News

Editorial: Showalter, Siegel and Ramirez for City Council

 

Mountain View voters have some interesting choices to make on November's ballot. Competing for three seats on the City Council are two incumbents and four challengers.

It's easy to recommend returning Pat Showalter and Leonard "Lenny" Siegel for a second term. Both incumbents have proven to be thoughtful, collaborative and hard-working in their first term. Responsive to constituents and well-prepared at council meetings, they've been careful stewards of the public trust.

But what about that third spot, being vacated by one-term incumbent Ken Rosenberg?

The top contenders are Lucas Ramirez and Ellen Kamei, who are both young, politically savvy local government professionals who have similar positions on most of Mountain View's big issues. They both serve on the city's Environmental Planning Commission. They both back Measure P, which revises the city's business license tax to pay for transportation projects and distributes the tax burden to the biggest companies most responsible for increasing traffic. They both advocate a multi-pronged and supportive approach to grappling with Mountain View's homeless population.

But there are differences between the two candidates. Kamei supports Proposition 10, which would overturn the Costa-Hawkins Act that limits the scope of local rent control laws. Ramirez, to the dismay of his progressive supporters, said he opposes Proposition 10. They both support rent control, though Ramirez was an early backer, and Kamei came around to it later and still has reservations. Both currently support the city's plans for housing growth in key neighborhoods, although Kamei was a vocal opponent of North Bayshore housing during her unsuccessful 2014 campaign for council. Ramirez has the full-throated endorsement of Rosenberg, while Kamei, despite collecting key endorsements from the local Democratic establishment, has drawn skepticism about the sincerity of her positions from those who remember her previous campaign's rhetoric.

While Kamei is a much stronger candidate than she was four years ago, Ramirez has consistently worked to support the issues the majority of Mountain View residents care about, and in our estimation, that gives him the edge in this election.

The Voice recommends Showalter, Siegel and Ramirez for City Council.

First-time candidate Alison Hicks is running to preserve Mountain View's eclectic charm through this period of rapid development via careful urban planning and a big-picture rather than a piecemeal approach to development. It's hard to argue with that goal, and we recommend that she seek appointment to the city's Planning Commission, where her expertise as a city planner could be put to good use.

Former City Council member John Inks is looking to resume his place as the council's lone representative of Libertarian ideals after a two-year hiatus. In his previous two council terms he was a consistent voice for the city's conservative residents but seldom succeeded in winning a majority of the council over to his views. He opposes rent control, Measure P and even the minimum wage, putting him out of step with the majority of Mountain View residents. His response to the city's homeless population lacks compassion as well as understanding, referring to it as a "lifestyle" and a "behavior" that shouldn't be encouraged, rather than a grim choice that our less fortunate neighbors have been forced to make. With so many challenges ahead, Mountain View needs council members with the foresight to find workable solutions, not ones who see government as part of the problem.

Comments

194 people like this
Posted by Mike_
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2018 at 2:09 pm

Mike_ is a registered user.

It is no surprise that the Voice is again endorsing Lenny Siegel for city council.

A story first appeared on Sunday, 10/21/18 that showed a person who was identified and shown on Lenny Siegel's web page as Job Lopez. A tenant activist and Lenny Siegel's friend and supporter for 30 years.This Job Lopez has been cited by the Mountain View Police Dept for vandalizing John Inks signs. What the Voice did was to delete post's, then remove the entire story until the following day, allowing Lenny Siegel to write his own post on this matter. But what was not done by the Voice was to be a reporter and ask questions. Why was Siegel not ask what specific involvement did Lopez have with his campaign? Was Siegel asked if he asked his campaign if anyone had knowledge of this? Did they participate in this? No journalistic questions where asked from the Voice.

We have a current issue in our city where we have an ever growing RV parking problem that has been going on for years. Our city has spent $1.2 MILLION DOLLARS on this issue with no end in site. The Police Chief was asked if they are getting more or less complaints today compared to one year ago, he said he feels like it is more now.

We have current city council members who have instructed the police department to not enforce parking laws against these RV's. We now have Siegel and Showalter who at the last council meeting say they want to open up 3 other blocks of RV parking and expand it, NO enforcement or solutions to end it.

We can not have a city council who disregards the laws and then tells the varies departments to not enforce certain laws. The next step will be if we continue down this road will be tents along the sidewalks, then tarps for people who can not afford tents, then cardboard boxes for shelter. Then,in the name of compassion, we will further allow no enforcement of "Low Level crimes" like property crimes. San Francisco followed this same path and now they are the number one city in all of United States for property crimes. Ask anyone you know how often do they hear about cars having their windows broken in. Is this what we want for our city?
I for one say no and it must end now. If we can not find homes for these people to live in, then the laws must be enforced at this time and if no answers have been found after all this time, then there are no answers.

This conduct by Job Lopez, I believe, reflex's much of what Lenny Siegel believes in, it is just unfortunate that he was caught. Lopez stole signs, spray painted over them and wrote "F.U" on them. I have watched many council sessions with Lenny Siegel sitting on the dais and it is very clear that he can be disrespectful to other council members and to the public who speak up on issues that go against what Siegel wants to do.

Lenny Siegel should not be voted on to return as council member. Mountain View should not be turned into an activist city like Berkeley, which is Siegel's wish.

Pat Showalther is no longer an independent council member. She has been so verbally attacked by the Lenny Siegel-Job Lopez activist camp she no longer contributes to anything while on the council and only supports what ever Siegel wants to avoid conflicts. She does not deserve to be re-elected.


174 people like this
Posted by Mike_
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Mike_ is a registered user.

It is no surprise that the Voice endorses yet again, Mr. Rameriz for city council.

2 years ago they did the same, citing that he was qualified for council as he sits in the audience and listens to the council meetings. I also sit in airplanes while traveling, but that does not qualify me to fly the plane.

Lucas Rameriz formal education is a : B.A. Music, Santa Clara University.

His current Occupation: a Policy advisor to San Jose Councilman Sergio Jimene.
One has to ask what experience does Rameriz have to be a policy advisor?. This appears to be a type of place holder position. Sounds good, but again no actual experience.

Lucas Rameriz age: 30
Very young with no experience to be on a city council.

The Democrat party 2 years ago openly talked about having Lucas Rameriz go straight to the city council, bypassing what most others have done in working on various planning departments, etc, within the city to gain experience and to let citizens see the actual work they have done there.

Why this rush? The party has stated that they want Lucas Rameriz to get too higher state offices. His qualifications? They cited that he is a young, articulate Latino.

Mr. Rameriz, IMHO, is to young to be sitting on the city council that deals with a $300 million dollar budget. He, as an adult, has never lived thru a recession and had to balance his budget during hard times, how can he do that with the city budget in the next recession. He has no other qualifications of any meaning, an advisory board that makes suggestions, not rules that have consequences is meaningless for a track record.

He only ran for the Planning Department after he lost the city council seat 2 years ago.
It would be best for him to stay at that position to gather actual experience first, before running for city council again.

With his ambitions of running for higher state offices, do we really want a council member who will be making decision on what would be best for his political future? I would like to see a candidate who makes decisions that are best for the City of Mountain View first and foremost.


18 people like this
Posted by Longview
a resident of another community
on Oct 25, 2018 at 2:38 pm

Longview is a registered user.

Lucas Ramirez has consistently attended Mountain View City Council and other local and regional policy meetings. He knows the issues broadly and in detail. He has earned the endorsements of the Mountain View Voice, County Supervisor Joe Simitian, and US Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. And he will earn the support of Mountain View again through his service on the City Council.


79 people like this
Posted by Ha!
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 25, 2018 at 4:34 pm

Ha! is a registered user.

Haha! No surprise that the always left-leaning (that's a gross understatement) Voice is endorsing Showalter, Siegel and Ramirez! For the uninformed if you care about your community, vote against anybody the Voice endorses. That's your best bet for getting voices of reason elected.


74 people like this
Posted by Ron MV
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 25, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Ron MV is a registered user.

I find the editorial reasoning on John Inks to be bizarre!

Seriously? He is not on the same party as the other candidates and has a different point of view, so we should not vote for him? I am supporting him PRECISELY because we NEED various points of view to have meaningful discussion and government. I am supporting Lucas Ramirez as well due to his dedication to the position. Even though they are not on the same side of the fence, that is a good thing. Unless you are Job, the activist that seemed to think John's voice needed to be silenced to the point of vandalism and trespassing.


20 people like this
Posted by Vi
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Vi is a registered user.

Thank you! I agree! Showalter, Siegel and Ramirez are the right candidates for the Mountain View City Council.
I will be voting for them, and hope you will be too!


93 people like this
Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 25, 2018 at 5:14 pm

William Hitchens is a registered user.

We're voting against all three. They're crazed Socialists. They support unfettered "affordable housing". They support rent control. They support giving virtually unlimited social services to RV dwellers. This is NOT the way MV should be going. It should be going upscale and not downscale and to least common denominator residents.


114 people like this
Posted by Mike_
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 25, 2018 at 9:09 pm

Mike_ is a registered user.

I would hope that people would stop using words like " Socialists" or 'Liberian Greed" Let's talk about specific issues that we are facing and who can best make the changes we need.

I, for one, feel like this city is headed backwards in time to when we had major complaints being made to our city council and no one was listening to us. In the early 1990's when we started to have the first gangs arriving in our city, you had the Norteno's on the west side of Rengstorff, and the Sureno's on the east side with Rengstorff park as the turf that was fought over between the 2 gangs. Our city council at the time was afraid to tackle this issue no matter how many people complained about it. Being that they where Latino gang's no one wanted to be called a racist for going after them. Only after some new council members came in, thank you still to council woman Mascia, hope I remember your spelling, when we had the first murder from the gangs on Rengstorff street and it made national news where the front page of one paper read Renstorff park is gang central in Mountain View. It took new council members to push the police Dept. to clean this up. It took several years, but it got done.

I do not want a repeat situation where our quality of life is being attacked by people who seem to think that what they are doing is "compassionate". When we have Mom's who are afraid to bring their kids to play at Rengstorff parks playground because of this RV encampment across the street, then our quality of life goes down. San Francisco is full of problems that affect the quality of life there and I hope that we can stop this trend for our city.

Seriously, $1.2 million dollars already spent on this matter of people living in their RV's on our streets? Could we have not found a more productive way if we where going to spend that kind of money to get help-housing for those who truly needed it?

We can do better, I know we can.

But the 3 candidates endorsed by the Voice means nothing will change and only will get worse for us.


11 people like this
Posted by Alex from the South
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 26, 2018 at 2:43 am

Alex from the South is a registered user.

Mike_ , in response to you and your comments about Lucas Ramirez (note last name spelling):

A. There are no airlines that let the public go sit in airplane cockpits. But hey, IF you ever did get to spend many years sitting in the cockpit of a 747 Jumbo Jet next to a plane Captain once a week for 4-6 hour flights taking detailed notes about how they handled the plane & trip from beginning to end, THEN the next time we're both on a flight where the entire flight crew simultaneously dies from sudden heart attacks, you can count on me picking you to be the one to lead us to safety. Hopefully my life never comes to this, but It's just not as fun pointing out your false analogy.

B. Music is complicated as heck! Aren't Mozart and Beethoven geniuses or something?? Wouldn't we want a genius on our City Council?? Or maybe we should just remember that there are many other experiences and qualities that could qualify someone to be on our City Council other than what their college major was.

C. Why do you feel it's a good use of time to wonder what experience Lucas had to become a Policy Advisor? Wouldn't it be better to ask what experience is Lucas GAINING by BEING a Policy Advisor for the 10th biggest city in our Country driving the top economic region in the Western Hemisphere? That's a pretty intense place holder position for anyone not gaining actual experience isn't it??

D. Did you know 52% of the people in the world are under 30 years old? Wouldn’t you say that the majority demographic in the world should probably have some representation in it’s elected government? Alexander the Great was only 20 when he became king and conquered the entire Ancient World, so I’m confident Lucas at 30 can handle the way easier job of municipal policy. And as advice, remember that we’ve decided as a society that using a person's age as qualifying or disqualifying criteria for roles & positions is so dumb and illogically sound that we made it illegal in certain cases. Feel free to do the research on that one if you don’t want to get sued one day :P

E. Maybe the Dem party wants Lucas in City Council now because he’s that good? If you have a rookie who hits 60 home runs in 3 months down in the Minors, is it smart to keep em out of the Big Leagues because other players have worked really hard too? You play the best players you got man. People support Lucas because he’s one of the best candidates. And by the way, his Latino identity DOES make him a better candidate because it adds the views of underserved & underrepresented minorities into the government that represents ALL of us. Isn’t that the whole reason our Founding Fathers chose a Republican government?

F. How in the world do you know Lucas has never balanced a budget in hard times or even good times for that matter? Are you his accountant, or are you dumpster diving his house for bank statements he throws away? Besides -- if Lucas is able to keep living in Mountain View’s crazy expensive rental market just on the pay from a “holder position” job as you called it, then doesn’t that actually mean he must be CRAZY GOOD with money? That guy must really know the value of a dollar and how to make the stretch!

G. It would be best for you to gather facts about Lucas as a candidate first, before making misinformed comments again.

H. I’d really appreciate it if you’d be open to joining me at the next social gathering I will be forced to go to. I usually worry about what people are thinking about me, but given that you know exactly what Lucas’s ambitions and decision making processes are, it’s clear you have mind reading powers! Please hang out with me and tell me what ppl are really thinking about me! It would really help me be less self-conscious, and really just be a kind thing to do.


113 people like this
Posted by John Novakovic
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 26, 2018 at 3:37 am

John Novakovic is a registered user.

Three reasons not to vote for Lenny Siegel:

(1) NO SOLUTION FOR RVs: He and Showalter voted against even discussing the possibility of stricter parking rules when the issue comes back next year. In the past two years, the city has gone from 200 to 500 vehicle dwellers, while spending over a million dollars on ineffective solutions.

(2) NO SOLUTION FOR JOBS/HOUSING IMBALANCE: Lenny talks a good line on the jobs/housing imbalance, but he has repeatedly supported new office projects and the redevelopment of naturally affordable housing that have sent hundreds of Mountain View residents packing. The jobs/housing balance is worse than when he took office. You can't solve the problem by just building lots of luxury apartments.

(3) TRUMP-LIKE BULLYING: Lenny's bullying of fellow council members and those who disagree with him is a bad example to those who aspire for leadership.

On November 6, vote for real change.


109 people like this
Posted by John Novakovic
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 26, 2018 at 3:44 am

John Novakovic is a registered user.

Three reasons not to vote for Pat Showalter

(1) NO SOLUTION FOR RVs: Showalter voted against even discussing the possibility of stricter parking rules when the issue comes back next year. In the past two years, the city has gone from 200 to 500 vehicle dwellers, while spending over a million dollars on ineffective solutions.

(2) EL CAMINO BUS LANE FLIP/FLOP: Showalter promised that she would not vote for exclusive bus lanes on El Camino, but reversed herself and voted for them when elected. Can you trust her?

(3) RENT CONTROL FLIP/FLOP: Showalter was elected as an opponent of rent control, with the aid of massive outside spending by developers and landlords. She now claims to be a rent control advocate. What is her real position?

On November 6, vote for leadership you can trust!


29 people like this
Posted by John Novakovic
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 26, 2018 at 4:03 am

John Novakovic is a registered user.

Three reasons not to vote for John Inks:

(1) THE RICH GET RICHER: Inks opposes reasonable government oversight of development projects, the Measure P business tax, and any other measure that would require those who benefit most from our economy to financially support our community.

(2) THE POOR GET POORER: Inks opposed an increase in the minimum wage, any action to deal with rising rents, and any financial assistance for those struggling in these difficult times.

(3) NO SOLUTION FOR RVs?: While Inks says that he won't use taxpayer money to subsidize those living in RVs, he is strangely silent on the issue of stricter enforcement. Will he simply take a hands-off no-government approach and let the problem grow?

On November 6, vote for leadership that puts Mountain View residents first!


109 people like this
Posted by SIEGEL/SHOWALTER ARE NIMBYS
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 26, 2018 at 7:47 am

SIEGEL/SHOWALTER ARE NIMBYS is a registered user.

I suppose it’s easy for those living near Siegel in old Mountain View and Showalter in Waverly Park to vote for them. No RVs in either neighborhood yet the thousands of residents who deal with this public safety issue presented by growing number of 300 huge vehicles on city streets are called NIMBYS. As long as RVs stay away from the more affluent neighborhoods it’s OK with Lenny and Pat.

The incumbents do NOT represent me, it’s an easy choice KAMEI-INKS-HICKS


86 people like this
Posted by Mike_
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2018 at 10:46 am

Mike_ is a registered user.

@Alex from the South,

Certainly you are entitled to your own opinions. It is unfortunate that you have to twist and contort what I said into something total different.

I am very happy for Mr. Rameriz that he is a "Genius", as you say. What facts do you base that on?

I do not agree with with you, in that asking what qualifies a person for a job is very important to ask. You are saying, no I should only ask what he learns from the job. I do not believe that on the job training is good for the council or for our city.

Can you state how long Rameriz has been working for the San Jose council member, Is it less than a year? Rameriz's name does not appear on the councilman's website in 2017. There is a different person listed under that job title.

Rameriz was 19 years old in the 2007 recession and in school. He was 13 years old in our Valley's Dot.com recession. Simple math will tell you that at that age he could not have any serious income to depend on for a living. For if he had a full time job where that income was his sole income and he got laid off from work and could not find work, what would he do. That is my point when I said he "as an adult, never lived thru a recession and had to balance his budget in hard times" yet, if he was elected as councilman, how can me make any informed decisions on how and where to cut the city's budget.

I would still ask that voters should judge what each candidate has said that they will do in office.

Mr. Rameriz has no different positions today than the current road in which our current council is going down.

If we want a change, then we need different people with different thoughts and ideas who will LISTEN to ALL the people and not to dismiss them outright because they do not agree with you.






48 people like this
Posted by Ha!
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 26, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Ha! is a registered user.

@Alex from the South - it looks like you enjoyed your sarcastic response to Mike but it wasn't very funny and failed to make any valid points so a wasted effort.


86 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 26, 2018 at 1:41 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Yes for Kamei-Inks-Hicks

BIG no for Siegel, Showalter, Ramirez. BIG BIG NO


77 people like this
Posted by VOTERS AGAINST INCUMBENTS
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 26, 2018 at 1:47 pm

VOTERS AGAINST INCUMBENTS is a registered user.

Unclear how the voice concluded four more years of Siegel and Showalter will be good for Mtn View. Tally up the hundreds of LIKES on these comments here, clearly NOT in the incumbents favor (and Lucas is in lockstep with them).

How many more hundreds of thousands of dollars and staff hours are we going to be allocated to failed programs to address public safety issues caused by those living on our streets. The latest Safe Parking proposal at Terra Bella will take TEN RVs off the street at great expense. And that’s only a temporary solution! A disservice the poor. We need change vote KAMEI-INKS-HICKS.


59 people like this
Posted by @Ha - Ramirez in lockstep with Incumbents
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 26, 2018 at 2:03 pm

@Ha - Ramirez in lockstep with Incumbents is a registered user.

Agree Alex response is not on point, but bottom line for me is that Ramirez is in Lockstep with Incumbents, Siegel/Showalter that’s why he is not getting my vote. Nothing to do with his age, music degree etc I will say he does reply to email. That’s the only plus, but not enough to sit on our City Council for years.


33 people like this
Posted by MV_I_Care
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 26, 2018 at 11:42 pm

MV_I_Care is a registered user.

Siegel- Showalter- Ramirez are leading MV city to destruction. They don't care about residents at all. In fact, I am wondering about whom they care about. They are not representing me and my family. Checking out the crime rate of Mountain View city and you will be shocked how bad it becomes. If we don't vote them out, we will be forced out of this lovely city. Definitely No No. I am voting for Kamei and Hicks. (not sure about Inks, so leave blank.)



4 people like this
Posted by a MV resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2018 at 9:25 am

a MV resident is a registered user.

MV Voice Endorsements: Showalter, Siegel, Ramirez
Web Link

San Jose Mercury Endorsements: Showalter, Siegel, Ramirez
Web Link

Daily Post Endorsements: Showalter, Siegel, Inks
Web Link

Showalter and Siegel are endorsed by all three of the region's papers.


73 people like this
Posted by Mike_
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2018 at 9:41 am

Mike_ is a registered user.

@a MV resident,

How many individuals of those 3 newspaper editorial board actually live in Mountain View? I believe no one from the Voice lives in our city, probably the same for the other 2.

We, as residents who live here every day have to put up with and live with these problems in our city. We see the direction where this is headed and we want it stopped.

When council members no longer listen to us, or fear being voted out, they do what they want to do, good or bad for the city. They have one believe that only they are right and if you do not agree with them, then you are the one with a problem.

We need a change.


3 people like this
Posted by humble opinion
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 27, 2018 at 12:33 pm

humble opinion is a registered user.

Dear @ Mike_

I am unmoved by endorsements from newspapers and "hidden agenda organizations" Its all politics.

Just give me the facts and I can make my own educated decision. For example, I can't believe it when I hear people say the incumbents have allowed too much development so they're going to vote them out and John Inks in. Read John's website. He says he wants more development faster and cheaper. He wants to reduce developer fees that pay for parks, transportation and affordable housing. That means lots of quick and shoddy development with fewer parks and less affordable housing. It means more people driving or otherwise getting around our streets, but less additional transportation infrastructure - in other words a complete mess on our streets.

All he says he'll do about the RVs is get rid of city porta-poddies and sanitation services. That won't change the situation at all. People are not moving to Mountain View for our free sanitation services. Those services are barely used.

If you're voting for John to get the RVs off the street and reduce development, you've been conned. That's not what he says he'll do at all.

Its a lot of effort to research the facts on our candidates, but important if you want a great city.


2 people like this
Posted by humble opinion
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 27, 2018 at 1:11 pm

humble opinion is a registered user.

Also... why is Pat Showalter imagined to be someone who will preserve and strengthen rent control when (a) she opposed it and sought to have instead an ordinance where renters would basically sit down and talk with their landlords about not raising their rents, instead of the ballot measure that got it done and, (b) ensured Tom Means was appointed to help administer it when he was on record as opposing the law and the principles behind it?
Jumping on the train long after it has started down the track is not, in my opinion, leadership.

Maybe someone can explain this or explain that I have this wrong? Her website lacks her stand on rent control, past and present.

As for our affordable housing crisis (which includes some of our RV dwellers), rent control can certainly help stop the bleeding for the time being. The important next step is to stop building office space, especially for Google and other Tech companies. More offices means more people moving into Mountain View for those jobs, who will then need more housing. Housing prices continue to rise as is customary given supply and demand. You cannot argue that building more housing lowers housing costs, not with Google and Tech as the job suppliers. Workers will continue to come and builders will continue to build dormitories or luxury housing for them. None of us will want to live in a city that tries to build enough housing for Google. It would be UNLIVABLE. Lenny, and Pat have been conned by Google. Planning the growth of our city must be done by experienced urban planners, not commercial developers and not Google.





5 people like this
Posted by LOL
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 27, 2018 at 3:49 pm

LOL is a registered user.

Jeez Louise, humble opinion, didn't you already get answers to these questions? Reposting them here seems just petty.


41 people like this
Posted by MayLee
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 27, 2018 at 7:39 pm

MayLee is a registered user.

We need balance the view of our city council. You should also recommend John Inks. You should not recommend all the same type candidates for voters to vote. You did not recommend a pro-business candidate.


4 people like this
Posted by a MV resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2018 at 9:49 pm

a MV resident is a registered user.

If every voter demanded that their city council only care for their own residents, then they'll push new workers further and further out, traffic causing degradation of the environment, more local congestion as people try to get in and out of the Silicon Valley, and a drop in everyone's well being.

Yet if a city council aims to address regional issues, you can get more workers closer to their workplaces, out of their cars, better for the environment, and better for all if those extra taxes are used to add more public services and infrastructure.

If you really want to stop this madness, stop employment growth, or more accurately, ensure that employment growth is matched by growth in infrastructure. One shouldn't happen without the other.


2 people like this
Posted by Inks gets sneaky mailer from landlords
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Nov 1, 2018 at 12:12 am

Inks gets sneaky mailer from landlords is a registered user.

Libertarian John Inks has another mailer. Last week he attacked RV's. This one says he is generally great. It is from the "CALIFORNIA APARTMENT ASSOCIATION" PAC - the landlord group behind the petition to "fix" Mountain View's rent control initiative by effectively repealing it. Inks' campaign tactics would make Trump proud.


2 people like this
Posted by KaceyCarpenter
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 1, 2018 at 1:06 pm

KaceyCarpenter is a registered user.

I endorse Lenny Siegel.

Lenny has been an advocate for people, for peace, for progress for decades. He is an amazing leader in the community and is one of the few elected officials that is people-powered and corporate-free rejecting the $ from the special interest groups. I was proud to stand by Lenny at the 2016 DNC convention, elected assembly district 24 delegate in the California Democratic Party, and co-founder of the Bayshore Progressive Democrats club that has also endorsed him.

Please vote for Lenny and other progressive champions in our community.

Thanks,
Kacey Carpenter


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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2018 at 2:33 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

WARNING LONG BUT IT IS TO EXPLAIN THE REALITY OF THE ERROR OF THE FOLLOWING DISCUSSION

In response to MV resident you said:

“If every voter demanded that their city council only care for their own residents, then they'll push new workers further and further out, traffic causing degradation of the environment, more local congestion as people try to get in and out of the Silicon Valley, and a drop in everyone's well being. “

I guess you are not aware of this information:

The Mountain View City Council Code of Conduct states (Web Link)

LEGAL AND ETHICAL STANDARDS:

City Charter states:

3.1 Preamble

The residents and businesses of Mountain View are entitled to have fair, ethical, and accountable local government. Such a government requires that public officials:

Comply with both the letter and the spirit of the laws and policies affecting operations of the government;

Be independent, impartial, and fair in their judgment and actions;

USE THEIR PUBLIC OFFICE FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD, NOT FOR PERSONAL GAIN; AND

Conduct public deliberations and processes openly, unless legally confidential, in an atmosphere of respect and civility.

To this end, the Mountain View City Council has adopted a code of ethics to encourage public confidence in the integrity of local government and its fair and effective operation.

This City Council code of ethics shall reside in two documents—the City Council Code of Conduct and the City Council Personal Code of Conduct. The City Council Code of Conduct and the Personal Code of Conduct shall not be interpreted to conflict with other rights and responsibilities of public officials set forth in this code or Federal, State, or local law. The City Council Code of Conduct shall be considered to be the definitive document relating to ethical conduct by Mountain View Councilmembers. The Personal Code of Conduct shall be considered to be a summary of the full City Council Code of Conduct.

3.2 Public Interest

3.2.1 Recognizing that stewardship of the public interest must be their primary concern, COUNCILMEMBERS SHALL WORK FOR THE COMMON GOOD OF THE PEOPLE OF MOUNTAIN VIEW AND NOT FOR ANY PRIVATE OR PERSONAL INTEREST. Councilmembers must endeavor to treat all members of the public and issues before them in a fair and equitable manner.

3.2.2 Councilmembers shall comply with the laws of the nation, the State of California, and the City in the performance of their public duties. These laws include, but are not limited to: the United States and California constitutions; the Mountain View City Charter; LAWS PERTAINING TO CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, ELECTION CAMPAIGNS, FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES, EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITIES, AND OPEN PROCESSES OF GOVERNMENT; AND CITY ORDINANCES AND POLICIES.

3.3 Conduct

3.3.1 COUNCILMEMBERS SHALL REFRAIN FROM ABUSIVE CONDUCT, PERSONAL CHARGES, OR VERBAL ATTACKS UPON THE CHARACTER OR MOTIVES OF OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL, BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, COMMITTEES, STAFF, OR THE PUBLIC.

3.3.2 Councilmember duties shall be performed in accordance with the processes and rules of order established by the City Council.

3.3.3 Councilmembers shall inform themselves on public issues, listen attentively to public discussions before the body, and focus on the business at hand.


3.3.4 Council decisions shall be based upon the merits and substance of the matter at hand.

3.3.5 IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF COUNCILMEMBERS TO PUBLICLY SHARE SUBSTANTIVE INFORMATION THAT IS RELEVANT TO A MATTER UNDER CONSIDERATION THAT THEY HAVE RECEIVED FROM SOURCES OUTSIDE OF THE PUBLIC DECISION-MAKING PROCESS WITH ALL OTHER COUNCILMEMBERS AND THE PUBLIC PRIOR TO TAKING ACTION ON THE MATTER.

3.3.6 Appropriate City staff should be involved when Councilmembers meet with officials from other agencies and jurisdictions to ensure proper staff support as needed and to keep staff informed.

3.3.7 Councilmembers shall not attend internal staff meetings or meetings between City staff and third parties unless invited by City staff or directed by Council to do so.

3.3.8 Policy Role

3.3.8.1 Councilmembers shall respect and adhere to the councilmanager, structure of Mountain View City government as provided in State law and the City Charter.

3.3.8.2 COUNCILMEMBERS SHALL SUPPORT THE MAINTENANCE OF A POSITIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE ENVIRONMENT FOR RESIDENTS, BUSINESSES, AND CITY EMPLOYEES.

3.4 Conflict of Interest

3.4.1 In order to assure their independence and impartiality ON BEHALF OF THE PUBLIC GOOD, Councilmembers ARE PROHIBITED FROM USING THEIR OFFICIAL POSITIONS TO INFLUENCE GOVERNMENT DECISIONS IN WHICH THEY HAVE A FINANCIAL INTEREST OR WHERE THEY HAVE AN ORGANIZATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OR A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP THAT WOULD PRESENT A CONFLICT OF INTEREST UNDER APPLICABLE STATE LAW.

3.4.2 IN ACCORDANCE WITH STATE LAW, COUNCILMEMBERS MUST FILE ANNUAL WRITTEN DISCLOSURES OF THEIR ECONOMIC INTERESTS.

3.4.3 Councilmembers SHALL NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SERVICES OR OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONAL GAIN BY VIRTUE OF THEIR PUBLIC OFFICE THAT ARE NOT AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC IN GENERAL.

3.4.4 Councilmembers shall respect and preserve the confidentiality of information provided to them concerning the confidential matters of the City. They must neither disclose confidential information without proper legal authorization nor use such information to advance the personal, financial, or private interests of themselves or others.

3.4.5 City Councilmembers SHOULD AVOID ANY ACTION THAT COULD BE CONSTRUED AS, OR CREATE THE APPEARANCE OF, USING PUBLIC OFFICE FOR PERSONAL GAIN, INCLUDING USE OF CITY STATIONERY OR OTHER CITY RESOURCES TO OBTAIN OR PROMOTE PERSONAL BUSINESS.


3.4.6 Public resources not available to the general public (e.g., City staff time, equipment, supplies, or facilities) shall not be used by Councilmembers for private gain or personal purposes.

3.4.7 In keeping with their role as stewards of the public interest, COUNCILMEMBERS SHALL NOT APPEAR ON BEHALF OF THE PRIVATE INTERESTS OF A THIRD PARTY BEFORE THE CITY COUNCIL OR ANY BOARD, COMMISSION, OR COMMITTEE OR PROCEEDING OF THE CITY, EXCEPT AS PERMITTED BY LAW.

3.4.8 To the best of their ability, Councilmembers SHALL REPRESENT THE OFFICIAL POLICIES AND POSITIONS OF THE CITY COUNCIL. WHEN PRESENTING THEIR PERSONAL OPINIONS OR POSITIONS PUBLICLY, MEMBERS SHALL EXPLICITLY STATE THEY DO NOT REPRESENT THE COUNCIL OR THE CITY.

3.4.9 Mountain View City Charter Provisions

3.4.9.1 Financial Interests in City Contracts Prohibited.

NO OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OF THE CITY SHALL BECOME FINANCIALLY INTERESTED EXCEPT BY TESTATE OR INTESTATE SUCCESSION, EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN ANY CONTRACT, SALE, PURCHASE, LEASE, OR TRANSFER OF REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY TO WHICH THE CITY IS A PARTY OR BE EMPLOYED BY ANY PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION REGULATED BY OR HOLDING FRANCHISES IN THE CITY. …[A]NY CONTRACT MADE IN CONTRAVENTION OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE VOID. (SECTION 706)

3.4.9.2 Nepotism.

The Council shall not appoint to a salaried position under the City government any person who is a relative by blood or marriage within the second degree of any one or more of the members of such Council and neither shall any department head or other officer having appointive power appoint any relative within such degree to any such position. (Section 707)
3.4.11 California State Law Regarding Conflicts

Four key areas of California State law regulate the ethics of public officials.

3.4.11.1 Constitutional prohibitions

State law strictly forbids elected and appointed public officials from accepting free or discounted travel from transportation companies. The penalty for a violation includes the forfeiture of office.

3.4.11.2 Contractual conflicts of interest

This prohibition, found in Government Code Section 1090, mirrors the City's Charter Provision Section 706 and applies to elected and appointed officials as well as other City staff members. It prohibits the City from entering into a contract if one of its members (i.e., a Councilmember) is financially interested in the contract. If the bar (or prohibition) applies, the agency is prohibited from entering into the contract whether or not the official with the conflict participates or not. In some limited circumstances, officials are allowed to disqualify themselves from participation and the agency may enter into the contract.

Financial interest has been defined to INCLUDE EMPLOYMENT, STOCK/OWNERSHIP INTERESTS, AND MEMBERSHIP ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF A FOR-PROFIT OR NONPROFIT CORPORATION, AMONG OTHERS. Violations can be charged as a felony. A person convicted of violating Section 1090 is prohibited from ever holding public office in the State.

3.4.11.3 Political Reform Act—Conflicts of Interest

The Political Reform Act (PRA) was adopted by the voters in 1974 and is the primary expression of the law relative to conflicts of interest (and campaign finance) in California. The Act created the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), a five-member State board which administers the Act.
The Act and the regulations are complex and are continuously subjected to official interpretation. The following synopsis of key parts of the Act will be helpful in spotting issues; however, the FPPC and/or City Attorney should be consulted for further advice and clarification.

With respect to conflicts of interest, the FPPC has promulgated a regulation which establishes an analysis which assists in determining whether a public official is participating in a government decision in WHICH THEY HAVE A QUALIFYING FINANCIAL INTEREST AND WHETHER IT IS REASONABLY FORESEEABLE THAT THE DECISION WILL HAVE A MATERIAL FINANCIAL EFFECT ON THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL'S FINANCIAL INTEREST, WHICH IS DISTINGUISHABLE FROM THE EFFECT THE DECISION WILL HAVE ON THE PUBLIC GENERALLY.

3.4.11.3.1 IF A MEMBER HAS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST REGARDING A PARTICULAR DECISION, THEY MUST REFRAIN FROM MAKING OR PARTICIPATING IN THE MAKING OF A DECISION UNLESS OTHERWISE PERMITTED BY LAW.

IF A PUBLIC OFFICIAL HAS A FINANCIAL INTEREST THAT GIVES RISE TO A CONFLICT OF INTEREST, ONE OF THE KEY DETERMINATIONS IN THE EIGHT-STEP ANALYSIS IS TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT THE PUBLIC OFFICIAL IS "PARTICIPATING IN" OR "MAKING" A GOVERNMENTAL DECISION.

3.4.11.3.1.1 A PUBLIC OFFICIAL MAKES A GOVERNMENT DECISION WHEN THEY DO THE FOLLOWING:

Vote on a matter.

APPOINT A PERSON.

OBLIGATE OR COMMIT HIS OR HER AGENCY TO ANY COURSE OF ACTION.

Enter into any contractual agreement on behalf of his or her agency.

DETERMINE NOT TO ACT IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.
3.4.11.3.1.2 A PUBLIC OFFICIAL PARTICIPATES IN MAKING GOVERNMENTAL DECISIONS WHEN ACTING WITHIN THE AUTHORITY OF HIS OR HER POSITION, THEY DO THE FOLLOWING:

Negotiate without significant substantive review with a governmental entity or private person regarding a governmental decision.

ADVISE OR MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE DECISION-MAKER EITHER DIRECTLY OR WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT INTERVENING SUBSTANTIVE REVIEW BY:

— Conducting research or an investigation which requires the exercise of judgment on the part of the official AND THE PURPOSE OF WHICH IS TO INFLUENCE GOVERNMENTAL DECISIONS; or

— PREPARING OR PRESENTING ANY REPORT, ANALYSIS, OR OPINION ORALLY OR IN WRITING WHICH REQUIRES THE EXERCISE OF JUDGMENT ON THE PART OF THE OFFICIAL AND THE PURPOSE OF WHICH IS TO INFLUENCE A GOVERNMENTAL DECISION.

3.4.11.3.2 When a public official has a qualifying financial interest, THAT OFFICIAL MAY NOT USE THEIR OFFICE OR OTHERWISE ATTEMPT TO INFLUENCE GOVERNMENTAL DECISIONS OR MAKE APPEARANCES OR CONTACTS ON BEHALF OF A BUSINESS ENTITY, CLIENT, OR CUSTOMER.

3.4.11.3.3 If an official has a qualifying financial interest, there are nevertheless exceptions which allow a public official to make an appearance before an agency in very limited circumstances. THE ONE THAT IS MOST COMMONLY ENCOUNTERED IS AN APPEARANCE BY A PUBLIC OFFICIAL TO REPRESENT HIMSELF OR HERSELF WITH RESPECT TO A PROPOSED PROJECT OR CHANGE IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD. IF THE APPEARANCE IS PERMITTED UNDER STATE LAW, THE APPEARANCE IS LIMITED TO APPEARING AT A PUBLIC MEETING AT THE PODIUM AND ADDRESSING A BOARD, COMMISSION, OR THE CITY COUNCIL. THE OFFICIAL MAY NOT CONTACT MEMBERS OF STAFF, THE CITY MANAGER, OR CITY ATTORNEY, OR DISCUSS THE MATTER WITH OTHER COUNCILMEMBERS. A PUBLIC OFFICIAL WITH A CONFLICT CANNOT INTERACT WITH STAFF ON THAT ISSUE OTHER THAN TO ASK QUESTIONS, PAY FEES, ETC.

3.4.11.5 Common Law Conflicts of Interest

This is the judicial expression of the public policy against public officials using their official position for private benefit. AN ELECTED OFFICIAL BEARS A FIDUCIARY DUTY TO EXERCISE THE POWERS OF OFFICE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC AND IS NOT PERMITTED TO USE THOSE POWERS OR THEIR OFFICE FOR THE BENEFIT OF ANY PRIVATE INTEREST. This common law doctrine continues to survive the adoption of various statutory expressions of conflict law.

3.4.11.6 Appearance of Impropriety

When participation in action or decision-making as a public official does not implicate the specific statutory criteria for conflicts of interest; however, participation still does not "look" or "feel" right, that public official has probably encountered the appearance of impropriety.

FOR THE PUBLIC TO HAVE FAITH AND CONFIDENCE THAT GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY WILL BE IMPLEMENTED IN AN EVEN-HANDED AND ETHICAL MANNER, PUBLIC OFFICIALS MAY NEED TO STEP ASIDE EVEN THOUGH NO TECHNICAL CONFLICT EXISTS. An example is where a long-term nonfinancial affiliation exists between the public official and an applicant or the applicant is related by blood or marriage to the official. For the good of the community, members who encounter the appearance of impropriety should step aside.”

Sorry for the length but I wanted to make it clear, the ONLY acceptable conduct is to represent either the citizens of Mountain View, or the CURRENT employees of Mountain View. Regional issues are the sole responsibility of the County of Santa Clara. Simply put, the city does not represent the region, only the city citizens. You said:

“Yet if a city council aims to address regional issues, you can get more workers closer to their workplaces, out of their cars, better for the environment, and better for all if those extra taxes are used to add more public services and infrastructure.”

That is correct, but it cannot take into account any “PRIVATE” interests, and any appearance of conflict of interest is “EXPRESSELY” prohibited. You said:

“If you really want to stop this madness, stop employment growth, or more accurately, ensure that employment growth is matched by growth in infrastructure. One shouldn't happen without the other.:”

NO ARGUMENT WITH THAT AMEN.


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