Measure D: In reshaping rent control, council members ask for community's trust | February 14, 2020 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - February 14, 2020

Measure D: In reshaping rent control, council members ask for community's trust

by Kevin Forestieri

Rent control, one of Mountain View's most divisive issues, is back on the ballot March 3. For the first time since 2016, voters will have a chance to weigh in on the city's nascent renter protections and decide whether to accept a bevy of changes largely aimed at loosening rules imposed on landlords.

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Email Kevin Forestieri at [email protected]

Comments

20 people like this
Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 14, 2020 at 7:10 am

Note that the graph on page 10 of the print edition and the virtual edition flips the data. Measure D is more costly than the CSFRA (2016's Measure V).


15 people like this
Posted by Politics as Usual
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 14, 2020 at 9:56 am

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that Jose Gutierrez has received significant campaign contributions from Margaret Abe-Koga, and now he's coming out in favor of Measure D, which will assuredly lead to more evictions and more displacement, against the best interests of the students in the school district.


11 people like this
Posted by Dear MV Voice Editors
a resident of North Bayshore
on Feb 14, 2020 at 11:58 am

MV Voice Editors, since the graph in the printed article was wrong (flipped labels) and so prominently displayed, the paper needs to take much more active and timely measures to communicate the error or it will have influenced the election with “fake news.” This error has major implications for MV.


13 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 14, 2020 at 12:14 pm

Margaret and the City Council have NOT been cooperating at all regarding CSFRA:

FIRST, they agreed to a temporary restraining order freezing the CSFRA while the CAA challenged the law in court.

SECOND, the City Attorney was instructed NOT to defend the CSFRA in court requiring intervention by the Stanford Community Law Center.

THIRD, when the case was dropped by the CAA, the City Council and the RHC did not want to enforce the rent roll back on the proper date of December 26, 2016.

FOURTH, the City Council colluded with the apartment owners to fast track removal of rent controlled units. Thus forcing the STATE to invoke a BAN of removal of rent controlled or affordable housing. Thus taking that action away from the City Council.

FIFTH, the City Council DEMANDED reimbursement of the first year’s funds to start the RHC in only 1 year. They knew it was going to drive up the startup cost. Thus providing opposition to complain that the rental housing fees were too high. They could have made it a 5 year repayment plan instead, but they did want to help out of town investors to put their argument against CSFRA.

So should the citizens of Mountain View believe the deception being perpetrated by the City Council and the City Landlords? I do not think so.


7 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 14, 2020 at 1:02 pm

The City Council doesn’t want you to know this:

The landlords have been playing games with tenants, pushing them out from place to place by pushing their rents up to raise their incomes due to the conspired shortages of housing. The fact is if the MARKET will dictate that there should be a 15% level of cost for your income, so be it. The housing industry has been subsidized so much it cannot be efficient enough to survive on their own. Do you remember he movie A Bugs Life.

The famous scene I remember is :

Hopper (LANDLORDS): Let this be a lesson to all you (CITIZENS) ants! Ideas are very dangerous things! You (CITIZENS) are mindless, soil-shoving losers, put on this Earth to serve us (LANDLORDS)!

(CITIZENS) Flik : You're wrong, Hopper. Ants (CITIZENS) are not meant to serve grasshoppers (LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL). I've seen these ants (CITIZENS) do great things, and year after year they (CITIZENS) somehow manage to pick food for themselves (CITIZENS)*and* you (LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL) . So-so who is the weaker species? Ants (CITIZENS) don't serve grasshoppers (LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL) ! It's *you* (LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL) who need *us*(CITIZENS) ! We're (CITIZENS) a lot stronger than you (LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL) say we (CITIZENS) are... And you (LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL) know it, don't you (LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL)?

And:

Lets use another scene from A Bugs Life it goes like this:

“[Hopper (LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL) has just drowned three dissenting grasshoppers in a pile of seeds]

Hopper (LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL): You let one ant (CITIZENS) stand up to us (LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL), then they all (CITIZENS) might stand up! Those puny little ants (CITIZENS) outnumber us (LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL) a hundred to one and if they (CITIZENS) ever figure that out there goes our way of life(LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL)! It's not about food, it's about keeping those ants (CITIZENS) in line. That's why we're going back(LANDLORDS/CITY COUNCIL)! Does anybody else wanna stay?

[grasshoppers shocked - all the grasshoppers "rev up" their wings]

Molt : [motioning a fellow grasshopper] He's quite the motivational speaker, isn't he?

WHY DO YOU TRUST THE CITY COUNCIL?


11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 14, 2020 at 1:32 pm

We’re supposed to trust the city council that voted to give themselves the power to put unelected non-residents on the housing committee?

Why should we?


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 14, 2020 at 1:55 pm

The city council asks us to trust them on D. This is a city council that voted among themselves to allow unelected non-residents to sit on the housing committee.

Why should we trust this council?


5 people like this
Posted by Mountain View Resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 14, 2020 at 1:56 pm

This city council asks us to trust them on D. This is the city council that voted among themselves to allow unelected non-residents to sit on the housing committee.

Why should we trust this city council?


7 people like this
Posted by Andrea Gemmet
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2020 at 2:03 pm

Due to a production error, the graph that ran in the Feb. 14 print edition mislabeled the colored lines. This story has the correct version of the graph showing rent increases over time under existing rent control (CSFRA) and with Measure D's flat 4% cap. We regret the mistake.


6 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 14, 2020 at 2:10 pm

The online version still has the error


259 people like this
Posted by Dan Waylonis
a resident of Jackson Park
on Feb 14, 2020 at 3:53 pm

Alternatively, repeal the entire disastrous mess and let the market decide on pricing. And let the city decide on how to encourage developers to add housing units to the city.


246 people like this
Posted by Dan Waylonis
a resident of Jackson Park
on Feb 14, 2020 at 3:55 pm

Alternatively, just roll back the entire disastrous mess that is rent control and let the market price housing. And pressure the city to figure out how to encourage and support developers who want to add housing units of any kind to the city.


7 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 14, 2020 at 5:07 pm

In response to Dan Waylonis you said:

“Alternatively, just roll back the entire disastrous mess that is rent control and let the market price housing.”

The critical shortage of housing has not been strong enough to actually build new housing. PRIVATE investors CHERRY PICK what projects they build. Those are not affordable units but luxury ones. So the MARKET has proven to fail the test of being an efficient value control. Remember Alan Greenspan when he testified in Congress that his BELIEF in the MARKET being the most EFFICIENT method of addressing needs turned out to be FLAWED? You went on to say:

“And pressure the city to figure out how to encourage and support developers who want to add housing units of any kind to the city.”

WHY? The profit motive should be enough. What you really are saying is that the City Government must use public money to subsidize private profits. NO that is just proven not to work. That is why the CSFRA was passed.


8 people like this
Posted by @Dan Waylonis
a resident of North Bayshore
on Feb 14, 2020 at 5:15 pm

I share Mr. Waylonis's belief in the innovation of the free market and the efficiency of price signals, but we do not have a free market in local housing as long as supply is so highly regulated. Artificial shortages benefit landlords, artificial prices benefit renters, so either deregulate both or regulate both.


13 people like this
Posted by Mv residents
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 14, 2020 at 7:36 pm

Vote no on D


10 people like this
Posted by Teen Therapist+Teacher Household
a resident of North Whisman
on Feb 14, 2020 at 7:41 pm

Measure D has been well-researched, to the point where some landlords are vocally admitting it is a clear attempt to jack up rent and remodel properties on their tenant's dime.

The manipulative aspects are obvious, often blatant. For example, the hyperbolic mailers about the Rental Housing Committee's salary. 'Vote Measure D so they can't write their own checks!'.

The article accurately points out that the committee "never attempted to give themselves a salary. Members have never formally discussed the possibility of paying themselves a salary as compensation for serving on the committee."

Gee, I wonder who sent such deceptive mailers? Oh, it's the over-funded landlord PAC, supported by massive real estate developers (corporate interests).


5 people like this
Posted by Castro st
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 14, 2020 at 8:54 pm

A “production error” caused the incorrect graph to be included in the PRINT VERSION?? You honestly expect us to believe that???


11 people like this
Posted by Mountain View Renter
a resident of The Crossings
on Feb 15, 2020 at 10:41 am

I rent in Mountain View. When my lease was within 45 days of expiration I contacted the apt manager to see what my renewal lease rate would be. Through 4 or 5 emails, each time, my questions were not answered and they simply stated that I would receive more information 30-45 days prior to lease expiration or would go on a month to month lease. My lease expired without any additional communication and I am now on a month to month and no offer for a renewal. This was before I knew about Measure D. There is no doubt in my mind that my lease wasn't renewed because of the building owner's intent to increase each lease by the maximum allowed (10%) under Measure D. Renters are at a breaking point. Each year rents are increased the maximum amount allowed under CSFRA and now the City Council is asking us to trust them? Do any members of the council rent? Rule number 1, never trust a politician. No, I don't trust the City Council. I am voting "NO" on Measure D because of what its passing would mean to renters like me. Take a look around. Many prior renters have been forced out by increasing rent rates and are flooding the streets with RVs! There isn't enough affordable housing in the area and Measure D will make things even worse! When you are an apartment building owner, the cost and upkeep of the building come out of the rents you take in. It isn't the responsibility of the people who rent to pay for the upkeep over and above their rent. This is ludicrous. Measure D will decrease the inadequate amount of affordable housing and will drive the potential Mountain View work force away. I guarantee if Measure D passes, my rent will increase 10% and I won't see any improvement or amenities for the extra money. What I will see if it being harder and harder to make ends meet in order to line of the pockets of Mountain View apartment building owners.


10 people like this
Posted by Jenny
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:40 am

Trust the city council on rent control? No thank you. This measure gives too much to landlords (4% increases every year, passing on all capital improvements, allowing non-residents on the Rental Committee) without providing enough protection for renters. No on D!


39 people like this
Posted by VP
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2020 at 1:32 pm

Rent control without hourly wage control and without property market value control is unfair, and distorts the problem of reasonable cost housing.
A law that prevents the sale of residential property for an amount greater than $200,000 would immediately, and effectively bring the costs of housing into reach of most people.
Alternatively, a minimum wage of $25 per hour would make $1700 per month rents affordable.
Private investors provide most rental housing. Private investors should be guaranteed a 5% NETT cash flow return on capital invested. Otherwise, we move our money to where the risk/reward balance makes sense.


7 people like this
Posted by whtcabo
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 15, 2020 at 2:16 pm

City council asks for community trust. Community doesn't trust because business isn't ran on trust but metrics. Because they can raise this much they will raise it that much. Corporate landlords will answer to the corporate board members. Ask the question how many of the sitting city council are landlords. They are bias and cant be trusted.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 15, 2020 at 3:08 pm

In response to VP you said:

“Rent control without hourly wage control and without property market value control is unfair, and distorts the problem of reasonable cost housing.”

So what you’re saying is that there should be caps on income. I have no problem with that, the rule should be that anyone working for a company cannot earn less than 5% of the earnings of the highest paid employee or contractor of the company. Thereby if a person earns 1,000,000 a year for the company that means at least the least paid worker should earn $50,000 a year. That sounds good to me. You said:

“A law that prevents the sale of residential property for an amount greater than $200,000 would immediately, and effectively bring the costs of housing into reach of most people.”

The solution to the problem is a systemic issue, it cannot be solved by just making a quick solution. The real facts are the private sector has done a lousy job at providing housing. This idea that private investment was more efficient and reliable started only in 1965 and has been in effect proven wrong. In 1965 the Federal Government decided to outsource public housing to the private sector, and it took only 5 years for housing shortages to start. You said:

“Alternatively, a minimum wage of $25 per hour would make $1700 per month rents affordable.”

That is not correct. The fact would be that all products and services would increase their prices proportionality. So for example if the average minimum wage in CA is $15 and you raise it to $25 then the average cost of say a bottle of milk will go up 66%. This is the problem of “ECONOMIC” science. It cannot factor the irrational behaviors of business, where there is a lot of it. You said:

“Private investors provide most rental housing. Private investors should be guaranteed a 5% NETT cash flow return on capital invested.”

THAT IS NOT CAPITALISM THAT IS SOCIALISM IN A DIFFERENT WORD. If the private sector wants unlimited possible profit, it also must have unlimited possible loss. If you want to have that as a guaranty, than it also must be a cap on profit. Which means an arbitrator will have to have that business operational management audited every year to avoid “accounting manipulation” and where the business goes over the 5%, the surplus will have to be returned to the tenants.

Please understand that the private sector has been socializing their losses but protecting their excess gains.

Otherwise, we move our money to where the risk/reward balance makes sense.


10 people like this
Posted by badgolfer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 15, 2020 at 7:23 pm

Anything Abe-Koga is for deserves being defeated.


7 people like this
Posted by badgolfer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Feb 15, 2020 at 7:24 pm

Anything Abe-Koga is for deserves to be defeated.


11 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 15, 2020 at 7:35 pm

Funny. I just received a fancy mailer from a campaign group "sponsored by the California Apartment Association" headlined TRUSTED CITY LEADERS SUPPORT MEASURE D and featuring a large photo of Margaret Abe-Koga who is up for election in November (if she runs again).


5 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Feb 15, 2020 at 10:09 pm

The problem with the current state of politics is that the moment we have any policy differences, we are quick to jump from a healthy debate to that of character and personal attacks.

I have seen Mayor Abe-Koga and Council Member Clark work on behalf of Mountain View for over a decade. The long hours they put in and the comments they make in City Hall speak of a genuine interest in finding solutions that serve and balance the needs of all the diverse stakeholders in Mountain View. It's easy to attack the people when one disagrees with the policies, but it does not make it true. As long as we are still all neighbors and will have future issues to work on together, we should assume best intentions and yet also ask hard questions.

Their work on Measure D was done with good intentions and with good policy reasoning, even if one reaches a different conclusion then them. Don't like Measure D, say why, as many have constructively here, and hopefully, with an on-going open mind, welcome those who disagree with you to say why as well. The soul of America's democracy starts locally here in our town of Mountain View.


5 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:07 pm

Christopher Chiang signed the rebuttal to the opening ballot argument against Measure D but is said, in the article, to now oppose Measure D. Which is it? Margaret Abe-Koga and Christopher Chang are very smart, hard-working members of the City Council. But they have earned the distrust of voters concerning rent control. I could prove it in a lengthy comment. But the issue on the ballot is Measure D - yes or no. Is Christopher Chiang for or against it?


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 16, 2020 at 1:11 am

The most important reason is the lie written in the last mailing it said:

"Limits rent increases to 4% per year."

This is a LIE the text of the LIE specifically is this:

The original rent increases regulated states:

(b) Rent Increases Regulated. No Landlord shall increase Rent for a Covered Rental Unit except as authorized by this Article. Rent increases shall be limited to those imposed pursuant to Section 1707 (Annual General Adjustment) and, Section 1710(a) (Petition for Upward Adjustment-Fair Rate of Return). A Landlord may set the initial Rent for a new tenancy pursuant to Section 1708 (Initial Rents for New Tenancies).

The New Text regarding Measure D states:

“(b) Rent Increases Regulated. No Landlord shall increase Rent for a Covered Rental Unit except as authorized by this Article. Rent increases shall be limited to those imposed pursuant to Section 1707 (Annual General Adjustment) , Section l 710(a) (Petition for Upward Adjustment-Fair Rate of Return), AND SECTION 1710(E) (INCREASES FOR SPECIFIED CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS). A Landlord may set the initial Rent for a new tenancy pursuant to Section 1708 (Initial Rents for New Tenancies).

That additional provision (AND SECTION 1710(E) (INCREASES FOR SPECIFIED CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS) gives the landlords the ability to raise the rents at whatever rates they can claim will be passed to the existing tenants. Another LIE is the claim stating:

“Make apartments safer and energy efficient”

The fact is that if they are not safe nor energy efficient, they would be in possible violation of inhabitability and energy efficiency standards required under state laws. Measure D is not necessary nor needed to ensure that the apartments are safe and energy efficient in any way. Another LIE states:

“Protects taxpayers by preventing an unelected commission from paying itself a salary.”

THIS IS WRONG because any salary would have to come from the rental fees collected under the CSFRA. The only funds that the RHC has access to come from those fees. The REALITY is that the LANDLORDS do not want to pay a salary to those who regulate them. ANOTHER LIE is this one:

“Giving the City Council the opportunity to expand renter protections to mobile home residents”

NOTHING IN THE CSFRA PROHIBITS THE RHC NOR THE CITY COUNCIL FROM PROVIDING THESE PROTECTIONS. Measure D is not necessary to provide this.

FINALLY the ULTIMATE POWER TAKEOVER OF THE CSFRA STATES:

It removes the independence of the RHC and makes it subject to the City Council

Just look at the original provision:

(k)Integrity and Autonomy of Committee.

The Committee shall be an integral part of the government of the City, BUT SHALL EXERCISE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES UNDER THIS ARTICLE INDEPENDENT FROM THE CITY COUNCIL, CITY MANAGER, AND CITY ATTORNEY, EXCEPT BY REQUEST OF THE COMMITTEE. The Committee may request the services of the City Attorney, who shall provide them pursuant to the lawful duties of the office in Article 711 of the City Charter. In the period between the effective date of this Article and the appointment of the initial members of the Committee, the City shall take whatever steps necessary to perform the duties of the Committee and implement the purposes of this Article.

HERE is the AMEDNDMENT part of Measure D:

(k) Integrity and Autonomy of Committee.

(2) ill The Committee shall be an integral part of the government of the City, The Committee is not a separate legal entity, the Committee may carry out its purposes with City employees, third party contractors, or any combination of the two, and ,ay request services of the City Attorney, who shall provide them pursuant to the lawful duties of the office in article 711 of the City Charter.

NOTICE THE LANGUAGE REMOVED WHICH WAS:

“BUT SHALL EXERCISE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES UNDER THIS ARTICLE INDEPENDENT FROM THE CITY COUNCIL, CITY MANAGER, AND CITY ATTORNEY, EXCEPT BY REQUEST OF THE COMMITTEE”

The City Council is in fact taking over the RHC in this ballot measure. The Citizens never wanted the City Council to have any influence over the RHC.

Finally there is the provision allowing for NON CITIZENS of Mountain View to have a vote on matters involving a Mountain View Citizens rights. Simply put NO WAY. Critics said the CSFRA was designed by Non residents. BUT IT WAS APPROVED BY THE CITIZENS OF MOUNTAIN VIEW AND NOT BY NON CITIZEN VOTERS. THE CITY WANTS TO GRANT POLICE POWERS ON MOUNTAIN VIEW CITIZENS BY THOSE WHO DON'T EVEN LIVE HERE.

Again such lies. And this mailing had the endorsements of Margaret Abe Koga, Chris Clark, Lisa Matichak and John McAllister.

THEY WANT TO TAKE OVER THE CSFRA.


7 people like this
Posted by If u want less apartments
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 16, 2020 at 6:00 am

If you want less apartments than vote for rent control. If you want more apartments, then let the free market control rent. No one would build apartments if their is no money in it, not even your govt. With rent control all the old apartments are being turned into new houses. So think about logically instead of emotionally wanting to protect a handful of renters, that don't want to pay the going rate.


4 people like this
Posted by @If u want less apartments
a resident of North Bayshore
on Feb 16, 2020 at 7:19 am

We do not have a free market in local housing as long as supply is so highly regulated. Artificial shortages benefit landlords, artificial prices benefit renters, so either deregulate both or regulate both.


7 people like this
Posted by @Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Feb 16, 2020 at 8:00 am

Dude, you're letting your personal relationship with politicians cloud your judgment. Take a step back and assess the circumstances that led you to signing the ballot arguments for Measure D and then revoking your signature. Margaret Abe-Koga is misleading the public, in spite of how much you like her personally. It reflects really poorly on you that you're out here going to bat for her even after she embarassed you like that.


4 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 16, 2020 at 8:23 am

In response to If u want less apartments you said:

“If you want less apartments than vote for rent control.”

Another BIG lie. The State Laws prohibit removal of apartments under SB330. The City Council was acting as a RACKETEER INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATION by conspiring to remove affordable and rent controlled apartments prior to the passage of SB330. At the same time as a RACKETEER INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATION they have been used to create the critical housing shortage we have today. WHY SHOULD THE CITY COUNCIL HAVE THIS POWER? You went on to say:

“If you want more apartments, then let the free market control rent.”

THAT IS ANOTHER LIE, Costa Hawkins in 1995 was passed to provide more housing. IT WAS AND IS A FAILURE. You said:

“No one would build apartments if their is no money in it, not even your govt.”

THAT IS ANOTHER LIE, IF THE PRIVATE SECTOR CANNOT BUILD THEN THE PUBLIC WILL BE FORCED TO DO SO. You said:

“With rent control all the old apartments are being turned into new houses.”

THAT IS A LIE SB330 PROHIBITS THAT PRACTICE AT LEAST FOR 5 YEARS AND WILL LIKELY BE RENEWED. You said:

“So think about logically instead of emotionally wanting to protect a handful of renters, that don't want to pay the going rate.”

ACTUALLY LETS EXPAND RENT CONTROL BY PASSING THE REPEAL OF COSTA HAWKINS FOR GOOD. THEREBY ALL RENTERS ARE TREATED ALIKE CONSTITUTIONALLY. COSTA HAWKINS WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.


6 people like this
Posted by Gary
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 16, 2020 at 11:08 am

Above in referring to those "very smart, hard-working" city councilmembers who have earned the distrust of voters regarding rent control, I list Margaret Abe-Koga and Christopher "Chang." I meant Clark.


10 people like this
Posted by Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2020 at 12:36 pm

Let's be clear. Despite the landlords' misleading mailers, if you're against rent control you probably should vote Yes on D.

Measure V (2016) is working, protecting thirteen thousand households against rent increases that would force many of them out of town. So if you want to protect apartment residents against displacement, vote No on D.

The proponents of rent control in Mountain View never said it was a complete solution to our housing crisis. We need to building more housing, both market-rate and below market. And we're doing more of that than any of our neighbors. Because rent control does not apply to new buildings, it turns out that rent control does not discourage housing development.

It's odd that some of the people who argue against rent control because (they claim) it discourages development actually want to slow that development.

Finally, while the evidence never showed that rent control was the reason property owners were tearing down rent-controlled apartments to build townhomes, state law (SB330) is likely to discourage any new demolition proposals.

So if you don't like rent control in principle, vote Yes on D. If you care about the people living in apartments and want to preserve Mountain View cultural and socio-economic diversity, vote NO.


24 people like this
Posted by @Lenny Siegel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 16, 2020 at 8:33 pm

Here is your bio.

Lenny Siegel was a council member in our city a few years, but was rejected by the voters for re-election to city council. This rarely happens.

While on the Dias, he was rude and arrogant at times to both other city council members and the public should they speak out against any of what he wanted to do.

While in office he did not want any of the parking ordinances enforced on the RV's thru out the city streets.

In fact, he wanted to open up more residential areas for the RV's to park in.

While a private citizen, he spoke against the new city council trying to restrict RV parking on narrow streets.

He contacted the ACLU and had them write a letter to the city saying that the ACLU will sue the city if they went ahead with this law. They did not write any letter to any other city in our area that was actively prohibiting people from living in their RV's on the the city streets.

When the city council finally passed a NARROW STREET RV PARKING BAN, streets that are 40 feet wide or less, Lenny Siegel and the Democratic Socialist Party of Silicon Valley gathered enough signatures to put a hold on the narrow street parking ban till the voters can decide. Costing the city $80,000 to put this on the ballot.

Lenny Siegel is an activist who is running again for city council. Vote No in November on Lenny Siegel.

Please keep in mind all of his actions, and remember that he whats to drastically change Mountain View into something it never was.

We do not want to be Berkley or San Francisco.

Lenny is trying really hard to make Mountain View into the South Bay Berkley.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 17, 2020 at 1:23 pm

In response to @Lenny Siegal

I have my issues with Lenny myself, especially invovlving his half efforts to deal with the toxic air that surrounds the entire City of Mountain View with TCE.

But at the same time you do not make any points by only personally attacking him.

You just have to provide some scientific proof that he is saying something untrue.

Or that his opinion is based on flawed research.

But your comments do not address the topic.


2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 17, 2020 at 1:33 pm

In response to Injustice you said:

“You said, the landlords would not do what you wanted them to do, so we did it ourselves. 2 wrongs do not make it right.”

The City Councils Actions do not provide good cause to trust it

FIRST, they agreed to a temporary restraining order freezing the CSFRA while the CAA challenged the law in court. This was not within their discretion, they swore an oath to uphold the City Charter, and the Charter did not allow this action. In fact the City Charter prohibits the City Council to act CONTRARY to the City Chart it says so right here:

“Section 506. - Powers vested in the council.

All powers of the city, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS CHARTER, shall be vested in the council, and said council may establish the method by which any of such powers may be exercised.”

So when the City Charter preempted the City Council, the City Council did everything it could to deny the rights of the CSFRA to its citizens.

SECOND, the City Attorney was instructed NOT to defend the CSFRA in court requiring intervention by the Stanford Community Law Center.

THIRD, when the case was dropped by the CAA, the City Council and the RHC did not want to enforce the rent roll back on the proper date of December 26, 2016.

FOURTH, the City Council colluded with the apartment owners to fast track removal of rent controlled units. Thus forcing the STATE to invoke a BAN of removal of rent controlled or affordable housing. Thus taking that action away from the City Council.

FIFTH, the City Council DEMANDED reimbursement of the first year’s funds to start the RHC in only 1 year. They knew it was going to drive up the startup cost. Thus providing opposition to complain that the rental housing fees were too high. They could have made it a 5 year repayment plan instead, but they did want to help out of town investors to put their argument against CSFRA.

So should the citizens of Mountain View believe the deception being perpetrated by the City Council and the City Landlords? I do not think so.

What the Citizens of Mountain View do not understand is that as a CHARTER City, they are a private organization, they are not a government. What is my proof?

The City Attorney cannot represent a city citizen. It can only represent the City of Mountain View Corporation, just read the following:

“The City Attorney is appointed by the City Council as the Attorney for the City and legal advisor to the City Council.”

This is not a governmental position, it in fact is just a job for a private organization. It goes on to say:

“The City Attorney hires subordinate attorneys to assist in the discharge of assigned responsibilities. The City Attorney's Office defends and prosecutes or retains counsel to defend and prosecute all civil actions and proceedings to which the City is a party and prosecutes all criminal actions involving the City Code. City Code Enforcement is under the direct supervision of the Assistant City Attorney. Staff is responsible for enforcing the City Code provisions relating to zoning, neighborhood preservation, and vehicles on private property.”

So if you are a citizen of Mountain View, the City Attorney DOES NOT REPRESENT YOU AT ALL. THAT makes the City of Mountain view not a real city but a “colony” where they do not have the citizens interests as a priority. They only want to make the City of Mountain View organization get the best deal. It goes on to say:

“The City Attorney's Office represents and advises the Council, boards, commissions, departments, and all City officials in matters of law and necessary drafts of legal documents, ordinances, resolutions, contracts, and other documents pertaining to the City's business.”

NOT THE CITIZENS BUSINESS. NO THE CITY GOVERNMENT IS NOT A REAL GOVERNMENT BUT A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION. Finally:

“The Office is also responsible for providing legal services in connection with the Shoreline Regional Park (North Bayshore), Downtown Parking District, and Downtown Revitalization Authority.”

So again, the myth that we have a City Government is so false. That is why the City of Mountain View is a CHARTER CITY.

A CHARTER CITY is like a CHARTER SCHOOL. It is NOT a Public Agency.


2 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2020 at 2:51 pm

It is about the laws of supply and demand.
Companies should be encouraged to create demand elsewhere. Then, we would not need this acrimonious discussion. And our quality of life would not continue to deteriorate. There is open land available in the central valley.


2 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 17, 2020 at 4:51 pm

In response to Robyn you said:

“It is about the laws of supply and demand.”

Lay people often get that concept wrong. Without Demand there is no Supply. So the language was improperly structured. I was taught this in College by an instructor at San Jose State University, ironically where Tom Means taught economics. Also if you look at most texts it comes up with this general section on the subject (Web Link):

“3.1 DEMAND, SUPPLY, AND EQUILIBRIUM IN MARKETS FOR GOODS AND SERVICES

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

Explain demand, quantity demanded, and the law of demand

Identify a demand curve and a supply curve

Explain supply, quantity supply, and the law of supply

Explain equilibrium, equilibrium price, and equilibrium quantity

First let’s first focus on what economists mean by demand, what they mean by supply, and then how demand and supply interact in a market.”

The housing market has been manipulated in California for decades because if you read this found here (Web Link) resource you will find these facts:

““How to manipulate the law of supply and demand…and make a lot more money” Last Updated on April 4, 2019

According to basic economic principles, the price of your product or service is determined by supply and demand. This is an unfortunate fact that many of us try to deny, but the science is there:

The four basic laws of supply and demand are:

“If demand increases and supply remains unchanged, then it leads to higher equilibrium price and higher quantity.”

CALIFORNIA BROKE THIS LAW BECAUSE QUANTITY IS NOT INCREASING, IT HAS BEEN STEADILY BECOMING SCARCER. Another rule states:

“If demand decreases and supply remains unchanged, then it leads to lower equilibrium price and lower quantity.”

CALIFORNIA HAS YET TO HAVE SEEN THIS PLAY OUT. DEMAND HAS NEVER SERIOUSLY DECREASED AND THE SUPPLY HAS NEVER BEEN STEADY, IN FACT SUPPLIERS REMOVE SUPPLY WHEN DEMAND DECEREAES TO AVOID LOWOER PRICES. CALIFORNIA BREAKS THIS LAW. It goes on to say:

“If supply increases and demand remains unchanged, then it leads to lower equilibrium price and higher quantity.”

BUT THE SUPPLYERS HAVE NEVER LET THIS HAPPEN, SUPPLYERS REMOVE EXCESS SUPPLY FROM THE MARKET. THE FACT IS THE ELIS ACT WAS DESIGNED TO ALLOW MARKET MANIPULATION OF THIS KIND. CALIFORNIA BREAKS THIS LAW. It goes on to say:

“If supply decreases and demand remains unchanged, then it leads to higher equilibrium price and lower quantity.”

THIS LAW CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE AND APARTMENT OWNERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF BY INTENTIONAL DECREASE IN SUPPLY.

What I find incredible is that the Real Estate Industry created the Great Recession by overpricing the cost of housing and cheating the system to get sales. Why? Because the average sales commission on housing is 6%. I discovered this by accident from this report from CNN (Web Link)

“In a complaint filed in early March in the Northern District of Illinois, five law firms teamed up to allege that high commissions were a result of collusion by the National Association of Realtors and the nation's largest brokerage franchises in violation of federal antitrust laws. The firms include heavy hitters like Hagens Berman, which boasts work on cases including the state tobacco lawsuits that led to a $206 billion settlement, as well as Cohen Milstein, which co-led a case against Apple for monopolizing the market for e-books.”

Thus they use appraisers that increase the property values in California. BUT they only use “OPINIONS” and do not actually perform a market analysis.

Then what happened during the Great Recession? Many of these homes were foreclosed, which meant the Real Estate Agents had the chance to resell the same property to get another commission. So they did the same thing all over again in California.

Example, My current building prior to being bought by my new landlord was assessed at $1.15 M. But the Real Estate Agent manipulated the price by using an appraisers “opinion” it was worth $7 M. My current landlord bought the property for $5% M. Thus the Real Estate agent walked away with instead of $69,000 for commission they walked away with $300,000. A difference of $231,000. What do you think is going to happen? And most likely the appraisers get a cut of that commission or get more business when they help Real Estate Agents maximize their earnings. Talking about a business primed for a racketeering situation.

The State, County, and Cities are under the thumb of the Real Estate Business because any threat to correct this situation is confronted with some real threats. The first threat is that Real Estate Agents will “low ball” housing in California causing a dramatic loss of housing values which will crash property tax revenues. Why would they do this? Because they already cashed in on the market with a large nest egg.

Second, they use the racketeer’s income to buy the government officers with campaign contributions. Mountain View is a great example because most City Council members took large Real Estate donations for their campaigns.

Robyn, The law of Demand and Supply has been broken in California for decades. You said:

“Companies should be encouraged to create demand elsewhere. Then, we would not need this acrimonious discussion. And our quality of life would not continue to deteriorate. There is open land available in the central valley.”

I agree, let’s have Google move out of Mountain View and relocate to the Central Valley. Or is it you want them to commute to Mountain View to work?


5 people like this
Posted by Renter Dude
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Feb 18, 2020 at 11:36 am

Hello fellow renters. Mark my words that if this passes, every one of us will be hit with 10% rent increases within the year for "capital improvements" of which we will see marginal benefit. You will then be hit with 10% more next year. And 10% more the year after. Property owners will rationalize this as "making up" for the 3 years you got at rent control.


5 people like this
Posted by Renter Dude
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Feb 18, 2020 at 11:36 am


Real question: How can I validate whether my "capital improvements" were properly accounted for and passed on to me at a correct percentage of cost? Will my landlord show me the financials? Submit to an audit? How can I prove my landlord is not passing on every cost from painting the fence to trimming the hedges as a "capital improvement" and another 10% rent increase?

Also, why do I have to fund the full capital improvement to begin with? I am not going to see benefit of a new building for 30+ years. I should only see the yearly depreciation expense added to my rent...this is how businesses account for capital expenditures. Why should my landlord treat it any different?


1 person likes this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Castro City
on Feb 18, 2020 at 1:14 pm

In response to Herb Masterson you said:

“Actually, it's not homeowners that need to understand this, it's renters. Measure D is just a minor tweak to rent control to try to address the unsustainable part of Measure V.”

THAT IS NOT TRUE IT TOTALLY TAKE THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE RHC AWAY AND GIVES THE CITY COUNCIL COMPLETE CONTROL OVER IT AND GIVE NON-CITY RESIDENTS POWER OVER THE LIVES OF THOSE LIVING IN MOUNTAIN VIEW ALSO THE CITY COUNCIL PREVENTS THE PUBLIC FROM KNOWING IT BECAUSE IT PROHIBITED THE FULL TEXT DISCLOSURE IN THE VOTING BALLOT INFORMATION PACKAGE:

PROOF:

Just look at the original provision insie the CSFRA as published by the city website (Web Link) it states:

(k)Integrity and Autonomy of Committee.

The Committee shall be an integral part of the government of the City, BUT SHALL EXERCISE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES UNDER THIS ARTICLE INDEPENDENT FROM THE CITY COUNCIL, CITY MANAGER, AND CITY ATTORNEY, EXCEPT BY REQUEST OF THE COMMITTEE. The Committee may request the services of the City Attorney, who shall provide them pursuant to the lawful duties of the office in Article 711 of the City Charter. In the period between the effective date of this Article and the appointment of the initial members of the Committee, the City shall take whatever steps necessary to perform the duties of the Committee and implement the purposes of this Article.

HERE is the AMEDNDMENT part of Measure D published online at (Web Link) :

(k) Integrity and Autonomy of Committee.

(2) ill The Committee shall be an integral part of the government of the City, The Committee is not a separate legal entity, the Committee may carry out its purposes with City employees, third party contractors, or any combination of the two, and ,ay request services of the City Attorney, who shall provide them pursuant to the lawful duties of the office in article 711 of the City Charter.

NOTICE THE LANGUAGE REMOVED WHICH WAS:

“BUT SHALL EXERCISE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES UNDER THIS ARTICLE INDEPENDENT FROM THE CITY COUNCIL, CITY MANAGER, AND CITY ATTORNEY, EXCEPT BY REQUEST OF THE COMMITTEE”

The City Council is in fact taking over the RHC in this ballot measure. The Citizens never wanted the City Council to have any influence over the RHC. THIS IS NOT A MINOR TWEAK, THE CITY COUNCIL WILL CONTROL THE RHC.

MEASURE D WILL ALLOW NON RESIDENTS OF MOUNTAIN VIEW JUDICIAL POWER OVER CITY CITITZENS OF MOUNTAIN VIEW. REMEMBER THE CSFRA DOES NOT STATE THERE MUST BE 2 MEMBERS THAT ARE OWN OR MANAGE ANY RENTAL PROPERTY, OR THAT ARE REALTORS OR DEVELOPERS. IT ONLY STTES THERE CAN BE NO MORE THAN 2. THE ORIGINAL TEXT CAN BE FOUND HERE(Web Link) and it states:

“Composition. There shall be in the City of Mountain View an appointed Rental Housing Committee comprised of Mountain View residents as set forth in this Section. The Committee shall consist of five (5) Committee members appointed by the City Council, and an alternate Committee member. The alternate Committee member shall be permitted to attend all Committee meetings and to speak, but not be authorized to vote unless a regular member of the Committee is absent at that meeting or is recused from voting on an agenda item. THERE SHALL BE NO MORE THAN TWO (2) MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE THAT OWN OR MANAGE ANY RENTAL PROPERTY, OR THAT ARE REALTORS OR DEVELOPERS. Anyone nominated to this Committee must be in compliance with this Article and all other local, state and federal laws regulating the provision of housing. Annually, the Committee shall elect one of its members to serve as chairperson.:

The changes Measure D proposes from the original text here:

“Section 1709. - Rental housing committee. (b)

Eligibility and Appointment. Committee members shall be appointed by the City Council at a public meeting. Applicants for membership on the Committee shall submit an application to the City Council. The application shall include a statement under penalty of perjury of the applicant's interests and dealings in real property, including but not limited to, ownership, trusteeship, sale, or management, and investment in and association with partnerships, corporations, joint ventures, and syndicates engaged in ownership, sale, or management of real property during the three years immediately prior to the applicant's application. This documentation shall be made available to the public.”

Measure D’s Changes are:

(b) Eligibility, Appointment, and Removal. Committee members shall be appointed by the City Council at a public meeting, AND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO REMOVAL BY MOTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED BY AT LEAST FOUR AFFIRMATIVE VOTES. Applicants for membership on the Committee shall submit an application to the City Council. IF THE CITY COUNCIL DETERMINES THAT IT HAS NOT RECEIVED ADEQUATE QUALIFYING APPLICATIONS FROM MOUNTAIN VIEW RESIDENTS FOR ANY VACANT POSITION, THEN THE CITY COUNCIL MAY APPOINT AN OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE PERSON WHO IS NOT A MOUNTAIN VIEW RESIDENT TO THE COMMITTEE SO LONG AS THE PERSON MAINTAINS AN OWNERSHIP OR TRUSTEESHIP INTEREST IN. OR MANAGES. ONE OR MORE COVERED RENTAL UNITS. PROVIDED THE LIMITATION ON THE NUMBER OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS WHO OWN OR MANAGE ANY RENTAL PROPERTY. OR WHO ARE REALTORS OR DEVELOPERS IN SECTION 1709(A) SHALL CONTINUE TO APPLY. The application shall include a statement under penalty of perjury of the applicant's interests and dealings in real property, including but not limited to, ownership, trusteeship, sale, or management, and investment in and association with partnerships, corporations, joint ventures, and syndicates engaged in ownership, sale, or management of real property during the three years immediately prior to the applicant's application. This documentation shall be made available to the public.

First there is the new line saying:

“AND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO REMOVAL BY MOTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL ADOPTED BY AT LEAST FOUR AFFIRMATIVE VOTES”

This means the City Council is threatening the “independent RHC member with being thrown out for any reason.

Also :

“IF THE CITY COUNCIL DETERMINES THAT IT HAS NOT RECEIVED ADEQUATE QUALIFYING APPLICATIONS FROM MOUNTAIN VIEW RESIDENTS FOR ANY VACANT POSITION, THEN THE CITY COUNCIL MAY APPOINT AN OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE PERSON WHO IS NOT A MOUNTAIN VIEW RESIDENT TO THE COMMITTEE SO LONG AS THE PERSON MAINTAINS AN OWNERSHIP OR TRUSTEESHIP INTEREST IN. OR MANAGES. ONE OR MORE COVERED RENTAL UNITS. PROVIDED THE LIMITATION ON THE NUMBER OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS WHO OWN OR MANAGE ANY RENTAL PROPERTY. OR WHO ARE REALTORS OR DEVELOPERS IN SECTION 1709(A) SHALL CONTINUE TO APPLY’

Again the City Council is incorrect in thinking that the CSFRA requires at Least 2 members that are THERE SHALL BE NO MORE THAN TWO (2) MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE THAT OWN OR MANAGE ANY RENTAL PROPERTY, OR THAT ARE REALTORS OR DEVELOPERS. THIS IS A LIE AND IT DOES NOT REQUIRE THERE BE 2 MEMBERS SATISFYING THAT CRITERIA, ONLY THAT A MAXIMUM OF 2 CAN BE.

THE CITY COUNCIL WANTS TO TAKE OVER THE CSFRA

THE CITY CANNOT LET THEM. You said:

“It's very hard to explain to a renter why the property owner should be allowed to raise rent 4% a year versus 3% a year. It makes no sense to the renter until their landlord decides that they no longer want to be in the rental business and do an Ellis Act conversion.”

Ellis Act sell yes, conversion NO based on SB330, I already pointed out the price cottrols will have to be applied to any new units. You said:

“It's also quite unfair that properties built after 1995 are exempt from rent control yet the owners enjoy the same Proposition 13 tax benefits as the owners of older buildings. I thought that 2018's Proposition 10 was a good idea, but it went down to defeat by a huge margin, 59% to 41%. They are trying again in November 2020, but I doubt if it'll change the results much, especially since rents are now slowly coming down in most of the state and we have such a housing surplus in California, and because AB1482 already sets a statewide rent cap and it applies even to newer properties.”

We shall see.


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