News

Six square off in heated City Council race

Voter Guide: Two incumbents, four challengers seek to lead city

It's a pivotal time for the city of Mountain View, and the stakes have become abundantly clear in this year's City Council election.

In recent years, Mountain View's leadership has struggled with the difficult balance between aggressively pushing new housing growth in the city while trying to avoid gentrification. A string of important decisions on future city plans have gone forward with a thin majority on the council, which could tip the other way depending on this election.


Ellen Kamei

Allison Hicks

John Inks

Lenny Siegel

Pat Showalter

Lucas Ramirez.
Three seats on the City Council, currently held by Mayor Lenny Siegel and council members Pat Showalter and Ken Rosenberg, are on this November's ballot. Siegel and Showalter are both running for re-election while Rosenberg decided against seeking a second term.

The candidates challenging them are former two-term council member John Inks, planning commissioners Ellen Kamei and Lucas Ramirez, and retired city planner Alison Hicks.

Lucas Ramirez

Age: 30

Occupation: Policy advisor to San Jose Councilman Sergio Jimenez

Education: B.A. Music, Santa Clara University

Years in the city: 30

Website: ramirezforcouncil.com

Mountain View needs to go for broke on building housing, according to Lucas Ramirez. It's the most significant problem facing Mountain View, and the city has already done much of the initial steps of planning for new residential growth.

Ramirez cites housing development plans for North Bayshore, East Whisman, Terra Bella and El Camino Real, where the city is prepping for thousands of new homes, and if elected he wants those plans go through to fruition. It won't be easy or quick, but it's the right thing to strive for, he said.

"This is the best time to add market rate and affordable housing so that we have an opportunity for all people to live in the city," Ramirez said. "I want it to be a desirable place to live and a desirable place to visit. That's very important, but I don't think it will be easy to achieve."

He supported the Measure V rent control law during the 2016 election, and his position hasn't changed. It's a good policy for the meantime to ensure current Mountain View residents aren't displaced, he said. A lot of the envisioned housing won't come online for many years, so rent control provides protection for current tenants.

But it's not perfect, he said. The law did foster a polarized climate pitting landlords against tenants, and he would like to find ways to cool down the tempers over the issue.

"The Rental Housing Committee does need to be as fair as it possibly can be. Governance is a perennial challenge." he said. "How can we implement the law in a way that assures the success of the program while ensuring it's fair and balanced?"

His picks for the Rental Housing Committee would have technical expertise and a sincere interest in making the program work, even if it requires compromise.

He is less enthusiastic about the Measure P business license tax. He supports the measure, but he pinches his nose while doing so.

In crafting the ballot measure, the council seemed to have a predetermined sense of what kind of tax it wanted and how much it should raise, he said. While the business community was included in plenty of discussions, it didn't result in any substantial changes to the measure.

"Sure, you have ample opportunity to give input, but does it mean anything?" Ramirez said. "It felt like there's this juggernaut that's pushing along, there's momentum going in a certain direction, and sure, we can provide input, but it isn't meaningfully influencing where the city is going."

His support for the measure is based on its goals: improving transportation and affordable housing. Ultimately those projects will benefit the companies that pay the most if the tax passes, and the city needs to act in good faith and avoid the temptation to use this money for other purposes, he said.

On the city's homelessness problem, Ramirez wants to expand the safe parking program, particularly by using city property to host dozens of inhabited vehicles. A centralized site such as Shoreline Amphitheatre could help provide residents with access to services and housing programs, he said. It's an interim solution, and it needs to work in tandem with placing people into permanent supportive housing, he said.

"As a community, we need to appreciate the challenge of lifting people out of homelessness," he said. "We need to provide relief to the neighborhoods that are impacted, but also allow folks to transition out of homelessness. That's the significant challenge."

For the city's transportation issues, Ramirez echoes a familiar refrain on the need to improve bicycle and pedestrian routes to discourage solo driving. He supports plans for an automated guideway in concept, but said he wants more evidence that it will be a system that people will actually use.

Alison Hicks

Age: 60

Occupation: Retired urban planner

Education: M.A. city urban planning, University of California at Berkeley

Years in the city: 20 years

Website: alisonhicks4council.org

For Alison Hicks, it seems certain that Mountain View will be experiencing rapid urban growth in the coming years. But if more people and housing are expected to squeeze into the city, how will they get around? Where will these newcomers relax? Which old buildings should be scrapped, and which should be saved?

More than any other City Council hopeful, Hicks is positioning herself as the smart growth candidate, promising she will guide the city growth without jettisoning what people love about Mountain View.

"Mountain View will be growing tremendously, and the big question is: Will we grow well or poorly?" she said. "I'm the one person running for council who will be a strong voice for good growth."

Hicks describes her vision of "smart growth" as protecting public space, and preventing unappealing and uninviting buildings from taking over the city. She wants more "pocket parks," small open spaces that are perfect for a community garden or having a picnic. As a former planner for the city of Oakland, she said she has the expertise to scrutinize how development proposals will shape the area.

Hicks is particularly skeptical of office growth, which she blames for being the source of the city's housing woes. She supports rapid housing growth in areas like North Bayshore, but she said it won't solve the underlying problem.

"We have to be aware that we can't solve housing crisis just by building more housing," she said. "We have this crisis because we have too many jobs here."

Hicks said she supports the city's rent control program, and she says she would appoint Rental Housing Committee members who will implement the law as intended. In regard to the homeless issue, she wants to push Santa Clara County to do more to provide a safe parking site for people living out of their vehicles. Once that is in place, she would support parking restrictions on city streets. While the city needs to do its part, Mountain View shouldn't be obligated to house the northern county's homeless population, she said.

Hicks supports the Measure P business license tax, describing it as a superior way to force large employers like Google to compensate for their citywide impacts. A tax like this is a reasonable measure to pay for needed service for a growing community, she said.

Smaller businesses deserve more protection, and Hicks blamed development for forcing many beloved shops and restaurants to close down. The city could do more, she said, pointing to how the city pushed the Greystar development firm to relocate a handful of business that were displaced for a downtown housing development.

The city needs to improve its communication with residents, especially in regard to building projects, Hicks said. Public notices should cover a wider area, and the city should be investigating new methods for informing the public, such as targeting individual neighborhoods through Nextdoor.

"We're at a turning point in Mountain View," Hicks said. "We have to make sure that what we build that it's something we can proud of for decades."

Ellen Kamei

Age: 34

Occupation: District director for state Assemblyman Marc Berman

Education: B.A. English and Japanese, University of California at Santa Barbara; Masters of Public Administration from University of Pennsylvania.

Years in the city: 26

Website: ellenkamei.com

In a nutshell, Ellen Kamei sees her campaign's impetus (and her base) as Mountain View's so-called "missing middle." These are employed, educated households that in any other circumstances would be firmly on track for a middle-class lifestyle. Yet they can't afford homeownership but make too much to qualify for most subsidized housing. Kamei believes a large segment of Mountain View's population fall into this missing middle group, and she counts herself among them.

"In the conversations I've been having with people, they're either young families who fall into this category, or they're parents who are concerned their children won't be able to move back to the area," she said.

This leads to her pitch: she knows the challenges of the housing crisis personally as well as the policy and political hurdles for fixing it. As a public servant who has worked at the local, state and federal level, Kamei believes she has the right mix of policy experience and know-how to encourage robust housing growth, particularly for more for-sale homes priced for middle-income households.

Amid the push for city growth, Kamei also points to her experience working on four precise plans over her six years on the city's Environmental Planning Commission. She speaks to the concerns of current residents, saying the city needs to preserve its historic character as well as its tree canopy. To better inform the public about proposed developments, the radius for public notices should be expanded to 1,000 feet, she said.

Kamei is less enthusiastic about the Mountain View's rent control program, describing it as an flawed answer to the housing shortage. During the 2016 election, she favored City Council-backed Measure W, the losing alternative to Measure V that lacked teeth but provided more flexibility. If elected, she said she would seek members of the Rental Housing Commission who represent a diversity of viewpoints and who demonstrate that they can collaborate.

Kamei casts a wide net when it comes to addressing the rising concerns about people living out of their vehicles. Everything is on the table and should be explored: case management services, better outreach, safe parking and rehousing programs, among other things. In addition, she suggests the city should look into the parking permit programs implemented in Berkeley and Santa Barbara to restrict where inhabited vehicles can park overnight.

"Obviously, there's no perfect solution, but these are the things I'm exploring," she said. "What I love about Mountain View is our compassion. Even for those who are voicing concerns, it's a question of how can we help those who are living in RVs."

Kamei supports the city's Measure P business license tax update, describing it as a significant step for creating a new transit system. On transportation issues, she touts the city's free shuttle service, largely funded by Google, but she said it would benefit from having more stops. She expressed some skepticism with the City Council's push for an automated guideway system, saying she still needs to be convinced it is the best idea.

"We don't want to build something we think people will want, but they won't use," she said.

Pat Showalter

Age: 66

Occupation: Retired civil engineer

Education: B.S. in geology and history, Mount Holyoke College; M.S. in geotechnical engineering, University of California at Santa Barbara.

Years in the city: 34

Website: patshowalter.com

With her first term coming to a close, Councilwoman Pat Showalter sees much success from her first four years in office. She was elected on a mandate from voters to boost housing throughout Mountain View, and she now sees that effort as paying off as dozens of housing developments move forward.

For her, the challenge now is to weave this oncoming surge of new housing into the fabric of the city. New apartments can't be built in a vacuum; they will need ways for people to travel around and places for children to learn and play.

"No one is saying we should be doing planning wrong," she said. "We can't sacrifice housing for schools, parks and everything else."

Showalter's pitch to voters is to allow her to work on finishing the job. In all likelihood, it will take more than a decade to bring all the envisioned housing online, she admits, but the city needs to begin preparing for all the impacts. She points to her background in engineering for giving her valuable insight on large developments and public works projects.

In the meantime, Showalter counts herself as a reluctant supporter of the city's rent control program as short-term relief for tenants. She wasn't initially a fan. In 2016, rent control advocates perceived her as one of their chief opponents after she put forward an milder rent control measure to compete with Measure V on the ballot. Measure W failed, but Showalter says she has come around.

"I think that right now rent control is doing a lot of good in Mountain View," she said. "But landlords need to make a fair return, and there should be a way to be balanced."

She said that any new members of the Rental Housing Committee should have a proven track records of working well with others, as well as compromising on complicated issues. In particular, she is looking for people who sincerely want to make the program work.

Like most other candidates, Showalter supports the Measure P business license tax increase, describing it as a crucial way to fund needed services. The added cost will not be burdensome on small businesses, she said.

Showalter admits she would benefit from a better understanding of the small business community, especially its new challenges in Mountain View. She like an idea taken up by New York City to give grants to help maintain cherished shops and restaurants.

When it comes to the city's mounting homelessness, Showalter admits that the Mountain View hasn't been doing enough. The city will need to step in and provide some kind of space, such as a unused parking lot, for people living out of their vehicles to camp at, she said. While she hears plenty of complaints, Showalter believes most Mountain View residents truly want to help the homeless.

"Most people here are reasonably compassionate, but they just don't want to be taken advantage of," she said.

Showalter praised Google, calling the tech giant a "good corporate citizen." From her interactions, she believe the company is sensitive to local issues in Mountain View, and often willing to cut a check to help out. It was only recently that city leaders like her learned how best to approach the company with requests. When that request is reasonable, Google is usually willing to help out, such as the $1 million the company donated to the Hope's Corner shelter, she said.

"It really has been an honor to be the mayor and on the City Council. Getting to do this is wonderful," she said. "I'm persistent, I'm pragmatic and I'm progressive, and that's good for Mountain View."

Leonard M. "Lenny" Siegel

Age: 70

Occupation: Director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight

Education: Attended Stanford University

Years in the city: 46

Website: lennysiegelforcouncil.net

After four years on the council and currently serving as mayor, Lenny Siegel said he wants to finish what he started. Since stepping into city government, he helped spearhead plans for thousands of new homes, a downtown transit center and a new automated system for getting around town.

But all of these ambitious plans remain aspirational, and they could be shelved if the wrong candidates get elected, Siegel said. He wants another term to help finish the job, describing it as a proof of concept to inspire nearby cities to follow Mountain View's lead. Even more pressing in this election, he needs a four-person majority on the seven-member council to keep that vision intact.

"On issue after issue we're making progress," he said. "But these goals could go the other way if we don't elect people who share the same vision."

With a second term, Siegel said he wants to prove the city's aggressive push for housing can be a boon, not a sacrifice, to Mountain View residents. He points to housing as a major piece toward solving the jobs-housing imbalance and the daily traffic snarls.

He also emphasizes "quality of life" issues, ensuring that city growth won't jeopardize access to parks, schools and pleasant communities. Despite his reputation as a fervent housing advocate, Siegel came out against state Sen. Scott Wiener's proposal to remove local control on approving apartment projects near mass transit. The bill went against the vision of building new high-quality neighborhoods and it would have eventually backfired, Siegel said.

"We aren't just building housing; we're building neighborhoods," he said. "If we want to build more housing, we have to also plan well and design well, so that what we end up with is something people like."

As the only council member to endorse the city's rent control program when it was on the ballot, Siegel said his support hasn't wavered. Yet he does wish the measure had been more explicit in including mobile homes and protecting rent-controlled apartments from redevelopment. Any future candidates for the Rental Housing Committee should show a sincere desire to make the program work, he said.

Siegel wants to establish some kind of parking lot as a safe living space for the large number of people living out of their cars. He has also asked for a review of the parking regulations throughout the city. This homelessness issue has generated a lot of frustration among residents, but Siegel said most people living on the street are still connected to the community and working local jobs or going to schools.

"Other than the fact that people don't like to see these folks, I consider them an asset to the community," Siegel said. "I'm very disturbed that there are people who are sending me hate mail about this ... it's hostile, like I've gone out of their way to ruin their lives by letting these people stay."

Asked about Google, Siegel said the tech company has done everything right in Mountain View, "except not grow." Small shops and restaurants were hard-pressed to compete, he acknowledged. He suggested the city could help provide transit passes to low-income employees or perhaps help subsidize rents for commercial space.

Siegel is running a shoestring campaign, in part because he has pledged to take no money from anyone aligned with developers, city vendors, major employers or "Russian oligarchs."

"I fight the developers on rent control, but I'm their best friend when it comes to building housing," he said. "I don't want it look like this is because they're giving me money."

John Inks

Age: 69

Occupation: Retired geospace engineer

Education: B.A. in aerospace engineering, Georgia Tech; M.S. in mechanical engineering, Stanford University

Years in the city: 43

Website: electinks.com

Like his colleagues, John Inks views housing as Mountain View's foremost challenge. But for the most part, that's where the similarities end.

A retired aerospace engineer who served two terms on the City Council, Inks sees city policies and fees as stifling the housing supply. Precise plans, building codes and architectural review sometimes end up costing resources and time. Streamlining those steps would be the quickest way to spur new construction, he said.

"Growth is limited now because of housing costs and fees," Inks said. "I just don't see our housing growth to be at the point where it needs to be to meet demand."

Back in 2015, Inks was opposed to the city's aggressive push to foster housing growth in North Bayshore. Housing is now something he said he would support for the neighborhood, but he doesn't like the idea of the city forcing developers to build it.

He hopes to cut the red tape of various regulations, especially Mountain View's rent control program. He cites his opposition to rent control as a catalyst for his seeking a third term, and he has been a chief proponent for pulling back the voter-approved law through a new ballot initiative. Yet if elected, he said he would seek cooperative members for the Rental Housing Committee with backgrounds in city planning or law, regardless of their political positions.

Inks is adamantly opposed to Measure P, the city's proposed headcount-based business tax. He warns that the tax would push small companies in particular to expand elsewhere. In a similar vein, he said one of the best things the city could do to aid small businesses would be to rescind the $15 minimum wage law passed in 2015.

As to the city's ongoing homelessness problems, he believes city staff should be doing less and looking to other agencies to shoulder the costs. Ultimately, Mountain View isn't supposed to handle a "social services function," he said.

"My position is that the city shouldn't subsidize people in the streets," he said. "We shouldn't do anything to encourage this behavior."

He didn't name any specific transportation priorities, but he warned that city officials were overly reliant on expensive consultants.

Comments

90 people like this
Posted by Time to clean out the city council.
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 23, 2018 at 2:28 pm

I believe that the current city council is headed in the wrong direction and it is time that the council members needs to start listening to ALL of the residents.

Vote Yes on
INKS
KAMEI
HICKS

Time for a change!

The other 3 candidates would only be more of the same, if not worse.


61 people like this
Posted by It's about the RVs
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2018 at 2:45 pm

How do we know they'll be a change on street dwelling policy if we vote for them? They all seem to be silent on the issue. Can we get more choices with people who aren't afraid to say "RV's must go"?

No more "Kick the can down the road" politicians needed around these parts. We're already flush with them.


21 people like this
Posted by from MVV
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2018 at 3:02 pm

Inks, who said he had previously been an "urban camper," pointed out that many residents are losing patience with people squatting in their neighborhoods, and he suggested the city needed to stop "subsidizing habits."


4 people like this
Posted by Re-elect only Siegel
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 23, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Re-elect only Siegel is a registered user.

Renters of rent controlled apartment buildings should note that only two candidates for City Council supported rent control Measure V: incumbent Lenny Siegel and Lucas Ramirez. The alternative to Measure V placed on the November 2016 ballot by the pro-landlord City Council (including Pat Showalter) was a scam designed to draw votes away from Measure V. And remember that Showalter supported the VTA's taking the left lanes on El Camino Real for BUSES ONLY - having just told voters otherwise when she ran in 2014.


16 people like this
Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 23, 2018 at 3:11 pm

VOTE FOR the only true independent running for city council, Alison Hicks. She has the skills, the credentials and the smarts to guide our city through the challenges of this massive growth spurt. Plus, she is not beholden to ANY of the money players. Siegel also refuses to sell himself or his votes to big contributors. INKS sold out long ago. So if you really want independent, ethical people making decisions on the city where you live and how livable it will be... Study who has accepted money from whom. Don't vote theory; vote practice.
I worked on Capital Hill for 10 years in my youth, I can spot a phony from a mile away. Watch the body language... or learn how to read it. Go online and find the instruction videos.


25 people like this
Posted by Love my city
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 23, 2018 at 3:47 pm

I too am ready to replace the incumbents. Our city has been for sale to the highest bidder for years now. We have allowed Google and others in the Tech Industry to roll over our Council. The Candidates who believe that Google has been a good corporate citizen are naive. Google created our jobs/housing crisis, our infrastructure crisis, our soon to be resources crisis. Our Council should be demanding Google (with $$$ BILLIONS in assets) do there part to support our city.

Mr Inks states that MV has too many restrictions and cost pressures on development. MV has built more housing than any city on the Peninsula! More housing won’t lower rents. Less offices will.

This term I’m voting for a Candidate with urban design and planning knowledge and experience before it’s too late!


52 people like this
Posted by Focus on today's issues
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2018 at 4:07 pm

Measure V was the issue 2 years ago, it was voted on and passed by the voters.

Measure V has langauge in it that provents any council from changing it.

Only another ballot measure and people passing it can change Measure V.

Stay focused on today's issues.

I, for one will vote for a change and vote them all out. Rameriz is to young and inexperienced to be on the council.


19 people like this
Posted by Cuesta Park Res
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 23, 2018 at 4:12 pm

Cuesta Park Res is a registered user.

Other than supporting ruinous rent control and supporting the incredibly idealistic and ignorant myth of "affordable housing", my next hot button issue is ENCOURAGING AND SUPPORTING economically and mentally "marginal at best" "street people" to infest and clog MV streets with RV's, vans, and even automobiles. As a pragmatist with the future quality of life in MV as my main issue, MV SHOULD STOP WASTING MONEY ON SOCIAL SUPPORT PROGRAMS FOR ANY STREET PEOPLE --- whether living rough, living in tents and huts, or on streets in RV's, vans, and even automobiles. Give them a strong economic incentive to move to other cities who are more generous. MV doesn't need them. It needs productive, responsible residents. MV could learn a LOT from Los Altos' approach to the homeless.


36 people like this
Posted by MV Res
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 23, 2018 at 4:17 pm

MV Res is a registered user.

To follow up on my previous comments:

Vote against anyone who has supported " Socialistic welfare state for all in MV" --- Lenny, Showalter, and Ramirez. That leaves:

INKS
KAMEI
HICKS

They're the "best of the worst". Face up to reality and not blind idealism.


52 people like this
Posted by Angry voter
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 23, 2018 at 4:35 pm

The city is headed in the wrong direction and city policies have contributed to traffic, congestion, and homelessness. Consider the following with your vote:

- Kamei
- Inks
- Hicks

Seigel (incumbent), Showalter (incumbent), and Ramirez are just more of the same.

Thank you and regardless of your beliefs, please vote!


19 people like this
Posted by Another candidate
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Based on name recognition, I suggest Job Lopez as a write- in candidate for city council. He's immoral unprincipled and willing to do anything to have his way. He'd be a fine council member.


18 people like this
Posted by Follow The Money
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2018 at 9:39 pm

I heard from people who attended a recent candidate forum that Pat Showalter stumbled miserably through and -- essentially evaded -- the question about accepting campaign donations from developers. (Clearly, she did.). She's taken a lot of blowback, justifiably, from when she flipped, post-election, on that ridiculous VTA "rapid" bus plan for El Camino but of more immediate concern is developers funding her campaign and what they expect to get from their investments.

Attn. MV residents: Where the candidates' campaign money comes from should be a HUGE factor in who gets our votes!


32 people like this
Posted by @Follow the Money
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2018 at 9:59 pm

You said, regarding Showalter,
"but of more immediate concern is developers funding her campaign and what they expect to get from their investments."

I noticed that Showalther and Siegel vote the same way on developers issues.

So I take it from your post that you also oppose Siegel and Showalther because they vote the same way.


53 people like this
Posted by NOT MY MAYOR
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2018 at 10:03 pm

It’s time for change. Why is it that Lenny Siegel’s full page MV Voice re-election ad and his website make NO mention of safe parking for RV dwellers, an issue he has put at the top of his agenda, an issue he is passionate about? Is he sidestepping this issue in the interest of keeping his seat? Clearly yes! He has yet to go on a ride-along with Mountain View police to see what they’ve seen with the homeless population. Our Mayor won’t engage with MVPD? Council members are not social al workers, they represent ALL residents of Mountain View.

Time for change. KAMEI-INKS-HICKS


38 people like this
Posted by Please Don't Waste Your Votes
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2018 at 9:22 am

A little advice, voters: You don't HAVE to cast three votes. If you vote just for your favorite(s), he/she/they stand a better chance than if you were to "throw in" a vote(s) just to match the number of open seats. In that latter, scenario, by voting for a candidate(s) you may not otherwise support simply because you get three votes, you could be inadvertently pushing your preferred candidate(s) lower in the final tally -- and perhaps out of a council seat.

Think about that before you go to the polls.


32 people like this
Posted by No More Destruction to MV
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 24, 2018 at 12:24 pm

@Angry Voter. Cannot agree more!

Seigel and Showalter are leading our city to destruction. They need to be GONE!!
Ramirez is just more of the same.

Vote for
- Kamei
- Hicks
- Inks


13 people like this
Posted by Love my city
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 24, 2018 at 7:40 pm

I appreciate why several of you reccomend voting for Ellen Kamai and Alison Hicks on November 6th. However, John Inks is a surprise as a third choice.
.
John Inks, who has already had two terms on Council several years ago, is not offering a new vision for MV. Mr. Inks is partially responsible for many of the poor development projects we will now be forced to live with for years to come. Mr. Inks is clearly supporting development of any kind. He believes the market solves all ills.

When we cast our votes for Council Candidates, we must be informed of their past voting records, who is paying for their election and who has the vision and experience to guide our city’s growth into the future? MV deserves to be the best city in California. Our thoughtful votes on November 6th are critical.


24 people like this
Posted by Billy Bob
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 24, 2018 at 11:04 pm

Clearly Siegel and Showalter need to go they are out of touch and dont represent the people who put them in office . Now with Siegels friend Job Lopez vandalizing election signs and new low we need change people .


17 people like this
Posted by No 2 Inks!!!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2018 at 8:45 am

Love my city: Correct. I can't understand how anybody could get behind Inks. His campaign platform, if you can call it that, is packed with tired generalities but short on vision or any understanding of today's Mountain View.

Oh, and let's not forget his highly offensive, if not patently bigoted, statement he uttered recently -- in a public forum, no less! -- about the "cheap Chinese restaurants" downtown. I'm not Chinese but still was offended by that.

Absolutely, no to Inks!


2 people like this
Posted by Inks brought you current developments
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2018 at 9:24 am

When he was last in office Inks was directly responsible for creating the development boom currently going on in MV.

Some may see this as a reason to vote for him, some may see it as a reason not to. The fact remains unchanged so people can now be informed and can vote for how they would like to see MV.


6 people like this
Posted by love my city
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 25, 2018 at 9:30 am

No 2 Inks: Yes, I heard about Mr. Inks unfortunate characterization of our small beloved business owners. It seems Mr. Inks is inspired by the destructive rhetoric that has become so pervasive in this election cycle. He should absolutely apologize. What we need most urgently are Council members that respect and represent ALL of us.


29 people like this
Posted by @love my city
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2018 at 9:46 am

No one has attacked more businesses or business owners than Siegel.

He has such a hatred toward them that he does not need another term in office to "finish that job" as he said.

Being a council member means you represent all the residents here, which Siegel does not.


4 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2018 at 9:55 am

Pretty interesting perspective, @. That means the candidates should represent the RV dwellers, since they are, after all, residents of Mountain View. I wonder where your opinion falls on that matter...


2 people like this
Posted by Too Funny
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2018 at 11:38 am

Define "resident" a person who lives somewhere permanently or on a long-term basis.

I guess Lenny and Pat and the rest of MVCC should make an announcement prior to election-maybe in their campaign material too. "RV residents are here to stay-permanently". You may thank us by voting for us.

Maybe "interloper" is the better term "a person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong"

RV's are in violation of our city ordinances, they are not considered residents, they are considered guests of City Council for the time being. If they are considered residents by MVCC, Council is clearly out of their depth.

#notmyguests, Yes on Inks, no on Siegel and Showalter


18 people like this
Posted by Inks Supporter
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 25, 2018 at 12:09 pm

A lot of inks haters, but they obviously don't know him. Or what he supports. A lot of made up innuendo. Inks is fair minded. A lot of people like his approach to allow individuals the freedom to develop their property within the zoning requirements that are set in the General plan.


4 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 25, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Oh, "Too Funny", thanks for clarifying that you think city council should only represent property owners. Fortunately, not many people agree with you, but I appreciate your candor in setting up different tiers of residents that are entitled to different levels of respect.

I'm about to blow your mind, though: those folks in RVs have the right to vote as residents of Mountain View.


23 people like this
Posted by out the incumbents
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 27, 2018 at 1:36 am

Not sure where this explosion of RVs came from, but I don't recall this many over a year ago. Incumbents have really dropped the ball. Top voting issue.


10 people like this
Posted by No Nimby
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 29, 2018 at 10:34 am

Hello, Lenny Siegel is a NIMBY. I agree with some of his general positions but in practice, he lobbies his neighbors to advocate for what would minimize any impact on his street, without consideration for the impact to surrounding neighbors.


18 people like this
Posted by Lies of omission
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2018 at 2:33 pm


Despite the MV Voice’s clear bias towards certain candidates who appear to share similar agendas that align with that of the editorial board of the Voice. Imho, its unseemly for a newspaper (news organizations, in general) to be so clearly biased in their journalistic ‘reporting’...day after day after day.

It’s been this way for years.

I have attended numerous city council meetings only to be flabbergasted when I read articles published summarizing a particular agenda topics hat was discussed...the facts as selectively reported may have been accurate, but the facts that were NOT reported - omitted - left readers with in an entirely different take on what went down in those meetings. It’s very disappointing to read this kind of reporting on a consistent basis, and as someone who attends council meetings and/watches online regularly...this does happen with relative consistency.

I bring this up simply to remind that this forum, Mountain View Voice, is not objective, nor unbiased. My experience has also been that comments here will be censored, not necessarily for profanity or harassment, but for simply being provocative - in terms of thought provoking.

Please educate yourself about the issues, and vote your conscience.

Above all...please vote.



And, not only that but those who hold


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