Ronit Bryant is new mayor of Mountain View

The City Council has unanimously selected Ronit Bryant to be the new mayor of Mountain View in 2010.

The Tuesday night selection followed city tradition, by which the council member with highest seniority and who received the most votes (and who hasn't yet been mayor) rotates into the mayor's seat. By the same tradition, council member Jac Siegel was unanimously chosen to be vice mayor.

Both Bryant and Siegel spoke of the challenges the city faces in the coming year. Bryant said that, with four department heads retired as of last month, city manager Kevin Duggan is "tasked with forging a new organization" at City Hall. And Siegel spoke of the city's budget problems: "These are exciting times, but make no mistake, we have significant challenges this next year. The city faces a five- to six-million-dollar shortfall."

As mayor, Bryant is responsible for running City Council meetings, working with the city manager to set meeting agendas and will represent the city at various functions, among other duties. Outgoing mayor Margaret Abe-Koga said it had been a 40-hour-a-week job for her.

As for presiding over the meetings, Bryant said she hoped to facilitate "effective and efficient discussions" and "timely and transparent decisions."

Originally from Israel, Bryant came to Mountain View in 1983. She has lived on four continents, speaks six languages and holds several degrees in the field of psychology. She has been self-employed as a technical writer, has raised three kids, and lives downtown with her husband Cliff, an employee of Hewlett-Packard.

A former Parks and Recreation commissioner and an avid gardener, Bryant is known for her tireless advocacy of creating "walkable" and "pedestrian-friendly" environments in Mountain View, especially when it comes to new developments of buildings, parks and landscaping.

Bryant said it's a priority to consider "environmental sustainability in all that we do as a city," to "energetically encourage the involvement of youth in everything we do as a city," and to "protect and enhance Mountain View's financial well being."

As the city finalizes an updated General Plan to guide future development, Bryant said, the challenge will be to "navigate between preservation and innovation." Along those lines, Siegel said he wants to keep the city "vibrant and diverse" while also working to "preserve our neighborhoods."

Both Siegel and Bryant are up for reelection this year, along with outgoing Mayor Abe-Koga, who was recognized for her accomplishments as mayor during Tuesday's council meeting.

Continuing the mayoral tradition of holding open office hours for the public, Bryant will begin "Meet with Ronit" sessions at the Bean Scene cafe every Thursday from 9 to 10 a.m. starting Jan. 7. The cafe is located on the corner of Castro and Mercy streets, in the same building as the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts and across the plaza from Mountain View City Hall, located at 500 Castro St.


Posted by happy, a resident of another community
on Jan 6, 2010 at 1:19 pm

YAY!! I really hope Mountain View changes for the better with the new mayor. We really need to clean this city up and make it beautiful again! I hope the new mayor lives up to her promises and really makes Mt. View a safer city. =)

I'm excited!!!

Posted by jane, a resident of North Whisman
on Jan 6, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Congratulations to Ronit and to Mountain View. I know Ronit will be a great mayor!

Posted by Bradleigh, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 6, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Beautiful again?? Mt. View already is a beautiful City!!!

Posted by Community Committee Member, a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jan 6, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Congratulations to MS. Bryant, and the City of Mountain View. Looking forward to working with the new mayor.

Posted by Tom, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 6, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Congratulations Mayor Bryant, fellow Old Mountain View resident!

Posted by Honor Spitz, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 6, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Congratulations to Ronit!! And Congratulations to Mtn. View!! We're fortunate to have such capable and energetic people willing to work for the City in so many ways.

Posted by jessica, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 7, 2010 at 9:20 am

Congrats to Mrs. Ronit! Thank you also to the former Mayor!!

Posted by Heidi, a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm

What on earth is that first comment referring to?
Mountain View IS beautiful!
Congratulations Ronit and thank you for the wonderful job Margaret!

Posted by EchoHeidi, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I echo Heidi's comment. What on earth is the first comment talking about? Mt. View is a beautiful city!!

Posted by Clyde, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm

First item of business, fire the three retirees double dipping salaries at $100+ an hour. Then I'll be impressed.

Posted by Michael, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Sof-sof, rosh ha-ir shel Mountain View sheh medaberet ivrit. Azeh yofi!
(Trans: Finally, a mayor of Mountain View who speaks Hebrew. Great!)

Posted by Ned, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 7, 2010 at 5:09 pm

And your point is what, Michael? Any one else is inferior? On face value, such a comment comes off as racist?

Posted by Clark, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 7, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Agreed. What does her speaking Hebrew have to do with her becoming mayor?

Posted by phm, a resident of The Crossings
on Jan 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Congrats to Ronit. You've been a great supervisor and you'll be a great mayor. With the state and city budgets what they are, I'm glad we have such intelligent people in public service.

(PS to Ned and Clark - a sense of humor please?)

Posted by Gary, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 8, 2010 at 10:24 am

Your point Michael?
(Trans: Finally, a mayor of Mountain View who speaks German. Great!)

Posted by Lorna, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 14, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I did not realize that a second language (Hebrew, Spanish or otherwise) was a new requirement for our mayors!

My expectations for any MV leader is honesty, initiative and accountability. I congratulate our new mayor and hope she will serve us well.

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