los Gatos Town Council Meeting.  At least until the break halfway through!

Los Gatos Skatepark Petition – Yes, Again!

January 28, 2011

A Los Gatos skatepark?  The idea was proposed and defeated in 2008 (see Permit for Los Gatos Skatepark Revoked: Now What? ).  But a new petition is circulating, once again, for a skatepark in the town of Los Gatos.

As of right now, this petition seeks 1,000 signatures but has about 110 from the last couple of weeks.  Interested? Check it out here:
http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/LosGatosSkatepark

Los Gatos Library Construction Update Online

January 24, 2011

The new Los Gatos public library is being built and you can peek in at the contruction online via the town’s web page for this huge undertaking.

You can already get an idea of the size by looking at the live webcam.

View a slideshow of the renderings of the new library online (windows media player file).

Perhaps most fun of all is the time lapse slideshow of the library’s construction: have a look!

Kudos to the Town of Los Gatos for letting all of us keep track of the progress without having to visit in person.  Fabulous work!

Improved Traffic Safety at Blossom Hill Road & University Avenue in Los Gatos

May 23, 2010

Traffic signalIn January, I had to dodge a car when its driver at the intersection University Avenue & Blossom Hill Road in Los Gatos was confused about the right of way when she was turning left.  I wasn’t very happy since I’ve seen this type of thing many times at that very spot, so I mentioned it on this blog in a post

Today, though, I saw a change at the intersection.  There’s now a new dedicated left turn signal light there at the problem intersection.  Work had been ongoing there but I didn’t know if it was for a crosswalk signal, timing of the red and green lights or what.

Thank you to all made sure that this situation got fixed!! 

Town of Los Gatos General Plan Update and Website

May 08, 2010

“Town of Los Gatos general plan update website” What is the general plan for the Town of Los Gatos

Our town government has this information pulled together on a comprehensive website which includes info on community meetings, documents, maps, updates to the plans and much more. It’s a great resource and very nicely done. Check it out!

http://www.lggeneralplanupdate.org/

 

 

The Town of Los Gatos Again Honored by the California Sustainabiity Alliance

March 30, 2010

The Town of Los Gatos has been honored again by the California Sustainability Alliance in its annual “Sustainability Showcase” as the best small local government for the town’s green efforts.  It was likewise named in 2009.  Learn more at the town’s website

Congratulations to our town’s government for the vision and implementation of so many environmentaly wise programs such as Growing Green Together, the town’s green vehicles, the solar trash compactor, and more.

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Mary Pope-Handy

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