I'm also proud of the voters of Mountain View for passing Measure V in 2016. Measure V limits rent increases to the inflation rate. If an RV dweller does find an affordable apartment, what's the point if they get priced out in a year by a large rent increase? Yes, some landlords are complaining about a $13 a month fee they now need to pay, but when they are charging $1,500 for the smallest apartment, and up to $2,500 or more for larger apartments, is $13 a month really a problem? All of Mountain View is better off when the city takes steps that support housing.
I'm glad that Measure V is there so that all renters can have a better chance of keeping adequate housing near their jobs and community. Over time, Measure V will also protect more working families as they find better options than living in RVs. It's not perfect, but it's compassionate.
Traffic light removal
As a resident of Castro City, using the traffic light on Rengstorff/Leland helped tremendously with making a left onto Rengstorff Avenue as the city grew. About a month ago that light stopped working, taking away the ability to make a safe left out of the neighborhood. A divider was placed in the middle of the street that only allows right turns. The city of Mountain View has plans to replace the traffic light on Rengstorff/Stanford sometime in April.
I contacted the city and asked why would they leave us without a traffic light out of the neighborhood, as it is difficult to make lefts during peak hours. A specific date for the new light wasn't given due to PG&E delays. The city suggested that we make a right onto Rengstorff and make a U-turn on California Street. That would also be hard to get through the lanes during peak hours.
I then asked if it was possible to remove the divider and let us use the traffic light on Rengstorff/Leland until the new light was ready. The answer given to me was that they will need to see if the divider can be removed and hire another contractor to remove it. Temporary signs were supposed be placed along Rengstorff to leave space open to make it easier for vehicles to make that left; nothing has been done as of today.
Not having any type of light is dangerous and could lead to car accidents. I wish the city had thought this through how it affects us Castro City residents. Getting through Rengstorff and across the train tracks is a challenge enough, and now you're adding an unsafe left turn. In this situation, it feels like the city doesn't hear its residents.
No to Bullis at San Antonio site
Watching the Jan. 16 Mountain View City Council meeting on television, it appeared that a majority of council members had already decided before the meeting to give to the Los Altos School District (LASD) a package of $23 million in park funds and "transferable development rights" (TDRs) worth perhaps another $80 million toward the (forced) purchase of real property on California Street near San Antonio Road (including the former Safeway) for a 10th school site — without any assurance that the site would not simply be used to house Bullis Charter school.
Five of the seven council members voted to move forward with the city's contribution, leaving use of the school site to the future determination of the Los Altos school board
After the meeting, I requested a copy of public records from the city and the school district concerning recent meetings and communications between council members and school board members (and other officials).
The city provided records showing that every council member had been courted by one or more school board members in the months before the meeting. The school district has yet to even respond to the records request.
It is not in Mountain View's best interests to have Bullis Charter School at the site — let alone for $100 million. No member of the LASD board lives in Mountain View. It seems pretty obvious that their plan is to unload the charter school on Mountain View. There is still time for the council to condition the contribution on the property not being used for the charter school. Any such guarantee could be re-negotiated later if events warrant.
Judge Persky recall warranted
Judge Persky's recall is not just about the Stanford swimmer sexual assault case. He has a history of giving special treatment to privileged men, particularly athletes, convicted of sex crimes. Just since August 2016:
•Robert Chain was convicted of possessing pornographic images of toddlers. Persky gave him a four-day sentence and the opportunity to reduce his felony to a misdemeanor after only one year of probation.
•Ikaika Gunderson was convicted of domestic violence after punching, strangling, and pushing his girlfriend out of a car. Following the conviction, Persky allowed Gunderson to delay his sentencing for over a year so he could play football at the University of Hawaii without having to notify the state's probation department. During this time, Gunderson was rearrested for domestic violence against a different victim.
•Tony Chiang was convicted of domestic violence for beating his girlfriend and pulling out fistfuls of her hair. Persky sentenced him to 72 days of "weekend jail" so it wouldn't interfere with his work schedule. Keenan Smith too was convicted of domestic violence against his girlfriend; Persky again tailored his sentence around his football schedule.
This pattern of doing special favors for convicted sex offenders warrants an immediate recall of Judge Persky.
Measure V proposal
Why do the landlords that own properties that were built prior to 1995 have to carry the entire cost of rent control when the problem is a lack of affordable housing? If this is truly something that our community feels is right then all of us should have a stake in supporting it.
Some landlords pay $155 per unit per year ($13 per month). I say some because it doesn't seem to apply to the many large complexes built more recently. And don't forget who pays those property taxes that fund this community and the school bond measures that are included in our property taxes that support our local schools.
How about if all those compensated renters out there throw in a buck a month toward a fund that the city could propose to help those in need of affordable housing? If the city of Mountain View can approve money for helping out the homeless and subsidizing the tow companies for hauling away "leaking vehicles that cause health hazards" then you would think they could help out those who already have a roof over their head.
Perhaps those people that do not live in Mountain View but have so much to say about rent control in our city can kick in too. After all, lack of affordable housing isn't just about Mountain View.
This story contains 1234 words.
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