Tomorrow there are a number of important initiatives and positions on the ballot. In Los Gatos, voting for members of town council is likely one of the biggest draws to the neighborhood polling place. This year there are 5 candidates running for 3 slots: Marico Sayoc, Jim Russell, Rob Rennie, Steve Leonardis, and Sue Farwell. (For newcomers: in Los Gatos we do not vote for mayor. Instead, we elect town council members and they decide who will be mayor. Normally it’s a rotation.)
Here’s where you can find information on each one:
On Tuesday evening, the Los Gatos Town Council took a look at the North 40 development proposal. Needless to say, with this being the last large open space in town, what to do next is controversial. A couple of developers have ideas on what should be there – but the townsfolk aren’t really in accord. There are concerns about traffic, over crowding at schools which are already struggling, plus the concern about the simple fact of disappearing open space.
At stake Tuesday night was the Environmental Impact Report, which had to be approved for the project to move ahead.
As the EIR was not well supported, a motion was made to delay the decision while more information was gathered and that motion passed 3-2. Read more on the San Jose Mercury News website (at least for now – the articles do not stay up forever).
The Los Gatos Town Council Election will take place Tuesday, November 4th, 2014. But the “running” is already underway! Over the weekend, one Town Council hopeful knocked on my front door to garner support. I was surprised as it seems a bit early. But a little advance planning never hurt. And better still, she was armed with a door hanger, and behind that, a website and a Facebook page.
(For the truly curious, this was Marico Sayoc, www.Marico4LG.com.) Fletch Sullivan will be running too – more on that in a future article.
Last month, Templar Sports opened in Los Gatos. A store for sports equipment, it carries hunting and fishing supplies and books, including guns and ammunition. There was no public hearing about it since the area where the shop is located, 611 University Avenue, is zoned for retail and there are no gun sale restrictions on the books.
According to a San Jose Mercury News article in late December, in addition to selling fishing and hunting gear and supplies, Templar Sports will be offering classes, many free, relating to fishing and the proper handling of firearms. The same article states that the shop will support the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project.
With the nation raw in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December, there has been an enormous outcry by the public generally regarding the legality of certain types of weapons. Here, too, in Los Gatos, there has been strong anti-gun sentiment by many.
It is little surprise, then, that the opening of this store has stirred immense controversy, mostly vehemently against (group Citizens Coalition for a Safe Los Gatos, which has circulated a petition to prohibit gun and rifle sales in town) but also some strongly in favor of its presence in town.
Tonight’s meeting of the Los Gatos Town Council begins at 7pm, and this issue of gun sales will be discussed. The owners and supporters of Templar Sports would like those in favor of its presence in town to show up and be heard. Similarly, those opposed are holding a candlelight / flashlight vigil outside of the town’s meeting and they, too, are requesting that those who want to prohibit gun sales in Los Gatos appear tonight.
Personal comment: I would be hard pressed to find any issue as controversial or divisive in recent Los Gatos history. The nearest I am remembering was the skate park initiative, but it was not half as emotional or strident either way. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.
The Town of Los Gatos is updating its general plan and is holding workshops to get the public’s input. The next one is Saturday April 18th from 10 am to 12 noon at Calvary Church, 1633o Los Gatos Boulevard (in the Parkside Rooms).
The Town Council has identified these areas as topics to consider: recreation, parks & open space; green building; youth and senior services.
This Tuesday is the general election and many in the town may be wondering where can you vote? Click on the link and you’ll be able to input your address and see your assigned polling location.
This year, some Los Gatos residents were informed that they are voting by mail or dropping off a completed ballot at a nearby polling place.
For those of us in the east Los Gatos neighborhood of Belwood, Alerche Road and Harwood Road near Belwood, the place to drop off ballots is Noddin School, 1755 Gilda Way (at Harwood Road), San Jose 95124.
I wondered why this time around we got a vote-by-mail ballot when normally we just go to the cabana on Belwood Gateway to vote. The California Elections code determines that if there are fewer than 250 registered voters in a precinct, it must be a “mail ballot” area. (It apparently can vary from one election to the next as to how a precinct will be designated in terms of having a polling place or not. ) This seems to be happening all over the state, particularly in areas where jurisdictions are more complicated.
I would encourage everyone to take time in reading each candidate’s site, view what the League of Women Voters presents, watch the forum online and choose after becoming informed. Some of the candidates put an amazing and helpful amount of information into their sites.
As we go into the election, I can see strengths in each one of the candidates. Some of the plusses in each one as I see it:
Peggy Dallas – will bring a fresh voice and architectural background to the council
Michael Kane – focus on protecting hillsides, wants to stick to the town’s general plan
Steve Rice – very highly experienced volunteer in the town, broad vision of town’s needs
Barbara Spector – incumbant, extremely experienced
Thank you, candidates, for caring so much about our town that you’re running for council, and for all the volunteer work that you do for our town. Best of luck to all of you.