Clark, McAlister to lead City Council in 2014

Annual council reorganization taps two newest members to head city government

Second-year council members Chris Clark and John McAlister were named Mountain View's mayor and vice mayor in unanimous City Council votes Tuesday night.

Outgoing Mayor John Inks handed the gavel to Clark in a changing of the guard that went according to tradition at the Jan 7, with Clark moving from his post as vice mayor to mayor for 2014.

"It's not a big surprise who I'm going to be nominating," said council's most senior member Mike Kasperzak, who nominated Clark and gave him a ribbing in his remarks, noting that Clark "kept agreeing with most of the stuff I had to say" when the two campaigned for the council in 2012.

Despite reports to the contrary, it was revealed Tuesday night that Clark -- age 30 -- is not, in fact, the youngest person to be elected to the council or serve as mayor. There was no question, however, that he is the first openly gay council member to be elected. Clark said last week that it's a testament to the community that his sexual orientation has been a non-issue during his first year in office.

"I'm humbled and honored to serve as mayor," said the young business executive after he took the mayor's chair, thanking all those who helped him reach it. He thanked Inks for showing him the ropes, his campaign volunteers for their "sleepless nights" and family members who were watching online from a Illinois farm where they hopefully hadn't been "swept away in a polar vortex" and who instilled in him "pragmatism and humility." He noted some others too, including people "who know where you live and aren't afraid to knock on your door repeatedly."

As she sat next to him on the dais, council member Margaret Abe-Koga nominated McAlister to replace Clark as vice mayor, putting him in line to be mayor in 2015.

"His motto has been 'Residents first,'" Abe-Koga said of McAlister, who is known for taking the side of neighbors who oppose development in their neighborhoods. "The thing about our council is it's very diverse, we don't always agree but we can agree to disagree. His heart is in the right place. I've watched him work hard this year to understand the issues and ask the right questions."

"It's definitely an honor to follow in the footsteps of everyone up here," said McAlister, the last member of the current council to be vice mayor. "I have big footsteps to fill."

"Though their time on the council has been short they have had quite bit of experience on the EPC," Abe-Koga said of Clark and McAlister, referring to the environmental planning commission that advises the council on land use changes in the city.

"Our city is the envy of many," Clark said. "We still, however, have many challenges ahead. We are recovering from one of the worst economic downturns and our jobs-housing imbalance has created tremendous pressures for growth."

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3 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jan 8, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Didn't McAlister once say (in the 2008 election) that Clark wasn't qualified to scoop ice cream at Baskin Robbins?

3 people like this
Posted by konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 8, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Well, this bad news and good news:

Chris Clark, like his predecessor John Inks, is a puppet of the out of town developers. He believes in unrestricted growth, and believes that what is good for the developers is good for Mountain View. Chris Clark does not care about the residents of Mountain View.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. John McAlister is slated to be Mayor in 2015. John, along with Jac Siegel are the only two members of the City Council who prefer wise development, listen to, and are concerned with the residents of Mountain View. With three members terming out at the end of 2014, we the residents of Mountain View, will have an opportunity to return control of Mountain View to Council Members who will represent us.

Take Back Mountain View!

3 people like this
Posted by Liz
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jan 8, 2014 at 5:12 pm

I look forward to the change. I hope he puts a stop to all if the building that has made this once a small town in a Google driven city.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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