Voice editorial endorsement: Yes on Measure A


Do Mountain View residents want to limit the field of people who serve on the City Council to only those who can afford to work, for the public's benefit, 20 to 30 hours a week at far below minimum wage? To people who are retired or who have the financial means to spend fewer hours in their workplace so that they can devote more time to the public's business? City Council members and other city leaders are hoping their fellow residents answer "No" to that question, and that's why voters will be asked to say "Yes" to Measure A on the November ballot.

The ballot measure would raise the monthly pay for City Council members to $1,000 from $600, and automatically adjust the pay annually to reflect cost- of-living increases, up to 5 percent. It would also end the odd practice of docking a member $25 for a missed meeting even when he or she is absent on official business.

Some current council members say they work an average of 30 hours weekly in their capacity as public servants. Their $600 compensation amounts to about $5 an hour, they say.

Voters in 2006 rejected an attempt to raise council pay to $1,500 a month, but the Measure A compromise seems fair compensation for citizens willing to do the hard work of creating policy and making decisions that affect every aspect of life in Mountain View. The council meets every week, except for a partial summer recess, and in addition to those long meeting hours must spend many more doing the homework it takes to make informed decisions and stay in touch with the community.

Measure A may make it possible for more working people with fresh ideas and a willingness to turn more of their efforts toward public service to consider a run for a council seat in the future. The Voice urges you to support Measure A.

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5 people like this
Posted by OK then
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 14, 2014 at 3:59 pm

I was actually planning on voting NO. But, your article does make sense. I am rethinking. Thank you for your views.

6 people like this
Posted by Cate
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 14, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Is a $400 increase to $1000 actually going to change the pool of people who can "afford" to be on the City Council?

4 people like this
Posted by Alex M
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 14, 2014 at 9:45 pm

I doubt this increase will increase the pool of candidates who can "afford" to work on the city council. At the moment it seems you have to be comfortably retired, although interestingly there are some candidates who have full time jobs.

The "Yes" proponents don't tell you the value of all the perks that city council members get - expense accounts, free tickets to amphitheater shows, etc. Factor those perks in, and from that calculate a realistic inflation adjusted compensation, and THEN I might vote Yes.

Mountain View isn't THAT big, and it doesn't require THAT much effort to serve as a rubber stamp for more rental unit development proposals.

4 people like this
Posted by Susan
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 15, 2014 at 9:33 am

The Council members work very long hours. Most that I have known also have another job. "Comfortably Retired" in this area? Most retirees that I know also have at least a part time job. Get real, folks. I was in favor of the $1600 stipend in 2006. It is way past time to increase this ridiculously low pay. There are a few perks, as it should be. (Shoreline tickets would not be much of a draw for everyone.) Healthcare coverage could!

Mountain View needs to be represented by a good cross-section of the residents. I don't see that right now. I hope there will be more opportunities to develop that going forward and this might help.
Just saying!

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

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