Laura Teutschel, a PR consultant based in San Carlos is serving as the group's volunteer point-person. Right now, she said volunteers like herself are putting forward money to fund the campaign, but she declined to say how much they've raised. The group has recruited local residents, including former Mayor John Inks, to give short testimonials on why they opposed rent control.
Teutschel previously worked to defeat similar rent control measures in Pacifica, San Mateo and Burlingame, according to her LinkedIn profile.
"Right now, we're starting a conversation in the community and we'll see where that goes," she said. "We're just informing the community and we'll see what percolates from that."
The group Measure V Too Costly has no specific policy goal, she said, although she indicated that a future ballot measure repealing rent control could be a possibility. If pursued, that effort would face the same daunting hurdles that the Mountain View Tenants Coalition faced in the 2016 election. Getting a measure on the ballot would require collecting about 4,600 signatures from eligible city voters, which would need to be submitted by early summer. Alternatively, a City Council majority can vote to put a ballot measure before voters.
Like its name suggests, Measure V Too Costly portrays the city's rent control program as an expensive mistake. The group blasts the appointed Rental Housing Committee for its initial budget of $2.5 million. The group also alleges that the volunteer committee members had pondered paying themselves salaries, although no such proposal has appeared on a meeting agenda and a committee staff member could not recall it ever being brought up. The anti-rent control campaign echoes what apartment owners have been saying for years: rent control will ultimately hurt most Mountain View renters and deplete the city's affordable housing stock.
Those arguments have already provoked a fierce push-back from proponents of rent control, who have rallied to defend the measure. Edie Keating, who campaigned for Measure V as a member of Faith in Action, said that the Rental Housing Committee doesn't cost the city government anything and it has provided stability to about half the city's residents.
"Measure V is working and it's protecting 15,000 families in Mountain View," she said. "The whole title of the premise is misleading at best."
Rent control supporters are interpreting the new opposition campaign as a sign that a push for a ballot measure to repeal or amend Measure V is on the horizon.
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