Mayor Rennie will provide the leadership we need.

Below is a partial record of his service on the Town Council

Fiscal Responsibility and Pension Liability
In my first term, we did a great to deal to address our unfunded liabilities and as a result will be able to pay down our pension liabilities in 20 instead of the required 30 years.

For most of my time on town council I have served on the town finance committee or finance commission. My focus is on sound budgeting practices that ensure we can continue to provide needed Town services. Some of the work over the last 6 years:

  • Moved money from some general fund accounts to a pension fund with 6 to 7% returns instead of 1 to 2%. 
  • Paid down unfunded pension liability by $10M.
  • Increased funding of our Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) trust so that it is >80% funded now.
  • Held headcount steady.
  • Kept department budget flat.

We have also raised revenue by:

  • Increasing the hotel tax to be in line with our neighbor cities.
  • Passing a 1/8 cent sales tax.
  • Increasing property tax revenue $1M/yr through annexation of county pockets.
  • Increasing permitting fees.
  • Advancing a ballot measure to update business license tax, which will increase revenues $1M/yr.

Downtown Revitalization and COVID Recovery
In Los Gatos we value small business owners and their entrepreneurial spirit. These businesses are central to the character of our historic downtown district.

In my first term I championed allowing music downtown until 10 PM, in an effort to revitalize the area in the evenings. I worked to change outdated regulations and red tape that limit our business’s ability to innovate and stay profitable. I encouraged our Chamber of Commerce to promote special downtown events that bring people in and keep our businesses thriving. 

In the face of the pandemic, we continued working to reduce the bureaucracy business owners face. Recent efforts to continue business revitalization include:

•Allowing changes to existing conditional use permits (CUPs) at no cost.
•Offering ½ price fees for new CUPs.
•Allowing businesses to expand into empty next door spaces.
•Providing temporary parklets.
•Financing permanent parklets.
•Financing 7 Thursday night street closures.

As a result of many years of work, we've reversed the trend in declining visitors. Downtown Los Gatos is now "The Place to Go!"


Emergency Preparedness

With the recent wildfires to our North and South, including the one in Santa Rosa (my own parents were evacuated from their home) we have seen the need to increase our emergency preparedness programs.

Over the last several years, we have:

  • Procured more equipment and staff attention for CERT and HAM programs
  • Run Emergency Drills
  • Activated EOC and CERT field teams
  • Delivered Emergency Preparedness training for seniors
  • Formed an Ad Hoc Wildfire team to enhance wildfire safety and prevention
  • Run evacuation drills from the mountains areas such as Foster & College roads areas
  • Allocated $1M to brush clearing on egress routes out of the mountains
  • Made policy changes such as a new hazardous brush ordinance, enhanced defensible space requirements, a new fire annex plan, and a modified tree ordinance.

Our residents play an important individual role in emergency preparedness. Below are some essential resources:

Traffic 
Traffic impact from booming economy in Silicon Valley is a major issue. During my tenure on the Council we created and finalized a Master Bike and Pedestrian plan, implemented a Safe Routes to School program, and introduced Green Bike Lanes to the town streets. This is a good beginning, but we need to do much more. 

I will continue working to solve the beach drive-through traffic problem by spearheading a cooperative effort to improve Highway 17. Local efforts to manage our street traffic will be an important part of the solution as well. 

In addition, we are currently in the design phase for improvements to the Highway 17/Route 9 interchange that will improve safety and flow.

Land Use Management
Land use issues require a balanced and thoughtful approach. As a Council member I always hear all sides, look at all facts and make sure that any potential impacts on the community are adequately addressed before making my determination on issues that affect our small town feel and ambiance.
New state housing laws decrease our local control over things like architecture, privacy, and view sheds. This is an area of concern for me since we may no longer be able to require a developer to amend design to preserve hillside views or address privacy concerns for the neighbors. We must find ways to create objective standards that will comply with the State requirements and protect our small town values, open space, and parks. 

Sustainability and the Environment
We must update our Sustainability plan to keep up with tech and other innovations, such as carbon-free electricity. We need to update our Greenhouse Gas inventory, last completed in 2012. The environment, though last on this list, is a high priority for me. We must do our part at the local level to support the county, regional, state, country and global efforts that ensure a healthy planet, clean air, and a beautiful environment in which our residents, children and grandchildren can thrive.