Detailed Analysis of Measure C

The purpose of this analysis is not to recommend a yes or no vote on Measure C. Rather, it is to provide some insight into the numerous objections to the Measure voiced by a group that claims that if Measure C were to pass, there would be an assault on representative democracy and generally create administrative chaos. In the preparation of this analysis, we have made an effort to collect all arguments advanced against Measure C, and then evaluate each. This collection of the arguments has incorporated a wide variety of sources. It is derived from the opposing ballot statements, newspaper letters to editors, lists from various groups, opposition mailers, candidate forums, and personal meetings. One of our board members has also traveled to San Francisco in order to meet with and interview the partner of the law firm that drafted Measure C in order to get his perspective.

Criticism No. 1 : Why?
The City has never sold parkland, so why is additional protection needed?

For the first time in the City’s 60‐year history, we have a City Council, lead by Mayor Jean Mordo, that is intent on building an extremely expensive Civic Center and adopting a Downtown Vision Plan that would require tapping into the $300 million to $525 million (estimated value) of City land at the current Hillview/Civic Center site and downtown on eight of the ten parking plazas. The purpose of “monetizing” City land (as Mayor Mordo has said) is to generate the funds required for the new, rebuilt Civic Center and development of the parking plazas. Currently, the Council can do this without voter approval. Measure C would change that. There is strong opposition to Measure C by the current Council and others in town. We suspect that the real reasons are their fear that the voters of Los Altos would not approve such actions.

That fear is more than likely justified. In November 2015, Measure A, which was to authorize the City to borrow $65 million of an estimated $87 million for improvement of the Hillview Community Center, was promoted by the City Council and by the same group of individuals and of prior Los Altos mayors that are currently objecting to the passage of Measure C. Mayor Mordo was one of the lead advocates for Measure A. It was soundly rejected by 71% of Los Altos voters.

Mayor Mordo and the Council have now turned to another approach, one that doesn’t require the voters’ approval. This time, the large project has been broken down into separate components, the first being the Community Center. The City’s professional staff and the Financial Commission (community members selected because of their financial acumen) both recommended a new Community Center that would cost an estimated $25 million. The Council rejected that advice and voted to spend an additional $10 million for a building totaling $35 million, requiring additional money the City doesn’t have. It will accomplish this without issuing bonds (since that would require voter approval), but simply by borrowing the money at a higher interest rate, if needed.

The City Council, under the leadership of Mayor Mordo, has just approved the Downtown Vision Plan that recommends replacing eight of the ten downtown parking plazas with developments for offices, another boutique hotel (3 or more stories high), low‐cost housing, dining plazas, etc. (See Figure 3 on p. 15 of the Vision Plan). Most of those developments are significant and permanent changes that likely involve having to sell or otherwise lose control of this public land, without a clear path to replace the lost parking – lost parking that would cost more than $50 million that we don’t have. This is made clear in the appendix that is part of the Downtown Vision Plan:

“The City’s operating surplus has been committed, and it does not currently have funding for this level of downtown improvement. However, the City does own an 18‐acre campus at Civic Center. Depending upon the level of development intensity permitted, the real estate asset value of this campus could be worth $200 to $350 million. Replacement of facilities, such as a new Library and City Hall, would need to come out of that value. However, should the City wished to fully capitalize on this real estate asset with a public/private development approach, it is likely that sufficient funds could be made available for the improvement of downtown.” (Downtown Vision Plan, Appendix A, Economics and Fiscal Evaluations, p. 12.)

These 27 acres, however, are not unused. They consist of City Hall, Youth Center, Police Station, Main Library, History Museum, Bus Barn, Neutra Cottage, Hillview Community Center, the various soccer and baseball fields, and, of course, the downtown parking. Not only is this land valuable for City operations and community use, it is extremely expensive and an irreplaceable asset of the City. Having a Council that is willing to raid this land via “monetization” is a new twist in City politics and currently requires a vote of only three council members, unless Measure C is passed.

The Council is in the process of presumably eliminating the need for Measure C by adopting an ordinance requiring voter approval for the sale of any park. If eventually passed, however, it would not apply to any of the 27 acres of the Civic Center, the various playing fields along Hillview, and all the parking plazas, since none of these are zoned as parks. Furthermore, the ordinance could be changed (i.e., eliminated) by a future Council at any time.

In 2016, the voters in the City of Santa Clara passed with a nearly 90% approval rate their Measure R which required voter approval for any lease of a park or open space for over 180 days, with the exception that their Measure R required a two‐thirds majority vote. Their City Attorney raised similar alarms in his impartial analysis, “If adopted, this measure would create a substantial impediment to the City’s ability to sell or lease its parkland and open space . . .” Yet Santa Clara Measure R easily passed and there have been no lawsuits, no stopping of city government, none of the other calamities currently claimed by the opponents of Measure C.

Criticism No. 2 : Undemocratic?
Does Measure C threaten our representative democracy, and should we instead just rely on our elected officials?

In a representative democracy, most decisions are left to the judgment of the elected officials, who are expected to study the issues and make thoughtful choices that benefit the majority of the community. Presumably this is why we elected them. These same democracies, however, especially at the local level, almost always require a few significant and irreversible decisions to first be approved by the voters. This situation is much like a corporate board of directors. The corporate directors have wide ranging authority, but cannot take certain actions without shareholder approval.

The loss of City land for City use is such a rare yet significant event that many believe it should require voter (or, in the corporate example, shareholder) approval. This seems particularly true for several reasons: (1) Los Altos has the least per‐capita public land of any city in the area, (2) the Council has already demonstrated that it can be significantly out of touch with the Los Altos voters when they promoted Measure A in November of 2015, which was rejected by 71% of the voters; (3) Mayor Mordo has publicly stated his interest in “monetizing” City land; (4) the Council has adopted the Downtown Vision Plan that envisions the City funding various Civic Center and downtown developments by engaging in public‐private partnerships with the City’s real estate assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars; and (5) the potential permanent loss of eight of the ten parking plazas as recommended by the Downtown Vision Plan.

The significant time, money, and energy spent in 2015 by our City Council in support of Measure A, their decision to put it before the voters at a substantial expense to the City, and the rejection by 71% of the voters, all indicate that our elected representatives were very much out of touch with the majority of Los Altos residents. It is significant that the group of prior mayors now opposed to Measure C are part of the same group that previously promoted Measure A. Accusations of being undemocratic for not trusting our public officials on these irreversible land use decisions are simply not credible. Indeed, requiring voter approval for such permanent decisions is democracy at its best.

Criticism No. 3 : Ambiguous resulting in administrative chaos?
Is the language of Measure C poorly written and legally ambiguous with unintended and chaotic consequences?

The wording of Measure C was prepared by Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, a San Francisco law firm of over 30 attorneys, all devoted to government and land use law. This law firm is recognized in California as one of the premier firms in initiatives and ballot measures, having represented the State of California and numerous cities and interest groups, both for and against initiatives. They serve as the City Attorney for three Bay Area cities. Indeed, the final draft was reviewed by a panel of partners to make certain it was free from the ambiguities or the unintended consequences now claimed by Measure C opponents. It was neither rushed nor “poorly written.” During our personal meeting with the drafting partner, we were assured that if Los Altos Measure C passed, the implementation of the Measure would NOT require a vote for any renewal of any existing lease, nor any lease regarding the fire stations, libraries, LASD Maintenance Yard, or a new café at the community center. We were also told that in their considerable experience, every time a ballot measure is opposed, this same argument is always raised, even if it is completely unfounded.

The simple language of the Measure states that it “Applies Only to Actions that Would Significantly Impact the Public Character of the Land Owned by the City of Los Altos.” Renewing the leases for fire stations, libraries, and other current leases do not “significantly impact the public character” of the City’s lands, since the use before and after is the same. Those opposed to Measure C are refusing to consider all the language of the Measure, including its Findings, a practice condemned by the Supreme Court of the State of California (see a detailed legal analysis in item 12 later in this article).

If Measure C passes and if the City remains concerned about supposed ambiguities and multiple lawsuits, there is a simple cure. Section 5E of Measure C expressly authorizes the City Council to adopt implementing ordinances and other items as necessary “to further the purposes of this Initiative.” The City Council also has an independent right to adopt conforming changes to the General Plan. The California Supreme Court has made clear that the proper interpretation of an initiative requires looking at the initiative as a whole, including uncodified statements of Purpose and Findings. Consistent with those directions, if Measure C passes, the City Council could easily add a conforming Policy 1.A1c, with the following as an example (which comes largely from the June 12, 2018, letter from the attorney in behalf of Measure C):

As clarified during the initiative process, the above provisions regarding leases or other dispositions of City property apply only to actions that would significantly impact the public character of the City property and that would effectively privatize the property, which excludes renewal of an existing lease, inter‐ government agency transactions, authorization agreements to manage City property, and similar events.

If the City Council adopts such a clarification, as authorized by Measure C and consistent with the court’s instructions, then there is a 90‐day statute of limitations for anyone to challenge the clarification. (Govt. Code § 65009(c)(1)(A)) Thereafter, the clarification will be in full force and effect rendering any subsequent litigation without merit.

The group of prior mayors who opposed Measure C are essentially the same prior mayors who strongly supported Measure A in 2015 that was soundly rejected by 71% of Los Altos voters. The group who supported Measure A in 2015 and now in 2018 opposes Measure C, along with certain politically active downtown property owners, want the Council’s powers unrestrained so that they can impact City decisions by needing to influence only three votes out of the five Council members. They certainly want to avoid any requirement to have to submit irreversible land use decisions to the voters. In any event, prior mayors Lou Becker, David Casas and Ron Packard, who served for many years on the Council, have stated that if Measure C had been in place during the time they served on the Council, there was no sale of land or lease that would have been subject to Measure C, and that the claims of administrative chaos are a nothing more than a false alarm.

Criticism No. 4 : Leases?
Will Measure C unreasonably impact the City’s ability to renew leases with the fire stations, library, Los Altos School District (LASD) and others?

No. The Measure itself expressly states that “This Initiative Applies Only to Actions that Would Significantly Impact the Public Character of Lands Owner by the City of Los Altos.” (See Initiative, Findings C.5) The Measure further requires the General Plan to contain wording that it is for “Significant Changes” to the City’s lands. Leases that perpetuate governmental use of the land are exempt, since there is no significant change to use of the City’s land. Claims that the libraries, fire stations, school maintenance yard, or other such leases would require voter approval are mere scare tactics that ignore the simple wording of the Measure itself and refuse to interpret the Measure as a whole, a practice criticized by the California Supreme Court (see a detailed legal analysis in item 12 later in this article).

For example, it has been suggested that if the City places a café in the Civic Center, the voters would have to approve any lease to an operator. Not so. First, it would not be a lease, but an operating agreement. Second, under the wording of both the Measure and the proposed General Plan, the agreement would not make a significant change to the use of the land. The creation of space for a café would have already been accomplished by the City when the Civic Center was designed and constructed. Likewise, the renewal of the leases with other agencies do not change the character of the land, and do not involve privatization of the City’s land.

It is assumed that a responsible City Council, if genuinely concerned about the scope of the Measure, will adopt clarifying provisions as mentioned in Criticism No. 3 above, so that any legal challenge will be limited to 90‐days thereafter.

Criticism No. 5 : Public works contractors?
Will Measure C unreasonably impact contractors for public works who need access over public land?

No. Temporary access by contractors of public works do “not change the public character of the land.” As such, it likewise is exempt from voter approval.

Criticism No. 6 : Church property?
Would Measure C require voter approval if a church wanted to sell its property to a developer who then wanted to rezone the property?

No. Measure C expressly states that it amends the General Plan “to protect land owned by the City of Los Altos with a General Plan land use designation of (1) Parks, (2) Other Open Space, or (3) Public and Institutional.” Finding 5 of Measure C states that it applies “only to actions that would significantly impact the public character of lands owned by the City of Los Altos.” Since the church land is not owned by the City, it is not subject to Measure C.

Criticism No. 7 : Frequent vote cost of $50,000‐$500,000?
Will numerous small matters have to go before the voters and cost the City $50,000 to $500,000 each time?

No. Any required vote would be rare. It has been many, many years since the City Council voted on the sale of any property with the zoning that would have placed it under Measure C. Even the sale of First and Main (the building at 400 Main Street) would not have been subject to Measure C since the land was not so zoned. As such, the sale of City land so zoned is rare indeed, although that sale does show that a City Council is willing to dispose of City property. (At that time, even the publisher of the Town Crier appeared before the Council and urged the City to immediately enter into the agreement to sell the property.)

The lease of City land so zoned is also not routine. The City came up with a list of all leases of lands with that zoning, a grand total of thirteen. One was signed in the 1960s and is still ongoing (a church’s use of street parking stalls at Lincoln Park). This paucity shows that they are rare.

Where the opponents differ with our analysis of Measure C is their improper interpretation of the Measure by refusing to consider it as a whole, a practice condemned by the California Supreme Court (discussed in item 12 below). The Measure expressly states that it only applies to actions that would significantly impact the public character of the land. Renewing the leases for fire stations, libraries, and other current leases do not “significantly impact the public character” of the City’s lands, since the use before and after is identical. The opponents ignore that language and insist that all such renewals would require voter approval. As the expert attorney who drafted Measure C explained, if Measure C passes the City will not require voter approval for renewal of these leases.

We concur with the concern that taxpayer money be wisely spent. If the highly experienced attorneys who drafted Measure C are correct (and those opposed to Measure C have failed to provide any legal analysis to the contrary), then the only time Measure C will require voter approval is on the rare occasion when the proposed transaction involves a significant change in the character of City land. In that event, voter approval would certainly be warranted, and the expenditure of money for an election completely justified.

Criticism No. 8 : Steady stream of lawsuits?
If Measure C passes, will there be a steady stream of lawsuits?

It is unlikely that there would be a steady stream of lawsuits. It is more likely that the City Council, if truly concerned about litigation, will adopt implementing provisions along the lines of the response to Criticism No. 3 above, and then if anyone wants to challenge the clarifications, they will be required to file a lawsuit within 90 days. The Measure C committee members would have no credibility in bringing such a lawsuit since their own attorney has affirmed in writing and in their behalf that such matters are outside the scope of Measure C. After the 90 days, or the one litigation if filed within the 90 days, we believe that any further lawsuits would be barred by law. Of course, frivolous lawsuits can always be filed (our legal system allows anyone to sue for any reason, independent of whether the suit has merit), however, the real question is whether there are any credible grounds for a lawsuit regarding the limited scope of Measure C.

Criticism No. 9 : Signature collection?
When signatures were collected to place Measure C on the ballot, did the collectors speak only about parks and not mention other public lands?

No. All signature collections were done by Los Altos residents who volunteered their time. There were no paid collectors. They used a prepared printed sheet to explain the initiative. The title of this sheet, in bold font, states: “Protect our Parks & Public Lands.” There was no intent to say it was limited to parks, particularly since many of our sports fields that look like parks are designated “Public and Institutional.” It is possible that some who signed the petition may remember only the mention of parks, but that does not mean that public lands were not also mentioned. There was no need to hide that fact. To the extent opponents insist that the collectors should have explained that the Measure would require a public vote for any renewal of leases, that would not only have been inaccurate, it would also have been inconsistent with the wording of the Measure.

Criticism No. 10 : Property Taxes?
Our County Assessor has stated that Measure C is “likely to negatively impact property taxes.” Would that really happen?

It is unfortunate that County politics have now become entwined with issues in Los Altos. Kim Cranston, a Los Altos Hills resident who owns properties in downtown Los Altos and other communities, is mounting a campaign against Measure C. As part of his solicitation of campaign contributions from fellow downtown property owners, he is using a statement from our County Assessor Larry Stone that Measure C is “likely to negatively impact property tax revenue.” Since most of us pay property taxes, we have a general idea how that works. The City does not pay property taxes on the land it owns, but if it sells the land to a developer, then the developer would pay property taxes.

For well over a decade, however, there have been no proposed sales of City property that would have been subject to Measure C. That means that if Measure C had been in place for years, there would have been no effect on tax revenue. If, in the future, however, the City wants to sell its land to a developer (or enter into a public‐private partnership such that the land would then become taxable) and the voters then refused to approve the commercial arrangement with the developer, there then would be a loss of the hypothetical increase in tax revenue. This is no different than if the City Council wanted to sell one of the parking plazas to a developer to build an 8‐story office building, and the voters did not approve the proposed change in use of the parking plaza – there would be a loss of the hypothetical increase in tax revenue, but there would be no effect on current revenue.

The bottom line to this argument against Measure C is that if the City Council is allowed to enter into a commercial arrangement with a developer for City land, the arrangement becomes a means of generating increased tax revenue. It does not mean that Measure C will automatically cause the City to lose tax revenue, it simply means that if Measure C passes, the voters, the legitimate “owners” of the City’s land, will have the final say as to whether or not City land can be made available to a developer, with the potential for an increase in tax revenue.

Criticism No. 11 : Downtown Vision Plan?
Would Measure C kill the Downtown Vision Plan?

No, but it would likely slow down the implementation of the plan. It would ensure that the implementation of certain aspects of the Downtown Vision Plan that involve the sale (or public‐private partnerships) of City land that involve a significant change to the character of the public land must be approved by the voters. A vision plan is just that, a vision. Any implementation would be years in the making and allow ample opportunity to have it presented to the voters for approval.

For instance, the Downtown Vision Plan recommends replacing eight of the ten parking plazas with developments for offices, another boutique hotel (3 or more stories high), low‐cost housing, a food court, etc. Most of those are significant and permanent changes that would likely involve some form of sale of City land. There is no clear plan for contemporaneous replacement of the lost parking. That is the very type of decision that should not be left to three elected Council members (meaning a “yes” vote by any three of the five members of the City Council) who may be out of touch with the voters‐ ‐‐much as we saw in the 2015 vote on Measure A. We “the voters”, it must be remembered, are the true owners of the public land. Asking for voter approval, as would be required by Measure C, would certainly not impede any responsible, publicly approved proposed development.

Criticism No. 12 : Legal interpretation?
For attorneys and others who may wish to consider a legal view of issues related to Measure C, we ask the question “what is controlling when the Findings, Goal, and Ballot Statements contain limiting language, but the Policy statements do not?” That is, which part of the Measure sets the limitations of the effect of the Measure – the the Findings, the Goal, the Ballot Statements, and the Policy Statements, or the Policy Statements alone?

We had hoped to avoid having to present a legal analysis, but in light of some of the claims and statements being made by Measure C opponents, and the general reliance by newspapers and others on those statements, we feel that a review of matters from a legal perspective is necessary. First the facts. The uncodified Findings C5 within the Measure itself states that the initiative applies “Only To Actions That Would Significantly Impact The Public Character of Lands Owned by the City.” The implementing ordinance itself contains the codified Goal 1.A that states that voter approval is required “for Significant Changes to Parks, Open Space, and Other Public Properties owned by the City of Los Altos.” The Policies 1.A1b(i) and (ii) deal with the sale or lease of land, and do not contain any words of limitation. The uncodified rebuttal argument in favor of Measure C is the most explicit regarding limitations, stating that “Opponents claim Measure C applies to leases for public use. But Measure C states that it ‘applies only to actions that would significantly impact the public character’ of City lands by ‘effectively privatizing these shared spaces.’” The attorneys in behalf of the Committee for Yes on C put in writing (their letter of June 12, 2018) that the measure “applies only to actions that would significantly impact the public character of lands owned by the City,” and “that would effectively privatize” the land.

Given these facts, the legal question is: what is controlling in interpreting the scope of Measure C? Opponents are adamant that only the Policy (which itself contains no words of limitation) is controlling, and the uncodified Findings and Ballot Rebuttal Statement, along with the codified Goal are all irrelevant. That position, however, is not supported by the courts or the law.

Since none of the FOLA board members are experts in ballot/initiative law, we requested and received the following legal analysis and opinion from the San Francisco attorney at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger who wrote the wording of Measure C.

The Supreme Court of the State of California has ruled that in interpreting a voter initiative, a court’s role is to “give effect to the voters’ formally expressed intent.” Ross v. RagingWire Telecommunications, Inc. (2008) [42 Cal. 4th 920, 930]. It does so by “consider[ing] the measure as presented to the voters with any uncodified findings and statements of intent” recorded in the initiative’s preamble. People v. Canty (2004) [32 Cal. 4th 1266, 1280]; see also Prof. Eng’rs in Cal. Gov. v. Kempton (2007) [40 Cal. 4th 1016, 1037] (interpreting initiative’s language “in light of the initiative as a whole,” including uncodified statements of purpose and intent). While these statements do not in themselves confer power or determine rights, “they properly may be utilized as an aid in construing [an initiative].” Canty, [32 Cal. 4th at 1280]. Thus, in People v. Valencia (2017) [3 Cal. 5th 347, 362], the California Supreme Court construed a ballot measure’s ambiguous language to make it “consistent with the express purpose and intended scope” of the measure as expressed in its uncodified “Findings and Declarations” and its statement of “Purpose and Intent.” Likewise, in Westly v. Board of Administration (2003) [105 Cal. App. 4th 1095, 1110‐11], the Court of Appeal interpreted statutory language enacted by a voter initiative in light of the “statement of Purposes and Intent and Findings which are part of its enactment.” Furthermore, “[w]here there is ambiguity in the language of the measure, ‘[b]allot Summaries and Arguments are considered when determining the voters’ intent and understanding of a ballot measure.’” Prof. Eng’rs in Cal. Gov. v. Kempton, [40 Cal. 4th 1016, 1037].

Thus, based on this series of California Supreme Court decisions, and the Appellate Court decision, it is clear that the opponents’ position “that only the Policy wording controls” is not correct. The Findings, the Goal, and even the Ballot Rebuttal Statements are all relevant, and make it clear that Measure C only applies where there is a significant impact on the public character of the City lands by effectively privatizing that land. Extensions and leases for fire stations, schools, or library do not require a public vote and are not within the scope of Measure C. Not one of the current 13 leases listed by the City involve privatization of public land. We do recommend, and assume that if Measure C passes, that the City Council will adopt a clarifying and conforming amendment to the General Plan consistent with our comments in Criticism No. 3 above.

Criticism No. 13 : Lack of endorsements?
Many prior mayors, the local newspapers and various organizations have come out against Measure C, why?

It is obvious that the committee in support of Measure C has been a grass‐roots organization without any prior political experience. Given their lack of experience, they were not prepared to deal effectively with the onslaught of the negative campaign premised on the false conclusion that Measure C would result in administrative chaos because of the issue of leases, as discussed above. This criticism was mounted by various special interests – the downtown property owners who are politically active and want increased development rights, with the City waiving or paying for any needed parking, and a group of former Mayors who originally supported the failed Measure A in 2015 and now see a means of circumventing that failure.

In addition, a number of special interest groups want the implementation of various aspects of the Downtown Vision Plan without having to first obtain voter approval. For example, former Mayor King Lear and a number of his supporters have attempted for years to have a downtown theater, even though it is not economically viable. The Downtown Vision Plan provides for one on a parking plaza. The League of Women Voters are anxious to get low‐cost housing, with the construction of an entire complex slated to be another of the parking plazas, again without having to obtain the voters’ approval. Even the Town Crier, which owns its building on Main Street, gets a highly desirable outdoor dining area for the building’s restaurant on its ground floor with the loss of another parking plaza.

These individuals and organizations provided their own opposition endorsements and have effectively sought out quotes and additional opposition endorsements from others, premised on the incorrect conclusions regarding Measure C as explained in detail in this analysis. It appears that none of the various individuals or organizations that oppose Measure C has engaged in a serious independent investigation of Measure C, and the Committee in favor of Measure C has not been politically effective in countering their arguments.


Measure C is not perfect; the community would have been better served by a document which included the conforming clarification we have suggested in Criticism No. 3 above, not because they were needed, but to avoid unneeded controversy.

It is our conclusion that if Measure C had been in force for the last decade, there would have been little to no impact on the City – no required votes on leases or sale of land, no increased costs, no impact of tax revenues, and no administrative chaos. If Measure C were now adopted, it would have no impact on the renewal of the City’s various leases, and would have no negative impact on tax revenues. However getting to that point of absolute clarity may require the City to adopt a clarifying provision in the General Plan and then see if anyone files a suit within the requisite 90 days.

The primary effect of Measure C, should it pass, is that it will require voter approval for a number of actions contained in the Downtown Vision Plan regarding the parking plazas and other City property that the Council may wish to sell. If the Council could not convince the majority of the voters to approve such a sale, then we, the voters who are the rightful “owners” of City property, should have the final say on such decisions.

Those who favor passing Measure C are also motivated by a concern that a majority of our present Council is willing to spend money that we don’t have, even against the recommendations of the City’s professional staff and the Financial Commission. Both groups recommended limiting the costs of the Community Center to $25 million, but the Council voted to spend an extra $10 million, money that the City doesn’t have. This gives many voters pause as to how much power they may want to give any three Council members, particularly if the Downtown Vision Plan involves the loss of hundreds of parking spaces that would cost millions to replace.

Measure C in an important issue in Los Altos. It is critical that residents be as informed as possible on the meaning of the measure, the legal ramifications, and the potential effects of either passing the Measure, or allowing it to fail. We hope that the analysis presented in this article will assist voters in deciding how to vote on Measure C.