News

City Council narrows down pool of applicants for vacant seat to five finalists

Ronit Bryant, Chris Clark, Mike Kasperzak, John McAlister and Emily Ann Ramos will move on to the interview round

Outgoing Council member Sally Lieber addresses attendees at the Mountain View City Council meeting on Jan. 10, 2023. The council will fill the seat vacated by Lieber through an appointment process on Jan. 30. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

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.

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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.

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Malea Martin
Malea Martin covers the city hall beat in Mountain View. Before joining the Mountain View Voice in 2022, she covered local politics and education for New Times San Luis Obispo, a weekly newspaper on the Central Coast of California. Read more >>

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City Council narrows down pool of applicants for vacant seat to five finalists

Ronit Bryant, Chris Clark, Mike Kasperzak, John McAlister and Emily Ann Ramos will move on to the interview round

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Wed, Jan 25, 2023, 12:48 pm

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.

Comments

Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Jan 25, 2023 at 1:14 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Jan 25, 2023 at 1:14 pm

Just an Observation,

I am not unhappy. I understand my role being outside the City Council gives me more power than within it.

They could actually demand me from not making bad information public, like the problems with City Inspections.

That was a DIRECT threat to the City, so I have no argument that they could not have me on board.

But the idea of appointing other past City Council members, 3 of the candidates, indicates major corruption in the process. Especially where it comes down to Mike Kasperzak.

I would vote for Emily is it was put to a vote, even when we have had disagreements.


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Jan 25, 2023 at 2:15 pm
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Jan 25, 2023 at 2:15 pm

"But the idea of appointing other past City Council members, 3 of the candidates, indicates major corruption in the process. Especially where it comes down to Mike Kasperzak."

This whole exercise is a great example of how the status quo comes up with "reasons" to maintain the status quo.

Some might argue that because these persons were elected in the past, it means that they represent the "will of the people". But that argument falls flat when one points out that just because they had popular support back when doesn't mean that they have it now. If they DO have popular support now, then whey aren't they already seated on the City Council?

What a surprise that Li Zhang didn't make it to the next round. Not. She was a great CANDIDATE for persons like me, who have lost faith in the City Council to do what is best for the RESIDENTS of Mountain View.

Emily seems to want what is best for RESIDENTS too. I haven't seen her called a "residentialist" yet though, not sure why ...


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Jan 25, 2023 at 3:36 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Jan 25, 2023 at 3:36 pm

Just an Observation,

By the way All the previous City Council members were involved with the violation of the City Charter CSFRA delayed rent roll backs. The delayed it for 5 months.

Remember Web Link

So this is good enough proof that they CANNOT comply with the City Charter. Thus this should disqualify them regarding any city appointment or election in the future.


Steven Nelson
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Jan 25, 2023 at 4:01 pm
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Jan 25, 2023 at 4:01 pm

I do not at all see any conspiracy for "corruption". Sorry Mr. Goldman / your hat is now "out of the ring" it seems.

Now, for the 'theory' that local political offices are, shall I say, lock-proof for incumbent office holders? Showalter and good-old-Lenny are reasonably good recent counter-examples I would say. So - my opinion is - ... guess. Pat's vote shows that she is open for untried-new blood also.

I in the past have substantially supported ($,$$$; $$$; or dollars and shoe leather) Showalter, Hicks (incumbents), Kasperzak; McAlister.

I think any of the 5 could work well with the current Council members / several have done so before (AFTER election by the voters in at-large council races). One has less experience / Ramos. But she was appointed by the Council to an important - very substantial - and very 'Hot topic' city board/commission.

Thank you Council.

Thank you Voice reporter Martin - less than a year / on this beat / and yet I'd say 'you get it' (it helps also having Embarcadero Media vets who have covered MV for decades)


Steven Nelson
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Jan 25, 2023 at 4:06 pm
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Jan 25, 2023 at 4:06 pm

the vote stats: (If I get it right?)
6, 6, 6, 6, 5 / 1, 1, / 0, 0 ,0

Peace and Love and good statistics / numerical thinking


DavidWatson
Registered user
Rex Manor
on Jan 25, 2023 at 9:44 pm
DavidWatson, Rex Manor
Registered user
on Jan 25, 2023 at 9:44 pm

Thank you so much for posting the vote tallies!


Free Speech
Registered user
Martens-Carmelita
on Jan 26, 2023 at 10:53 am
Free Speech, Martens-Carmelita
Registered user
on Jan 26, 2023 at 10:53 am

Also disappointed that Li Zhang didn't make the final cut - especially since I voted for her in the last election. I believe a fresh face is a good idea and not the same old candidates that just can't let go - either serving on the council or on commissions. Mike Kasperzak? Hasn't he already served two terms? More than enough.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Jan 26, 2023 at 1:23 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Jan 26, 2023 at 1:23 pm

Just an Observation,

THe City Council is going to have to address the fact they have allowed illegal apartments for rent in the city.

David Avny when he bought 184 Centre Street KNEW in 2015 that the apartment was in non conformance of the zone it resides.

This record was found from the cases 16CV291570 Issachar Ohana et al vs Alain Pinel Realtors, INC et al. And 2015-1-CV-288597 I Ohana vs E. Kalvig

"10. One of the material facts about the Property that should have been disclosed to plaintiffs, but which was not disclosed to plaintiffs (either by the sellers or by Alain Pinel), is that the 11 unit apartment building is a nonconforming use under the zoning laws of the City of Mountain View. Under that zoning law, if fifty percent (50%) or more of the apartment building is substantially destroyed or removed, then the owner of the Property will not be able to reconstruct an 11 unit apartment building. Instead, the owner would be allowed to build only two residences on the Property, having a commercial value substantially less than an 11 unit apartment building."

Also:

“30. Alain Pinel's (and its agents) wrongful conduct, as above described, included without limitation:
A. Selling the Property without disclosing the non-conforming use and without providing plaintiffs with any reasonable opportunity to discover that non-conforming use;"

Also:

On October 29, 2015 Plaintiffs learned that the 11 unit apartment building on the Real Property is a non-conforming use under the City of Mountain View zoning laws, with the result that if fifty percent or more of the apartment building is destroyed, the apartment building cannot be rebuilt; instead, only two residential units would be allowed to be built, which would be a significant decrease in the value of the Real Property."

This was prepared by David Avny’s attorney
SHEA & MCINTYRE, A P.C.
2166 The Alameda
San Jose, CA 95126
[408] 298-6611 Telephone
[408] 275-0814 Facsimile


SRB
Registered user
St. Francis Acres
on Jan 27, 2023 at 5:14 pm
SRB, St. Francis Acres
Registered user
on Jan 27, 2023 at 5:14 pm

@mountain view voice. The agenda for next week's meeting shows council will interview only 4 candidates, did Mike K. drop out or was he disqualified at the eleventh hour?


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