News

Get ready, it's a council election year

Four candidates already have their hats in the ring

It's only February, but at least four candidates have filed statements of interest to run for City Council in the November election.


Ken Rosenberg

Helen Wolter

Margaret Capriles

Jim Neal
Three seats will be vacated at year's end by long-time council members Jac Siegel, Margaret Abe-Koga and Ronit Bryant, a trio that has often voted together, making up the bulk of a narrow, four-person majority behind numerous big moves: the prevention of new housing development north of Highway 101, blocking a bridge for Google's commuter buses across Stevens Creek, banning marijuana dispensaries within city limits and a ban to keep cigarette smokers out of publicly-accessible areas in the city, among others.

Two newcomers are stepping up: Human Relations Commission member Ken Rosenberg, who has already gone to the trouble of making a website, and Parks and Recreation Commission chair Helen Wolter, who said she was "seriously considering it."

There is also the return of 2012 candidates Margaret Capriles and Jim Neal. After coming in a distant last in the 2012 election, Neal has been busy making his libertarian beliefs known at most City Council meetings, most recently in his vociferous opposition to the ban of polystyrene food containers on Tuesday, Feb. 11. The city's 2012 ban on smoking in public places galvanized Neal into involvement in local politics.

Capriles, a retired Hewlett Packard data architect who has been on the Environmental Planning Commission since the start of 2013, was only a few percentage points shy of winning a seat in the 2012 race.

Helen Wolter

Wolter is a Monta Loma neighborhood resident and stay-at-home mother of a young child. She is a self-described progressive and a former high school history teacher at an East Palo Alto school. She has spent the last two years on the city's Parks and Recreation Commission. She says she is an advocate for more park space in neighborhoods that lack it, along with making streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Her foray into local politics was opposing the Mayfield Mall housing development as proposed by developer Toll Brothers, taking a position with her neighbors in support of only four-story development along Central Expressway. The City Council eventually approved buildings of five stories.

Wolter says the city "obviously has a housing imbalance" where massive job growth from Google and others is causing rents and home prices to skyrocket. But she isn't willing to approve just any new housing development to satisfy the demand, she said.

"I want to make sure any new development meets the needs of the residents in all manners," Wolter said. "I would say I am more of a slow growth proponent than some of the people who will still be on council. I worked to lower the heights and the density of Mayfield. I am very up-front on that."

Ken Rosenberg

Housing is also a top issue for Rosenberg, a married father of two and a financial adviser for Morgan Stanley. He's been on the Human Relations Commission for the last three years, and is known for organizing Mountain View's "Civility Roundtable" which has brought together opposing sides on controversial issues, like gun control and immigration, for a civil discussion. He became involved in local politics through the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association in the late 1990s when a car crashed through his fence downtown near Bush and Evelyn streets.

Rosenberg said his top priorities so far are for adequate city infrastructure for growth followed by land use issues and housing affordability.

"I think (housing) is one of the foremost issues facing not just Mountain View, but all the cities in the greater Bay Area," Rosenberg said. "I am an advocate of more housing stock. What that looks like is to be determined. I'm not an advocate of pulling up the drawbridge once somebody's moved in."

"We have challenges with people being removed from their homes. The gentrification of Mountain View is happening and it's been in my face quite a few times," he said. "One of the HRC members resigned this past week, basically for cost of living issues. (Nilda Santiago) had to leave the city. It's really sad, she's a wonderful human being. I don't know if there's equity or fairness in capitalism, but capitalism is rearing its ugly head right now and it's really affecting people."

All of the candidates have agreed to the city's voluntary campaign expenditure limit of $22,030.

The nomination period runs from July 14 to August 8 for Mountain View residents interested in running for the City Council.

Comments

Posted by Capitalist, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm

"a financial adviser for Morgan Stanley" says "I don't know if there's equity or fairness in capitalism"


Posted by Steve, a resident of another community
on Feb 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Well, voters, here's a chance to clean house. Happy with the current direction? Tired of the city being run like a business, but at the expense of the residents?
Instead of the typical popularity contest that defined previous council elections, ask some tough questions of the candidates and find out where they stand. Or if they know how to stand up at all.
Or skip it, and just vote for whomever has the most attractive sign.


Posted by John, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 13, 2014 at 8:15 pm

I think it's time for Jim Neal to have chance to show them how it's done!


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 13, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Jim Neal a Libertarian? You gotta be kidding me!

John Inks is a Libertarian - one who believes tat developers should be able to do as they please.

Jim Neal is a realist who stands for quality of life and is concerned about traffic and overflow parking on our streets.

Jim, I don't always agree with your stands on specific issues but I support your overall vision.

Go Jim!


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 13, 2014 at 9:46 pm

If you want the number of Mountain View apartments to more than double, if you want our population to increase by 55,000 (42%) then vote for Ken Rosenberg.

Ken Rosenberg is a John Inks or Mike Kazpersak with glasses.


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 13, 2014 at 9:51 pm

It appears that Helen Wolter has her head on straight - "I want to make sure any new development meets the needs of the residents in all manners," Wolter said. "I would say I am more of a slow growth proponent than some of the people who will still be on council. I worked to lower the heights and the density of Mayfield. I am very up-front on that."

Helen, I salute you!


Posted by Garrett83, a resident of another community
on Feb 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

That Judy's it, a city needs to be run by a business. Taxpayers are customers, they need streets, parks and jobs. They need a place to buy food, drugs and clothes.

The parks, police and fire are paid for taxes and other monies. Costs rise, you need to attract workers, so the need for salaries and benefits, while providing infrastructure while keeping up with costs.

Just because you are city doesn't give you special price breaks.

You have to keep you eye on your businesses, housing and the ability to attract businesses and keeping the housing within reach.

Not only a strong tax base is good for.the city, the schools count on ever increasing tax base.

The residents count on a increased retail so one does not have drive further away to buy goods that can be purchased near home.

A city should be pro businesses but not in the pocket. A city should be development friendly but not to friendly. Don't spend a years building general plans, TODs and PDAs only to slow them down.

Housing prices go up, middle class, young people are driven further into the hinderlands. Gas prices will jump, talking about mass transit will return. Traffic will get worse, family time will be eaten into because of more commute time.


Posted by Rodger, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 14, 2014 at 11:01 am

We need more people running for the City Council, I will vote for the candidates that are clearly against the trend for high density. I don't want code words, just statements like I am against the recent trend to higher and denser and will work and vote to stop this as soon as I am elected. The current candidates in this article don't seem to meet this test.


Posted by Observer, a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 14, 2014 at 9:54 pm

People seem to object to increasing density, and many of the same people also seem to be concerned about lack of affordable housing. Has anyone noticed that for a long time we have had a major housing shortage in the bay area? Housing production has not kept up with job growth for many years. The only way to fix that problem is to add to the housing supply, and at $3 million plus per acre, that's not going to be tract homes on large lots. We are in the center of a huge economic engine and we have the choice to embrace that and plan for it or force everyone but the lucky few who got in early or have very high-paying jobs to commute from the central valley. I love living in Mountain View, and think having growing world class companies here is fantastic for the economic benefits it offers to all of us through the many services we receive from our city that so many other communities cannot provide. Let's figure out how to work with the fortunate situation we are in and not lock the gates to newcomers. So many communities worldwide would envy our position. I want to elect people to the city council who believe in economic growth and vitality and who are not afraid to put that out there and to engage creative minds and resources in finding solutions to address the associated challenges. That's real vision and leadership.


Posted by Christopher Chiang, a resident of North Whisman
on Feb 15, 2014 at 5:46 am

I hope for candidates that aren't pro-growth or against-growth but for smart growth.

There is such a thing. Smart growth means your growth matches your investments in infrastructure. Smart growth means you think of (and internalize) the negative externalities projects may have, knowing that developer will not on their own.

Residents can't fairly lament the city's growth and also lament that the town is losing its diversity or old character, and all the while enjoy the rise in their own property values.

The situation we are in right now is: we do want it all. In technology, when you want it all, you better be boldly innovative or reassess your expectations.

I hope for boldly innovative candidates. For a start, they could read what other innovative cities are doing at The Atlantic's future city journal: Web Link

Most of all, I hope we do not elect entrenched ideologues, but problem solvers, or else we end up like our Congress. We have all seen what happens when you elect ideologues.


Posted by Not nuts in the cookies, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 15, 2014 at 10:24 am

I agree that Niel is not a libertarian; more of a Tea Party guy in my opinion, basing decisions on ideology rather than looking at each specific topic on its own merits. His mind is already made up, but filled with mis-information. His classic gaff at the styrofoam meeting proved that when the main point of his argument, that the stuff is being recycled was clear evidence. Facts be damned though, his ideology is that the banning of anything is wrong. The guy decided he wanted to be on the council when they decided to ban public smoking...he's all for it, he wants smokers in parks and other public places. Either that or his ideology spurs him to fight against not having smokers in parks.

Every town has their kooky guy who continually runs and continually comes in last. Jim fills that community space in MV. Luckily the voters do not agree with his ill-informed but loudly communicated ideology.


Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 15, 2014 at 3:52 pm

I smoke, and I know a lot of people who smoke. You ought to be concerned about TCE contamination in your awful little town. Your real estate value is going to go POOF! as soon as the full extent of the contamination gets out. Mountain View is Love Canal Redux.


Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 15, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

I am out of town visiting my grandchildren in Ohio, but I thought I would take a little time to respond to this article as well as the personal attacks. First off, I am not now nor have I ever been a Libertarian. I note that the article and some of the respondents try to use that label in order to try to scare people away from voting for me. They also try to pigeon hole me as being interested in just one or two topics, but the ones my critics mention are at the bottom of my list.

Second, while true I came in a "distant last", I got into the race late and was outspent by my opponents by a 5 to 1 margin and they only defeated me by 2 to 1. That means that on a dollar per vote basis, my campaign was the most effective by far and that is what scares them! My campaign was primarily self-financed (about 90% of all funds raised) because I did not want to accept donations or endorsements from large special interest groups. For some reason, I thought it was better that Mountain View have at least one representative that was one of the people and not someone who is independently wealthy or heavily financed by special interest groups. This time I have much more time for my campaign and it will be much better financed and organized.

@not nuts -- The information that I relayed at the City Council Meeting was directly taken from the CEQA study and the information posted on the Recycling Center websites. If you think my being against City Councils using the police powers of the State for minor issues is based in ideology, then that is your opinion. If you prefer people who would rather use police powers for every little thing, then I am sure there will be candidates that appeal to you more than myself. Also, I have never, EVER, advocated for smoking in parks. THAT IS A LIE and I dare you to prove otherwise! My advocacy was to preserve the status quo of allowing smoking on outdoor patios instead of forcing smokers outside onto the sidewalks and in the public parking lots where it is today. Perhaps you would like to get your facts straight before you make libelous statements and engage in puerile name-calling. I am at almost every city council meeting, so instead of making assumptions and telling outright lies about me, how about showing some intestinal fortitude and walk up to me and just ask? Lastly. the last election was my FIRST campaign and I was running against two incumbents (four if you count those that were on committees) for four seats, so to say that I "continually run and continually come in last" is another lie! Maybe you are the one who should be checking facts?

I really find it very funny and strange that I am being attacked for things that most people I talk to say they want in a representative: Someone that listens to what people want in their neighborhoods, someone not in the pocket of special interests, someone not one of the one percent, someone who takes public transportation (I have not driven my car in over a year), someone who gets involved in the community, someone that represents diversity, etc.

I am quite disappointed also that the article does not say that I have been heavily involved in the efforts to save The Milk Pail and Rose Market, and to find a solution for the restaurants in the North Bayshore. I also spoke out vociferously for placing the Berlin Wall sections in a place of honor when it appeared that they were originally going to be stuck out in the middle of North Bayshore. I have spoken out on the City Budget and the need to ensure that the retirement plans are structured in a way to ensure that they will not be completely depleted in future years as has happened in other cities in California.

At the last EPC meeting, I made the suggestion that they request that the developer provide data on the electric car charging stations that the developer plans to incorporate in their new project, as well as the data from existing projects so that the city can better gauge how many more are needed and whether or not they should ask the same of future developments. They thought it was a good idea and asked the developer who agreed to do so! It is this kind of out-of-the-box forward thinking that Mountain View needs.

This article also does not mention that if elected, I would be the first Black man ever to serve on City Council. I have already confirmed the fact that I am the first Black Man ever to run for City Council in Mountain View. I mention this because I know that this publication mentions quite frequently that Chris Clark is the first openly gay person to be elected to council and serve as Mayor, so I am sure that they would be equally thrilled to be able to say the same about me as a Black man.

@Rodger -- If you want proof of where I stand on any issue, it is easy to find, I have posted many Town Square Articles in the online version of the voice and if you do a search on my name, it will show that I frequently oppose high density projects that would have a significant impact on quality of life for the neighborhood, or that would replace otherwise successful small businesses that have become part of the fabric of the community. I hope that I will have the support of open-minded people such as yourself or that if I do not yet have it, you will at least give me the chance to answer any questions or doubts you may have.

Also, even though I have mentioned it several times in articles and comments that I have posted here, the Voice somehow failed to mention that I also have a campaign website that is up and running: Web Link

I have the perceptions that I do because I have not had an easy life. I have had to work very hard for everything that I have and I resent it when people try to take away the things that I have worked over 35 years to acquire. I am a working class Black man that is used to having doors slammed in my face and I am not going to quit just because a few ill-informed people want to do the same to me here.

If you want to pack in the high density, want to get rid of rid of Rose Market and the Milk Pail, want 8 story buildings and more traffic and gridlock, then by all means vote for someone else, because whether I am on the Council or not, I will continue to fight against those things!

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Web Link
info@electneal.org





Posted by The usual suspected, a resident of Bailey Park
on Feb 16, 2014 at 6:16 am

Old Ben, you sound like you're angry at everyone and would actually be happy if TCE were found in new places. Sick.

Jim Neil, you keep being you.


Posted by MVResiden67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 16, 2014 at 8:32 am

Keep on keepin' on Jim Neil...fighting the good fight. And yes, it is a fight.


Posted by MVResident67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 16, 2014 at 8:34 am

MVResiden67 = MVResident67


Posted by Moffett Resident, a resident of Willowgate
on Feb 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm

As is usual in politics, candidates will say whatever they need to say to get elected. It's tricky to try to predict how they will act when they are in office. The stakes are pretty high in this election.

But regarding the four candidates mentioned in the article, here's my scorecard, so far.

Jim Neal: He has made statements that put him on the good-guy side of the overdevelopment/density/parking question. He has a definite libertarian streak regarding the smoking ban, styrofoam ban, and guns, but doesn't want to be counted as a "libertarian." Presumably he means that he is not the John Inks sort of libertarian. Jim's website lists Tom Means among his endorsers. When Means was on the city council, he was generally rudely dismissive of residents' concerns regarding proposed developments. Means was a staunch advocate of the market-is-always-right school of economics, and about as developer-friendly as they come. If I were Jim Neal, that is not an endorsement I would be proud of.

Ken Rosenberg: An unknown quantity. Statements on his website are pretty vague - this sort of thing: "I am known for my ability to synthesize the thoughts and commentsof others before coming to a conclusion. And I have earned the respect of my peers for my willingness and desire to include others and let their voices be heard." Among his endorsers is Rachel Grossman, the present EPC chair. This is a bad sign. As an EPC commissioner, Ms. Grossman has been reliably pro-developer. She too has been rudely dismissive of residents' concerns. She is not a property-rights libertarian, but rather of the persuasion that planners know what is best. She favors underparked high-density developments, and seems to believe that if car ownership is made inconvenient and unpleasant, it will push people into riding bikes. Again, not an endorsement that makes me want to vote for Rosenberg.

Helen Wolter: Another unknown quantity. I do like her quote in the article: "I want to make sure any new development meets the needs of the residents in all manners," Wolter said. "I would say I am more of a slow growth proponent than some of the people who will still be on council."

Margaret Capriles: Her record on the EPC does not inspire confidence. In discussing issues, she seemed to consider many resident concerns. But when it came down to voting, she was consistently pro-developer.

I'm hoping for a few more good candidates.


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 17, 2014 at 10:14 am

The candidates that are running to represent the residents have to run as one ticket, otherwise the developer candidates will win out.
Also the elected candidates must take back public policy from the unelected public staff.
Other than that, we will continue to be over run by in your face out of control "villages" and "luxury" apartments.


Posted by MVResident67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 17, 2014 at 10:44 am

John:

"Also the elected candidates must take back public policy from the unelected public staff."

~~~~~

Amen to the above statement...this is absolute MUST. The tail should not be wagging the dog, which often seems to be the case in Mountain View.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Once upon a time, city councils, managers and planners look to the future, the future was the suburban dream. Annexation of county land into cities created the land for homes to be built. The future were single family homes, low rise apartment building and strip centers. Thousand of homes were approved, buyers lined up and purchased new homes.

Young couples or whomever purchased homes or rented new apartments, which all required goods and services. More strip centers and shopping centers were built. They started having kids, schools become over crowded because of the post war baby boom. Schools were built with no thought other then classroom space, how fast they can be built.

The road system was starting to max out, just by the shear number of homes built, 2 land country in 20 years were to become 6 lanes expressways. More homes built, more roads.

Those children that were born become teenagers, so more and more high school classrooms were built, they learned to drive, more cars on the roads. More shopping centers were built, gas stations stood on ever corner, fast food places started appearing on the landscape.

The city managers, planners and council people keep approving more and more, finally long planned freeways were built, traffic grew worse and worse.

The children of the first boom, starting leaving schools, enrollment dropped, schools closed and sold off for more homes. No thought of more children Children of the first boom entered college, graduated or went right into work, they got married, had more children.

More cars on the road, more people living in the area, more homes were needed and apartments.

While all this was going on, a little home spun industry grew, Shockley, Fairchild, Intel and others. 2 young men from Homestead High School created a company, a company moved from the East called IBM, Xerox opened PARC, and they came, by the thousands.

Buying up homes, prices rising, sending the locals to move further or out altogether, people from the East, from Europe, from the Far East. Boom, then bust, then boom, then rose the great Silicon Valley taking down Boston's route 128.

They came and came, they left, they left, cycle around but the housing demand grew and grew.

While all this was going on the cry no new freeways, no more San Jose, no to bay fill, hillside development, and Coyote Valley was hands off. Urban limit lines were enacted and the city planners, councils and managers started looking to infill projects.

While I had the cry of They paved paradise and turned into a parking lot. That parking lot was created in the early 50's and kept going to the present day. Farms, small towns, little wide spots on the world, small schools and spring time blossoms give way to the miles of single family home, low rise apartments building, strip centers and horrible 6 lanes expressways.

Paradise was lost 60 years ago.


Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 17, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Moffett Resident -- Thanks for at least checking out my website and getting the facts! Yes, Tom Means has endorsed me and I am proud of that fact. I have known Tom for a while, and as I mentioned about Chris Clark in an earlier article, I may not agree with him on every single issue, but I respect him and I think he respects me as well. What I am trying to do is to gather support and endorsements from people and small businesses from a broad political spectrum because I think it is important that people understand that my support does not merely come from one narrow ideological base, but from people who instead see me as a capable community leader who can get things done and who can work well with others; even those with whom I may disagree with from time to time.

I am also someone who has no problems with articulating my views and who will not say one thing and then do another. I have a particular dislike for people in politics who will promise to do one thing before an election and then vote the opposite way when they think no one is looking. I don't do that, which is why I expect an extremely tough campaign season this year. As you can see, it has already started with my opposition taking cheap shots at me every chance they get. Let me be clear about that. By opposition, I do not mean my fellow candidates, I mean the special interests that know that when I am elected, it won't matter how much money they try to throw at me because my principles are not for sale.

That is one of the reasons that I am willing to say exactly what I believe. I WANT to be elected so I can try to help resolve some of the problems a lot of people are talking about, but I don't NEED to be elected. I don't care about power or privilege, I just want Mountain View to continue to be a nice place for all of us to live and I think I can help to preserve that.

Thanks very much for your interest in my campaign and I hope that everyone else will also give me a fair hearing.


Jim Neal
Candidate, City Council


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 18, 2014 at 10:39 am

Garret, no offense, butcan you please stay of this topic and not waste time on this very important subject of electing a city council that is responisve to neighborhoods, traffic and residents? Your on enough topics to keep yourself busy. Its the same kind of mind numbing sameness.

Thank you Jim neal for stepping up.

Avoid being distracted by wedge issues.

Get a slate of candidates together to go against the union/developer ticket.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Back in the 50's the city gave developers a blank check, they built. Companies grew, shopping centers were developed, the importance of Silicon Valley hit Mountain View in a very large way.

Now we are talking about replacing the large commercial developments of the 50's and 60's that are going to be developed by more modern projects.

Yet we are still trying to cling to 1950's and 1960's type of development, thing is we don't have room to expand thousands of homes, strip mall and low rise apartment buildings. We don't have the room, we can't improve the traffic mess.

Our road system is overtaxed, our transit system is a joke, housing prices rise like New York City prices, companies and money pour along with the talent, seeking jobs. People wanting bigger, better retail stores, more choice in the grocery store.

We have lots of issues beside traffic and growth.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Plus wanted to show you that the city council of Mountain View 60 years ago was very pretty much pro development. Most people around here live developer built homes.


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 18, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Pretty much off base as usual.


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

@ Moffett Resident


Rachel Grossman, the present EPC chair, is the Real Estate Project Executive at Google.

The Commission has the authority and responsibility to, among other things, Formulate and recommends plans for Mountain View, including the General Plan for the physical development of the City.

Will Rachel Grossman, a Google executive, recommend plans that are in the best interest of Google, her employer, or Mountain View?

Will Rachel Grossman, a Google executive, attempt to sway the other six members of the Environmental Planning Commission to support Google's wishes?

How much of Rachel Grossman's compensation at Google will be a function of how she directs the Environmental Planning Commission to support Google's wishes?

Should we change the name to Google's Environmental Planning Commission?


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 18, 2014 at 4:01 pm

@Observer,
San Jose plans to build an additional 30,000 housing units, almost the same number of housing units that we currently have in all of Mountain View, in the 237-101-880 triangle. There will be abundant housing just a few miles away.


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 18, 2014 at 4:34 pm

@Garrett,

In 1950 Mountain View had a population of 6.563. Yes, the future was the suburban dream of single family homes, low rise apartment building and strip centers. Thousand of homes were approved, buyers lined up and purchased new homes.
,
When I moved here in in 1968, the population had increased to approximately 50,000 and Mountain View was a very attractive city of single family homes, low rise apartment building and strip centers.

I agree that we don't have room to expand thousands of housing units.

I agree that our road system is overtaxed, our transit system is a joke, housing prices rise like New York City prices, companies and money pour along with the talent, seeking jobs. People wanting bigger, better retail stores, more choice in the grocery store.

Yes, we have lots of issues beside traffic and growth. However, growth and housing costs are the primary issues.

This election the residents of Mountain View will decide if they want 25,000 additional apartment units, 25,000 to 50,000 additional cars, 8 story apartment buildings, and El Camino Real reduced to 2 car lanes in each direction.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Few things. I think 25,000 units is just a number that someone figured out if every bit of ground was developed, not going to happen. Not every piece of ground will be developed into apartments, office buildings or single family homes.

Not every owner wants to see to a developer or a private person, unless he wants too. Then if the new owner is willing to, look at what kind of development. I don't all of El Camino Real can or will support a 4 story building let along 8 story buildings.

8 story buildings are fine in North Bayshore, but can we work on transit ideas or alternative while we plan, instead of just slowing things done until 10, 20 or 30 years from now.

1968 is different from 2012. Different times, different ways of living, gas was cheaper, so was land costs were cheaper. One big thing that is different is something called Silicon Valley, that was the really big game changer.

Silicon Valley changed the world, it changed Mountain View.


Posted by Moffett Resident, a resident of Willowgate
on Feb 18, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Garrett, the problem is that most of the present council members would gladly allow maximum density (e.g 8 stories in some "change areas," as is unfortunately allowed in the current general plan). Planning staff seems to have a vision that makes common cause with developers. The city council should be a check on irresponsible development, but the present council has come up short on this.

The next election will determine whether we indeed get those 8 stories, and another 20 of those underparked 4-story "luxury' apartments. The present mode of development needs to change. If we are complacent, developers will keep calling the shots, motivated only by the money that can be made. Sure, MV is not the same as it was in 1950, 1968, or 1980. But it's still a great place to live, and it doesn't have to go downhill.

Saying "don't worry about it" just doesn't fly. Many of us ARE worried.


Posted by MVResident67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 19, 2014 at 8:42 am

I strongly encourage people to express their opinions and/or concerns directly to the mayor and the rest of city council.

Attend city council meeting(s) and speak during the public comments part of the meeting, and/or send a letter(s) to council expressing your concerns.

Rinse, repeat.

Work on identifying persons qualified and willing to run for city council in November 2014. Those of you who read here and are on neighborhood list servers might want to consider putting feelers out there on those neighborhood list servers, soliciting help in indentifying those qualified & willing person(s) and forming a committee to help elect these candidates.

There is a spending cap on campaigns, something in the neighborhood of $22K, I believe? I don't think raising that kind of money for a suitable candidate would be unattainable. Good candidate, funding, well organized campaign/strategy and good PR people, and I believe it's doable. Although, it seems clear to me that to might be tough for certain types of candidates to get a equal and fair coverage in The Voice, but perhaps things will change?


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2014 at 9:14 am

Then don't build under parked building but don't make everything centered on the car. 8 story buildings out in the office parks are fine, we have big growing companies. We need the space.

We need the housing, but I also I want to point out, as properties comes up for sale, the city might want to purchased some of this land. See schools, parks, public safely buildings, future shared parking lot development and etc.

We can't go out and build roads, widen roads or build new freeways, so we must look for ways to get people around without the car. I am not saying get rid of the car or tell people they can't drive. Just find ways, it we keep building car centered development, we aren't going to fix the problem of traffic.

Not all property owners will sell to developers, so chance are you will still have some strip malls buildings on El Camino Real,

Right now apartments are needed, in a few years ownership housing is going to be needed. Market trends change. So if more ownership homes are being planned and built, the need for schools.

While on this rental/ownership housing is being built, remember people need retail needs. So you have to keep a strong retail base in Mountain View, good stores, good services. That way tax monies don't leave.

Roads have to improved, we still need a lot of school safety improvements, more playground space, Community Center needs to be rebuilt one day, cost must be kept in check. Pay must be good to maintain good city employees.


Posted by OMV Resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 19, 2014 at 10:11 am

@Konrad M. Sosnow --

Why should anyone pay attention to your recommendations for City Council when you've shown time and again that you will post exaggerated and misleading statements on boards like this, and then not defend them when challenged? (See for instance Web Link)

Just above, you make the claim "This election the residents of Mountain View will decide if they want 25,000 additional apartment units, 25,000 to 50,000 additional cars, 8 story apartment buildings, and El Camino Real reduced to 2 car lanes in each direction."

So let's dig into your latest exaggerations a bit. You reference 25,000 additional apartment units. For a reality check, the city's General Plan only projects a population increase of about 9,000 residents between 2009 and 2030. (See Table 3.1 of the GP document, available here: Web Link) At about 1.5 residents per housing unit, that would be 6,000 housing units. So where again did you get the 25,000 figure?

You also refer to 8-story apartment buildings. And in other posts you've time and again disparaged our current and recent Councils as being developer-controlled and not listening to residents' interests. So in all these years of supposedly developer-controlled Councils, when was the last time an 8-story apartment building was proposed in Mountain View? And when was the last time one was actually built? (Hint: you'll need to look before Y2K...)

And finally, it's pretty amazing that someone with your demonstrated track record of exaggerations and distortions on these boards would attack one of our EPC members in the way you did yesterday. You should be ashamed.



Posted by amelia, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 19, 2014 at 10:55 am

I love how Mountain View is changing. In my opinion, it keeps getting better and better. I'll be voting for the folks who are interested in more green areas, less roads, and more pedestrian-friendly transportation. Personally, I hate cars.


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm

As we meander off topic....


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Comment wasn't @Amelia, but yes vote for issues and take back policy from the city employees


Posted by political insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 19, 2014 at 2:28 pm

"I strongly encourage people to express their opinions and/or concerns directly to the mayor and the rest of city council."

This is exactly what residents are already doing when they vote. In the last election, the top 3 vote getters were Inks, Kasperzak, and Clark. They won because they listen to all points of view and dont disrespect people's property rights. No-growther MacAlister finished 4th. what happened? Most residents know what candidates stand for and support candidates that stand on principle and don't play to the groupies that show up to complain to the council so they can get on TV.


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 19, 2014 at 6:27 pm

...and Prometheus, which is in line to build over 1000 apartments, celebrated their win.


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 19, 2014 at 6:35 pm

@ Garrett,

Mike Kasperzak has been quoted in this paper as saying that we need housing for 25,000 additional jobs.

The 2030 General Plan calls for approximately an additional 11,000 jobs.
However, Google alone plans to add between 15,000 and 20,000 jobs.


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 19, 2014 at 6:47 pm

@OMV Resident,

I know that your head is in a dark place so let me shed some light:-

Mike Kasperzak has been quoted in this paper as saying that we need housing for 25,000 additional jobs.

The current housing data shows an average of 2.2 residents per dwelling. I don't know where you go about 1.5 residents per housing unit?


Mile Kazpersak, during the hearing on 801 El Camino Real, scolded those of us who objected to 3 stories and told us that we should be glad that the City Council did not approve 8 stories, as they could. The Planning Department confirmed the City Council's right to approve 8 stories along ECR. However, Mike knows that he has only 3 votes at the current time.

It seems that you think having a Estate Project Executive at Google running the EPC is a good idea. Let me spell it out for you - Rachel Grossman gets paid a lot of money to see that Google's Real Estate Plans are met. Rachel gets paid zero for seeing that Mountain View Residents' views and needs are represented.



Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 19, 2014 at 6:54 pm

@political insider,

You are correct - in past elections those of us who prefer responsible growth stayed home enjoying our homes, doing gardening, painting, etc, while the unrestricted growth addicts, backed by the developers, got out the unrestricted growth voters.

I see myself like Paul Revere. i am sounding the alarm. If one more unrestricted growth Council member is elected,they will have the necessary 4 votes to build 8 stories along ECR and override the 2030 Plan. This is Mike Kazpersak's plan.

Please keep on telling us that our votes don't count. That will give us an added incentive.


Posted by Attorney-At_law, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 19, 2014 at 9:26 pm

@ OMV Resident,

Don't you believe that Rachel Grossman is a Google employee?

Don't you believe that Rachel Grossman is a Google Real Estate Project Executive?

Don't you believe that Rachel Grossman is paid by Google?

Don't you believe that Rachel Grossman is paid by Google to represent Google?

Don't you believe that Rachel Grossman is loyal to her employer, Google?

I rest my case.


Posted by Mtn. View Citizens for Responsible Growth, a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 19, 2014 at 9:43 pm

@Konrad M. Sosnow,

We too are concerned about unrestrained growth.
We too think that the upcoming election.
we too are concerned that the 2030 General Plan may be exceeded.


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 19, 2014 at 10:30 pm

@OMV Resident

Per Mountain View demographics - Web Link


The following data is based on the Year 2010 Census unless otherwise noted.

Housing Occupancy

Owner Occupied 12,957 (41.5%)
Renter Occupied 18,285 (58.5%)
Persons/Household 2.26

So, my 2.2 was a little conservative.

Where did you pull your 1.5 from?


Posted by Mtn. View Citizens for Responsible Growth, a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 19, 2014 at 10:42 pm

@OMV Resident,

This newspaper, in the article "Thu, Feb 6, 2014, 11:03 am
A transformed El Camino Real in the works" reported that Council members indicated support for going up to 1.85 FAR, up from 1.35 before, and only above that with permission from the City Council and significant public benefits.

What that means that if City Council gets enough votes (4) they can decide that a project has significant public benefits and can raise the FAR resulting in denser construction, up to 8 stories.

We take care to get our facts correct.
Do you depend on developers for yours?


Posted by Garrett83, a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2014 at 6:56 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

To say you need 25,000 units is one thing, but still don't think it will get built. In reality some planned projects won't fit and proterty ownwers will not sell or seek a change.

8 stories apartment building can't go up everywhere.


Posted by OMV Resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 20, 2014 at 7:13 am

@Konrad M. Sosnow and 'Citizens for Responsible Growth' --

I see, so now you're all into facts -- foreign territory for Konrad, for sure.

Konrad, I was approximating in the conversion from projected population growth in the General Plan (9,000 people by 2030) to housing units. 2.26 persons per household may be the current average household size in MV, but that factors in the 40% of existing housing units that are single-family homes (See table 3.12 here Web Link). Since most of the new housing in MV will be multifamily (apartments or condos) in the future (see p. 41 of the General Plan here Web Link), it's reasonable to assume average household size of future housing units will be lower. My 1.5 figure may be a little low, but your 2.26 is likely too high.

Regarding 'Citizens for Responsible Growth's' statements about FARs along El Camino, a 1.85 FAR does NOT equate to 8 stories, as you imply. A 1.85 can be achieved with a 2-story building covering most of the lot if you put the parking underground, or a 3 or 4-story building with a mix of parking below and above-ground. I understand that some plans may allow up to 8 stories in unusual circumstances, but I'll go back to the questions: When was the last time an 8-story apartment building was proposed in MV? When was the last time one was built?

And speaking of checking facts - Konrad - with all your time to post on these boards and to look up average household sizes, how are you doing backing up your exaggerated, misleading claim of Jan. 30th on this board (Web Link) that the Council has repeatedly been approving high-density apartment projects that replace single-family homes? You (or anyone else who tried) haven't cited one other example.



Posted by Moffett Resident, a resident of Willowgate
on Feb 20, 2014 at 8:53 am

OMV Resident, you have misrepresented "Citizens for Responsible Growth's" comment - as I am sure you are aware. There was no implication whatsoever that 1.85 FAR translates to 8 stories. The point was that 1.85 can be exceeded if a majority of the council decides that the project offers adequate "public benefits" - a vague concept, open to abuse. 8 stories represents the upper limit as allowed by the 2030 general plan.

Obviously, we are unlikely to see the maximum permitted density fully built any time soon, even with the present developer-friendly city council. It's a question of how fast, how dense, whether residents' wishes are being respected, and whether quality of life is being adequately considered. The present council has catered to developers at residents' expense. We need a change of direction.


Posted by Garrett83, a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2014 at 9:29 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

Here lies the problem, Mountain View and the Silicon Valley created thousands of jobs on top of regular jobs that are found in any city or area.

The housing market has not kept pace with new buildings or changes from warehouses to offices. The change to the amount of work space one needs, more workers, less square footage equals more workers in one building.

Mountain View grew faster when it was open land


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Last election:
John Inks 12200 votes 18.88% Re-elected
Mike Kasperzak 12163 votes 18.82% Re-elected
Chris Clark 11854 votes 18.34%
John R. McAlister 11806 votes 18.27%
Margaret Capriles 10685 votes 16.53%
Jim Neal 5919 votes 9.16%

Inks held an election night party at the Tied House, attended by Tom Means and business owners and developers, including Jon Moss of Prometheus Real Estate Group.

McAlister and Clark were both endorsed by the Democratic Party.


Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 20, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Whether we all give up personal vehicles (even electric cars in trade for fuming buses, or whatever) or not, the many problems of MV continuing to add ever more offices, residences, huge corporations, etc., on the premise that there will be some sort of balance achieved, is a joke. We need more places for the jobs added, but North of 101, the whole project will add lots of jobs and NO housing. (I don't think there should be anything built there as it was supposed to be park land for all to enjoy anyway.) The point is that infrastructure isn't even caring for the current population as it currently is (brown outs, water shortages, traffic gridlocking evermore etc.) and we think adding lots more is an okay idea. It is not. Let some of the big corporations build elsewhere, like Livermore, or even Tracy, or some such, and then the housing and support jobs needed for the population can grow "organically" in those parts. If we don't hog up all the new jobs and building, etc., we will be much safer should we need to evacuate the Valley in case of a tidal wave or other thing we need to rapidly escape from.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Shoreline Park was in early city plan, either 1964 or the one before, it was to be next to a large industrial park with a spur line, others plans included housing.

But it always seemed that housing was dropped, the idea to stay a commercial area won out. Funny thing I remember seeing early city maps, Turner School was planned for Charleston Road, would have been a K-6.

The other big industrial area was where Middlefield, Ellis and Whisman (MEWS), the other area for commercial is the area around Costco. Primary office area would have been Downtown, but these were all early maps showing what if.

Like I said Silicon Valley was a game changer, no need for steel planets or large 40 story office buildings. An early showed a bridge to Fremont, Bayfront Freeway which would have ran in front of Shoreline Park.

I love city planning, use to spend days pouring over old maps, plans and drawings of long lost planned buildings

While most cities or counties were talking about filling in the bay, Mountain View has the vision of putting in a bayfront park next to a large industrial area. At least smog producing planet got replaced by modern office buildings.

I dream of mass transit, light right lines, buses and BART but the idea is about choice. Not everyone wants to live in apartment or single family home, but people need to start somewhere, decided what kind of living suits them not a real estate agent, a developer or a city planner.

If the jobs ended up going to Tracy, Livermore or Sacramento, how would you feel like spending time driving a long distance without a choice. Paying $3.70 a gallon and having to work long hours.


Posted by OMV Resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm

@Moffett Resident -

Actually, I was not clear on that distinction between possibly exceeding the 1.85 FAR and how it relates to the 8 story limit. I've watched a lot of Council/EPC discussions on El Camino, but I don't think that was made very clear. I appreciate you clarifying it.

I also think you summed things up very well when you said "It's a question of how fast, how dense, whether residents' wishes are being respected, and whether quality of life is being adequately considered." We may approach this from different perspectives, but I think we agree that the things you listed are important.

If I have sounded somewhat combative in posts above, it's because I just think it's not helpful when people make exaggerated or misleading claims about the Council trying to turn the whole city into high-density apartments, or trying to scare people by saying that single-family neighborhoods are being paved over by development. We have enough tough issues to face in the next few years without people getting misinformation or scare tactics on discussion boards.


Posted by Moffett Resident, a resident of Willowgate
on Feb 20, 2014 at 11:45 pm

Old MV Resident - Thanks for your gracious reply.

About how 1.85 FAR is reached:

Developers, understandably, will build to the limits of what they are allowed. At 100 Moffett the limit of 1.85 FAR was achieved with 4 stories above ground, and one floor of underground parking. These plans were approved with the "model parking standard" of one space per bedroom (which I think will prove grossly inadequate, pushing project residents into neighborhood street parking).

This is, I believe, the same basic layout that is proposed at 801 El Camino, and the same layout we can expect wherever this sort of development is approved.

I disagree that "...1.85 can be achieved with a 2-story building covering most of the lot if you put the parking underground, or a 3 or 4-story building with a mix of parking below and above-ground." In any case, that's not how 1.85 is being achieved in MV these days.

I agree that scare tactics are not helpful. The reality is scary enough. Case in point: a recent Voice article (Web Link), explaining the rejection of two excessive proposals. The article stated,

"Council members said they had a 'blood oath' not to go against the general plan for at least five years."

That would be 5 years from when the plan was adopted, in July 2012. Three and a half years left. And in spite of that "blood oath," John Inks was ready to exceed the general plan right now.

Do I need to say it? This is an important election.


Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2014 at 7:48 am

"I hope for candidates that aren't pro-growth or against-growth but for smart growth."

Pure nonsense. Are there really people supporting stupid growth?

"in past elections those of us who prefer responsible growth stayed home enjoying our homes, doing gardening, painting, etc, while the unrestricted growth addicts, backed by the developers, got out the unrestricted growth voters."

More nonsense. I know for a fact Mr Sosnow has campaigned for a particular candidate

"I see myself like Paul Revere."

Seriously?



Posted by Garrett83, a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2014 at 8:27 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

Do any of you read any newspapers beside the MV Voice, company in MV sold for 19 Billion dollars. Why people are coming here, why they want to live close to work or the investors.

Don't go building crazy, but some 4 story apartment buildings aren't but the more coming here driving the prices further out of reach.

Prices of land are high, it will get higher.


Posted by Garrett83, a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2014 at 8:44 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

4 story buildings aren't crazy growth but all these people coming here will drive prices further out of reach.


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 21, 2014 at 11:03 am

The political insider has to be ol' Tom Means or his spokesperson.
Same combative comments, same "property rights" mantra.
Property rights for out of town developers to do whatever they want to gain max profits at the expense of residents.
Money talks in these elections, and so far the developers can run their candidates and win.
One more council vote and good bye general plan.

"Inks held an election night party at the Tied House, attended by Tom Means and business owners and developers, including Jon Moss of Prometheus Real Estate Group."



Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2014 at 12:45 pm

"Property rights for out of town developers to do whatever they want to gain max profits at the expense of residents."

More nonsense. A lot of business/landowners actually live in this town. Developers may gain profit but so do the residents of Mountain View.


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 21, 2014 at 2:33 pm

"More nonsense. A lot of business/landowners actually live in this town. Developers may gain profit but so do the residents of Mountain View."

More nonsense from Tom Meanie.

Merlone Geier Partners invests in and operates retail and retail-driven mixed-use properties on the West Coast.

Prometheus is the largest private owner of multi-family properties in the San Francisco Bay Area . We specialize in the acquisition, development and management of high quality residential and commercial properties . The firm's portfolio is comprised of award-winning properties in the best locations throughout the Western United States.

Greystar provides world-class service in the multifamily real estate business. Our innovative business model integrates the management, development and investment disciplines of the multifamily industry on international, regional and local levels.

Gee, they are really local!


Posted by Steve, a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Re: "are there really people supporting stupid growth?"
When Mtn View already has the highest density on the lower peninsula, with existing infrastucture unable to support even that, I'd say any further growth without coresponding upgrades qualifies as 'stupid growth'. Those upgrades should be required before any additional population is imported here. But the future is completely predictable! Watch for upcoming bond issues (tax increases) to pay for 'desperately needed improvements to our overworked water, or sewer, or you-fill-in-the-blank system. The city is selling us out and we'll all pay for the developer's profits.


Posted by Garrett83, a resident of another community
on Feb 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Garrett83 is a registered user.

Ok they aren't local, they are developers, they make money.

So does everyone in the business food chain, people needing housing will rent, buy lease from developers.

The only other alternative, nationalize the building industry or have people their own homes
If you don't have time, get a home builder. But if you own your company, build your company housing. Don't have the time, get large home builder. Not everyone works for the same company or has time to build.


People make money selling, tenting and leasing to needs of home buyers and businesses.


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 21, 2014 at 4:18 pm

The council majority could care less about the impact on schools, roads, neighborhood traffic mitigation, parks, energy, mobility, development coordination, convenience, safety, liveablity etc.

This election is crucial for the 72,000+ residents of the city. We need to stop being an easy target for global mega developers who see an easy mark.

Menlo Park residents are starting a petion to limit the size of mega deveopments.

Palo Alto fought back with petitions to bring a development to a vote, and voted it down.

Its about time that we get some return, other than vague "promises" of "benefits".

Mtn. View Citizens for Responsible Growth, neighborhood associations need to get a slate of candidates together and run as a single ticket.
The deep pockets of the developers can support their candidates, giving them a huge advantage. Time to take back our city. To the polls!


Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2014 at 5:20 pm

@ John, a resident of Monta Loma

Nice try Mr. John Inks.


I would name the local landowners and developers but i am sure you would also trash them. Try to make a coherent response Mr. John Oinks. Coming up with fancy names and titles for growth is pure rhetoric and hyperbole.


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Tom, Tom, Tom, your really easy to upset. Don't see why. Prometheus has said that it's a "walk in the park" to get what they want in Mountain View. Grey star and Merlone get what they want. We aren't talking about small land holders and/or those without the political pull to get zoning changes or buy city property.
Someone speaks up about it and you think it's the end of the world.
Thankfully we have term limits.


Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2014 at 6:50 pm

So my name is not Tom Means and I guess you cant take a joke about being called John Inks.

Of course you are clueless about the large landholders in Mtn View that are also residents of Mtn View. Your description reveals your ignorance about local development. Agian, try to put together a coherent response. Your hatred of certain people is boring.


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 21, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Another boring, clueless comment from Tom.

Let's keep on topic about the election for council. Candidates have to take back the city from non elected staff and out of town developers.


Posted by Moffett Resident, a resident of Willowgate
on Feb 21, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Speaking of "insiders," here's an article from "businessinsider.com." It's a dark vision of Mountain View's future. Read it all, it's not too long. Nice pictures. The last paragraph is sort of the punch line. The guy is serious, I think.

Web Link

Note: This unfortunate hypothetical plan wouldn't come anywhere near to providing enough housing for the new jobs proposed for MV. It would probably take two of these to handle planned expansion just at Google, not to mention other companies.

We can't just build our way out of the jobs/housing imbalance. We could ruin the city trying.

John - I don't think this is particularly off-topic...


Posted by Garrett83, a resident of another community
on Feb 22, 2014 at 7:48 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

I like the above posters link. Gives you an idea of what could be done with parking lots that are mostly empty at night and on weekends.

Here is something, build further from existing jobs and cities. Chances are your tax dollars will have to aid their schools, roads and all those new cities in the valley.

We could take back Cooper, Slater and Whisman Schools, I don't think we will see the large number of children that were born after World War 2.


Posted by MVResident67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 22, 2014 at 11:57 am

Political Insider:

"... In the last election, the top 3 vote getters were Inks, Kasperzak, and Clark. They won because they listen to all points of view and dont disrespect people's property rights. No-growther MacAlister finished 4th. what happened? ..."

~~~

Or, perhaps they won - at least in part - because they had name recognition and/or were incumbents. The lazy voter syndrome in action = vote for the name one recognizes because one is too lazy to study the candidates, their voting records and their actual public comments.

~~~~~~~~~~



Political Insider:

"...Most residents know what candidates stand for and support candidates that stand on principle and don't play to the groupies that show up to complain to the council so they can get on TV."

~~~

Are you suggesting that people who care enough about what is going on in Mountain View and take the time to attend council meetings (as well as various other meetings, study sessions, etc.) and address council during the time allotted for public comments simply want to "get on TV?"

Once again it seems you have taken the low road of chastising and belittling citizens' efforts to become engaged in the process, as is their right. Your bullying tactics neither faze nor dissuade me, in fact it's comments like yours that serve to strengthen my resolve.

Thank you for helping to galvanize those whom you evidently would like to silence.


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 22, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Maybe pol insider represents the business as usual politics of Mountain View. Big time developers have access, and council doesn't listen to the effected residents (groupies!). Or are down right hostile.
June 3 is the primary, check your registration at www.sos.ca.gov.
Registration deadline is May 19.



Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 22, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Maybe pol insider represents the business as usual politics of Mountain View. Big time developers have access, and council doesn't listen to the effected residents (groupies!). Or are down right hostile.
June 3 is the primary, check your registration at www.sos.ca.gov.
Registration deadline is May 19.



Posted by Linda Curtis, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 22, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Remember that our City Council can exceed any FAR set in the MV General Plan any time they vote in a majority to do so. If the reasonable two, who listen to us and know what 4 stories can do in one's backyard, end up even more out voted after the election since one of them is terming out, the newly seated Council could go to any height they vote in the majority for. And housing in the future will not include single family homes judging by Democratic, Republican, Tea Party, and Fundamentalist Christian analyses of UN Agenda 21. All those different sources agree. I'll tell you where to read all their agreement on the phasing out of single family homes and cars, and lots more soon, but to stay on topic: Yes, lazy voter syndrome did help Inks, Clark and exasperating Kasperzak win. I voted for the first two because I didn't realize what was going on and thought MV was doing quite well, so more of same was good. Then I discovered that everything I worked for my whole life is being ruined with 4 four story buildings going up on three sides of my one story. And more to come on the same block! My easy parking, quiet street, and morning sun are soon gone forever. SO start reading "Behind the Green Mask" by Rosa Koire, an expert from Santa Rosa who provides the Democratic view. Republican Dr. Iliana Johnson Paugh wrote "UN Agenda 21: Evironmental Privacy." They both agree. Please read both for starters.


Posted by Christopher Chiang, a resident of North Whisman
on Feb 23, 2014 at 12:20 am

I hope that candidates for city council do not get persuaded into a no development pledge, which makes for good policy as much as a no tax pledges makes for Congress.

Thoughtful projects with the corresponding infrastructure investments can reduce traffic if it means more people are living close to where they work.

Our regions traffic and wider environmental woes are because people don't live where they work. A sustainable future should aim towards less driving.

How do you get to less driving? Making it difficult for Mountain View residents to get to their jobs outside of the city is an outrageously cruel approach that won't work because many people can't get to their jobs, and pick their kids, and run their errands using the current transportation grid (a change beyond just the city's sole control). What's left then is to reduce traffic by aiming to have people live near where they work and set up living near the transportation grid we do have (this is with in the city's control).

Many argue we should change nothing about Mountain View. The problem with that approach is that the city is not one of the those Bay Area towns off the traffic grid (El Camino, Central, 101), and our city is not a residential homes only town, so like it or not, people will be driving through our city, even more so if they are driving to or through Mountain View to get to work.

I hope the candidates accept the city and challenges we do have and make it better, rather than dream for the city that never was and ignore the problems that won't go away.


Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 23, 2014 at 7:39 am

There are more issues going on other than rampant development and
catering to mega developers.
Everyone has a car. Check out school zones in the morning.
City employee wages and pensions, bicycling, VTA's lack and on and on.


Posted by Garrett83, a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2014 at 8:38 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

Get the VTA to expand light rail, improve bus service. Bring back the school bus which might help with the school zones. Build apartments and housing near jobs. Having stronger sales, hotel and other tax base. Make employees pay more into pensions, buy health for them through health exchanges.

Buy, build and design parks, even urban park/squares for denser areas, interesting spaces might attract more non auto center businesses. Trees, creeks, bay side preserve needs constant attention. Persons under 18 need, preschool, youth programs, art programs and recreation/sport program.

Cuesta Park could use a pool, community center and heritage orchard with community garden..

Whisman could use a park.

Residents could use more retailers other then grocery stores, drug stores and fast food places. Small business space needs to be created.

Police, Fire will always need upgrades.

Prices will rise, expenses will rise and.so does the cost of living.


Posted by Garrett83, a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2014 at 9:32 am

Garrett83 is a registered user.

In the above post, I only mentioned a few issues and items that the council deals with. Short to long term goals in planning, fiscal management, public safety, green isuues, resident and business concerns right down to boring like weeds growing between the sidewalk.


Development of buildings make news but declining sewer lines, road maintenance a restroom repairs need money


Posted by Ken Rosenberg, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 23, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Relevant to this discussion: From The City of Mountain View....

On Wednesday, March 26, the Mountain View Human Relations Commission will host its fourth Civility Roundtable event, continuing its community discussion forum series. Previous events explored corporate responsibility, undocumented workers, and gun violence at schools.

"Transit Village: Traffic and Parking in Mountain View" will be a community conversation about the challenges residents face as the City implements its recently adopted General Plan, including bike/ped safety, parking availability, and transit accessibility. Project Sentinel will provide facilitators for the community dialogue.

The speaker participants include:

Hon. Rod Diridon, Sr. – Former Santa Clara County Supervisor
Hon. Tom Means – Former City of Mountain View Mayor and Councilmember
Adina Levin – Co-founder of Friends of Caltrain
Josette Langevine – Mountain View Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Karen DeMello - Jackson Park Neighborhood Advocate
Kevin Mathy – Google Transportation Manager

When: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Time: 7:00 – 9:00pm
Where: Mountain View Senior Center (266 Escuela Avenue)
Admission is free. Refreshments will be available.

A Civility Roundtable discussion is many things, but it is not a lecture. This is not a lesson in civility, but rather an active demonstration. It is very common in today's society to have very polarizing political views. That dynamic sometimes gets tense.

We purposefully assemble a diverse set of "participants" – all of whom have some relationship to Mountain View. They are sat at a round table in the middle of a large room; the audience surrounds them by 360 degrees. The facilitator of the conversation, Chris Block (CEO of the American Leadership Forum of Silicon Valley) sits with them and begins the discussion by asking questions. About half way through the conversation, the audience participates in direct communication with the participants.

Traffic and parking can be controversial issues. As Civility Roundtable creator and former HRC Chair Ken Rosenberg said at the inaugural event, "we can disagree, but we don't need to be disagreeable." This event does not purport to resolve all of the transportation issues we face, but it does afford the community an opportunity to discuss this challenging and interesting topic in a respectful environment.

Your opinions and ideas are welcome. Please join us on Wednesday, March 26, at the Mountain View Senior Center.

City of Mountain View
Human Relations Commission
hrc@mountainview.gov
650-903-6601


Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 23, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

I would support light rail expansion into the North Bayshore given the right plan, but probably nowhere else in Mountain View because it is simply too slow and would require too many changes to the existing infrastructure of Mountain View. There are many other modes of transportation that are more efficient.

For those that are dissatisfied with the current direction of Mountain View, I urge them to take a hard look at my campaign over the last 3 years. I have been ahead of the curve on many topics such as HSR (high speed rail) which I think I was the first to refer to it as a "boondoggle", as well as the need to structure City expenditures is a way to ensure that the retirement benefits for city employees are secure in the future and do not threaten to eventually bankrupt the city.

For my current campaign, quality of life issues are at the top of my list! If you have questions about me or my campaign , I hope that you will check out either my website ( http;electneal.org ) or will visit the City of Mountain View website and look at any of the hundreds of Council and EPC meetings where I have spoken out vociferously on these issues.

This election will be very important, and whether you are for or against me, I think it is vital that we make our votes based on informed decisions and not hearsay or the biased opinions of others.


Jim Neal
Candidate, City Council
info@electneal.org


Posted by Moffett Resident, a resident of Willowgate
on Feb 23, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Ken, I'm curious. Can you tell us exactly how the speaker participants were chosen, and exactly who did the choosing? Thanks!


Posted by Ken Rosenberg, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 23, 2014 at 11:40 pm

@Moffett Resident, et. al.,

The choice of the participants (i.e., those who get to sit at the table) are ultimately decided by the full HRC. However, the responsibility for the initial selection falls to the commissioner who is organizing the particular Roundtable event. For example, I was the creator of the concept and organizer for the first two -- Corporate Responsibility in MV, and Undocumented Workers in MV. Commissioner Greg Coladonato organized the third discussion on School Safety and Guns. And this most recent event is being organized and orchestrated by commissioner Lucas Ramirez.

The goal is to pick a topic that is relevant and current to what is happening in our city and to choose participants that will speak to the issue from various perspectives. There are always other people who we could invite, but the physical limitation of the table and the temporal limitation of the clock dictate that five participants is all we can accommodate. This will be the first time that we've had six. We'll assess how it goes and adjust in the future. The next Civility Roundtable will likely be on Affordable Housing (note: the HRC has yet to vote on this, so don't hold us to it!).

I hope this helps.


Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 24, 2014 at 10:07 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

I am very happy to see that the HRC has as its next two round tables two of the three issues that I have been fighting for over the last three years and that I have listed as top priorities on my campaign website for the last month. I hope that there will also be a round table on Neighborhood Preservation, which is the third major issue listed on my website.

These issues are very important to our community and I intend to continue to be at the forefront of speaking out about them and finding community-friendly solutions rather than seeking to impose solutions in a government-knows-best manner. The best solution is always to get all parties together and find a negotiated solution that the large majority can live with. I am enough of a realist to know that one can never make everyone happy, but that's no reason not to try.

Jim Neal
Candidate, City Council
Web Link
info@electneal.org


Posted by Big Hat, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 26, 2014 at 6:22 am

Jim, I'm glad you give voice to the small majority who support you. Everyone should have a voice, even if it does not lead to how they want things done.


Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 26, 2014 at 3:38 pm

@Christopher Chiang,,

The majority of Mountain View residents who work, work outside of Mountain View.

Do you want us to move so we will live near where we work?

I am a consultant with clients in Fremont, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos and Redwood City. Where do you want me to move to so I can live near where I work?


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2014 at 4:24 pm

People will choose to live and work in different communities, some people will start out living in Mountain View but after making a bunch of money where the choice to live in a nicer area might be better, nothing wrong with Mountain View but lets face it, Los Altos it is not.

People will chose to locate a company to Mountain View or a business, this is good, but remember companies grow. They need that space to expand, they choose Mountain View for reason for this.

Last week we had company here that sold for 19,000,000,000 billion dollars.
Google is in the number 2 spot.
Market Cap for just 5 companies within city limits, 463,388,000,000.00 billion dollars. Google, Symantec, Synopsys, Intuit and LinkedIn.

Much more are private companies from the unknown to the very well known.



Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Feb 26, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Not all companies will grow like the Big 5, we also need to keep up on space for companies to grow, very important. We also need to realize retailer grow, with more and more people wanting to either live or work here, the need for retail and restaurant space and other services.

Mouuntain View like its neighbor to the north, it is a address, much better place to do business then lets say Fremont or something far off place. Hate to thing when slow/no development idea comes here. Are we going to lose businesses due to the fact it will be hard to add people, square footage both office and retail.

Will it become hard to build up a tax base, keep businesses from passing Mountain View. More and more will chose to live here, adding housing stock to the mix will become hard and hard, prices will become outrageous.


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