News

Guest opinion: Keep it civil: Don't vandalize campaign signs

I have always loved the political signs that come out before elections. Colorful signs with upbeat messages illustrate how many people are willing to step up to run for public office. That's a positive thing in our democracy. When I was a kid in Virginia, most had to do with federal elections. Here most signs are about local elections.

So seeing the vandalism of John Inks' signs really bothers me. In elections, we are supposed to be able to talk civilly about what we care about in our community. Perspectives always differ, but it's good to have the issues identified and hear how people feel about them. Having a civil dialogue during the election is healthy. There are many things that intelligent people do not agree on.

This vandalism is just mean. It turns John Inks into someone who is being picked on, someone who isn't being treated properly. For most of us, that causes us to feel sorry for him. And of course, that is likely to translate into more people voting for John Inks. Somehow, I doubt that was the desired outcome of the tagger.

I want this election to be about the major issues that are facing our community, like housing in the North Bayshore, traffic reduction, the best way to solve the RV issue and how we are going to meet our greenhouse gas emission goals. I don't want it to be about petty things like who defaced whose signs.

So tagger, whoever you are, knock it off. Put your paint can away. Please channel that energy into positive stuff that you can do in the daylight. Write a letter to the editor, precinct walk for a candidate you do support or volunteer for a local charity.

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One of the things that has characterized Mountain View politics over the years is a high level of civility. As someone who attended council meetings and other community meetings at a variety of cities in the course of doing my job, I can tell you this is not the case everywhere. At our council meetings, people are treated cordially. Whether you are speaking during public comment, testifying about a specific item or one of the council members, you get to have your say without anyone calling you names or making fun of you. On the rare occasions when people break our custom of civility, they are asked to speak with respect. It usually works. The payoff of this custom of civility is all around us. Think of all the things that Mountain View has been able to accomplish.

I have asked all the candidates who are running for City Council to sign this editorial and they all agreed. We condemn the vandalism of campaign signs. They are part of our First Amendment right of free speech. Let's do what's right for Mountain View! Let's make this election about the issues.

Pat Showalter is a City Council member running for re-election this November along with incumbent Lenny Siegel and candidates Alison Hicks, Ellen Kamai, Lucas Ramirez and former council member John Inks.

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Guest opinion: Keep it civil: Don't vandalize campaign signs

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Tue, Sep 11, 2018, 10:37 am

I have always loved the political signs that come out before elections. Colorful signs with upbeat messages illustrate how many people are willing to step up to run for public office. That's a positive thing in our democracy. When I was a kid in Virginia, most had to do with federal elections. Here most signs are about local elections.

So seeing the vandalism of John Inks' signs really bothers me. In elections, we are supposed to be able to talk civilly about what we care about in our community. Perspectives always differ, but it's good to have the issues identified and hear how people feel about them. Having a civil dialogue during the election is healthy. There are many things that intelligent people do not agree on.

This vandalism is just mean. It turns John Inks into someone who is being picked on, someone who isn't being treated properly. For most of us, that causes us to feel sorry for him. And of course, that is likely to translate into more people voting for John Inks. Somehow, I doubt that was the desired outcome of the tagger.

I want this election to be about the major issues that are facing our community, like housing in the North Bayshore, traffic reduction, the best way to solve the RV issue and how we are going to meet our greenhouse gas emission goals. I don't want it to be about petty things like who defaced whose signs.

So tagger, whoever you are, knock it off. Put your paint can away. Please channel that energy into positive stuff that you can do in the daylight. Write a letter to the editor, precinct walk for a candidate you do support or volunteer for a local charity.

One of the things that has characterized Mountain View politics over the years is a high level of civility. As someone who attended council meetings and other community meetings at a variety of cities in the course of doing my job, I can tell you this is not the case everywhere. At our council meetings, people are treated cordially. Whether you are speaking during public comment, testifying about a specific item or one of the council members, you get to have your say without anyone calling you names or making fun of you. On the rare occasions when people break our custom of civility, they are asked to speak with respect. It usually works. The payoff of this custom of civility is all around us. Think of all the things that Mountain View has been able to accomplish.

I have asked all the candidates who are running for City Council to sign this editorial and they all agreed. We condemn the vandalism of campaign signs. They are part of our First Amendment right of free speech. Let's do what's right for Mountain View! Let's make this election about the issues.

Pat Showalter is a City Council member running for re-election this November along with incumbent Lenny Siegel and candidates Alison Hicks, Ellen Kamai, Lucas Ramirez and former council member John Inks.

Comments

Reader
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2018 at 11:57 am
Reader, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2018 at 11:57 am
8 people like this

You can turn the argument on its head — to wit:

Perhaps John Inks, or an ally of his, vandalized Inks' election sign so that Inks can appear to be a victim of his political enemy or enemies?


@Reader
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2018 at 1:16 pm
@Reader, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2018 at 1:16 pm
76 people like this

With the vitriolic comments that have been directed at John Inks from people posting on this site, I would believe more that it came from people who oppose him than from people who support him.


Stop the RV slums
Old Mountain View
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm
Stop the RV slums, Old Mountain View
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm
72 people like this

Look at the comments on the candidates in other Town Square threads. Just look!

HUNDREDS of people support INKS because he is a candidate who offers to deal with the RV problem we have in town.

The truth is we really DO NOT WANT RV'S on the streets. The poor campers don't even own the RVs that are supplied by richer slumlords. Yes - if these RVs were regulated the owners would be shamed for exploiting the poor. But they get away with it because of a few council members who need to go get a real job - now, please!


Carrying a can of pink paint
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:21 pm
Carrying a can of pink paint, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:21 pm
19 people like this

I may not stop a sign vandal, but he'll be easy to spot if I ever see him/her doing it.


ShorelineWestDude
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:27 pm
ShorelineWestDude, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:27 pm
59 people like this

Get rid of the ugly disgusting RVs in our neighborhoods!

This never would have been tolerated in Mountain View in the past.

For some reason we are catering to this blight today due to... what reason?

some sort of socialist liberal agenda ?

I suppose the liberal democrats (not to mention the neo-marxist mayor) on the city council don't live in this neighborhood.

Last night i was walking my dog on Shoreline and there was discarded food and all kinds of trash strewn all over the benches on Shoreline next to the RVs and parked cars.

This is just one such instance.

How long are we going to allow bleeding-heart liberal democrats to retain power in our town? They are destroying our communities.

If you are sick of putting up with this and other insanity, It's time to start walking the precincts!


ShorelineWestDude
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:32 pm
ShorelineWestDude, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:32 pm
17 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


INKS = No RVs!!!
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:37 pm
INKS = No RVs!!!, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:37 pm
82 people like this

PLEASE vote for this guy! He's the only one who actually cares about our concerns with the out of control RV issue.

Those on the council who have continually turned a blind eye to our concerns about this are about to realize their mistake for ignoring the issue.

For many this is a single issue election and it's ALL about the RVs.

GET OUT AND VOTE! Vote INKS!


@Dude
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:54 pm
@Dude, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2018 at 2:54 pm
17 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


@@Dude
Cuernavaca
on Sep 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm
@@Dude, Cuernavaca
on Sep 11, 2018 at 3:14 pm
24 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


psr
Registered user
The Crossings
on Sep 11, 2018 at 3:34 pm
psr, The Crossings
Registered user
on Sep 11, 2018 at 3:34 pm
55 people like this

The tagging of ANY sign is disgusting, but I don't find it surprising.

When the answer to losing an election is "Resist the winner. They are evil and those who support them are evil too because they don't think like we do." rather than, "We lost. What in our message and platform doesn't resonate with people?" then this is the result. It is sad that people are so small-minded that they can't respect a difference of opinion. To disagree is fine, but the vitriol is pointless.

As to Ms. Showalter's piece, I agree that he might get more votes, but not because anyone feels sorry for him. John Inks has walked my neighborhood, stood on my doorstep and answered questions about issues in the city and what he would do about them. I voted for him last time and I will vote for him again. After he was elected, he did exactly as he said he would do, and that is why I will vote for him again.

The same cannot be said for Ken Rosenberg, who was the other candidate to stand on my doorstep and answer questions. When asked about his stance on the plan for the VTA to take a lane of El Camino and use it solely for buses, Rosenberg said he would vote against it. He was elected and, when the time came to keep that promise, he turned his back on the people of this city and voted to hand a lane over to the VTA. Why do I mention that here? Because Ms. Showalter did EXACTLY the same thing - said one thing to get elected, then did the opposite once in office. I will never vote for either one of them again. Blatant lies are a sure way to lose my vote. That is far more effective and cheaper than a can of spray paint

So how about we allow ALL the voices to be heard and let the people decide? That was how things worked for decades in this country and it's how it should work now. If you lose, do what the losing side did for years. Lick your wounds quietly, rethink what you are doing and why it isn't working and wait for another chance to convince people. Until then, voice your concern in a civil manner and understand that people acting like toddlers when faced with opposition should learn that we don't always get what we want in life.


longtime resident
Slater
on Sep 11, 2018 at 3:44 pm
longtime resident, Slater
on Sep 11, 2018 at 3:44 pm
44 people like this

Mr. Ink now has my vote. Thanks to the vandals, I looked him up to learn more about him and what he stands for and I'll be sure to remember his name on election day.


Name hidden
Bailey Park

on Sep 11, 2018 at 3:47 pm
Name hidden, Bailey Park

on Sep 11, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Name hidden
Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Sep 11, 2018 at 3:59 pm
Name hidden, Another Mountain View Neighborhood

on Sep 11, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


ShorelineWestDude
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Sep 11, 2018 at 4:03 pm
ShorelineWestDude, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Sep 11, 2018 at 4:03 pm
13 people like this

INKS has my vote!

@@dude... that's exactly what the mayor is...look at his history... does the truth bother you brother?

and just how would you characterize our present city council? i believe they are mostly democrats... should we soften it up and just say "misguided liberal democrats" just to make you feel better?

This is a full blown political war in case you havn't realized it yet.


resident_james
Cuesta Park
on Sep 11, 2018 at 4:05 pm
resident_james, Cuesta Park
on Sep 11, 2018 at 4:05 pm
52 people like this

I'd like to vote for city council members that are against rent control and would take actions against the RVs... yet not pro-Trump. Which are good candidates?


@@Dude
Cuernavaca
on Sep 11, 2018 at 4:15 pm
@@Dude, Cuernavaca
on Sep 11, 2018 at 4:15 pm
15 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Old Time MV Resident
Old Mountain View
on Sep 11, 2018 at 5:49 pm
Old Time MV Resident , Old Mountain View
on Sep 11, 2018 at 5:49 pm
34 people like this

If you want the RVs to stay DO NOT vote for Pat Showalter, she had a chance to help the RV situation and she voted to keep them on the streets! We need counsel members that remember whom they work for, the residents of Mountain View. Not to vote with some sort of agenda. Let's vote in candidates that will clean up our streets and so we can have a clean livable MV again!


YES ON INKS
Rex Manor
on Sep 11, 2018 at 7:50 pm
YES ON INKS, Rex Manor
on Sep 11, 2018 at 7:50 pm
35 people like this

INKS IS OUR MAN...OF THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE.

The others are self-serving ideologues with the same party agenda for the RVers and others who are not of or for our community but merely here to take advantage of our community and those of use who struggled to gain a foothold in Mountain View through many personal sacrifices.

INKS IS GENUINE AND REAL NICE GUY WHO WORKS HARD...THAT'S WHY I'M VOTING OF INKS!


Mike
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Sep 12, 2018 at 1:10 am
Mike, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Sep 12, 2018 at 1:10 am
4 people like this

Sure. Don't deface signs. They are so informative. Take "John Inks" for instance. Inks must be for tattoos. Tats for everyone. And "John" What's a John? A toilet? A customer? Better than Showalter. Sho-walter what? How to talk out of both sides of a mouth? And who is Walter anyway? Siegel. Must have flown in with a storm. What does a Siegel eat? Anything it can get in its big mouth. Signs. Wasn't that a movie? Anybody see any crop circles in Mountain View? Are RVs the same thing?


Mike Laursen
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Sep 12, 2018 at 7:49 am
Mike Laursen, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Sep 12, 2018 at 7:49 am
33 people like this

I have known John Inks for a long time, and I can say that he is a no-nonsense person who has always been involved in the community, and genuinely cares about about making sure his home town is governed responsibly.

I don’t think he is “pro-Trump” but even if he were it wouldn’t affect how he serves s a city councilman. He isn’t trying to push some bigger political agenda nor using the position as a stepping stone to higher office. It seems that one of the reasons he came out of political retirement to run again is that he wants to counter what he sees as a trend in council person so using the position to advance bigger political agendas.


Silly
Bailey Park
on Sep 12, 2018 at 8:25 am
Silly, Bailey Park
on Sep 12, 2018 at 8:25 am
29 people like this

@resident James - What on earth does a city council position have to do with Trump? We hardly need to bring partisan politics into this little city council race. Vote for somebody that will improve conditions in MV. Period.


@@Dude
Cuernavaca
on Sep 12, 2018 at 9:19 am
@@Dude, Cuernavaca
on Sep 12, 2018 at 9:19 am
1 person likes this

No, Mike, he came out of retirement to try to repeal rent control and push his far-right libertarian agenda. He filed the repeal petition, he recorded a video for their campaign, and look at who's funding his campaign. He's in the pocket of developers who want get rich off the backs of the poor.


@ @@Dude
North Bayshore
on Sep 12, 2018 at 9:35 am
@ @@Dude, North Bayshore
on Sep 12, 2018 at 9:35 am
27 people like this

To @@Dude:

You do not know John Inks.

You do not know even his basic principles, that are founded on the US Constitution.

I will vote for Inks because he believes in Mountain View and in the US Constitution, and not the rhetoric you espouse as free speech to the detriment of all, except yourself.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2018 at 10:27 am
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 12, 2018 at 10:27 am
1 person likes this

My humble observation:

The best way to manipulate the voters, as proven with history, is to ARRANGE it so it APPEARS that you are subject to a WITCH HUNT by your opposition.

Simply put, there is no evidence indicating who was involved with these acts. There is equal likelihood that those wanting to paint John Inks as a victim are involved.

I see no problem putting video webcams up at these locations so that evidence can be acquired. I DO NOT SUPPORT VANDALISM NOR DAMAGE TO PUBLIC PROPERTY. These signs are public property

That’s All.


Otto_Maddox
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Sep 12, 2018 at 11:52 am
Otto_Maddox, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Sep 12, 2018 at 11:52 am
2 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or off topic]


ShorelineWestDude
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Sep 12, 2018 at 2:42 pm
ShorelineWestDude, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Sep 12, 2018 at 2:42 pm
26 people like this

Fact:
never mentioned Trump.

Fact:
You don't need to be a Trumpster to vote for John Inks.

Fact:
whatever you want to call the lenient "inclusive" policies in this so called "freedom city" town, you dont need to look far to see the results... the blight of the RVs and their supporting vehicles is just one glaring example.

and I don't care if @dude continues to try to demonize me as "unhinged"
(as is a popular tactic of the liberal progressive left).
I'm surprised he hasn't called me racist yet.

Fact:
If the council didnt want property values and rents to increase, they should not have kissed the collective butts of Google and others for the last few years
to line the pockets of their friends and the city coffers.

Funny, they are still jacking up the prices of city services even with all that cash coming in (another reason rent costs are going up).

John Inks is the last hope this time around to bring some sense and balance to the city government which has tilted radically to the left in recent years.


School is out
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2018 at 2:59 pm
School is out, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2018 at 2:59 pm
67 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


private property
Cuesta Park
on Sep 13, 2018 at 10:43 am
private property, Cuesta Park
on Sep 13, 2018 at 10:43 am
6 people like this

@The Business Man - I believe that the municipal code of the city is about PRIVATE PROPERTY (political campaign signs) that is allowed to remain on PUBLIC LAND (owned by the City) for a limited number of months before an election, and a limited number of days after an election. The PRIVATE PROPERTY (the signs) then have to be removed by their owners (must be marked on the signs).

For small signs the cost is not really much of an issue, but Max Signs (16 Sq Ft) can actually cost a bit to make and install. PRIVATE PROPERTY allowed for a limited time on PUBLIC LAND.

Signs that are not marked by the owner are in danger of being removed by the city streets dept. and held for their owner to claim. (also in the municipal code)


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 13, 2018 at 7:43 pm
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 13, 2018 at 7:43 pm
3 people like this

Private Property:

Thank you. My thought was that the First Amendment does allow any candidate to put up a sign without threat of vandalism

I have great problems with John Inks as a politician. BUT HE HAS THE RIGHT TO PUT UP A SIGN AND NOT HAVE IT DAMAGED.

I will not be surprised if those I have had disagreements with during this last year will finally understand that my approach has always been to address the topic.

His comments made in public and on his website MeasureVTooCostly do express a person wanting to substitute reality with his own point of view on the public. That simply means that the public needs to be very careful regarding who will represent them in the City government.


Polomom
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Oct 21, 2018 at 3:17 pm
Polomom, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Oct 21, 2018 at 3:17 pm
5 people like this

Web Link
Vandal on camera


Greg David
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm
Greg David, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 22, 2018 at 2:33 pm
13 people like this

Why did the Voice just scrub all the Town Square comments about the sign vandalism?

Why have they not updated their story to reflect the information provided by MVPD, that Job Lopez has been cited for vandalism?

Why does it seem they are trying to whitewash this story?


Mike
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Oct 22, 2018 at 9:01 pm
Mike, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Oct 22, 2018 at 9:01 pm
Like this comment

The story has now been updated and is already OLD NEWS. JLo is not a candidate. I really did like her, though, in the movie "ENOUGH."


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