Publication Date: Friday, May 18, 2001
Letters to Editor
Letters to Editor
(May 18, 2001)@lethead:The mayor responds
In your May 11 editorial ("Wasting City Council's time with the Stasek non-affair"), you claim that Council member Rosemary Stasek did nothing wrong because Microsoft was surely not "intimidated" by her demand that the company contribute to the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group's "housing trust fund."
What I did, after I learned of the matter, was to pass the information along to my fellow council members in a memo. I felt this was my duty as mayor. The Mercury News reporter obtained a copy of this memo from the City Clerk's Office, not from me.
To set the record straight, the memo stated, "I am concerned that, as mayor, Rosemary was soliciting money for a program the Council had not endorsed and doing it in an inappropriate way."
Mayor Mario Ambra
@lethead:Stasek should stick to city business
The recent flap regarding Mountain View City Council member Rosemary Stasek and her attempt to create a David and Goliath image of Microsoft vs. the little person bears a comment or two ("Ambra accuses Stasek of misconduct," May 4).
She is quoted as saying, "The only person this is of interest to at this point is the mayor." Really? I would like to think she is in her elected position to represent my interests as a resident and informed voter. Microsoft, after all, offers many jobs at a time when many industries are leaving the area. While management might have chosen to pass on Ms. Stasek's favorite charity, they contribute to the community in many ways, helping the economy.
As Stasek is actively campaigning for Joe Simitian's former position, we have to wonder what the motives here are. She has now gotten a great deal of press, while Microsoft's spokesperson is on her way to corporate oblivion for having the nerve to call "extortion" what should have been a mere suggestion. Is this the way I want to see movers and shakers view our city? I think not.
My vote for Ms. Stasek, and yes I voted for her, was dependent on her providing a fair and logical voice in dealing with city, community and state affairs. I did not vote for her to run for another office or do independent fund-raising and put the arm on corporations in the city.
Finally, we all do our best to make life better for the unfortunate. At the same time, we would like to see our city officials stick with the business of running the city. All this press is nothing short of an embarrassment and sends out a message to businesses looking to relocate. If this isn't an interest to anyone other than the mayor, it should be.
@lethead:Attack on Stasek is 'tabloid ethics'
Council member Mario Ambra is three sandwiches short of a picnic in his pursuit of "punishment" for Council member Rosemary Stasek for her alleged comments to Microsoft ("Ambra accuses Stasek of misconduct," May 4).
I expect my elected representative to promote and protect the quality of life in the community which I live. If Council member Stasek was aggressive in encouraging Microsoft or other companies to participant in maintaining that quality for all residents and workers, so be it. That's her responsibility and every other council member's as well.
Council member Ambra needs to be reminded that this is not the old days of business when we just celebrated that companies like Microsoft brought prestige and visibility to the community just by being here. They also bring traffic, housing needs, energy service requirements, a higher living cost and a host of other effects on the quality of life.
I welcome and encourage businesses to establish themselves here. However, they should volunteer to work with and contribute, in every way, to the impact they have on our infrastructure and community as a whole.
In attempting to make this a code of conduct "ethics" issue, I would question Ambra's need to quickly and publicly expose information that should have been resolved with other council members and city officials first.
This is tabloid ethics that only do more harm than good to the city of Mountain View. It is a non-issue and Ambra should let it remain that way.
@lethead:Answer for Home Depot: competition
I read about the recent discussions of Home Depot bidding for the new store location on El Camino/85. I wonder if the city can at least introduce competitors of Home Depot, especially the Lowe's, to join the planning process. Lowe's home improvement warehouse is the biggest competitor of Home Depot. They have no stores whatsoever in the Silicon Valley. I'd imagine that this absolutely prime location may be a catalyst for Lowe's to enter this huge market. Competition is always good for the consumers. I believe it will also be good for the local community to negotiate better deals both financially as well as environmentally.
@lethead:Math coverage unbalanced?
As the head of the Mathematics Department at Graham Middle School, your recent article "Middle School Curriculum Draws Criticism" (May 11) concerns me.
The newspaper of Mountain View has an obligation to present a balanced news story. I am troubled that Graham parents reading your article might mistake the opinions quoted in your article as fact. I am troubled that with one exception, the parents quoted in your article do not have a student at Graham, have no first hand experience of the mathematics program at Graham and have not discussed their concerns with the mathematics faculty at Graham. I doubt these parents are aware, for example, that the Connected Math Program used at Graham was funded by the National Science Foundation and is rated exemplary by the United States Department of Education.
I encourage all parents and community members who wish to obtain accurate information about the Graham mathematics program to attend an informational meeting at the Graham Library on June 7 at 7:30 p.m. jointly sponsored by the Graham Mathematics Department and the Graham PTA.
Graham Mathematics Department
@lethead:Message to the city: conserve!
We have another round of blackouts and yet still I see what seems to be every light in City Hall and the Performing Arts Center blazing away. Amazing how some of us take this seriously and conserve on every level, from drying clothes on the line to unplugging unnecessary appliances and sitting in rooms lit with energy-saving bulbs.
Meanwhile Mountain View's powers that be (no pun intended) don't think it necessary to turn unneeded lights off here and there. Am I the only one who thinks that the city "leaders" should lead the way in conservation during what promises to be a long term problem?