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Santa Clara County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Smart Voter

Who Mike Wasserman is and what He will do for Los Gatos

By Mike Wasserman

Candidate for Council Member; Town of Los Gatos

This information is provided by the candidate
Mike wants to get "in office" and then "get out of the office and into the neighborhoods", to address the individual needs of each area--which truly differ from east to west, from residential to commercial. It will take common sense and fairness to maintain the uniqueness that is Los Gatos--and Mike's track record shows he has plenty of both. What more could you want?
Dear Los Gatos Residents,

In the most general of terms: My platform can be described as one of a common sense approach to community issues in order to preserve and enhance the charm and uniqueness that is Los Gatos.

I am not and will not, become a "politician", which Webster's defines as: "...a person holding or seeking political office; often used in a derogatory sense, with implications of seeking personal or partisan gain, scheming, opportunism, etc."

My goal is to be described as a "statesman", which Webster's defines as: "...a person who shows wisdom, skill and vision in...treating public issues."

After getting a degree in Psychology from USC in 1980, I married Kim and then worked in San Jose and Sacramento in the Management program of Montgomery Wards. I moved back to my hometown of Los Gatos in 1982 and this is where I've lived and worked for the last 20 years.

I've managed a data processing/payroll company, a tax practice and a property management company. I have owned a home in Los Gatos since 1982 and operated several businesses. I am a Certified Financial Planner and Registered Tax Preparer. I use this knowledge to administer and manage numerous assets. And of course, I love to coach kids.

I have been involved with numerous schools' Community Read-In programs and fund raisers for non-profit organizations that benefit children.

During the last 20 years, I have experienced the many plusses and a few minuses of our Town. With over 150,000 people coming through the doors of Collectors Corner II since I opened it in 1990, I have listened to thousands of people tell me what they liked and didn't like about Los Gatos. I have also coached 300+ kids on 25 teams and spent many hours talking with their parents, about our Town, schools and government.

I experienced the Los Gatos Planning Commission, Building Department and Historical Committee over a 15 year period while doing a subdivision and several remodels. During the last six months I have attended every Town Council meeting, almost every Planning Commission meeting and most of the Historical Committee meetings. No one else has done this. This was to observe how they interact with the citizens and vice versa. You can learn a lot--about jobs and people--by listening and watching.

Conclusion: My skills and experiences are perfectly suited to be a Los Gatos Council Member.

For 20 years I have been negotiating and arbitrating issues between commercial, residential and industrial tenants, landlords, customers, insurance companies, attorneys, business owners, property owners, etc. in Fremont, Santa Cruz, Modesto, San Jose and Los Gatos. They say, "No matter how thin you make a pancake, there are always two sides" -- and I am skilled and successful at finding solutions while respecting the law.

Here are a few summaries in direct response to the questions I've received regarding certain community issues:

TOWN GROWTH: While I am in favor of reasonable growth in appropriate areas, those areas are definitely finite and diminishing. While I want Los Gatos to continue to be considered one of the best communities in the world because of its location, weather, schools, homes, safety and charm, I also want it to remain a Town and not become a city.

We've done enough development downtown. The density is too much and parking is insufficient. Any additional growth must take place elsewhere and be well thought out before being built. This is not just where I live, it's my home.

HILLSIDE GROWTH/DEVELOPMENT: I think it was Wil Rogers who said, "But land, they don't make it anymore"--he was right. Several very intelligent, community oriented individuals donated a lot of time and thought over a three year period to complete the General Plan. This document is intended to be the governing instrument for future development and direction and should be adhered to. It deals with issues such as building on the ridge and minimizes the density of homes allowed. Hillside safety and preservation are also addressed. I've been reviewing it for the last six months and find it to be very well written and thought out.

PRESERVATION: The term "Smart Growth" refers to development, with respect to environment. While that is only one of several similar approaches, I think it's important that every project be looked at from this angle when being considered. This is why you see more and more parking going underground (minimizing visible hardscaping) and commissions requiring more open space and asking for access or improvements to existing areas, such as trails and creeks.

PARKING: This is always on my mind. I have already said that whatever parking ratios we're using (meaning the number of parking spaces derived at based on the square footage of the project) should be increased significantly immediately. Whatever formula we've been using obviously isn't working. I have yet to see a project where the parking was described as "more than adequate" five years later. Underground parking creates more spaces without using more surface area.

POLICE PROTECTION: I am very pleased with the fact that we don't have gangs roaming our neighborhoods, we don't have a graffiti problem or need bars on our windows. I have known the D.A.R.E. officers for 10 years (John Campos and now Leyton Howard); chatted often with the officers who responded to our various shoplifting experiences; worked off and on with Randy Bishop as a sponsor and fundraiser via his annual golf tourney; and the Halloween Haunted Forest event at Oak Meadow with Gwen Cross. I've also had the opportunity to chat with the new Chief Scott Seaman and I know Tam McCarty well. I feel our Police and Fire do a great job for Los Gatos.

SENIOR SERVICES & LIBRARY: Besides what we've "talked" about already, there are dozens of other Town services we could discuss, but two of the most popular (according to my inquiries) are senior services and the library. Services to seniors must be improved and more comparable to those offered by other cities. A functional building with continuously scheduled activities, opportunities and meeting space is definitely needed. As well as areas to access the Internet and room to hold exercise equipment for cardio work. And a relationship with the high school for use of its pool (during non-school time) for aerobics would be excellent.

The library is definitely undersized and in need of assistance--which according to meetings I've attended, is "definitely in the plans" in conjunction with the discussed remodel of the Civic Center. Meeting rooms, high tech area, more books and space--all these things and more are needed to have a first rate library.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, is my intent to "Get into office and then get out of the office and into the NEIGHBORHOODS". I want to meet with neighborhoods after they have met and discussed and prioritized their objectives. Then I want to see what I can do to make each neighborhood a little bit better for its residents. I've met with several groups so far and find their requests reasonable and relatively inexpensive (e.g. raised sidewalks repaired; more recognition of the accomplishments of the Los Gatos kids living in the Campbell and Union School districts; stop lines moved forward to allow for a better line-of-sight in the intersection, traffic calming, etc.).

Well, I think between this and our website at, I've answered the questions posed thus far, as well as providing some additional data about me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to explain myself and I hope you find me deserving of your vote on November 5th!

Thank you very much,

Mike Wasserman

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