Our new "streetscape" on First Street in Los Altos.
One week after our local paper criticized our Mayor and her City Council for not meeting any of their deadlines on a downtown "streetscape" which has closed our key intersection since July 2011: Voila! The street is now open.
That's a relief anyway--though our formerly tree-lined street now has what looks like a prison wall along its edge. It does go to show how fast you can get our mayor to move if you have the nerve to criticize her.
I don't envy poor old Skip's Place. That wall is vaguely reminiscent of what is known as a "Jersey barrier" and looks more like it is designed to keep out terrorists than welcome visitors.
After outraged protests from local residents, our soviet-style council agreed to leave two mature trees along the two, new "streetscaped" blocks. Because they wanted to remove the others, the city decided they were "diseased." Now the last two of our old trees appear somewhat lonely, marked as they are by some sort of altar. Anyway, it all cost $1.3M and you better like it or you are "against progress."
The main intersection that is the entrance into our little town, which formerly had mature trees on all four corners, is now a large sea of concrete and asphalt. Definitely not an improvement and along with that prison wall-planter thingee along First is neither charming, nor village-like. "Village" is the buzz word at council meetings where they endlessly discuss our "village atmosphere" before they approve another condo project.
Look! Eighteen Acres of Opportunity!
In a somewhat related story: I have been intrigued to read in their "marketing materials" that the City Council says they have "set aside funding" for our new/proposed City Hall/Community Center: and all we have to do is adopt a $61M bond so they can chop down our apricot orchard and build the rest of the concrete and asphalt stuff they want to put there.
I've learned, however, that $6M of the "funding" they have "set aside" is in Certificates of Participation. That means, in other words, the "funding" they have "set aside" will only be able to be put aside, if they borrow it. Certificates of Participation are certificates that allow you to borrow.
This is what modern government calls "funding."
So with "funding," "progress," and "streetscaping," we are developing a whole new Orwellian lexicon here in my little town. Oh, excuse me, my little "village." And honestly, it did used to look like one.
You are now entering Los Altos. Leave your dictionary and all hope of shade behind.
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