News

Voice editorial endorsement: City Council

Rosenberg, Showalter and Siegel for three open seats on the seven-member council

With three termed-out members making way for three newcomers on the Mountain View City Council, nine residents are vying for the seats, all recognizing the city's serious housing, traffic and roadway safety problems, and each committed to working toward resolving those problems

Of the nine, we feel that four candidates have the strongest skills and ideas to help tackle the tough issues facing the city. High on the list of those challenges needing creative solutions -- and a sense of urgency in addressing -- is the extreme jobs-to-housing imbalance that has led to skyrocketing housing costs, forcing far too many residents from the city already, and continuing to threaten hundreds of others facing double-digit rent increases as housing demand grows.

In this race to fill the posts being vacated by Margaret Abe-Koga, Ronit Bryant and Jac Siegel, the Voice is endorsing Pat Showalter, Lenny Siegel and Ken Rosenberg as the three candidates with the strongest leadership experience, and broadest support among community members and regional leaders.

A fourth candidate, Greg Unangst, is also a credible candidate whose commitment to dig in and help find solutions to the housing crisis is impressive -- one of the key reasons he entered the race, he says. The chair of the city's bike and pedestrian advisory committee, he also wants the city to create more effective infrastructure to support bicycling, walking and transit.

From all the indications we've seen, Unangst has strong skills in working effectively with others, but doesn't appear to have the extensive leadership experience or the deep-rooted community support of the other three candidates we have singled out for endorsement. Those candidates are:

Pat Showalter

A former planning commissioner for nine years, Showalter is a civil engineer. She is the water resources manager for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and believes, as we do, that her technical expertise would be an asset on the council. "As a civil engineer I have specialized in water resources engineering my whole career, especially environmental restoration work," she says.

She supports efforts to rezone portions of the city to create a better balance between office and housing growth. Other goals include improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, and initiating measures to protect the environment and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Showalter has worked on a number of regional efforts, including serving on the Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters board for 14 years. She's been active in the League of Women Voters for more than a decade, and spearheaded a recent League forum on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. She believes in a regional approach to solving many of the problems, including housing, faced by Peninsula residents. "I think a lot of problems we have in Mountain View, they don't stop at our border," she told the Voice.

Lenny Siegel

This is Siegel's fourth try for a council seat his earlier attempts were in the 1970s and the early 1980s. His involvement in the community has continued through the years, including a stint on the city's planning commission. More recent efforts have included leading the charge to save Hangar One at Moffett Field and, as the director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight, spearheaded the community's push to clean up toxic TCE pollution left by early chip makers in northeastern Mountain View.

Earlier this year, Siegel founded the Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View, an organization that attempts to educate residents about the city's increasing jobs-housing imbalance. He says that since the 1970s, council members have been irresponsible in allowing large amounts of office and industrial development without zoning for adequate housing growth in the city, driving up competition and demand for a limited number of homes, and pushing workers into longer commutes.

A self-described organizer for peace and for economic, social, and environmental justice, Siegel knows how to work effectively with people to get things done, and has the list of accomplishments to prove that. It's time for Siegel to be given a chance to apply his problem-solving and leadership skills to the City Council.

Ken Rosenberg

Rosenberg has served on the Human Relations Commission, including as chair, since 2011. During his tenure he organized what's know as the Civility Roundtable Discussion Series, an impressive project designed to get people together to discuss matters of mutual interest and concern. He says he is "passionate about open communication, open dialogue," and collective decision making whenever possible. He calls himself an "active listener," a welcome quality in elected officials.

He's also a member of the Campaign for a Balance Mountain View, and says he has a "tremendous commitment" to more housing in the city. He supports moderate- to high-density housing in the North Bayshore area and near job hubs in general, and is a strong advocate of building better transportation infrastructure to reduce gridlock on local roadways.

His leadership posts have included serving as chair of the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association, the Mountain View Downtown Committee and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce board.

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Comments

31 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Slater
on Oct 17, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Robert is a registered user.

The Voice just confirmed my suspicions of who not to vote for.


9 people like this
Posted by unbelievable
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Improving bicycle safety and engaging in open communication are definitely things we should vote against.


24 people like this
Posted by Lilly
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2014 at 3:31 pm

No surprises here! The voice has been actively campaigning for Lenny Siegel, and balanced Mountain View, for months! The real news is that Ken Rosenberg is part of BMV he never disclosed that in any forum or in his flyers or ads. Another thing that surprises me is that the voice is choosing to endorse two candidates with huge contributions from special interests and non transparent groups without investigating what and who is behind them, and which agenda they have for Mountain View. They are: "The National Association of Realtors Fund" based in CHICAGO " that has been independently spending $26,680 on Ken Rosenberg's behalf for mailers and polling, and another group called the "Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition" from LONG BEACH which has spent $12,293 on his behalf. There is also a SoCal resident named Timothy Dillion who contributed $20,000 in support of Rosenberg.
The same group from Long Beach the "Neighborhood Empowerment Coalition " has also been spending $ 12,653 on Pat's Showalters behalf as well!‏‏


12 people like this
Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm

@ Lilly,

Lenny Siegel, Ken Rosengburg, and Greg Unangst are best buds. They are working together.

Lenny Siegel has stated that the reason he is running is that his daughter cannot afford to live in Mountain View.

Lenny, and his three buds, want to reduce the value of our homes to the point where Lenny's daughter can buy your or my house, at a huge discount from the current market value. Their joint plan is to build so much tall, hi-density housing that our population and residences double. The feel that if they turn Mountain View into Taipei, it will drive down our home prices,


Tell then no! save your home!



16 people like this
Posted by Katherine
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 17, 2014 at 5:47 pm

We as Mountain View residents have inherited the responsibility for managing our portion of the shoreline of San Francisco Bay. While everyone wants to find solutions to the drastic changes in costs of real estate purchase and rental, not everyone believes that North Bayshore is the proper location to solve this issue. Our local communities have built out so much of the original marshland that there is very little left for habitat for other species. Current scientific analysis projects sea level rise that would cause us to lose "3,100 acres of wildlife habitat along the Bay shoreline, threaten 89 schools and hospitals, shut down 1,780 miles of roads, put 270,000 homes under water, and flood iconic landmarks like the San Francisco Ferry Building. This kind of devastation would cost our region $50 billion." (See Web Link). Why would we continue to build here when we already know it's going to be an issue? What's wrong with building out housing where there is already a lack of habitat for others, like along El Camino, or Central Expwy/Train corridor? We have several thousand homes IN Mountain View near 101 that are IN A CURRENT FLOOD ZONE. This issue has not yet been resolved, why would we add more? This is not smart building philosphy, it's ignorant -- of not only our impact on the ecosystem, but of the future issues that have already been called out in the literature. Please do not vote for candidates who are not accepting scientific facts. "This is physical science, not political science," says Oceanographer and director of marine science at UCSC. (Web Link)


20 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 17, 2014 at 5:50 pm

At the risk of repeating what I posted elsewhere:

I am shocked that the Mountain View Voice is supporting the candidates listed above. Could have knocked me over with a feather.

I suppose if one is happy with the direction the city is going, then perhaps voting for the Voice's endorsed candidates would be the way to go, but for those of you who have concerns about the frenetic pace of development and aren't sure if the way to solve the "affordable housing" issue is by rubber stamping every single high-density development (most of them rental developments) while also planning for and approving millions of square feet of office space that -- then I suggest you do your homework and learn about ALL of the candidates. Make an effort to meet them, even if it's a simple email to ask them a couple of questions, and decide for YOURSELF who you believe will best represent your ideas and beliefs.

There's still time to register to vote:

Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Intersting
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 17, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Neither the Voice or the Post endorsed any of the EPC candidates. Editors have their personal biases, but surprised that not one of the EPC candidates impressed either editor. I know Dave Price and he supports slow or no growth in Palo Alto. It's obvious the three woman failed to impress either editor with their knowledge or experience from serving on EPC. Very telling. I still think at least one EPC candidate will win, but will be a weak council member.


22 people like this
Posted by Council Watcher
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2014 at 7:23 pm

About the EPC candidates: For those of us who advocate more careful development, Lisa Matichak is a strong candidate. She has a track record of listening to residents, and standing up to developers when necessary. She's smart, and experienced in city government, with 5 years on the EPC. Ellen Kamei and Margaret Capriles have, for whatever reason, often been unable or unwilling to say no to developers' demands. EPC experience notwithstanding, I would rather not see them on the Council.

This election is very much about careful development versus pull-the-stops-out, high-rise, high density housing. If, like me, you are not looking for a fast track to congestion, Matichak, Neal, and Salem are the better choices.


15 people like this
Posted by AllDriedUp
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 17, 2014 at 7:55 pm

I'm VERY concerned about adding more housing in periods of sustained drought. Where will we get the water for those homes or apartments.


9 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 17, 2014 at 9:31 pm

@AllDriedUp housing doesn't create people, those people already exist, they already consume water somewhere.

In fact given the water used in fracking, the amount of water utilized by people living further away from work in larger homes that consume more is wasting more water than people living closer to work in smaller homes.


17 people like this
Posted by KateinMV
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 17, 2014 at 10:31 pm

The people that know the most about the City that are running are the people that currently on the EPC. The have been educated on the most current information. I'm shocked that the Voice didn't pick one person that is currently on this commission. I would absolutely not vote for any endorsement that the Voice has made. I would like to know the names of people who made this decision.


19 people like this
Posted by Observer
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 18, 2014 at 6:37 am

The Voice and Mr. DeBolt decided before the campaigns started that they want Mountain View to be built out for people who don't live here rather than for those who already do. Ignore the people who live here and own homes now, we don't matter! I am so disappointed by The Voice's lack of objectivity in their reporting and editorial perspectives.


12 people like this
Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Oct 18, 2014 at 7:50 am

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.

@Christopher Chiang

"housing doesn't create people, those people already exist, they already consume water somewhere."

True, but only four states have areas experiencing "exceptional drought": CA, NV, TX, OK.

See this illuminating map from the University of Nebraska: Web Link

Many parts of the US aren't experiencing drought.

It seems to me that building more houses where water is most scarce should be done very thoughtfully, if at all.


8 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 18, 2014 at 7:56 am

Some residents says put Mountain View residents first, in Palo Alto, they call themselves residentialist. Can you imagine if each member of Congress said they would always put their residents first, or state, or each city in our case. Is that what makes America great? Is that that how our society will solve its toughest problems?

Elected officials should represent the voice of the people of Mountain View, which is often, but necessarily the same as the narrowly defined self interest of the people of Mountain View.

The framers of our nation believed Americans could practice what they called enlightened self interest, an outlook that we the people choose to sacrifice for the greater good.

Unlike autocratic nations where sacrifice is forced on the people, in a strong democratic republic, it's we the people who define for ourselves the common good and elect representatives accordingly.

I too live in Mountain View and MV candidates who seek solutions to problems beyond MV's borders, especially to help the most vulnerable, aren't ignoring, but representing the voices of many residents who share that belief. Thank you Ms. Showalter, Mr. Rosenberg, Mr. Siegel, and Mr. Unangst.


19 people like this
Posted by Cross at the Crossings
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 18, 2014 at 8:22 am

As a Crossings resident who was at the San Antonio forum, I was disturbed by Mr. Rosenberg's statement that he (and apparently the other Voice endorsed candidates) intends "to build a Mountain View that we didn't buy into". It's easy for him to say this, as he raises his family in a multi-million dollar home at Satake Estates, far away from any place he and his colleagues intend to "modernize" with ever higher-density development. I was also insulted by Mr. Rosenberg's comment at the Microsoft forum that opponents of his policies are motivated by "fear". We only want to raise our children in a pleasant environment, just as you do, Mr. R. Why should that only be possible for Wall Street multi-millionaires like you?


8 people like this
Posted by Incorrect
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 18, 2014 at 8:33 am

Unfortunately, the words of Mr Chiang above are misguided. In this country, there are many different levels of government: local, county, regional, state, federal plus specialized areas: school, hospital, etc... It is NOT the primary role of our local government to solve the problems of our non-residents. That should be at a higher level of government.

Six months ago, if a vote happened the three candidates that are being promoted by the Voice would not be elected. However, because of the large amount of soft money being spent on their campaigns by development lobbyists, their names are everywhere.

With local elections, name recognition is EVERYTHING! Unlike high political office, the public does not get exposure to city council candidates through television.

Use facebook lately? Lenny Siegel is being pushed hard through advertising there. Expensive mailers throughout the week.

While I'm sure there are some residents like Chiang that want to turn MV into a ultra-high density worker drone beehive, the majority would like to keep the city livable. Unfortunately, much of the electorate will be more informed by name recognition than by understanding the true motivation of the candidates, so money will likely overly influence the election.

One question to the Voice: how much advertising are you receiving by the candidates AND their soft money support groups? I think we will see that the top "earners" for the voice are also the candidates that they are "endorsing."




8 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 18, 2014 at 9:18 am

In reply to "turn MV into a ultra-high density worker drone beehive." When I see the back up of traffic on the 101, Central, and El Camino on my way home from teaching each day, I think this already describes our region. This describes the current status quo. I often feel like a "bee" stuck in that.

I am elated there are candidates willing to try to innovate. For me, it's not about making MV less livable, quite the opposite, it's about making MV more like Scandinavia, where innovation has elevated the entire community's well being. Would anyone argue that they have a less well off life than us?

Below is an inspiring look at what the Scandinavians are doing with urban planning: Web Link

The old MV was lost decades ago when our community turned North Bayshore into the world's tech corridor. The current MV is not satisfying so many. I am eager for a third way. Certainly, not more of the same, nor a futile attempt to undo what can't be undone.


11 people like this
Posted by A Senior Veteran
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 18, 2014 at 9:22 am

Endorsing Lenny Siegel is a slap in the face of all veterans.

He belonged to an organization that promoted spitting on soldiers returning for Vietnam.
Web Link

He is using the same "Tantrum Tactics" that SDS used to wind up young people.

Also read this article in the voice September 2013. Moffett Field is subject to liquefaction.

"However, studies since have shown that Moffett's under-maintained runways are "moderately susceptible" to liquefaction. It would take a large investment to harden Moffett to resist the various earthquake scenarios likely in the future.
Web Link"

How will affordable housing be built on unstable landfill?








4 people like this
Posted by mel
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 18, 2014 at 10:14 am

?? is voice promoting siegel candidacy?????????????????????

all the well intentioned candidates SAY they will work hard on solving the issues - including housing imbalance, traffic, pollution etc - and i believe them


but Siegel is ALREADY WORKING on the issues and doing what he will do if elected --- and THAT GETS VOICE COVERAGE

either a brilliant campaign tactic or he is just doing through 'balanced mountain view' what he believes he should do

and i do not see the other candidates (all good people) acting (not just speaking) in a way that justifies Voice coverage


and as for Siegel's campaign expeditures being massive-
it was reported that he is near the bottom in funds raised

mel





what








12 people like this
Posted by Hates Traffic
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 18, 2014 at 10:30 am

I'm trying to figure out these expensive mailers from groups outside the Bay Area that I got from Ken Rosenberg and Ellen Kamei. They say they are going to solve our traffic problems. Wasn't Rosenberg part of that group that got voted out of the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association Board for advocating that the Madera complex get built at even higher density than what the developer wanted? And didn't Kamei support the 100 Moffett project and every other high density project in Mountain View during her tenure as EPC Commissioner? How are they going to solve the traffic problem by building ever higher density projects around the city?


17 people like this
Posted by Neighbor Advocate
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 18, 2014 at 10:42 am

The more I read these comments, the more I'm sure that I'm voting for Lisa Matichak. She's the only person in this campaign who has the guts to stand up to developers and vote "no" when the developer won't follow the city's own guidelines and build a project that fits in with the surrounding neighborhood. She doesn't just listen, she acts! Lisa has been good for my neighborhood, just like her signs say. I only wish I could use all three of my votes for her.


16 people like this
Posted by Laura B.
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 18, 2014 at 11:40 am

Fallacies about the benefits of housing in North Bayshore:

Those who believe that housing in the area will reduce vehicle trips are mistaken, according to data from the Federal Highway Administration that shows the average U. S. household produces 7.9 automobile trips per day. (Presumably the average worker makes only one trip to work and one trip home daily.) Web Link

Those who believe that 5,000 housing units will entice a grocery store and other services are mistaken, according to a study performed for the city of Emeryville CA, A population of 15,000-20,000 is needed to support a full-service grocery store. Web Link

Add to that traffic the need for trips to schools, other retailers, services and medical professionals and the average trips per day would multiply significantly.

Do the advocates for housing in the area have any real data indicating that employees in North Bayshore actually want to live there? Anecdotal evidence and the large fleet of busses from San Francisco (where housing costs are even higher) to Silicon Valley would argue that Tech employees (average annual salary $120,000 +) prefer the lifestyle offered in an urban environment.

In the 1970’a there was a building boom for apartments to house the engineers who were arriving to work at Lockheed, Fairchild, and other technical titans of the day. Most, if not all, moved away leaving behind many buildings that fell into disrepair and created multiple severe problems for the city. It very possible this cycle will repeat itself in North Bayshore, given the cyclical nature of tech business and employment in this valley.


6 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 18, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Looks like the developers will get their council. Look for the frenzied development to continue.
How is clearing out affordable areas for up zoned apartments helping anyone other than out of town money?


12 people like this
Posted by Old Man in OMVNA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm

@ John

I'm with Yogi Berra: "It ain't over till it's over." If you don't like council candidates who are shills for developers, get out and campaign for the ones who are not. I'm sure Lisa Matichak and the others who are neighborhood oriented would appreciate the help. www.lisaforcouncil.com.


11 people like this
Posted by Lilly
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm

@ Old Man in OMVNA

I agree with you and made my choice and suggest people to vote for Lisa Matichak , Jim Neal, Mercedes Salem !


6 people like this
Posted by Lilly
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm

www.electneal.org

www.lisaforcouncil.com.

Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by Jarrett M
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 19, 2014 at 3:29 pm

@ Laura B: That FHWA article actually promotes the construction of housing near jobs with a mix of retail, office, and housing as a means to reduce driving, just like what was proposed in North Bayshore. That 7.9/trip per day figure is a national average which stems from places that basically mandate driving, by design, to get anything done. That is not Mountain View, and moving forward we need to continue to move away from that mindset to give people more choices for how they get around.

Building housing within walking distance of jobs does just that. Outright banning housing basically eliminates walking since North Bayshore jobs are beyond the half mile/ 10 minute walk distance people are willing to travel by foot. Transit and biking are also good options, but promoting walking is key to an overall traffic reduction strategy.

>> Add to that traffic the need for trips to schools, other retailers, services and medical professionals and the average trips per day would multiply significantly. <<

You're assuming everyone will drive between each store, business, office and their home. This is not how walkable places work. Our downtown is a prime example as are shopping malls. People typically "park once" and are able to visit multiple places since they're close together, there's good sidewalks, and great public places. You may even bump into someone you know! This is the same vision for North Bayshore.

>> Do the advocates for housing in the area have any real data indicating that employees in North Bayshore actually want to live there? Anecdotal evidence and the large fleet of busses from San Francisco (where housing costs are even higher) to Silicon Valley would argue that Tech employees (average annual salary $120,000 +) prefer the lifestyle offered in an urban environment. <<

Going back to that FHWA article you linked to, there's growing evidence that shows driving is decreasing as boomers grow older and millennials are less interested in getting behind the wheel and getting stuck in traffic. Creating a walkable neighborhood in North Bayshore with a mix of offices, shops, housing, and great public places is like the environment you describe, albeit less dense. Keeping North Bayshore exclusively a 1980's suburban office park is definitely not competitive, nor sustainable since it *requires* mechanized transportation to work.



16 people like this
Posted by Laura Macias
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Oct 19, 2014 at 7:27 pm

"Developers aren't going to solve the housing crisis in San Francisco [or Mountain View]"
Web Link

@Jarrett, I think you'll appreciate the thoughtfulness of this investigative news piece published in early October. Housing affordability cannot be achieved with counting on Econ 101 laws of supply and demand. It's a lot more complicated. We need specific programs to assist middle class and working poor residents. Trickle down hasn't worked in years. Did it ever? It was a struggle to get the last three MV affordable housing projects funded and financed.

As a small built out city, Mountain View building residential and much more commercial in North Bayshore-- next to the last two protected green open spaces on the Bay in Santa Clara County, Shoreline Park and Palo Alto Baylands --is the wrong way to preserve the Bay, nature, wildlife, residents and the city's infrastructure investments.


9 people like this
Posted by reader
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 19, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Laura Macias: "As a small built out city, Mountain View building residential and much more commercial in North Bayshore-- next to the last two protected green open spaces on the Bay in Santa Clara County, Shoreline Park and Palo Alto Baylands --is the wrong way to preserve the Bay, nature, wildlife, residents and the city's infrastructure investments."

Ms. Macias, housing is going to go somewhere, so where should that be? San Antonio center? El Camino? Evelyn?

In fact, I'm not sure I've heard any candidate opposed to residential in North Bayshore say "This is where we should build instead."

My understanding is that "building in North Bayshore" means replacing some of the existing office park with residential, not building out on the edge of the bay. Is there any small amount of residential development that is acceptable?

Opposition to residential in North Bayshore likely stems from fear of a Google voting block, and pressure from the apartment association because Google-area housing developers would likely not join the TCAA.

The silliest thing is Ellen Kamei's new computer-chip talking flyer, which claims that 10,000 more cars will result from housing in North Bayshore. The cars will be there whether the houses are or not, and the only chance people can walk or ride a bike to work is if they live reasonably close.


15 people like this
Posted by Old Man in OMVNA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2014 at 9:08 am

@reader

In all fairness, Lisa Matichak has been quite vocal during the campaign about locating new housing along El Camino, at San Antonio, and in the Whisman area. Lisa also voted in favor most of the new apartment complexes that being built NOW along El Camino. The one exception was the one which violated the city's own setback ordinance, and that could have been fixed by moving a single unit in the complex. But the developers won;t do that if most of the EPC and the council say, "Anything you want is OK with me!"

I just don't see why it makes sense to build housing on top of a liquefaction zone that subject to sea level rise. It is one thing for an office development to be put at risk; it is quite another thing for a person to lose his home! Lose your office, and you can work from home while your company figures out what to do. But if you lose your home, you can't live in your office! Those who advocate ownership housing in this area encourage people to put their entire life savings at serious risk. Is this responsible planning?


3 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

Old Man in OMVNA:

"Those who advocate ownership housing in this area encourage people to put their entire life savings at serious risk. Is this responsible planning?"

~~~~~~~~~~

Are there any current city council members who have been strong advocates for ownership housing...how about the current crop of council candidates? Seems to me that onership housing in Mountain View is a dying breed, by design, aka social engineering.


3 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 20, 2014 at 9:27 am

Of course "onership" should read ownership. Sorry.


7 people like this
Posted by Old Man In OMVNA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2014 at 9:55 am

@MVResident67

Lenny Siegel has advocated for a 5,000 unit community in North Bayshore which included a mix of rental and ownership housing. Jim Neal has also advocated for ownership housing in North Bayshore.

I haven't heard anything specific from the other candidates. They can speak up and voice their views. I don't know whether any of the current council members are in favor of ownership housing in North Bayshore.

That aside, since Google owns or has long term leases on almost 3/4 of the buildable land in North Bayshore, what will finally be proposed will almost certainly be on their property. This is an important enough issue that Google should weigh in and tell the voters what it's intentions are with its property. The voters who care about this issue should know what they are voting for, so they can make an informed, intelligent decision. This is a call for transparency!


8 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 20, 2014 at 10:20 am

Old Man In OMVNA:


"That aside, since Google owns or has long term leases on almost 3/4 of the buildable land in North Bayshore, what will finally be proposed will almost certainly be on their property. This is an important enough issue that Google should weigh in and tell the voters what it's intentions are with its property. The voters who care about this issue should know what they are voting for, so they can make an informed, intelligent decision. This is a call for transparency!"

~~~~~

Well, I wasn't speaking solely to housing in North Bayshore, but in more general terms in the city of Mountain view. I agree with you when it comes to transparency.

Let the sunshine...it's the law.


5 people like this
Posted by Jan Janes KMVT 15
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 20, 2014 at 12:50 pm

KMVT 15 invited all nine Mountain View City Council candidates to a two-hour debate on Oct. 8, with questions submitted by residents. Watch it here Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Here is the link for the Microsoft Forum, which for some reason was never covered in the papers:

Web Link ( August Forum at Microsoft )


Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Gemello
on Oct 20, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Build in North Bayshore. Matichak and Kamei are not the answer. Worried about sea level rise? Gee I think we can construct buildings taking that into account. And not build due to a concern about liquefaction? Tell that to all homeowners in Redwood Shores, and Foster City, which was built on landfill (just like Shoreline Park) -- they seem to handle it just fine.


4 people like this
Posted by @Jan Janes
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Posted by Jan Janes KMVT 15
a resident of Monta Loma
1 hour ago
KMVT 15 invited all nine Mountain View City Council candidates to a two-hour debate on Oct. 8, with questions submitted by residents. Watch it here Web Link


Jan this link does not work, could you look into it?


4 people like this
Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Oct 20, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.

@@Jan Janes,

Here's the link Jan Janes meant to post: Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by Jan Janes KMVT 15
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 20, 2014 at 2:43 pm

The link to the two-hour Mountain View City Council candidates debate, Oct. 8, with all nine candidates answering questions from residents Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

I’d very concerned about any candidate that views El Camino as a “transit corridor” able to sustain any more housing. Anything on El Camino is for certain going to be car dependent, and add to existing traffic, yet that is what our city’ and its commissions keeps approving.

I wish more candidates would be willing to stop this more-of-the-same traditional housing, and explore if there are cities in the world with urban plans with insights on how we can both address our housing needs, reduce our carbon footprint/consumption, and enhance everyone’s livability and wellness, like in Scandinavia.

Any city plan that is based on more suburban car driving is an unsustainable path of growth.

All criticism of housing in North Bayshore (like what was posted by former Mayor Macias) is based on a vision of a traditional suburban community. Yes, owner owned homes in North Bayshore, in a flood prone zone, would neither be sustainable, reduce traffic, or help cool down housing demand of current renters in Mountain View (who are residents as much as anyone else, and make up half the city).

I hope candidates and residents will be open minded in at least studying the concept of single/duo occupant, non-car based, extreme micro apartments adjacent to the companies, even call them dorms if you must.

But even such label does not detract from its benefits. Many young workers seek ways to save money to buy a future home or pay down debt, and would be willing to live in micro housing for a phase of their life. Millennial are far more receptive to a communal ecologically stringent living setting.

Shifting any workers who would volunteer for such a lifestyle would alleviate demand on existing rental housing in the city, which half of Mountain View’s residents depend on.

Extreme micro housing is the only way to achieve low rents on new developments, and the only way to create housing without adding demand to our school system.

The best part is, if you zone to allow Google and developers to build extreme micro housing without parking for cars, and no one is willing to live in North Bayshore in such a small space without a car, in a dense setting that blurs work and living, then the opponents of North Bayshore housing can win then once and for all, rather than refuse exploration of an idea.

“Dorms” can be easily removed if the fail, or aren’t needed, new suburban neighbors cannot. I welcome any and all criticisms of this idea.


5 people like this
Posted by Lilly
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm

@ Christopher Chiang.

In this comment from another article from the Voice you will see that one candidate is considering at least studying the micro housing for North bayshore !Web Link



Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
4 hours ago
Jim Neal is a registered user.
Puzzled - I would not approve any new office space, that is not already underway. With regard to cars, I expect that most people will still continue to drive, so the best way to try to resolve the traffic issue is to try to remove as many conflicts as possible such as car/bike (separated bike lanes in certain areas) and car/pedestrian (create pedestrian over-crossings at large intersections) to permit cars to travel more freely and pedestrians to cross quickly and safely.

I would be in favor of building new homes in the identified change areas in Mountain View as long as:

* The density and heights are nearly the same.
* The majority of residents approve or at least are not opposed to the project.
* Eminent domain is not used and/or no persons or businesses are involuntarily evicted.

In my opinion, the only place where high density housing makes sense at this time is in the North Bayshore area, but I would not go above 4-6 stories even there. Chris Chiang has had some ideas on microhousing for that area that I would at least like to study, and would only approve if it makes sense, and after getting significant input from Mountain View residents.


Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Web Link ( Campaign Website )


4 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 20, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Christopher Chiang:

I hope candidates and residents will be open minded in at least studying the concept of single/duo occupant, non-car based, extreme micro apartments adjacent to the companies, even call them dorms if you must.

~~~~~~~~~~

Why stop at "dorm style" micro-housing? Residents of these micro-housing units could "hot cot", essentially doubling the number of people able to live in each micro-housing unit. One resident(s) works while the other resident(s) sleeps, and vice versa. As each resident goes to sleep, the bed is still warm cause the person whom you share the bed with has just gone to work. TWO times the people in the same amount of space. Very efficient. I think that's how it's done on naval ships and submarines...why not Mountain View, too?

As to the "non-car based" would residency be predicated on signing a contract stipulating that residents would not be allowed to own a car? If not, how to do prevent residents and their guests from driving cars...unless they are allowed to own cars, just not allowed to park them in North Bayshore...leaving those cars in some other part of Mountain View or some other city?


~~~~~~~~~~

"Dorms" can be easily removed if the fail, or aren't needed, new suburban neighbors cannot. I welcome any and all criticisms of this idea.

~~~~~~~~~~

Who is going to pay to remove these "dorms" when they fail...the developers? Good luck with that. The economy is cyclical, as are the boom & bust cycles in silicon valley. Clearly we are presently in a "boom" cycle...so what happens when the next "bust" cycle comes rolling thru and people are laid of by the thousands? It's bound to happen -- it always happens -- and when it does, North Bayshore could wind up like Cabrini Green. what mechanisms would be in place to prevent such an outcome - Cabrini Green - should these "dorms" fail?




3 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Calling micro housing a "hot cot" is an unfair hyperbole, have you seen a micro house, below is a 100 square foot high-vaulted ceiling design: Web Link

Regarding cars, no contract needed, just don't build parking, in North Bayshore that would solve that given the scarcity of street parking. If people aren't willing to rely on bikes and shared car services then they wouldn't move there.

Who pays, the companies and developers do since they own it, and just like how quickly they change commercial property, micro-housing (dorms) can be undone since it's essentially part of the commercial space.

I use the word "dorm" to provoke criticism since I still think much criticism is still based on traditional views of housing versus how it might look for some in a globalized Eco-friendly world.


5 people like this
Posted by Janet Lafleur
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Janet Lafleur is a registered user.

@Christopher Chiang you wrote: "Anything on El Camino is for certain going to be car dependent"

More car dependent that what? Certainly not more than anything south of El Camino, nor in Monta Loma, Wagon Wheel or North Bayshore. People who live on El Camino have a bus arriving every minutes for 24 hours a day, have the option to walk for retail, dining and some office jobs. Walk scores for addresses along El Camino are some of the best in the city.

Aside from downtown, Whisman Station and The Crossings, what part of Mountain View is less car-dependent than El Camino?


8 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 20, 2014 at 5:28 pm

@Ms. LaFleur
I think no MV neighborhood should have more development (zoning/land use chances) unless it reduces regional traffic or brings value to its adjacent properties.

I recognize that private owners rightly have discretion under the zoning they bought under, but when we as a community allow added changes to land use that increases negative externalities like traffic, that is madness.


7 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Christopher Chiang:

Who pays, the companies and developers do since they own it, and just like how quickly they change commercial property, micro-housing (dorms) can be undone since it's essentially part of the commercial space.

~~~~~~~~~~


I am pretty sure that at a very recent city council meeting a Google *executive hemmed & hawed when asked point blank by at least one council member if Google would be taking on any residential development in North Bayshore ... his reply was something to the effect that Google was "philosophically" on board with the notion of housing in North Bayshore, but he absolutely and deliberately avoided any comment implying that Google would be involved in any way with actual residential development other than "philosophically". If that would be the case, then the burden would fall to the developers who have the conceivably have their money invested in the development, not Google. Again, please explain to me why this type of "dorm" style housing would not wind up akin to Cabrini Green (or something similar) the next time the local economy goes thru a bust cycle with thousands of job losses?


(*His name escapes me at the moment, but I believe DeBolt has quoted at least part of his comments in a recent write up here. I may have to go back and listen to the meeting online and get his name.)

P.S. I don't believe that the term "hot cot" is hyperbole with regard to micro-housing in North Bayshore. More likely "hot cotting" may be simply the next phase of Air B&B type businesses.


5 people like this
Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 20, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Christopher Chiang:

I think no MV neighborhood should have more development (zoning/land use chances) unless it reduces regional traffic or brings value to its adjacent properties.

I recognize that private owners rightly have discretion under the zoning they bought under, but when we as a community allow added changes to land use that increases negative externalities like traffic, that is madness.

~~~~~~

A commonality.

FYI, if you have read any of the environmental impact reports for recent developments, such as San Antonio Center Phase 1 and 801 El Camino Real, not surprisingly, you will find that both Environmental Impact Reports can essentially be summarized thusly: "NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT". Specious claims, at best.


7 people like this
Posted by puzzled
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 21, 2014 at 1:39 am

I don't understand this relentless opposition to micro-housing. It sounds like people who don't want it for themselves insist that it would be a complete failure for others.

Right here in Mountain View, we have people who live in their cars because they can't pay rent. We have 2-bedroom apartments occupied by 2 families. We have PhD college professors who stay in a rented bedroom during the week and commute hundreds of miles home on weekends. We have people, such as medical residents, who work extremely long hours and use their apartment just for a place to sleep at night.

Come to think of it, I personally know people in every one of these situations.

Maybe (not the family of 5) they'd be just fine with a small living space with no parking?

I haven't been to NYC but have seen countless magazine/online articles about people there who live in tiny apartments, e.g. 400 square feet.

There's the whole "small house movement" featured in books, a TV show, and has been successfully implemented in Japan, Germany, England, Spain, Russia.

Why are some council candidates and commenters here absolutely convinced small housing would fail? Honestly, it makes me feel like they've never traveled outside the US, or even to poorer parts of the US, and have never seen how little some people need or make do on.

Or does micro-housing not sit well with campaign donors that represent realtors and apartment owners? Are there any developers and land owners in Silicon Valley who embrace the idea of small, even affordable housing in a market where they can get $5,000 for luxury apartments with every amenity? Maybe the real problem is you can't ask $5,000/mo for 500 square feet.

Are realtors, apartment associations, and developers the Koch Brothers of Mountain View? Who is paying our current council members to throw treasured small businesses under the bus and roll over and play dead for Merlone Geier?

Does John McAlister own the property that Baskin Robbins sits on? What will happen when the proposals come in to scrape that corner and replace it with several stories of mixed use? That tiny parking lot for 5 businesses is obviously shared. What if he only had 6 parking spots?

We really need to consider how our current council members might feel if the tables were turned. They all live deep within residential neighborhoods. Jac lives on a hidden-from-view flag lot, Ronit lives on 2 adjacent lots, and Mike lives across the street from Los Altos. To their credit, perhaps, they all happen to live on or near streets that are major cut-throughs and have more than average traffic. How might they feel if a developer bought out all their neighbors, with plans to build residential or office towers, and they were the last house on the block? Like Milk Pail? Obviously that's not going to happen next door to Mike, Jac, John, Margaret, or Ronit, but what if it did?

I admire people who think outside the box and are willing to try innovative solutions for the seemingly impossible challenges facing Mountain View. All these naysayers, who insist that micro-housing won't work, people won't give up their cars, and so on remind me of those who impose their religious beliefs on other people's decisions. Don't want micro-housing? Don't move there! Don't want to do without a car? Keep driving! But accept that others may prefer a different lifestyle than you.


4 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 22, 2014 at 9:19 am

@Council Watcher summarized well what I also think about the best Planning Commission (& lower residential density growth) candidates. Lisa Matichak seems by far the best deep thinker and effective legislative body member (EPC votes). She seems to have the type of deep seated understanding OF HER VIEWS as past Council Member Macias. Not that I agree enough to vote for her (sorry Lisa). But, if you want a really smart advocate for this position - I would Vote Lisa first. And then be Very Careful, who you spend your next vote on! Bullet Vote (Lisa + one other). This will assure her presence on the Council. Her strong voice, her reasoned judgements. Otherwise - 'residentialists' will be diluting their voice - and may get no-one!
I'm going to 'bullet vote' for that old rascal Lenny, and one other, for whom you may see me 'a walking'. Isn't it lovely doing democracy in a balmy CA Bay Area October, rather than a Kiev January?


9 people like this
Posted by Colin U. Out
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 22, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Pat Showalter, Lenny Siegel, and Ken Rosenberg are those most in favor of the highest and fastest growth, as long as it is housing, despite the problems it will indeed inflict on all of us due to the very lacking infrastructure to support it.

Lenny is just a one note guy with only one issue to run on and zero knowledge of the various neighborhoods of Mountain View or of the many projects in the pipeline, or any other issues at all. Worse yet is that his only assumption he is basing everything on is in error, that building more housing units will decrease rents rather than continue to increase them. But he is DeBolt's good buddy so that is all that counts.

Pat Showalter is really Alfreda E. Neuman. What? Her worry about all the promises she makes to solve every problem, from traffic gridlock and water shortage, while all the while pushing for ever taller buildings towering over everyone just because she credits herself as some big deal of a civil engineer? We should all seriously worry a lot!

Ken is the less stupid and stuck up of these three, but there are much better candidates to choose from. Look at their finances and promises to represent the people who live here, instead of playing to the big builders, and thus, the big bucks.


4 people like this
Posted by play nice
a resident of another community
on Oct 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm

@Colin U Out,

The guidelines for this board include:

"Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion."

There's nothing about your comments that are respectful and thoughtful. Name calling is really immature. Instead of trashing candidates that you don't like, just state your case for the candidates that you do like.


4 people like this
Posted by Uh huh
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 22, 2014 at 3:11 pm

@Colin U. Out

What do you propose we do with the thousands of new workers that will find employment in Mountain View within the next few years? Have them live in Tracy?

Or are you for stopping our economic engine and the likely effect it's having on YOUR prosperity?


8 people like this
Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 22, 2014 at 6:50 pm

To "Uh -huh" - I don't think that it will "stop our economic engine" if we limit development to a level that will preserve neighborhoods and avoid gridlock.

In fact, I don't think it will make a whit of difference to Google, Apple, Linkedin, Facebook, Samsung, Microsoft, Symantec, or the myriad of other large and small companies that do business here.

Your implication sure sounds scary, but it makes no sense at all.


4 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 22, 2014 at 9:34 pm

Editorial boards certainly have their particular ideologies, but they also follow communities closely, and unlike special interest groups, there is no direct benefit for them in return for their endorsements. When all three community papers converge in their recommendations, as is the case with Rosenberg and Siegel, it's worth noting. Showalter received two of three local papers' endorsements as well.

San Jose Mercury* Web Link
Ken Rosenberg, Lenny Siegel, Pat Showalter

MV Voice Web Link
Ken Rosenberg, Lenny Siegel, Pat Showalter

Daily Post Web Link
Ken Rosenberg, Lenny Siegel, Greg Unangst


15 people like this
Posted by Cross at the Crossings
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 23, 2014 at 9:00 am

MVCSP (Mountain View's "sustainability through high density housing" advocacy group) just announced it's candidate ratings. For what it is worth, it bears out the collective wisdom espoused on this thread.

Matichak, Salem, and Neal did not seek the endorsement of this group. Most likely because they don't align with its philosophy.

MVCSP rated the candidates in this order:

Siegel (17.7), Rosenberg (17.6), Unangst (15.1), Showalter(14.7), Capriles (13.2), Kamei (10.3)

on housing specifically, the rating was:

Rosenberg (20), Siegel, Showalter, Capriles (16), Unangst and Kamei (12).

So Rosenberg gets a perfect 20 on high density housing.

Bottom line, if you love high density and the associated congestion, go with Siegel, Rosenberg, Unangst, and/or Showalter.

If you don't think that is the right path, go with Matichak, Salem, and Neal.


11 people like this
Posted by Political Inciter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2014 at 8:52 pm

@ Chris Chiang

On the newspaper endorsements. It's highly unlikely that these represent an independent analysis. I'm told that after the Mountain View Voice moved to Palo Alto, that it now shares an office with 2 other newspapers, and the 3 papers share a total of 7 reporters.

Newspapers are struggling now, and are even sharing local stories, just as it has long been the custom to print a story from the Associated Press in papers across the nation. I don't doubt that there are three people at the local papers who agree on their choice of these three candidates, but I would put more weight on larger organizations like the local chapter of Sierra Club, when I decide for whom to vote.


14 people like this
Posted by Hates Traffic
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 24, 2014 at 3:58 am

@ Political Inciter

You make a good point, Political Inciter. None of these three papers is based on Mountain View. Here are their addresses:

San Jose Mercury News, 750 Ridder Park Dr, San Jose, CA.
Palo Alto Daily Post, 385 Forest Ave., Palo Alto CA.
Mountain View Voice, 450 Cambridge Ave, Palo Alto, CA.

Palo Alto, in particular, has a vested interest in having Mountain View accommodate its larger jobs/housing imbalance by being a bedroom community for those wishing to rent expensive luxury apartments and drive a short distance to Palo Alto to work. It's not surprising, then, that these two Palo Alto newspapers support candidates who support this policy.

Mountain View residents, however, should support what is in THEIR city's best interest, and not just blindly follow the recommendation of the Palo Alto Daily Post and the Palo Alto Voice.


3 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 25, 2014 at 11:23 am

Corporate office addresses & new papers' endorsements. Poppycock. Daniel of the Voice has lived here for decades. Longer than some of the candidates. The Voice editorial board decides their endorsements - like most news papers. Andrea Gemmet- the editor of the Voice does a great job (IMO) of deploying her limited resources to cover our city and the interests of our citizens. The OPINION of the Voice (office in PA) is just as valuable as the OPINON of the members of the local Sierra Club endorsement committee (office in PA).
- The Voice has more readers than the Sierria Club local newsletter - but the Sierra Club can probably drum up more dedicated campaign workers.
Free press, free civic improvement associations! Yeah good old American local democracy.


5 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 25, 2014 at 11:57 am

If residents in our own city care enough about an issue to dedicate their time and resources, and bring together others, for a particular cause, why do some so quickly treat them with disdain? Isn’t that what we want civically minded people to do?

Why do we have disdain for our local journalists when it is our own news consumption habits that have driven newspapers to consolidate and reduce staff. Anyone who knows a journalist knows they work harder for less money, yet stay in the profession because they believe in its civic mission.

Earlier it was praised that candidates Lisa Matichak, Mercedes Salem, and Jim Neal ignored the survey by their neighbors who created the Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning (MVCSP). Why is that worth praising?

Candidate Lenny Siegel once said he would fill out any survey by a credible community group out of respect for their civic involvement, regardless of his own opinion of their cause. That is a philosophy worth praise.

If anyone is curious what the questions were that were allegedly so sinister that they must be ignored, here are the 5 MVCSP questions sent to the candidates to address how they’d solve:
1) Housing availability in Mountain View, particularly for households with incomes of less than $100,000/year.
2) Improvement of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in Mountain View.
3) Reduction of Mountain View’s greenhouse gas emissions.
4) Reduction of water use in Mountain View.
5) Ensuring a vibrant, welcoming, economically and socially diverse community.
(here’s a photo of this “special interest group”: Web Link)

Worth noting that candidate Lisa Matichak did participate in the South Bay Labor Council’s endorsement process, and I would welcome any candidates publish that questionnaire.

There are many interest groups in this election seeking direct benefit, those deserve our local scrutiny, especially those pretending to be local groups like the NEC Web Link, yet to win the war to preserve our democracy, we need to be more nuanced and respectful of our neighbors in our community whom we may disagree with, but all the same, are putting in hours to make Mountain View a better place.


5 people like this
Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Oct 25, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.

I would like to follow up on Christopher Chiang's exhortation to "welcome any candidates publish that questionnaire".

I suggest a somewhat stronger request. I would very much like to see both the questionnaire and each candidate's answers to the questionnaire, for each questionnaire they responded to.

When I find out that some political action committee or group, whether local or non-local, has decided to spend thousands of dollars supporting a candidate, I immediately wonder what assurances were made by the supported candidate to that group. Rather than those assurances be made "behind closed doors", I believe our democracy would be better served by the candidates voluntarily publishing any answers provided to questionnaires from such groups.

In case people think this is too much to ask of candidates for public office, I would humbly ask them to consider these two instances: Web Link, Web Link (note: they are pages on my own candidate website)


5 people like this
Posted by @Greg C- SVTA Robo-Calls
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm

@Greg Coladonato - Talking about outside money and transparency. As SVTA Director, can you shed some light on the anti Measure n robo-calls that Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association Inc. is sponsoring? Measure N is the LASD bond measure for school facilities.


4 people like this
Posted by Lilly
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2014 at 1:38 pm

@ Christopher Chiang,

I was curious and went to see the questions and i see that you didn't put them correctly, omitting some parts of them.

This are the questions exactly as written in the MVCSP web site :

THE QUESTIONS
Please describe two to four policy initiatives that you would support or put forth as a member of Council, to address the following areas:
Housing availability in Mountain View, particularly for households with incomes of less than $100,000/year. Your answer may include discussion of Precise Plans, development quotas & fees, or other types of regulation and assessment that might play a role in arriving at solutions; or whether you think any of these are not appropriate.
Improvement of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in Mountain View.
Reduction of Mountain View’s greenhouse gas emissions. Include discussion of reducing single occupant car trips within and to/from Mountain View.
Reduction of water use in Mountain View. Include in your discussion Council’s actions in 2014.
Ensuring a vibrant, welcoming, economically and socially diverse community as the Bay Area’s population grows by 2 million more people by 2040. (Web Link) Include your thoughts on balancing the following challenges: population growth, an expanding job market, climate change, fiscal responsibility, and keeping the community affordable to all citizens (you can refer to your answers to some of the previous questions).

It seems to me that to answer a series of questions like this would take quite a bit of time, if the candidates want to provide the comprehensive answers that the questions call for. How do you know that they ignored the survey? it could be that the survey was overlooked, or that they didn't have the time it would take to draft a reply. I am sure that they have probably received close to 100 surveys and requests from special interest groups, and if I were them, I would answer the ones that take the least amount of time to fill out, or the ones from groups that will reach the greatest amount of people.


15 people like this
Posted by Hates Traffic
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 26, 2014 at 8:53 am

@ Steve Nelson

I'm actually somewhat conflicted on Daniel DeBolt. He is a good writer and I enjoy picking up a copy of the Voice each week to see what he has to say. On the other hand, I am deeply disturbed that during this election, he has broken the cardinal rule of journalism: "Don't make the news. Report the news." Daniel's advocacy of Lenny Siegel and his slate-mates and his snarky disparaging of Lisa Matichak make him an partisan activist in this election rather than an impartial observer and reporter.

Having a biased report of the news in the city's only "official" newspaper should be a matter of concern to all Mountain View residents. Don't say that this is of no consequence. "Yellow journalism" was responsible for the US entry into the Spanish American War. Biased journalists can lead our city astray.

In the old days, many newspapers were honest about their biases, and displayed them up front in their titles, like: "The Kansas City Republican". I would feel better if the Voice followed that practice and changed its name to the "Mountain View High Density Advocate". Or should that be "The Palo Alto High Density Advocate"? Or "Daniel DeBolt's Mountain View"?


5 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Below are the scores from the neighborhood based Mountain View Coalition for Sustainable Planning (MVCSP), I abbreviate parts not to mislead, but to make it easier to read in this format, copy of the full questionnaire can be found at Web Link I recognize that their scores are subjective, and the candidate responses would be more useful, but since I am not affiliated with the group, and merely an admirer of their work, I do not have access to that.

Housing Avail, Biking/Waking, Carbon Footprint, Water, Diversity
Siegel 16, 19, 19.5, 14, 20
Rosenberg 20, 17, 20, 19, 12
Unangst 12, 13.5 , 14, 19, 12
Showalter 16, 14, 15, 20, 8.5
Capriles 16, 13, 17, 11, 9
Kamei 12, 12, 12, 9.5, 6
(no response was given by Lisa Matichak, Mercedes Salem, and Jim Neal)

A similar set of questions were created by a regional walk and bike group, there you can find the candidates' direct responses. All candidates except Lisa Matichak responded to their survey found here
Web Link

I recently discovered an article about our city’s election by Ms. Janet Lafleur, whom I don’t know, but I have immense respect for having put to words so articulately a view quietly shared by many in Mountain View. A thoughtful read for anyone who is thinking about our city’s future regardless or not if they reach the same conclusion as Ms. Lafleur. Her article
Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Chris Chiang -- I did not reply to the MVCSP survey because it would have taken several days for me to adequately address all the questions in the format that they requested, and given the fact that we had 5 forums in 5 days, plus the fact that I attend all the Council and EPC meetings, and still have to find time for my campaign. I have received almost 100 surveys in the last 2 months and have responded to those that I can answer in less than 2 hours.

I think you will recall that I tried to arrange time with you to discuss your ideas on micro-housing, and left several messages for you, but you were too busy. I didn't read anything into that other than your schedule is probably as busy as mine. As a matter of fact, I even talked about your idea at several forums ( giving due credit to the fact that it was your idea ) and told people that I would like to study it further because it could be integrated as part of a common sense solution to our housing problem.

If people want to know where I stand on the issues for the MVCSP, they can visit my website and watch the videos there, read posts that I have written or commented on here in the Voice, or go to the City Council Videos on the city's site.


Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council

P.S. I would still love to talk with you about your idea for micro-housing and the areas of town where it might be used.


3 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 26, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Update: all 9 candidates now have their questionnaires to the local walk and bike advocacy group posted: Web Link

Thank you Ms. Matichak and all the candidates for completing these questionnaires. It's been said that there is nearly a hundred surveys the candidates have been asked to fill out.

I think many residents would appreciate anyone sharing the results of as many of these as possible. With nine capable and diverse candidates, this info can be very useful.


5 people like this
Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 27, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Disappointed by MV Voice recommendations = 2 status quo guys and a token woman? Puleeeze.

Whenever will it be 2 progressive women and a token guy?


3 people like this
Posted by Greg Coladonato
a resident of Slater
on Oct 27, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Greg Coladonato is a registered user.

@ Maher, FYI:

2010: Web Link
2008: Web Link
2006: Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Andrew Kloak
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 27, 2014 at 3:15 pm

2014 is a time of deep discernment about our leadership in Mountain View. We have to mobilize a plan to deal with the drought. Be ready for economic and psychological impact when the next inevitable earthquake hits. Deal with the divisions in income inequality. And craft a plan to deal with increasing traffic and explosive growth.

Right now the only one that reached out to me is Ellen Kamei. She will have my vote because I believe she is thinking about those issues. Matichak sounds like an intriguing candidate and a deeper think about the issues. Then I'm undecided about my third pick.

Our city has the need to for a Mountain View voters


5 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 27, 2014 at 3:43 pm

@Andrew Kloak

Please can you share exactly what Ellen Kamei proposes to solve the problems you listed above? Hare very important topics that for some reason were never discussed during the forums, and are not listed in Ellen web site or in the flyers that i received from her, it would really be help full for me to have this info in order to make my final decision about voting for her as my third choice, i have already the other two, Lisa Matichak and Jim Neal.


8 people like this
Posted by No on Kamei
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Ellen Kamei needs to accept responsibility for her own actions and not blame the consequences of her actions (or in-actions) on others.

For example, if I begin to turn left in my car without checking to see if someone is in the lane next to me, I won't tell people I was hit from behind, I'll say I turned into someone else and I'll CERTAINLY not try and pass the blame to the victim in this case.
If I did check and someone was close enough to hit me, I would have easily seen them and been able to avoid the accident I was about to cause. I also may have had ear-buds in, so that's also on me if that was the case.

You can learn a lot about a candidate's real core values by a simple passing conversation.


7 people like this
Posted by Root them out
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 30, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Reading the names and the behaviors above as well as the amount of money being pushed into our CC race from Real estate developers and their related groups is disturbing.
The only way they get their money back is through aggressive developments.
I've already taken note of these folks and put them on my beware/danger list.


6 people like this
Posted by Omar Chatty
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Lisa Matichak is the only one who seems to have the smarts to understand that BART Around the Bay, that is, up the Peninsula from its upcoming San Jose Downtown station to the existing SFO/Millbrae stations is the smartest, best way to not only provide (legally required) grade-separations, zero (0) traffic congestion (think Castro, Rengstorff, etc), reach into the lower cost East Bay housing communities (it doesn't ALL have to be in Mountain View city limits!!!), and safer, less suicide-prone) electrification, while stopping the enormous boondoggle of HSR by using the outdated, deadly Caltrain ROW. HSR can come to SJ then go up toward Oakland (then Sacto?) just as Amtrak does today (Amtrak doesn't go up the Peninsula). Note that, as Jerry Brown admitted on CBS' Face The Nation in 2012, "I've been working to bring High Speed Rail to California for 30 years". Indeed, Caltrain was initially funded for 3 years by JB's administration in 1982, thus, all the deaths on its deadly street level tracks, especially since 2000 when both Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties voted for BART--and to tax themselves for it, BART should have been planned up the Peninsula to move more people, more efficiently, safer, with higher farebox recovery, and reduce car traffic from those who could take BART. Note that both Palo Alto and M.V. voters approved the additional 2008 BART tax by over 2/3 majorities, although no specific mention was made of BART coming up the Peninsual beyone Santa Clara University (yet!). Fight for BART Around The Bay, real transit, better traffic demand management and housing options with less MV street congestion--Lisa Matichak seems best. I am not connected to her campaign at all but read her MV Voice interview last week where she mentioned BART.


7 people like this
Posted by Curious Observer
a resident of Jackson Park
on Nov 3, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Curious Observer is a registered user.

Your endorsements just convinced me who not to vote for. I'll be taking a closer look at those you didn't endorse. Thanks for helping me narrow down my choices!


7 people like this
Posted by ME
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 3, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Lisa Matichack has my vote. I know Lisa as a neighbor and president of the Wagon Wheel Neighborhood Association and have found her to be smart, hard-working, honest, and dedicated to improving Mountain View in the most responsible way. I have been a resident of Mountain View for twenty years and want a city council who can represent the majority of its citizens. I know that Lisa does her homework and will work hard to represent us!


5 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Nov 4, 2014 at 5:48 am

Spreadsheet of Major Endorsements for all 9 Candidates:
Web Link

Mountain View has a history of very close elections, consider that in 2004 105 vote was the difference, in 2006 296 vote was the difference.

Mail in ballots can be dropped off at any polling place or drop off location, list here Web Link Whoever you support, rock the vote!


5 people like this
Posted by Curious Observer
a resident of Jackson Park
on Nov 4, 2014 at 6:25 am

Curious Observer is a registered user.

Jim Neal is getting my vote because he uses public transportation (unlike the other candidates who say "Do as I Say Not as I Do".) and because he's not backed by big money.


6 people like this
Posted by Lilly
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 4, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Neal will be getting my vote too! Not just because of his integrity, but also because of the shameful way that the voice has treated him. I just read what he wrote about the trick that the voice used to avoid putting his comments in their paper and I think it's despicable! They also deleted one of his articles even though their "terms" don't say anything about political speech by candidates.

If you look at the people the voice endorsed, they are all neck deep in special interests and the voice only let us know at the very end of the campaign after many people have already voted!

I hope that Neal gets elected so we can show the special interests and the voice that WE, the residents, control Mountain View and not the special interests and biased newspapers!


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