The League of Women Voters strongly urges you to vote NO on Measure C, which would require a vote of the public before most city-owned land could be sold or leased. Based on our analysis, there is no need for this restrictive measure since we are not aware of any instances where the City has sold parks or open space lands. Leases to provide services and to meet city goals and objectives are routine occurrences in city operations.
The LWV believes in representative government and holding elected officials accountable. The LWV believes initiatives should be supported when they are clear and unambiguous and limited to a single subject. They should contain a sunset clause or allow for modification to meet future city needs and challenges. Measure C meets none of these tests of good governance.
The Los Altos City Attorney has stated that Measure C language is ambiguous and could lead to litigation to clarify intent. It could also lead to costly elections if lease terms are changed for our libraries, fire stations, the History Museum, Bus Barn Theater and other beloved community assets.
The ambiguity of the so-called “Protect Our Parks and Public Lands” measure has caused many to request their names be withdrawn from the petitions they signed and many more believe they were misled about its scope. Not only does the measure affect the kinds of leases described above, but also any proposed lease of downtown parking plazas for uses envisioned in the Downtown Vision. In a recent city survey over 80 percent of the respondents supported increased downtown vibrancy. Due to the delay and the uncertainty of a vote, developers will be reluctant to propose public/private partnerships or invest in our city if the initiative passes. Voters elect City Council members to demonstrate leadership and make decisions about the fundamental functions of local government. Hindering routine city decisions with costly elections uses scarce financial resources that are better used to expand services to senior and youth or better maintain city streets and buildings.
To download a PDF copy of this statement and a fact sheet, click here.