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What would you do to improve Los Altos’ financial footing? Do you think the City should have pursued the 40 Main street lawsuit to trial and appeal?

Note: The 40 Main Street lawsuit was a suit between the City and a developer group called 40 Main Street LLC. It cost the city over 1.3 million dollars, and many say that it was clear from the beginning that the City would lose the case. 

Kalkat, when asked about the 40 Main Street lawsuit, said that the Council was aware of the negative financial implications but decided to take it on for political reasons. To improve Los Altos’ financial footing, Kalkat would protect essential services and protect revenue.

Spielman blamed the suit on a confluence of bad things, and wishes the City would have pursued a three-story compromise instead of denying the developers a permit. To improve Los Altos’ financial footing, Spielman cited a recent revenue loss of 15 million dollars, and says the City should reduce spending until the City knows they have the budget to ramp spending back up.

Meadows said that the City fought the process in the 40 Main Street lawsuit, and in the future should instead respect it. To protect Los Altos’ financial footing, Meadows plans to reduce or eliminate spending on lawsuits, minimize borrowing and increase transparency in the budget.

Couture believes that there has not been enough time to understand what the implications of the lawsuit are. To protect Los Altos’ financial situation, Couture would prioritize essential services and get more input from the Finance Commission. 

Rubashevsky believes that the City should make incremental changes in regards to fighting developers, and wants to work with the developers moving forward. To protect Los Altos’ financial footing, Rubashevsky wants to help increase property value, which he said will increase tax revenue. He would also like to stop unnecessary litigation and improve services offered to residents.

Lee Eng said she was unable to comment on the litigation as it was pending. She wants to focus on emergency services and sewer maintenance, as the pandemic has caused tax revenue to decline.

Weinberg, as a practicing attorney, feels the City did not comply with the law in the 40 Main Street lawsuit and believes the City breached its civic duties. To strengthen Los Altos’ financial footing, Weinberg would like to take advantage of expertise in the City and listen more to the finance commission.

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