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Old Mountain View questions the council candidates

Original post made on Sep 27, 2012

If you attended the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association City Council candidate forum on Monday night, chances are your question was answered by one candidate, but not by all of them.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 27, 2012, 1:38 PM

Comments (18)

Posted by Lew L, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Hats off to Daniel DeBolt, staff writer, for a well written piece covering an event that I was wanted to, but was unable to attend. I attended the candidates forum held a month ago at City Hall by the Chamber of Commerce where the format was different from the OMVNA meeting. At the CoC meeting, each candidate was given an equal amount of time to respond to the same question. Questions were submitted prior to the forum and during the meeting. Using different formats for these forums is very effective. I plan to make it to the Cuesta Park Neighborhood Association's candidates forum on October 4th. This year's candidates for Council are refreshingly diverse. The voters have many opportunities between now and election day to find the candidates who will will best represent their interests.

Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of another community
on Sep 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm

The questions that should have been asked are:

1. Will you represent the residents of Mountain View or developers?
2. Will you change the Developer oriented Planning Commission to one that represents the residents of Mountain View?
3.How do you feel about changing the name of Mountain View to Developerville?

Posted by Nancy Morimoto, a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I went to the forum and was dismayed by John Ink's comment that seemed to write-off any creative possibilities for creating any substantial new public parks for Mountain View. He only mentioned encouraging developers to provide plazas and potentially using small parcels of city-owned land for community gardens. I hope I misunderstood, as the ratio of park acres to residents will go further from the city's goal of 3 acres per 1,000 residents if we allow high density housing but don't provide for parks. This needs to be addressed during the upcoming community visioning process for the San Antonio Change Area. Trading height allowances for open space and having future parks cross multiple property lines are two avenues to explore to get a much needed park in this area.

Posted by @ Konrad, a resident of Whisman Station
on Sep 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I guess you should have gone to the meeting - we could then have had their answers.

Posted by Robert Cox, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I was the moderator of the Old Maountain View debate on Monday.

After talking with the council candidates in the last election and this one, I was convinced that the single question/single respondent format allowed us to cover more issues in the limited amount of time. The other consideration was "tailbacking". A good politician who is unfamiliar with an issue can take advantage of the single question/multiple respondent format by listening to what the respondents preceding him says and cherry picking their best ideas, claiming them as his or her own. So the last person to answer often looks like the most well informed.

That said we'll probably do something different again next year. Mr. DeBolt's point is well taken, having more interaction among the candidates makes the whole thing more interesting.

Those interested in seeing more of the candidates can watch the Old Mountain View Neighborhood's weekly TV show "Impact", which appears on Comcast KMVT-15 and AT&T U-verse 99. Show time is Wednesday at 9:00PM. For those who don't have access to cable, the candidate videos are posted on our Web site Web Link.

Posted by Sounds to me, a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Sounds to me like Jim, John and John are for the common people. The others should like the same old political BS, supporting the minority rather then the majority.

Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm

The questions that should have been asked are:

1. Will you represent the residents of Mountain View or developers?
By performance so far:
Inks - Developers
Kasperzak - Developers
McAllister - Developers

2. Will you change the Developer oriented Planning Commission to one that represents the residents of Mountain View?
By performance so far:
Inks - No
Kasperzak - No
McAllister - No

3.How do you feel about changing the name of Mountain View to Developerville?

By performance so far:
Inks - Developers
Kasperzak - Developers
McAllister - Developers

Posted by Lets Get it right , a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 27, 2012 at 10:06 pm

I was at the forum, and I must say that many of the answers given by Jim Neal have been changed in this article and are not faithful to what has been said! Mr. Neal defended his position on the smoking ban because as he feared when the ban was being discussed, the result was disastrous for the community! Now Castro street is full of cigarette butts and parking lots are full of people that smoke. Children and families pass nearby and have to suffer from the smoke that the council claimed they wanted to protect people from. Moving smokers from bars in which children are not allowed, and where adults had the opportunity to decide whether to stay with people who smoke or not was not really the smarter thing to do!
He also explained that he has no problems with the plastic bag ban as long as the people get to vote on it; and that the problem is the fact that the city council has decided to charge a fee on paper bags while making believe that is not a tax since the stores keep the money! His question was: "What right does the city have to put a tax on something that it does not produce and does not provide, and where is the limit?". Will the city council force shops to increase the price of sugar or anything else if they think that it is bad for us ?
To the question "Are you a member of a political party? And if so which one?" Neal answered "Yes, but I consider myself to be independent, I do not go to any rallies, and I do not think party really matters on issues at the city level. This is low-level politics. I'm an independent person". The second question was not a yes or no question! The sarcasm from one of the other candidates was misplaced.

Posted by Nick, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 27, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Clear winners: Jim Neal, John Inks, John McAllister.

The rest sound like they need lessons in common sense and economics.

Posted by Chick-fil-haay!!!, a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 28, 2012 at 8:26 am

I don't get the drive-thru eatery issue at all. I want all of you driving up and down El Camino today and this weekend to look and see how many cars are waiting at Jack in the Crack, Carl's Jr., In-n-out, and Mickey D's and see if there are tons of cars sitting idle polluting the environment.
With the exception of maybe In-n-out at Rengstorff and by Grant. There are few cars waiting.

Now go out tonight (Friday) starting at @ 5:30 pm and head down El Camino south, from Shoreline to 85 and see how many cars are sitting idle in traffic. You'll see where the real issues are.

Posted by Voter, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2012 at 9:46 am

I disagree with Jim Neal on the outdoor smoking ban. People smoking next to you outdoors makes the dining unpleasant and creates some of the same second-hand smoke health hazards as indoors. His comments about his grandmother seem to suggest that he does not support smoking bans at all -- just let people "do what she loved to do." The same noises about killing restaurants and bars were voiced when they were made smoke-free, yet the businesses survived and worker health was protected.

Posted by Non-Voter, a resident of Jackson Park
on Sep 28, 2012 at 11:06 am

In regards to the outdoor smoking ban.

Sure it stinks, but sitting outdoor next to the street, while cars are idling is a lot more hazardous than walking by a smoker or two and breathing it in.

If second hand smoke caused cancer, then the people born in the 60s, 70s, and early 80s would all be dead or are dying of lung cancer.

My dad smoked like a chimney and smoking indoor was legal when I was growing up, yet I'm still alive miraculously don't have cancer. Weird, I know.

Obviously some people are more prone to cancer, due to their immune system (deficiency), but the generalization of saying that second hand smoke kills everyone is ridiculous.

Posted by Old Ben, a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm

The ENTIRE "second-hand smoke" health threat paradigm is utterly bogus.

Yes, some people don't like the smell. And I don't like the smell of people who don't bathe often enough, vegan flatulence, and cologne.

Deal with it.

Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I agree with "lets get it right" regarding Neal. I also agree with Mr. Cox that the format allowed more variety and direct questions to each candidate and less repetition.

Neal gave some great answers but so did Inks.

"I absolutely think we are done with drive-throughs in Mountain View," Capriles said. "To go through and pick up food and keep going no, I just feel like it's not so hard to get out of a car and go up to window and order. We've got 26 drive-throughs in Mountain View now. For 12 square miles, that's plenty."

She has no clue what she is talking about. Easily the worst answer all night. How many times did she mention she is the only woman running?

Take it to the bank. The MV Voice will endorse her because .... (fill in the blank with anything)

Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Dear Voter,

How can you disagree with me when it is clear that you have no idea what I said or in what context? The places that I was most concerned about do not have outdoor dining. They are bars, period. As for my quote about my grandmother, which was horribly mangled in the reporting, what I actually said was that my grandmother lived her life to the fullest and that I wanted to be just like her. As far as worker health being protected, the workers now have to go outside to smoke rather than being able to smoke on the premises. Lastly, if you're worried about the effect of smoke outdoors, the ban directly resulted in more people being involuntarily exposed to second hand smoke as people are now forced to smoke while walking up and down Castro Street and standing out in public parking lots. But hey, don't let facts get in the way of your opinion.

As far as the reporting on this story, let's just say that I wish I had a video tape.

Jim Neal
Candidate, City Council

Posted by SA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I think we should modify the smoking ban. You can smoke where you want unless you're wearing a cowboy get up.

Posted by John, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 5, 2012 at 11:56 am

I agree with several of the other commentators that Jim Neal, John Inks and John McAllister are the only candidates with the interests of the people of Mountain View at heart. The others all appear to have their heads in the clouds.

Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Hi S.A.,

It amazes me that so many people who disagree with me would rather cast aspersions than make comments that are truly helpful to the conversation about the serious issues facing the city. You forgot to call me the "N" word while you're at it (I am Black you know). Perhaps you also would take issue with the fact that I am married to someone who was born outside the U.S. I am sure that you an many others can find all kinds of irrelevant reasons not to vote for me.

However, if you are interested in facts, I will extend the same invitation to you that I have to everyone else who disagrees with me: Send me an email letting me know what times and dates are convenient for you and we can meet and discuss any concerns that you have with my position on this or any other issue. So far, no one has taken me up on the offer and I can only assume it is because people are more interested in disparaging those they disagree with than actually talking about facts.

Jim Neal
Candidate, City Council
Old Mountain View

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