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City Council candidates in dead heat to the finish

Original post made on Nov 7, 2012

While a winner was called in the presidential election Tuesday night just before 10 p.m., City Council candidates were still on the edge of their seats to see who was going to win a very tight race.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 8:40 AM

Comments (29)

Posted by Reader
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

Neal "spooked" some voters? Wow! Poor choice of words even for the Voice. The term is used as offensive slang as a disparaging term for a Black person. Glad I could help out. Now go fire yourself Mr. Debolt.

Posted by Forrest Trump
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2012 at 11:25 am

The term spook is also used as a synonym for scare, frighten, alarm, etc. If one actually reads the article, it is pretty darned obvious as to what was meant. Some people are unreal.

Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm

"Reader" is just being dense. Seriously, they have got to be the only person who read that and got a racist connotation from it.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Kaspserzak, said. "Although everyone ran as fiscally conservative. We really do tend to be pragmatic" in Mountain View.

Translation: we feed the voters a line of BS about being fiscally conservative, but in the end we give their money to the labor unions.

Posted by NIce
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Inks and Prometheus of course they were partying together. They are the reason Mt. View is turning into a piss poor apartment community instead a decent nice little town with a "yard" for kids to play in. All about the bucks.

Posted by Darin
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Darin is a registered user.

Well, "Reader" can stand down. The online version has been updated to use the word "alarmed" rather than "spooked".

But hey, I learned something. I had no idea the noun "spook" had any meaning other than a ghost/spirit or an agent/spy. But as far as I can tell, the verb "spook" refers only to frightening, scaring, or startling.

Posted by jim
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Nov 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Hey Nice,

A question?

Are Inks and Moss making apartments so McCalister can find a place for his minimum wage workers to live?

Posted by @another reader
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Definition of Spook from the free dictionary Web Link
1. Informal A ghost; a specter.
2. Slang A secret agent; a spy.
3. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a Black person.
v. spooked, spook·ing, spooks Informal
Now tell me De Bolt is not a racist !!!

Posted by Rob
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm

It does make perfect sense.
Inks and Prometheous can continue to party together while Inks gets free flights on fighter jets from Google.

This way Inks can approve more office buildings for Google which will lead to more apartment complex approvals for Prometheous.

This is proof that our public officials have either poor judgement or they have no shame. Either way, we should congratulate them on bold moves!

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm

The word "spook" is racist and I have come to expect no better from Mr. Debolt. Instead of noting that all my opponents outspent me by a minimum of 4 to 1, and that most had a lot of help from special interests to walk the precincts and send out mailers, he chooses once again to insult me. My dollar cost average per vote was about 65 cents compared to about $1.25 for everyone else. To anyone that is impartial, they would be amazed at those results! At that ratio,iIf I had the money and resources of any other candidate, I would easily have placed first. I personally visited over 2500 homes in Mountain View and I donated (not loaned) over 85% of the money that my campaign received because I believe in putting my money where my mouth is.

Not bad for a "spook"!

Jim Neal

Posted by Kate
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Kasperzak was supported by developers. Does that mean we'll be seeing a lot more development in Mountain View?

Posted by Forrest Trump
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm

@another reader

"...who spooked some voters with his controversial comments..."

In the above, "spooked" is a verb, not a noun. Pretty simple really.

DeBolt is not a racist. Happy Einstein?

Posted by Patrick
a resident of Castro City
on Nov 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm

@AnotherReader. You conveniently left out the verbs from the definition which is how it was used in the article. The word spooked as a verb does not have any racist connotations to it.

Posted by Forrest Trump
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm


"...At that ratio,iIf I had the money and resources of any other candidate, I would easily have placed first."

You are are assuming that money alone won the election. But let's make that assumption and work the numbers:

Inks 8,546 votes; Capriles 7,541; Clark 8,262; Kasperzak 8,480;
McAlister 8,269; Neal 4,173

So if the other candidates spent ~$1.25/vote and you spent $0.65, normalizing to $1.00/vote, you would only move up to 5th, still short of a council seat.

Inks 6837 votes; Capriles 6033; Clark 6610; Kasperzak 6784;
McAlister 6615; Neal 6420

Check my math please.

Although it does play a huge part, it's not just that as you seem to be implying. For the record, I only had two of my candidates win seats.

Posted by Jes' Sayin'
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Re "McAlister laid low", let's review our verb tenses:
He lies low.
He lay low.
He has lain low.

Written after a very late night?

Posted by reader3
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Actually in slang usage, getting spooked is similar to getting punked. So yes, being spooked (verb) could very well refer to the noun (spook). And then there's the intentional nuance that might have been at play. Poor choice of words.

Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Truthfully, a winner was called last night in the Presidential election by 8:30 pm, NOT 10:00 pm!!! Sorry to be so picky.

Posted by Silly
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 7, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Please stop with all the silliness. All of you are behaving badly.

And I don't give a hoot about the grammer especially in today's society.

Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm

A person will have to 'give a hoot about the GRAMMAR in today's society...'.

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Well Forrest Trump, it's evident that math is not your strong suit and neither is English, because what I was saying is that if I maintained the dollar cost average per vote and spent the amount of money that my opponents spent, I would have had a minimum of 16,000 votes since I was outspent by roughly 4 to 1 by the least financed of my competitors. In your example you are talking about normalizing which is taking the average of all of us and then dividing it which in inapplicable in this particular case because my point is that I spent my money more wisely and therefore got more bang for my buck.

For those of you that are arguing whether "spooked" is a noun or a verb, that argument also is a red herring because the point is that it can be seen as a double entendre. I also note that Debolt failed to list any of my so-called controversial comments so I will do so for him:

I believe that the City Council should represent the people not rule them

I do not believe that the City Council should use the police powers of the state to force people to use products they approve.

I think that the donated sections of the Berlin Wall should be placed on City Council plaza to remind them of what happens when the state tries to make all the choices for the people.

I think that the city budget should be balanced.

I think that the pensions for new city employees should be adjusted to more reasonable levels so that the city does not find itself in the same situation as Stockton in 20 to 30 years.

Radical huh?

Jim Neal

Posted by Forrest Trump
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm

"My dollar cost average per vote was about 65 cents compared to about $1.25 for everyone else."

A direct quote from you Jim. I asked you politely to check my math, I didn't ask for an insult.

Your people skills are not what they should be to run for elected office. Maybe that's the real reason why you finished dead last.

Posted by disappointed
a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Jim Neal,

You are such a radical! Balance the budget, those wild ideas have no place in politics, especially with this group! So sorry our support wasn't enough, you were the only one amoungst the talking suits that had something to say, propbably scared people out of their comfort zone. Oh and I think you should have sealed it ith your tongue in cheek comment about revving your Mustang! I have several as well!!

Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 8, 2012 at 2:13 am

Seriously? Do you people really think debolt is a racist?

Do you realize how much stuff he has to write daily? The only reason the verb "spook" was an issue is because Jim is black. If he wrote that Inks spooked voters by having a Prometheus exec at his party nobody would even take notice. I don't like all that debolt writes, but I respect his integrity as a journalist, even if it is for a hack local rag like the Voice. :-p

Jim, you are above this. Don't feed into it. I think you could be a refreshing alternative to many of the council members we have had in recent years. It's also not a money thing. Incumbents have a track record and Clark and McAllister really do have a lot of pertinent experience in recent years, regardless if you agree with them. That's what gets votes.

I spent less than a grand and got something like 4500 votes two years ago. I attribute it to a bit of name recognition and some folks really pissed at the incumbents running. The bottom line though is that I came in cold with little actual history in city governance. I had no grand visions and now I have no time to pursue a seat. Someday...

As for all you petty children out there hiding behind your pseudonyms, get some balls and use your real name when you call others out!

Posted by MV Voter
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm

The results just prove that aging white men still hold the power in this city! Even if they are supposed democrats, although they certainly act like republicans.

Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 8, 2012 at 9:05 pm

You have to wonder how an editor let Mr Debolt use the term "spooked" to refer to an African-American candidate. Someone should get fired. Fortunately Mr. Neal is a rational and intelligent man and who can roll with the stupidity of the Voice and come back with a nice salvo.

As to the old white men holding the power, does this apply to the young Chris Clark?

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Mr. David,

Thank you for the kind words and advice! The last thing I will say about the money issue is that in my case, it did make a huge difference because up to now, I didn't have any name recognition and am a newcomer, so the only way for me to get my message out is via flyers and print ads. Especially since in my opinion, the Voice can't seem to find anything positive to say about a Black candidate that worked his way up from nothing and had a chance to become the first Black council person in the history of Mountain View. I admit that my ideas may be different, but I come from a different background than most people who live here. However, that does not mean that my ideas are any less valid and I would argue that in some cases, they are more so. Who better to provide solutions for small businesses, than someone that has run one? Or the issues experienced by minorities, than someone who is one? Or to represent the people than a person who has experienced firsthand the effects of bad city policies?

Lastly, for those people that think, or claim that I was "lying low" on election night, I was actually in class at NDNU in Belmont from 6pm to 9pm. I informed KMVT of that fact at least a week in advance and anyone in the press who cared to print the truth could easily have simply asked them why I wasn't there. When I got back to Mountain View at 10pm that night, my wife and I attended the election night event at The Tied House with John Inks and Margaret Capriles and even signed an autograph that was requested.

Posted by Darin
a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Darin is a registered user.

Well, this has certainly been an informative discussion. I learned that the noun "spook" has a racist meaning. I learned that Jim Neal is Black. I learned that some people see racism in things that seem perfectly innocuous to me.

Personally, I think there's a stronger case that the original language insulted the voters. After all, by using the verb "spooked", DeBolt was describing voters as skittish livestock. But what do I know?

Posted by Color of Council
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 10, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Frankly it doesn't matter to me if our council people are white, black, gay, Latino, or whatever.

Here's what matters: That they've demonstrated enough competency to provide confidence in their ability to deliberate/decide the current issues and future direction of an organization which has a $100M operating budget, 700+ employees, and serves 70,000+ residents. And yes, I believe that one must've had significant experience in the business sector to gain that competency. If this were La Honda, it might be enough to be a nice person who's lived in town for 30 years and understands the town folk and day-to-day issues. But Mountain View is a big city in the heart of Silicon Valley, and needs seasoned people on council. You don't need to be expert in all areas, but you need to have an understanding for finance, legal, etc.

Everything else being equal, it's important to have a diverse council that represents different segments of the MV community. But that's secondary to having 7 people who have the experience and intellect to deal with the huge issues with which our council should be involved.

Just one person's opinion.

PS - Spending 2 years on a City Commission is a nice "piece", but in itself not anywhere near sufficient to having sufficient breadth of experience. Some folks apply for commissions and see that as the roadmap to council. Surely it's nice to be able to check the "commission" box on the resume, but the resume needs to be solid in most other areas before the commission experience is a difference-maker.

Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 12, 2012 at 11:56 am

Mountain View's City Council is about as diverse as a Mitt Romney fundraiser.

I voted for Jim Neal, and I'll vote for him again if he runs again.

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