The Mountain View City Council narrowed its pool of applicants for the vacant council seat down to five finalists at a Jan. 24 meeting. Those five will get to move on to the interview round, slated for next Monday.
Out of the 10 residents who applied for the open seat, the five selected by council last night are former council members Ronit Bryant, Mike Kasperzak, John McAlister and Chris Clark, who is currently a Environmental Planning Commission member; and Emily Ann Ramos, a Rental Housing Committee member.
The majority of council members at the Jan. 24 meeting supported winnowing down the pool of applicants that night, prior to the interview meeting scheduled for Jan. 30. The council agreed to each pick their top four to six applicants, and then allow the top five vote-getters to advance to Monday’s interviews.
The council was in consensus that their ideal applicant would come with experience in city government.
“We’re looking for someone who doesn’t need a year to get up to speed,” Council member Lucas Ramirez said during the meeting.
Bryant, Clark, Kasperzak and McAlister each received six votes, one from each council member. Ramos received five votes, one from all council members except Lisa Matichak.
Applicant Li Zhang, who came up short in a bid for City Council in 2022, got one vote from Council member Margaret Abe-Koga. Applicant Anita Rosen, who served on a local school board and PTA council, snagged one vote from Council member Pat Showalter.
Applicants Brandon Gessert, Michael Ralston and Steve Goldstein did not receive any votes.
With the pool of applicants narrowed down, council members moved on to solidifying the interview questions and process. They settled on a set of six questions, plus allowing for a closing statement. The interview questions include:
- What are your top priorities among our priorities in our strategic plan?
- Are there any issues where you disagree with Council direction, and what would you change?
- How can we enhance the city’s livability and quality of life for our residents?
- How would you consider public comments from residents?
- What efforts would you take to help our existing businesses stay in Mountain View, make it easier for new businesses to enter, and reduce the number of longstanding empty storefronts?
- What criteria do you use to consider land use decisions?
The Council decided to allow 30 minutes for each applicant’s interview, and will encourage applicants to use about three to four minutes for each question. Applicants will receive the questions ahead of time.
After conducting the interviews, the council will discuss the pool of candidates on Jan. 30 and share verbally who their top three choices are. Then, the council will formally vote for two candidates each. The top vote getter will be appointed. If there’s a tie, the council will do another round of voting to break the tie.