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Census numbers show Mountain View's staggering job growth

Original post made on Aug 22, 2014

Given how rising housing prices and commuter traffic are causing serious problems for many, tracking the city's job growth has become a big deal to City Council members and City Council candidates. And how alarming the jobs-housing imbalance sounds may depend on your data source.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 22, 2014, 12:00 AM

Comments (34)

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Posted by Really?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 9:04 am

Why is this story posted as news? It looks more like a campaign ad for Lenny Siegel. Did Mr. Debolt even bother to talk to any other candidates about this to get their views? When did this paper become "The Lenny Siegel Voice"?


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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 9:20 am

Aaaand, once again the MV voice has erased any doubts one may have had as to it's editors capacity to remain objective.

Dumbfounding.


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Posted by Shame on You
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 9:26 am

Shame on you Daniel DeBolt !!!!

Does all the free publicity that the Voice is giving to Mr. Siegel count as a campaign contribution? Does the Voice intend to individually interview all the other candidates also?


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Posted by Valid Story
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2014 at 9:38 am

Hey, Lenny Siegel spread the word about what the Census data says. That's meaningful and the fact that he noticed it first is too. However, the REAL STORY is what this census data says. Honestly, what do you expect the Voice to do? Ignore the shocking data like the city has? Just because it MIGHT give some edge to Lenny Siegel? Come on. Ignore the election for a bit and think what it means. TOO MANY JOBS! And the census data does not capture it all. Google has oodles (sorry couldn't resist) of workers on site who work for companies who provide services to Google and its staff. Cafeteria workers, IT support people, maintenance people. Google has taken this co-employment style to new heights. If these companies are headquartered outside of MV, the census doesn't see these as MV jobs. But they certainly are. You don't find people like that working at The Counter restaurant in San Antonio Center. You don't find them nearly as MUCH at the typical larger business and you don't find them much at all at mid size businesses. Add 10% to the census data on job count because Google style buildings dominates the numbers in MV.


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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 10:03 am

I expect the voice to act hold itself to the the standards set for by the Society of Professional Journalists. For example:

Web Link

— Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.

— Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.

— Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.

— Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.


~~~~~~~~~~


Most people who have even remotely paying attention already know that there is at least one employer in Mountain View who evidently would like to carve out it's own section of the city and make it a place for THEIR employees to live and work and never ever have to leave the cozy confines of the extended campus of their employer. If an employer wants to have a city of it's own...then go buy hundreds of acres somewhere where you can build this city of your dreams...Mountain View is taken.


Imho, the city's goal should not be to try to cram thousands of units of housing in all over the city, but rather, the city should be focusing on reigning SF of office space it approves, and work on controlling the frenetic pace of ALL development.

Stop. Take a breath. And for Pete's sake stop approving massive projects before precise plans for that area have been completed.


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Posted by Shame on you
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 10:06 am

@ Valid story
Hey, Lenny Siegel spread the word about what the Census data says. That's meaningful and the fact that he noticed it first is too.

Thanks for supporting my words and recognising that this is a free had for Lenny Siegel , hope to see it listed as contribution from the Voice o MR DeBolt in Lennys Campaign contributions list !
Also, I wonder if the Voice will publish such glowing stories about the important issues that other candidates have been involved in?


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Once again Danel DeBolt is using the front page of the Mountain View Voice as forum to get Lenny Siegel elected.

How about printing ideas from the other eight candidates?

Candidate recommendations belong on the editorial page, not on a news page.


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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Once again Danel DeBolt is using the front page of the Mountain View Voice as forum to get Lenny Siegel elected.

How about printing ideas from the other eight candidates?

Candidate recommendations belong on the editorial page, not on a news page.


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Posted by WeirdMtnView
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Change isn't easy and Mountain View is THE place to be right now. Hold on to your hats people!!


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Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 22, 2014 at 5:19 pm

We should be happy that there will be local jobs for the next generation. With all these new jobs, it's more important than ever that we plan thoughtfully. Lots of nearby jobs could mean less pollution, if we plan for smart growth, walkable neighborhoods and good transit. Or it could lead to more pollution if we lazily keep relying on the car.

Listen carefully to the candidates in this fall's election to City Council. Any candidate who has a one-size-fits-all answer to our challenges does not deserve your vote. Of the candidates I have spoken to and read up about so far, Ken Rosenberg seems to have the most thoughtful approach and the most willingness to include input from all stakeholders.


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Posted by Faulty Logic
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Even with all these jobs today, only 28% of the current residents (who are employed) work in the city of Mountain View. Most workers living in Mountain View still travel to some other city for their jobs, even though there are many more jobs than city residents.

Don't make assumptions adding many more jobs will result in any sort of a higher fraction of residents getting jobs in their home city.


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Posted by PO'ed MV resident
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm

What I really see with this article is an op-ed piece in praise of Lenny Siegel. This isn't news, it's propaganda by DeBolt for Siegel. Is that what the Voice is becoming with DeBolt writing in it, a mouthpiece for candidate Siegel? That's the impression I get, DeBolt will publish whatever Siegel says no matter what the topic is. Yes, there is a LOT of traffic in Mountain View. Yes, it's due to the strong local economy and more offices. Yes, it'd be nice to have more housing. NO it's not all of Mountain View's problem. Perhaps Siegel could mention for once that Mountain View is the second most densely populated city in the county. Perhaps Siegel could get tough on surrounding communities and give us MV residents a break. Perhaps it'd be nice NOT to put 5000 more homes in North Bayshore; an area predicted to flood as the level of the bay rises in the next 2 decades. Perhaps it'd be nice to rezone some land near the city center from office to residential. Perhaps DeBolt could start being less biased.


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Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 22, 2014 at 8:07 pm

This article is really over the top. It's not the first time that Mr. DeBolt has slanted an article to promote Siegel, or to advocate for putting large amounts of housing into North Bayshore. The editors of the Voice may not understand the damage that this is doing to the paper's reputation, and to perceptions of journalism's objectivity.

About the issue itself - traffic is awful, getting worse, and a number of new developments are under construction. Google has bought up quite a few office buildings that they have not yet occupied. Just wait until all of that starts contributing traffic. And we are being told that the cure for that is MORE development?

I have a lot of respect for Lenny's past work, but on this issue, he is going down the wrong road. 5000 units at North Bayshore will not bring housing prices down. It will just line the pockets of developers. An earlier article quoted Lenny as saying he would have no problem with accepting campaign donations from developers like Prometheus. He is not a candidate I will support.



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Posted by Cate
a resident of The Crossings
on Aug 22, 2014 at 10:47 pm

"Mountain View's community development director Randy Tsuda says the city uses a different set of Census data, called the American Community Survey." Why are you capitalizing "Census?" Please pay attention to basic rules of grammar and capitalization!


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Posted by JS
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2014 at 11:32 pm

Traffic is getting really bad. It took an hour to cross the south bay tonight at 6 pm. and there's a lot of new building along 237 which is going to add to the already stop and go 3 lanes. We were stopping every few yards in the carpool lane. And 101 was a parking lot. More people equals more cars.
Mountain View better think about transportation and schools


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Posted by CopperC
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 23, 2014 at 9:16 am

I don't see that it's a jobs-housing balance issue. It's a density issue. Too many jobs and too many homes make for LA. Clogged roads. An hour to buy a box of cereal. Cruising for a parking place. We're close to the limit. Time to stop growing.


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Posted by Cuesta Parker
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 23, 2014 at 8:28 pm

I agree with CopperC. Why the rush to grow this city into a more congested mess? Why does the draft El Camino Plan in MV call for building up to 6-story buildings along El Camino Real? Do we want this kind of growth and congestion on El Camino? The problem is not job-housing balance. The problem is overgrowth! SLOW IT DOWN, PEOPLE!!! If we don't get through to our city council, we are going to ruin a great town.


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Posted by Elaine
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 24, 2014 at 10:27 am

Wow to the comment thread. Who lifted up the rock so all the creepie crawlies could come out? If you can't respond rationally at the moment, please leave the keyboard and come back when you can.

The article is a rational comparison of two points of view, based on two different data sets. If any other council candidates (or current council members for that matter) were discussing job growth data, they would have been interviewed for this piece too.

I was surprised to learn the city is using job growth data based on employee surveys. Employee surveys? Are you kidding me? Surveys are notoriously unreliable.

The other point, if you were paying attention, is that the numbers from payroll reports match our subjective sense of job growth, based on traffic, cost of housing, etc. Tsuda says it is not important how many jobs are actually in the city right now, just that MV generally has job growth.

I disagree with that point. How many jobs we have and how quickly that number is going up determines the level of urgency we need to have in addressing housing. How quickly we need to move. Doing nothing now (the status quo) will degrade our quality of life in the short term and it will also bite us for decades to come.


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Posted by History Buff
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2014 at 10:49 am

For all of you complaining about lack of objectivity, the news is in the numbers.

Randy Tsuda claims that "… it's less important to know exactly how many jobs there are … and you look at the trajectory of job growth."
A trajectory has to start with some data point, and whether the city had 74,949 or 71,000 jobs in 2012 or "somewhere in the middle of the range" as Tsuda says, it's a big number and the trajectory is mighty steep.

No matter who you vote for, at least be grateful that Siegel brought the numbers to light because you can't always count on City Hall to provide the facts. (I'm not a Mt. View resident, so I'm not advocating for Siegel or any other candidate.)

BTW, Daniel DeBolt is a reporter, not the editor, not the publisher. If you think the articles are biased (which I do not) complain to them.

> "We should be happy that there will be local jobs for the next generation."

Really? If you've got an MBA or a computer science degree, there will be plenty of good jobs. Otherwise, good luck.

> "Perhaps Siegel could get tough on surrounding communities…"

Perhaps Mountain View should stop causing problems for the entire region with its incessant drive to add more office space: "Nearly every council member who spoke to the Voice suggested that other cities need to build more housing for all of Mountain View's jobs."
Web Link


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Posted by Census data
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

Of course the 2 sets of data are going to disagree. What we're measuring is a precise thing having to do with the city of residence of workers. ACS is done by samping. It's not sampling of workers at their jobs. Say they go to Google and ask them to complete a questionaire. Would they have all the data as to the RESIDENCES of all of their CONTRACTORS's on-site employees? Not very likely. They mainly sample residences.

Compare to the payroll data. It's not sampling, but rather the data on all the social security taxes being withheld. The IRS has a much better change of getting a good handle on the city of residence of the workers because THEY HAVE THAT DATA FROM THE W2's for EVERY WORKER. Sure things change and it's not perfect, but it's way better than ACS sampling....


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Posted by Elaine
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Census data, the point of the article is the two data sets disagree by a wide margin.

And the city, Tsuda acknowledges, is using the most conservative job growth figures. Why, with several employers growing at an unprecedented rate, would the city use the most conservative numbers to estimate job growth? And then why would they claim that the actual numbers aren't really important?

This is beginning to look like the root cause of the problem...


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Posted by Lilly
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 24, 2014 at 1:52 pm

@ Elaine

" The article is a rational comparison of two points of view, based on two different data sets. If any other council candidates (or current council members for that matter) were discussing job growth data, they would have been interviewed for this piece too."

If you read the beginning of the article you will see what all the "creepie crawlies " are talking about !
"Given how rising housing prices and commuter traffic are causing serious problems for many, tracking the city's job growth has become a big deal to City Council members and City Council candidates."
If, as DeBolt states , Job Growth is a big deal for all of them, why has he interviewed only one City Councilperson and one candidate ?



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Posted by keep it civil
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Wow to you, Elaine. There was not one "irrational" comment above yours, just people who would prefer to see impartial journalism, and people who care about the future of their city.

Your comment, "Who lifted up the rock so all the creepie crawlies could come out?" was not cute. Did you think it was cute, or was it just an attempt to derail the discussion?

Yes, MV has been overbuilding office space, and this is a prime cause of congestion. If that's one of your points, you are right. But the solution - if there is one - is not to follow up by cramming in as many "luxury" apartments as possible. Better public transit would help, as would a freeze on new office space. We will be getting more housing developments for sure. In moderation that is OK. But we need to step carefully to avoid degrading the city further.

Finally, about your comment, "How many jobs we have and how quickly that number is going up determines the level of urgency we need to have in addressing housing. How quickly we need to move."

That sounds like a sales pitch - "Act now! Offer only good for one day!"

The damage we do today will be with us pretty much forever. Let's slow down. And let's keep the discussion civil.


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Posted by Don't worry there are plans for a school
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Don't worry Tammy Logan, LASD Board president has plans for a new type of school in the NEC:
Here is a quote from this week's town crier

"Tammy Logan, president of the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees, suggested some "outside-the-box" scenarios for placing a school in Mountain View's San Antonio area.

"Some sort of similar arrangement could be made with a big-box retailer on the ground floor or floors – shared parking underground and classrooms on the second and third floor," she said. "One could likely also have some play space on a roof." "


The education of our children is in the best hands.


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Posted by reader
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 24, 2014 at 8:39 pm

I wonder if the City Council or those running or anyone has wondered about this: With all this growth in jobs, it will be impossible to tell the HSR to not have a station in MV and MB will have to live with such a station since MV is becoming the defacto main hub for jobs and corporations between SF and SJ with PA and RC playing second and third. If there is no way to stop the growth of employees, then better, non-car transportation to all points for able and disable alike is an absolute necessity. Not shuttles but something quite stable that can support 100,000+ people a day to all points around town.


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Posted by Elaine
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 24, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Creepie crawlie,

The article is about data, yet none of the comments above mine actually addressed the data. That is the first clue they are off track. They were emotionally founded, as is your response. The human brain can't actually think straight when its emotions hijack the thread. Kindly manage yourself better, so that your community can benefit from any thinking you may be able to contribute.

And, my deepest apologies for not being cute enough for you ;-) I guess smart, articulate, and analytical will have to do :-D


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Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Staggering job growth? Let's not be overly dramatic.

There are lots of cities with more jobs than residents of working age. It is not that uncommon. Most of the new jobs are along the 101 corridor so the impact on city traffic is minimal. Mountain View does not need, nor should we want, more housing. More housing would actually just worsen traffic and pollution problems because then those vehicles are going to be in the city 100% of the time rather than just during morning and evening commute hours.


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Posted by keep it civil
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 24, 2014 at 11:22 pm

"Creepie crawly?" "Who lifted up the rock?" That has nothing to do with "data", and is not a rational response to any of the comments before yours. You obviously chose those words to provoke an emotional response, and to degrade the discussion. Nice work.




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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 25, 2014 at 8:16 am

@keep it civil

Amen to your above comment.

Don't like the discussion...try and derail it. Provocateurs. ;)


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Posted by Boo-hoo
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 25, 2014 at 8:26 am

" You obviously chose those words to provoke an emotional response, and to degrade the discussion. Nice work."

If it's obvious, then why waste everybody's time to post such a nasty observation?


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Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 25, 2014 at 8:39 am


@History Buff:

"BTW, Daniel DeBolt is a reporter, not the editor, not the publisher. If you think the articles are biased (which I do not) complain to them."

~~~~~~~~~~


IMHO, like all journalists, Mr. Debolt should aspire to hold himself to the standards set forth by the Society of Professional Journalists. (And, yeah, I have pointed out these perceived shortcomings to the publisher previously, and plan to continue to do so when warranted.)

For example:

Web Link

— Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.

— Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.

— Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.

— Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.


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Posted by R U Kidding?
a resident of Gemello
on Aug 25, 2014 at 4:45 pm

I agree with Copper And so many others who want to put the brakes on all building before not one single park, store, restaurant, roadway, or anything isn't packed like a box of matchsticks.

Just stopping adding more jobs, yet continuing to add lots more housing, and U R still just driving up housing prices ever more through gentrification. Plus adding ever more traffic and pollution. (The reality is that the supply will never catch up with the demand around here enough to lower housing prices anyway. Do the math like Konrad Sosnow does!)

The more density goes up, the more air pollution (and every other kind, too) goes up. Even with the subways (that we'll never have) and all kinds of public transit, New York City still has gridlocked traffic to the max. Get real. Lenny's plan makes everything worse not better.

I like being able to walk into a dining establishment and getting to eat without having to have made a reservation in well advance and/or having to wait for over an hour.

Too much fast growth crowds everything, and quickly done growth creates sloppy results. Enough is enough. Stop already.

Get some great transit (not BRT, eck!) and let people live more comfortably and enjoy their favorite book on the way to work. And/or let the jobs build up Tracy, or Livermore, or Stockton. They have room!


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Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Aug 25, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

The Mark Morford of Mountain View Voice....


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Posted by R U kidding
a resident of Gemello
on Aug 25, 2014 at 5:11 pm

I meant to start above by saying "I agree with Copper C."

I also agree with Concerned Citizen:

"About the issue itself - traffic is awful, getting worse, and a number of new developments are under construction. Google has bought up quite a few office buildings that they have not yet occupied. Just wait until all of that starts contributing traffic. And we are being told that the cure for that is MORE development?

I have a lot of respect for Lenny's past work, but on this issue, he is going down the wrong road. 5000 units at North Bayshore will not bring housing prices down. It will just line the pockets of developers. An earlier article quoted Lenny as saying he would have no problem with accepting campaign donations from developers like Prometheus. He is not a candidate I will support."

Ken Rosenberg is another Lenny Siegel, attending Lenny's BMV meetings along with Prometheus and Greystar Developers for pushing tons more housing everywhere. He may sound open to the voices of the people, Martin Omander, but I have heard him say he is in support of 2 opposite things within one day, so I won't vote for someone who changes his stated objectives to suit his audience. I cannot cast a vote for either Ken R. or Lenny S. because their growth plans do not do what they say they will accomplish, but instead just increase density ever more, and along with that, lower the air quality and quality of life for all of MV.


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