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Big donations kick off Measure B campaign

Original post made on Mar 28, 2017

The campaign to pass the Mountain View Whisman School District's new parcel tax got off to a quick start last month, with large donations from city leaders as well as legal firms, architects and construction companies that have a close relationship with the district, according to campaign finance documents.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 1:53 PM

Comments (51)

150 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Here's a challenge to the school district:

You want our money, explain what you're doing with it!

You approved a $149,000 TTO "settlement" on Feb 28 in closed session. It has been 30 days. When do you plan to provide some information regarding this expenditure of public funds?

Please do this in a public forum, allow for questions and provide responses.

Then we can talk about whether we should approve Measure B.


110 people like this
Posted by Angry Parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Agreed with Taxpayer. Why should we vote for this parcel tax when the MVWSD is failing our children with excessive waitlists, overcrowding, insufficient resources due to poorly handled budgets, and apathetic District employees who are failing at their jobs? Although I do believe that funding our schools is very important for our city, maybe individual tax payers would be better off taking the money they would save by not having to pay this parcel tax and donating it to their local school's PTA, or after-care programs, or tutoring for children in need? More transparency is needed from the MVWSD, as is better leadership before I'm convinced another parcel tax is the solution.


130 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:37 pm

I also call upon the district to release the legal expenditures related to TTO. Did they reach six figures?

How nice of Orbach Huff Suarez & Henderson LLP gave $1,500 and Dannis Woliver Kelley to provide $2,500 in contributions in return for all of the extra TTO related work!


77 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:51 pm

[Sorry about the typos above!]

I also call upon the district to release the legal expenditures related to TTO. Did they reach six figures?

How nice of legal firms Orbach Huff Suarez & Henderson LLP and Dannis Woliver Kelley to provide $2,500 in combined contributions in return for all of the extra TTO related work!


35 people like this
Posted by Still a Yes Vote
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 28, 2017 at 2:54 pm

While I understand & have certainly felt firsthand the frustration with the school district, the right thing to do is to vote yes. If Measure B doesn't pass, it's the children who will suffer, not the administrators.


49 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Slater
on Mar 28, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Sounds like a back door deal.


74 people like this
Posted by Cuesta Park parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 3:45 pm

The parcel tax request is extremely ill timed from the district side as they have frustrated multiple patents groups with the latest fiscal and oversight shortcomings (TTO, elementary school waitlists, etc). How can they expect residents in the Cuesta and Huff neighborhood to vote yes when many families are then shut out of their neighborhood school? I heard of many families that consider private school after the TTO scandal. Do you think that they will support the measure?
On top of that, now the PTAs are asked for donations! This is basically taking money away from specific schools despite that PTA funds provided by parents is usually given with the understanding that the $ will be used for the kids at their school? There is even a slogan that the PTA donations support student oriented programs that are specific to the school! This is outrageous and will diminish future fundraising by the PTA.

I'm not surprised that construction companies and and legal firms that have gotten contracts with the district have clearly their own interest in mind when supporting a continued funding source that new contracts for them self can be expected.


24 people like this
Posted by Yes vote here.
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2017 at 5:05 pm

I'll be voting yes. All issues voiced above can be addressed but I won't be some child and hold my vote until some "Ransom" I demand (anonymously) is paid.


94 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 28, 2017 at 6:21 pm

@ Yes vote here

It's childish to demand that the district act responsibly and provide information regarding this expenditure of public funds?

I think it's the district and Superintendent who need to put on their big boy pants and act like they can be trusted with taxpayer funds. You call that "ransom"? The vote is still over a month away so lots of time for them to do their jobs.

Then people will be much more open to voting yes on Measure B.


19 people like this
Posted by @ Taxpayer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 6:39 pm

My family is one of those affected by the overenrollment at Huff. I received an email from the superintendent last week with information and just received another one from him this afternoon with 11 options that will be presented to the Board on Thursday. The Board needs to decide what they want to do to address the issue. District staff is working this issue hard and I appreciate the ongoing communication I am receiving.


122 people like this
Posted by Broke Taxpayer
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2017 at 7:05 pm

I'm already paying excessive property taxes, and you want to add on other tax? I do support educatikn, but why don't these deep pocket just donate the,money directly to the district rather than to the political campaign? No tax write off that way? Property owners are already taxes to death in this city. I pay over 1% of my house value per year in taxes. More is just not acceptable.


42 people like this
Posted by @@ Taxpayer
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2017 at 7:08 pm

I saw the communication from the district with the 11 options. Most of them are completely ridiculous. I would expect the Superintendent to winnow it down to reasonable alternatives before releasing!

Let's see what happens. I wouldn't get too happy too soon!


70 people like this
Posted by Diablo
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 28, 2017 at 8:56 pm

I hope all the property owners/tax players remember the dysfunction school board and administration when they cast their votes. The money wasted (and closeted decision making!) on this recent math debacle is just one example. Do you trust them with your money?


8 people like this
Posted by @ @@taxpayer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 29, 2017 at 6:43 am

So what is your solution? Before you simply say open another classroom at each school, you should know that every classroom at both schools is already used. If you don't have something better to offer up, then don't be so critical. The Board now has the opportunity to choose one of the 11 options or do nothing. It's in their hands.


106 people like this
Posted by No
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 29, 2017 at 8:28 am

I also support public education, but the rationale that the "right" thing to do is pass the tax "for the kids" is flawed logic. There are many ways of helping children in need. Giving money to a school district that does not have a great track record in spending that money wisely accomplishes nothing. Instead you could give your money to PTA, to CSMA that provides for the art and music, to Science is Elementary nonprofit that supports the hands on Science lesson at some of our schools, you could also give to CSA which helps fill the bellies of these kids so they can focus and do well in school. Lots of options.

I really wish our school district would get their act together. I also agree with the frustrations of being on a waitlist. Both my kids were on the Stevenson waitlist for years. Yes, I understand it's not a neighborhood school, but why put parents through all that? Why even offer a choice program if so few kids actually get the chance to go there? This could have been fixed years ago but the district didnt care. Years of bad decisions finally comes back to bite you.


18 people like this
Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Mar 29, 2017 at 8:46 am

Tying this vote to the fallout from that ill-conceived math program and above-referenced settlement is just silly. The District has an excellent track record in fiscal management overall, and have spent monies from prior parcel taxes appropriately and under the oversight of a panel of Mtn View citizens. Yes, under the previous Board, things took a very bad turn-- and the current Superintendent's job may well be tenuous over the math program.

Solidifying the district budget is a big-picture, long term decision, and shouldnt be influenced by relatively minor problems of the moment (the $149K settlement is not consequential as a function of the MVWSD annual budget). The problems cited in this thread will ALL get substantially worse if the parcel tax fails. MVWSD kids and families will suffer long past the current administration if this goes down.


9 people like this
Posted by BD
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 29, 2017 at 9:11 am

If the money is spent to open another elementary school, the district had better be sure neighborhood families want to use it, or they'll end making the wait list problems worse instead of better.

Nonetheless, we'll vote yes. You can't add capacity or lower class sizes without funding, and since this continues a level of funding that will expire soon, things will get worse than they already are if it fails.


65 people like this
Posted by No
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 29, 2017 at 11:00 am

Eric, I do appreciate your comments. I wanted to clarify my reference to the district not using money well was not just about the TTO. We've also had several issues with other superintendents over the years, one having an inappropriate relationship, the other sticking the district with a rididulous severance payment. I also don't appreciate how spending of measure G funds was so delayed that construction expenses went up and we had to build less. These all show a history of bad decisions for me.

I'm still hopeful for Mountain View, but hesitant to trust that things will get better soon.


35 people like this
Posted by To my Renters
a resident of another community
on Mar 29, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Expect a 200 dollar increase in your rent.

Cheers


16 people like this
Posted by @To my renters
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 29, 2017 at 2:04 pm

No wonder Measure V passed. With landlords like you, who even needed a Yes on V campaign!


23 people like this
Posted by @To my renters
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 29, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Why "expect a $200 increase in your rent" when this measure is a renewal of an existing but expiring (and yearly) parcel tax. Shouldn't you be notifying them of a $16 DECREASE of their monthly rent if the measure doesn't pass instead?


4 people like this
Posted by Huff parents
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2017 at 6:12 pm

What are these 11 options presented to you? 11 seems high.
Here's what I can think of if they're listing everything:
1) go to Castro
2) go to Theurkrauf
3) go to monta loma
(1-3 are long drives in morning traffic; also these schools don't rate as high as Huff)
4) wait and see
5-11)?
Thanks,
Curious


36 people like this
Posted by Juan
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Mar 29, 2017 at 9:43 pm

12. Sell off every other elementary school in the district (except Huff) to Prometheus to develop 5-story luxury apartments. Use the funds to eminent domain all the land around Huff so that the school can expand to 5,000 students to house all elementary kids in the district.

13. Enlist Google's help to make 3x clones of all Huff staff + administration (what do you think those 20,000 Google employees are doing all day?!?). Rename Castro, Theurkrauf and Monta Loma to "Huff West", "Huff East" and "Huff North" respectively. Staff those schools with the clones, now everyone can go to Huff!

These proposals are only slightly less realistic than some of the 11 proposed by the district.


24 people like this
Posted by Filld to the rescue
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 29, 2017 at 10:11 pm

@ Juan

Love your ideas!

Here's another one:

14. Now that has delivery service Filld is out of luck in Mtn View (see other article in today's Voice), arrange with them to deliver gas for free for parents who drop off at underperforming schools. Since gas delivery is such a hot idea, parents will now flock to get their kids into these schools. Problem solved!


9 people like this
Posted by $ from attorneys
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 9:05 am

Now that we know the campaign dollars from Attorneys To The Board, maybe we will later be hearing about campaign dollars from Attorneys On The Board? Are there going to be $5,000 donations from attorney/trustees Blakely and Wheeler? That would match the confidence and support that several of the Los Altos school board members showed for their recent parcel tax campaign.


7 people like this
Posted by Stan
a resident of Bailey Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 9:57 am

Will the school district keep sending out campaign mailings at public expenses or just now rely on money from special interests looking for special favors?


12 people like this
Posted by Vote YES no Measure B!!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:32 am

People! This is crazy!! You can't punish the board/sup't by holding back $23 million from the kids!! Am I alone in thinking this is the DUMBEST thing I have ever heard?!?

One important thing you are not taking into account is that EVERYONE who owns property will pay the tax to benefit YOUR kids. There are so many elderly folks or young people without kids who will have to pay. $190 dollars from everyone who own property in MV is a LOT more than the sum total of a few parents (not many I bet in the end) who MAY choose to donate a bit more to their PTAs. Do you think that "bit more" to PTAs is doing to make up for the $600/per child lost every year for next 8 years???

And do you really thing withholding money from district is going to solve your problems? After all the public flogging, the sup't will probably leave, which leaves us again without a sup't for 6 months and more money wasted in finding another person. And lets face it, MVWSD doesn't exactly have a line of qualified, highly-experienced people waiting to take over a district with so many issues - especially after the last sup't quit due to harassment from some crazy board member and next one was publicly flogged for making a mistake. They would rather go to neighboring districts, where the residents voted THREE TO FOUR times the parcel tax that MV is being asked for.

And the board will bail - who wants to be blamed for every damn problem with the schools??? Already several have quit in past few years. Its a totally thankless job, can't blame them.

Then you will be left with NO money for schools, NO ONE who wants to be sup't and NO board members. Then explain all your smart decisions to your kids when they grow up.

The TTO thing has been done to death. Enough already!! HUMANS BEINGS MAKE MISTAKES. Haven't you ever made a mistake? And I bet your employer didn't flog you in public for months. MOVE ON. You are only hurting your own kids in the long run.

Ya - withhold money from your kids education, that will solve the problem. Such a smart electorate. Now I understand how Trump got elected.


39 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 30, 2017 at 1:10 pm

@ Vote YES

I think you have put the cart before the horse. As a taxpayer, I do not intend to "punish the board/sup't by holding back" support for Measure B. I am telling them that IF they want to ASK ME for money, then they should provide transparency and accountability to the public.

It is their responsibility to prove they can be trusted with taxpayer funds.

I understand that you want money for your kids. I voted for the last parcel tax and might even vote for this one. I recommend you go to the district and ask them why they are sabotaging the parcel tax with obfuscation and closed session shenanigans.

As I stated above, the district approved a $149,000 TTO "settlement" on Feb 28 in closed session. It has been 30 days. When will the district provide some information regarding this expenditure of public funds? Why was this necessary given that no contract was ever signed and the product (TTO) was clearly deficient? Also, how much money was spent on legal fees related to this manner?

Please do this in a public forum, allow for questions and provide responses.

Then we can talk about whether we should approve Measure B.


7 people like this
Posted by Vote YES on Measure B
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 3:58 pm


@ Taxpayer

I think you are missing the point again. You ARE holding money for kids hostage by demanding a bunch of stuff that they probably can't/won't do. In the end, WE ALL suffer. Either our kids don't get what they need, or parents have to cough loads and loads of more money for PTAs. The district will just say "sorry we can't reduce class size, fund curriculum, open new schools because you guys voted to CUT funding from schools for the next 8 years" and they will all move on in a year or two and our kids are still stuck with the results of your misguided/shortsighted actions. So you can litigate the minute details of closed door sessions all you want, but its still the kids who suffer in the end. Good luck with your demands!!


6 people like this
Posted by Vote YES on Measure B!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 4:29 pm

@ taxpayer

Keep looking for Hillary's emails...meanwhile Trump will sweep in a take all of MV parents for a ride.


30 people like this
Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 30, 2017 at 4:38 pm

@ Vote YES on Measure B

Seems like you are the one trying to extort money. Quoting what you said above:

**************
One important thing you are not taking into account is that EVERYONE who owns property will pay the tax to benefit YOUR kids. There are so many elderly folks or young people without kids who will have to pay.
**************

There is no reason the district "can't" do what I've asked. Based on past behavior, I agree they probably "won't". I think that's a real shame and will cost votes on Measure B.

I have no intention of getting into a back-and-forth flame-war, so I won't respond to you again. Do note I have 125 "likes" above so it's not just me.


3 people like this
Posted by So long
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 9:54 pm

@ Taxpayer

One final thing to say:

Never underestimate the ability of citizens to vote against their own best interest. Keep lookin' for those emails! :-)

'nuff said.

Let me know how this whole "I voted to cut funding to my own kids' school" thing is going in a year or two. In the meantime, we are off to Pinewood. Good luck with getting money for your schools, y'all!


3 people like this
Posted by So long
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 30, 2017 at 10:01 pm

@ Taxpayer

Its not extortion, its called taxation. People get taxed to pay for other people's stuff all the time. The middle class pays for essential services for the poor class and for extra luxuries of the upper class. Maybe read a few national headlines every now and then?

If this is news to you, then you might want to change your name handle from "taxpayer" to something else.


14 people like this
Posted by @ vote yes/so long
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2017 at 6:24 am

Wow, you just yelled and bullied in a pretty angry back and forth for measure B and then said you're leaving the district for pinewood? This makes no sense.

I'm not happy with the district either, and happen to love pinewood. I think you will too. Why yell at someone on a comment board before you leave the district?


9 people like this
Posted by Steven
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2017 at 8:32 am

In Berkeley, voters passed a 37¢per square foot tax by 88% to 12%. These taxes are much much fairer. With parcel taxes, large apartment complexes pay a single parcel tax, i.e. 100 condos pay 100 parcel taxes, but if the same units are rental units they pay only one parcel tax.

Web Link


5 people like this
Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2017 at 9:04 am

Regarding...."I'm not happy with the district either, and happen to love pinewood. I think you will too. Why yell at someone on a comment board before you leave the district?"

The reason I am getting so passionate about not cutting funding for MV schools is that I happen to care about other kids in my community, not just my own kid. I have spent a lot of time with these kids and teachers volunteering many hours per week over many years and I am just sad at the potential prospect of the kids education losing out thru no fault of their own. Especially when there are education cuts coming down the pike from Gov Brown due to reduced projected income for next year (just google CA state budget cuts for next year) not to mention the fact the De Vos and Trump & co aren't the biggest fans of supporting public education - lots of proposed budget cuts in edu if they get there way. I think these kids are all in for a few rough years.


5 people like this
Posted by concerned parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2017 at 9:07 am

@ steven

yes, i think the per square feet seems much fairer, but there is an even bigger risk with that proposal because I am pretty sure i read that a neighboring city did this and were sued and lost. something about it not being "fair" - that all should pay same amount and it should not be based on square footage. go figure.


5 people like this
Posted by Parents
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

guys...this is not good. i googled these supposed state cuts and found this:


Web Link

California's budget deficit is back, Gov. Jerry Brown says

"Brown proposed to address the deficit primarily by slowing the growth in spending on public schools by $1.7 billion, a change that brings funding down to the minimum required by formulas enshrined in California’s Constitution."


anything we can do to fight back on this? CA is already pretty behind in public edu.


12 people like this
Posted by some math and logic
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2017 at 8:05 am

500% school tax decrease for Google, Prometheus, Microsoft etc., ?

State dollars for schools are not being cut. "Slowing the growth" is not a cut. It is still an increase! Please read more deeply state budget projections. Anyway - the state budget allocations per student - do not affect the budget of our elementary schools. If families leave the district for Pinewood, Hawker or other private schools, it does not affect the district finances (directly, parcel tax vote? maybe).

A NO vote does not affect the district finances for "8 years". It only affects the district for one year - if a different parcel tax is proposed and passed in the next year. Gee - demanding transparency in school district agendas and operations and spending. They "can't do" that type of operation? Really?

The per square foot issue is dead - for this election. That is not what was selected for a vote. Another math fact - the MVWSD paid mailer gave 1/2 the facts on change in tax per-parcel (50% increase for most residents). Telling the other 1/2 of the facts? Google, Microsoft, Prometheus, LinkedIn and every other larger commercial parcel owner will be getting a 500% decrease in their tax! Do the math, $1016 down to $191 per parcel.


7 people like this
Posted by Steven
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2017 at 8:41 am

concerned parent:

The reason another city lost in court with a per-square-foot assessment is because they tried to have two different per-square-foot rates, one for residential and a higher one for commercial. That was determined to be illegal. The Berkeley system has been in effect for many years, it was just renewed, and there have been no court challenges. If it was not legal then you can be sure that the California Apartment Association, commercial property owners, and developers, would have sued by now.

This system of funding schools through parcel taxes, is extremely inequitable and needs to be fixed.

I am in Cupertino (CUSD and FUHSD) and right now CUSD could probably not pass a 1¢ per parcel tax because the board and the superintendent (contract terminated at the end of the school year) are so unpopular. It's a difficult decision for voters, do you give more money to an entity that you believe is untrustworthy because if you don't it will hurt the teachers and students, or do you withhold more money in the hope that doing so will force needed changes, knowing that in the short term it will hurt teachers and students. It will be more than a year before the problem school board members can be removed in an election (unless there is a recall), so there could be a lot of damage by not providing more money, but the district is unlikely to even try at this time, being fully aware of public sentiment.

We also need to promote more for-sale housing, including a lot more below market rate housing. I'd like to see 35%-50% of for-sale units on property that is rezoned by a city for housing to be BMR for-sale. When you rezone retail property for housing the property owner is receiving a huge financial benefit. Requiring a very high percentage of BMR doesn't cause the owner to lose money, they just make a little less.


12 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 1, 2017 at 10:11 am

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

Cupertino passed its mail-in ballot parcel tax in 2014 for the next 8 years by 78%.
Web Link Cupertino's termination of their superintendent this month was caused by many things not too different from MVWSD's issues, but a failed parcel tax is not one of them.

Nor would a failed parcel tax spur a change of course on our board. I would venture to say a financial crisis, deepened by pending state and federal cuts would only mask any inherent leadership issues by swamping the agenda with one financial calamity after another. Those aspiring for a new superintendent, having that person's first actions be draconian cuts, only sets that next person up for even more rancor and chaos.

If the MVWSD school board would have voted to place the tax on the June primary or November general election, it would have secured the 4-5 supermajority board votes needed, saved the district money, and would have already passed as nearly all parcel taxes in the region on those ballots did. Rather, board politics prevented the board from reaching that compromise (a move to a general ballot election would have been enough to secure one more board vote from per-square-foot parcel tax proponents that stalled the parcel tax renewal).

Why bring up things from the past is because that dynamic continues to impact current board governance. All logical proposals made by Trustee Coladonato continue to get marginalized not because of its merits, but because of board politics even after the November election. No trustee has all the good ideas, and that's exactly the reason we are jinxed when members of the board won't learn from each other and seek compromises that incorporate different viewpoints.

Great schools are built on solid financial funding and high expectations for its governance. We can do both.




8 people like this
Posted by @ Chris Chiang
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 1, 2017 at 1:53 pm

You are wrong. The Board didn't have the necessary 4/5ths vote to put the parcel tax on the ballot. Nelson and Coladonato refused to consider a tax that wasn't uniform. Since I don't remember seeing you at the meetings where this was discussed (as I was) I don't know why you think you have knowledge about what actually happened.

You resigned from the Board because you couldn't cut it so stop with the lectures about what should be done. PLEASE!


16 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 1, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

I along many others do watch board meetings online, and it is my belief that if the board had swiftly pursued a second legal opinion in late 2015/early 2016 and also agreed to a general June/November election ballot, that it would have had the needed four votes. I respect that others may reach a different conclusion. I was no better than any trustee at realizing the need to include a diversity of opinions. I genuinely care that future boards don't make the same mistakes of following un-challenged or untested restraints or discounting the opinions of a person simply because of their delivery.

As long as residents are speaking kindly and thoughtfully, I hope we encourage all people to contribute their ideas. The best ideas rise when everyone feels safe to contribute.


6 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 3, 2017 at 5:51 pm

It's interesting speculation on Mr. Chiang's part on how the 2015 tax choosing process Might have gone. I didn't care that much about a June or Nov primary/general election vote (it is much cheaper and has more turnout though - I generally favor it). I'm not sure how strongly Coladonato thought. Neither of us got to discuss - President Wheeler just did not want it on Agenda for general discussion! Wheeler and Rudolph - were just fine violating the Board Bylaws when I tried to get it discussed/ put on Agenda. (do a PRA request on her email to me on the Agenda subject in Aug 2016).

My primary concern was highly regressive taxation. Doing good - in a bad way (sort of like 'waterboarding'?) If Berkeley can explain exactly the percentages of how their parcel tax is spent, and get 89% in a general election for 37 cents PSF-building, if the poor east bay community around Richmond can get 7.9 cents PSF in the same election? what ...

Anyway - the die is cast. If Measure B passes - all Google will be contributing, from their current or their new headquarters buildings(s) down in Shoreline - is $191 dollars a year each. The exact same as the smallest condo owners.


41 people like this
Posted by No Support
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2017 at 8:35 am

You can just look at the financial documents to see that the parcel tax has no real grass roots support.

Go to Web Link, then click on "05/02/2017 Special Election" and then "Measures" to compare Measure B in Mountain View with Measure A in Los Gatos

One thing conspicuously missing from Mountain View's Measure B is support from ANY of the trustees. Ayinde Rudolph with his $220,000 salary has also not seen fit to donate anything either.

Then look at Measure A. Lots of small contributions from members of the community. $1,000 from board member Daniel Snyder and another $1,000 from their Superintendent Diana Abbatti.


18 people like this
Posted by @ No Support
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 5, 2017 at 6:04 pm

C'mon give Rudolph a break!

He has to save his money so he can afford to reimburse the district for the TTO settlement costs. (Well we can hope ...)

It is revealing that neither he nor any of the trustees have contributed!


9 people like this
Posted by Jason
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 6, 2017 at 3:45 am

I have two questions that I want answered before voting for this tax:

1. Why is there a blanket exemption for senior citizens? I understand that the District doesn't want to burden people on fixed incomes, but there are lots of wealthy senior citizens around here with disposable income from investments. I'm an older millennial who, like others my age, is struggling to save enough to buy even a small property in the area. People who lived here back in the 1960s are sitting on enormous wealth. Why should my generation be taxed, but theirs not?

2. Why is this such a regressive tax? The expiring parcel tax ranged from $127-$1016 per parcel. This new one is a flat $191 per parcel. That sounds very regressive to me. It's transferring the tax burden from those with the most valuable land to those with the least valuable land. That doesn't make sense and again deters people from becoming property owners.


5 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 6, 2017 at 3:24 pm

millennial - good questions, we should perhaps wait on the newest MV Voice articles on the Parcel Tax. If another question may be asked (rhetorical to me), If you do get to buy even a small property in the area, say a 750 square foot condo, should you pay the same fixed structure tax ($191) as Google headquarters or large properties?

I'm a senior citizen now, owner of a single family 6,900 square foot parcel, with 4 bd- 3 bd that Zestimates (tm) at $2,001,000 this month (1600 sq ft). I'm still paying the progressive $127 tax. I will not pay the 50% increase to a $191 dollar tax just to support decreasing Google/Microsoft/Prometheus et al tax from $1016 per large parcel to $191.

other Boomers on the Board or recent
10,900 square foot parcel, 4 bd - 2 ba 2,400 sq ft Zestimate $2,515,000
5,600 square foot parcel, 3 bd, 2 ba 1,100 sq ft Zestimate $1,533,000

It is unfair to allow us all to be eligible for exemptions on this real property wealth. It is IMO a lot more unfair for Google/Microsoft/Linkedin/Prometheus to get a 500% tax cut on this school tax. It is unfair to have 'inheritable' Prop 13 tax exemption next-generation carry overs.

"It's for the KIDS"! so you should just vote Yes, or it's an unfair tax policy proposal and ...


6 people like this
Posted by @ Jason
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2017 at 9:58 am

I 100% agree and have voted no. Of course I sound heartless but here's why:

The bill should go back to the drawing board and be rewritten so it's not regressive and taxes the companies more. If it really is for the kids then why are we robbing them of so much money from these businesses who should pay their _fair_ share of taxes?

Write it better and you'll get my vote.

However, I'm 99.9% sure it'll pass anyway. People always vote yes for these bills. Always. They don't know the nuances of them and what came with the ballot was so cheerful and didn't have any additional information such as what is provided on this forum.


7 people like this
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 7, 2017 at 10:15 am

Tax MONEY is not a substitute for good educational leadership. (There is no substitute for a good education!)

The Middle school math TTO mess has still not had it's root cause fixed by the Board. The Board is again not providing "leadership", as noted in the 2015 District Quality Audit.


9 people like this
Posted by @ Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 7, 2017 at 4:06 pm

Did you forget that you were part of that leadership of the board that was cited in the audit report that you mention? They weren't just talking about the president of the board. Go get a life.


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