News

Committee member's anti-rent control work draws scrutiny

Rental committee member paid to draft arguments against Pacifica rent control measure

In Mountain View, some critics see a case of the fox guarding the henhouse at the city's Rental Housing Committee, the panel tasked with implementing the city's voter-approved rent control program. In recent days, criticism has been mounting against Rental Housing Committee member Tom Means for penning an economic study portraying rent control as a misguided policy that brings "more harm than good."

Means wrote the study last month as a paid consultant hired by the San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR) for a campaign opposing a rent-control measure, similar to Mountain View's, being proposed for the city of Pacifica.

For advocates of the city's rent control program, Means' paid work against another city's rent-control measure calls into question his suitability and impartiality when it comes to implementing Mountain View's rent regulations. How can someone ideologically opposed to rent control be tasked with enforcing it, asked Juliet Brodie, a Stanford Community Law Clinic professor who co-authored Mountain View's Measure V, approved last November.

"From a good government perspective, it doesn't make any sense for a person who opposes the purpose of regulation to be in charge of implementing that regulatory regime," she said. "It makes one wonder why he applied to be on the Rental Housing Committee, if not to essentially prevent its successful implementation."

Means' political work in Pacifica came to light in campaign finance reports filed last month by a SAMCAR political arm, the Pacifica Coalition for Housing Equality. So far, the political group has raised more than $300,000 for an opposition campaign to defeat a rent-control measure in Pacifica that is largely modeled on Mountain View's program. Means is listed as a paid consultant in the group's campaign reports.

In an interview with the Voice, Means said he was paid a total of $1,500 for his work for SAMCAR. The contract work came about after he was contacted by SAMCAR and asked to summarize his opinions on rent control in a report, he said.

He ended up producing a 10-page study that rehashes many arguments familiar to Mountain View voters during the November election. Rent control policies have a poor history of helping struggling low-income families, Means said, suggesting that wealthy renters will come out on top. Landlords would lose any incentive to upgrade their rental properties, and many will resort to selling or redeveloping their apartments to recoup their investment. He concludes that the real culprit behind rising rental costs is the lack of supply spurred by sluggish housing growth.

In an interview, Means defended his report, saying it was in line with his job as a San Jose State University economics professor to study the rental market.

"I don't think there's anything controversial about what I said, except among people who aren't trained," he said. "The fact that I'm opposed to price controls shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone."

Means' stance has never been a secret. As a libertarian who champions free-market principles, he wrote an op-ed piece in the Voice prior to last year's election, laying out his case for why Measure V would be a bad policy for Mountain View. That resistance was shared by nearly all the members of the City Council, but a majority of voters felt differently, and passed the measure.

Means submitted an application just a few weeks later for one of the five seats on the Rental Housing Committee and was picked by council members for the job over about 20 other applicants.

Means was given credit for his eight years on the City Council, which council members said would be valuable experience for helping steer the fledgling committee through a gauntlet of policy decisions. He was viewed as a compromise appointee, helping to balance out the political leanings. Since some council members insisted on bringing on candidates who actively campaigned for rent control, it felt appropriate to have others like Means who would be more skeptical, said Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga.

"We could have appointed five members who had no involvement in the Measure V campaign (for or against) if we wanted impartiality, and I was open to that direction," Abe-Koga told the Voice via email. "In regards to impartiality, I don't think that was the expectation of the RHC candidates."

However, many rent-control proponents made it clear they saw the council members' desire for "balance" as an attempt to undermine a citizen-led measure they opposed. Complaints about Means' presence on the committee have persisted.

Lenny Siegel, the lone council member who supported Measure V, recalled how Means had promised during his application interviews that he would do his best to make Measure V work effectively.

"Now I'm not sure if that's the approach he's taking," Siegel said. "He's clearly being ideologically consistent, but I'm not sure that he's helping to create a program that's actually helping people."

In the months since joining the Rental Housing Committee, Means has dominated many of the crucial policy discussions. Often bringing his economics pedigree into talks, he has sometimes sparred with the city's risk-averse staff and consultants on drafting essential components of the rent-control program. The city's team frequently aimed for legal cover by modeling Mountain View's program after other rent-stabilized cities; but Means was inclined to craft more precise methods to tie the program more closely to what he sees as the housing market's realities.

More than once, Brodie and her colleagues warned the Rental Housing Committee they risked a lawsuit if they veered too far from the spirit of Measure V. Given Means' newly revealed political work in Pacifica, Brodie said she didn't believe he could plausibly say he is working to uphold the measure.

"It should be a basic criterion for this committee that you support this law," she said. "Anyone who is saying their job is to limit the damage of (rent control) and doesn't believe in the purpose of the law, they don't belong on this committee."

It is unclear whether conflict-of-interest laws would have any bearing on Means' paid political work. California government code bars public officials from financially benefiting from their position. Mountain View's own policies prohibit public officials from engaging in any employment that is inconsistent or in conflict with their duties.

In an email, Mountain View City Attorney Jannie Quinn declined to comment on this situation, except to say that a legal analysis would take considerable time.

Means said he had encountered similar questions before when he was on the City Council. At the time, he was being offered an honorarium for academic papers and lectures, sometimes on issues that were familiar to municipal government. The city attorney told him accepting the payment should be fine, so long as the speeches were work-related, he said.

"If anything, I was the most well-known candidate," Means said. "It's the council that put me in this position. If there's any issue people have, they should really be asking the council."

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Comments

139 people like this
Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

Given his extensive experience as an economist and former city council member, having Tom Means on the Rent Control Committee makes absolute sense. The author of measure V sounds like a social justice warrior that advocates free speech, but only if it is speech she agrees with.


137 people like this
Posted by YIMBY #2
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Tom Means is a competent individual who understand economics, business, and rent control.
Benefits he brings to the discussion: Balance and competence
Without Tom Means, the Rent Control Committee would be very unbalanced and lose a significant amount of competence.

Context: I view this as an overt activity by pro-rent remove one of most competent
people who disagree with them. The end result would be an unbalanced
Rent Control Committee where they can push their agenda without somebody
disagreeing with them.

I view Tom Means work on the side as recognition of his competence. And
the attempts to turn this into a negative as merely an attempt to
remove a voice the pro-rent lobby disagrees with

I think if we continue down this path, we could also question the
activities of the pro-rent crowd along the same lines. But such a path
would not be constructive. I would turn into a large amount of subjective
opinions based on ideology. I would prefer to measure the results of policy
effectiveness in terms of achieving objectives.







134 people like this
Posted by No problem here
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 27, 2017 at 1:07 pm

"It should be a basic criterion for this committee that you support this law," she said. "Anyone who is saying their job is to limit the damage of (rent control) and doesn't believe in the purpose of the law, they don't belong on this committee."

I could not disagree with this statement more. "Limiting the damage" (if he even said that) does not necessarily mean stopping rent control entirely, but the committee needs to be aware of unintended consequences that could arise from any future decisions they make. For a committee like this to function well and make good decisions there must be a diversity of thoughts and perspectives represented. It wouldn't make sense to have a rent control committee full of only people with the same view on the issue. This would quickly spiral out of control. I also appreciate that he is open about his opinions on the issue and not trying to hide or deceive the community, saying one thing publicly but then taking action (or votes) to the contrary.

It really frustrates me when I see fellow Liberals insisting that people be more open-minded and empathetic but then racing to silence any opinion that doesn't agree with them. It's incredibly arrogant.


60 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2017 at 1:10 pm

The previous two posters are ignoring the fact that Tom is getting paid by an anti-rent control campaign while serving in his capacity on the committee. You can agree with his positions on rent control, as a minority of Mountain View residents do.

What you can't do is disagree with the fact that he's being paid by an anti-rent control campaign, which brings an appearance of corruption to the committee.


55 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Make that the three other posters, now, since everyone seems to be ignoring the direct payments to a sitting committee member by a realtor association.


118 people like this
Posted by The Truth
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 27, 2017 at 1:18 pm

The Truth is a registered user.

There is no actual conflict here, Mr. Means is interpreting the implementation of the CSFRA though the lens of a professional economist. He cannot change the CSFRA or act on his own as a member of the committee. This alleged "conflict" is the definition of FAKE NEWS.

The tenants got everything they wanted, even a December 2016 effective date even with Mr. Means on the committee.

The fact that the Mills Clinic of the Stanford Law School is pursuing this so vigorously and viciously, should send a chill down the spine of all present and future real estate investors in Mountain View.

I see the writing on the wall, my property is under contract and will be disposed of shortly, will be fully divested from Mountain View never to return, I will invest the proceeds in an area of America that is still American with respect to economics. I am glad I acted when I did as I only see competition for the exits growing. Sad.


161 people like this
Posted by Alan
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2017 at 1:22 pm

I happen to live in Pacifica and am not politically involved. But it seems to me that a committee member who understands and can articulate opposing points of view may be the ideal person to serve on your commission. He's there to do a job.


46 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Ok, make that five other posters who haven't addressed the fact that Tom Means, a sitting committee member is allegedly receiving direct payments from a realtor association.


172 people like this
Posted by Dan Waylonis
a resident of Jackson Park
on Oct 27, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Dan Waylonis is a registered user.

I'm very pleased that Tom Means (Ph.D. in Economics) is sitting on the board. The drawbacks and dangers of a political organization without any opposing opinions can be exemplified by the CA state legislature.


334 people like this
Posted by Repeal Rent Control
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 27, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Repeal Rent Control is a registered user.

Mountain View will live to regret their decision on rent control. Unfortunately, by the time that happens, those it was supposed to protect will be long gone due to inevitable redevelopment. If not functionally obsolete, every pre-1995 apartment in Mountain View is now economically obsolete. The remaining carnage of rental housing will look just like East Palo Alto and the filth of Berkeley and Oakland.

Juliet Brodie is a sue-happy, mean-spirited frequent filer. Her standard MO: threaten a lawsuit. The East Palo Alto operation she runs is a cancerous blight, scourge and black eye on everything else connected to Stanford University.

The rent control industrial complex has one purpose in the end: line the pockets of those in the legal profession--be they paralegals, retired judges sitting as hearing officers at $350/hr or the half dozen Bay Area nonprofit legal advocacy groups who pile onto every lawsuit.


37 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Wow, we're up to seven posters all failing to address the fact that Tom Means, a sitting committee member is allegedly receiving direct payments from a realtor association, leading to a clear appearance of corruption to his actions on the rental housing committee.


42 people like this
Posted by Otto_Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 27, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Otto_Maddox is a registered user.

No one is failing to address anything.

You have failed to provide actual PROOF. Nothing to talk about until you do.


45 people like this
Posted by Shame on "Shame"
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Once again, any deviation from this person's personal ideology becomes grounds for attack (phrased this time in terms of "corruption;" in other articles the rhetoric was adjued to suit the occasion).

"Shame" will be very busy responding to most of the other posts, since the real problem here lies with the unexamined premises of the ideology, and that problem doesn't go away -- whatever rhetoric the ideologist may invoke to try to defend it.


32 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Two more not addressing the clear facts. Otto, what would you like proof of? Mr. Means has admitted to receiving $1500 from SAMCAR through their campaign against rent control. The Voice states that this came to light in campaign finance reports from the campaign. What's unproven?


35 people like this
Posted by reader
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 27, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Tom Means, aka "the only economist in the room" adamantly opposed to rent control and appointed by his anti-rent control former council colleagues to a committee whose task is to implement a rent control policy?

Post above by "Repeal Rent Control" has received 252 likes in the 17 minutes since it was posted?

Seven posts within one hour, penned by writers calling themselves "The Truth" and "No Problem Here" expressing strong opposition to a measure that was approved by the majority of MV residents, all receiving 50 or so likes within a couple hours?

In all my years reading the Voice online, never have a seen so many one-sided comments with 50 likes within an hour.

Something's fishy here...


3 people like this
Posted by Johnny Fairplay
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 27, 2017 at 3:14 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


43 people like this
Posted by Shame on Shame & Reader
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm

There is nothing "fishy" other than the socialist rhetoric and those exploiting hardworking landlords for their own material benefit. A small group, i.e., Balance Mountain View with the aid of MV Voice Reporter Daniel DeBolt put out mass propaganda to take advantage of Mountain View City Council's NIMBY housing policy and voter sentimentality. I'm tired of the BS.

I work for a living and don't like paying taxes, utility bills, etc. but I do, and I expect others to carry their weight and do the same rather that take advantage of a temporary situation.

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


12 people like this
Posted by Enough fake news
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm

[Post removed; if you have evidence supporting your claim regarding the FPPC, you need to include it in any post that makes such a claim. If you don't, it sounds like fake news.]


10 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

First, I use all caps not to yell, but in substitution for bold type enhancement. The website does not recognize bold characters.

With regards to this story my reflections are:

“MEANS WROTE THE STUDY LAST MONTH AS A PAID CONSULTANT HIRED BY THE SAN MATEO COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (SAMCAR) FOR A CAMPAIGN OPPOSING A SIMILAR RENT-CONTROL MEASURE BEING PROPOSED FOR THE CITY OF PACIFICA.”

This appears to be his common practice, getting involved in political activity under the guise of doing “economic studies and reports”. Even though it does in fact cause a conflict of interests and can be grounds for investigation regarding failure to uphold academic integrity, The story goes on to say:

“Means' political work in Pacifica came to light in campaign finance reports filed last month by a SAMCAR's political arm, the Pacifica Coalition for Housing Equality. SO FAR, THE POLITICAL GROUP HAS RAISED MORE THAN $300,000 FOR AN OPPOSITION CAMPAIGN TO DEFEAT A RENT-CONTROL MEASURE IN PACIFICA THAT IS LARGELY MODELED ON MOUNTAIN VIEW'S PROGRAM. MEANS IS LISTED AS A PAID CONSULTANT IN THE GROUP'S CAMPAIGN REPORTS.

IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE VOICE MEANS SAID HE WAS PAID A TOTAL OF $1,500 FOR HIS WORK ON BEHALF OF SAMCAR. THE CONTRACT WORK CAME ABOUT AFTER HE WAS CONTACTED BY SAMCAR AND ASKED TO SUMMARIZE HIS OPINIONS ON RENT CONTROL IN A REPORT, HE SAID.”

In fact if you read the report it appears to have been written by the CSU SJSU, the report found here (Web Link) indicates he wrote the report as a assignment for SJSU and NOT the San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR). It would appear he is committing a kind of academic dishonesty by claiming his work was performed as an assignment from CSU:SJSU and NOT SAMCAR. If in fact it was done under his “Consultant” role, it should not be identified as a work under the following terms:

Tom Means
Professor of Economics
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192-0114
Tom.means@sjsu.edu 408-924-5414

But instead indicate:

Tom Means
Professional Consultant
(His Consultant Business Address)
(His Consultant Email Address)
(His Consultant Phone Number)

If in fact he received $1,500 in payment to his consultant business, he cannot use the intellectual property of the CSU:SJSU without properly getting approval to do so from CSU:SJSU. If he did not it could be considered theft of intellectual property of works funded by CSU:SJSU? It appears to be YES.

Was this report done as an employee and a researcher paid by the CSU San Jose State? It appears to be YES.

Was the report that he used to substantiate his summary the property of the CSU:SJSU? It appears to be YES.

Was this report designed to make use of the SJSU standing in the community to influence a political situation? It appears to be YES.

Does the results of the report advocate the private interests of his private client? It appears to be YES.

Did he take the payment he received from SAMCAR and submit it to the CSU:SJSU for payment to use proprietary intellectual property that was owned by CSU:SJSU? It does not appear in this story that he did, so NO. The report went on to say:

“In an interview, Means defended his report, SAYING IT WAS IN LINE WITH HIS JOB AS A SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY ECONOMICS PROFESSOR TO STUDY THE RENTAL MARKET.

"I don't think there's anything controversial about what I said, EXCEPT AMONG PEOPLE WHO AREN'T TRAINED," he said. "THE FACT THAT I'M OPPOSED TO PRICE CONTROLS SHOULDN'T COME AS A SURPRISE TO ANYONE."”

HERE IS MY RESPONSE. I AM TRAINED TO UNDERSTAND BUSINESS ETHICS AS INSTRUCTED BY THE CSU:SJSU BY STUDYING THE COURSE OF BUS 186 Professional and Business Ethics. So I am trained by CSU:SJSU specifically regarding CONFLICT OF INTEREST, and my understanding is this is a VERY CLEAR VIOLATION of a CONFLICT OF INTEREST. I will be happy to demonstrate that he violated the 10 principles of academic integrity regarding his action in this matter in another submission. I just do not understand how Tom Means cannot be aware of it, except that he refuses to believe he is subject to these behavioral requirements. The report went on to say:

“LENNY SIEGEL, THE LONE COUNCIL MEMBER WHO SUPPORTED MEASURE V, RECALLED HOW MEANS HAD PROMISED DURING HIS APPLICATION INTERVIEWS THAT HE WOULD DO HIS BEST TO MAKE MEASURE V WORK EFFECTIVELY.

"Now I'm not sure if that's the approach he's taking," Siegel said. "He's clearly being ideologically consistent, BUT I'M NOT SURE THAT HE'S HELPING TO CREATE A PROGRAM THAT ACTUALLY HELPING PEOPLE."

In the months since joining the Rental Housing Committee, Means has dominated many of the crucial policy discussions. OFTEN BRINGING HIS ECONOMICS PEDIGREE INTO TALKS, HE HAS SOMETIMES SPARRED WITH THE CITY'S RISK-AVERSE STAFF AND CONSULTANTS ON DRAFTING ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF THE RENT-CONTROL PROGRAM. The city's team frequently aimed for legal cover by modeling Mountain View's program after other rent-stabilized cities; but Means was inclined to craft more precise methods to tie the program more closely to what he sees as the housing market's realities.”

First, it appears that even at least the Vice-Mayor Lenny Siegel openly criticizes the behaviors Toms Means has acted on. Second, he has been abusing his credentials as a RHC board member to confuse those on the board that do not have economics education by cloaking political arguments as proven economic information. When in fact, in most cases it can be equally argued his information is inaccurate at best. The story goes on to say:

““It is unclear if conflict-of-interest laws would have any bearing on Means' paid political work. CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT CODE BARS PUBLIC OFFICIALS FROM FINANCIALLY BENEFITING FROM THEIR POSITION. Mountain View's own policies prohibit public officials from engaging in any employment that is inconsistent or in conflict with their duties.

IN AN EMAIL, MOUNTAIN VIEW CITY ATTORNEY JANNIE QUINN DECLINED TO COMMENT ON THIS SITUATION, EXCEPT TO SAY THAT A LEGAL ANALYSIS WOULD TAKE CONSIDERABLE TIME.”

So even the City Attorney of Mountain View cannot disregard the possibility that Tom Means has a serious conflict of interest regarding the City of Mountain View, the same determination must also follow regarding the CSU: SJSU situation. Thus, there is serious and solid good merit to seek an audit and investigation regarding his activities not only by the City of Mountain View but CSU:SJSU. Finally the report goes on to say:

“Means said he had encountered similar questions before when he was on the City Council. At the time, he was being offered an honorarium for academic papers and lectures, sometimes on issues that were associated with municipal government. THE CITY ATTORNEY TOLD HIM ACCEPTING THE PAYMENT SHOULD BE FINE, SO LONG AS THE SPEECHES WERE WORK-RELATED, he said.

"If anything, I was the most well-known candidate," Means said. "IT'S THE COUNCIL THAT PUT ME IN THIS POSITION. IF THERE'S ANY ISSUE PEOPLE HAVE, THEY SHOULD REALLY BE ASKING THE COUNCIL."

I find his statement very questionable and objectionable. When he is using the statement: “It's the council that put me in this position. If there's any issue people have, they should really be asking the council." does not absolve his conflict of interest problems, nor does it raise any defense for potential other legal problems amounting to corruption, or even bribery. Does it?

It appears to me that Tom Means wants to put the blame of HIS actions on the fact that no one appears to be telling him it is wrong. Such behavior could be observed as sociopathic behavior that one is free to harm anyone that interferes with one’s own political interests until they are told it is not right. Should one have to be told by someone else when they are crossing a line regarding conflict of interest or unethical behavior? To me, I would expect he would already be trained to understand the consequences of his actions. However it appears he desires to claim ignorance.


17 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2017 at 3:29 pm

It's quite clear that you don't like rent control, but this isn't the space for listing all your grievances with the people of Mountain View.

Why can't you address the fact that Tom Means, a sitting committee member, has allegedly received payments from a realtor association, leading to a clear appearance of corruption to his actions on the rental housing committee?


10 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2017 at 3:33 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Another quick follow up:

It appears there is a good chance the California State University will investigate Tom Means regarding conflict of interest. I received the following email:

Thank you for your recent email messages (one below; one attached) in which you express your concerns regarding possible conflict of interest issues at San Jose State.

Please be assured that we take such concerns seriously, and I have forwarded both your messages to the appropriate CSU personnel for review and consideration.

You may be contacted if further information from you is required.

Your continued interest in and commitment to your alma mater are much appreciated.

Thank you for sharing your concerns.

Sincerely,

Timothy P. White, Chancellor, The California State University, Office of the Chancellor, 401 Golden Shore, Long Beach, CA 90802.

So, there might be a significant amount of investigation regarding Tom Means conduct regarding his position at San Jose State University.

The fact is that Professor Timothy Stearns, another “TENURED” Dept. of Economics instructor at CSU Fresno faced the exact same kind of conflict of interest and other ethics problems. That story published on Feb. 16, 2016 can be read here:( Web Link). This story indicates that conflicts of interest are serious violations of the code of conduct and being “TENUTRD” does not immunize you from this kind of violation

The irony is Professor Timothy Stearns tried to put the blame on CSU: Fresno if you read this article written on Feb. 20, 2016 : (Web Link) . It would seem that Professor Tom Means is in fact doing the same thing claiming if the City of Mountain View or the CSU:SJSU did their due diligence, he would not have exploited the situation

Professor Timothy Stearns eventually resigned from the “Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fresno State a from the article written Feb. 22, 2016 the story found here:( Web Link).

The irony is that in this story there was the following passage:

“AL SMITH, CEO OF THE FRESNO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FROM 2005 TO 2015, said that Stearns “was a tremendous asset to this community and the entrepreneurial programs at Fresno State.”

“He will be sorely missed and very hard to replace,” Smith said.”

What is interesting is that John Inks in the Rental Housing Committee meeting stood up and CRITICIZED THE NOTIFICATION OF INTENT TO SEEK AN INVESTIGATION REGARDING TOM MEANS IN THIS CONFLICT OF INTEREST PROBLEM WITH CSU:SJSU. John Inks is a high ranking representative of the City of Mountain View Chamber of Commerce. I find it ironic that the problems that got Professor Timothy Stearns in such trouble are being replayed almost with the exact script regarding Professor Tom Means.

To me, it appears Tom Means may find himself very busy dealing with the consequences of his actions regarding CSU:SJSU


8 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2017 at 3:37 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

As far as Tom Means is concerned, he is just one of many examples of the war on real economics. How can I say this? If you read this article, it is just one of many demonstrating that the study of economics is fraught with conflict of interest by those we “TRUST” to do their best to not skew the information for the benefit of their own interests: (Web Link)

This report went on to say:

“But the assumption that ethical standards are unnecessary to the discipline has begun to crumble in the wake of the financial meltdown of 2008 -- a turn of events that, many say, economists failed to anticipate. MOST POINTEDLY, THE ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY INSIDE JOB HAS CAST A HARSH LIGHT ON THE CHUMMINESS OF REGULATORS, BOND RATERS AND BANKERS -- AND ON THE ACADEMIC ECONOMISTS WHO WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE RENDERED DISINTERESTED ADVICE AND ANALYSIS. In recent days, an alumnus at Princeton University and students at Columbia University have raised questions probing the relationships of academic economists at their institutions to powerful financial firms. Columbia adopted a revised conflict of interest policy in 2009 (before the film's release) that requires its scholars to disclose their financial ties when commenting publicly on issues to which those ties might be relevant; administrators there are reviewing this policy once more, as part of a revisiting process put in place two years ago. SUCH INCREASED SCRUTINY HAS BEEN CALLED “THE ‘INSIDE JOB’ EFFECT.”

This report also stated:

“Close examination is coming from within the discipline as well. Gerald Epstein, professor of economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has focused on the need for a clear conflict of interest policy. He suggests a policy modeled on the one used by the American Sociological Association. IT WOULD REQUIRE ECONOMISTS TO DISCLOSE RELEVANT SOURCES OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS THAT “MAY HAVE THE APPEARANCE OR POTENTIAL FOR A CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN PUBLIC SPEECHES AND WRITING, AS WELL AS IN ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS,” Epstein wrote, with Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth, a doctoral student at UMass, in a Jan. 3 letter to Robert E. Hall, the Robert and Carole McNeil Joint Professor of Economics at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, who was then president of the AEA. THE LETTER HAS BEEN SIGNED BY ABOUT 300 ECONOMISTS.”

It also went on to state:

“They found that, of the 19 scholars studied, 13 did some work for private financial institutions. Two were co-founders and held key positions in such firms. Another economist worked for two banks -- as president of one and as director of another. Eight served on the boards of directors of private financial firms, while two were identified as consultants or affiliated experts for firms. Epstein and Carrick-Hagenbarth determined these affiliations mostly through the economists’ curriculums vitae.

In their public statements and scholarly writings, VERY FEW OF THE ECONOMISTS ACKNOWLEDGED THEIR PRIVATE AFFILIATIONS -- EVEN THOUGH THEY MIGHT OPINE ON POLICIES THAT COULD HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE FIRMS THAT PAID THEM, EPSTEIN AND CARRICK-HAGENBARTH FOUND. TYPICALLY, THE ECONOMISTS IDENTIFIED THEMSELVES BY THEIR ACADEMIC POSITION OR THEIR MEMBERSHIP IN THE NATIONAL BUREAU FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH; SOMETIMES IT WAS BY THEIR APPOINTMENT TO PRESTIGIOUS PUBLIC OR INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, SUCH AS THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND.

SEVEN OF THE ECONOMISTS -- INCLUDING A PRESIDENT, SEVERAL TRUSTEES AND THOSE WHO SERVED ON THE BOARDS OF DIRECTORS OF PRIVATE FINANCIAL FIRMS -- FAILED TO MENTION THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO THESE FIRMS DURING NEARLY 80 MEDIA APPEARANCES. While one economist divulged his or her dealings in all 25 appearances, three others did so only occasionally -- in one-third of 63 op-eds and interviews.”

It also goes on to say:

“STILL OTHERS SAY THAT A CODE OR A POLICY ON CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, IN ITSELF, ISN'T ENOUGH. INSTEAD, WHAT’S NEEDED IS A CHANGE IN HOW ECONOMISTS THINK ABOUT ETHICS, SAID GEORGE DEMARTINO, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF DENVER AND AUTHOR OF THE ECONOMIST'S OATH.

Such a change, he said, would encourage what he called a tradition of inquiry, which would shift economists’ narrow emphasis on objective, quantifiable truth and prod those in the profession to consider the implications of their work on other people, particularly those in developing countries. “We learn all these techniques but we don’t have five minutes of training in what it means to have power over the lives of others,” said DeMartino. “ECONOMISTS IMPOSE FAR TOO MUCH RISK ON THE COMMUNITIES THEY’RE TRYING TO SERVE.”

While he agreed with Epstein’s argument that the top tiers of academe ought to have a wider range of perspectives, DeMartino saw the problem as having less to do with free-market ideology than with attitude. In his view, economists are trained to believe too much in the certainty of their conclusions.

“THE SINGLE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN ECONOMICS FROM A PROFESSIONAL STANDPOINT IS WE CULTIVATE ARROGANCE AND HUBRIS,” HE SAID. THE GOAL, HE SAID, “IS TO BE HONEST ABOUT WHAT ONE DOES AND DOESN’T KNOW AND WHAT ONE CANNOT EVER KNOW.”

This would seem to indicate that as far as Tom Means conduct in his “FIELD”, he has taken advantage of non-disclosure regarding the statements he makes in public. He implies that the San Jose State University supports his conclusions. He also choses to prove only the economic theories that he agrees with hi political or financial interests, and not perform “like a scientist”. He has a financial stake regarding his work. This raises serious questions regarding his objectivity regarding the works he produces. I would strongly urge the public to have “HEALTHY “skepticism regarding any commentary he publishes.


22 people like this
Posted by City Council like Trump
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 27, 2017 at 5:01 pm

The anti-rent control city council put Tom Means on the committee to undermine the City Charter (part of which is the rent control law enacted by voters). Donald Trump has nominated similar players to undermine federal laws and agencies.


19 people like this
Posted by Sophie
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2017 at 6:18 pm

I trust the capability of an economist than a socialist to be thorough with this topic, why Mountain View wants to adopt rent control, but not the neighboring cities, such as Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills? If homeowners in Mountain View don’t want it becomes another East Palo Alto, Berkeley, you need to participate this discussion more actively.


18 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 27, 2017 at 6:31 pm

Add another to the list of people who haven't addressed the simple fact that Tom Means, a sitting committee member, has allegedly received payments from a realtor association, leading to a clear appearance of corruption to his actions on the rental housing committee. Why is that so hard to do?


23 people like this
Posted by Diablo
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 27, 2017 at 7:15 pm

@Sophie

The reason this passed in Mountain View and not our more prosperous neighbors is that we have a much higher % of renters. I'm guessing a majority of homeowners - like me - voted against it. I did not want to see the inevitable deterioration of Mtn View's rental properties.


8 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2017 at 8:27 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Sophie who said:”I trust the capability of an economist than a socialist to be thorough with this topic, why Mountain View wants to adopt rent control, but not the neighboring cities, such as Palo Alto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills? If homeowners in Mountain View don’t want it becomes another East Palo Alto, Berkeley, you need to participate this discussion more actively.”

I am not a socialist, I have 2 Business Degrees. I am not against economists as long as they are not acting as a means of manipulating public opinion while claiming their conclusions are not biased. My father was a PhD in Chemistry, a “NATURAL ” science versus Economics which is a “SOCIAL” science. They are distinguished by these definitions:

“Natural Sciences (NST) is a branch of science concerned with the description, prediction, and understanding of natural phenomena, based on observational and empirical evidence

Social science is a major category of academic disciplines, concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society. It in turn has many branches, each of which is considered a "social science” (Web Link)

Economics cannot establish conclusively predictive cause and effect. That is its inherent limitation, the only thing it can do accurately and reliably is post-mortem analysis. The proof of this is the fact that we still experience recessions and depressions. If the science of economics was so reliable, economists would be able to take corrective actions long before economic disasters like the 2007-8 great recessions. However it was clearly determined that the “junk” science that was opined by the economists in fact contributed to make that recession much more worse, not better.

Until Tom Means proves he has not based his arguments on “junk” science, or it is skewed for the benefit of his private interest, and has been ethical regarding his “cash” interests in his work, there is good cause to not trust him specifically.

In response to Diablo who said :” The reason this passed in Mountain View and not our more prosperous neighbors is that we have a much higher % of renters. I'm guessing a majority of homeowners - like me - voted against it. I did not want to see the inevitable deterioration of Mtn View's rental properties.”

If there is deterioration of properties, that is not the fault of the City because the City requires that there is maintenance of the property under the CSFRA. The fact is any good businessman can manage their properties efficiently.

If the properties do deteriorate, than the landlord will be violating the maintenance provision of the CSFRA. Any petition filed for an adjustment will be summarily rejected as long as a tenant can demonstrate, say for example by photographs, that the property was neglected, with pictures before the CSFRA and after the CSFRA.

In order for a petition to be in good standing and considered, the landlord must be in full compliance with the CSFRA, and it does not tolerate neglect of property maintenance. Once it can be proven the landlord has taken actions to let property deteriorate, their privilege regarding petition is lost.

So it appears that Tom Means still needs to address his conflict of interest or abuse of his position at CSU:SJSU. Of course it appears that that no one wants to discuss the real “problem”


3 people like this
Posted by Diablo
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 27, 2017 at 8:40 pm

@The Business Man

Thx for pointing out those maintenance provisions of the CSFRA. I can relax a bit about that aspect of rent control.


15 people like this
Posted by Maher
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Oct 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm

FOX HIRED TO GUARD THE HEN HOUSE f'sure. Conflict of interest plus conflict of integrity.

In this tRUMPy era when it is this POTUS' practice to appoint people to head major
departments and agencies who have demonstrated long term opposition, who are essentially antagonistic, to the job they are filling i.e., the clear mission of said department or agency... all of which is destructive to our government and appalling FOLLY, It is appalling again to learn that MV has done this same folly via appointing MEANS to the rent control committee.

Now that he has blown his cover, he needs to resign or be removed from this post. No amount of "credentials" can offset how inappropriate he is for the task at hand.


11 people like this
Posted by David Speakman
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 28, 2017 at 1:27 am

"He was viewed as a compromise appointee, helping to balance out the political leanings."

What's next? Appointing members of the KKK to the Human Relations Committee or millennials to the Senior Advisory Committee?

That is idiotic thinking.


15 people like this
Posted by David Speakman
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 28, 2017 at 2:13 am

Upon further reading:

Here is what we know about Tom Means:

1) He is a smart man. You do not become an economics professor without having a fine intellect.

2) He not only served on the city council for 8 years, he also served as Mountain View Mayor.

3) We can assume that given his intellect and his experience in public life that he is aware - or should be aware - of the following California Law that he violated (at least in spirit) either with intent or through gross negligence: Web Link


CODE TEXT
GOVERNMENT CODE - GOV
TITLE 1. GENERAL [100 - 7914] ( Title 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )
DIVISION 4. PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES [1000 - 3599] ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )
CHAPTER 1. General [1000 - 1241] ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

ARTICLE 4.7. Incompatible Activities [1125 - 1129] ( Article 4.7 added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 633. )

1126.
(a) ... a local agency officer ... shall not engage in any employment, activity, or enterprise for compensation which is inconsistent, incompatible, in conflict with, or inimical to his or her duties as a local agency officer ... or the agency by which he or she is employed.

-=-=-=-

What Mr. Means did is a DIRECT violation of California law. Let's be clear about this: he broke the law; he should answer for it.

If any City Council members are reading this, as a Mountain View voter who did not work for either side of either rent control ballot measure, I ask two things:

1) You should not condone *any* committee member to flagrantly break California laws that are in place to ensure impartiality in job performance.

2) We expect you to take action on this. Mr. Means answers to you. And, you answer to us.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2017 at 5:56 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to David Speakman you wrote:

“3) We can assume that given his intellect and his experience in public life that he is aware - or should be aware - of the following California Law that he violated (at least in spirit) either with intent or through gross negligence: Web Link

GOVERNMENT CODE; TITLE 1. GENERAL; DIVISION 4. PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES; CHAPTER 1.; ARTICLE 4.7. INCOMPATIBLE ACTIVITIES

1126. (a) ... A LOCAL AGENCY OFFICER ... shall not engage in any employment, activity, OR ENTERPRISE FOR COMPENSATION WHICH IS INCONSISTENT, incompatible, IN CONFLICT WITH, OR INIMICAL TO HIS OR HER DUTIES AS A LOCAL AGENCY OFFICER ... or the agency by which he or she is employed.”

I strongly agree with this observation.

If I know the City Attorney and the City Council they will not act according to the law. Primarily because they have done so much to try to impair the CSFRA.

Intentionally cooperating with a private plaintiff against itself requiring a third party to be court ordered to represent the Mountain View City Citizens.

The court order was because the City Attorney failed to adequately defend the CSFRA on behalf of the City Citizens.

On top of that, the City Attorney acted to unconstitutionally delay enforcement of the CSFRA with full knowledge that it was a violation of the Citizens U.S. Constitutions 14th Amendment and the California Article 1 Section 7.

The fact that this occurred already has place a significant legal risk to the City of Mountain View and it is acting in panic mode. Thus making almost every possible mistake in performing their work.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2017 at 6:33 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

WARNING VERY LONG AND COMPLEX:

Here is a breakdown as to how Tom Means is significantly violating the priciples of Academic Integrity I said I would demonstrate:

Tom Means challenges academic integrity. Academic integrity is defined in:

Web Link

The first principle involves “1) Affirm the importance of academic integrity.: Institutions of higher education are dedicated to the pursuit of truth. Faculty members need to affirm that the pursuit of truth is grounded in certain core values, including diligence, civility, and honesty.” Professor Tom Means behavior that indicates bias in favor of one political motive over another has to be explained. The fact is professor Tom Means decides to take work actions that supports one private interest over the public interest, where it can be shown that it provides some financial gain for them, would be a violation of this principle. Professor Tom Means surely should be aware of this.

The second principle involves: ““2) Foster a love of learning.: A commitment to academic integrity is reinforced by high academic standards. Most students will thrive in an atmosphere where academic work is seen as challenging, relevant, useful, and fair.” Professor Tom Means seems to determine that one point of view is given preference over others as a pattern. It can be assumed to become unfair, it also can be determined abusive, and irrelevant. Professor Tom Means surely should be aware of this.

The third principle involves “3) Treat students as ends in themselves.: Faculty members should treat their students as ends in themselves - deserving individual attention' and consideration. Students will generally reciprocate by respecting the best values of their teachers, including a commitment to academic integrity.” Professor Tom Means seems to be satisfying this principle. However, it needs to be determined if he assigns students tasks to contribute to his written works, gives preferential grades to works that he agrees with, or he gives them instructions to reject any studies or analysis that contradicts his desired conclusions, this would violate this principle. Professor Tom Means surely should be aware of this.

The fourth principle involves: “4) Foster an environment of trust in the classroom.: Most students are mature adults, and value an environment free of arbitrary rules and trivial assignments, where trust is earned, and given.” Professor Tom Means can be assumed as to comply with this principle. However, it needs to be determined that in fact he does not set any arbitrary rules in the practice of his instruction. Professor Tom Means surely should be aware of this.

The fifth principle involves “5) Encourage student responsibility for academic integrity.: With proper guidance, students can be given significant responsibility to help promote and protect the highest standards of academic integrity. Students want to work in communities where competition is fair, integrity is respected, and cheating is punished. They understand that one of the greatest inducements to engaging in academic dishonesty is the perception that academic dishonesty is rampant.” Professor Tom Means can be said to comply with this principle. However, it may be necessary to insure that his conduct does not contribute to the general acceptance that academic dishonesty is normalized. That would mean that his conduct must also not be able to be determined as dishonest in his works. Professor Tom Means surely should be aware of this.

The sixth principle involves “6) Clarify expectations for students.: Faculty members have primary responsibility for designing and cultivating the educational environment and experience. They must clarify their expectations in advance regarding honesty in academic work, including the nature and scope of student collaboration. Most students want such guidance, and welcome it in course syllabi, carefully reviewed by their teachers in class.” Professor Tom Means can be said to comply with this principle, given that he does document the student’s code of action in the course syllabi.

The seventh principle involves “7) Develop fair and relevant forms of assessment.: Students expect their academic work to be fairly and fully assessed. Faculty members should use - and continuously evaluate and revise - forms of assessment that require active and creative thought, and promote learning opportunities for students.” Professor Tom Means can be said to comply with this principle, as long as his grading process can not be determined to show favoritism to those coming to conclusion that he personally agrees with versus those he does not. This may require a significant amount of analysis to establish the evidence necessary to prove fair assessment. Professor Tom Means surely should be aware of this.

The eighth principle involves “8) Reduce opportunities to engage in academic dishonesty.: Prevention is a critical line of defense against academic dishonesty. Students should not be tempted or induced to engage in acts of academic dishonesty by ambiguous policies, undefined or unrealistic standards for collaboration, inadequate classroom management, or poor examination security.” Professor Tom Means can be said to comply with this principle, as long as his professional conduct does not indicate the possibility of demonstrating dishonesty. However, given that his public comments demonstrate his strong point of view, it could be argued that students will take actions to support his opinions even though they personally do not agree with him. Professor Tom Means surely should be aware of this.

The ninth principle involves “9) Challenge academic dishonesty when it occurs.: Students observe how faculty members behave, and what values they embrace. Faculty members who ignore or trivialize academic dishonesty send the message that the core values of academic life, and community life in general, are not worth any significant effort to enforce.” Professor Tom Means can be said to comply with this principle, as long as his professional conduct does not indicate the possibility of demonstrating dishonesty. However, given that his public comments demonstrate his strong point of view, in which he can be argued to have bias based on his private interests, would demonstrate his actions trivialize academic dishonesty, and that his peers find it not significant to enforce honesty regarding the public. Professor Tom Means surely should be aware of this.

The last principle involves “10) Help define and support campus-wide academic integrity standards.: Acts of academic dishonesty by individual students can occur across artificial divisions of departments and schools. Although faculty members should be the primary role models for academic integrity, responsibility for defining, promoting, and protecting academic integrity must be a community-wide concern - not only to identify repeat offenders mild apply consistent due process procedures but also to affirm the shared values that make colleges and universities true communities.” Professor Tom Means in demonstrating bias regarding the private interests of his clients regarding the work he produces for CSU:SJSU can be said to pose a risk to the academic integrity of the CSU:SJSU. And if it can be demonstrated that he is a repeat offender, not only is this a risk to the students he teaches, he poses a risk on the reputation of CSU:SJSU. Professor Tom Means surely should be aware of this.

As a whole, there needs to be an assessment performed by the CSU:SJSU to ensure that these principles are not being violated by Professor Tom Means.


37 people like this
Posted by EveryoneGetsPaid
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 28, 2017 at 7:39 am

I'd like to address the point that he is being paid.

How many of the people on the rent control board are directly benefiting from controlling the rent? How many are taking money away from landlords for their own benefit? Why is that any less of a conflict of interest?


8 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2017 at 10:54 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to EveryoneGetsPaid you said :”I'd like to address the point that he is being paid.

How many of the people on the rent control board are directly benefiting from controlling the rent?

How many are taking money away from landlords for their own benefit?

Why is that any less of a conflict of interest?”

YOUR PREACHING TO THE CHOIR MY FRIEND.

From what I understand Vanessa Honey, Tom Means and Julian Pardo De Zela appear to have a diret financial interest regarding the RHC of Mountain View.

I too believe that in the case of this governmental body, this should not be allowed. But to prevent a valid constitutional challenge at least 2 active members are allowed to have a conflict of interest under the CSFRA.

Sorry, but if no one was allowed, the CSFRA would have been vulnerable to constitutional challenge, it was a good preventative step.


35 people like this
Posted by Yimby #2
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2017 at 11:14 am

Shame, and you are ignoring a key point that was already made.

1. Tom Means work on the side as recognition of his competence. And
the attempts to turn this into a negative as merely an attempt to
remove a voice the pro-rent lobby disagrees with.

This is an openly declared consulting gig, and he got the gig because he is competent.

No Problem Here, wrote:
"It should be a basic criterion for this committee that you support this law," she said. "Anyone who is saying their job is to limit the damage of (rent control) and doesn't believe in the purpose of the law, they don't belong on this committee."

1. Note that the composition of the committee is to have both landlords and tenants on it. With the tenants have a legislated majority - 3 to 2 I believe (will to be corrected here). Are you saying the landlords are not entitled to be opposed to
Measure V? Don't you think it a bit unfair to have a legislated majority 3-2 in favor of tenants?

Summary:
I think what is going on here is intolerance of opposing view points. And using legal means in an attempt to silence competent opposition.

In addition, I have seen other posters seek to negate the comments of a poster that goes by the name of Bob. These attempts seek to negate him by saying he is not telling the truth, and calling opposing views fake. I would characterize these behaviors as intolerance of differing view points and the use of inappropriate methods to silence them.

There is also the Utopian viewpoint, calling for the government to buy up all housing and rent it back to people.

Finally, there are the NIMBYs. There have been a lot of articles about local,city,
country, state government trying to facilitate increasing supply of housing because of the widespread *shortage* of housing which is driving of rents. Rent control does not address the root cause issue, but does make it hard for landlords to deliver housing services to the community.

These behaviors can give you some insight into the pro-rent control thought processes.

People who have fled communist countries to come to America probably have some good insight into the above behaviors. Perhaps people can talk to people with this experience and ask their opinions.


3 people like this
Posted by good call
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2017 at 11:37 am

Dear Business Man, that was good call to report the apparent CSU: SJSU academic conflict to the appropriate body and cite the appropriate CSU policy. Interesting that there was a similar recent case elsewhere. I though Means had retired from his teaching position, wouldn't that make him an ex-professor or emirates professor? If so, what if he had used that title?

I appreciate Tom Means, even though I do not always agree with his views. I appreciated the rent control advocates campaign, signed the original petition, and warily voted for it. And, the newly approved townhouse project near Whisman Park, shows the economics of 'old rent controlled' properties and the economics pressures that they will face in the future. Not exactly unforeseen consequences - but Mountain View voters will be able to judge the long term results for themselves and make adjustments at the ballot box.

Is any pro-rent control member getting any employment money from a tenant advocacy group? Ot rather ANY FORM of support? Is that a problem? Don't they have to report it on their next finical form (Form 700?)


14 people like this
Posted by David Speakman
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 28, 2017 at 1:05 pm

I find it hard to take the opinions of people seriously when they refuse to stand behind their views and use their real names.


13 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 28, 2017 at 1:13 pm

It would be nice if we could limit commenting to actual residents of Mountain View rather than the non-local paid trolls of the California Apartment Assn and other real estate lobby groups.


29 people like this
Posted by Mt View Neighbor
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 28, 2017 at 2:48 pm

It's mind boggling that we feel the need to attack and discredit constantly. Meanwhile, the real byproducts of rent control have already begun to manifest.

Want to have a crazy person, an alcoholic screaming all night, or a drug dealer next door? Implement rent control.

You've now trapped landlords so they have no recourse short of a criminal conviction, and even then, no guarantee to evict, as well as insanely costly evictions, and no way to protect other tenants from the crazies. It happens more often than you think that there's a crazy living next door. Now they will stay.

I'm not talking about the neighbor who's a little unusual. I'm talking about people who are rude, entities, damage property, vandalize, and conduct illegal business. No way to get rid of those people now.

With crooks as long term residents, as the consequence of rent control, I'm finding the accusation against one person for their anti rent control work, seems minor. And isn't this group supposed to come with diverss perspectives? Someone has to offer an opinion that deals with the problems resulting from measure V.


9 people like this
Posted by Mt. View Neighbor
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 28, 2017 at 2:52 pm

It's mind boggling that we feel the need to attack and discredit constantly. Meanwhile, the real byproducts of rent control have already begun to manifest.

Want to have a crazy person, an alcoholic screaming all night, or a drug dealer next door? Implement rent control.

You've now trapped landlords so they have no recourse short of a criminal conviction, and even then, no guarantee to evict, as well as insanely costly evictions, and no way to protect other tenants from the crazies. It happens more often than you think that there's a crazy living next door. Now they will stay.

I'm not talking about the neighbor who's a little unusual. I'm talking about people who are rude, entities, damage property, vandalize, and conduct illegal business. No way to get rid of those people now.

With crooks as long term residents, as the consequence of rent control, I'm finding the accusation against one person for their anti rent control work, seems minor. And isn't this group supposed to come with diverss perspectives? Someone has to offer an opinion that deals with the problems resulting from measure V.

I gotta wonder why this publication is so hellbent on distributing biased info on rent control.

It's just another way Mountain View has gone mad.


6 people like this
Posted by Yimby #2
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2017 at 4:31 pm

It's mind boggling that we feel the need to attack and discredit constantly.
Mt. View Neighbor: I agree with your above statement


17 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 28, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Mr. Means discredited himself by taking money from an anti-rent control political campaign while he was a sitting member of the RHC. There's absolutely nothing biased or incorrect about that. The logical hoops that the rest of you are jumping through in order to justify it is frankly amazing.


29 people like this
Posted by The Truth
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 28, 2017 at 6:12 pm

The Truth is a registered user.

Mr. Means activities as a consultant may be a "conflict" in superficial appearance only, but it is not one in fact.

As a highly regarded professional economist and educator who has given many years of honorable service to the City of Mountain View, he should be treated with more respect than he has gotten from persons with a close minded agenda.

Mr. Means has a track record of logical openness, he clearly explains his position and does not hide from it, his position has not changed no matter who his clients are. In addition, the sum he received is immaterial relative to Mr. Means "means."

If Emily Ramos lives in a rent controlled apartment (I believe this was disclosed during the application process to the RHC), is that not also a "conflict of interest" as defined by the attackers of Mr. Means? Especially when the materiality of this benefit is much more proportionally important to Ms. Ramos relative to Mr. Means billing in question.

Stop being hypocrites by attempting to silence with false attacks on character, erstwhile rock solid members of our community. That is the real "Shame".


11 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 28, 2017 at 6:26 pm

There is nothing false about the fact that Mr. Means, a sitting committee member, has allegedly received payments from a realtor association, leading to a clear appearance of corruption to his actions on the rental housing committee.

If he is so forthcoming and open, why did it take a Mountain View Voice investigation for this to come to light? Why did he not disclose this when he was first contacted by SAMCAR?

As to his "means," it sounds like you have some special knowledge of his wealth. Care to let the rest of us in on the secret?


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2017 at 8:15 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to The Truth who said:”Mr. Means activities as a consultant may be a "conflict" in SUPERFICIAL APPEARANCE ONLY, BUT IT IS NOT ONE IN FACT. “

That is like saying someone is “superficially” pregnant, but it is impossible to have a child. There is no such thing as a “superficial” conflict of interest. You can’t even get a legal definition of that term.

You said:”AS A HIGHLY REGARDED PROFESSIONAL ECONOMIST AND EDUCATOR who has given many years of honorable service to the City of Mountain View, HE SHOULD BE TREATED WITH MORE RESPECT THAN HE HAS GOTTEN FROM PERSONS WITH A CLOSE MINDED AGENDA.”

I will not request that this objectionable comment be removed. Why? Because it demonstrates that you wish to criticize anyone who does not uphold your political interest. Also, please demonstrate how he has been established as highly regarded? I cannot see anything when I research him that indicates any “special” performance. In fact when I read from various sources, he seems almost mediocre.

You said:” MR. MEANS HAS A TRACK RECORD OF LOGICAL OPENNESS, he clearly explains his position and does not hide from it, HIS POSITION HAS NOT CHANGED NO MATTER WHO HIS CLIENTS ARE. In addition, the sum he received is immaterial relative to Mr. Means "means."”

As I will always ask, please show evidence that your claim is substantiated. In almost everything I have been able to research on-line, I have found that whenever you mention rent control by him, he does not make any mention of any possible benefit of rent control. However if you read this report (Web Link) there are demonstrated economists that are not “ABSOLUTLEY” opposed to rent control. But does he mention this? NO. So can he be demonstrationg “LOGICAL OPENNESS”? It can be demsotrated as NO. Can you demonstrate that his clients DO NOT influence his positions he advocates? SO FAR YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO.

“If Emily Ramos lives in a rent controlled apartment (I believe this was disclosed during the application process to the RHC), is that not also a "conflict of interest" as defined by the attackers of Mr. Means? Especially when the materiality of this benefit is much more proportionally important to Ms. Ramos relative to Mr. Means billing in question.”

You could have an argument if it wasn’t for the fact that Emily Ramos is inot a “PROFESSIONAL VOCAL ADVOCATE”. She is a customer of housing yes, but she “DOES NOT SELL HER POLITICAL POWER TO THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO PAY HER FOR IT”. This “FALSE” comparison is almost humorous if it weren’t so tragic. You will have to demonstrate that Emily Ramos has marketed herself for financial gains to be able to compare her to Tom Means. Tom Means could be argued as acting like he is part of the “Worlds oldest profession” with regards to his career in order to achieve in the highest financial benefits to himself.

“Stop being hypocrites by attempting to silence with false attacks on character, ERSTWHILE ROCK SOLID MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY. That is the real "Shame".”

It is the freedom under our 1st amendment to question anyone at any time. Given that it may appear that Tom Means might have violated the code of conduct of CSU:SJSU would be evidence that he is in fact not a solid member of the ENTIRE community. It all depends on what YOUR definition of who is a member of YOUR community.

The Truth and I have had many opposing posts, I have always suspected he is a practitioner of “Astroturfing as defined as:

In political science, it is defined as the process of seeking electoral victory or legislative relief for grievances by helping political actors find and mobilize a sympathetic public, and is designed to create the image of public consensus where there is none.[1][2] Astroturfing is the use of fake grassroots efforts that primarily focus on influencing public opinion and typically are funded by corporations and governmental entities to form opinions.[3] On the Internet, astroturfers use software to mask their identity. Sometimes one individual operates through many personas to give the impression of widespread support for their client's agenda.[4][5] Some studies suggest astroturfing can alter public viewpoints and create enough doubt to inhibit action.[6] In the first systematic study of astroturfing in the United States, Oxford Professor Philip N. Howard argued that the internet was making it much easier for powerful lobbyists and conservative political movements to activate small groups of aggrieved citizens to have an exaggerated importance in public policy debates.[2] (Web Link)

In particular The Truth can be defined as a “sockpuppet” as described here:

“Another technique is the use of sockpuppets, WHERE A SINGLE PERSON CREATES MULTIPLE IDENTITIES ONLINE TO GIVE THE APPEARANCE OF GRASSROOTS SUPPORT. Sockpuppets may POST POSITIVE REVIEWS ABOUT A PRODUCT, ATTACK PARTICIPANTS THAT CRITICIZE THE ORGANIZATION, OR POST NEGATIVE REVIEWS AND COMMENTS ABOUT COMPETITORS, UNDER FAKE IDENTITIES.[15][26] Astroturfing businesses MAY PAY STAFF BASED ON THE NUMBER OF POSTS THEY MAKE THAT ARE NOT FLAGGED BY MODERATORS.[21] Persona management software may be used so that each paid poster can manage five to seventy convincing online personas without getting them confused.[22][27]”

The simple “TRUTH” is that you are not up front regarding your identity. Everyone knows who I am, please take off your faux “Guy Fauwkes” mask. If you wish to be equally considered regarding your comments.


28 people like this
Posted by D. Lund
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 28, 2017 at 8:48 pm

Has anyone posting here actually read the text of Measure V? I have and when I read it before the election, I thought it was intended to give apartment owners an incentive to redevelop their properties or "cash out." I think, perhaps, Ms. Brodie would benefit from taking an economics class.

This section indicates the exclusions given, aka those owners who are not restricted to the cap on rents:
Section 1703.5 "Rental Units with first certificate of occupancy after the effective date of this Article; and..."

This indicates that if a rental unit is new, it can rent at market rate. Owners of older, possibly run-down apartments would get offers from developers who KNOW they could rent new apartments on the same property for a lot more than the current owners, so they can offer a little more than current market value for the property to give the owner reason to sell. The original owners would subject to the rent cap. I believe this case is proven out by the current condition on Fairchild Drive where significant redevelopment is taking place.

Tom Means didn't do anything to undermine rent control. The author of this measure did.


10 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 28, 2017 at 8:52 pm

It's quite clear that you don't like rent control, but this isn't the space for listing all your grievances with Measure V.

Why can't you address the fact that Tom Means, a sitting committee member, has allegedly received payments from a realtor association, leading to a clear appearance of corruption to his actions on the rental housing committee?


30 people like this
Posted by EveryoneGetsPaid
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 28, 2017 at 9:14 pm

I'm confused about a couple of points here.

Do people believe that Tim Means has changed his opinion based on $1500? Was he originally in favor of rant control, and now opposes it?

Or is it the case that he has been paid to discuss an opinion he already publicly holds?

So, why is this a problem at all?


26 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 28, 2017 at 9:30 pm

I'm glad Mr. Means defenders have retreated to asserting that he's merely collecting his payday from a realtor's association.

Now that it's been accepted that Tom Means, a sitting committee member, has received payments from a realtor association, leading to a clear appearance of corruption to his actions on the rental housing committee, it's often been an open question whether actual corruption requires that it sway their opinion or whether one's mere existence as a paid agent of another organization would undermine public trust.

Where do you think one should draw the line?


28 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of another community
on Oct 28, 2017 at 10:25 pm

I'm so glad I sold my building and got my money outa there. This whole thing is looking foolish.

This is what happens when you give people a license to steal other people's money... they don't know when to stop!

I feel sorry for the landlords that invested there.


7 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2017 at 10:47 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to EveryoneGetsPaid you said :”Do people believe that Tim Means has changed his opinion based on $1500? Was he originally in favor of rant control, and now opposes it?”

I believe you meant to say rent control. You are in fact correct he was always opposed to rent control in all forms. But even if you read this article (Web Link) he never discloses any actual studies regarding rent control.

His first argument is that rent control is not designed benefit low wage earners alone. I do not argue with that, but what solution does he propose in its place that does not take money from the City of Mountain View resources? NONE. His proposal is that the City MUST increase the profitability of a voluntary private investment or in some way provides a high rate of return on the investment at the same time removing all risk. That is not only irrational regarding the general rule that low risk is low reward, but it appears he wants to force the rest of Mountain View homeowners to subsidize the apartment owners profits.

His second argument is that rent control invades on the landlords purported “property rights”. However given that his alternative would in fact “STEAL” the public funds for the benefit of the private investors. The simple truth is that these investors are solely responsible for their actions, and when their actions required corrective political response, he blames the customers and not the perpetrators. To him, he lives with the Ayn Rand model of ethics, which are there are no ethics, only that “survival” is justification for any action. The “ENDS” justifies the “MEANS” is his adopted philosophy. Such a practice supports all potential corruption of any kind.

Nonetheless, the government is not responsible to guarantee financial benefits to the private class in my humble opinion. Please provide proof the government is responsible by any kind of written proclamation that has been legislated or part of the state or federal constitution? Since private gains are private, the private sector must resolve its own problems it creates by taking actions that result in public sector negative consequences.

You also said:”Or is it the case that he has been paid to discuss an opinion he already publicly holds?”

YES, you are correct, but even the “APPEARANCE” of corruption that a “REASONABLE PERSON” can determine is occurring is sufficient to “WARRANT” taking actions to “PREVENT” it. It appears that Tom Means has financially benefited as a “PROFESSIONAL PAID ADVOCATE” regarding this topic for years. In 2015, he even argued against “Inclusionary Zoning” in this article (Web Link) stating:

“In the study“Unintended or Intended Consequences?,” economists Tom Means and Edward Stringham define IZ as a price control, before noting that, like with other such controls, it discouraged production and raised prices in California.”

However, Tom Means failed to disclose many issues. The first is that he did this study being funded by private interests even though he “IMPLIES” that it was research done by the CSU:SJSU. Given that his co-author worked in Fayetteville State University of North Carolina, is significant that neither may have done this work on behalf of the universities, but rather just “IMPLY” that the university had endorsed the conclusions. This is a known exploitation of the study of economics, just look at the documentary “Inside Job” (Web Link) The public is not informed as to the process of which this material is produced. Is it really a scientific analysis, or is it just “MARKETING” material under the guise of scientific research? It is amazing that this documentary got 98% on the rotten tomatoes website (Web Link)

Also, even though it is his right to do so, he only references materials that support his argument. For a study to be most credible, it must also demonstrate acknowledgement of opposing research and demonstrate on a valid scientific basis how the research is void of merit. This has been his modis operandi and it is an indication that he is not performing any “SCIENTIFIC” research, just merely in effect “SELLING” previous works by rehashing the same material, and using his credentials to the private sector to his own benefit. This is a good indication that his “EXPERTISE ” is not to actually produce new valuable information; only to use others works to his own benefit. Is this a sign of professional competency, or is it an indication that his performance is lacking?

You said:”So, why is this a problem at all?”

Do I need to even start?


7 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2017 at 6:55 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

Further consideration:

Tom Means was paid by “The Independent Institute (TII)” to produce a report titled “Below-Market Housing Mandates as Takings: Measuring Their Impact” This is a private organization, but in the way he writes the report he implies that the CSU:SJSU participated and endorses the conclusions. However this TII is nothing but an organization designed to promote the interests of its donors. But it receives NO PUBLIC funding; it only receives “PRIVATE” groups as described here:”

“On its website TII states that it "receives no government funding. Instead, it draws its support from a diverse range of foundations, businesses and individuals, and the sale of its publications and other services." [12] The Institute does not list its contributors on its website, stating their rationale for this is in compliance with the Donor's Bill of Rights. However, the Donor's Bill of Rights does not require secrecy.”( Web Link)

My valid question is “Why not participate in public funding?” The answer is public funding requires much higher standards of both ethical and quality of such research. It simply is not in the interest of the private donors to comply with those standards. The only motivation is to utilize any resources, be they valid or invalid resources, to the advantage of their interests.

Thus, Tom Means is paid to perform analysis by private interests, but not disclosing that he was paid to do so for their interests. His works being funded by private funds, and performed for organizations other than the CSU:SJSU must publically declare it. When he publically withholds the fact he was not performing this work for CSU:SJSU, but in fact for a third party, HIS REPORTS MUST STATE SO. By NOT DISCLOSING THE WORK IS UNDER A PRIVATE CONTRACT, it raises appropriate questions regarding the VALIDITY OF HIS CONCLUSIONS.

I noticed that there is no declaration of who requested or funded the report cited by Forbes magazine “called “Housing Market Effects On Inclusionary Zoning,”. But if you read a footnote is states the following:

∗ Thanks to Ilkay Pulan, Jennifer Miller, and Abhishek Sheetal for research assistance and to Ron Cheung, Elda Pema, Alex Tabarrok, seminar participants at the North American Regional Science Council meetings, Louisiana State University, Florida State University, San Jose State University, and California State University East Bay. We also thank Rachael Barlow, Victoria Basolo, William Fulton, Mai Nguyen, John Landis, John Quigley, Steven Raphael, and Larry Rosenthal for helpful suggestions about data sources or for sharing their actual data. The usual disclaimers apply. Many of the ideas in this article stem from research conducted by Benjamin Powell and Edward Stringham, so we gratefully acknowledge Benjamin Powell for his indirect, but extremely valuable, input to this article.”

I researched this list of people and organizations and this is what I found: Jennifer Miller appears to work for USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Abhishek Sheetal appears to work for Columbia University. North American Regional Science Council appears to be a private 501(c)(3) organization. Louisiana State University, Florida State University is not members of the CSU. Rachel Barlow appears to work for Trinity College. , Victoria Basolo appears to work for UC: Irvine. William Fulton appears to work for Rice University. Mai Nguyen appears to work for NYU: Wilf Family Dep. Of Politics. John Landis appears to work for the Penn Inst. For Urban Research. John Quigley appears to work for UC: Berkeley. Steven Raphael. Larry Rosenthal appears to work for UC: Berkeley. Benjamin Powell appears to work for Texas Tech U. and a senior fellow of the TII. Edward Stringham appears to work for Trinity College in Connecticut.

Why bring this up? To sum up, there is no way that CSU:SJSU participated in this study given the information regarding the work documented here. So, if a study was not funded by, assessed by, or endorsed by CSU:SJSU, then THERE MUST BE A WRITTEN STATEMENT that the work does NOT REPRESENT CSU:SJSU. Failure to do so is implicit violation of academic integrity of the work.

Should the City of Mountain View have any expectation of unbiased performance given this track record?



28 people like this
Posted by EveryoneGetsPaid
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 29, 2017 at 8:25 am

@The Business Man:

But is there even an appearance that Tom Means is changing his opinion? Do you believe he is being influenced here?

And if it's merely the case of an "APPEARANCE", then do you believe that there is an APPEARANCE of a conflict of interest for someone to be in a rent controlled apartment to be on this board, voting for her own best interests?


7 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2017 at 9:08 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to EveryoneGetsPaid you stated:”But is there even an appearance that Tom Means is changing his opinion? Do you believe he is being influenced here?”

There is an APPEARANCE that he will ALWAYS be INFLUENCED by HIS COMMERCIAL PRIVATE INTERESTS at play. The truth is that he SELLS his CREDENTIALS to those who PAY him AS A PROFESSION, and WILL DO SO AS LONG AS HE CAN. I would love to know how much money he has EARNED for the benefit of his PRIVATE INTERSTS. This kind of sociopathic behavior can be described as BEING A SERIAL OFFENDER OF THE PUBLIC TRUST FOR PROFIT is very different than trying to compare it to an individual WHO DOES NOT WORK IN THIS FIELD NOR PROFIT FROM IT. Which leads me to what you said:

“And if it's merely the case of an "APPEARANCE", then do you believe that there is an APPEARANCE of a conflict of interest for someone to be in a rent controlled apartment to be on this board, voting for her own best interests?”

It is illogical to try to establish an ETHICAL EQUIVILANCE between actions say by Emily Ramos in comparison to Tom Means. She does not get financially rewarded at $1,500 a report at minimum to professionally advocate for a private interest. That fee was simply summarizing a report so that it was used for a political campaign by the way. In fact that is the tip of a very large iceberg regarding Tom Means. I am certain once an investigation is performed, it can be documented that he probably makes quite a lot of money by being a PROFESSIONAL PAID ADVOCATE. If you can demonstrate that Emily Ramos does the same, then I would wish the same treatment be pursued regarding her conduct.

And oh by the way, if you can demonstrate she has a conflict of interest, submit a formal complaint to the City. Also, as of this time, she has not particularly addressed her specific situation for consideration regarding the RHC. She has only taken actions that are predetermined by the language of the CSFRA. I am very confident that if this did occur, she would recuse herself and let the alternate vote in her place. But so far, that does not seem to have taken place yet.

To me, I think that idea trying to call Emily Ramos’s conduct to be equally as offensive to Tom Means’s conduct is very poorly reasoned.


24 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 29, 2017 at 9:10 am

I'm glad you're asking these questions, since there are still many unknowns with regards to the payments Tom Means received from the realtor association while he was a sitting member of the committee.

When did he begin discussing with SAMCAR about consulting for their campaign? When did he begin receiving payments? Is he still being paid by them? Was he being paid when he applied for the committee? Was he being paid when he was being interviewed?

What was the content of the discussions between Mr. Means and SAMCAR? Were any promises made?

Why didn't he disclose this when he was first paid?


30 people like this
Posted by Geeez
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2017 at 5:40 pm

@Shame - You’re acting like Means was taking a bribe. He was a consultant paid to do a study. I’m not seeing the conflict of interest and certainly not the corruption of which you seem to be accusing him. You’re also assuming he created bias within the study yet there’s no evidence of that (consider the possibility that rent control will actually have a negative impact on the community- it’s been shown to be true in many studies). Give it a rest. He has expertise in his field and is an asset to the committee and to the community.


22 people like this
Posted by Geez
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2017 at 6:01 pm

You’re also acting like SAMCAR is this huge political arm. It’s not. It’s a Realtor association that facilitates Realtors’ ability to sale real estate.


20 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 29, 2017 at 7:09 pm

I'm glad Mr. Means defenders have retreated to asserting that he's merely collecting his payday from a realtor's association.

Now that it's been accepted that Tom Means, a sitting committee member, has received payments from a realtor association, leading to a clear appearance of corruption to his actions on the rental housing committee, it's often been an open question whether actual corruption requires that it sway their opinion or whether one's mere existence as a paid agent of another organization would undermine public trust.


8 people like this
Posted by Politics as usual
a resident of North Bayshore
on Oct 29, 2017 at 7:49 pm

Special interest groups - including big and small landlords - participate in politics to make MORE MONEY or protect what they have. They have most city council members on their side against rent control. The city council put anti-rent control advocate Tom Means on the rent board to undermine the rent control measure. That is what he is attempting to do. Whether he does it for free or for side business does not much matter. The writers of the rent control law should have guarded against this maneuver. Oh well.

City council elections are a year away with campaigns starting by early August. Participate if you want to make a difference.


16 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 29, 2017 at 8:15 pm

Now we've moved on to people saying that it doesn't matter whether Tom Means, a sitting committee member, has received payments from a realtor association, leading to a clear appearance of corruption to his actions on the rental housing committee.

I'm sorry, but that attitude is frankly more destructive to democracy than anything else. These people are stewards of the public trust and should be held to high standards. Dismissing this as "politics as usual" is absolutely corrosive to our government.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2017 at 8:53 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Geeez you said:”@Shame - You’re acting like Means was taking a bribe.”

One can in fact can say reasonably and rationally that he does. You stated:

“He was a consultant paid to do a study.”

In fact he sells his credentials to anyone that is willing to pay himfor it, Does this sound like professional integrity, or could it be something far less honorable? You stated:

“I’m not seeing the conflict of interest and certainly not the corruption of which you seem to be accusing him.”

That is your choice, but if you choose to do so, there is good cause to question your interests in the situation. Also just like the story told in the film “Inside Job” demonstrates, widespread acceptance of academic and business practices does not necessarily mean they are right. And look at the widespread destruction it has caused. You also stated:

“You’re also assuming he created bias within the study yet there’s no evidence of that (consider the possibility that rent control will actually have a negative impact on the community- it’s been shown to be true in many studies). Give it a rest.”

The public has the right to place scrutiny upon any study to ascertain its validity. In fact the general rule in any scientific investigation is that one must PROVE that there is NO BIAS. It cannot be assumed that any report is objective, quite the contrary, all reports are as long as they do not establish objectivity are in fact inherently biased. As far as negative impact on the community, it cannot be PROVEN that the CAUSE of that EFFECT was SOLELY a rent control measure. The equal theory will be that private interests retaliation can be PROVEN to be just as VALID as a CAUSE to that EFFECT. Thus, you cannot properly determine that rent control is that problem. But you do not want to consider that as a CAUSE. You go on to say:

“He has expertise in his field and is an asset to the committee and to the community.”

Since the integrity of his work is questionable, his expertise in his field is equally questionable. As far as an asset to the committee, there are good questions about that. Given that the sitting vice-mayor raises valid questions regarding his testimony before the city council claiming his dedication to the efficient and effective success of CSFRA, and at the same time acting to prevent a similar model upon others denigrates the committee. So it is not a valid claim he is an asset to the committee. As far as being an asset the community, I simply always ask, “WHICH COMMUNITY”? The simple reality is that his work to the benefit of the “PRIVATE INVESTOR AND BUSINESS COMMUNITY”, does not logically apply that it also is simultaneously as beneficial to the “ENTIRE COMMUNITY”.

It just seems that this is the same defense that the Fresno Chamber of Commerce argued regarding Professor Timothy Stearns and the eventual disclosure of his academic and financial conflict of interest. One could be safe to observe that your comments are designed to “defend” his conduct because you have a “COMMON INTEREST” at stake.

In response to Geez you said:”

“You’re also acting like SAMCAR is this huge political arm. It’s not. It’s a Realtor association that facilitates Realtors’ ability to sale real estate.”

As far as SAMCAR having a “huge political arm”, the size of the arm is irrelevant. Nevertheless, their marketing of their “GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS” on their website seems to be a significant investment if you read this (Web Link) And in fact it states:

“Government Affairs serves as the primary liaison between SAMCAR and the California Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®, and assists with member mobilization for state and federal issues of importance to the real estate industry.”

Thus it is just part of not only a state-wide, but a nation-wide political action committee. Thus their resources are not just limited to this organization alone. Given that the “Citizens United” case provides virtually infinite financial resources can be used to in effect “BUY” the science of economics as described in the file “Inside Job”. This website seems to disprove your claim.

I guess this observation is not what you wish to discuss.


6 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of another community
on Oct 29, 2017 at 10:15 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2017 at 11:00 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Bob you said:”It's so funny to watch small liberal people argue over other people's money.”

“What about Bob?” Just understand that in the US, all “little liberal people” are endowed with under the Declaration of Independence the: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL, THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.”

And under the US Constitiution we hae under the 5th amendment: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, NOR BE DEPRIVED OF LIFE, LIBERTY, OR PROPERTY, WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

And the 14th Amendment that states:” 1: ALL PERSONS BORN OR NATURALIZED IN THE UNITED STATES, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; NOR SHALL ANY STATE DEPRIVE ANY PERSON OF LIFE, LIBERTY, OR PROPERTY, WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW; NOR DENY TO ANY PERSON WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION THE EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS.

So you may want to claim that “Little Liberal People” don’t matter, but under the most conservative analysis regarding this history you appear to be incorrect. In fact money under the law is not “PROPERTY”. It is merely currency used to facilitate transactions. But I know you know that. You also stated:

“The tenants act like they own Mountain View.”

In fact any resident who lives in Mountain View owns the City of Mountain View. You went on to say:

“You own nothing and it starts all over on the first of each month again for you to survive?”

Granted the apartment owner owns the apartment, but that does not mean they still “own” a part of Mountain View. If it is your belief that only home owners and apartment owners are citizens of Mountain View, boy is that a bad point of view.

“All you have done with your measure V is created a community that is polarized, the tenants against the landlords and visa versa and you pissed off your landlord who took care of you.”

The history of the City proves otherwise. The citizens went to the landlords individually at first to negotiate, the landlords refused. The citizens went to the City Council to engage in collective bargaining and negotiation, the landlords and the city refused to negotiate. During the election the City and the landlords could have negotiated a better solution, they refused to negotiate. Now who was polarizing whom? You also stated:

“I hope you're happy now because you will all be living somewhere else, probably Manteca or Stockton when this all shakes out in the next couple of years.”

To me that is simply a demonstration of absolutely no regard for the tenant or “customer” regarding the apartment business. You claim that the tenants caused the polarization of Mountain View. Who is the real provocateur of what can be described as “class-warfare”?

“Mountain View is not affordable, get that through your heads and you cannot take a commodity and tie it up with rent control when there is a better use, higher paying customer for it. Money talks and tenants walk..bottom line. Always has been and always will be.”

It is not affordable because the local government failed to proportionally develop the real estate so that as employment opportunities increased and equal amount of residential development should have occurred at the same time. The City Council could not walk and chew gum at the same time. Whose fault is that, I agree the voter chose those representatives. But it was based on those representatives marketing that they were in fact capable of taking on this responsibility. Now that it has been proven that they cannot, they claim it is the Voters fault and not themselves. This seems like blaming the victim of a crime because they “asked” to be offended. Such behavior is significant grounds to replace any City Council person when they come up for re-election.

And oh by the way, didn’t you sell your property in Mountain View? I thought in previous posts you claimed you did. Are you really saying you say that, but you didn’t? It appears someone is not being honest

Aren’t you in fact not a citizen of Mountain View? I thought you live in Colorado. Why are you so active in trying to manipulate the politics of Mountain View if you in fact do not live here?

I may be mistaking you with a “registered user”. So I may be incorrect. But also the fact you are not even a registered user can sufficient to question your sincerity.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2017 at 11:05 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

By the way “SAMCAR” had this on it’s website:

STATEWIDE INITIATIVE FILED TO REPEAL COSTA-HAWKINS

SAMCAR Government Affairs | October 25, 2017

Rent Control Advocates have just filed a statewide initiative that would repeal Costa-Hawkins, the 1995 law that protects single-family homes from rent control. (Currently, only "just cause eviction" and relocation payments can be placed on single-family homes.) If this initiative passes, single-family homes would be subject to rent control.

Monday, October 23, 2017, 12:27 PM

Rent control in California could expand dramatically under a possible 2018 initiative

"California's cities and counties would be able to dramatically expand rent control under a potential 2018 statewide ballot initiative filed Monday.

"The initiative would repeal the landmark Costa-Hawkins Act, a 1995 law that barred rent caps on single-family homes and apartments built after that year. If it passes, local governments would be able to implement rent control on newer properties."( Web Link)

And the article found here: (Web Link)

Boy if you think the fight in Mountain View was bad, just wait till this becomes a HOT TOPIC in the next state-wide election


18 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2017 at 7:19 am

Businessman,

Costa-Hawkins Act won't be repealed because the homeownership in California is and will continue to remain above 50% for years to come. Currently, it's around 54%. Most of the Bay Area is this way so this rent control disease won't spread. Palo Alto turned it down and is an example of that.

Mountain View is about 30% homeownership. This is why rent control passed because there are too many apartments and not enough homeowners. You got it backwards because you think Mountain View needs more rentals.

As the rent controlled apartments get bulldozed that will change and then the homeowners will vote to rid the city of this insanity.

Your analogy of how rent control came about in Mountain View is flawed.
It's like you're saying the apples are pushing the cart which pushes the horse.

And finally, yes I sold my apartments in Mountain View to get out without risking losing profit from this little experiment on social justice the voters are doing down there. Looks like the buyer will tear them down to redevelop to 1.5 million dollar+ homes.

I'm investing in more stable, single family homes in upscale cities in the bay area, leveraging to own twice as much as I owned down there in liberal land. It was time for me to do this anyway. I had to much cash tied up in that property lowering my profitability.

Also, Mountain View is to blue collar and paycheck to paycheck for me as an investor.


14 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 30, 2017 at 8:10 am

Yet another poster ignoring the fact that Tom is getting paid by an anti-rent control campaign while serving in his capacity on the committee. You can agree with his positions on rent control, as a minority of Mountain View residents do.

What you can't do is disagree with the fact that he's being paid by an anti-rent control campaign, which brings an appearance of corruption to the committee.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2017 at 8:42 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Bob you said:” Costa-Hawkins Act won't be repealed because the homeownership in California is and will continue to remain above 50% for years to come. Currently, it's around 54%. Most of the Bay Area is this way so this rent control disease won't spread. Palo Alto turned it down and is an example of that.”

If you read this report (Web Link) I will concede your statistic that less than 54% of homes occupied by their owner which is only tied with New York, but if you look at Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Florida, the state of California is significantly lower. Also if you note the report, California is simply at the bottom of both kinds of affordability, home ownership and rentals, in the nation. Whose fault is this, you cannot blame the customer can you? If only half of these homeowners have close friends that live in apartments, you can find that 27% is highly likely to vote for repeal of Costa Hawkins. I am surprised you don’t take that into account. You said:

“Mountain View is about 30% homeownership. This is why rent control passed because there are too many apartments and not enough homeowners. You got it backwards because you think Mountain View needs more rentals.”

I will not argue that the housing shortage is in critical if not terminal condition. But since there was widespread voter intimidation in Mountain View the initiative still passed at 53% and not 70%. It was significantly reported that the landlords used underhanded voter intimidation and misinformation to suppress many voters. M observation is that it succeeded to suppress 25% of the tenant voters, thus 70%-25% would only result in 45%, 5% short of passage. Thus at least 8% of the yes votes were home owners, which comes to (30-8)/30 or 26% the mountain view home owners home owners voted for it.

If you look at that, if 26% of 54% home owners of CA it comes to 14.4% home owner voters will support repeal of the Costa Hawkins act. If you add 75% of the 46% of California renter voters that comes to 34.5%. So if this is a good evaluation there will be a minimum of 14.4% + 34.5% which comes to 48.9% is almost assured to vote for Costa Hawkins Repeal.

Thus all you need is the California renters turn out at greater than 77.4% in favor, or 2.4% more potential vote exclusive of homeowners, and the repeal will succeed. If the California home owners increase their support by 2% or 28% of homeowner vote in favor of repeal exclusively this will also result in passage of the repeal of Costa Hawkins. This indicates your confidence is on very shakey grounds. You also said:

“As the rent controlled apartments get bulldozed that will change and then the homeowners will vote to rid the city of this insanity.”

If your idea is accepted, the critical shortage of housing in California will only get worse, and your argument in fact can support the repal of Costa Hawkins. The state of California now has the laws required to prevent such strategic retaliation on behalf of the private sector. The new laws passed and signed this month will surely prevent that course of action. You said:

“Your analogy of how rent control came about in Mountain View is flawed.”

Please provide proof that my observation is flawed? You just cannot state an unsubstantiated claim without evidence. What you object to is that the citizens of Mountain View, and possibly the Citizens of California will engage their market power to force market change. You said:

“It's like you're saying the apples are pushing the cart which pushes the horse.”

Please explain how my historical summation even matches your claim? I cannot see how my historical observation is the same as this statement. What I am describing is “MARKET DEMAND” dictates the market in the end. Only is there is anti-competitive forces working can “MARKET SUPPLY” dictate the market. Which can be argued as occurring in the state of California. You said:

“And finally, yes I sold my apartments in Mountain View to get out without risking losing profit from this little experiment on social justice the voters are doing down there. Looks like the buyer will tear them down to redevelop to 1.5 million dollar+ homes. “

Thus you have no standing at all to make commentary regarding the lives of those who live in Mountain View. That is only logical. To me it appears that you must have some serious investment still in play here in Mountain View. Why should the City citizens of Mountain View listen to one who does not live here, has no investment in the city, and has no consequence regarding the City’s policies.

I am not saying you don’t have the right to discuss things, but the audience should be made aware of that your interest is simply to represent an outsider. I being a City citizen will always point this out whenever you contribute anything, it is not a threat, not harassment, and not intimidation, just a matter of fact. You also said:

“I'm investing in more stable, single family homes in upscale cities in the bay area, leveraging to own twice as much as I owned down there in liberal land. It was time for me to do this anyway. I had to much cash tied up in that property lowering my profitability.”

That is your decision, pursuing what can be considered unreasonable expectations. But in the end, if you do not allow yourself to adjust to the new greatly smaller increases in values, you will be always disappointed. It is demonstrated by such anemic price inflation that the U.S. has had for more than 10 years. It is irrational to expect greater profit increases above inflation, except if you have a larger market as a whole or a larger footprint by driving others out of business. But are you trying to increase the market, or are you trying outcompete the others in your industry, the current data indicates no.


30 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2017 at 9:02 am

Shame,

Have you even read measure V?

The RHC is required to have 2 real estate professionals on it like Tom Means.

If you think bullying around people like Tom Means who has vast knowledge and experience in residential housing is going to get you more revenge on Landlords, you've mistaken.

He is there to limit the damage rent control is doing to your town by trying to make a win/win for everyone. But it appears you don't want that because you're obsessed with anger against landlords?

Quite honestly, I don't believe Tom will make a bit of difference anyway at this point because the amount of damage that is already done is not reversible. You've lost many investors, a lot of property is being transferred to accommodate demolition and redevelopment with expensive housing as we speak, not to mention the polarization between tenants and landlords that survive this carnage.

This is disgusting that people will damage their own town for the purpose of their own greed. You thought the landlords were greedy? Wait till you see what's coming.

Maybe the the farmer should let the fox watch the hen house? Then when there are no eggs, we can tear down the farm and pay more for eggs because there's a shortage.


16 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 30, 2017 at 9:23 am

It's quite clear that you don't like rent control, but this isn't the space for listing all your grievances with Measure V.

Why do you keep ignoring the fact that Tom Means is getting paid by an anti-rent control campaign while serving in his capacity on the committee?


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2017 at 9:41 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Shame,

Bob appears to be a sockpuppet in an astroturfing workgroup, we should just ignore him. I will not respond to him except to establish he should not be entertained by the City of Mountain View.

I am continuing to pursue an academic investigation regarding Tom Means. My hopes are to establish a GOOD BASIS to IRREPARABLY DAMAGE his ACADEMIC GOOD STANDING, which in turn will DISCREDIT any PRIVATE CONSULTING he has ever done. I may not get him FIRED because of his TENURE, but a loss of ACADEMIC GOOD STANDING is in fact WORSE.

He will not be able to MARKET his BIASED THEORIES, he will find it difficult to acquire any NEW ECONOMICS RESEARCH VIA SJSU, his POLITICAL GOOD STANDING will be lost.

Oh well, but he chose to act in the way he did, he knew the consequences.




12 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 30, 2017 at 4:49 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

You guys are amazing. Anybody who disagrees with you must be discredited and shamed publicly.

Liberal tolerance indeed


15 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 30, 2017 at 5:10 pm

When did it become only a liberal position that sitting members of committees shouldn't be taking money from political campaigns? Why can't you address that simple fact?


5 people like this
Posted by @ D. Lund
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 30, 2017 at 5:37 pm

@ D. Lund

you said ....
> Section 1703.5 "Rental Units with first certificate of occupancy after the effective date of this Article; and..."

> This indicates that if a rental unit is new, it can rent at market rate. Owners of older, possibly run-down apartments would get offers from developers who KNOW they could rent new apartments on the same property for a lot more

> Tom Means didn't do anything to undermine rent control. The author of this measure did.

This section of the measure is required by State law: the Costa-Hawkins Act - which bans rent control on newer than 1995-built apartments.

So the landlords have proven for 20 years that the rent control does NOT discourage housing construction.


7 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2017 at 5:59 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to mvresident2003 you said:”You guys are amazing. Anybody who disagrees with you must be discredited and shamed publicly.”

When one like Tom Means perpetrates such widespread professional misconduct, like claiming reports done for private contracts are done on behalf of a public university, he gets what he deserves.

In fact if you read the report it appears to have been written by the CSU SJSU, the report found here (Web Link) indicates he wrote the report as an assignment for SJSU and NOT the San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR). If you note he “Signed” the analysis as:

Tom Means
Professor of Economics
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA 95192-0114
Tom.means@sjsu.edu 408-924-5414

But if this report was in fact written as a consultant, he should have stated this:

Dr. Tom Means
PhD University of California: Los Angeles, 1983
(His Consultant Business Address)
(His Consultant Email Address)
(His Consultant Phone Number)

How do I know this? My father was a PhD of Chemistry, provided over 30 years of consultant work. But whenever he did any private contracts, he NEVER and I mean NEVER claimed to do the work under the company of institution he was employed. His signature was always that he was

Dr. Jack Goldstein
PhD Chemistry University of Pennsylvania, 1959
(His Consultant Business Address)
(His Consultant Phone Number)

He knows that if you’re working as a private contractor, it is NOT ALLOWED to claim the university as your endorser of your report. This was a clear violation of ethics to use his other employer as the source of the research. You also said:

“Liberal tolerance indeed”

Violations of conflict of interest and academic ethics CANNOT BE TOLERATED BY ANYONE. I would treat anyone the same under the same situation. You simply do not understand the seriousness of his conflict of interest and unethical conduct as well as doing significant harm to the reputation of the CSU:SJSU by doing so.

For example, if Lenny Siegel did this kind of act, I would be just as diligent. I do not consider myself either a “conservative”, “libertarian”, “liberal”, or “progressive”. I consider myself to be only a “realist”. What you do not understand is he has been caught breaking conflict of interest and academic ethics severely. And thus he should be treated with equal severity.

And oh by the way if the CAA and CAR are as effective regarding ballot initiatives, they only have a 50-50 chance of preventing the repeal of Costa Hawkins.


17 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Businessman,

You outdid yourself here.. you win, your right and we can close this discussion.

I find no reason to continue with reason when unreasonability prevails.

Meanwhile, I will enjoy my profits and eat my caviar and drink my champagne with my young girlfriends and decide where I will vacation next. Venice is looking good!
You win!!
Good luck and I will see you when I get back, Love you all..


25 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 30, 2017 at 9:07 pm

Bob, why do you keep ignoring the fact that Tom Means is getting paid by an anti-rent control campaign while serving in his capacity on the committee?


4 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2017 at 10:35 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Shame,

Bob is just a provocateur, and I will not engage anymore. He is just trying to stir up more hostility. And he is willing to say anything to do so. Ignore him.

You are not only on topic, but I not only believe you are right, I have knowledge and experience to establish objectively and logically you are right.

Thanks for your good work.


7 people like this
Posted by Unbelievable
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2017 at 1:07 am

Well, first, can I get an Amen that BOB and his caviar, sold his place, and is living his high life somewhere ELSE?
What continues to amaze me is how anti-rent control folks seem to think that apartment buildings will either be kept up nicely (no rent control) OR fall into slummy disrepair (rent control). I don't understand this. My rent didn't roll back so much that I am now worry-free, but my landlord can no longer afford the gardener. Remember that rents were getting to out-of-control amounts even at the roll-back date. When I was paying the outrageous rent, before the measure passed, I saw no benefit as a renter while my rent went up 10% a pop. There were no enhancements, no new carpeting, though I've been here 14 years, no upgrade to a dishwasher that would actually get ALL the dishes clean. I think the bottom line is, a property owner with good character will take pride in his building and continue to invest in it. A slum lord, with next to no character, will continue to be a slum lord no matter how much he's allowed to charge in rent. To TRUTH, you hit that nail right on the head...we renters got everything we wanted. We want for nothing. And MTN. VIEW NEIGHBOR, maybe we'll run into each other one day....I'll be the one drinking my 40 ouncer out of a bag, spewing a nonsensical, impolite rant, maybe towing my ragamuffin, lice-ridden, out-of-control kids with me. We'll be walking cuz my car is back at my place parked on the front lawn until I can get it running again. You'll know me...I'm one of those Renters.


7 people like this
Posted by Unbelievable
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2017 at 1:18 am

One of my comments can be misunderstood. I said that it's not like my rent was rolled back, and now landlord can't afford the gardener....meaning this was not a cause and effect situation. I now pay more reasonable rent and the landlord did not have to fire the gardener.


8 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2017 at 2:12 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to unbelievable you said:”What continues to amaze me is how anti-rent control folks seem to think that apartment buildings will either be kept up nicely (no rent control) OR fall into slummy disrepair (rent control). I don't understand this.”

Me neither, the logic doesn add up at all. In fact ever since Costa Hawkins and Ellis Acts designed the market so they could dictate the terms, this hasn’t prevented major problems with maintenance of apartments even the “newer” post 1995 ones. This argument has been endorsed by Tom Means, and it turns out to be WRONG. You said:

“One of my comments can be misunderstood. I said that it's not like my rent was rolled back, and now landlord can't afford the gardener....meaning this was not a cause and effect situation. I now pay more reasonable rent and the landlord did not have to fire the gardener.”

That makes sense because the CSFRA requires the apartments to be maintained, any failure to do so would violate it, and be grounds for rent reduction or petition rejection for rent increses. Again Tom Means claims that rent control will cause dismantanence is simply FALSE. You said:

“When I was paying the outrageous rent, before the measure passed, I saw no benefit as a renter while my rent went up 10% a pop. There were no enhancements, no new carpeting, though I've been here 14 years, no upgrade to a dishwasher that would actually get ALL the dishes clean.”

The fact is that Tom Means makes claims that cannot be proven in reality. They are only “talking points” designed to misinform the citizens, their City government, and state government. You aslo stated:

“I think the bottom line is, a property owner with good character will take pride in his building and continue to invest in it. A slum lord, with next to no character, will continue to be a slum lord no matter how much he's allowed to charge in rent.”

Tom means simply does not want to acknowledge that poor management is the root cause of failure of apartments, not bad tenants and not rent control. Just look at the latest story from San Francisco found here (Web Link) Tom Means will always simply state it is the tenants fault for this problem. NO it was poor judgment and mismanagement that causes the problem.

Tom Means is a perfect example of a PROFESSIONAL ACADEMIC that ABUSES HIS POSITION by claiming that HIS UNIVERSITY endorsed and approved his RESEARCH. THIS IS COMPLETELY FALSE AND HE KNOWS IT.


23 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2017 at 8:59 am

All voices should be represented. Sometimes a dissenting view is the better view. This will provide balance.


19 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2017 at 9:28 am

Robyn, why can't you address the fact that Tom Means, a sitting committee member, has allegedly received payments from a realtor association, leading to a clear appearance of corruption to his actions on the rental housing committee?


24 people like this
Posted by no Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2017 at 10:26 am

just keep repeating the phrase of your opinion "a clear appearance of corruption" enough times and then it becomes News? Fact? or Fake News? or does it just stay as your opinion? it is just becoming Your Truth and Your Rant

no Shame?


19 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2017 at 10:46 am

Can you address the fact that Tom Means, a sitting committee member, has allegedly received payments from a realtor association? Most people here want to sweep it under the rug and rant about Measure V. I'm happy to engage an actual defense of these payments.


19 people like this
Posted by no Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2017 at 11:26 am

fact is different than "allegation" no one is contesting that he received a payment from a campaign committee - or in the past real estate interests his payment reporting was above board it seems, as required by our political disclosure laws


24 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of another community
on Oct 31, 2017 at 12:01 pm

It is always easier to question motives than to meet the argument. Dr. Means is part of the the iron wall of all economist and social studies teachers. Rent control is a disaster. The number one cause of a shortage of rentals in California is rent control. Price caps create shortages. California the bluest of the states where economics is the forgotten science.
George Drysdale a social studies teacher and inititor


7 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2017 at 12:07 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to No shame you said:”fact is different than "allegation" no one is contesting that he received a payment from a campaign committee - or in the past real estate interests his payment reporting was above board it seems, as required by our political disclosure laws”

However, I did some digging about that. I read Tom Means Form 700 regarding his application for the Rental Housing Committee. TOM MEANS DID NOT DISCLOSE HIS EARNINGS FROM THE CONTRACT WITH SAMCAR IN FORM 700, OR ANY OTHER INCOMES DERIVED BY BEING A PAID POLITICAL ADVOCATE, NOR HAS HE AMENDED HIS FINANCIAL INTERESTS FORMS.

IN FACT, HE MAY NOT DISCLOSE MUCH ABOUT HIS FINANCIAL INTERESTS. He has a known history of avoiding disclosure if you read this article (Web Link) it clearly states:

“Council members John Inks and Tom Means reported no economic interests.”

Given this particular situation, we have grounds for an investigation to determine if his Form 700 information may be fraudulent. Getting paid to promote a specific public policy above all others establishes he has an economic interest. Thus his claim is patently dishonest at best.

I was waiting for someone to bring this topic up. It seemed to be a perfect trap. Now we can get a forensic accountant to investigate whether his disclosure was possibly fraud and perjury. Thank you very much, I chose to wait till someone tried to claim his payment was “above board”. Now you did it.

Now the door is opened, and the sunlight will shine on all “skeletons in the closet”.


6 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2017 at 12:23 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to George Drysdale you said:” The number one cause of a shortage of rentals in California is rent control. Price caps create shortages. California the bluest of the states where economics is the forgotten science.”

But your simply not correct given that Costa Hawkins and the Ellis Acts prohibit rent control on all buildings built after 1995 and enable the exit of the business free of significant consequences. In fact, the number of apartments under rent control in the state can be far less than 5% of the entire state.

There are 22 municipalities with rent control in California; there are as many as 482 municipalities. The percentage is approximately 4.5%. How can this little part of the market cause the shortage of rentals you describe? The fact is it doesn’t.

The only way your argument that rent control is legal the entire state of California is true is that there were NO NEW APRTMENTS BUILT AFTER 1995 AND THERE IS A STATE RENT CONTROL LAW. But you know that is NOT TRUE.

Again you seem to indicate a lack of observation. Of course, it is because it is against your firm belief that the problem is either caused by the government or the tenants. And you will try to argue any argument that in your point of view seems correct. But sometimes you have to do better homework.


13 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Business Man, that's great work. Have you filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission? It sounds like it is under their purview to conduct just such an investigation.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2017 at 1:26 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Shame,

Not yet, my expectations are that the City may either require Tom Means to resign, or that his appointment is recinded first. I will give them 2 weeks.

I will prepare a complaint during that time.

I am still pursuing a conflict of interest and ethics complaint with SJSU, he may not be fired, but I can destroy his academic and political reputation.


13 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2017 at 2:38 pm

That's good to hear. As with all legal matters, it would be prudent to consult with a lawyer. I'm glad to hear people are taking this seriously.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2017 at 2:42 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Shame,

As with anything regarding a "Public Policy", there can be no joking around.

Not like whats going on in Washington right now, the patients are treating the doctors in the asylum.




26 people like this
Posted by Joke Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2017 at 4:47 pm

Like many here, I am endlessly entertained by the “Business Man” and his constant meritless and rambling attacks on persons with whom he disagrees. In addition to Mr. Means, he has gone after the City Attorney, former councilmen Kasperzak and Inks and Councilman Mcalister. All of these people he attacks are talented people who have achieved in line with their education and ambition and utilize their talents to truly serve the will of the majority (not the social extremists). His landlord whom he is suing despite receiving a rent bargain has been an innocent target as well.

It seems to me that these attacks are a manifestation of jealousy or frustration with his own achievements relative to his ego. The rolling eyes during public comment at council and rhc meetings while lacking self awareness of the way he is perceived is pure comic gold. Keep up the fight Business Man and thanks for the endless entertainment.



5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2017 at 5:22 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Posted by Joke Man you said:”Like many here, I am endlessly entertained by the “Business Man” and his constant meritless and rambling attacks on persons with whom he disagrees.”

I simply address with objective and unbiased information that contradicts the points of view you advocate. You also stated:

“In addition to Mr. Means, he has gone after the City Attorney, former councilmen Kasperzak and Inks and Councilman Mcalister. All of these people he attacks are talented people who have achieved in line with their education and ambition and utilize their talents to truly serve the will of the majority (not the social extremists).”

I have simply demonstrated how actions by these above have brought discredit to themselves. I did not make them take those actions. I am not impressed by their talents. I have demonstrated that their actions are not serving the majority in this matter, but a minority of private interests. But you fail to disclose this fact. You also stated:

“His landlord whom he is suing despite receiving a rent bargain has been an innocent target as well.”

The reality was, I gave him a formal demand for the overpaid rent from Dec.23rd, 2016 to April 30th, 2017. He refused to repay it until the “City” told him he had to. The simple fact was the City had nothing to do with this at all. The CSFRA was codified and simply established I had a right to that refund. He refused to pay it back within a reasonable period of time. I was forced to file my lawsuit due to his refusal, his “attempt” to mitigate his error was simply too late, I had made my demand more than 100 days prior. His action required me to file suit, and thus due to the CSFRA enabled me to demand triple damages. My landlord is not an innocent target; he knew or should have known what he did violate the CSFRA. You go on to say:

“It seems to me that these attacks are a manifestation of jealousy or frustration with his own achievements relative to his ego.”

I am well aware of my deficiencies, and I always put more effort to improve on them. You go on to say:

“ The rolling eyes during public comment at council and rhc meetings while lacking self awareness of the way he is perceived is pure comic gold. Keep up the fight Business Man and thanks for the endless entertainment.”

I am quite conscious regarding the disrespect I get from the City Attorney, the City Council and the RHC. That does not mean I should give up pointing out the errors of their decisions. Quite the contrary, if I don’t I cannot expect anyone else will. I not only have the right to testify at these meetings, but as a citizen, I have an obligation to do so if I find objective facts that should be brought to the public for consideration. You, the City Attorney, the City Council, or the RHC may not consider my information relavent, but to me, that doesn’t even matter.

What we have here is the “kill the messenger” tactic. If you cannot actually address the problems by demonstration that my observations are incorrect, instead you attack a person regarding some unrelated personal flaw. Another interpretation is that you try to provoke an irrational response to use as justification to assassinate the character of the messenger. An old TV show says it best “Homey don’t play that”

You have the right to make your statements, as long as I have the same rights to move forward as well.



5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 31, 2017 at 7:04 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Just another quick observation:

All truth goes through 3 stages:

First it is ridiculed, like how Joke Man stated:
“Like many here, I am endlessly entertained by the “Business Man” and his constant meritless and rambling attacks on persons with whom he disagrees.”

And:

“ The rolling eyes during public comment at council and rhc meetings while lacking self awareness of the way he is perceived is pure comic gold. Keep up the fight Business Man and thanks for the endless entertainment.”

Second it is violently opposed, like how Joke Man attempts to assault me personally, and not address the issues. When he stated:

“In addition to Mr. Means, he has gone after the City Attorney, former councilmen Kasperzak and Inks and Councilman Mcalister. All of these people he attacks are talented people who have achieved in line with their education and ambition and utilize their talents to truly serve the will of the majority (not the social extremists).”

You view my comments as attacks, I view them as just observations I can discover doing research.

Third, it is accepted as self-evident. Given the economic interests at stake here, I feel we will never reach this stage. Except if the Costa Hawkins repeal is passed by the voters.


9 people like this
Posted by Miguel
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Nov 1, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Remove Means from this rent control committee!!


23 people like this
Posted by EveryoneGetsPaid
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 1, 2017 at 3:53 pm

And I'll ask one more time: Why don't we consider someone in a rent-controlled apartment who is on the board to also have a conflict-of-interest? In that case, the person is directly benefitting from the rent-controlled caps he or she is allowing, and has a vested interest in making the amount of increase "0%".


7 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2017 at 5:07 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to EveryoneGetsPaid you said:”And I'll ask one more time: Why don't we consider someone in a rent-controlled apartment who is on the board to also have a conflict-of-interest? In that case, the person is directly benefitting from the rent-controlled caps he or she is allowing, and has a vested interest in making the amount of increase "0%".”

And my answer again is :

It is illogical to try to establish an ETHICAL EQUIVALENCE between actions say by Emily Ramos in comparison to Tom Means. She does not get financially rewarded at $1,500 a report at minimum to professionally advocate for a private interest. That fee was simply summarizing a report so that it was used for a political campaign by the way. In fact that is the tip of a very large iceberg regarding Tom Means. I am certain once an investigation is performed, it can be documented that he probably makes quite a lot of money by being a PROFESSIONAL PAID ADVOCATE. If you can demonstrate that Emily Ramos does the same, then I would wish the same treatment be pursued regarding her conduct.

And oh by the way, if you can demonstrate she has a conflict of interest, submit a formal complaint to the City. Also, as of this time, she has not particularly addressed her specific situation for consideration regarding the RHC. She has only taken actions that are predetermined by the language of the CSFRA. I am very confident that if this did occur, she would recuse herself and let the alternate vote in her place. But so far, that does not seem to have taken place yet.

To me, I think that idea trying to call Emily Ramos’s conduct to be equally as offensive to Tom Means’s conduct is very poorly reasoned.

I think this is an attempt to distract from Tom Means potential criminal violation of not reporting earnings based on political lobbying and advocacy. In fact it is a crime to not report any earnings derived from political action in the state form 700, please review this story (Web Link)

Specifically it states that : “Some elected and appointed officials must file full disclosure OF ALL ECONOMIC INTERESTS. These officials are listed in Government Code section 87200 and include many elected local government officials, top administrators, and officials who manage public investments. In addition, the Political Reform Act requires that public employees holding designated positions listed in their agency’s conflict of interest code file a Form 700. These “designated employees” ARE THOSE WHO ARE INVOLVED IN DECISION-MAKING THAT MAY FORESEEABLY HAVE A MATERIAL EFFECT ON THE EMPLOYEE’S FINANCIAL INTERESTS.”

And:

“Under the Political Reform Act, a gift IS A PAYMENT OR ANYTHING OF VALUE THAT PROVIDES A PERSONAL BENEFIT WHEN THE RECIPIENT DOES NOT PROVIDE FULL PAYMENT OR SERVICES IN RETURN FOR THE VALUE OF THE BENEFIT RECEIVED. Although there are many gift exceptions, the definition of a gift is broad and includes all types of meals, tickets, entertainment, and some forms of travel.

And:

Filers must disclose gifts received from a single source totaling $50 OR MORE IN VALUE PER CALENDAR YEAR. The Political Reform Act also places an annual limit on gifts received from a single source, WHICH IS CURRENTLY $440 PER CALENDAR YEAR. The gift limit, however, will be adjusted starting January 1, 2015. Separate gifts received from the same source and during the same calendar year must be aggregated in value for reporting purposes.

And:

Here are several practical tips to help with compliance:

1. Understand your disclosure obligation. Obtain your disclosure categories from your agency – they are located in your agency’s conflict of interest code and are not contained in Form 700. PERSONS WITH BROAD DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY MUST DISCLOSE MORE INTERESTS THAN THOSE IN POSITIONS WITH LIMITED DISCRETION. For example, you may be required to disclose only investments, business positions, income or gifts from businesses of the type that contract with your agency, or you may not be required to disclose real property interests. Not all economic interests are disclosed unless your agency’s conflict of interest code specifies full disclosure.

Given that Tom Means has in fact been a paid political advocate directly involved in the political issues for years prior and during his tenure as RHC member, which the RHC has broad decision making authority regarding the business practices that he politically advocates for, and that he failed to disclose the payments he received accordingly, it would appear that he can be charged a misdemeanor for each payment received not disclosed in the state form 700. In the case of the Colonies corruption trial against Jim Erwin, (Web Link) the courts stated:

“Erwin wound up reporting the gifts in February 2009, about a month after district attorney investigators raided his Highland home and seized the watch. But by then, it was too late; the District Attorney’s Office charged Erwin with the two felony counts of filing a false or forged document, plus other charges, in March 2009. The charges were eventually rolled over into the 2011 indictment against Erwin, Burum, former county Supervisor Paul Biane, and Mark Kirk, chief of staff for former county Supervisor Gary Ovitt.”

The story goes on to say that the felony charges needed to be reduced to misdemeanors. But that would mean that if Tom Means ever received any income from his consulting, that had a purpose of manipulating any public policy of any kind, and did not report it, that would be a misdemeanor violation of the Political Reform Act.

Tom Means appears to be a habitual submitter of either false or forged documents regarding Form 700. I want ANYONE who did this to be charged, I want it clear, that I am not singling out Tom Means for higher scrutiny. ANYONE WHO CHEATS IN OUR GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED AND CHARGED ACCORDINGLY NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE.

If there is any evidence that Emily Ramos has done the same as Tom Means, then she should be investigated as well. You cannot claim I am playing favorites here.


20 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 1, 2017 at 6:08 pm

To be more precise, Tom Means may be in violation on the prohibition against receiving honoraria, since he received money in exchange for services. Tom Means himself referred to it as an honorarium above.

If EveryoneGetsPaid has evidence of something similar for the renters on the commission, they're free to post it. Otherwise, they should refrain from accusing others.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2017 at 7:36 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Shame you said:” To be more precise, Tom Means may be in violation on the prohibition against receiving honoraria, since he received money in exchange for services. Tom Means himself referred to it as an honorarium above.”

I stand corrected, I stand relieved. I have always said, I am the dullest tool in the shed. You my friend are very sharp. You also said:

“If EveryoneGetsPaid has evidence of something similar for the renters on the commission, they're free to post it. Otherwise, they should refrain from accusing others.”

I cannot argue against you.


9 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 1, 2017 at 9:14 pm

You're doing great work holding our representatives accountable. Neither of us are trained in these matters, that's why I recommend running any filing past a lawyer who understands this.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2017 at 4:25 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

Another footnote:

On its face, Tom means ha continued to act in violation of Guoidelines issued on June 1, 2012, this is more than 7 years ago. In the report here(Web Link) the report states:

“On its current annual meeting, the American Economic Association responded to this criticism. As the AEA announced in a press release, “the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association adopted extensions to its principles for authors’ disclosures of potential conflicts of interest in the AEA’s publications”.

These are the new guidelines:

“(1) Every submitted article should state the SOURCES OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THE PARTICULAR RESEARCH IT DESCRIBES. If none, that fact should be stated.”

TOM MEANS NEVER STATED HIS FINANCIAL FUNDING FOR HIS REPORTS IT APPEARS.

“(2) Each author of a submitted article should identify EACH INTERESTED PARTY FROM WHOM HE OR SHE HAS RECEIVED SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL SUPPORT, SUMMING TO AT LEAST $10,000 IN THE PAST THREE YEARS, IN THE FORM OF CONSULTANT FEES, RETAINERS, GRANTS AND THE LIKE. The disclosure requirement also includes IN-KIND SUPPORT, SUCH AS PROVIDING ACCESS TO DATA. IF THE SUPPORT IN QUESTION COMES WITH A NON-DISCLOSURE OBLIGATION, THAT FACT SHOULD BE STATED, ALONG WITH AS MUCH INFORMATION AS THE OBLIGATION PERMITS. If there are no such sources of funds, that fact should be stated explicitly. An “interested” party is any individual, group, or organization that has a financial, ideological, or political stake related to the article.”

AGAIN IT APPEARS TOM MEANS FLAGRENTLY VIOLATES THIS GUIDELINE.

“(3) EACH AUTHOR SHOULD DISCLOSE ANY PAID OR UNPAID POSITIONS AS OFFICER, DIRECTOR, OR BOARD MEMBER OF RELEVANT NON-PROFIT ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS OR PROFIT-MAKING ENTITIES. A “relevant” organization is one whose policy positions, goals, or financial interests relate to the article.”

AGAIN IT APPEARS TOM MEANS FLAGRENTLY VIOLATES THIS GUIDELINE.

“(4) The disclosures required above apply to any close relative or partner of any author.”

THIS MIGHT NOT APPLY HERE EXCPET WE DO NOT KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE COAUTHORS AND CONTRIBUTERS OF TOM MEANS STUDIES OR REPORTS.

“(5) Each author must disclose if another party had the right to review the paper prior to its circulation.”

THIS RAISES A SERIOUS QUESTION IF TOM MEANS PRIOR TO PUBLIC DISCLOSURE ALLOWED FOR INTERESTED PARTIES TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS OR MANIPULATE THE PROPOSED INFORMATION.

“(6) For published articles, INFORMATION ON RELEVANT POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC.”

AGAIN IT APPEARS TOM MEANS FLAGRENTLY VIOLATES THIS GUIDELINE

“(7) The AEA urges its members and other economists to apply the above principles in other publications: scholarly journals, op-ed pieces, newspaper and magazine columns, radio and television commentaries, as well as in testimony before federal and state legislative committees and other agencies.”

IF TOM MEANS IS A MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, THIS SEEMS TO INDICATE THAT HIS MEMBERSHIP SHOULD BE CANCELED ON THE BASIS OF NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE GUIDELINES.

How can you trust anyone that violates the conflict of ethics prevention standards passed by the American Economic Association? This is good evidence that the public should skeptically question the validity of his work. And even more so, any educational institution like the California State University: San Jose.


3 people like this
Posted by Trump - Means
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Nov 2, 2017 at 7:53 pm

Donald Trump liked to brag about his $10 billion net worth. He was lying. Trump claimed he was funding his own campaign to not become beholden to special interests. Lied again. Indeed, Trump, we will soon see, is beholden to Putin. Which brings us to Tom Means.

If Means is taking money from landlords for a "paper" or a "thought" or a revolutionary new skipping rock, the question arises: IS HE VOTING FOR LANDLORDS AS A RENT COMMITTEE MEMBER IN EXCHANGE? $1,500 is nothing to Means. He may be cheap but he ain't likely broke. So, the question is whether there is some other income or promise of income or opportunity that is motivating his actions. The fact that Means always opposed rent control and the ballot measure suggests his motive is pure - even if misguided. But we need to know more about Means - just like we should have known more about Vladimir Putin's pick to be President of the United States.


16 people like this
Posted by Old timer
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2017 at 12:00 am

All the bad side effects of rent control is now being played out in painfully visible manner in a once nice Mountain View city.


PLEASE PUT SOME CONSTRAINTS ON LENGTH OF POSTING.

PLEASE PUT SOME CONSTRAINTS ON LENGTH OF POSTING.

PLEASE PUT SOME CONSTRAINTS ON LENGTH OF POSTING.

PLEASE PUT SOME CONSTRAINTS ON LENGTH OF POSTING.

PLEASE PUT SOME CONSTRAINTS ON LENGTH OF POSTING.







5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2017 at 5:09 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Trump – Means you said:”If Means is taking money from landlords for a "paper" or a "thought" or a revolutionary new skipping rock, the question arises: IS HE VOTING FOR LANDLORDS AS A RENT COMMITTEE MEMBER IN EXCHANGE? $1,500 is nothing to Means.”

Just fact that he received any money greater than $50.00 and failed to report it at any time while serving as a City Councilmember, or Mayor or RCH member, simply is a violation of his required disclosure under:

“Specifically it states that : “Some elected and appointed officials must file full disclosure OF ALL ECONOMIC INTERESTS. These officials are listed in Government Code section 87200 and include many elected local government officials, top administrators, and officials who manage public investments. In addition, the Political Reform Act requires that public employees holding designated positions listed in their agency’s conflict of interest code file a Form 700. These “designated employees” ARE THOSE WHO ARE INVOLVED IN DECISION-MAKING THAT MAY FORESEEABLY HAVE A MATERIAL EFFECT ON THE EMPLOYEE’S FINANCIAL INTERESTS.”

In effect, withholding any paid work even as a consultant, is a violation as long as he did not disclose it. Transparency is the only defense. Failure to perform transparency in effect is the ultimate violation of the law and public trust. You also said:

“He may be cheap but he ain't likely broke. So, the question is whether there is some other income or promise of income or opportunity that is motivating his actions.”

That is not correct; any “promise” is irrelevant, the failure to disclose is the violation, not what motivates it. You also stated:

“The fact that Means always opposed rent control and the ballot measure suggests his motive is pure - even if misguided.”

Pure motive doesn’t immune one from taking actions that violate full disclosure requirements. It simply again doesn’t matter if he did it for “good reason”. “good reason” is subjective and is determined by individuals or political advocacy groups. The disclosure laws have no consideration for “good reasons” or “bad reasons”, disclosure is simply disclosure. You go on to say:

“But we need to know more about Means - just like we should have known more about Vladimir Putin's pick to be President of the United States.”

That is the intent of the Political Reform Act of California; however it appears that Tom Means seeks to prevent the public from getting the full disclosure required under the law.


10 people like this
Posted by Robyn
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Shame,
It is not corruption if the "alleged" payments are disclosed. What is your proof? His voting record is known and his perspective is not hidden. You may disagree with his activities, after all.


9 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 3, 2017 at 8:00 pm

Robyn, two points. First, the prohibition against receiving honoraria, as Tom Means himself described his payments, exists regardless of disclosure. Second, the payments were only disclosed because the campaign filed its list of payments, and Mr. Means failed to disclose them on his Statement of Economic Interest filings.

What is unproven? The fact of the matter remains: Mr. Means received payment from a political campaign while he was sitting on the Rental Housing Committee.


11 people like this
Posted by Do a little research
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2017 at 9:16 pm

Shame and business have not bothered to do any reasearch regarding their claims about Means

1. The city website reports Means form 700 for the period up to April 2017. This website posting of his paper on Pacifica rent control is September 2017. Maybe they think Means will not report his income when he files his annual form 700 next April.

2. That have not read the FPPC regulation on honorariums. Means is entitled to receive honorariums for work performed as part of his professional activity as an economist. Even the voice failed to check this fact out in their article.


11 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 3, 2017 at 9:45 pm

I'm glad you brought up that exception for honorarium. The exception only applies if he is engaging in a "bona fide business," which has record-keeping and tax filing requirements. Perhaps he has been keeping up to date on these for his consulting business, really only Mr. Means and the FPPC can tell us that. That he was using his position as an RHC member in his "paper" only further muddies the waters.

That you've resorted to bullying tactics to try and dissuade any investigation shows how frightened you and Mr. Means must be.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2017 at 11:47 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Do a little research you said:

“1. The city website reports Means form 700 for the period up to April 2017. This website posting of his paper on Pacifica rent control is September 2017. Maybe they think Means will not report his income when he files his annual form 700 next April. “

First, the website does not in fact disclose what the form contains. Second, it does not disclose his history regarding Form 700 regarding his tenure as city council and mayor. It appears you do not do research at all. I actually go to the City Hall, and do on occasion get copies of the form 700 from the City Clerk. As far as you said:

“2. That have not read the FPPC regulation on honorariums. Means is entitled to receive honorariums for work performed as part of his professional activity as an economist. Even the voice failed to check this fact out in their article.”

I never said he is not allowed to get paid for his work in any way. What his problem is by withholding “ALL ECONOMIC INTERESTS” from his form 700 is the real problem. As I have said, if he is in FULL TRANSPERANCY, he is fully IN THE CLEAR. But, once it can be determined that he failed TO DISCLOSE his earnings in the form, THAN he has been caught to be NOT IN COMPLIANCE with the FPPC regulations. For example if he earned any money regarding his op-ed letter to the Mountain View Voice (Web Link), or was requested to do so on behalf of his political interests?

No one ever claimed he is forbidden to earn a living, he has that freedom, it is just that failure to disclose is the problem. And if it can be determined that he refuses to disclose his monetary or political interests in Form 700 during his prior work, or today simply indicates a person with no ethical constraints on his behavior.

You do not appear to be doing your research.


10 people like this
Posted by Do a little research
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2017 at 4:31 am



"First, the website does not in fact disclose what the form contains."

Yes it does. You just need to download or click the PDF file. But --BM and shame claim that Means has not filed the income from his recent work. Dated September 2017. Where is the proof? He technically has until next year to file another from and claim the income.

. Shame claimed he cannot receive payment but now claims he doesn't know if he can. So which statement is true? Either he can or cannot. If you don't know, why state above that he cannot?


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2017 at 7:50 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Do a little research you stated:

“Yes it does. You just need to download or click the PDF file. But --BM and shame claim that Means has not filed the income from his recent work. Dated September 2017. Where is the proof? He technically has until next year to file another from and claim the income. “

I am looking at the City of Mountain View website and so far I have no found what you describe. Please post a “web link”, if you can? If you can’t, that rests my argument.

In fact I did a search on the following website (Web Link) regarding Tom Means from filings completed from date 01/01/2000 to filings completed to date 11/04/2017 regarding the Department of Rental Housing Committee, the website reported:

THERE ARE NO FILINGS TO VIEW IN THIS DATE RANGE.

In fact I did a search regarding Tom Means from filings completed from date 01/01/2000 to filings completed to date 11/04/2017 regarding Department of City Council, the website reported:

THERE ARE NO FILINGS TO VIEW IN THIS DATE RANGE.

Until you produce your resources, please do not claim I have not tried to “do my research”.

You also said :” Shame claimed he cannot receive payment but now claims he doesn't know if he can. So which statement is true? Either he can or cannot. If you don't know, why state above that he cannot?”

AGAIN MY COMMENT IS THAT AS LONG AS TOM MEANS DOES NOT DISCLOSE ALL OF HIS ECONOMIC INTERESTS, HE IS IN VIOLATION OF THE POLITICAL REFORM ACT.

HOWEVER, IF HE DID INDEED DISCLOSE ALL ECONOMIC INTERESTS HE WOULD BE IMMUNE OF ANY PROBLEMS REGARDING THE POLITICAL REFORM ACT.

Until there is proof of compliance that you can disclose, we have the right to require an investigation to extablish the accuracy of said Form 700 submissions all the way back to when he was City Council, Mayor, or Rental Housing Committee.

You asked “Where is the proof?”. I will on Monday seek to get all copies of Tom Means state form 700 regarding his political career. The last time I checked, his earnings from the study was not entered into the record. However the discussion here does not allow to attach PDF files. If I can discover any earnings he was paid that was not reported in his Form 700 history, this could establish good cause for investigation.

Magneto askes “Why do you ask questions to which you already know the answers?”. Sometimes it is better to not risk asking questions that will expose information you do not want to have discovered.

As one of my movies I love said “I can smell a (blank) like a fart in a car” (Pump Up The Volume) (Web Link). I am only playing the video for you, not making any claims. But if investigation discovers inaccurate reporting, what does it smell like?


8 people like this
Posted by Do a little research
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2017 at 8:55 am

Go to this site and type search to get all MV staff or type means and adjust the date to before April 2017. You will get the output and can download or open the PDF. As shown below.

Web Link

Output listing active PDF.

Means, Tom 5/15/2017 Assuming Office (04/19/2016 to 04/18/2017) Committee Member Rental Housing Committee
View PDF


"The last time I checked, his earnings from the study was not entered into the record."

As I have now stated repeatedly, the website claims the paper was produced in September 2017. How do you expect him to not report this income when he has until next April 2018 to file his next form 700. Are you claiming with out any evidence that you know he will not report this income?

As far as the honorarium, I encourage all readers to go to the FPPC web site and read up on conflict of interest and honorariums. You will see that Means is able to receive honorariums based on his work as a Professor. Shame was wrong in stating he could not.

This is my last post. As I first stated, BM and Shame do not do their research and make false stements


7 people like this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 4, 2017 at 9:14 am

"Do your research," the facts are simple: the Political Reform Act places a ban on accepting honoraria, with limited exceptions. If you're going to argue that Mr. Means receipt of payments from a political campaign while he was a sitting member of the RHC were valid, you need to cite which specific exemption these payments fall under. I'd suggest that perhaps it's you who needs to "do your research."


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2017 at 9:23 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Do a little research you said:

“Means, Tom 5/15/2017 Assuming Office (04/19/2016 to 04/18/2017) Committee Member Rental Housing Committee

View PDF

"The last time I checked, his earnings from the study was not entered into the record."

This is a very incomplete history of his political work in the City of Mountain View. He was a City Council member for 8 years and a previous Mayor. I did a search all the way back to 01/01/2001 and the only record was the current one.

Tom Means did not submit schedule C – Income, Loans & Business Positions – schedule attached. Thus he will have to prove he never earned ANY INCOME, not received ANY LOANS, or not held any BUSINESS POSITIONS in order to avoid a FALSE SUBMISSION OF A STATE RECORD, NAMELY STATE FORM 700. If in fact he performed any “Consulting” at this time it would make his Form 700 a false one. The rule is that it doesn’t matter how he earned the money, HE HAS TO DISCLOSE IT in order to PREVENT FILING A FALSE LEGAL DOCUMENT. If he had been paid for ANY WORK OUTSIDE CSU:SJSU prior May 15th,2017, he has filed a false document. However I am certain he did this intentionally to prevent any investigation regarding his conflict of interests that would occur once he disclosed his earnings that would occur with CSU.

This is the same tactic used by John Inks, he did not report any earned income at all. We all know that cannot have occurred. The City of Mountain View has not complied with the regulations regarding this. You went on to say:

“As far as the honorarium, I encourage all readers to go to the FPPC web site and read up on conflict of interest and honorariums. You will see that Means is able to receive honorariums based on his work as a Professor. Shame was wrong in stating he could not.”

I have never stated he is not allowed to have any honorariums, HE HAS THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE ANY HONORARIUMS, my only observation is that HE DID NOT DISCLOSE THEM. It appears that he did not submit a Schedule D: Income – Gifts- schedule attached or a Schedule E – Income – Gifts- Travel Payments – schedule attached. The simple truth is he has a habit of refusing to comply with any guidelines or codes of conduct from what I am observing. You went on to say:

“This is my last post. As I first stated, BM and Shame do not do their research and make false statements”

It appears you did not actually read the document you researched, you assumed he did disclose all schedules that could apply to him. The truth is he did not. So, am I making any false statements? It would appear you proved the accuracy of my research.




3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2017 at 11:04 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Here is proof of what I claim (Web Link)

September 26, 2005

Carol J. Monahan, Chief Counsel, Office of Environmental Health, Hazard Assessment, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Your Request for Advice Our File No. A-05-172

Dear Ms. Monahan:

This letter is in response to your request for advice on behalf of Dr. Ellen Gold regarding the honorarium provisions of the Political Reform Act (the “Act”).

QUESTIONS

1. Is Dr. Gold prohibited from accepting an honorarium that was agreed upon and for which services were provided prior to the date she assumed office?

2. If the payment can be accepted, how should it be reported on Dr. Gold’s Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700)?

CONCLUSIONS

1. DR. GOLD IS NOT PROHIBITED FROM ACCEPTING THE HONORARIUM.

2. IF DR. GOLD RENDERED SERVICES THAT CONSTITUTED FULL AND ADEQUATE CONSIDERATION FOR THE PAYMENT, THE HONORARIUM MAY BE DISCLOSED AS “INCOME” ON SCHEDULE C OF FORM 700. OTHERWISE, THE PAYMENT SHOULD BE DISCLOSED AS A “GIFT” ON SCHEDULE E.

Tom Means does neither, there are many other instructions on that web-site that concur with my point of view.


5 people like this
Posted by Jebus christ!
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2017 at 3:38 pm

the mv council opposed v from the start, and measure w proves it. Mr. means is on the committee as the council's choice. is it a gross failure to support voters choice, yes. a surprise, no. VOTERS supported rent stabilization, not the city government. now they must deal with/ tolerate it. please stop going backwards and deal with reality.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2017 at 6:27 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

MY observations regarding RHC session on Nov 6, 2017:

First, no City Attorney was present at the meeting. That makes sense to me, the City Attorney has provided very poor advice and expressed significantly poor judgment through the birth of the CSFRA.. The City outside counsel was there instead.

After my public comment, it appeared that Tom Means finally googled CSU:Fresno ant Professor Timothy Stearns.

I could clearly observe his shock to discover that CSU does in fact deal with tenured professors harshly when dealing with their misconduct.

It was soon after that, that he did not endorse any “Fee-splitting” with regards to tenants. He did however agree with me that the City should bear the costs sharing in that respect. The only action taken was that a letter would be issued to the City Council to have $1,000.000. be allocated to reduce the landlords costs of the CSFRA fee. They refused to act on any fee-sharing by tenants, thereby leaving the landlord fee to be solely the responsibility of the landlords.

I always said the City in its active sabotage of the CSFRA by the City Attorney and the City Council in effect added as much a $600,000 at minimum to the costs of the CSFRA. IT was only logical that the City must bear that cost.

John Inks was observed as greatly opposed to the idea. Of course, it WAS his ACTIONS that caused the ENTIRE MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE given the closed door meeting on December 21 or 22 when he instructed City attorney to stipulate to the initial TRO that CAUSED SUCH A MESS FOR EVERYONE.

What is interesting is the City Council cannot oppose this action, GIVEN THAT THE CITY CHARTER IS WRITTEN TO AUTHORIZE THE RHC TO ACCESS ANY CITY FUNDS IT NEEDS. If the City opposes to provide funds, it will simply violate the City Charter.


3 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2017 at 5:08 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

MY observations regarding RHC session on Nov 6, 2017:

First, no City Attorney was present at the meeting. That makes sense to me, the City Attorney has provided very poor advice and expressed significantly poor judgment through the birth of the CSFRA.. The City outside counsel was there instead.

After my public comment, it appeared that Tom Means finally googled CSU:Fresno ant Professor Timothy Stearns.

I could clearly observe his shock to discover that CSU does in fact deal with tenured professors harshly when dealing with their misconduct.

It was soon after that, that he did not endorse any “Fee-splitting” with regards to tenants. He did however agree with me that the City should bear the costs sharing in that respect. The only action taken was that a letter would be issued to the City Council to have $1,000.000. be allocated to reduce the landlords costs of the CSFRA fee. They refused to act on any fee-sharing by tenants, thereby leaving the landlord fee to be solely the responsibility of the landlords.

I always said the City in its active sabotage of the CSFRA by the City Attorney and the City Council in effect added as much a $600,000 at minimum to the costs of the CSFRA. IT was only logical that the City must bear that cost.

John Inks was observed as greatly opposed to the idea. Of course, it WAS his ACTIONS that caused the ENTIRE MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE given the closed door meeting on December 21 or 22 when he instructed City attorney to stipulate to the initial TRO that CAUSED SUCH A MESS FOR EVERYONE.

What is interesting is the City Council cannot oppose this action, GIVEN THAT THE CITY CHARTER IS WRITTEN TO AUTHORIZE THE RHC TO ACCESS ANY CITY FUNDS IT NEEDS. If the City opposes to provide funds, it will simply violate the City Charter.


5 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2017 at 10:32 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

I am very disappointed that the City of Mountain View has refused to even review the potential problems with Tom Means conduct.

It appears that the City is in effect endorsing his actions. How, by not even making a statement that his “opinions” are not the “opinions” of the City.

The City is in effect acting as an endorser of Tim Means political activism. Given that it is opposite of his required duties under the CSFRA, this raises very serious questions regarding the City Attorney or City Councils compliance with the City Charter. Granted , the City Council appointed him. At the same time with regards to the fact that Tom Means NEVER disclosed is earnings required under the California Political Reform Act, this technically requires his appointment to be rescinded. By not being in compliance with the act, he disqualifies himself regarding the RHC.

Don’t get me wrong, if any of the RHC members failed to do so, they are also required to be disqualified. This law must be applied equally.

Of course, it this is true than all members will need to be reappointed all over again. Too bad, but this is the current requirements.

Nonetheless, the fact that the City Attorney seems to be refusing to investigate all members based on this problem is a more serious problem.

At least my critics cannot claim I am playing favorites. If the board has failed to disclose all economic information via Form 700 and its identified sub parts, then all are in violation of non-disclosure


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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