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Voter guide: City Council

Original post made on Oct 17, 2014

One of the most important City Council elections in decades will take place on Nov. 4 when voters will pick three candidates to replace outgoing council members Jac Siegel, Ronit Bryant and Margaret Abe-Koga.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 17, 2014, 11:09 AM

Comments (7)

6 people like this
Posted by Go JIm
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 17, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Go Jim, a man of common sense.

6 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 17, 2014 at 7:52 pm

I love the idea of claiming to adhere to the $22K cap while having outside organizations like the AFL-CIO and Community Empowerment Coalition pay for the mailers. I could heat my home with all of the mail, except for not having a fireplace. Maybe I could use if for lighting for the 'fine print'.

I really got feeling depressed and disaffected about the election - just like everyone else, except perhaps the 'true believers'.

4 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Thanks for the support Go Jim!

I would like to note that my primary issues for this campaign include Affordable Housing (which was mentioned above), as well as Preserving Neighborhoods, Parking and Traffic issues, and Saving the Milk Pail. I was the first candidate to speak out about these issues in January of this year when I launched my campaign, and all four issues have become the focal point of the other candidates campaigns as well.

I also am not a Libertarian. I speak out about issues that are of importance to residents as well as try to provide common sense alternatives to over-regulation. I do not think that creating toll roads within the city, nor the indiscriminate use of license plate readers are particularly good ideas.

While other candidates talk about "getting people out of their cars", I am the only one that has done so. I take public transportation or walk 99.9% of the time, but I don't want to force everyone else to do the same. I think that people should use the method of transportation that works best for them, and that the city should try to make it easier for all modes of transportation, not just the ones it favors.

Lastly, please note that no special interest groups have spent a single penny on my campaign. I think this is very likely because in the three years that I have been attending almost every Council and EPC meeting, as well as community meetings and study sessions. In that time I have attended and spoken out on the behalf of residents and local businesses at more Council meetings than all the other candidates combined! I think this is one of the primary reasons that I have had so much support from Mountain View residents. Those are the primary reasons that I am running, and if elected, I will continue to be the voice of residents and local businesses that too often are not heard.

Thank you again for all your support.

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Web Link (Campaign Website)

12 people like this
Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2014 at 11:29 pm

If you are in favor of a rush to high-density development and congestion, go with Siegel, Rosenberg, Showalter, or Unangst. They have all been pretty clear about what they have in mind for Mountain View.

Trying to "balance" housing with jobs is a futile, destructive idea. 20,000+ new jobs are projected in Mountain View by 2030, and by all indications, we'll get there a lot quicker than 2030. At one residence per new job, that's one hundred developments the size of the Madera complex. Where will these buildings go?

Don't expect that there would be much affordable housing in this rush to build, and don't expect that much of it would be ownership housing either. Developers are in the business of making money, and "luxury" apartments are where the money is. That's what is mostly being built these days in Mountain View.

Most people own and use cars. I don't for a minute buy the line that younger workers will all ride bikes and public transit. I'd like to see non-auto alternatives encouraged, but I don't think the real-world numbers will bail us out of the gridlock that massive overdevelopment would cause.

Of the remaining candidates, Kamei and Capriles have a record on the EPC of an inability to say no to developers. They say many of the right things, but when it is time to vote, they "go along to get along".

Lisa Matichak definitely gets my vote. As an EPC commissioner, she has consistently listened to residents' concerns, and has been willing to question some of the most ill-considered development proposals. She favors moderation and sensible development.

I don't always agree with Jim Neal (e.g., on North Bayshore housing, which he seems to favor), but he is well-informed, and has attended most EPC and City Council meetings in the two or three years. He has said he is in favor of neighborhood preservation, and supporting small businesses like Milk Pail. I think Jim is less likely to drink the developers' Kool-aid.

Mercedes Salem gets my third vote. Quoting from the article, "She says the East Whisman area is better for housing, and would like to see the 3.4 million square feet of office slated for North Bayshore cut in half." That seems to show rare good sense.

There it is. We need to get to work and get these candidates elected. Please tell your friends and neighbors what is at stake, and get them to the polls on Nov. 4.

4 people like this
Posted by puzzled
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 20, 2014 at 9:38 am

@concerned citizen, I still not understanding what your chosen candidates would do about the impact of 20,000+ additional workers in MV. Build in East Whisman instead of North Shoreline, cut new office space in half, don't expect people to give up their cars and use alternative transportation, is that it? Please elaborate on what you believe our council SHOULD do?

5 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2014 at 11:08 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Puzzled - I would not approve any new office space, that is not already underway. With regard to cars, I expect that most people will still continue to drive, so the best way to try to resolve the traffic issue is to try to remove as many conflicts as possible such as car/bike (separated bike lanes in certain areas) and car/pedestrian (create pedestrian over-crossings at large intersections) to permit cars to travel more freely and pedestrians to cross quickly and safely.

I would be in favor of building new homes in the identified change areas in Mountain View as long as:

* The density and heights are nearly the same.
* The majority of residents approve or at least are not opposed to the project.
* Eminent domain is not used and/or no persons or businesses are involuntarily evicted.

In my opinion, the only place where high density housing makes sense at this time is in the North Bayshore area, but I would not go above 4-6 stories even there. Chris Chiang has had some ideas on microhousing for that area that I would at least like to study, and would only approve if it makes sense, and after getting significant input from Mountain View residents.

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Web Link ( Campaign Website )

8 people like this
Posted by concerned citizen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2014 at 12:02 pm

@puzzled - I favor Matichak, Neal, and Salem because I think they would be responsive to residents, and less likely to pander to developers.

Siegel, Rosenberg, Showalter, and Unangst are pushing an agenda of rapid, high-density development (not just in North Bayshore, but wherever possible in MV) that would only degrade the city. This rush to build high-density would not produce any significant amount of affordable housing, would not lower prices, and would worsen our traffic problem significantly. Their agenda would only benefit developers, not residents.

To answer your question: What do I think the City Council should do? First, do no harm.

Positive ideas? A shuttle system that really works, improvements to VTA so that it is practical for more people to use, bike lanes where they will not impede flow of traffic, preserve existing affordable housing, higher developer fees to support new affordable housing, and well-considered housing development, at a more moderate pace.

Also, see Jim Neal’s first paragraph, in his post above.

Here is a link to an article posted in another Town Square discussion by former MV mayor and councilmember Laura Macias, regarding the problem of affordable housing in San Francisco. Please read it! Some positive suggestions are listed at the end of the article: Web Link

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