With applications closing Wednesday at 5 p.m., the city confirmed that two residents have applied so far for the vacant Mountain View City Council seat.
As of the morning of Jan. 18, city officials told the Voice that Emily Ann Ramos and Michael Kasperzak Jr. have thrown their hats in the ring for the open seat, which was vacated after former council member Sally Lieber discovered a conflict of interest with her new position on the state Board of Equalization.
After much debate and a split vote, the city council decided to appoint a new council member rather than hold a special election. The city opened applications Jan. 9, and as of Tuesday, Jan. 17, hadn’t received any takers. But now with at least two applicants interested in the position, the council will have a real choice to make on Jan. 30, when it's slated to pick the new council member.
Ramos currently serves as Vice Chair of the city’s Rental Housing Committee, which implements and administers the city’s rent stabilization program. According to her application for the open seat, which she shared with the Voice, a top priority issue for her if appointed is “the high cost of housing resulting in the displacement of residents, increasing homelessness, and loss of economic diversity.”
Kasperzak is a former Mountain View mayor, having previously served on the City Council for a collective 16 years. He was first in office from January 1999 to January 2007, and his second two terms were from January 2009 to January 2017. Council members can only serve two consecutive terms at a time.
The city initially said it would post applications for the open seat to the Council Vacancy webpage upon receipt of the application.
But on Jan. 17, the city updated the webpage. It now states, “Copies of applications will be posted to this page in the order received after the application period has closed at 5:00 p.m. on January 18.”
The Voice requested that the city make the applications, which are public record, promptly available, just as neighboring cities Menlo Park and Redwood City did with their recent appointments to council. However, city attorney Jennifer Logue said the city is not legally required to post the applications on its website immediately upon receipt.
Posting the applications “as soon as possible” after the Jan. 18 deadline, “which is less than 48 hours after the City received the first application, is well within the requirements of California public records law,” Logue said.