Mountain View Voice

Opinion - April 16, 2010

Town Square

On City Council's consideration of hiking fees for city services

These fees are an appropriate way to reduce the budget gap. For many years Mountain View has been providing much bigger subsidies than other cities for these services. Even with these adjustments, the fees will only be the same or less than other cities.

For the long term, Mountain View needs fees to roughly match those of other cities — and needs expenses to match those of other cities (or be lower).

But we also need to make big changes to city employee contracts when they come up for renewal. In particular, the health and retirement benefit costs are much bigger than what people get working in the private sector, and we cannot afford it.

The Mountain View City Council should work with other cities to get a widespread agreement that Bay Area cities will reduce health and retirement benefits to a single standard rate — and ideally change retirement to a 401(k) type approach, where cities match employee contributions and do not have some undefined long-term liability.

City Watcher, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood

The fees being considered will make Mountain View an unfriendly place. Let's cut the paid city leaders' salaries, insist that the union staff take a voluntary cut in exchange for less cuts when their contracts expire. And last, use some of the city reserves now, if this is not a rainy day then we will never have one. Business and city income will pick up in one to two years and when it does we should not add new services but pay into the reserves.

Rodger, a resident of the Sylvan Park neighborhood

Dear Council Member Laura Macias,

You asked for ideas on how to raise revenue. Mountain View has a unique resource: Shoreline Amphitheater, which seats over 20,000 people. Why not hold a "benefit for Mountain View" concert. If $30 of each ticket went to the city think about what revenue this could generate! Seems to me this is a win-win situation for the city and residents.

Karen DeMello, a resident of the Jackson Park neighborhood

The Shoreline Community special tax district is supposed to pay to maintain and operate Shoreline Park. If it cannot fulfill its responsibilities without levying additional taxes and fees on the residents of Mountain View, then it should be dissolved and the revenues folded into the city's general fund.

Anne C., a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood

In regards to the parking fees at Shoreline Park, think about this ...

How about issuing free parking passes for MV residents and charge non-residents for day passes. They actually do this at some of the East Bay parks.

Southbay Reader, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood

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