BY BRADEN CARTWRIGHT
Daily Post Staff Writer
Los Altos City Council has denied Councilwoman Lynette Lee Eng’s request to go on a $3,000 city-funded trip to a conference in Washington, D.C.
“I’m having a hard time justifying sending you,” Mayor Jonathan Weinberg said on Tuesday.
Lee Eng, making her first request under a new travel policy, said going to the conference would help her become a better councilwoman.
“When I come back with more knowledge, I think it benefits the city in so many ways,” Lee Eng said on Tuesday. “You learn what other cities are doing in other states. It is so valuable, and I can’t express that enough.”
Lee Eng said she’s learned about grants at past conferences, and she would be looking for ways to fund a new police station.
But her colleagues said they didn’t see the direct benefit to the city from sending Lee Eng, who is in her eighth and final year on council. They were also worried that events were more about advocating for the city than education.
Councilwoman Sally Meadows said she was worried that Lee Eng would advocate for positions that didn’t align with the majority of council’s position.
Meadows brought up a fight from last January, when Lee Eng kept her seat on the VTA board despite council nominating Weinberg.
Lee Eng said at the time that she was following new VTA bylaws allowing board members to stay on for another year, and other representatives wanted her to stay to “maintain continuity.”
But Meadows said that Lee Eng was no longer qualified to represent the city and rescinded Lee Eng’s appointment to a regional board that funds libraries.
“I’m not trying to be argumentative,” Meadows said on Tuesday, “but there have been examples where council gave very specific direction, and it hasn’t been followed.”
Lee Eng was asking to go to the Congressional City Conference from March 11 to March 13 at an estimated cost around $3,000.