Wednesday, July 26, 2006

 

A Mayor Milestone

I passed another couple of milestones this week. I am now 75% of the way through My Year As Mayor, and the number of mayor events/meetings so far surpassed 250. That translates into an average of 9 per week and doesn’t include the hours spent on phone and email communication or preparation for Council meetings or other events. I work in a billable time business, so I’m used to keeping track of where my hours go. But even so, I am surprised to look back and fully appreciate the time commitment of the role as Mayor, which I estimate is a minimum of 30-50 hours per week. If I didn’t work full time, and took advantage of every opportunity to be in the spotlight, I am sure that practically every day could be full of mayor-related things to do. I use a triage system for allocating time. It is part of my responsibility as a Council Member and Mayor, such as Council meetings, listening to the concerns of constituents, or briefing sessions with staff? Does having “The Mayor” be there add value to the event for participants, such as the installation dinner of the Los Gatos Yacht Club, the Senior of Distinction award ceremony, or the kick-off reception for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life program? Does it conflict with work appointments that cannot be changed, such as when I had to pass up the opportunity for national TV exposure on the American Inventor finale because I had been long-booked to lead a strategic planning workshop for a nonprofit board of 30 people at exactly the same time? I strongly believe that a small community like Los Gatos does not need Council members who are paid as full-time positions like they are in large cities like San Jose and San Francisco. We have an excellent professional staff to run the town day to day. And I think having individuals with a variety of day jobs and professional expertise adds to the quality of our decision-making. But I can’t count how many times people have told me this year that they could never serve on Council because the sacrifice they would have to make to their families, careers, and personal interests is too great. Of course, I also can’t count how many times people have thanked me for doing this job and taking care of things in the community so that they don’t have to. Bottom line, I guess, is that every member of Town Council works countless hours for a salary of $150 per month. That is what public service is about.

Friday, July 21, 2006

 


Yesterday I attended the annual BBQ lunch of the Los Gatos Youth Park, along with members of Los Gatos Kiwanis and Optimists. Rotary and Lion members were hosted earlier in the week. The Youth Park has been used by the Boy Scouts since the 1930s, so that is why the guests were greeted so cordially by EVAN KITZMILLER and MATT STAFFORD. The Youth Park is one of those hidden treasures of Los Gatos, unknown by some, beloved by many and supported for decades by dedicated volunteers. And the lunch was delicious – especially the magic beans! Then last night was the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner to install new officers and honor the Businessperson of the Year. The award went to GREG STOWERS which pleased me greatly. Greg is an architect in town and a jewel of the volunteer. I remember the first year we did the July 4th celebration. He was here, there and everywhere all day. Last night was also fun because I got to see old friends like RANDY ATTAWAY, KEITH PLOTTEL and MARIE TALLMAN. Put these activities together with the launch party Wednesday night for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life event [August 19 at Vasona Park], and the ribbon cutting this evening for the new Blossom Dental Office and you understand why I feel like it’s been a busy week.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

 

Vacation is nice, but so is home


I’m back from vacation in Eastern Canada [Montreal, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia] and although it’s beautiful country – see photo -- Dorothy was correct that there is no place like home. Especially if home is Los Gatos. Summer is in full swing here with Music in the Park on Sundays and Jazz in the Plazz on Wednesday evenings. ALLISTAIR DALLAS has started a website on all things Los Gatos [visit www.losgatosobserver.com] and MIKE LOYA, coordinator the teen center, The Venue, received a well-deserved promotion to Recreation Supervisor of Teen Programs. The chair of the General Plan Committee, JANE OGLE, got a new job as COO of Santa Clara Family Health Plan. She was in the inaugural Leadership Los Gatos class, which reminds me that applications are now being accepted for the 2006-07 Leadership Los Gatos program. The deadline is August 17 and info is available from the Chamber of Commerce. We are on the July break for Council meetings, but there are still a lot of meetings and events to keep the calendar full, and August looks even busier.

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