http://mv-voice.com/print/story/print/2013/09/06/guest-opinion-questions-for-city-council


Mountain View Voice

Opinion - September 6, 2013

Guest opinion: Questions for City Council

by Denise Pinto

Here are some questions for the Mountain View City Council:

Why is the council encouraging and making way for developers to build high-rise apartments and businesses throughout the city with no forethought on the impact to our city (Google and other large businesses will not be here forever)?

Why are council policies forcing some small businesses out of business?

Why did the council approve substantially reduced parking requirements for these new buildings, plus park-in-lieu deals for some developers, instead of requiring adequate parking for all new buildings?

Why is there a lack of parking in the downtown area?

Why create congestion through the narrowing of El Camino Real (Grand Boulevard project) and Castro Street to two lanes to force residents to ride buses and bicycles?

Why pass the unnecessary animal ordinance?

Why is the council trying to Manhattanize the city, which creates canyons of buildings throughout our town?

Sadly, all of these issues apply not only to Mountain View, but to the entire Peninsula.

Here are more questions:

How will people shop for groceries on bicycles or get to doctors' appointments without cars? How will people with disabilities get around? How will mothers take their children to school and activities? How will CEOs get to board meetings?

If you say they will take public transportation, we have no viable public transportation. VTA is not the answer. They are chronically late, do not have routes into residential areas and are not green.

Why do the citizens of Mountain View and the Bay Area have to fight our so-called representatives to keep our quality of life? Why are cities allowing the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to continue this insane onslaught of development? Why aren't you fighting against ABAG's so-called requirements? Why is there a push to make Mountain View and the Bay Area like Manhattan, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Manila, and so on?

What we can learn from looking at these huge cities is that fast-track development with no forethought to real future impact does not work. People are "escaping" their crowded, over-populated, over-priced cities to find a better life in Mountain View and the Bay Area. Why are you so hell-bent on re-creating one of these dysfunctional cities?

Please do not create the same city mismanagement you see around the world. Globalization was supposed to be a positive creation, not a negative one. There is nowhere to go once you have chosen to "sell out" our communities. Psychological studies have proven over and over that when more people are stuffed into a limited space, the results are more violent crime, health concerns, and the great divide between the rich and poor increases. Why do you want to create this in Mountain View and on the Peninsula? This is neither green nor sustainable.

Help us understand why you are not putting a stop to this deluge and not representing your constituents.

Denise Pinto lives on Harpster Drive in Mountain View.

Comments

Posted by MVResident67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 12, 2013 at 9:20 am

> "Help us understand why you are not putting a stop to this deluge and not representing your constituents." <

I would like it very much if each city council member would honestly answer this question, and to reply with something along the lines of "I believe I am representing my constituents" appears to be patently false, at least over the last year or so.

People are lined up addressing city council and imploring them to listen to their input, and yet, all these residents receive in return is akin to a slap across the face. No hyperbole.

I am so disappointed in our city council that I vacillate between putting my house on the market and moving out of the city and washing my hands of all of it...or sticking around and actively campaigning AGAINST certain members of council (should they choose to run again) while actively campaign FOR qualified candidates who are interested in slowing down this malignancy of development that is destroying the quality of life for the residents of this city.


Posted by Jan Alder, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 14, 2013 at 11:04 am

The many homeowners of Cuesta Park strongly agree with those questions posed by Ms. Pinto. I an many of my neighbors are very disappointed in our City Council and their contrary initiatives - increased high density housing, removal of local small businesses, reducing lanes on El Camino Real and Castro.


Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Why did the Voice print this nonsense. Ms. Pinto comes off as a complete whiner with a condescending view of council based on her own ignorance. Council is not forcing small business out of town. It is landlords that own and decide the use of their land. There is plenty of parking downtown. Council studies the impact of all projects.


Posted by SaveMtnView, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm

I applaud Ms. Pinto for publishing this in the Voice and I'm sure that most residents will agree with the intent.

It is unfortunate that we have a few vocal "citizens" who continue to berate anyone who raises questions about how development is negatively affecting our quality of life. For example, the so-called 'Political Insider' uses the following non-constructive words in his latest rant: whiner, condescending, and ignorance. This same person claims to have been a planner from a nearby city...but that is really scary.

His view is that the landowner can do anything they wish with their land without regard to any impact. He probably just rubberstamped any approval requests that came across his desk and fought like crazy to support any developer/landowner that wanted to suck the last bit of beauty out of a neighborhood just for short-term profit. I'm sure he will deny it, but he said very explicitly: " It is landlords that own and decide the use of their land."

Is this what all local city planners are like?

We really need a city council that will work to protect the beauty and (declining) peacefulness of Mtn View. That council must hire a city manager that is aligned with this goal and that manager must hire and fire accordingly.

What we have now are either rather ineffective councilmembers that may want to preserve the neighborhoods, but are unable to do so. Or...we have highly skilled councilmembers that are trying to maximize profit for landowners over preserving our city.

Again, hats off to Ms. Pinto!


Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2013 at 9:45 am

@ SaveMtnView

"It is unfortunate that we have a few vocal "citizens" who continue to berate anyone who raises questions about how development is negatively affecting our quality of life."

Ms Pinto chose to put her opinion in a pubic forum and deserves a reply to her hyperbolic rhetoric. I explained my use of harsh words which you chose to ignore. Instead, you also engage in offering subjective rhetoric as fact. You make claims about developers, myself and council that merely reflect your personal subjective biased opinions.

Contrary to what you think, your opinion is in the minority. Over 10,000 residents voted for these council members and entrusted them to make decisions in the best interests of all of Mountain View, The City of Mountain View City Council Code of Conduct states the following in chapter 3.2.1:

3.2.1 Recognizing that stewardship of the public interest must be their primary concern, Councilmembers shall work for the common good of the people of Mountain View and not for any private or personal interest. Councilmembers must endeavor to treat all members of the public and issues before them in a fair and equitable manner.

Just because a few residents show up at a meeting (like last Tuesday) doesn't mean the council is going to make their decision based solely on who shows up to provide public input. The majority of us are busy and don't have the time to show up and tell council they are doing a good job.


Posted by MVResident67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 16, 2013 at 10:10 am


> "Contrary to what you think, your opinion is in the minority. Over 10,000 residents voted for these council members and entrusted them to make decisions in the best interests of all of Mountain View, ..." <

~~~~~~~~~~

Hindsight being 20/20 and all...I wonder if the same 10,000 residents would vote for all the same city council members again?


Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2013 at 11:06 am

@ MVResident67,

"Hindsight being 20/20 and all...I wonder if the same 10,000 residents would vote for all the same city council members again?"

I believe so since they have all been re-elected to 2nd terms.


Posted by MVResident67, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 16, 2013 at 4:12 pm



> "I believe so since they have all been re-elected to 2nd terms." <

~~~~~~~

Uhhhh, I'm pretty sure John McAlister and Chris Clark are first term council members. Wouldn't want the facts to get in the way of your narrative, however.

Please, carry on.


Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 16, 2013 at 4:58 pm

@ MVResident67

Was referring to only those 5 that have run for a 2nd term and all have been re-elected. Clark and McAlistar are first timers and have not yet come up for re-election.