Mountain View Voice

Opinion - December 13, 2013

Letters to the editor

Pay not the solution for Council diversity

Martha Cutcomb's letter (Dec. 6) makes a good point regarding lack of diversity on City Council. I am one of those retired, self-supported council members who doesn't need the current stipend nor a salary.

However, the obstacle to council diversity is not salary. It's the time commitment because of weekly instead of traditional semi-monthly council meetings, study sessions, standing council committees, ad hoc committees and regional boards and commissions.

Over the years, voters have elected council members who have significantly expanded city programs and council member commitments. That is the more challenging aspect regarding council diversity. It is difficult for a full-time homemaker, business professional or others with community experience and interest to run for office and serve on council.

Fortunately, Mountain View voters probably will never amend the city charter to provide a substantive salary that would attract career politicians. Voters have not even approved a more limited doubling, tripling or other increase over the the current stipend. So council salary is not the solution to council diversity. A more limited council agenda and leaner city organization would actually serve the city more efficiently and attract more diverse council candidates. I encourage Ms. Cutcomb and other voters to seek candidates supporting more limited council meeting agendas, fewer study sessions and multiple project reviews next year.

Mayor John Inks

Showers Drive

Council a rubber-stamp for developers

It is sad that five members of our City Council are straw people for the developers and always rubber-stamp what the developers want. Their mantra is 'What is good for the developers is good for Mountain View."

Obviously they don't care about the concerns of residents of Mountain View, particularly parking concerns.

Konrad Sosnow

Trophy Drive

23andme innocent until proven guilty

The last time I checked, in this country we are innocent until proven guilty. Whether or not 23andMe is guilty or not is not my beef with your Dec. 6 article.

The problem is by giving print to your story you skew the reader's bias towards the guilty verdict. Anybody with the time and means can file a lawsuit, but isn't it up to the judge to decide justice? A good example of this negative bias is somebody accused of sexual harassment. Even if they are proven innocent in a court of law, fellow employees will likely always have a negative opinion of that person.

On the other hand, I am sure your reason to publish this article was to alert people of possible harm, but I find it hard to fathom somebody making a major medical decision based on the results of the test alone without consulting their doctor first. What if it actually benefited them? Media is a powerful communication tool. Isn't your job as journalists to use that power wisely? How about next time wait until justice has spoken until you negatively bias your readers views?

Charles Channing

Mountain View

City Council is making wrong choices

The City of Mountain View (Googleville) is so proud that anticipated rent for a new luxury apartment will go as high as $8,000 a month.

A $250,000 traffic study of the North Bayshore area showed that $391 million in highway improvements are needed for access and egress to the (Googleville) area.

Council member John McAllister said he was pleased that the city could afford to give (free) $50 million to the two school districts. It's true. Mountain View had on June 30, 2013 $360.2 million in cash and investments (per Maze and Associates) to give away.

Low-income people and and small businesses are being forced out of Mountain View by the hundreds. A case in point is 819 N. Rengstorff Ave.

The 17 percent or so of owner-occupied housing gets nailed with outrageous parcel taxes and higher service fees.

The City Council does not deserve a charter amendment to raise salaries.

Donald Letcher

N. Rengstorff Avenue

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