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City Council wants survey for major bond measure

Original post made on May 10, 2013

In a study session Tuesday, City Council members supported a survey to determine voter support for a bond measure to fund several large facilities the city needs, including a new community center.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 10, 2013, 11:53 AM

Comments (22)

Posted by C'mon, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 10, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Why is there such a HUGE delta between the low and high estimates of the police/fire admin building. 35 to 65 Million!?! Can we at least get the delta to within 5 million so we actually KNOW what we're voting for before you ask us our opinion on it?
Take this building out of the bond, its obviously not thought out enough to warrant serious consideration.

Posted by GDM, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm

The current Police and Fire Admin Building is less than 30 years old. What's wrong with it?

Posted by Heal KNOW, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 10, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Sure, we would love more park space, but then you would give it away for low income or high density housing.
No need for new buildings of any kind.

Posted by Nancy Morimoto, a resident of The Crossings
on May 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm

The city should dialog with the Los Altos School District to see where they could creatively partner with their potential bond for a new school site, for things like shared park space and community center facilities in the San Antonio area.

Posted by George, a resident of Rex Manor
on May 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm

EGADS.. what the heck is wrong with MtnView as it is ? The nation, California and our City is slowly coming out of a horrible economic time, and here the City Fathers and Mothers can't wait to spend Millions and miliions more money. The police dept. might need upgrades, but all of the rest can damn well wait or even be dumped.

Ask yourself.... how often have you gone to the facility at Rengsdorf ? How important is a swimmin facility, with costs and liabilities, Let's just hunker down and put money in the bank, buy silver, buy gold. Don't spend almost $200,000.-- to just find out what is or is not wanted. Heck, put a questionaire in with the water or garbage bill...

bye george

Posted by Hmm, a resident of Monta Loma
on May 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Highly agree with George.

Here is a grand IDEA, how about the city look at ways it can cut it's operating costs?

How about some of the 1000 city works give up some of their 90% pension and fund the buildings? Instead of 90% if they get 40% that would cover more than what's needed and all our roads could be paved in gold. Oh wait, that's against Union policy. Or what about the people that are double dipping, are there any like that in mountain view? How many people are on the cities IT payroll? Do we really need a director for 250,000$ a year? That could support 5 regular workers.

Just the other day I heard Calpers found 80 million + dollars by just eliminating people from their payroll that were not suppose to be there.

Here is another idea, how about borrowing from the HSR fund, that no one will use?

Also I think we have enough community centers.

community center near Mountain View, CA

Hacker Dojo

140A S Whisman Rd, Mountain View, CA
(650) 898-7925 ‎
Category: Community Center
27 42 reviews
smart people event space open source coworking hackathon
"Nice place! Great people!" -

Day Worker Center of Mountain VIew

113 Escuela Ave, Mountain View, CA
(650) 903-4102 ‎
1 review
esl classes advocacy
"This was a fantastic experience! Feeling that I could trust a worker and ..." -

Rengstorff Park
Mountain View, CA
(650) 903-6331 ‎
Category: Rengstorff Community Center

Willow Park Condo Clubhouse
Mountain View, CA
Category: Community Center

Posted by Bond. James Bond., a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 10, 2013 at 5:16 pm

The school district did a poll before their bond measure:
Web Link

Did that cost $170 grand?

Posted by Doug Pearson, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 10, 2013 at 5:24 pm

A survey is a good idea--if it's done right. What would be the purpose? Will it be short enough to be actually answered by a statistically significant number of people? Will it be long enough to serve the purpose? Will the questions and answers be both unambiguous and easy to understand? Taken together will the questions and answers allow the survey answerers to clearly understand what they are telling the survey askers?

Anyone can easily develop a survey with Survey Monkey at very low cost. Or other methods can be used.

If the survey is done right, it will be worth the cost. If it's done wrong, the money will be wasted.

I hope the City does it right.

Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow, a resident of another community
on May 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm

The Pharaohs built cities and statues to show how great and powerful they were. Our City Council is cut from the same cloth. They want to raise our taxes so they can build memorials to their stupidity.

Posted by Right/Wrong, a resident of Monta Loma
on May 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Survey of voters which includes renters or others who do not own property in MV! A survey of MV property owners who pay taxes can be done, as someone suggested, with a survey form sent with utility bills to property owenrs. Won't spend $170,000 for this type of survey!

Police/Fire buildings: Upgrade as needed, build an add-on or build up if more space is needed. Residents add on or build up rather than building new to save money. The City could do the same at least to last another several years until the City has better funding ideas.

Large Community Park--not needed but perhaps some smaller parks in under-served MV areas would be very useful & appreciated.

Perhaps the City can find more "funding sources" by reducing pensions, cutting personnel in duplicative job positions, cutting City Officials' perks and probably other areas if you search diligently.

MV resident property owners are not rolling in $$ to pay for some of the City's "wish list items." Most of us are trying to cut back knowing that we will have increases in insurance and medical costs due to Obamacare as well as the rises in groceries, utilities, auto mainenance/gas, school bonds/taxes and school fees. There are myriads of areas where we tax-paying property owners are facing potentially much more in taxing expenditures. Where will it come from; how can we save for our emergencies if City's wish lists keep taxing us sometimes unnecessarily?

Please consider MV property owners who pay your salaries and perks.
Before planning something for the 2014 election year, let's wait until after the Nov. 2014 election to find out what the City's financial position will be AND what MV property owners' financial situations will be. Meanwhile, do a a thorough, very diligent search for excess funds elsewhere within the City.

Thanks for your very serious consideration of saving money.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on May 11, 2013 at 11:01 am

I know when the Public Safety building opened in the early 80's it came with building design flaws. Forgot what these flaws were but 2 seen to stand out. Solar panels and the clock both which seem to have trouble. One big fault this building seen was the 89 quake, some of which was damaged, repairs were made but maybe nothing was right after that.

I know most people seem to follow the idea of doing up a building is like remodeling a private home. No joking when I hear why it costs so much for plumbing for public building restrooms. I adding on makes sense but you might end up spending more money upgrading a old outdated damaged building.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2013 at 6:55 pm

$170,000 to survey a sampling of the 30,000 or so households in Mountain View? How do I get in on that scam?

Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on May 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm

You have to be a political insider to get in on the scam....

Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on May 11, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Let's gaze into the future:

A connected insider gets a $170K contract to conduct an "outreach".
The outreach says that homeowners are willing to get piled on with more property taxes to fund excessive unnecessary building.(See previous posts)
Bond fund managers, developers, unions and whatnot fund a election campaign telling the voters how wonderful it all is and how it will increase property values.
The bond tax passes by a bare majority.
And the taxpayer is stuck with the bill, again.
Meanwhile quality of life deteriorates as developers go roughshod with rezoned high density building.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 13, 2013 at 8:10 am

How totally predictable. The city has a budget surplus, and the first thing they want to do with it is fish for more.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on May 13, 2013 at 9:56 am

Spend $170,000 for a survey or spend money on a election that you might not win. Yes there was talk of replacing the Public Safety Building which might take 10 years knowing how've long public hearings, study sessions and other changes. Do the fire station first, then work on planning and costs. Get developers to put up some funds.

Posted by George, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 13, 2013 at 10:48 am

I'm glad I'm leaving behind this tax and spend city. The city should focus on deploying more officers for community policing. Not just using their police officers to write more tickets to generate more revenue.

What good is better facilities if crime (property and burglary) are on the rise?

Posted by Otto Maddox, a resident of Monta Loma
on May 13, 2013 at 3:38 pm

$35 to $65 million for a police/fire admin building. Someone already mentioned the spread being crazy.. we have to be able to estimate better than that. I'd never approve something with that big of a spread.

Second, what is an emergency operations center and why does that cost another $8 million? I'd imagine any emergencies in Mountain View would involved the police and fire departments. Can't we just use their cool new admin building for any emergencies?

And a fire station costs $12 million? Really? You need a big garage, a place for 6 or so people to live, and some storage for gear. That's going to cost $12 million? No way.

There is nothing wrong with the current community center. There's nothing wrong with the current police/fire admin building. There's nothing wrong with the fire station on Rengstorff. This mentality that a government building gets "old" and needs to be replaced every few decades is crazy.. and expensive.

Posted by John, a resident of Monta Loma
on May 14, 2013 at 10:50 am

"There is nothing wrong with the current community center. There's nothing wrong with the current police/fire admin building. There's nothing wrong with the fire station on Rengstorff. This mentality that a government building gets "old" and needs to be replaced every few decades is crazy.. and expensive."

You are exactly right.

City bureauracy always has a need to grow, as we do not have an elected city council to keep it in check and protect the taxpayer from excessive spending, which naturally comes from a bureauracy that has no profit/performance motive other than increasing their own wages and benefits.

New buildings mean more cubicles to fill, bigger fire stations mean more fire people, bigger police stations mean more police.
(Unforunately it does not check the burglaries, gangs, speeding and other issues in the city.

The city council is instead elected by employee unions/deveolpers and other inside interests. The taxpayer is left holding the bill.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Lotsa new burglaries in the news today. A shiny new police station would solve our crime problem!

Posted by Steven Nelson, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm

The cost to the MVWSD for their survey (district is slightly smaller than City) was about $18,000. The sample size would depend on how close the vote came. Schools only needed 55%, city general bond would need 2/3. This is likely to be closer - and need more respondents (pollsters select for 'likely voters').

Posted by 20-year resident, a resident of Waverly Park
on May 15, 2013 at 10:25 am

I could not AGREE more with all of the above!

Why is this city so hell-bent on "hiring consultants" to "do a survey" so they can rebuild perfectly good facilities?!

The facilities we have are fine. Continue to add small neighborhood parks.

Put more money into programs for residents.

Spend less money on excessive pensions for city-employed retirees.

Put out the fire that is burning a hole in your pocket and come to your senses.

Sheesh, do they think that money grows on trees?

It's always easy to spend money when it's somebody else's money.

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