With only token pay, we have been very fortunate to have had council members who are dedicated in their jobs. I think I speak for the large majority of residents when I express my appreciation for their integrity and commitment.
That said, I do not believe that the council fully represents the diversity of the people of Mountain View, nor do I believe that it can under the current system of pay. Of necessity, council members are people who are financially secure. Candidates have generally had a very good understanding of the needs of the business community, for example, because of their own experience. They have had more of a stretch to understand the retired living on fixed incomes, feeling overwhelmed by development and wanting a city that retains a "small city" feel; or the single parent wanting to stay here near their job and their children's schools who is seeing their housing growing less and less affordable.
I would like to see more diversity in our council candidates, and I think that increasing the pay of council members is essential if this is to occur. I think it's actually pretty ridiculous for a city that pays its manager $20,000 a month to worry about paying council members more than $600 a month.
Moffett Blvd. project will help neighborhood
My husband and I have lived in the Jackson Park neighborhood since 1988. This is where the new housing complex at 100 Moffett Blvd. will be built, replacing the old Social Services building.
Although our small neighborhood has a wonderful setting with a quick walk to downtown and trains, a great small city park, and easy excess to either the 85 or 101 freeways and Central Expressway, the problems along its periphery at Moffett Boulevard have been daunting. We were promised a significant neighborhood plan in the early '90s but it is now 2013 and we are only in the beginning stages of developing one.
We have had our share of people-problems with loosely aligned groups moving from the rear of the shopping center at Moffett Boulevard and Central Avenue to the empty Social Services building at night and back again. One morning I came across a trail of blood spatters along this route, ending in the Social Services building parking lot. That was an chilling experience, one I'd not expect to find in Mountain View.
Empty and little-used buildings are the root cause of many problems, so it will be absolutely wonderful to have the 100 Moffett Blvd. project come into our neighborhood. Its new residents will help solidify as a neighborhood, support existing businesses, and draw new ones along the Moffett Boulevard corridor.
I fear, though, that the 100 Moffett project is getting caught up in general negative conversations about high-density projects near transit centers. Yes, it will bring change, but in our case change will bring improvements over the blight and boarded up buildings. And we can accommodate the project without problems some have expressed about similar projects in other part of the city.
I urge everyone to support the project — it goes to the City Council on Dec. 3 for final approval. It is the result of over two years of study, many hearings, and design changes based on feedback from residents, the professional review team, and staff. It meets all the conditions of the high density size and parking standards passed earlier by both the planning commission and the council.
I plan to celebrate and bring my own bottle of champagne to the ground-breaking ceremony.
Windmill Park Lane
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