News

Prop. 10 becomes litmus test in council race

 

For a Mountain View City Council race in which many candidates hold similar positions, Proposition 10 is driving a sharp wedge into the field.

The state ballot measure, which would rescind restrictions on rent control under the Costa-Hawkins law, is turning into a sort of litmus test for candidates in the Nov. 6 election.

Mountain View is no different -- at an event last week, the six candidates in the City Council race were asked to state their positions on Proposition 10. Candidates Pat Showalter, Lenny Siegel, Alison Hicks and Ellen Kamei each affirmed their support, while candidate John Inks declared his opposition.

The surprise of the night was Lucas Ramirez, who championed Mountain View's rent control measure in 2016, but said he couldn't support Proposition 10. While rent control was helping protect residents from displacement, expanding it to all housing would have a chilling effect on new residential construction, Ramirez explained.

"I'm inclined to think that subjecting new development to rent control could remove the economic incentive to build," he said. "I think that would make it a challenge to address the long-term housing crisis."

The backlash was swift and fierce. Rent control advocates engaged in a heated debate over whether they should continue supporting Ramirez. Mountain View Tenants Coalition spokesman Steve Chandler described a "blizzard" of discussion following the meeting from people who were seizing on the issue.

"It's embarrassing for supporters of Lucas to hear that he doesn't support local control," he said. "I'm hearing from people who say they would've voted for him, but they certainly won't now."

Ramirez's defenders pointed to his past advocacy for rent control, and they argued that rival camps were fueling the issue to chip away at his support. In comments to the Voice, Ramirez pointed out that his concern about rent control stifling new housing was shared by Siegel, although they differed regarding Proposition 10.

"Rent control protects people who are here now, but we also need to build more housing," Ramirez said. "I wanted to be honest with folks because I have a specific concern on this."

Even if Proposition 10 passes and the Costa-Hawkins law is repealed, there would be no immediate impact in Mountain View. This is because most of Costa-Hawkins' restrictions -- rent control doesn't apply to single-family homes or any units built before 1995 -- are included in the city's rent control law. Any significant changes would require another ballot initiative, or perhaps legal action.

Comments

47 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 11, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Rent control hurts renters and makes it harder to maintain property. Single family homes should be exempt. Vote no on Prop 10.


21 people like this
Posted by Gavin Newsom says NO!
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 11, 2018 at 2:32 pm

Hey, Liberal's, the next governor of California-Gavin Newsom says he does not support Prop. 10. He will vote NO!

Go chew his ear off about that, or are you still going to vote for him?


39 people like this
Posted by Gavin Newsom says No!
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 11, 2018 at 2:42 pm

The reason why Rameriz does not support Prop. 10 is because the Democrat party wants to push him up to higher office. 2 years ago they tried to push him straight to the Mtn.View city council with no experience at all. He is to young, never been thru a recession as an adult and has no idea on how to handle a budget in a recession, let alone millions of dollars for the city budget.

He will make decisions based on what will get him up to higher office and not necessarily what is best for the residents of the city.

He should, IMHO, stay at the planning department and get some experience before running for city council.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2018 at 3:30 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

inst Prop 10 is because it removes the legislature and the city governments from being able to prohibit rent control. It requires the VOTERS to decide to PROHIBIT rent control.

It takes a very strong leader to let go of some power to those they govern. In fact the old story is that the indian cheif has to clean out chamber pots becasue he is the leader.

I am impressed that the candidates the supported Prop 10 did so so strongly.


8 people like this
Posted by Fact check...
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 11, 2018 at 3:33 pm

Fact check... is a registered user.

Lucas supported Measure V in 2016. Measure V was a strong indication of his values in supporting a humane city.
How he personally votes on Prop 10 will in no way affect my personal support for Lucas. FTW, Lucas, FTW!


32 people like this
Posted by Vote For Inks
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 11, 2018 at 9:41 pm


I'm voting for JOHN INKS because he doesn't go with the party platform and challenges the assumptions and analysis as any engineer will do.

VOTE FOR JOHN INKS IN ORDER TO SAVE MOUNTAIN VIEW.


10 people like this
Posted by Alex M.
a resident of Willowgate
on Oct 11, 2018 at 10:21 pm

I'm voting for any candidate who supports projects to build housing that people can actually OWN instead of rent. Vibrant communities come from owners, folks who have a stake in their city, not renters. I'm tired of the City Council rubber-stamping any new rental housing proposal that comes along.

Sadly, the candidates have been silent on this point. If the City Council would focus more on increasing home ownership, things like Prop 10 and Measure V would be irrelevant.


3 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 5:52 am

Tom is a registered user.

The story implies that only Lenny Siegel supports Prop. 10. Why doesn't the reporter just ask each candidate directly. Any candidate that waffles on a clear issue should receives NO VOTES. PIN THEM DOWN - TIME IS RUNNING OUT. VOTING HAS BEGUN.


10 people like this
Posted by @Tom
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2018 at 6:44 am

"Candidates Pat Showalter, Lenny Siegel, Alison Hicks and Ellen Kamei each affirmed their support, while candidate John Inks declared his opposition."

Not sure how much clearer this can be


2 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 12, 2018 at 10:01 am

Tom is a registered user.

Wow. Late night I missed that. A surprise there. How did Showalter, Kamei and Hicks vote on Measure V? Showalter was against Measure V before election day. Is any candidate except Inks for the Measure V repeal petition that another story suggests will qualify for the ballot in 2020?


10 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of another community
on Oct 12, 2018 at 10:13 am

What's wrong with this picture? Right now at Mt. View High Econ 1 classes, a required subject rent controls are being taught to be a bad idea (the number one lesson plan in economics). After a while about two thirds of people forget this. Think equilibrium. With "affordable housing" units costing around 600K each how many "affordable" units can be built in one of the most expensive land rents on the face of the earth? There is a simple and direct way housing can be almost immediately built in Mt. View. I'll be talking to the council after the election. Meanwhile, I nominate John Inks to be Mt. View's conservator. George Drysdale a social studies teacher


Like this comment
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2018 at 9:50 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

I just read the revisions for the rent adjustments considered by the RHC for this meeting on Monday.

Just to assume that individual rents will be allocated rent increases alone, not spreading to the entire apartment building. It looks VERY good for renters on 2 fronts.

If the RHC adopts that the HUD FMR Standards will be the standard, the regulations will be that if your rent is below the HUD FMR you are entitled to ONLY the HUD FMR and not any arbitrary rent. For example if one is paying $1,393 month on rent on a single bedroom, the HUD FMR for Mountain View is $1,480. The landlord would only be entitled to raise the rent to $1,480 a difference of only $87. Then from that point on only the AGA would be applicable. MY APARTMENT LANDLORD IS PETITIONING FOR $2,300 A MONTH FOR MY UNIT. HE WILL NEVER GET IT UNDER THIS TEST

If the RHC adopts that if the rent paid is within NEGATIVE 2 standard deviations of the HUD FMR, in the case of above the landlord would have to prove that $1,393 is less than NEGATIVE 2 standard deviations of $1,480. I have not been able to find the actual value of the standard deviations of the HUD FMR. But the staff indicated some examples that are probably within a good range. Their letter indicated that say $238.00 is one standard deviation and 2 is $476. That means that in order to qualify for a Vega adjustment the rent collected based on this example would need to be below $1,004 a month to qualify. MY APARTMENT LANDLORD IS PETITIONING FOR $2,300 A MONTH FOR MY UNIT. HE WILL NEVER GET IT UNDER THIS TEST.


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