Mountain View Voice

News - January 11, 2013

Inks named mayor, Clark makes vice mayor

by Daniel DeBolt

Two election winners took the top jobs in Mountain View after being sworn into office on Tuesday. John Inks became mayor while Chris Clark became the city's youngest vice mayor — and the first council member in Mountain View history who is openly gay.

"Our city is the envy of many," said Clark, a 29-year-old tech executive who served the last four years on city commissions. "We have very big shoes to fill. I will do my best to ensure we leave Mountain View an even stronger city for the next generation."

Inks and Clark were both selected in unanimous votes by their council colleagues for the largely ceremonial positions. According to tradition, Clark is in line to be Mountain View's 2014 mayor, with new member John McAlister as vice mayor.

"I will try to lead this council so the council is a source of stability in the community," said Inks, who begins his second four-year term.

"Most of you know my strong interest for constituent support," Inks said, noting his focus on "fiscal management" and "property rights." He has noted his interest in helping businesses and helping property owners develop their properties.

Inks even gave out his phone number and said, "I'm going to be available 24-7."

Giving remarks as the outgoing 2012 mayor, Mike Kasperzak said he was lucky that he'd been able to be mayor twice. "This is really one of the best jobs there is in government. I hope the next mayor has as much fun as I had."

"This is a great, engaged community," Kasperzak said. "As Leslie Knope says on the TV show Parks and Recreation, they are caring passionately at us, all the time."

Sitting on the dais for the first time as a new council member, McAlister remarked, "It is daunting the standard I have to live up to. I hope I don't let anybody down."

"If you haven't given us input, don't complain, because we're here for you," McAlister said.

He said he also plans to hold office hours, referring to what is usually a mayoral activity. "I've already met with three different (constituent) groups."

As someone known for opposing higher density development in the city, McAlister also said, "As we change, don't mistake change for progress."

Outgoing members Tom Means and Laura Macias said their goodbyes after eight years on the council. While both have complained about being paid less than minimum wage for the work, both said they loved the job. Macias encouraged others to run for council.

"Thank you to the residents who promote community," Macias said. "I see you at events all over the city. Your participation always makes the city stronger."

Means caused laughter with his comments about the occasionally awkward situations that come with being a local politician. Once, he recounted, he found himself debating with a constituent while trying to take shower at the YMCA. "That's fine, I'm not unapproachable," he said.

"It's like I've had four girlfriends in the city clerk's office," Means said. "I've never broken up with four girlfriends before. My wife was my first and my last girlfriend."

Email Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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