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Showalter, Rosenberg and Siegel lead in early council election results

Original post made on Nov 5, 2014

As results rolled in for the most competitive and unpredictable City Council elections in years, residents and candidates eagerly watched the results Tuesday night to see who would take three open seats vacated by Jac Siegel, Margaret Abe-Koga and Ronit Bryant.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 11:44 PM

Comments (52)

Posted by Jeremy Hoffman
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Nov 5, 2014 at 12:58 am

I'm optimistic about Showalter, Rosenberg, and Siegel being on City Council. I think they'll do a good job shaping a more inclusive, prosperous, and environmentally friendly Mountain View. Whoever ends up winning has a hard job ahead of them, and I wish them good luck and thank them for their service to their city.

Posted by Boo
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 5, 2014 at 6:55 am

A more inclusive, prosperous and environmentally friendly Mountain View? Or are they going to let developers have their way with the city and build so much that none of us will want to live here anymore, essentially driving all the long-time residents out? I certainly hope that's not the case, but I'm really NOT optimistic about these choices. Fearful is a better description.

And now we've also proven that outside money can have a huge impact on Mountain View politics, so the real control no longer sits with us. Now outside interests knows they can have their way with us. I'm really worried about the future of Mountain View.

Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 5, 2014 at 8:07 am

I am SO freaking happy that I have land outside this city where I can build when the time is right. The land purchase was a hedge at the time. No regrets now.

I'm sure I won't be missed. Have fun "transforming".

Posted by Emily Patterson
a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 5, 2014 at 8:51 am

Why are long term residents so afraid of change? I am young professional who thrives on change because I see the good that can come out of it. We need more housing so that other young professionals can continue to move here because, with them, they bring culture, arts, innovative ideas, and meet-ups... which, in turn, will bring a stronger sense of community. I have lived in many major cities throughout the United States and Mountain View is not strong in culture. To be frank, it is quite boring and I find myself driving to other places like Santa Cruz, Davis, and Berkeley to spend money during my weekends. If you want independent businesses to thrive here, you will need to keep the money in Mountain View and not encourage young professionals like myself to go elsewhere. Google brings in the talented and young spirited people so let them help 'build' Mountain View into a more interesting place by making it more affordable to live here.

Posted by DDD
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2014 at 9:05 am

The voters have spoken; more housing.

Posted by Progressive
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 5, 2014 at 9:09 am

It now appears that three progressives who embrace change and growth will join three other council members who also support growth and change. The no growthers are a clear minority but vocal voice. Their claims of a destructive council were rejected by the majority of MV voters. The 3 current EPC members were soundly rejected. I am still amazed but not surprised that not one of them made the top three.

It's time for the no growthers to stop whining and get behind change. Otherwise they will continue to be ignored.

Posted by Patrick
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Nov 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

I'm glad to see that others in Mountain View agreed that more housing and infrastructure are needed for our city. It never made much sense that commercial projects were approved without supplemental approvals for residential projects.

Homes near jobs. It's the future.

Posted by MVResident67
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 5, 2014 at 9:24 am

Stop calling people who may be more moderate in their vision for Mountain View "no growthers". Seriously. Name calling and pejoratives...way to try to find common ground and be inclusive.

Progressive, my tushy. Try arrogant and condescending.

Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2014 at 9:37 am

AC is a registered user.

@Emily Patterson

A wonderful question. And although I am rather passionate about it, I'd like to give a real try at a real answer to you.

I moved here when I was a young professional, which was in the early '90s. One of the things I loved about our city was its diversity. And part of that diversity is the age diversity. I liked being a young person who felt like I had come into my adulthood by looking at my elders differently. I had willfully moved to a city which was suburban, had lots of tech and people who are interested in the future, had an older (and yes, somewhat wealthier, due to their having solid financial habits and values, not being Internet millionaires) professionals, and their wonderful children and families, and ethnic diversity, and yes senior citizens too who had earned their right to live a good sunset.

We have a hospital and infrastructure that was designed to support that kind of community, and I saw that too.

And now, so much of the impetus and push seems based on a vision and values that I myself don't happen to subscribe to. I still live and work in Mountain View in the tech industry; but here's the thing... I don't use a whole lot of it; particularly social media. Seriously, just the other day, a friend of mine asked why I don't Facebook or Instagram; but I Yelp and LinkedIn and the like. I told her, and I was being a smart-ass I admit, "I'm in the tech business. We're like drug dealers. We sell the stuff, we don't use it." Did I mention, I'm not in sales or marketing or traffic targeting. I'm a systems and network engineer. I build and deploy and automate.

I have internalized what I hope are some of the finest of the values of the people who came before me. One of those is the friendly and neighborly and long-term view. In the '90s and early '00s I also, like you, found myself going far afield to hang out and pursue entertainments. Santa Cruz wasn't high on my list, but sure I went to the city or took road trips or waited for cheap fares to fly somewhere. I have a particular love for culture and arts as well. I've enjoyed travel, I speak four languages, and I'm a musical theatre fan. I haven't minded having to go far afield for these things, because this has been a great place to come home to. But Mountain View is where I came home to.

I hope I'm answering your question somewhat. "Why are long-term residents afraid of change?" Well, you're right there is some fear. But more than that, a basic unwillingness. I don't *want* to live in the city (SF). And I don't *want* to live in Santa Cruz. And I don't *want* to refurbish our downtown to look like Santana Row, or Downtown Sunnyvale, or some of the reworked parts of Livermore, or wherever.

I *want* to live somewhere where I know my neighbors, and I watch their kids grow up, and I care for them when they need help crossing the street after they've had a stroke, or let my neighbor come inside because he locked himself out because he's become kind of senile, and go out to eat at diverse places, and can hit by a bar every once in a while and be around the younger tech crowd, and ride my bike into downtown because I live near, but can quietly stand outside my door and look at a view of the mountains. And if I can afford it, I wouldn't mind growing old with neighbors like me, dying here peacefully and being buried up the hill at Gate of Heaven.

I'm Gen-X. Not a whole lot older than you, and a whole lot younger than some of the age demographics which I mentioned. I'm not trying to force my neighbors or long-term residents to share my views and values, or pay the bill for my ideas of how our city could/should be constructed. Most of the growth positions which I've seen or heard of..... are.

I support North Bayshore housing because I want to preserve the old, not throw it away. I want growth to enhance our city, not change it. Yes, I would like more young, vibrant professionals to be able to live here. But you know what? I want our old people to be able to live and die in the house they've been in for fifty years. And I want our not-old/not-young who have lived here a long time as *renters* (like me) to be able to continue to live here and be part of the bones of the city. So many renters here, raising kids, working hard, growing older. I don't want to see them squeezed out by big growth projects either.

I know I've written you a diatribe, but I was truly impressed by your post which I felt asked a basic no-bulls--t and honest question, and I really wanted to to my best to give you a real answer from at least one perspective..

Posted by time-for-petition
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2014 at 9:50 am

Time to get signatures to block all development and demand more parks.

Money is speaking so loud in MV that it is deafening.
And the traffic, pollution ... already unbearable.

Builders are doing their job namely squeeze everything they
can to make most money for themselves (at the expense of
quality of life in MV). The city council is saying, go ahead and
destroy the city... just pay a couple of bucks as fine.

The residents are not standing up for themselves to save
their city.

Posted by Marcin Romaszewicz
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2014 at 10:00 am

Marcin Romaszewicz is a registered user.

I'm also a long time Mountain View resident, and I think that growth is both good and inevitable. The bay area population is growing because we have vibrant industries here, which are attracting people from other parts of the US and the world where there is less opportunity. While this success continues, our population will grow, and they need to live somewhere. The good part of growth is that it makes more local business possible and more specialized businesses become plausible as there's a large enough population to support them.

The downside to what's happening in Mountain View right now is that you either have to be incredibly wealthy to move here, or you're "locked in" by a house you bought years ago and Prop 13's limit to your property taxes. This situation won't result in a vibrant diverse community, it will result in a wealthy single industry town as existing home owners sell and move away. Everyone else will need to commute in from far away, since nearby cities are resisting growth as well. Even the Googlers who are blamed for driving up the prices can't buy in Mountain View anymore, unless they started working there years ago and have serious equity - it can't be done with a paycheck alone.

Growth doesn't have to look like Santana Row or downtown Sunnyvale, which I agree are horrible. This happens because giant lots are sold to single developers to build cookie cutter developments. I think if the community is to grow in a way that preserves its character, the city needs to allow individuals to build denser on their own, allow mixed use commercial/residential buildings outside of a select few zones, and quit making deals with the same developers like Classic Communities or Merlone Geier who always build the same exact thing everywhere.

Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2014 at 10:01 am

'Showalter said what made the election unique and important is "the strong desire to open North Bayshore to housing. There's just been this groundswell of interest in the community."'

Showalter could have added that the election was unique and important in attracting huge expenditure by outside lobbying groups, which benefitted her and may even have gotten her elected. A groundswell of interest in our elections was OUTSIDE the community too.

Emily Patterson: "Why are long term residents so afraid of change?" Wait until you have devoted a good part of your life active in the local community, maybe raised a family here, then find newcomers (who may or may not eventually become long-term residents too) telling you what they think needs changing, for their whim and convenience -- and dismissing any resistance to their ideas as "being afraid of change." Then you may start to understand.

Posted by progressive
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 5, 2014 at 10:28 am

The truth hurts. Amazing arguments. Lets get a petition to stop development. Folks, we just had an election and the voters were smart enough to identify candidates that supported their vision. Time to get on board for progressive changes in MV. Claims of doom and gloom from development are just hyperbole.

Posted by perspective
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2014 at 11:28 am

From the results below, it is clear that there are a good number of potential petitioners that can stop out-of-control, traffic grid-locking, pollution-causing, aesthetics-lacking, no-setback, sun-blocking,dreary, monstrous office and apartment buildings.

Mountain View City Council
Pat Showalter

Ken Rosenberg

Leonard "Lenny" Siegel

Lisa Matichak

Greg Unangst

Ellen Kamei

Margaret Capriles

Mercedes Salem

Jim Neal

Posted by Jes' Sayin'
a resident of Bailey Park
on Nov 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Not progressive, but destructive. Forget the vistas and greenery of North Bayshore, that's for sure. Welcome to towers and more towers like Redwood Shores has.

Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

Don't blame outside money because the election didn't go the way you wanted. Plenty of people tuned that all out.

The biggest and most common signs, the most visible product of campaign money, made for a poor showing...

Posted by Recall
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm

The problem is that there is nobody in the "Let's Keep Mountain View Beautiful And Livable" camp with the organizational skills to influence the election. Prometheus and other developers send money down to the Southern California soft-money laundromat to buy the election. Every single elected candidate received most of their campaign money from people that don't live here.

However, I do contest that is is outside money. It is companies that wish to make a profit by converting Mountain View into a high rent bee-hive of worker drones. I don't blame them. That is capitalism..the American Way.

Lenny Siegel is the only one that seems to care about MV with the organizational skills to influence city council and the election. That's why he was elected (or will probably be elected when the absentee ballots are counted). He got the council to wait a few months before caving into Merlone Grier. No other person in MV could have done that.

Unfortunately, Mr. Siegel appears to want to jam in as many people into the city limits as possible. Perhaps this is to respond to ABAG demands? Let's crap up the Shoreline area near 101 and Palo Alto in order to get our numbers up. I guess if you were going to destroy livability in MV, it's best to do it way over there.

Is there anyone that can stand up and force the city to listen to the silent majority? Initiate a recall? Or get signatures to stop a development from moving forward. (Like what happened in Palo Alto and what Mr. Siegel tried to do here.)

If not, then we're screwed. Developers will continue to fund campaigns with soft money and we will always have a council that is aligned with their interests.

Posted by Turnout
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Nov 5, 2014 at 2:46 pm

One very notable thing about this election was the extremely disappointing turnout. Getting 2,000 - 3,500 total votes in a city of 75,000 is hardly a mandate...just more votes than the others received.

It's sad that in a city with so many current important issues and with 3 completely open council seats, that only about 8,000 residents voted in the election.

What is that saying? (I don't know the answer)

Posted by Nora Adams
a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 5, 2014 at 2:49 pm

If more housing isn't built, but offices are, we can say goodbye to neighborhoods, diversity, and community. With skyrocketing rents and housing costs that are prohibitive for all but the very wealthy, unless there is more housing, this will become a rich, white, old suburb overrun with corporate office complexes and a few high end downtown restaurants.

I'm glad that Lenny, Pat, and Ken have been elected. They value the true values of Mountain View, which is one of diversity and community. As a long time Mountain View resident, I don't want to see my once robust community overrun with businesses, becoming a mecca of industry not neighborhoods. I don't want to continue to see the displacing of long time friends. I don't want to see so many kids on reduced or free lunches at our local schools and living in jammed packed apartments.

I look forward to the preservation of the true heart of what Mountain View is all about: a community where we care for our neighbors and value diversity.

Posted by An older guy
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Let us not forget that before there was a Google, Microsoft, Intuit, etc., there was housing in the North of Bayshore area. Not all of the streets were in good condition, however children of those residents were bussed to school - eight Powell Elementary (Leghorn & Independence) or the currently closed Whisman School.

Posted by Good news
a resident of Whisman Station
on Nov 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm

This thread exposes the anti-housing crowd's argument for what it is. They'll stand by and say little or nothing when millions of square feet of commercial real estate is quietly approved, choking the roads with commuters and corporate buses. Yet extremely vocal they get when anybody suggests more housing. "Quality of life" ... indeed.

We have sat here and listened to these trolls tell us to deal with it or move out.

The voters have spoken. Electing council members with a pro-housing priorities. Finally a bit a good news.

Posted by Robert
a resident of Slater
on Nov 5, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Robert is a registered user.

[email protected] "The downside to what's happening in Mountain View right now is that you either have to be incredibly wealthy to move here, or you're "locked in" by a house you bought years ago and Prop 13's limit to your property taxes. This situation won't result in a vibrant diverse community, it will result in a wealthy single industry town as existing home owners sell and move away."

Well stated.

My wife and I fall into the latter group, and we are leaving, but not happily. Like so many that have come before us, we had planned to live out our lives here and retire here, as Mountain View has been a wonderful place to live, but the nerd invasion changed all that. People keep saying to us how can you leave a climate like this? What I answer is that there are many kinds of climate, not just weather. There is an economic climate that is going through the roof. There is a new social and cultural climate that has taken hold in our community, like Kudzu took over the South, brought here by the huge influx of new workers. The sheer volume of new, young people arriving here so quickly has not allowed sufficient time for either group to assimilate with the other. Change is always happening, but here, it is moving too quickly to control, and our best efforts so far have been reactionary. Acceptable change is like a gentle push as it gives us time to adjust, but what is going on now is a shoving match and it's getting uncivil. I could add transportation culture, a mindset which now favors bicycles over autos and public transit over private. This might be fine for young college age kids, but I am too old for that and our city was not designed that way.
Silicon Valley now reminds me of the Hornet trap in my yard. Just add the pheromones of weather and money and all the high tech Hornets become entrapped in their new "high tech ghetto", the brave new Mountain View of the future. How sad, they have more degrees than a thermometer, and not a whit of common sense.

Posted by too-many-office-buildings-MV
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Mountain View...
Keep building offices.
Then under the guise of "balancing jobs and housing",
Keep building apartments and fill them with residents.

Encourage these new residents to keep electing city council members
that will support building more apartments.

Traffic congestion and gridlock? Who cares?
The long term livability of Mountain View? Who cares?

The one thing that is even more annoying is that there
is absolutely no setback from the roads when these
new buildings go up.

Dilapidated 1 to 2 story buildings are far more appealing
than these new multistory glass and concrete buildings
hitting your face while driving through these roads.

San Antonio phase-1 ... these 330 apartments... where
is the aesthetics?

Why would any city want to self-destruct with this type
of "development"? MV city council needs to stop adding any
more jobs to this already congested city.

Drowning in traffic, pollution, new apartment buildings with
no aesthetics, over-crowding, etc. etc. Welcome to MV,
the developer's paradise!

Developers! Developers!! Developers!!!
Please rain apartments and office buildings on MV!!!
You, the developers... won't be suffering the traffic congestion...
so keep adding buildings!!!!

Posted by Observer
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Nov 5, 2014 at 4:36 pm

At least residents of MV can go and vote for/against development, housing, etc. People in majority of other countries just don't have any choice. Nobody asks for their opinion, governments just do what they want to get more money or power...

Posted by Actually
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 5, 2014 at 4:41 pm

This election is a reaction to the imbalance that the former council created by selling this city out to commercial development. Let us not forget how many renters this city has. Any home-owning resident who thought they could protect their 'way of life' by insulting renters and basically supporting everything that made it more difficult for renters to transition to home ownership, you brought this on yourselves.

But, hey, chin up: after some more housing is brought on market, and the percentage of home ownership goes up, I'm sure that slower growth priorities will come back. Though I'm sure even in that circumstance you'll be on these boards looking for something to troll about.

Posted by Seems like google money
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm

and outsider money worked well.

Posted by Manipulated Election
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Not true that Lenny did not have $$ & support from the developers. He said it openly! Is he now changing his tune?

He also had representatives from Prometeus and Greystar at his BMV meetings!

So what Matichak said in the article is totally on the dot: "...big money and corporations have a lot of influence." More than we'll ever know! I suspect Google, et al, and big construction corps of having their employees register in MV to vote here whether or not they actually live somewhere else. And also exactly for whom to vote: The big three overbuilding candidates on the ballot, exactly what big developers want so they can have build high to the sky and further ruin this place.

And those ballot boxes have to be transported. Tampering is easy then!

What can we do to demand an investigation on both these possibilities???

And, as Pat Showalter is an engineer with the Santa Clara County Water Board, is her becoming a MV City Council member not an outrageous conflict of interest?!! And what are we going to do about it???

Posted by Paranoia Will Destroya
a resident of Bailey Park
on Nov 5, 2014 at 5:21 pm

"...and it goes like THIS!"

-R. Davies

Posted by NewbieResident
a resident of Bailey Park
on Nov 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm

What exactly did the no-housing in North Bayshore candidates propose? Build a few bike lanes? A new park? Put in place a City-wide shuttle? Reduce development of office space and limit housing, in hopes that the problems of traffic congestion and soaring housing prices go away? We don't need 4 years of that. We needed strong, well defined solutions.

Posted by MV since 1980
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 5, 2014 at 5:32 pm

If you want the city environment, then move to the city. I enjoy MV, the neighborhoods, friendly neighbors, green environment, and diversity. Not big on super tall buildings. Great environment for lots of crows. Urban jungle. Have you been to any big Asian cities?

Posted by MV in 2014
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 5, 2014 at 5:58 pm

It's not 1980 anymore ... there are tall, dense commercial buildings popping up everywhere that the current/former council approved. Or maybe you haven't noticed.

Sorry, I can't hear what you're saying over the noise of out-of-town commuters.

Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Palo Alto elected a city council that is at the exactly opposite spectrum of Mountain View.

Looks like Palo Alto is the Republican and Mountain View plays the Democrat role.

I guess this fits well for the local economy. One city for the privileged executived, next to it the city for willing worker bees.

Posted by David Harkness
a resident of Shoreline West
on Nov 5, 2014 at 8:08 pm

I see the reasons on both sides, and both make sense. The problem for me is that it seems the current residents want to enjoy the tax dividends from new office space plus the higher home values from cramped housing.

I moved here from SF and LA (native to San Jose and Santa Cruz), and I'm finally ready to buy a condo/house. But the council built offices for many years without housing. So now I can't afford to pay $1.2M for a mediocre 2bd condo. And I'm hardly alone.

So fine. If you want to keep Mountain View small, don't build offices that attract people who want to live here to avoid commuting two hours each way. Either stop all growth or make sure it's balanced between offices and housing.

And yes, this will require coordination among all the peninsula cities. The office explosion was given a green light by the current residents.

Now work together to solve this mess!

Posted by Progressive
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 5, 2014 at 8:18 pm

This was clearly a mandate since two of the newcomers were elected and there were 3 current EPC members running. Voters are smart and recognized who would best carry put their vision of the city. BTW, a town of 75000 does not have the same number of voters. To suggest that developers influenced the election is laughable. The no growthers continue to whine about doom and gloom and offer no ideas about how to improve projects.

Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 5, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Election manipulation, before you go around spreading conspiracy theories, maybe read up on the sources of the various candidates' campaign finances. Here's a link to get you started:

Web Link

Also, it's not possible to register to vote in a city if you don't live there. You need to provide a residential address in Mountain View.

Posted by ignorance
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2014 at 8:53 pm

It's sad to read so many ignorant words here.

"So fine. If you want to keep Mountain View small, don't build offices that attract people who want to live here to avoid commuting two hours each way."

Fine, then why don't you move to a town that has build almost no offices like Los Altos Hills, Atherton or Woodside? According to the smart people on this thread, rents should be very low there. Without offices, nobody wants to live there, right? Oh! No... rents are much higher there!!! I guess people are willing to pay a lot of money to live near trees and not live in a concrete jungle. Hmmm....

MV is hardly enjoying the "tax dividend" of new office development. I pay property taxes every year, so have yet to get my check.

You could build 5,000 apartments in the next few years and rents will still be going long as the economy continues to flourish.

The best thing to do is very, very little. Build up schools, parks and infrastructure. Make it a desirable place to live again.

Posted by In Mountain View since 1984
a resident of Gemello
on Nov 5, 2014 at 9:00 pm

I'm disappointed that all new elected City Councils are pro North Bayshore Development. What diversity is this about?? It looks very much like "money talks". What will happen to the environment and the wildlife that lives there? All things with no voice are trampled to extinction and will be lost forever. I hope the voters will not regret their choices some day. I would rather see more housing in the Whisman area, where a school could be reopened.

Another comment about the developer that built a way too big Safeway at the San Antonio Shopping Center and want to push the Milk Pail out. Bigger is definitely not better!!!

Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Imagine a utopia Mountain view. 10,000 households, but 100 million sqft Class A offices.

At $2/sqft property tax, the city will have $200 million property tax from offices alone. With additional sales tax, fees, and residential property taxes, this utopia Mountain View can afford the best parks, roads, libraries and schools.

Alas, it won't happen, because renters want more housing, and less offices.

Posted by My two cents
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 5, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Let’s give credit where credit is due.

Big credits to the Voice for selling the illusion that stepping up high-density housing will stabilize prices. Daniel DeBolt’s articles were a constant drum beat for Lenny and his agenda.

I’m sure that Lenny believes in his cause (the environmentalist gospel of building densely in urban areas, to cut down on sprawl and long commutes). But it won’t drive down housing prices.

Let’s see if he can deliver on his promise of affordable housing. I don’t think that’s what Prometheus and other major developers have in mind for Mountain View.

Big credits to the local papers for their election recommendations: Siegel/Showalter/Rosenberg, from both the Voice and the Mercury. A lot of low-information voters make their decisions that way.

And big credits to the sources of the outside and “dark” money (nearly $60,000 for Rosenberg, over $20,000 for Showalter) that made a mockery of the $23,000 voluntary expenditure limit - There’s a great investigative article there for some reporter who truly wants to dig out the individuals and networks that made this happen.

All in all, a great sales job!

We did get some nice promises from both Siegel and Rosenberg about respecting neighborhoods. We’ll see about that.

Posted by -2 cents
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2014 at 1:42 am

Or more accurately, -$163 per square foot for your commercial real estate fetish.

Google is buying office at $625/sq ft -- which is on the peak price for commercial, and in residential the AVERAGE is $788/sq ft according to Trulia. So yeah, you do the math. Adding housing supply certainly can't do anything but improve the situation for home buyers. Given the reckless abandon by which offices have been added to Mountain View, it's really the only thing that can be done to address the issue.

The people opposed to housing are just another breed of NIMBY or developers with an interest in North Bayshore astroturfing. Given the posts we see here, it's clear that they are not interested in community or a balanced plan for all residents of this city, 60% of whom are renters. It's not "dark money" that won this election, it was the legit concerns of a majority of the actual community of the city. So, yeah, deal with it.

Posted by Really?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2014 at 2:39 am

So, it was a complete coincidence that the candidates with the most soft money won the election?

Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2014 at 7:41 am

@-2 cents, you are clueless in multiple levels.

First, I'm talking about tax revenue per sqft, not the sale price per sqft. Secondly, not all of the 1+% property tax goes to the city. State gets a big chunk. $2/sqft is my estimate the city will get.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, in the long run residential property tends to consume more city resources than the revenue it generates, even though the price per sqft is higher than office.

A household is likely to have kids going to school. They use libraries, parks, etc. in weekends, which need to be maintained. Office employees have none of that.

An office is also likely to be updated more frequently in order to maintain employee satisfaction or attract new tenants. A household has no such incentive.

BTW, Google has signed giant multi-million-sqft leases in Sunnyvale and Redwood City. They are diversifying. Don't ever think Google is a trapped cow in Mountain View.

Posted by My two cents
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2014 at 9:22 am

@-2 cents, You are caught up in your own vitriol. Let me clarify:

"commercial real estate fetish" - I said nothing about this. In fact, I'd like to see a freeze on new office space. Google can go elsewhere - in fact, they are already doing that.

"Adding housing supply certainly can't do anything but improve the situation for home buyers." - One of my points was that developers are not interested in building ownership housing, or "affordable" housing (ownership or rental). Very little ownership housing is being built these days.

The most lucrative possibility for developers is to build "luxury" apartments, enabling them to skim $40,000+ per year off the top of a tech worker's $120,000+ per year salary. I'd love to see ownership housing built rather than luxury rentals, but that's not how it's going. The promise of affordable rentals and ownership housing was just a sales pitch.

Finally, if you don't mind, knock off the "NIMBY" slur. That's been a way to dismiss legitimate concerns of citizens who want to avoid damage to their neighborhoods. This forum has been surprisingly civil in the last few months, with only occasional trollery. Let's keep it that way.

Posted by Susan
a resident of Castro City
on Nov 6, 2014 at 11:00 am

Amidst all the discussion about more housing, I am still waiting to find out the definition of Affordable Housing. Without some target cost there can be no possibility of middle income and lower income being able to remain here. Current costs are over the moon and not everyone makes $100K per year. Definition, Please?

Posted by @Susan
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2014 at 11:27 am

No need to wait for an answer! Here you go: Web Link

Posted by @m2grs
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 6, 2014 at 11:35 am

"Looks like Palo Alto is the Republican and Mountain View plays the Democrat role."

All I can say is Michael Savage phrased it correct in his book, "Liberalism is a mental disorder"

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Higher density housing is more energy efficient and good for the environment b/c it uses less land per capita and being close to work centers cuts down on pollution. I'm surprised so many people in a liberal Northern California community is against such policies.

I'm glad the people have spoken. More housing!

Posted by Ugh
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Re: the myth, adding housing "damages" the existing community.

Massive office parks and commuter logjams do, though, and we're not anywhere close to 50% occupancy through the approved office developments yet AFAIK. The best is yet to come! Enjoy your gridlock.

Re: the assertion the city's infrastructure & schools cannot support additional housing (therefore, that housing advocates are too stupid to think about infrastructure concerns... apparently)

I don't think anyone who has advocated housing has been against improving infrastructure and adding schooling to go with it. Some argue it cannot be done. I'm not sure why anyone would be against improved infrastructure unless it was clearly unnecessary. We saw that with Prop 1 (aka the water bond) which passed easily. Of course, it took a historic drought to bring that change, but it has happened.

Everybody who has advocated housing has squarely been on the side of improved schools & infrastructure. I don't think anybody wants to wait for things to get worse, but you know, "worse" is the corner the last council has painted us into.

I can't remember anybody on the anti-housing side screaming about the lack of infrastructure or the damage that would result to the "community" as a result of 7-8 million square feet of office workers coming on board in the next 2-3 years. We've always talked about traffic but it's been divorced from these office projects, people peeved about things like the San Antonio throughfare. I guess because it was off Ellis or over in Bayshore, you probably thought, well, not my problem.

Where are the solutions? The anti-housing group doesn't have any. They just say "no" to things because they are probably in a position (have the luxury) to do that, as home ownership affords them, and others like me. A lot of people don't. The vague answer to them -- 60% of the residents -- is basically deal with the status quo or move out. The vote is clear push-back against that status quo. If anything the message is from renters: solve the housing problem, or don't -- to your peril.

You resent the "NIMBY" term not because it's trolling -- but because it's true and it's a pejorative. If there's a non-pejorative term for NIMBY you'd like to be used, by all means, submit one. As a former NIMBY myself I can relate, but I try to take a wider view of things now. Because, in the most honest light, your dissent on additional housing isn't really about what the "community" needs, it's just about what you think YOU need. And that's really more optimistic than the other conclusion I could reach: which is that you just want to keep watching your home value go up so that you can cash out at peak and retire to Petaluma or something. The thought had occurred to me as well.

Posted by @Ugh
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm

@Ugh - "If anything the message is from renters: solve the housing problem, or don't -- to your peril."

Your candidates won. Developers won, too. Now let's see if they can "solve the housing problem."

Build all you like. We'll see if anything gets "solved."

Posted by Voter
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 6, 2014 at 4:36 pm

There are many ways to grow a city, but finding that balance between infrastructure (schools, streets, police, etc), housing, jobs, and quality of life requires very careful consideration and a true dedication to the current and future citizens of Mountain View. I congratulate our newly elected City Council members and wish them great success.

I agree with the poster above that advised us not to put our city in Google's hands. Google will always do what is best for Google. They owe their loyalty to their stockholders, not to Mountain View. At any moment, they can move their headquarters to another city, county, or even state. We hope we can make it favorable for them to stay, but how far should we go and change the character of our city to accommodate them? Mountain View has think of itself both in and outside of the Google box.

Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Nov 8, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Maher is a registered user.

It looks like we need a new town name: GOOGLEVILLE seems the most honest. I'd hoped for a better bigger turnout of voters who care about our bay access and views but that didn't happen.

Too bad, I've liked Mountain View's concern for these open spaces.

Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Sparty is a registered user.

with google totally destroying MV, good thing their building project is going to be on Federal Land.

And now the anti-bridge balance is gone from city council....

So much for the "MV does whatever google wants" crowd...there now you have it.

"Democracy" is horrible when people don't vote the way you think they should.

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