Meet the candidates for Los Gatos Town Council
Los Gatos Town Council Chamber. Photo by Tran Nguyen.

    There’s a lot at stake in Los Gatos this election season.

    The West Valley town is facing contentious plans for growth, meeting its housing production goals and scrambling to become more affordable. It’s become ground zero for political fights over growth, with one group taking to the ballot to suspend aspects of the town’s general plan, which guides future development and land use.

    Like other parts of Silicon Valley, Los Gatos residents are worried about traffic congestion, the town’s financial health and public safety.

    Six candidates are running for three seats on the Los Gatos Town Council this November. San José Spotlight asked each candidate to weigh in on these issues in a questionnaire. Candidate Reza Tavana did not respond. Below are the unedited answers from the other candidates.

    Los Gatos Mayor Rob Rennie speaks to a graduating class of students. Photo courtesy of Rob Rennie.

    Mayor Rob Rennie

    Age: 57

    Family: Wife and step daughter Isabella and Alina

    Political affiliation: Democrat

    Education: Master and bachelors in engineering from Dartmouth College. Also Bachelors of Arts in Chemistry and Physics from Skidmore College

    Profession: Engineer (retired), small business owner (retired)

    Current or previous elected or appointed positions:

    • Los Gatos Council Member since 2014
    • Los Gatos Parks Commission 2011 to 2014

    Top three priorities:

    • Financial stability of the town while delivering a high level of service
    • Guiding the town through state required housing planning
    • Safety and security

    Do you support the referendum to suspend the town council’s adoption of two elements of the 2040 General Plan, the Land Use Element and the Community Design Element? Why or why not?

    No on the referendum. The signature gathers lied and miss lead those that signed. The approved general plan elements support the required state housing element with only a small margin for error. The adopted general plan come from the people of Los Gatos with dozens of community meetings over 3 years.

    What policies should the town pursue to spur the development of below market-rate housing?

    Below market rate policies with be part of the housing element that is still being developed. Los Gatos currently has a 20% inclusionary requirement for affordable housing that has done its job to create below market rate units. Donation of land is the best way to spur an affordable housing development but the town does not own a large piece of land or have the funds to buy one.

    How will you close the town’s projected budget deficit?

    The budget deficit will be close by a combination of cost reductions and increased revenue. The Measure J on the ballot will close a 1/3 to 1/2 of the gap if it passes. The town has conducted a survey to determine which services are most valued by the residents in order to guide cost savings. The police department was at the top of services most valued and to be saved.

    How will you address concerns with traffic highlighted in a recent town survey?

    The largest source of traffic is at school time 5 days a week for 9 months of the year. Continue to support and build on our safe routes to school so more kids walk or ride to school is a good way to reduce traffic. This includes making it safe for our children to get to school. I have also fought to move forward a project to extend the 3rd lane on 17 from Lark avenue so that more traffic will stay on the highway going past Los Gatos.

    What would you do to bolster public safety?

    Public safety is bolstered by continuing to support our police depart, advance our fire safety plan, and improve our bike and pedestrian facilities.

    Top three endorsements: Anna Eshoo, Jim Beall, Mike Wasserman, Jeff Rosen. Mercury News, Santa Clara County Fire Fighters, Silicon Valley Realtors Association.

    In one sentence, why vote for you?

    If re-elected, I will be the only council member with more than 2 years experience both in local Los Gatos Government and in county government organizations that bring resources and solutions to Los Gatos along with the network of higher level elected officials whose decisions effect Los Gatos.

    Los Gatos resident Rob Moore is running for a seat on the town council. Photo courtesy of Rob Moore.

    Rob Moore

    Age: 24

    Family: My family lives in Los Gatos and I live in the town with my long-term partner.

    Political affiliation: Democratic (with the support of the Santa Clara County Democratic Party)

    Education: I attended local public schools and graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Political Science and a concentration in Urban Planning.

    Profession: Special Projects Manager at the San Jose Conservation Corps, a local nonprofit organization helping young adults who have experienced barriers to secure meaningful work in the conservation sector.

    Current or previous elected or appointed positions:

    • Board Member; Los Gatos Housing Element Advisory Board (current)
    • Vice Chair; Santa Clara County Commission on Equal Access and Employment Opportunities (current)
    • Board Member; Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce (previous)
    • Commissioner; Los Gatos Complete Streets and Transportation Commission (previous)

    Top three priorities:

    Community Resilience: This includes prudent financial management, supporting local businesses, and ensuring folks feel included in town.

    Housing and Transportation: I support building attainable housing in Los Gatos while simultaneously making sure we are preserving the charm and character of our town. We also need to ease traffic and continue to improve our pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

    Nature and the Environment: I am focused on environmental sustainability, emergency preparedness, and preserving our parks and open space.

    Do you support the referendum to suspend the town council’s adoption of two elements of the 2040 General Plan, the Land Use Element and the Community Design Element? Why or why not?

    I understand the intention behind the referendum, but through serving on the Housing Element Advisory Board (HEAB), I fear this referendum will have adverse consequences. This will lead to delays in our Housing Element, which operates under a strict timeline, and forces the town to perform under an outdated General Plan until this is addressed. I believe that my insights and knowledge as a highly involved resident and member of the HEAB will help combat the division and polarity the Town Council must reconcile.

    The referendum has led to the spread of misinformation throughout the town. Many residents are being told that the town will build 12,000 new units under the current General Plan. In reality, this is how many units would be built if every single property was sold, then built to the maximum density, maximum height, maximum square footage, and minimum unit size. This is not anywhere close to reality. Additionally, this number has not even been vetted by any town staff or town officials. In actuality, the town will likely not even build half of the 2,000 units mandated by the state over the next 8 years.

    Whether we like it or not, Los Gatos has been mandated by the state to plan for these about 2,000 new units. We have to create a realistic plan, and if we don’t the fears of those who oppose the General Plan may come true. A policy known as the builder’s remedy is already allowing for units to be built by developers with minimal local control in cities that did not plan for their designated RHNA number. This is not what I want for Los Gatos, and I believe this referendum is not how we avoid this scenario.

    What policies should the town pursue to spur the development of below market-rate housing?

    The town should continue to leverage its rule that in any development of more than 5 units, at least 20% of the units must be affordable. Though many developers choose to instead pay in-lieu fees, we can leverage these to incentivize BMR housing developers to come build in the town by providing them with financial support. This allows us to ultimately get more affordable units, and it brings developers to Los Gatos when there are many cities to choose from.

    Many cities in the area, Cupertino for example, have city-specific BMR programs. This is something Los Gatos should explore, as it is challenging to rely on developers without any town involvement. We can also learn from our neighboring cities. Many BMR units have a designated time limit of about 10 years, and this is about to run out, allowing the units to become market rate and almost certainly leading to displacement. We can develop our BMR program with this long-term understanding in mind.

    How will you close the town’s projected budget deficit?

    The town is facing a structural deficit, and rectifying this situation is one of my top priorities, as I believe it should be for any member of the Los Gatos Town Council. The town has ended up in this predicament due to decades of less than ideal financial management. We now face massive unfunded pension liabilities that need to be paid down. The town has taken significant steps to pay down these debts, but town staff still expects a four million budget shortfall.

    When it comes to solutions, getting the town out of this hole is going to take a variety of approaches. I was glad to see the town move forward with the Business Tax schedule change. This will only impact the dozen or so highest grossing businesses in town and will generate between one and two million dollars, which will make a big dent in the deficit.

    To make up the remaining two to three million, we need to look at both cost control measures and options for increasing revenue. For cost controls, we need to look at where our government can be more efficient without loss of services. On the revenues side, we have more possibilities, like looking into other taxes and fees that could use updating, ensuring that we are getting the Transient Occupancy Taxes we were promised from Airbnb, and going after more ambitious government grants. Obtaining additional government dollars is an area where I am especially eager to leverage my government connections with our state and federal partners. Our neighboring cities are regularly awarded millions of dollars for projects like building more bike lanes, parks, paving streets, and expanding phone and internet access while Los Gatos gets forgotten. I am committed to bringing in these outside dollars that will free up money in our budget to pay down our debts.

    I’ll end with mentioning how grateful I am for the breadth of financial wisdom and expertise we have here in Los Gatos. Our Finance Commission is made up of CFOs, CEOs, and real experts to help guide Los Gatos’ financial decision making. I plan to lean on these professionals to help find solutions.

    How will you address concerns with traffic highlighted in a recent town survey?

    I have personally knocked on over 6,000 doors throughout the Town of Los Gatos, and traffic is the issue that I hear about the most. Because of this, it is one of my top priorities to address. Traffic in Los Gatos is bad, and it seems to be getting worse. Traffic hurts our quality of life, our environment, and our businesses. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to fix this issue, but there are real steps the Town Council can take to ease traffic throughout town. Traffic in Los Gatos is a regional issue that goes far beyond syncing traffic lights. We need to work with Caltrans and our state partners to improve the Highway 17 corridor. I am also interested in piloting a road closure of North Santa Cruz directly in front of the Highway 17 on-ramp in an effort to keep cars on the highway and out of downtown.

    We can make a big impact on our congestion woes by encouraging walking and biking. The more people we get out of cars, the less traffic we have. We also need to make road improvements in particular sections of town where bad street design has led to unnecessary backups. Traffic calming measures and smart roadway design will help make streets safer for everyone.

    Another piece of easing congestion loops back to supporting local businesses. In the summer months, Los Gatos can feel like a “flyover town,” where people are driving through just to get to the beach. A vibrant, walkable downtown full of thriving businesses will encourage more folks driving through to actually stop and spend time in town, therefore spacing out and easing peak traffic times.

    What would you do to bolster public safety?

    Los Gatos has strived to be a model of community policing for decades. One of the top complaints I hear from residents is that they don’t often see the Los Gatos Police patrolling their neighborhoods. Many folks in town fear break-ins and we need to ensure we are doing everything we can as a community to stop crime in neighborhoods.

    I also support hiring one full-time homelessness case manager and one full-time social worker for our police department. There are many police calls that warrant an empathetic ear more than they warrant a badge and a gun. Our police force is overburdened with responsibilities that take away from their ability to address real crime. I think this shift in policing will allow our sworn officers to spend more time dealing with the break-ins and robberies that happen far too often in our town.

    We also need to support our existing police department. Our police have difficult jobs and need adequate resources to keep our community safe. For example, our police department has been understaffed with dispatchers. We need to prioritize the hiring of additional police dispatchers and look deep into the town budget to explore paying these dispatchers more competitive salaries.

    Top three endorsements: Our four local school board presidents, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, and the Mercury News.

    In one sentence, why vote for you?

    I bring a unique, long-term vision and perspective to the Los Gatos Town Council as the only candidate who will live in this community for the next 60 or 70 years, and I have a strong understanding of the community after personally knocking on more than 6,000 doors throughout my campaign.

    Robert Stump is running for Los Gatos Town Council. Photo courtesy of Robert Stump.

    Robert Stump

    Age: 65

    Family: Married, Nancy; three grown children

    Political affiliation: Non-Partisan

    Education: B.S. Business, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

    Profession: Business executive — Corporate Learning

    Current or previous elected or appointed positions: Chairman Ad Hoc Wildfire Committee, Town of Los Gatos (2020)

    Top three priorities:

    Housing Growth: smart growth not overdevelopment

    Financial Management and Stewardship: solve the structural deficit and improve financial planning

    Public Safety: Wildfire, Traffic Congestion and Crime Prevention

    Do you support the referendum to suspend the Town Council’s adoption of two elements of the 2040 General Plan, the Land Use Element and the Community Design Element? Why or why not?

    Yes, I support the referendum and was one of the early supporters of direct democracy – let the residents vote. Why? The Land Use element calls for Housing Units above the State Mandate and increases housing density legally enabling the development of 12,000 more housing units in Los Gatos; and 2) the Council passed the 2040 General Plan by a split 3-2 vote primarily tied to Land Use. On something as important as our Town’s Constitution, it should not have been passed on a split vote. The Land Use and Community Design elements can be drastically improved. We can do better. I believe the vast majority of residents value our small-town charm and character. On something this consequential, the voters should decide.

    What policies should the town pursue to spur the development of below market-rate housing?

    Our pursuit of below market rate (BMR) housing needs to address this question. How can Los Gatos improve the chances of housing a family of four with a combined income of less than $135,000? Los Gatos along with other communities in the County and parts of our State have a shared problem – affordability. The family of four can afford a $500,000 condominium. The current market rate for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath unit is $825,000. There is a $325,000 affordability gap! In Los Gatos, the State is mandating 847 BMR housing units. The combined affordability gap is $275M. Who has a solution? No one. What can be done?

    We must:

    a. Seek funding sources through the County and the State.
    b. Explore use of tools such as California’s recently enacted Density Bonus Law.
    c. Overhaul the Town’s BMR program.
    d. Form a Blue-Ribbon Commission to address the affordability challenge for Los Gatos.

    BMR housing is a challenge in Los Gatos due to our land costs and building costs in general. We can make BMR housing a reality, but it is going to take leadership from the Town Council and Staff and the members of our community.

    How will you close the town’s projected budget deficit?

    For the past five years, Town spending has been increasing at a rate three times higher than the rate of revenue growth. This is not sustainable. We need to take a balanced approach to closing the deficit by decreasing expenses and finding ways to grow revenues. I will ask the Town Staff to take this action:

    Work with the appointed Finance Commission to identify opportunities to slow our spending and identify cost reduction opportunities while maintaining service levels. To achieve the greatest level of cost reduction, we need to benchmark other likesized communities in California to learn about and implement best-in-class solutions.

    Assess the options and possibilities for increasing revenues through a tax increase e.g., sales tax. We need to understand our options because tax increases will take significant time to implement.

    The Town must earn the right to request a tax increase to generate additional revenues. Our residents will make that decision at the polls. From a revenue standpoint, we should pursue revenue sources that make good government sense immediately including:

    • Supporting passage of the Measure J in November.
    • Reviewing our fees and fines for possible increase opportunities.
    • Considering paid parking.
    • Pursuing collection of our fair share of sales tax revenue related to on-line sales (enabled by AB 147).

    Bottom-line, until the Town has a detailed plan to address its structural deficit, spending must continue to focus first and foremost on the safety and health of our community.

    How will you address concerns with traffic highlighted in a recent town survey?

    Traffic has been an on-going source of frustration for our residents. 62% of the residents surveyed identified traffic congestion as the most important area for community investment. Traffic congestion, particularly beach traffic, is inconvenient and is most certainly a public safety issue including our ability to evacuate in an emergency e.g., wildfire.

    In the short-term, we need to address beach traffic that impacts Los Gatos around fifteen weekends per year. We should implement visible traffic control at key intersections throughout the Town to keep traffic flowing and avoid blocked intersections. This will cost the Town money, but it must be done to improve traffic flow and reduce traffic congestion our residents so deeply desire. We can do better! In the mid to long-term, we need to take these actions:

    • Lead the development of a Regional/Inter-Agency Plan to address freeway traffic congestion that is concentrated in Los Gatos. We cannot accept the status quo.
    • Use technology including adaptive traffic signals and vehicle metering technology on the roadways.
    • Support Highway 17 improvements to widen the freeway to six lanes through Los Gatos.

    Traffic congestion is clearly an issue for the Town. While it cannot be fully solved overnight, we must implement solutions that will reduce traffic congestion for the benefit of our residents.

    What would you do to bolster public safety?

    Public safety is multifaceted and so is my focus. However, wildfire is my top priority. Why? Los Gatos has 3,000 homes in the Wildland Urban Interface (high fire zone). A catastrophic wildfire in Los Gatos could do billions of dollars of damage and wreak serious economic consequences on the Town for years to come. How high is our risk? Los Gatos was rated a higher threat for wildfire before the Town of Paradise was destroyed by the Camp Fire in 2018.

    Since 2018, I have worked with the Town Council and Staff to secure funding for wildfire initiatives. To date, more than $4 million has been secured, $3 million coming from the State and Federal governments. However, we must do more and accelerate our efforts to protect the Town from the threat of wildfire by enhancing our emergency communication systems, reducing fuel loads throughout our high fire zone and improving our evacuation routes. Creating a wildfire resistant community will reduce our risk and ensure that residents can keep their homeowners insurance and keep it at a reasonable rate. As a follow-up to my service as the appointed Chair of the Ad Hoc Wildfire Committee, I have drafted a multi-year Wildfire Preparedness and Prevention plan to make Los Gatos a more wildfire resistant community. The overarching goal of this plan is to save lives and protect property. After four years of drought conditions, there is no time for delay.

    Top three endorsements:

    • Seven former Los Gatos Mayors (Barbara Spector, Sandy Decker, Joanne Benjamin, Brent Ventura, Tom Ferrito, Steve Leonardis, and Steve Rice)
    • Seventy Los Gatos business leaders and community members
    • Santa Clara County Firefighters IAAF Local 1165

    In one sentence, why vote for you?

    I am a 3rd generation Los Gatan that deeply cares about our past, present and future with a vision shared by many to preserve our small-town charm and character by growing smartly, balancing our budget and making our community safer from the threat of wildfire.

    Los Gatos Town Councilmember Mary Badame running for reelection. Photo courtesy of Mary Badame.

    Councilmember Mary Badame

    Age: 65

    Family: Single, one grown daughter

    Political affiliation: Non-Partisan

    Education: B.S. Criminal Justice Administration, San Jose State University

    Profession: Owner and operator of Mary J. Badame Insurance Agency

    Current or previous elected or appointed positions: 

    • Councilmember / Town of Los Gatos / 2020 – current
    • Council Policy Committee / Town of Los Gatos, Chair / 2021 – current
    • Planning Commissioner / Town of Los Gatos, Chair and Vice Chair / 2013 – 2020
    • Historic Preservation Committee / Town of Los Gatos / 2013 – 2020
    • Conceptual Development Advisory Committee / Town of Los Gatos, Chair and Vice Chair / 2015 – current
    • General Plan Update Advisory Committee / Town of Los Gatos / 2021
    • Victim Services Unit / Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department, Team Leader / 2011 – 2020
    • Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office / Panelist, Community Court / 2015 – 2016
    • Community Service Officer / City of Mountain View Police Department / 1981 – 1986
    • Youth Service Bureau / Santa Clara County Juvenile Probation Department, Aide / 1977 – 1979
    • Board Member / West Valley Waste Management Authority, Vice Chair / 2020 – current
    • Board Member / West Valley Clean Water Authority, Vice Chair / 2020 – current

    Top three priorities:

    Housing Growth: balanced and opposed to over-development

    Public Safety: crime and wildfire prevention

    Prudent Financial Management: strategies for increasing revenue and fixing structural deficit.

    Do you support the referendum to suspend the Town Council’s adoption of two elements of the 2040 General Plan, the Land Use Element and the Community Design Element? Why or why not?

    I support the referendum. I was one of two Councilmembers (and the only incumbent) voting against the Land Use and Community Design Elements of the 2040 General Plan. I believe most Town residents do not support up-zoning residential zones allowing potential development of 12,000 additional housing units. As a former Planning Commissioner for seven (7) years and Councilmember for two (2) years, I have consistently voted to preserve the small-town character of our Town. My decisions are based on common sense and good governance. A referendum provides the opportunity for our residents to decide on future growth impacting the character of our Town.

    What policies should the town pursue to spur the development of below market-rate housing?

    Building affordable housing for lower-income households is challenging due to the cost of land and costs to develop in Los Gatos. We cannot fix occupational pay scales or developer costs, but we can partner with non-profits and foundations to identify resources to create affordable housing. The Town could incentivize developer agreements and consider subsidized housing along with modernizing the BMP program.

    How will you close the town’s projected budget deficit?

    I was elected to Town Council the same year voters approved Measure A – creation of a new Finance Commission. The Commission has been extremely resourceful in identifying revenue streams such as Measure J (modernizing the business license tax program) and evaluating increased revenues through sales and/or parcel taxes. Los Gatos residents enjoy a high quality of life and expect high quality services – reductions and/or cuts to service levels will require sacrifice and balance. As Councilmember, it is incumbent on me and Council to examine spending and funds, prioritizing needs for the benefit of our community. Council decisions are supplemented by our residents (Commissioners) possessing substantial financial management and knowledge with the core goal to maintain current and long-term fiscal stability meeting the current and long-term needs of the community.

    How will you address concerns with traffic highlighted in a recent town survey?

    Increasing housing densities will continue to worsen traffic congestion. Common sense applies in that more housing results in more people with more cars – one of the many reasons I voted against the Land Use and Community Design Elements of the 2040 General Plan. We simply do not have the infrastructure and/or budget to add and maintain more cars on our roads. Beach traffic has long been a source of ire for our residents. Several solutions have been tried with no easy fix. I support working with Cal Trans to widen freeway lanes and working with Staff in finding solutions.

    What would you do to bolster public safety?

    With a background in law enforcement, I prioritize safety as the primary responsibility and priority of a municipal government. As Councilmember, I have voted to support all public safety initiatives – police and fire. To bolster public safety, I support strong community – police partnerships in bridging community relations. As a former Team Leader for the Los Gatos’s Victim Services Unit, I advocate utilizing and increasing volunteers in additional programs such as Cert, Dart, and VIP (volunteers in policing). I support building our police department with highly qualified and professional personnel.

    As a licensed property and casualty insurance agent, I am unable to provide home insurance coverage for many residents in Town due to a high risk of wildfire in Los Gatos. Our Town residents are at high risk for loss of homes, businesses, and lives. I fully support creating a wildfire resistant community and expediting implementation of our Ad-Hoc Wildfire Mitigation Plan – including vegetation management.

    Top three endorsements:

    • Mike Wasserman, Santa Clara County Supervisor and former Los Gatos Mayor
    • Six additional former Los Gatos Mayors – Barbara Spector, Sandy Decker, Joanne Benjamin, Brent Ventura, Tom Ferrito, and Steve Leonardis
    • The Mercury News

    In one sentence, why vote for you?

    As an incumbent with a consistent voting record of preserving our Town’s character, I have decades of community service in public and private sectors providing me with the experience necessary to make decisions impacting the future growth and character of our Town.

    Margaret Smith is running for Los Gatos Town Council. Photo courtesy of Margaret Smith.

    Margaret Smith

    Age: Did not respond

    Family: Two sons, four grandchildren

    Political affiliation: Did not respond

    Education: B.A. George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; J.D. Santa Clara University School of Law

    Current or previous elected or appointed positions: Planning Commission, Chair of Planning Commission, 2014 Housing Element Advisory Board, 2020 General Plan Committee, Historic Preservation Committee, Architectural and Design Guidelines Committee

    Top three priorities:

    Restoring a vibrant post-pandemic economy through increased business activity and tourist visits to assure funds are available for a high level of town services to its residents.

    Maintain small town character and values, while adopting best practices and common sense policies that will attract reputable developers to build affordable housing for our teachers and other young professionals as well as our down-sizing seniors.

    Encourage innovative ways to enhance the livability of our Town such as applying for state and federal grants to purchase an open air electric trolley that connects our historic downtown with other commercial centers, identifying additional sites for community gardens and/or dog parks, and other community wide activities like Music in the Park, the Children’s Parade, Dance Night at Oak Meadow Park, that bring us together.

    Do you support the referendum to suspend the Town Council’s adoption of two elements of the 2040 General Plan, the Land Use Element and the Community Design Element? Why or why not?

    I expressed to the Town Council and staff that I thought it was ill advised to combine a vote for the 8 year Housing Element with a vote for the 2040 General Plan. It has caused needless confusion among Los Gatos residents about the Town’s plans for housing in the future. I support submitting the state mandated 8 year Housing Element for acceptance and approval by the State, and after its acceptance, revisit the 2040 General Plan. I am on record as a proponent of managing our growth very carefully, maintaining the charm of our small town while at the same time preparing for our future. The combination of the Housing Element with the 2040 General Plan has allowed some individuals and special interest groups to cherry pick numbers out of context to generate fear and anxiety. I do not support a referendum that has riled up people with misinformation, innuendo, and a combative, oppositional approach to this very important issue. Governing by referendum is not good government.

    What policies should the town pursue to spur the development of below market-rate housing?

    Los Gatos does not have the reputation of a community that is welcoming to below market rate housing. We need to change that in order for us to have affordable housing options for the community workforce we rely on in our everyday lives. A priority for a more energetic economic vitality program would be to proactively contact developers who want to build quality affordable housing and who know how to tap federal and state financing tools such as low-income housing tax credits and bonds.

    At present, it can take up to four years from submission to approval for affordable housing. In other words, double the time it takes for approval of market rate housing. We need to examine our planning process to be sure that proposals for below market rate housing do not have extra roadblocks that would delay the processing of applications. If there are, then we need to adjust our rules and regulations so we are not discouraging below market rate housing proposals.

    How will you close the town’s projected budget deficit?

    Los Gatos is among many other towns and cities that are facing a projected structural budget deficit post-pandemic. I would like to see all stakeholders come together to design a plan to overcome the projected deficit and develop a balanced budget without the need to use our reserves. The stakeholders would come from the Town Council, Town Staff, the Finance Commission, employee unions, employees of the town, owners of businesses and commercial spaces, and residents.

    Based on the experience of other cities, the Task Force could work quickly to identify areas of potential revenue generation and reduction of expenses with a 360 degree perspective of the impacts of each idea.

    How will you address concerns with traffic highlighted in a recent town survey?

    Until Caltrans agrees to ‘fix’ our problem by adding a third lane on South 17 between Lark Avenue and Highway 9, beach traffic will continue to be a vexing problem. We can minimize congestion on high traffic days by 1) passing an ordinance to fine drivers if they block an intersection; 2) better synchronize our traffic lights; and 3) continue to request that app developers like Waze and Google modify their algorithms to be more accurate and to avoid recommending alternative routes through neighborhoods.

    What would you do to bolster public safety?

    Los Gatos is fortunate to be one of the safest communities in the Bay Area, and the best way to bolster our public safety is to continue to support our responsive and effective Police Department. We also need to maintain and enhance the town’s public education efforts related to emergency preparedness so that each household is ready should we experience a major earthquake, fire, flood or another type of sudden disaster.

    Top three endorsements: Did not respond

    In one sentence, why vote for you?

    My almost 30 years of involvement in the business community as the owner of a downtown retail store, my service on a number of municipal government boards and commissions, and my proven track record of leadership in community organizations, makes me prepared and qualified to be elected to the Los Gatos Town Council.

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