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Waymo software engineer Paul Roales joins the race for Mountain View City Council

Frustrated by what he calls a slow-moving bureaucracy that has failed to act with urgency on important issues, Mountain View resident Paul Roales said he hopes to join the City Council this November to shake things up.

Paul Roales has joined the 2020 race of city council. Courtesy Paul Roales.

Roales, a Jackson Park neighborhood resident, works as a software engineer at self-driving car company Waymo, and said that in recent years he has been watching the city of Mountain View and the City Council operate with anything but expedience. When unhoused residents lined city streets in RVs, it took four years of studies and dithering to create a safe parking site.

"In these last few months we got a few parking spots up, and we're still debating the issue," Roales said. "Four years is a long time to look at any issue, especially one as important as that, and yet we keep seeing this over and over again on the council."

The same goes for housing and transportation, Roales said. Serious issues that ought to be addressed with a sense of urgency, and tasks like residential zoning, transportation projects and even approval of individual projects, is bogged down in bureaucratic muck, he said.

Though Roales currently lives in the heart of Mountain View and works for a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, the city's largest employer, his civic roots take him back to West Lafayette, Indiana. While a student at Purdue University, Roales was elected to the West Lafayette City Council, where he served for two years. The city is pretty similar in some ways to Mountain View, Roales said -- similar population, near a large metropolitan city and a large university -- but also had a tendency to get things done with more expediency.

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Roales said he hopes to speed things along as a council member, but would also push to get more residents involved as well, leveraging the brain power and talent in the Mountain View community.

"That's definitely one of the things I want to encourage, more citizen advisory group members. I think almost every department should have an advisory group," he said. "We have such a talented group of citizens, and that could be one of our strengths."

Generally speaking, Roales counts himself as an advocate for housing growth, and that the cost of living shows that the housing market simply isn't competitive in Mountain View. He said there are plenty of ways to protect and preserve existing neighborhood communities while at the same time accelerating housing growth, particularly in the North Bayshore area, but the city has to act with a sense of urgency. Willing developers shouldn't be waiting around for the city's under-resourced development pipeline, he said.

"The city is just moving too slow to respond to the issue," Roales said. "If we're really serious about solving housing in the area, let's do it in 18 months -- let's really go after this."

More recently, Roales said he was disappointed to see what he considers the city's lack of leadership in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which left the bulk of the public health work, testing and public messaging to the county. He said the city also needs to start preparing for what's on the horizon, including significant layoffs and a potential shift by major employers to work-from-home policies.

"My feeling is that this is a 'once in a generation' opportunity to rebuild Mountain View so that it works for everyone," Roales said.

Next week marks the filing deadline for Mountain View City Council candidates, and it's already a packed field. Nine candidates have filed to run for four seats on the City Council, including incumbents Margaret Abe-Koga and Lisa Matichak. Councilmen John McAlister and Chris Clark have terms that expire this year, but are barred from running for re-election due to the city's term limits.

The race also has six challengers: former council members Lenny Siegel and Pat Showalter; former State Assemblywoman Sally Lieber; Mountain View Whisman School Board member Jose Gutierrez; and Mountain View residents Alex Nunez and John Lashlee. Previous coverage of the emerging council race can be found here.

As of Monday, the city has two candidate forums scheduled. The Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance is planning to host a candidate forum on Saturday, Aug. 15, at 2:30 p.m., and the Shoreline West Neighborhood Association will hold a "virtual" forum for candidates on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Waymo software engineer Paul Roales joins the race for Mountain View City Council

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 1:36 pm

Frustrated by what he calls a slow-moving bureaucracy that has failed to act with urgency on important issues, Mountain View resident Paul Roales said he hopes to join the City Council this November to shake things up.

Roales, a Jackson Park neighborhood resident, works as a software engineer at self-driving car company Waymo, and said that in recent years he has been watching the city of Mountain View and the City Council operate with anything but expedience. When unhoused residents lined city streets in RVs, it took four years of studies and dithering to create a safe parking site.

"In these last few months we got a few parking spots up, and we're still debating the issue," Roales said. "Four years is a long time to look at any issue, especially one as important as that, and yet we keep seeing this over and over again on the council."

The same goes for housing and transportation, Roales said. Serious issues that ought to be addressed with a sense of urgency, and tasks like residential zoning, transportation projects and even approval of individual projects, is bogged down in bureaucratic muck, he said.

Though Roales currently lives in the heart of Mountain View and works for a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, the city's largest employer, his civic roots take him back to West Lafayette, Indiana. While a student at Purdue University, Roales was elected to the West Lafayette City Council, where he served for two years. The city is pretty similar in some ways to Mountain View, Roales said -- similar population, near a large metropolitan city and a large university -- but also had a tendency to get things done with more expediency.

Roales said he hopes to speed things along as a council member, but would also push to get more residents involved as well, leveraging the brain power and talent in the Mountain View community.

"That's definitely one of the things I want to encourage, more citizen advisory group members. I think almost every department should have an advisory group," he said. "We have such a talented group of citizens, and that could be one of our strengths."

Generally speaking, Roales counts himself as an advocate for housing growth, and that the cost of living shows that the housing market simply isn't competitive in Mountain View. He said there are plenty of ways to protect and preserve existing neighborhood communities while at the same time accelerating housing growth, particularly in the North Bayshore area, but the city has to act with a sense of urgency. Willing developers shouldn't be waiting around for the city's under-resourced development pipeline, he said.

"The city is just moving too slow to respond to the issue," Roales said. "If we're really serious about solving housing in the area, let's do it in 18 months -- let's really go after this."

More recently, Roales said he was disappointed to see what he considers the city's lack of leadership in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which left the bulk of the public health work, testing and public messaging to the county. He said the city also needs to start preparing for what's on the horizon, including significant layoffs and a potential shift by major employers to work-from-home policies.

"My feeling is that this is a 'once in a generation' opportunity to rebuild Mountain View so that it works for everyone," Roales said.

Next week marks the filing deadline for Mountain View City Council candidates, and it's already a packed field. Nine candidates have filed to run for four seats on the City Council, including incumbents Margaret Abe-Koga and Lisa Matichak. Councilmen John McAlister and Chris Clark have terms that expire this year, but are barred from running for re-election due to the city's term limits.

The race also has six challengers: former council members Lenny Siegel and Pat Showalter; former State Assemblywoman Sally Lieber; Mountain View Whisman School Board member Jose Gutierrez; and Mountain View residents Alex Nunez and John Lashlee. Previous coverage of the emerging council race can be found here.

As of Monday, the city has two candidate forums scheduled. The Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance is planning to host a candidate forum on Saturday, Aug. 15, at 2:30 p.m., and the Shoreline West Neighborhood Association will hold a "virtual" forum for candidates on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Comments

Alex M
Willowgate
on Aug 3, 2020 at 4:04 pm
Alex M, Willowgate
on Aug 3, 2020 at 4:04 pm
14 people like this

While I appreciate knowing of this new candidate and agree with the points of view presented, this article is light on substance. What are his views on the other hot-button issues in MV, such as rent control and affordable NON-rental housing?

And, because he's a Google employee, will he convince the city council to take some action to force Google to be accountable for all the Google bikes that get stolen and discarded on our streets, parks, and trails? How will he conduct himself when there's a conflict of interest between what's good for Mountain View and what's good for Google?


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Aug 3, 2020 at 4:30 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Aug 3, 2020 at 4:30 pm
9 people like this

Good point that this candidate, if elected, will not be able to vote on Google matters if he remains in Google's employ. The article cites nothing in particular Mr. Roales favors. "More housing" is too vague. Of course, other candidates have likewise said little that is specific - so far. Let's start with the 2 measures currently head for the city ballot in November: (1) banning "oversized vehicles" and trailers on most streets and (2) repealing the city's rent control initiative. Each candidate: are you for or against each measure and why? .


Tony
Registered user
Rex Manor
on Aug 3, 2020 at 5:15 pm
Tony, Rex Manor
Registered user
on Aug 3, 2020 at 5:15 pm
2 people like this

Typo, reads "which left the bulk of the public health work, testing and pubic messaging" -> should be "public messaging"


Dan Waylonis
Registered user
Jackson Park
on Aug 3, 2020 at 5:22 pm
Dan Waylonis, Jackson Park
Registered user
on Aug 3, 2020 at 5:22 pm
2 people like this

Good luck! Enjoy the process and debates. Get out and meet your neighbors.


Gladys
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Aug 3, 2020 at 6:19 pm
Gladys, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Aug 3, 2020 at 6:19 pm
40 people like this

Well, looking at the slate of candidates I have chosen 3 for sure, need to hear more from Roales for my 4th pick

Most of the other candidates are activist. After seeing whats been happening in so much of the country, I can not support any activist candidate. We need solid people who will care for all of Mountain View, not just the Democrat Socialist Party. Pay attention to who they will endorse, then do not vote for them.

Abe-Koga
Matichak
Gutierez
Have my vote, leaning in Roales direction until I hear more from him.

We will be in a serious recession for several years, prudent-responsible people will be needed to get the city thru this difficult time.


Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Aug 3, 2020 at 7:52 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Aug 3, 2020 at 7:52 pm
6 people like this

I would guess that all 9 potential City Council candidates are registered Democrats. There is no Socialist Party registration in California or likely in any state. But there is a group calling itself Democratic Socialists of America and at least one of the 9 is a member: John Lachlee. Personally, I am more interested in their positions on issues - starting with the two current city ballot measures. I say "current" because the proponents of the "sneaky" city rent control repeal did not submit a ballot argument in favor and still have time to withdraw the measure completely - saving the city some money.


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