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Publication Date: Friday, June 27, 2003

City council City council (June 27, 2003)

Bearer of bad news

Democratic Assembly member and former Mountain View Mayor Sally Lieber came home with bad news on Tuesday night. After visiting several other cities and citizens in her jurisdiction, she appeared before the Mountain View City Council to discuss the faltering state budget.

"We are determined to put out a budget and vote on it before the end of the fiscal year," said Lieber. The fiscal year ends Monday, and Lieber said she is pessimistic that a budget will get the necessary two-thirds vote from the legislature by that time.

The measures that will have the most local impact, she said, are the increase in vehicle license fee and the COPS grant, which benefits technology in police departments. Without the restoration of a higher vehicle license fee, the City of Mountain View would lose $2.8 million a year.

Among the revenue-generating measures being put forth by the Democrats is a increase to the sales tax from 8.25 percent to 8.75 percent and an increase on the income tax of the wealthiest citizens.

"This is not anything anyone in the legislature relishes putting forward," said Lieber.

No on power takeaway

The city council voted to oppose the California Homeland Security Funding Plan, devised to manage federal money given to California for homeland security.

"The (state) government is seeking to remove the funding authority from locally elected bodies and give it to appointees," said Council member Rosemary Stasek, who represents the City of Mountain View on the countywide Emergency Preparedness Council.

"It's not the power of the governor to take responsibility away from elected people," she added.

House on hold

The decision on whether to remove a house from the city's list of historic resources has been put on hold until a Sept. 2 council meeting.

The Spencer family, three generations of which have resided in the home at 696 California St., has applied to remove it from the register.

The historic register includes 94 buildings which are protected from major changes unless approved by the city council.

Council approves reservoir agreement

While Los Altos residents complain about Mountain View's Miramonte reservoir, the city moved one step closer to constructing a 4--8 million gallon reservoir underneath Graham Middle School's playing fields on Tuesday. The city council voted to begin agreements with the Mountain View-Whisman School District, environmental review, and design.

The project, which has been well received by school officials, would cost $12--$18 million and be paid for with revenue bonds. The increase in the city's water storage, which currently consists mainly of the Whisman and Miramonte reservoirs, would allow the city to respond more adequately to a shortage of water during an emergency.

The reservoir would be completely buried under the school's playing fields, which the city would refurbish for the schools. It is currently considering using artificial turf.

"It's a win-win for everybody," said MVWSD Superintendent Jim Negri.


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