Greg Larson with son Cavanaugh. Photo by Chris Breen.

The Santa Cruz resident and former city planning director-turned-Los Gatos-town-manager on happiness, “invisible cities” and the Highway 17 commute.

What do you do for a living?
My longstanding personal mission has been “To Promote the Shared and Ethical Use of Power” which I currently pursue by serving as Los Gatos Town Manager, supervising Police, Parks, Public Works, Planninq and more on behalf of the Town Council and community.


What would you be doing if you weren’t doing that?

Unitarian Universalist Minister

What do you do in your free time?
At 56 with a 4- and 6-year-old, it’s all kids all the time.

What brought you to Santa Cruz?
Lived in Los Gatos back in the ’90s and moved to Santa Cruz after my first wife passed away.

What’s your favorite street?
DOWNTOWNS! Our contemporary centers of culture, commerce and pride, in Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Seattle, Prague, and so many other places. Everyday “Invisible Cities,” metaphors for the human condition (Invisible Cities is a great book by the Italian author Italo Calvino).

Name something you’re excited about.
My wife and kids.

Name a pet peeve.
Drivers who don’t use their turn signals, both rude and dangerous.

What are you reading?
Scandinavian mystery writer Henning Mankell.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in the last three years?
For most of us, happiness is a choice.

What wisdom have you gleaned from the Hwy 17 commute?
The mountains define both Santa Cruz and Los Gatos; being one with them twice a day is not such a bad thing for both my work and my life. And Highway 17 is both a barrier and a bridge between Silicon Valley and the coast, with positives and negatives. But as an “over the hill” commuter, I sure do wish we had never given up the train easements through the mountains. Too bad the Highway 17 express doesn’t stop in Los Gatos.