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Publication Date: Friday, July 26, 2002

Council briefs Council briefs (July 26, 2002)

By Bill D'Agostino

On Tuesday, July 30, Council member Rosemary Stasek will discuss her recent trip to Kabul, Afghanistan. Last month, she spent 15 days there as part of a delegation of Americans interested in aiding the country's reconstruction.

Stasek, who met Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the tour, will share her insights into the political and social issues facing the country. The presentation will include a historical review, as well as Stasek's photos and personal experience of life in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

The talk will be 7 p.m., July 30 at Mountain View's City Hall, Plaza Conference Room, 500 Castro St. The event is free.
Two new candidates for council

Three new people picked up papers to file for council this week. Two of them were for the two-year seat: Vivian Schatz and Bruce Karney. Planning commissioner Bob Weaver picked up papers for the four-year seat.

There are four seats open for potential candidates: there four-year seats and one two-year seat. People have to choose which of the two seats they wish to try to win.

The two-year seat is the remainder of former Council member Mario Ambra's term. He was removed by a judge in April after being convicted of misconduct.

Schatz, the widow of former Mayor Bob Schatz, started the Mario Ambra Defense Fund to help pay for Ambra's legal fees during his trial. She did not respond to a request for an interview.

Weaver, who is also the chair of the centennial commission, was also unavailable for comment by press time.

Karney, the president of the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association, said he had thought about running numerous times over the years. This year, he realized he had a "better than average chance" since there are four open seats but only one incumbent running.

"I would really like to help Mountain View strengthen its neighborhoods," Karney said.

Candidates have until Aug. 14 to file with the city clerk. Election day is Nov. 5.
Easy being Green

In addition to his campaign stop at the Adobe Building on Tuesday night, Green party governor candidate Peter Camejo made an appearance at the city council meeting on Tuesday night.

"You may have heard of me," Camejo said. "You're going to hear a lot more of me soon, I hope."

Camejo asked the council to consider supporting four proposals:

One, that they help to save four percent of ancient forests.

Two, that they raises the city's minimum wage city to a living wage.

Three, that they encourage the use of solar energy.

And four, that they back instant runoff voting, which would instruct voters to rank candidates in order of preference. IRV, as it's known, would prevent third party candidates from being considered spoilers in elections.

Greens, like 2000 presidential candidate Ralph Nader, are often accused by Democrats of helping split the liberal vote and aiding conservative candidates like George W. Bush.
No vote on AT&T

Despite what the Palo Alto Daily News reported on Wednesday, the city council did not vote on cable giant's AT&T's merger with Comcast on Tuesday night. Instead the council agreed to a two week delay on the vote.

Before having the council approve the merger, the city wanted AT&T to pay money it owes Mountain View cable customers stemming from a 2001 lawsuit. In the settlement, AT&T agreed to pay $540,000 to customers, but they have not done so yet.

The council will vote on the merger during their meeting on Aug. 6.
Historic home vote also put off

The council was initially set to deliberate about the fate of the historic home at 340 Palo Alto Avenue on Aug. 6.

However, at the request of the family that owns the historic building and wishes to build two large homes on the land, the vote has been put off until after the council's summer break in August.

The home is the first test of the city's new historic preservation law, passed by the council in April, which requires owners of 94 homes to come before the council before they demolish or make significant changes to their home.

Douglas Byer, the owner of 340 Palo Alto, lives in a wheelchair. His family claims he needs to renovate the property to make it handicapped accessible and livable for Douglas. City Attorney Michael Martello believes the family is just trying to improve the value of their home for rental units.
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