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Lisa Matichak: A focus on strong neighborhoods

Lisa Matichak. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Since her initial run for the City Council in 2014, Councilwoman Lisa Matichak has built a reputation for supporting strong neighborhoods and quality of life for residents.

When a project is up for consideration, Matichak is usually the first to ask about parks and raise concerns about parking. When housing density comes up, her worry is less about the total number of units and more about how it looks and fits with the suburban neighborhood character that still dominates much of the city.

With so much development in the pipeline, particularly in crafting entirely new neighborhoods in North Bayshore and East Whisman, Matichak said she hopes to serve another term on the council and see those projects through. North Bayshore in particular, she said, is practically a blank slate with little infrastructure, and it's important not to shortchange those future residents.

"As we grow as a city ... I want to make sure that we have great neighborhoods," Matichak said. "It's really important that people live in areas where they have access to retail, goods and services, parks, open space, trails and the ability to walk to places."

When she started her 2019 stint as mayor, Matichak described her approach to growth as a sort of balancing act. She said she is not opposed to new housing construction, but looks at projects through the lens of whether it will detract from the quality of life of current residents. The approach may fit in well with other suburban cities, but occasionally puts her at odds with colleagues pushing for more housing growth.

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Matichak said she does not want to let those disagreements amount to bad blood or get in the way of good policy making.

"I bring a very collegial perspective, wanting to work well my colleagues, and over the past couple years we've worked well together," Matichak said. "We don't always agree on the issues, but we work well together to come up with compromises."

With large swaths of the city now rezoned for housing growth during her first term, Matichak said it's time to double down on developers and ensure it actually gets built. She touts that the city's blueprint, if achieved in both areas, would effectively double the number of affordable housing units in the city.

From there, Matichak said the city could consider revamping the Terra Bella area of the city, but the next candidate for rezoning is likely the Moffett Boulevard corridor. As a resident living near East Whisman, she said she was interested to see Google's recent megaproject for the area, which she said could be bring some much-needed amenities to an underserved area of the city.

"I think we have been wanting to have more infrastructure in the East Whisman area, like a grocery store, more retail, better bike lanes," she said. "So the plan that Google is proposing could help benefit the rest of the Whisman area."

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Matichak was opposed to Mountain View's rent control law on the 2016 campaign trail, arguing it would take away the incentive for landlords to invest in their properties and choose instead to tear them down. Today, she said she still has concerns about the law, and said it puts a serious barrier on some of the city's priorities.

In particular, she said the city wants to require seismic retrofits to all "soft story" residential buildings vulnerable to collapse in an earthquake. Yet landlords would have to foot much of the bill for the upgrades due to constraints in the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA), the language of which makes it difficult to pass the costs onto tenants. This was one of the solutions proposed in Measure D, which was defeated in March.

Another conundrum in the law is whether rent control should extend to mobile homes, Matichak said, which is a thorny issue that remains a problem today. She believes mobile homes are not covered by the CSFRA, and that people who argue otherwise are likely conflating the text of the law with the 2016 ballot arguments in favor of the measure.

"If you go back to the ballot statements that were written, it says it could be extended to cover mobile homes," Matichak said. "So that says to me that the CSFRA does not cover them, otherwise it would say they cover them rather than it 'could' be extended."

When asked whether she would support rent stabilization for mobile homes, Matichak said she would -- but under certain conditions. She believes the city needs to offer a second option called a model lease, in which mobile home residents and the park ownership enter into a binding, long-term lease agreement that balances rent increases for future years. The idea has been supported by mobile home park owners at recent meetings, and Matichak believes it would be a good alternative to at least offer in lieu of rent control.

Matichak voted in favor of the RV parking ban that is now subject to a voter referendum, and will appear on the November ballot as Measure C. She calls it one of the most challenging issues that the city has ever faced, straining council members and city staff alike on how to best respond.

On the whole, she said Mountain View has responded to the growing homelessness problem well, and has invested millions of dollars into support for the several hundred people living in cars and RVs in the city. But at the end of the day, living along city streets is not a sustainable way to live, she said, and the lack of services creates a safety and public health concern. With Mountain View doing its part combating the problem, Matichak said it's time to start encouraging neighboring cities to do more.

"Other cities need to step up in this area and help those who are homeless," she said. "Mountain View can't address the homelessness issue in the region on our own."

Up until recently, Matichak said she hadn't heard concerns about the Mountain View Police Department's conduct, but that she remains open-minded about the calls for police reform. She said she wants to have an open community dialogue and listen to what people have to say about their experiences with police, and said she wasn't opposed to some changes.

Though the process is still underway, Matichak said she would be willing to consider a "reallocation" of resources to handle calls that the police department may not be best equipped to handle, particularly emergency responses for those experiencing a mental health crisis, homelessness or drug abuse. It could be a social worker or case manager, with or without the presence of an officer.

"Let's dig into the data so that we are making fact-based decisions," she said.

With budget cuts looming, Matichak said she does believe there are some important investments that shouldn't be cut. The city can defer payments to something like pension liability and other post-employment benefits, but the city's fight against climate change can't wait.

"I very strongly feel that we shouldn't cut our sustainability budget," she said. "This the time, it's either now or never and we need to keep that on track."

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Lisa Matichak: A focus on strong neighborhoods

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Thu, Oct 8, 2020, 1:50 pm

Since her initial run for the City Council in 2014, Councilwoman Lisa Matichak has built a reputation for supporting strong neighborhoods and quality of life for residents.

When a project is up for consideration, Matichak is usually the first to ask about parks and raise concerns about parking. When housing density comes up, her worry is less about the total number of units and more about how it looks and fits with the suburban neighborhood character that still dominates much of the city.

With so much development in the pipeline, particularly in crafting entirely new neighborhoods in North Bayshore and East Whisman, Matichak said she hopes to serve another term on the council and see those projects through. North Bayshore in particular, she said, is practically a blank slate with little infrastructure, and it's important not to shortchange those future residents.

"As we grow as a city ... I want to make sure that we have great neighborhoods," Matichak said. "It's really important that people live in areas where they have access to retail, goods and services, parks, open space, trails and the ability to walk to places."

When she started her 2019 stint as mayor, Matichak described her approach to growth as a sort of balancing act. She said she is not opposed to new housing construction, but looks at projects through the lens of whether it will detract from the quality of life of current residents. The approach may fit in well with other suburban cities, but occasionally puts her at odds with colleagues pushing for more housing growth.

Matichak said she does not want to let those disagreements amount to bad blood or get in the way of good policy making.

"I bring a very collegial perspective, wanting to work well my colleagues, and over the past couple years we've worked well together," Matichak said. "We don't always agree on the issues, but we work well together to come up with compromises."

With large swaths of the city now rezoned for housing growth during her first term, Matichak said it's time to double down on developers and ensure it actually gets built. She touts that the city's blueprint, if achieved in both areas, would effectively double the number of affordable housing units in the city.

From there, Matichak said the city could consider revamping the Terra Bella area of the city, but the next candidate for rezoning is likely the Moffett Boulevard corridor. As a resident living near East Whisman, she said she was interested to see Google's recent megaproject for the area, which she said could be bring some much-needed amenities to an underserved area of the city.

"I think we have been wanting to have more infrastructure in the East Whisman area, like a grocery store, more retail, better bike lanes," she said. "So the plan that Google is proposing could help benefit the rest of the Whisman area."

Matichak was opposed to Mountain View's rent control law on the 2016 campaign trail, arguing it would take away the incentive for landlords to invest in their properties and choose instead to tear them down. Today, she said she still has concerns about the law, and said it puts a serious barrier on some of the city's priorities.

In particular, she said the city wants to require seismic retrofits to all "soft story" residential buildings vulnerable to collapse in an earthquake. Yet landlords would have to foot much of the bill for the upgrades due to constraints in the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA), the language of which makes it difficult to pass the costs onto tenants. This was one of the solutions proposed in Measure D, which was defeated in March.

Another conundrum in the law is whether rent control should extend to mobile homes, Matichak said, which is a thorny issue that remains a problem today. She believes mobile homes are not covered by the CSFRA, and that people who argue otherwise are likely conflating the text of the law with the 2016 ballot arguments in favor of the measure.

"If you go back to the ballot statements that were written, it says it could be extended to cover mobile homes," Matichak said. "So that says to me that the CSFRA does not cover them, otherwise it would say they cover them rather than it 'could' be extended."

When asked whether she would support rent stabilization for mobile homes, Matichak said she would -- but under certain conditions. She believes the city needs to offer a second option called a model lease, in which mobile home residents and the park ownership enter into a binding, long-term lease agreement that balances rent increases for future years. The idea has been supported by mobile home park owners at recent meetings, and Matichak believes it would be a good alternative to at least offer in lieu of rent control.

Matichak voted in favor of the RV parking ban that is now subject to a voter referendum, and will appear on the November ballot as Measure C. She calls it one of the most challenging issues that the city has ever faced, straining council members and city staff alike on how to best respond.

On the whole, she said Mountain View has responded to the growing homelessness problem well, and has invested millions of dollars into support for the several hundred people living in cars and RVs in the city. But at the end of the day, living along city streets is not a sustainable way to live, she said, and the lack of services creates a safety and public health concern. With Mountain View doing its part combating the problem, Matichak said it's time to start encouraging neighboring cities to do more.

"Other cities need to step up in this area and help those who are homeless," she said. "Mountain View can't address the homelessness issue in the region on our own."

Up until recently, Matichak said she hadn't heard concerns about the Mountain View Police Department's conduct, but that she remains open-minded about the calls for police reform. She said she wants to have an open community dialogue and listen to what people have to say about their experiences with police, and said she wasn't opposed to some changes.

Though the process is still underway, Matichak said she would be willing to consider a "reallocation" of resources to handle calls that the police department may not be best equipped to handle, particularly emergency responses for those experiencing a mental health crisis, homelessness or drug abuse. It could be a social worker or case manager, with or without the presence of an officer.

"Let's dig into the data so that we are making fact-based decisions," she said.

With budget cuts looming, Matichak said she does believe there are some important investments that shouldn't be cut. The city can defer payments to something like pension liability and other post-employment benefits, but the city's fight against climate change can't wait.

"I very strongly feel that we shouldn't cut our sustainability budget," she said. "This the time, it's either now or never and we need to keep that on track."

Comments

Resident
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2020 at 1:21 pm
Resident , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 10, 2020 at 1:21 pm
52 people like this

What about her little "gaffe" in accidentally emailing stuff about keeping Lenny down? And then lied about it. We don't need any more liars in politics. I think I have had my fill. She is NOT getting my vote.

Plus she is pretty much anti-school funding. Parents, remember that at voting time.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 10, 2020 at 8:24 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 10, 2020 at 8:24 pm
34 people like this

Lisa Matichak who claims she supports "strong" neighborhoods. What neighborhoods are "weak" Lisa Matichak?

Oh the ones with rent controlled apartments, so she worked to accelerate their destruction along with MAK. Thus the state enacted SB330 which requires now any affordable housing that is removed to be replaced with housing in kind in order for a development project to move forward. This was because MAK and LM were "ACTIVISTS" and trying to penalize voters for enacting the CSFRA.

She also simply lied her teeth off with regards to Measure D, which fortunately the citizens of Mountain View did not buy. In fact Measure D failed by a greater tha 2 to 1 ratio.

Voters you make your judgment, it is your right and your choice.


Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Oct 11, 2020 at 1:26 am
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Oct 11, 2020 at 1:26 am
28 people like this

I just received a mailer in support of Lisa Matichak from the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors "Paid for by National Association of Realtors." How do realtors make money?


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 11, 2020 at 3:38 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 11, 2020 at 3:38 am
26 people like this

Gary,

Aren't the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors "Out of Town" ACTIVISTS?

Just curious because you here people like Jose Gutierrez, Margaret Abe Koga, and Lisa Matichak complaining about out of town ACTIVISTS meddling in the City politics?

This Institutionalized ACTIVISM has been going on for decades, right?

Time to purge it out of the City Council for good.


beelia
Registered user
North Bayshore
on Oct 12, 2020 at 7:23 am
beelia, North Bayshore
Registered user
on Oct 12, 2020 at 7:23 am
44 people like this

When Lisa Matichak met with members of what later became the Mountain View Mobile Home Alliance in 2017, she told us we should just apply to the Rental Housing Committee to get coverage for our residents through CSFRA. But in this Voice Profile, Lisa stated that the CSFRA does not cover mobile homes. She told the reporter that the original ballot statements said coverage merely “could be extended” to mobile homes. But even a cursory examination of the original November 2016 Voter Information Pamphlet shows that is not true.

The original argument for Measure V states that the measure “Allows the creation of similar protections for mobile home residents”. And the original rebuttal to the argument says, “Measure V Allows the Committee to protect mobile home residents”.

We in the Mobile Home Alliance know that over the years, Lisa Matichak has done everything she could to prevent mobile homes from being covered by CSFRA. This Profile by the Voice shows that Lisa is being deliberately deceptive to manipulate voters into re-electing her.


Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Oct 12, 2020 at 9:36 am
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Oct 12, 2020 at 9:36 am
40 people like this

Thanks beelia for the background. I would add that the current city council could have also enacted mobile park rent control by ordinance and placed on the ballot (last March or this November 3) a charter amendment with the same provisions (just to make sure it could not be found to be inconsistent with the CSFRA). But now we see that LISA MATICHAK IS SUPPORTED BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (PAC) that just filed a statement admitting it has already spent over $29,000 for her candidacy so far. Realtors provide valuable services but they make money when mobile homes and immobile homes are SOLD.


Common sense
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:19 am
Common sense, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:19 am
36 people like this

"Resident" from "Another Mountain View Neighborhood" wrote: "What about her little "gaffe" in accidentally emailing stuff about keeping Lenny down? And then lied about it."

I saw the emails when that happened. Matichak accidentally broadcast a message mentioning "thwarting" someone; Siegel then publicized it. Frankly the episode didn't reflect well on either of them. But at the time, the context and exact subject of Matichak's message was unknown and undisclosed. She explicitly denied it had been about Siegel.

If "Resident" above knows of public evidence that the vague Matichak message really was about Siegel, and that she "lied" about it, that evidence needs to be cited here.

Otherwise the comment by "Resident" is libelous (not just snarky) and needs removal.


Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:29 am
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:29 am
34 people like this

That email stuff seems like a side show. Why are realtors bankrolling Lisa Matichak's campaign?


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:44 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2020 at 11:44 am
26 people like this

Gary,

Good Question, one answer:

They want city councils to prevent the affordable housing projects and move forward high-priced exclusive housing.

Thus, only selling the 93 Octane Gas Housing in the area, in effect forcing home buyers to spend more than what “NATURAL” housing markets would go for regarding market equilibrium. Given that the housing situation is so manipulated that there is almost infinite price elasticity the buyers accept because of artificially low interest rates.

Ever since 2007-9 the Fed has tried to return the rates to a normal state. Then the Realtors and the Mortgage people say, “HEY YOU DO THAT AND HOUSNG PRICES WILL FALL”. And then they intentionally start selling homes at lower prices to boot.

And since Property Taxes are initially set at the purchase prices, the City. County, and State has to behave and let it happen or they will see their property tax revenues drop.

Maybe COVID and AB5 have a silver lining, if the contractors need to leave the state, the demand will drop. COVID will continue to encourage the Tech industries continue to relocate their tech workers to work remotely and out of state the demand will continue to drop.

FINALLY, if buyers don’t get conned into buying properties at anywhere near the prices being asked, the prices will really drop.

So, is this a good explanation?


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