With Google now established as the city's largest employer, the 2010 City Council election will be the first with a Google employee as a candidate.
Dan Waylonis, a senior software engineer at Google, has decided to throw his hat in the ring after living in Mountain View for 17 years.
Perhaps fitting for an employee of the world's most popular internet search engine, one of his goals is to make sure that city documents are "easily searched and indexed," he said in an email. "I was shocked to discover that the 2011 budget was formatted in a manner that inhibited searching."
According to the personal website belonging to the couple, his girlfriend Assana describes Dan like this: "unmarried, libertarian, inventor of "danning" (to sit around and do nothing). Senior Software Engineer at Google, Mac Division. Writes screensavers for fun."
Waylonis asked to be interviewed by email on Monday, later explaining that he was busy on deadline at work. In response to questions about what issues he would focus on in his campaign, he said that the sustainability of the city's budget was key, as well as ensuring that the city's businesses thrive.
"I'd like to review existing laws (personal and business) to see if they still make sense, and if not, make decisions to increase the freedom of citizens and businesses," he wrote.
To describe his political philosophy, he quoted the motto of Reason Magazine, which is "free minds and free markets." Waylonis calls it being "fiscally responsible and socially accepting."
Waylonis was born in Columbus Ohio in 1966 and earned his master's degree in computer science at Ohio State University in 1991. His resume includes stints at Adobe, Inc. and Apple, Inc.
While Waylonis has had no real experience being involved in city government, he says he's "always had an opinion" about what he's read in the newspaper and wants to "put his money where his mouth is." He added that he's held several offices in his homeowner's association on the 400 block of Stierlin Road.
"I could provide a rational, objective and data-based decision making mindset to the council," Waylonis wrote. "I'd like to help promote an evaluation approach that would estimate the cost-benefit for each council action for the long term. I'm concerned that often "hard" decisions are deferred until later. One such example of this is the unfunded pension and health benefits for public employees."
In recent years Mountain View has created a tradition of keeping council campaign expenditures low. The "Voluntary Expenditure Limit" specified by the city this year is $20,159.
"Yes, I will comply with the current VEL of $20,159," he said in an email. "I'm hoping to "get the word out" inexpensively, either electronically or through volunteers."
Three council seats are up for grabs and Waylonis will be challenging three incumbents, Jac Siegel, Margaret Abe-Koga and Mayor Ronit Bryant. Two others have expressed interest as well, including Buddy's Cannabis Patient Collective operator Matt Lucero. City Clerk Wanda Wong said a man named Greg David has also pulled papers to enter the race.
The Dan Waylonis campaign website is at www.waylonis.org.