Siegel next in line for mayor
Retired Lockheed executive sees manager hire as most important job
According to tradition, it is Vice Mayor Jac Siegel's turn to take the mayor's seat for a year, and he is expected to be appointed to the job during the Tuesday, Jan. 4, City Council meeting.
Current mayor Ronit Bryant will step down after a year of running meetings, setting the council agenda and serving as its spokesperson, ribbon-cutter and ambassador.
He's not counting on it, but Siegel said, "I hope somebody nominates me and I hope I'm elected. I really look forward to it."
It is city tradition to rotate the mayor seat every year, first to those with highest seniority and the most votes when elected. Council members have been passed over for the mayor job before, but the city has stuck to tradition in recent years. And Siegel, 66, has been an energetic and respected council member who has lived in the community for over 40 years.
A retired TRW and Lockheed Martin executive, Siegel has been an advocate for "quality not quantity" in housing development since he was first elected in 2006. He was re-elected last November, despite a challenge from three newcomers.
Siegel said he is taking a serious look at what he thinks is the "most important single act any of us in our council careers will ever make" — the selection of a new city manager when Kevin Duggan retires in April. Next year the city also faces more budget cuts and Siegel wants to make sure the city's "quality services" are maintained. And the council will also make a decision in the spring on whether to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Mountain View, something Siegel has opposed.
Siegel's "pet projects" include the preservation of Hangar One at Moffett Field, and he is a member of the Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board. He also says a "dream of his" is for the city to run its own shuttle system, which some have priced at $1 million a year.
Even with his many goals, "my agenda will be second to the entire council's goals," Siegel said. "As mayor my job is to help lead and facilitate the wishes of the council."
Siegel said he would continue the tradition of having open office hours for his constituents, as other mayors have: Bryant's "Meet with Ronit" and Margaret Abe-Koga's "Chat with MAK." Siegel said he was thinking of adding "Yack with Jac" to that list.
Either Mike Kasperzak or Jon Inks will likely become vice mayor. Kapserzak has already served as mayor and vice mayor, but has yet to do so since taking a break from the council in 2008-2010.
E-mail Daniel DeBolt at email@example.com