Endorsements for City Council & Santa Clara County Measures
Mountain View Chamber of Commerce Endorses Six Candidates for City Council
Supports Santa Clara County Measures A & B
The Chamber endorses the incumbents: Chris Clark & John McAlister and further endorses Margaret Abe-Koga, Greg Coladonato, Thida Cornes and Lisa Matichak for Mountain View City Council.
Mountain View, CA – September 16 2016, the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce (“the Chamber”) announced its endorsements in the race for Mountain View City Council in the upcoming November 8th election. The Chamber’s Board of Directors voted1 to endorse the two incumbents and four additional candidates they consider to best represent the community and its membership on the issues.
Chamber President Tony Siress stated, “On behalf of our members who employ over 40,000 employees, the Chamber is proud to offer our official endorsement to the incumbents: Chris Clark & John McAlister and further endorses; Greg Coladonato, Thida Cornes, Lisa Matichak and Margaret Abe-Koga for Mountain View City Council in this November’s election.”
In conjunction with the League of Women Voters, the Chamber hosted a forum on August 30th where all eight candidates for City Council presented their views on a wide range of topics before more than 200 attendees. The Chamber’s selection process included a questionnaire sent to all candidates that took into account all of the candidates’ positions on issues important to Mountain View, as well as their professional and personal experiences within Mountain View.
“We are very fortunate to have capable and committed candidates contending for City Council, and we appreciate the willingness of every one of the candidates to commit themselves to public service,” said Siress, “However, the Chamber’s Board voted unanimously to strongly oppose Measure V as dangerous to good governance in Mountain View, so it became clear that we could not endorse candidates who support Measure V."
In considering the issues impacting Mountain View, including housing supply, affordability, traffic congestion and transportation infrastructure, the Chamber believes that John and Chris have demonstrated thoughtful decision making. In addition, it believes that Thida Cornes, Lisa Matichak, Margaret Abe-Koga and Greg Coladonato have the potential to add to the Council.
The November election is a critical chance to influence the future of Mountain View and Santa Clara County which is why the Chamber also supports Measure A (Affordable Housing Bond) and Measure B (Transportation Infrastructure Tax). We encourage all residents to advocate for these and other issues important to them. The Chamber asks everyone to vote the last page of their ballot first because local issues matter most when they open their ballot on or before November 8th.
Mountain View Measures V & W
Mountain View Chamber of Commerce Opposes Measure V
Is taking a Neutral position on Measure W
The Mountain View Chamber of Commerce (“the Chamber”) fundamentally opposes rent control as a public policy tool because independent studies (The Economist, Urban Institute, California Legislature’s Nonpartisan Fiscal and Policy Advisor) repeatedly show that, however well intended, rent control not only fails to accomplish its intended goal - over the long term, it actually, painfully and ironically, results in less available affordable housing.
There are significant enough differences between the two rent control measures before the electorate this fall here in Mountain View that we judge it is our responsibility to the well-being and effective governance of the community and in the interests of our membership to offer more than a simple recommendation to oppose both measures.
The Chamber Board of Directors recognizes that the overall lack of housing available at all levels of affordability has created a housing crisis. Recognizing the complexity of the issue, the Chamber’s Board of Directors understand why someone would vote for W but stand in unanimous opposition to Measure V because of its administrative overreach and inherent ineffectiveness.
It is critically important that voters understand, if both measures pass, V SUPERSEDES W and it will change the very charter of the City - putting in place a new independent bureaucracy:
unchecked by any other part of government
with independent power to take money from the general fund, which can put in danger other vital City services
write its own rules and impose its will
All of this, without any oversight and unalterable unless and until it is put to another expensive general election vote of the people in at least two years.
Similar measures sold as “temporary” solutions have taken on their own life in San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose and Santa Monica and all have effectively become permanent.
It is because Measure V poses such a threat to the City treasury, public safety funding and creates this unchecked, likely permanent, powerful new bureaucracy that we raise our voice to inspire voters to recognize the difference between the measures and if choosing to support rent control as a means to help maintain diversity as costs soar in Mountain View, we ask you to vote NO on V.
In our judgment neither of these measures is necessary or effective in dealing with the affordable housing crisis in Mountain View because City Council has been exemplary in its actions regarding the matter.
The current mandatory mediation system in place has effectively facilitated satisfactory solutions in 34 cases since its implementation on May 26th, 2016.
The Council has provided $350,000 to CSA to deal with the displacement crisis in the form of rent support and alternative housing. CSA’s staff reports that, since the program launch in May 2016, they have been able to assist 4 households: 1) two elderly roommates, 2) a senior mother with a senior, disabled son, 3) a senior who lives alone and 4) a single working mother who recently lost her young adult son. The rent assistance has enabled these six individuals to remain housed while they determine their next steps. The average, monthly per household rent assistance amount is $200.00. CSA notes that most challenges in administering the program revolve around client eligibility, since many applicants lack lease agreements, are unable to provide rent increase or economic need documentation or provide proof of their residency in Mountain View.
The City Council has near term plans to add 3000 units, and has already added 3450 units since 2009. They have also approved zoning to support up to 10,000 additional housing units in the North Bayshore Precise Plan and will add many more as they complete the East Whisman Precise Plan early next year. The combined units in process and those zoned just for North Bayshore will represent a dramatic 37% increase in available housing in Mountain View.
The Council has agreed to set aside $6.3M to expand the Shorebreeze Apartment complex adding a net total of 50 new units to the affordable housing project.
Here are the significant facts comparing the two measures:
protects ALL renters with mediation, arbitration and just cause eviction
only protects renters in places built before 1995 (Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act)
Landlord Cost Recovery
allows landlords to pass on costs of improvements to make a reasonable rate of return, encouraging maintenance & improvements of properties
only mandates landlords bring buildings up to code
Just cause eviction
just cause eviction provisions also protect against evictions simply to raise the rent and includes stiff relocation assistance fees
provides no relocation assistance
can be improved as needed by City Council, but only after it's had a chance to work for 2 years and only with a super-majority vote.
can only be changed with another costly public ballot initiative.
In summary: Measure W is Workable - Measure V would be a Gaffe. VOTE no on V!
The Economist Magazine
Aug 30th 2015
California Legislature’s Nonpartisan Fiscal and Policy Advisor
March 17, 2015
California Legislature’s Nonpartisan Fiscal and Policy Advisor
February 9, 2016
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