- Gary Hedden
A Rebuttal For Reach Codes To The Los Altos Crier
Updated: Sep 11, 2020
After the Los Altos Crier posted a story with some inaccuracies about Reach Codes, GreenTown Los Altos’s Gary Hedden stepped up to write a letter explaining our position. We thought it was worthy of posting so others get the info.
I was taken aback by the page five story on reach codes. The bright red banner proclaiming 74.3% oppose reach codes was both dramatically eye catching and dramatically misleading. I attended the June Environmental Commission meeting when more recent survey results were discussed, and although there was opposition to the proposed reach codes, it was not even the majority view. There was actually pretty strong support for some flavor of expanded reach codes. Here is a screen shot of the relevant survey results.
The survey allowed for multiple entries, making it hard to interpret, but the “no” vote is 27.3%, not 74.3%, a number that came from an earlier and very different survey. I hope you will offer an explanation in next week’s newspaper.
That wide variability in survey results also deserves some comment. A speaker named Lam at the Chamber of Commerce meeting Wednesday mentioned that a lot of comments are showing up on Nextdoor, and I got the impression that he follows it fairly closely. Nextdoor is a terrible source of information however. It is easily and often manipulated. Lam called for an election to let people decide on reach codes. Chris Jordan wisely pointed out that special elections are expensive, so let the council do their job. If people are getting their news from Nextdoor because they don’t trust the city council, or the Environmental Commission, or even the Town Crier, heaven forbid, then I can see why there is such a wide split in the community on this issue (and so many others).
You might also explore why there is such strong opposition to the gas ban in the first place. There is an anti-science part of the population that doesn’t believe in the risk of climate change. Some of these folks probably don’t believe in the medical science that would have everyone wearing a face mask. This is often wrapped up in the frustration called government overreach. I am always curious about that, what overreach should we take away? The Libertarian Party would abolish the income tax for example, but getting back to reach codes, would these folks abolish Title 24? It has been around since 1978 and the building efficiency created by it has saved Californians a lot of money on their energy bills over the years.
Also worth exploring, a lot of folks don’t realize that there have been huge improvements in electric appliances over the years. We now have induction cooktops that are easier to control than gas, and cleaner. We have heat pump technology that is super efficient and cost effective over the long haul. The panel discussion by LAR got into this with Tom Kabot presenting the case for reach codes. The two opponents did not have a good answer for him and talked about other things.
My two cents,