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Editorial: Questioning the City Council's RV ban

Original post made on Oct 12, 2019

The recent action — and inaction — by the Mountain View City Council regarding vehicle dwellers is disheartening and somewhat baffling.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, October 12, 2019, 8:32 AM

Comments (17)

Posted by Member
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2019 at 10:11 am

1) Who are the RV users. Are they really displaced workers or freeloaders. There has been NO complete survey of whom we are expected to help.
2) Are they really ex-residents of Mountain View or did they come from elsewhere. Can we stop more from coming here as we rehouse the existing group.
3) Who owns the RV. If they are paying rent, why are we not requiring the landlord to pay the City.
4) Are you entitled to live in this City just because you really really really want to- even if you are a danger to others and the dumb taxpayers have to pay for you. Can we all move to Atherton or Menlo Park just because we want to, then have those citizens pay for us to live there.
5) The ACLU wants to sue. Do threats enable someone to break the law . Who decides which laws can be ignored. The ones with the loudest voice it seems.

Posted by End the RV Parking NOW!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2019 at 11:08 am

This story sounds like it was written by Lenny Siegel!

A very few people seem to think, that by allowing certain people to disobey the laws that we have, that it will make their lives better.This RV is only the start, it never ends, problems just grows. Tent sidewalks is next.

Look at what has happened to other cities in our state that has allowed these types of violations, like San Francisco, L.A and many others. How can a city like San Francisco think that it is O.K to hand out 400,000 syringes to drug addicts in their city every month? Only to be discarded at the playgrounds, parks, beaches, city streets, just waiting for someone else to be accidentally poked and God only knows what you would be infected with.

In our city, you have the activists like Lenny Siegel, Jobe Lopez, and the Editorial Board at the Voice pushing to make us like San Francisco. The editorial board does not even live in our city, why should anyone listen to them?

The residents know if this RV parking stays/expands, this will only lead to tent cities, and the continuing decline of the city.

It is long over due to end this, if no solution has been found after all these years, then none exists. Spending Millions of tax dollars has not solved the problem. It is past time to end this.

As far a voter referendum, I say go ahead. The voters will flatly reject it, just like the way they voted/kicked out Lenny Siegel from the city council.

As far as litigation, the U.S Supreme court will very likely take up and overturn the ruling from the Ninth Circuit, which stated that the city needs to provide housing to the homeless if they remove them from the streets. The city of L.A is part of that case and is asking the Supreme court to take up that case.

Remember, NO court has ordered the city of Mountain View to stop enforcement of these RV's. Other local cities, including Sunnyvale, was chasing them out of their cities and telling them to go to Mtn. View, when at the time we had Lenny Siegel on the city council who not only wanted them to stay, but wanted to expand the parking to other parts of the city.

City council members Hicks, Ramerize, we will remember you voting No on this parking enforcement when your re-election starts in 3 years from now.

We will also remember to vote for Mayor Lisa Matichak, Vice Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga, next year. They wanted an earlier date to enforce the RV parking ordinance.

Council member Kamei, you have been flooded by the activists, yelling at you, and this has distorted your view of right and wrong. We are watching you and hope you come back to what is right, tough love is needed. You can not let children eat what they want, you have to be the adult here.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 12, 2019 at 11:43 am

Showing/acting compassion? I'd agree with the editors, neither the MVWSD's Rudolph and Board, or the majority of the City Council seem to be doing that (and I know the current conditions cannot prevail). But I will certainly not vote for Abe-Koga ( I think she is termed out?) and even though I supported and contributed to the campaign of Matichak (check the campaign fillings) I require compassion in the candidates I support!

I too "have a choice" Lisa Matichak (and @NOW!) - and I will be exercising that Choice by neither supporting you or voting for you in the next election.

Posted by Peter
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 12, 2019 at 2:25 pm

Our City Council did not go far enough with this RV ban. It should ban RVs throughout the entire City, and not select areas. This RV issue should never have been allowed to happen in the first place and now, because it was, RVs are everywhere. Thank you City Council for doing the right thing and listing to the residents.

Posted by LOL
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 12, 2019 at 3:12 pm

[Post removed due to multiple posters using the same name]

Posted by Yimby #2
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2019 at 3:41 pm

A Google bus swerved into the middle of the road.
To give adequate clearance to an RV parked on the side of the road
Right when I was turning onto that road
Fortunately, I am always careful at that intersection
And got out of way of the on-coming Google bus in my lane
I don't blame the Google bus
I do blame the RV

Posted by LOL
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 12, 2019 at 3:57 pm

[Post removed due to multiple posters using the same name]

Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2019 at 5:00 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

The majority of these people are likely "contractors".

THey cannot rely on a job that lasts for more than 6 months.

AB 5 is designed to fix the problem, but it will likely terminate all computer contracting in the state.

Thus all this work will be outsourced out of state

Google uses >50% of workforce as contractors. They will be moving come Jan 1,2020

PayPal uses 70% of workforce as contractors. They will be moving come Jan 1,2020.

The REAL story is that there is going to be a significant change.

Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2019 at 6:01 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to LOL of Bailey Park you said:

“In the last election, Siegel and Showalther where voted out because of their extreme views. The Voice and people in the Siegel camp tried to silence a candidate for council, John Inks. The Voice also did their part in writing stories against Inks. HE HAD AN EXCELLENT RECORD AS A PREVIOUS COUNCIL MEMBER, BUT THAT DID NOT MATTER.”

Excellent record like being determined to have tried to influence the City Council where he had a conflict of interest? You forgot about the report found here (Web Link and here (Web Link

Given that there was even this kind of inquiry regarding his conduct in the City Council greatly indicates that even his own City Council members questioned his actions. Is this an EXCELLENT record? Or is it an EXCELLENT record was of corruption. That is all I wanted to clarify.

To me you do not remember history very completely, only where it suits your interest.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 13, 2019 at 6:27 am

@LOL thanks for being completely befuddled by my politics! I supported John Inks with my Vote - because he very often was the only voice of RESTRAINT of government overreach. He often both spoke up and voted as a councilman on issue of importance to small and medium business and property owners. I liked some of his Libertarian style government/personal responsibility positions. [a "well regulated militia" was not our point of agreement]
I have voted for "The Lenny" also and Showalter was becoming more interesting to me as she seemed to soften her stances some by showing 'governmental institution compassion' to those doing less well-off.
Democratic Suburbanite Party? That seems to be Abe-Koga's brand of politics. It's definitely NOT Democratic Socialist (like "Bernie") or 'for the working class' like Warren.

Posted by unseen bigger issue
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2019 at 8:04 am

While RVs are a wider and more visible issue, right across from Google by Taco Bell are people living fully homeless on the street, some even without tents.

Posted by One idea
a resident of another community
on Oct 13, 2019 at 10:18 am

Since many of those who live in RV's are employed at big technology companies, often as contractors, perhaps we can ask (expect) Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and other large hi-tech employers to provide overnight parking or camping for "their own" in designated corporate parking lots. Even highly paid tech workers balk at paying thousands of dollars in rent each month, especially when all they really need is a place to sleep. (They work long hours, and they can eat and shower at work. Sometimes they own real estate out of the area where they go for the weekend.) Yet the community shouldn't have to pay for what is essentially a "lifestyle choice" for some. That would free up community resources to support the most needy.

Posted by LOL
a resident of Bailey Park
on Oct 13, 2019 at 10:20 am

[Post removed due to multiple posters using the same name]

Posted by Rex
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 13, 2019 at 1:26 pm

Those of you upset that there have been RVs in the first place would do well to review basic civics: we do not live in fortified towns with hard borders and people may move between towns, cities, and states freely in pursuit of work and happiness. If this upsets you, consider relocating to a remote desert commune where no one will ever come bother you. Your absence will only improve the city, as your NIMBYism has only worsened the housing crisis and done nothing to help it.

Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 14, 2019 at 2:43 pm

James Thurber is a registered user.

People assume an awful lot regarding our RV families living in Mountain View.

Do yourself a favor and walk down Crisanto Ave some day - mid-day - early - whenever. You'll find children playing, folks getting water, cooking, getting ready for the day, etc. They are regular people who, because of economics and the vicious cost of living in Mountain View, are doing the only thing they can to remain here.

And the option? A horrific commute. Driving opposite the commute traffic you'll see (literally) miles and miles of vehicles moving at a snail's pace. Those folks sometimes spend over two hours, each way, per day in their vehicles so they can get to / from work.

If anyone has any better ideas let me know. Personally I'd like to see landlords, who used to charge $600 for a one room apartment (and remaining in the black - business wise) having raised the rent to over $2,500 and now making enough money to embarrass a robber-baron of the 1890's, drop their rent. They should be able to make money but charging so much that folks are reduced to homelessness or living in an R.V. . . . . grrrrrrr.

Thanks for listening.

Posted by jordydog1
a resident of Slater
on Oct 14, 2019 at 6:24 pm

jordydog1 is a registered user.

@James Thurber, you make a good point about the high cost of living and the emotional toll of a multi-hour commute. What I don't understand is why MV can't investigate and distinguish RV dwellers with local roots and/or jobs from contractors who can afford to live elsewhere, people chased out of less welcoming neighborhoods, or flat-out transients.

According to this editorial, MV currently plays host to 300+ RVs. It's appalling that this issue has been in existence for so many years and, until now, hasn't been addressed in any substantive way. It adversely affects the quality of life and property for taxpayers and can't be a healthy situation for anyone living long-term in an aging RV.

Couldn't people who belong here be housed in vacant apartments with support from the town or put in line for an affordable apartment? Almost every apartment building in MV seems to have a "For Lease" sign in front. Permanent "safe parking" with so many restrictions that it becomes unfeasible is no way to solve the problem. Consigning people to vehicle dwelling in perpetuity is inhumane. And, given the cost of this safe parking, I have to imagine it would be as affordable for the town to subsidize housing for these needy residents as it would be to fill MV with a bunch of RV Pottervilles.

Additionally, in my opinion, anyone in an RV without a demonstrable and strong association to MV should be removed ASAP. June 2020 is too long to wait.

Posted by Sophie888
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 14, 2019 at 8:21 pm

Sophie888 is a registered user.

Some commenters mentioned the contractors of big Tech companies. Do you know that these big Tech companies intend to hire contractors from remote areas so that they can paid them below average hour rate? Since these out-of-towners don’t need to pay high cost of housing in Mountain View, Cupertino, Menlo Park, and they are happy with relatively low hour rate (I.e.$40/hr) While residents in these cities couldn’t afford housing cost unless they are paid fairly (I.e. $80/hr). It’s the similar situation that corporate brings in H1B workforce to hold down the pay grade, instead of hiring local.

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