At the last City Council meeting on June 17, 2021, the FY 2021-2022 budget was approved. In that budget there is a $2,250,000 line item to initiate a Phase 2 expansion of Town Hall. The initial resident-driven request back in 2016 was to build community-building venues like a park or a Community Center. That request was hijacked by our CM to expand Town Hall for staff office space. Time to redirect those monies back to their original purpose.
As a community, we really do not have a space dedicated to building community. Because we are so geographically-dispersed, we need the equivalent of our Town Plaza. We need a community center that encourages us to gather as a community.
As we have noted, the intellectual and financial horsepower contained in LAH’s residents is amazing! We want to tap into those resources and work as true partners, to build one of the finest community centers on the peninsula.
Several residents have spent years promoting the idea of building a Community Center and it has gone no where. They wanted to create a space where true community is fostered and proposed building community meeting space at the Town Hall site. This original idea has now been completely hijacked and redirected into a $5 plus million dollar effort to expand our existing Town Hall for staff. We need to go back to our original proposal.
Here is Portola Valley’s Community Center, which includes a library and park. They have half our population and they did it!
We know we can build one if we have the creative vision and cooperation. For example, one of the TTAGS team sold their 150+ year old Queen Anne Victorian to the County of Monterey to build a Community Center.
Through creative efforts, the County purchased the property at below market value in exchange for a tax deduction to the seller. Both parties came out ahead. Here is a recent photograph of that Community Center in Monterey County. It has a library, community meeting rooms, playground, a senior center and county offices.
We can look for an ideal location in the hills and build a center with a park we can all be proud of following a similar acquisition process. Point is, with vision, creativity and collective wisdom from our residents, we can become the Smartest, Safest and Greenest city in California.