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Measure T campaign raises questions

Original post made on Oct 25, 2010

In the campaign to update the city's phone tax, Mountain View officials are dismissing concerns about the city staff's involvement in the campaign. A former councilman has raised questions about the appearance of taking campaign funds from housing developers and the appropriateness of using of city funds on a mailer.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, October 25, 2010, 12:54 PM

Comments (11)

Posted by jupiterk, a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Oct 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm

The Sheiks (city council,police,fire,city managers/attorneys/schoold board members,teachers,etc..) running our city are finding it difficult to keep up with the multi millionaires from Google,Apple,etc.. They need more money to feel equal. More money to their pensions,travel expenses will be paid using the phone tax.. Please vote to keep our masters life style in pristine condition.


Posted by Mountain View Mom, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Does your reporter mean Kevin Duggan? And Tramutola? The fact that two names are incorrect (well...I am not aware of any Kevin Woodhouse in the Manager's office, but there may be one) does not reflect well on the credibility of the research or content for the piece. Tramutola has consulted with a number of local agencies, including Mountain View Whisman and Palo Alto Unified School Districts in the past. Tramutola and its clients are careful to observe the legalities of what the agency can fund (feasibility studies prior to approval by the agency to put an initiative on the ballot) and cannot fund (promotion of the initiative once it's been approved by the agency and placed on the ballot). Any contracts with the consultant are separate with separate contract parties (agency is not a party to and has no involvement with the promotional contract), and there is no obligation whatsoever to hire the same consultant to promote the initiative. And, yes, private developers often make relatively small contributions to help fund the campaigns. With contributions of that size (up to $2,500 cited here), there is not even any implicit "quid pro quo"...it's more a "good corporate citizen/goodwill" type of thing in the communities they do business in...

Get a life, Mr. Perry! And please check your facts and names better, Voice.


Posted by Andrea Gemmet, Mountain View Voice Editor
on Oct 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

We apologize for misspelling Mr. Tramutola's last name, and it is now corrected in the story.

As for Kevin Woodhouse, we can assure that he does indeed exist and is, as introduced in the story, the assistant to the city manager of Mountain View.


Posted by H, a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 25, 2010 at 3:26 pm

As long as you're fixing things, the heading on the last section is "==B'No quid pro quo'==" instead of being bold text as expected.


Posted by Mike Laursen, a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 25, 2010 at 3:50 pm

re: "Any contracts with the consultant are separate with separate contract parties (agency is not a party to and has no involvement with the promotional contract), and there is no obligation whatsoever to hire the same consultant to promote the initiative."

Yes, but to the rest of us, who aren't political insiders, it looks very shady for the same firm that consults on feasibility of a tax measure, for a fee, to also consult on the promotion of the tax measure, for free.

Why is the same firm even involved in both? Why has it been arranged that they get paid, when the taxpayer is footing the bill, but don't have to be paid when it would have to come out of the measure proponent's personal pockets?


Posted by steve, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Ah yes governments solution to every shortfall: Raise taxes.

Instead, how about for starters a 5% pay cut across the board for city employees as well as converting their pension plans to a 401(k) model that the rest of us get to enjoy?


Posted by @Former Council Member, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm

GREG PERRY NEEDS TO GET A NEW HOBBY!


Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 25, 2010 at 9:05 pm

I don't see what all the hubub is about.

Aside from the amounts of donations to the Yes on T campaign, most of what I read in the article was circumstantial or deducted from incomplete assumptions. Greg's Perry interpretation of the motivations behind the donations are at best unproven theories, akin to the Davinchi Code.

All this distracts from the real issue at hand, the relative merits of Measure T for Mountain View, and whether the City should be given any more funds, given the current state of the budget.


Posted by Sean, a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 26, 2010 at 10:11 am

Very strange. I made a comment here the other day, and now it has been removed. I wasn't nasty or abusive in any way. Why is the Voice editing valid content from the forums?


Posted by Andrea Gemmet, Mountain View Voice Editor
on Oct 26, 2010 at 11:10 am

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

@Sean:
Your post was not removed. It looks like you posted on a duplicate thread. Here it is:

Posted by Sean, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Oct 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm

I am absolutely disgusted by this. The idea that city employees can run a shadow campaign this way is deplorable. The astute means by which these people kept their actions marginally legal, if we can believe their own words, is a pure manifestation of everything that is wrong in our governing bodies.

At the start of this week, I pretty much planned to vote for the incumbents in the city council races. Yesterday I received a mailer from the SEIU supporting Margaret Abe-Koga. Every big development in town is represented on the donation list, despite the fact that increasing taxes is a deterrent to home sales. The Regency Apartments city troubles are well documented, and the Fireman's union will undoubtedly turn their donation into a lot more than $2000 in political capital. It's seems really odd that groups that will see little to no benefit, or benefit only through graft, from the increased phone tax are such ardent supporters of it.

Mike Kasperzak's word doesn't mean anything to me after his comments here. He sounds like a greasy lawyer taunting the public to catch him at his crimes.


Posted by Andrea Gemmet, Mountain View Voice Editor
on Oct 26, 2010 at 11:12 am

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

This was posted to a duplicate thread:

Mr. DeBolt, kudos for investigating this matter. Some of had picked up on hints that something inappropriate might be going on, but it's nice to have a journalist out there investigating.
by Mike Laursen Oct 21, 2010 at 8:13 pm


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