News

Councilwoman draws fire for political ad

Critics allege inaccuracies in comments for anti-rent control ad

A new online video that paints Mountain View's rent control program as a huge mistake is triggering a swift backlash against City Council member Margaret Abe-Koga.

The councilwoman appeared for less than 30 seconds in a political ad produced by the Measure V Too Costly organization, but critics say her brief comments smack of falsehoods. In the video, Abe-Koga echoed the opposition group's chief complaint that rent control is squandering money for Mountain View.

"Our strict rent control policy is costing us two-and-a-half million a year to implement," she was filmed saying. "Those funds could be better used to help folks in need right away."

It is accurate that the city's rent control program established a first-year budget of $2.5 million, of which about $1 million came from loans from the city. The program has now fully paid back those loans, according to its staff. Going forward, the rent control program will draw its funding by charging landlords a per-unit fee, which is set at $155 for this year.

That initial budget was intentionally inflated to cover start-up costs and to ensure the program didn't get overwhelmed if it received hundreds of petitions for rent adjustments. But that workload never materialized, and city staffers say they are now expecting a surplus and significantly smaller budgets and fees in future years.

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At the Tuesday, March 27, City Council meeting, a line of speakers blasted Abe-Koga for participating in the video. Critics also pointed out Abe-Koga identified herself in the video as a councilwoman, but she never mentioned that she wasn't speaking on behalf of the City Council.

"It was affirmed that the city has been repaid, so Measure V is not costing the city of Mountain View anything," said Joan MacDonald, a member of the Mountain View Tenants Coalition. "We ask the Councilwoman Abe-Koga to withdraw this video and not keep misleading the residents of Mountain View."

In response, Abe-Koga explained that she hadn't known the money had been repaid when she was filmed for the rent control opposition video. But she said she stood by the rest of her comments.

"It's a costly measure regardless of who pays the bill," she said. "I have my personal beliefs and opinions, same as anyone else."

In an interview with the Voice Abe-Koga went on the offensive, saying tenant advocates also should face scrutiny over the accuracy of their claims. The current controversy over extending rent control protection to mobile homes, she said, stemmed from advocates making exaggerated promises to win support.

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"If we get paid back and the budget does go down, then I'm willing to change my opinion," she said. "But at this date and time, I'm not seeing that."

Follow Mountain View Voice Online on Twitter @mvvoice, Facebook and on Instagram @mvvoice for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Councilwoman draws fire for political ad

Critics allege inaccuracies in comments for anti-rent control ad

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Wed, Mar 28, 2018, 1:50 pm

A new online video that paints Mountain View's rent control program as a huge mistake is triggering a swift backlash against City Council member Margaret Abe-Koga.

The councilwoman appeared for less than 30 seconds in a political ad produced by the Measure V Too Costly organization, but critics say her brief comments smack of falsehoods. In the video, Abe-Koga echoed the opposition group's chief complaint that rent control is squandering money for Mountain View.

"Our strict rent control policy is costing us two-and-a-half million a year to implement," she was filmed saying. "Those funds could be better used to help folks in need right away."

It is accurate that the city's rent control program established a first-year budget of $2.5 million, of which about $1 million came from loans from the city. The program has now fully paid back those loans, according to its staff. Going forward, the rent control program will draw its funding by charging landlords a per-unit fee, which is set at $155 for this year.

That initial budget was intentionally inflated to cover start-up costs and to ensure the program didn't get overwhelmed if it received hundreds of petitions for rent adjustments. But that workload never materialized, and city staffers say they are now expecting a surplus and significantly smaller budgets and fees in future years.

At the Tuesday, March 27, City Council meeting, a line of speakers blasted Abe-Koga for participating in the video. Critics also pointed out Abe-Koga identified herself in the video as a councilwoman, but she never mentioned that she wasn't speaking on behalf of the City Council.

"It was affirmed that the city has been repaid, so Measure V is not costing the city of Mountain View anything," said Joan MacDonald, a member of the Mountain View Tenants Coalition. "We ask the Councilwoman Abe-Koga to withdraw this video and not keep misleading the residents of Mountain View."

In response, Abe-Koga explained that she hadn't known the money had been repaid when she was filmed for the rent control opposition video. But she said she stood by the rest of her comments.

"It's a costly measure regardless of who pays the bill," she said. "I have my personal beliefs and opinions, same as anyone else."

In an interview with the Voice Abe-Koga went on the offensive, saying tenant advocates also should face scrutiny over the accuracy of their claims. The current controversy over extending rent control protection to mobile homes, she said, stemmed from advocates making exaggerated promises to win support.

"If we get paid back and the budget does go down, then I'm willing to change my opinion," she said. "But at this date and time, I'm not seeing that."

Comments

The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2018 at 2:07 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 28, 2018 at 2:07 pm
27 people like this

WOW,

The insanity of Mountain View City Government doesn't seem to end.

THe fact that a sitting councilmember criticized the City Charter is a blatant violation of the council members requirements to uphold the city charter.

Thus this councilmember has invoked grounds for removal. Any political action made by an ACTIVE member of the City Council that contradicts the City Charter cannot be tolerated and must be rectified.

John Inks is allowed to do so because he is a retired city councilmember. He has no responsibility to uphold the City Charter or any Code of Conduct or Conflict of Interest issues at this time.

BUT Margaret Abe-Koga is an active city councilmember. Thus has many rules she accepted as being a local government office holder she must not violate. This IS a clear violation of those rules and laws and thus she is accountable for her actions.


Daneel
Registered user
Gemello
on Mar 28, 2018 at 2:42 pm
Daneel, Gemello
Registered user
on Mar 28, 2018 at 2:42 pm
42 people like this

@ The Business Man: Can you please be more specific about the rules that councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga has violated? If member of the city council are not allowed to speak out against the status quo, how can anything be changed at all?


Darin
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2018 at 2:48 pm
Darin, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 28, 2018 at 2:48 pm
54 people like this

I didn't realize that criticizing the city charter and upholding the city charter were mutually exclusive options.


vonlost
Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:02 pm
vonlost, Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:02 pm
13 people like this

As dishonest as Abe-Koga seems to be (falsehood and presenting as speaking for the city), I can't criticize her for criticizing the law, as long as she upholds it in her official city acts.


Odd
Monta Loma
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:06 pm
Odd, Monta Loma
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:06 pm
24 people like this

I think it's odd that someone like Margaret Abe-Koga who is so opposed to rent control was elected at the same time when rent control (Measure V) passed. How did a majority of people pass them both!

I suppose that rent-control advocates did a great job campaigning for the Measure but did a poor job telling voters they shouldn't vote for a candidate who would actively try to sabotage it.

One thing to keep in mind: the Rental Housing Committee is 3-2 against rent control BECAUSE of Margaret Abe-Koga. The committee was fixed by late 2016 before she took her seat, but she complained early in 2017 that she didn't get to choose any of the members. She wanted her old colleague Tom Means on the RHC. As a result of her political maneuvering, we got Vanessa Honey, a political neophyte and a questionable chair of the RHC...and Tom. Both are virulently against the very policy they are asked to regulate.

Advocates of Measure V need to step up their grassroots activities to:
A) Work to get Tom Means off of the RHC
B) Work to pressure Margaret Abe-Koga to stop denigrating a law she is sworn to administer.
C) Work to vote in people who support the law.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:30 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:30 pm
9 people like this

Insofar as the City Council is not permitted to express opinions adverse to the City Chart please refer to the City Council Code of Conduct section 3.4 that states:

3.4 Conflict of Interest

3.4.1 In order to assure their independence and impartiality on behalf of the public good, COUNCILMEMBERS ARE PROHIBITED FROM USING THEIR OFFICIAL POSITIONS TO INFLUENCE GOVERNMENT DECISIONS IN WHICH THEY HAVE A FINANCIAL INTEREST OR WHERE THEY HAVE AN ORGANIZATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OR A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP THAT WOULD PRESENT A CONFLICT OF INTEREST UNDER APPLICABLE STATE LAW.

It would appear on its face that this action is a violation of this part of the conflict of interest provisions of the City Council Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct goes on to further say:

3.4.3 COUNCILMEMBERS SHALL NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SERVICES OR OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONAL GAIN by virtue of their public office that are not available to the public in general.

Given that the Website “MeasureVTooCostly” is a for profit website and organization, there must be either financial gains or gains in kind being provided to this City Council member that would not be available to us regular citizens. The Code of Conduct goes on to say also:

3.4.8 To the best of their ability, Councilmembers shall represent the official policies and positions of the City Council. When presenting their personal opinions or positions publicly, members shall explicitly state they do not represent the Council or the City.

Given that she did not make any statement to the effect of not representing the City of Mountain View, MORE TO THE POINT SHE WAS MAKING A STATEMENT AS AN ACTIVE CITY COUNCIL MEMBER, this is a clear violation of the City Council Code of Conduct.

Insofar as the City Council is prohibited from acting against the City Charter please refer to the City Charter Section 506:

Section 506. - Powers vested in the council.

All powers of the city, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS CHARTER, shall be vested in the council, and said council may establish the method by which any of such powers may be exercised.

Thus if powers are preempted by the City Charter, as the CSFRA has done, the council is prohibited from interfering with the City Charter as a Whole. The public should be aware of this.

Insofar as the limitations on the city council from interfering with the City Charter please refer to section 513:

Section 513. - Council action.

Legislative action shall be taken by the council ONLY BY MEANS OF AN ORDINANCE, RESOLUTION OR MINUTE ACTION DULY RECORDED IN THE OFFICIAL MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL. (As amended November 3, 1998.)

Thus any actions taken outside the City Council are in effect prohibited by the City Charter. NO City Councilmember can actively participate in political action involving any political interests as long as they sit at the City Council

Insofar as the possibility of removal of office please refer to section 1304 of the city charter that states:

Section 1304. - Recall of elective officials.

Every incumbent of an elective office of the city, whether elected by popular vote or appointed thereto to fill a vacancy, SHALL BE SUBJECT TO REMOVAL FROM OFFICE BY RECALL BY THE VOTERS OF THE CITY. THE PROCEDURE TO EFFECT SUCH REMOVAL FROM OFFICE SHALL BE AS PRESCRIBED BY THE ELECTIONS CODE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, AS THE SAME NOW EXISTS OR MAY HEREAFTER BE AMENDED, RELATING TO THE RECALL OF MUNICIPAL OFFICERS.

It would appear in its face that the Citizens of Mountain View have just cause to recall this City Councilmember at this time. It would be prudent to do so.

Along with investigations to determine if any violations of the California Political Reform Act or Brown Act has been violated.


MV
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:33 pm
MV, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:33 pm
46 people like this

I don't see how this is a "a blatant violation of the council members requirements...". If council members can't speak their mind about policy, how would they ever affect any change, for better or worse.
After watching her video, I kinda don't get a lot of the backlash. Why all the hate for suggesting more affordable units and other options which would help the renters?
It sounds like she walked back a bit not knowing that the loan was re-paid, but that money to repay it had to come from somewhere right? It is either taxes or debt, or money pulled from other potential projects, right? It seems like an expensive program, regardless of where the $2.5 million is coming from. I guess we'll see where they drop the budget to next year.


Renter and Graham Parent
Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:35 pm
Renter and Graham Parent, Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:35 pm
20 people like this

Abe-Koga is also on the record for endorsing School Trustee Gutierrez. Gutierrez has also claimed that Abe-Koga is grooming him for a City Council bid.

I find this all interesting since the communities both Abe-Koga and Gutierrez represent have been supportive of both rent control and the school principals who were just let go for no real reason.

In the end we appear to be witnessing the emergence of a deep state" in local government. That is to say, regardless of our interests and what neighborhood and school communities want, Abe-Koga and Gutierrez are pushing other agendas, no doubt in pursuit of their political longevity..


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:49 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:49 pm
8 people like this

In response to MV You said:

“I don't see how this is a "a blatant violation of the council members requirements...". If council members can't speak their mind about policy, how would they ever affect any change, for better or worse.”

She is allowed to do so as long as it does not violate the California Political Reform Act, the City Council Code of Conduct or the City Charter. But by taking the Oath of Office and Signing the Code of Conduct, she explicitly accepted significant restrictions of her personal conduct. She should have known this and if she could not prevent her actions that violate the terms defined, she should have refused to take office. There is an explicit restriction requirement in this situation. So she cannot claim ignorance regarding the significant legal problems she just caused the City of Mountain View and herself. You also stated:

“After watching her video, I kinda don't get a lot of the backlash. Why all the hate for suggesting more affordable units and other options which would help the renters?”

The problem that occurred here was the misinformation expressed by her in the video. Given she holds an official office, any false statement she made is in effect subject to discipline unless she resigns from the City Council. John Inks is allowed to make said statements because he does not hold a political office. You also went on to ask:

“It sounds like she walked back a bit not knowing that the loan was re-paid, but that money to repay it had to come from somewhere right?”

It came from the rental fee of $155.00 per unit per year. NOT THE GENERAL FUNDS NOR ANY HOMEOWNER TAXES, You asked

“It is either taxes or debt, or money pulled from other potential projects, right?”

NO, it is a separate fee that is not involved with ANY PROJECTS OR PROGRAMS OF THE CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW. You went on to say:

“It seems like an expensive program, regardless of where the $2.5 million is coming from. I guess we'll see where they drop the budget to next year.”

It is funded by the RHC fees to the landlords, NO HOMEOWNER FUNDS OR HOMEOWNER TAXES ARE USED IN THE CSFRA. The political opponents of CSFRA constantly try to claim otherwise. BUT THEY ARE WRONG.

I hope it is informative



beelia
North Bayshore
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:54 pm
beelia, North Bayshore
on Mar 28, 2018 at 3:54 pm
18 people like this

> Why all the hate for suggesting more affordable units and other options which would help the renters?

Because it was a false, specious statement. She conveniently ignored the fact that the funds to do those things exist only because of Measure V - they are the per-unit fees landlords pay. There are no other funds set aside for that purpose, and she was suggesting that there were. Measure V funds are being used efficiently for those purposes right now! Several people got up during that meeting and testified to that fact - and almost half of MV's renters are benefiting from Measure V, but it has made landlords mad because social justice cuts into their profits.

It is pure political fiction to suggest that Measure V is expensive, when it is doing exactly what it was intended to do with exactly the fees that were raised to do it. People who are on City Council should not be acting on their "beliefs". They should be making it their business to know the FACTS, and to act on them to support the people who elected them.


John
Monta Loma
on Mar 28, 2018 at 4:54 pm
John, Monta Loma
on Mar 28, 2018 at 4:54 pm
65 people like this

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Renter in MV
North Whisman
on Mar 28, 2018 at 4:58 pm
Renter in MV, North Whisman
on Mar 28, 2018 at 4:58 pm
13 people like this

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Seriously?
Rex Manor
on Mar 28, 2018 at 5:11 pm
Seriously?, Rex Manor
on Mar 28, 2018 at 5:11 pm
95 people like this

It is unfortunate that you don't consider housing providers in Mountain View as part of the city. Councilwoman Abe-Koga is exactly right, it is costing those who provide housing a fortune. They are the ones who paid the $2.5 Million so that they could be told how little they can charge for rent. I'm sure there are 100 or more housing providers who would reduce the rent in several of their units as opposed to padding the pockets of lawyers and city employees. The prevailing attitude of those who support rent control is "I want it because it isn't costing me a dime." Take a look at San Francisco, Rent Control in action! They lost 16,000 people just last quarter because of high rents. That is exactly where rent control will take Mountain View. That is a pretty high cost in my opinion!


Rodget
Sylvan Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 5:13 pm
Rodget, Sylvan Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 5:13 pm
111 people like this

I also agree that rent control is wasting my tax dollars, we need to fund more police patrol and investigation for instance not hire lawyers to defend rent control, recently the trailer park tenants are sueing the city because they are not included in rent control.
Rent control is taking other people’s property plus a costly can of worms for us taxpayers. Let’s hope it gets repealed in the next election.


Christopher Chiang
North Bayshore
on Mar 28, 2018 at 5:26 pm
Christopher Chiang, North Bayshore
on Mar 28, 2018 at 5:26 pm
15 people like this

I know Margaret Abe Koga cares for renters, and her straight shooting views should be welcomed. There is a valid discussion on whether Measure V is achieving its intentions, but those conversations should be a MV-led process.

"Measure V Too Costly" claims to be run by residents, but its organized by Laura Teutschel, a PR consultant from San Carlos. It also falsely claimed in the the MV Voice in a full page ad that the Rental Housing Committee spoke of paying itself, yet there is no one or document that can back their claim.

A landlord lobbyist group claiming to be purely local, when it's not, that blends rumors with truth, and masks its outside origin and funding with high profile resident visuals, is not the honest broker I would want leading a thoughtful discussion on the issue. If current or former city council members wish to be open with their reservations, and I welcome they do, then they should lead local forums in our city, partner with the paper or local station, and not be a front for outside interest that has a record of intentionally misleading residents. Our national democracy is already muddled by such "fake news" lobbying, lets keep that out of local democracy.


Measure Vi is just bad policy
North Whisman
on Mar 28, 2018 at 5:52 pm
Measure Vi is just bad policy, North Whisman
on Mar 28, 2018 at 5:52 pm
152 people like this

Abe Koga understands that Measure V and policies like it only help the renters in place when the legislation passes. As has been demonstrated over and over again throughout history rent control results in higher rents (look at New York and San Francisco) and the acceleration of decay in the Rental Housing stock. If you inquire about the housing situation of the shrill defenders of Measure V you will find almost invariably they are either direct beneficiaries themselves or their friends are. Hypocrites all of them.
Repeal V.


LOL
Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 6:04 pm
LOL, Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 6:04 pm
12 people like this

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
Astroturfed political groups bankrolled by CAA and the Realtors associations need to stay out of our politics. On the other hand, it's been amazing to see the depths our local legislators will stop to for that cash (looking at you Abe-Koha, Kasperzak, Inks, and Means). At least we know now that they have no dignity.


Much ado
Old Mountain View
on Mar 28, 2018 at 6:18 pm
Much ado , Old Mountain View
on Mar 28, 2018 at 6:18 pm
145 people like this

Rent control never really works long term. Worse still, one of the unintended consequences of this law is already appearing in the form of Mountain View property owners selling older apartment rentals they have managed responsibly for decades to developers who build new $1.2-$1.5 million dollar townhouses. This is the only way the owners can recoup their investments. I'm glad Abe-Koga said something. Hopefully reason will prevail again.


LOL
Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 6:42 pm
LOL, Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 6:42 pm
17 people like this

Christopher Chiang, Abe-Koga doesn't care a whit about renters. If she did, she wouldn't have forced through the North Bayshore plan without any housing before she left office, and we'd have some houses with *gasp* renters living in them up there as we speak. Instead, it took her entire timeout running for higher office for the plan to be redone correctly by the rest of council.

She only cares about her political ambitions, so she needs to make sure she keeps her powerful friends in the CAA happy. Similar to the rest of the illustrious ex-Councilmembers associated with the campaign, who have dragged their own legacies through the mud (Kasperzak, Inks, and Means). Although, Tom Means just took the cash for his trouble.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2018 at 6:54 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 28, 2018 at 6:54 pm
6 people like this

In response to John you said:

“What's the big deal here folks? She exercising her First Amendment rights to speak out. She voted to defend Measure V in court and supported putting tenant friendly members (Emily Ramos) on the Rent Board. The fact of the matter is Measure V has a cost....it cost $2.5-million. Let's remember that. SHe is saying that the program cost money and that money has better uses. That's all she is saying. How can you fault her for saying that?”

Since it is NOT a CITY BUDGET item, SHE clearly MISLEADS viewers into thinking it is paid via HOMEOWNER TAXES or GENERAL FUNDS. It does NOT.

In response to Renter in MV you said:

“I get it, landlords are paying the bill, but the city put the price tag on it and sent them the bill. Abe Koga is jsut saying what the price tag is. SHe's not lying.”

In fact the City of Mountain View has inflated the coast of the CSFRA by $1.5 million if you even bothered to read the budget. Most of you have not. The city has used the RHC budget to subsidize its costs, which is a violation of the City Charter because the RHC and the City cannot be commingled the way it has here.

In response to Seriously? You said:

“It is unfortunate that you don't consider housing providers in Mountain View as part of the city. “

They own the building, but do not necessarily reside in the City, thus they are not citizens of the City, and are only private interests, nothing more.

“Councilwoman Abe-Koga is exactly right, it is costing those who provide housing a fortune. They are the ones who paid the $2.5 Million so that they could be told how little they can charge for rent. I'm sure there are 100 or more housing providers who would reduce the rent in several of their units as opposed to padding the pockets of lawyers and city employees.”

The responsibility of the inflated cost is the City Council and the City Government fleecing the RHC to pay for the services performed by the City. The City must not be contracted by the RHC because it fiscally intertwines the two. They are supposed to be exclusive in service and function.

In response to Rodget you said:

“I also agree that rent control is wasting my tax dollars, we need to fund more police patrol and investigation for instance not hire lawyers to defend rent control, recently the trailer park tenants are sueing the city because they are not included in rent control.”

NOT TAX DOLLARS ARE USED IN THE RHC. When are you going to understand it is self supporting based on the rental fee. You keep on saying the same untruth over and over again.

In response to Christopher Chiang you said:

“Measure V Too Costly" claims to be run by residents, but its organized by Laura Teutschel, a PR consultant from San Carlos. It also falsely claimed in the the MV Voice in a full page ad that the Rental Housing Committee spoke of paying itself, yet there is no one or document that can back their claim.

A landlord lobbyist group claiming to be purely local, when it's not, that blends rumors with truth, and masks its outside origin and funding with high profile resident visuals, is not the honest broker I would want leading a thoughtful discussion on the issue. If current or former city council members wish to be open with their reservations, and I welcome they do, then they should lead local forums in our city, partner with the paper or local station, and not be a front for outside interest that has a record of intentionally misleading residents. Our national democracy is already muddled by such "fake news" lobbying, lets keep that out of local democracy.”

Good observation

In response to LOL you said:

“Look at the landlord shill above me. Astroturfed political groups bankrolled by CAA and the Realtors associations need to stay out of our politics. On the other hand, it's been amazing to see the depths our local legislators will stop to for that cash (looking at you Abe-Koha, Kasperzak, Inks, and Means). At least we know now that they have no dignity.”

Good observation


Christopher Chiang
North Bayshore
on Mar 28, 2018 at 6:57 pm
Christopher Chiang, North Bayshore
on Mar 28, 2018 at 6:57 pm
129 people like this

While I believe it's not good for Mountain View for any of its city council members to promote outside special interest groups, especially groups with a record of misleading people, I can only speak from personal experience, and I have seen on numerous occasions over the years, Council member Abe-Koga work to represent all residents, renters and homeowners alike.

We want competent representatives in government, yet we then accuse those of serving of being career politicians. I may not agree with her past decisions on North Bayshore either, but she speaks honestly, thoughtfully, and I wouldn't trade those positive character traits just to get someone who agrees with me on policies. That too is what's troubling national politics.


LOL
Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 7:04 pm
LOL, Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 7:04 pm
20 people like this

Christopher Chiang, I don't think I would characterize her depiction of the RHC budget as honest and thoughtful, would you? Do you think she was advocating for renters when she pushed for her former colleague, Mr Tom Means, to be appointed to the RHC?


Wrong
another community
on Mar 28, 2018 at 7:58 pm
Wrong, another community
on Mar 28, 2018 at 7:58 pm
9 people like this

She just wrong.


Philip
Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 9:53 pm
Philip, Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 9:53 pm
111 people like this

Ms. Abe-Koga, as a renter, do not let these bullies phase you. You have a first amendment right to speak out against a flawed policy in rent control. And you are not alone! Every credible economist and countless elected officials like Gavin Newsom, our next governor, agree that rent control brings about negative economic results and leads to less investment in affordable housing. My family and I are behind you. Thank you for your public service.


LOL
Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:02 pm
LOL, Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:02 pm
11 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:12 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:12 pm
5 people like this

Please take the time to read pages 3 to 9 of this document (Web Link)

This document publicly declares that the City of Mountain view used the CSFRA apartment fees to transfer new money into the City Revenues. However this was not supposed to happen under the CSFRA. If you read this portion Section 1709 (j) which stated:

“(j) Financing.

The Committee shall finance its reasonable and necessary expenses, including without limitation engaging any staff as necessary to ensure implementation of this Article, by charging Landlords an annual Rental Housing Fee as set forth herein, in amounts deemed reasonable by the Committee in accordance with applicable law. The Committee is also empowered to request and receive funding when and if necessary from any available source including the City for its reasonable and necessary expenses.

(1) Rental Housing Fee. All Landlords shall pay a Rental Housing Fee on an annual basis. The first Committee convened after the effective date of this Article shall determine the amount of the Rental Housing Fee. The amount of the Rental Housing Fee may differ between Rental Units subject to the entirety of this Article and those that are Partially Exempt. The Committee may adjust the amount of the Rental Housing Fee at its discretion to ensure full funding of its reasonable and necessary expenses, in accordance with all applicable law.

(2) City to Advance Initial Funds. During the initial implementation of this Article, the City shall advance all necessary funds to ensure the effective implementation of this Article, until the Committee has collected Rental Housing Fees sufficient to support the implementation of this Article. The City may seek a reimbursement of any advanced funds from the Committee after the Rental Housing Fee has been collected.”

Nothing in this portion of the CSFRA authorizes the use of funds collected by the RHC to be used to finance services by the City of Mountain View. Also please read the Section 1709(k) which states:

“(k) Integrity and Autonomy of Committee.

The Committee shall be an integral part of the government of the City, but shall exercise its powers and duties under this Article independent from the City Council, City Manager, and City Attorney, except by request of the Committee. The Committee may request the services of the City Attorney, who shall provide them pursuant to the lawful duties of the office in Article 711 of the City Charter. In the period between the effective date of this Article and the appointment of the initial members of the Committee, the City shall take whatever steps necessary to perform the duties of the Committee and implement the purposes of this Article.”

Thus, the City is in fact required to avoid any interference with the function of the RHC. However, if you read the document I linked, you will see material proof that the City did anything possible to steal funds from the RHC to be used as revenue for the City. This in fact is opposite of the criticism that has been made against the CSFRA.

Why this hasn’t been discussed in public is because this action can be considered a misappropriation of funds by the City in order to artificially inflate the costs of the RHC under the CSFRA. The fact no one is investigating this is beyond me.


Ret control
another community
on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:35 pm
Ret control, another community
on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:35 pm
77 people like this

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Philip
Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:39 pm
Philip, Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:39 pm
139 people like this

Americana apartments bud but good try. I admire that your brave enough to put your name to your word. What an interesting name "LOL" is that amish?


Hancock
Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:46 pm
Hancock, Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:46 pm
20 people like this

Margaret has the obligation, by virtue of her position, to implement a law that the city voted for. She is doing that. And while she is obligated to implement the law, she has the right to disagree with it and to voice her opinion on the matter. And she is doing it outside the confines of the council chambers. To attack her for voicing that opinion is to attack her right to free speech. The outcry in these comments reflects a concern that what she is saying is correct and you’re afraid of the truth getting out.


LOL
Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:49 pm
LOL, Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:49 pm
13 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Philip
Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 11:00 pm
Philip, Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 11:00 pm
156 people like this

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


LOL
Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 11:19 pm
LOL, Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 11:19 pm
13 people like this

And there it is, all the high-minded talk turns into threats. Communities used to be about people taking care of each other, but it looks like the Almighty Dollar has taken over, in both personal interactions and political actions.

Price ceilings work for precisely what they're meant to do, keep people in their homes during runaway price increases. What's your "sensible policy" that will keep people fully housed in Mountain View?


Philip
Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 11:28 pm
Philip, Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 11:28 pm
110 people like this

"LOL" looking at your comments in this thread, you berate and bully people who don't take your side and right them off as being astro turfed, is this indicative of the tenants right movement or the message of "inclusion" Measure V was supposed to bring? You are just proving their point about the divisiveness this has brought into our city. Some wisdom if you want support of MV citizens, accept that not everyone who thinks rent control is bad policy hates tenants or doesn't care about poor people. That is false sir.


LOL
Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 11:36 pm
LOL, Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 11:36 pm
7 people like this

If that's false, why don't you have a "sensible policy" that accomplishes the goals I laid out?


Philip
Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 11:45 pm
Philip, Cuesta Park
on Mar 28, 2018 at 11:45 pm
71 people like this

Look up Scott Weiner's Bill in the state senate right now, that calls for higher, denser, affordable housing near transit. Lowering rents is a supply and demand issue, simple as that.

In fact do your self a favor and type into google right now "does rent control work" tell me what the first 10 responses are...go ahead ill wait.


LOL
Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 11:53 pm
LOL, Castro City
on Mar 28, 2018 at 11:53 pm
9 people like this

Whoa, an interesting tidbit is that Abe-Koga is against SB 827. Does she still have your support?

What's so difficult to comprehend about rent control accomplishing its goals, which aren't to reduce rents, but to insulate communities against rampant rent increases? Do you deny that it accomplishes that goal? I fully grant that it, by itself, doesn't bring down rents because that's not what it's trying to do. You seem to be confused about its goals, and are using your misunderstanding to say "it doesn't work."


Philip
Cuesta Park
on Mar 29, 2018 at 12:04 am
Philip, Cuesta Park
on Mar 29, 2018 at 12:04 am
88 people like this

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
Housing providers don't want to build more housing when you regulate their revenue and their ability to fluctuate with the market. So, city passes rent control---> less housing gets built in that city. You are thinking about the short term while ignoring the consequences (for future renters) of a powerfully inhibitive policy.

As far as 827 goes shes on the wrong side of that issue, but the right side of this one.


LOL
Castro City
on Mar 29, 2018 at 12:15 am
LOL, Castro City
on Mar 29, 2018 at 12:15 am
5 people like this

Certainly, since Measure V passed we've seen the addition of new housing come to a halt. Apartments sit partially built, lots sit empty. If only we repeal Measure V like Margaret Abe-Koga wants, we'll get people to build houses in Mountain View again. Wait, none of that happened. Strange.

Here's a hint, Measure V has done nothing to decrease home-building here. The only thing that's done that is the NIMBY contingent on council, Abe-Koga, Matichak, and McAlister.

Honestly, I've studied a lot more econ than you. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
you need to actually consider multiple effects and you'd have humility in the strength of your predictions. As they say, a little learning is a dangerous thing.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2018 at 1:54 am
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 29, 2018 at 1:54 am
3 people like this

The real reason why the CSFRA is costing $2.5+ Million dollars is the following breakdown from ((Web Link)

The RHC Board authorized $686,600 in expenses for only 4 FTE for the staffing of the Program. A FTE for a program manager is $126,000/yr, 2 Administrative analysts which costs $60,489, and Office Assistant Salary of $28,960 which comes to $275,938. This comes to This also includes reimbursement for legal costs that were the caused by the negligent decisions made by the City Council and city Attorney regarding the litigation that happened PRIOR to the RHC establishment. That means the City is charging the RHC for the City Attorney costs of $686,600 - $275,938 or $410,662. Why the RHC voted to pay for this is in my belief incredible.

General Operating Expenses of $161,500. That seems reasonable.

Third Party Professional Services $774,800 described as outside legal services of $200,000, litigation $30,000, Tenant Relocation Services at $20,000, Rental Housing Helpline $124,000, Pre-Hearing Sessions at $60,000, Hearing Officer Services $300,000, based on 300 cases at $1,000 per case, Training services $20,000, Facilitation Services at $20,000. The real insane estimation was 300 petitions in the first year, it seems that we may not get even close to that amount, currently I have heard only about 20 are in the process so one could estimate about 4 times that amount will happen in this year, thus it would come to only $80,000.

City Resources/Administrative Support $256,400. Given that this agency is independent of the city, this item should never been accepted and appoved by the RHC because it commingles the CSFRA and the City Services too much.

Reimbursement of City Expenses of $1,051,677. Given that the City Charter section 1709 (j) does not entitle the City reimbursement based on invalid budget itemization, and audit must be performed first by a disinterested account firm, this is simply a means to steal money from Rental Fees to fleece the landlords and inflate the cost of the program. This is where an additional $190,277 is being charged to the RHC by the City for the previous litigation that was NOT approved by the RHC. Thus the RHC has no fiscal responsibility for it. What is amazing is this document actually states the actual costs to the City was not $1,051,677-$190,277 or $861,400 but $431,595 on page 9 of the report. The City claimed that under Section 1709(j)(2) allows this. However the City has not properly itemized the costs in this matter at all. It in fact is charging in excess of $429,805. Without said itemization of costs, such approval of the RHC was an act of mismanagement. Why the RHC agreed to this was simply in order to inflate the budget.

In a nutshell, the budget is overcharging for the prior litigation of $190,277, there is an unaccounted $429,805 in the budget, there is a cost overestimate of about $220,000 for hearings, and charges incurred by the City Attorney of $410,662. The sum total overcharged in the budget on these issues alone comes to $1,250,744 and this is not dealing with a good audit of the program.

If competent budgeting was performed, the budget should be half the current one. This responsibility falls squarely on the actions of the City Council, City Attorney, and those on the RHC that did not do their due diligence to prevent the overcharge. If the landlords have anyone to blame it is not the tenants, but the above mentioned parties


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2018 at 1:58 am
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 29, 2018 at 1:58 am
3 people like this

The real reason why the CSFRA is costing $2.5+ Million dollars is the following breakdown from ((Web Link)

The RHC Board authorized $686,600 in expenses for only 4 FTE for the staffing of the Program. A FTE for a program manager is $126,000/yr, 2 Administrative analysts which costs $60,489, and Office Assistant Salary of $28,960 which comes to $275,938. This comes to This also includes reimbursement for legal costs that were the caused by the negligent decisions made by the City Council and city Attorney regarding the litigation that happened PRIOR to the RHC establishment. That means the City is charging the RHC for the City Attorney costs of $686,600 - $275,938 or $410,662. Why the RHC voted to pay for this is in my belief incredible.

General Operating Expenses of $161,500. That seems reasonable.

Third Party Professional Services $774,800 described as outside legal services of $200,000, litigation $30,000, Tenant Relocation Services at $20,000, Rental Housing Helpline $124,000, Pre-Hearing Sessions at $60,000, Hearing Officer Services $300,000, based on 300 cases at $1,000 per case, Training services $20,000, Facilitation Services at $20,000. The real insane estimation was 300 petitions in the first year, it seems that we may not get even close to that amount, currently I have heard only about 20 are in the process so one could estimate about 4 times that amount will happen in this year, thus it would come to only $80,000.

City Resources/Administrative Support $256,400. Given that this agency is independent of the city, this item should never been accepted and appoved by the RHC because it commingles the CSFRA and the City Services too much.

Reimbursement of City Expenses of $1,051,677. Given that the City Charter section 1709 (j) does not entitle the City reimbursement based on invalid budget itemization, and audit must be performed first by a disinterested account firm, this is simply a means to steal money from Rental Fees to fleece the landlords and inflate the cost of the program. This is where an additional $190,277 is being charged to the RHC by the City for the previous litigation that was NOT approved by the RHC. Thus the RHC has no fiscal responsibility for it. What is amazing is this document actually states the actual costs to the City was not $1,051,677-$190,277 or $861,400 but $431,595 on page 9 of the report. The City claimed that under Section 1709(j)(2) allows this. However the City has not properly itemized the costs in this matter at all. It in fact is charging in excess of $429,805. Without said itemization of costs, such approval of the RHC was an act of mismanagement. Why the RHC agreed to this was simply in order to inflate the budget.

In a nutshell, the budget is overcharging for the prior litigation of $190,277, there is an unaccounted $429,805 in the budget, there is a cost overestimate of about $220,000 for hearings, and charges incurred by the City Attorney of $410,662, and City Resources charges of 256,400. The sum total overcharged in the budget on these issues alone comes to $1,507,144 and this is not dealing with a good audit of the program.

If competent budgeting was performed, the budget should be half the current one. This responsibility falls squarely on the actions of the City Council, City Attorney, and those on the RHC that did not do their due diligence to prevent the overcharge. If the landlords have anyone to blame it is not the tenants, but the above mentioned parties


David
Bailey Park
on Mar 29, 2018 at 2:55 am
David, Bailey Park
on Mar 29, 2018 at 2:55 am
5 people like this

Mthe cost of the rent control program is peanuts compared to the money at stake. If rent xontrol is eliminated, rents will soar by $1,000 to $2,000 per month and keep going up. Margaret Abe-Koga was previously on the city council for two 4-year terms having been endorsed by landlord groups. That is why her political signs appeared at apartment complexes. She was and is a ringer for landlords and is among the 5 or 6 council members that are part of the landlords' plan to place on the November ballot a measure to repeal or "repeal and replace" rent control. JUST WATCH.


Sheamus V.
Bailey Park
on Mar 29, 2018 at 7:14 am
Sheamus V., Bailey Park
on Mar 29, 2018 at 7:14 am
26 people like this

So let get this straight, we have a failing measure that is costing the city millions, increased the homeless rate and isn't helping nearly as many people as the proponents had promised. And instead of fixing it, the proponents are attacking people for speaking the truth? It's clear that those very few who are taking advantage of rent control don't want to get rid of it. It's also clear that they will attack anyone who stands in their way. Margaret is simply speaking the truth. I hope more brave MV residents will do so in the face of being shouted down to avoid the truth.


Common sense
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2018 at 9:12 am
Common sense, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2018 at 9:12 am
154 people like this

Look high tech companies are bringing in people from all over the world to our little community and they need to live somewhere. That's what is causing your rent to go up, not the property management companies. Making housing less and less available.

Once your lease is up the property management does not have to rent you the apartment anymore and there is nothing rent control can do about that. In the end, guess who pays for all this rent control garbage? Yes, the future renters. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Steven Nelson
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Mar 29, 2018 at 9:17 am
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Mar 29, 2018 at 9:17 am
6 people like this

FREE SPEACH under the California Constitution is guaranteed even for elected officials. Thanks Councilwoman for speaking out your truth. It is entirely your right to do this, even for the city charter. (- Chris Chiang - please note that she is protected under the CA Constitution to send letters and buy public-policy ads that oppose the Charter and any majority vote of her fellow council members, like school board members are :)

I own residential property in MV. I used to own, for 2 decades, rental property in Santa Cruz. Like Council Member Showalter I signed the petition for putting Rent Control on the ballot/ as a citizen chosen change to the City Charter. I decided, reluctantly, to vote for it, give it a try! WE SHALL SEE.

I have more and more come to appreciate Abe-Koga'a approach to some residential/workforce-office development projects. Same for Councilmember Showalter. These two, were the only votes against the giveaway of public benefits to Los Altos SD, for a 'maybe charter school site' in MV.

minus, @The Business Man, + @vonlost, @MV, +++ @John (FREE SPEACH), + @Renter in MV, + @ Hancock
( the truth shall set you free, but "the truth" in this instance is an extremely complex public policy with extremely complex community effects over decades)


Steven Nelson
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Mar 29, 2018 at 9:26 am
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Mar 29, 2018 at 9:26 am
5 people like this

@The Business Man Thank you very much for your detailed comments breaking down some of the expenses of the rent control board.

This is the type of analysis, if I was on that board, or on the Council, I would be especially reading over in detail. This also, IMO, is why Margaret (I think) and the majority of the Council voted for Tom Means to have a seat on this body. Aside from his particular opinion, he does, like @The Business Man, have a particular nuts and bolts (dollars and cents) academic approach to the issue of housing public policy. We as a community, can afford to have "an academic approach", an economist's approach, to this complex matter as "one of the voices, one of the votes".


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 29, 2018 at 6:07 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 29, 2018 at 6:07 pm
5 people like this

In response to Steven Nelson you said:

“This is the type of analysis, if I was on that board, or on the Council, I would be especially reading over in detail. This also, IMO, is why Margaret (I think) and the majority of the Council voted for Tom Means to have a seat on this body. Aside from his particular opinion, he does, like @The Business Man, have a particular nuts and bolts (dollars and cents) academic approach to the issue of housing public policy. We as a community, can afford to have "an academic approach", an economist's approach, to this complex matter as "one of the voices, one of the votes".

However Tom Means approved the extra $1.5 million in the budget. I would have expected him to know when the RHC is being exploited by the City. Of course, his interest is to cause the RHC to be as ineffective as possible as much as he can get away with.

I have had experience working in federal projects where all expenses must be accounted for. This situation is no different. It is not acceptable for any government to mislead or misinform the public regarding funding and operations of any government project or agency.

You also said:

“FREE SPEACH under the California Constitution is guaranteed even for elected officials. Thanks Councilwoman for speaking out your truth. It is entirely your right to do this, even for the city charter. (- Chris Chiang - please note that she is protected under the CA Constitution to send letters and buy public-policy ads that oppose the Charter and any majority vote of her fellow council members, like school board members are :)”

Insofar as the City Council is not permitted to express opinions adverse to the City Charter please refer to the City Council Code of Conduct section 3.4 that states:

3.4 Conflict of Interest

3.4.1 In order to assure their independence and impartiality on behalf of the public good, COUNCILMEMBERS ARE PROHIBITED FROM USING THEIR OFFICIAL POSITIONS TO INFLUENCE GOVERNMENT DECISIONS IN WHICH THEY HAVE A FINANCIAL INTEREST OR WHERE THEY HAVE AN ORGANIZATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OR A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP THAT WOULD PRESENT A CONFLICT OF INTEREST UNDER APPLICABLE STATE LAW.

It would appear on its face that this action is a violation of this part of the conflict of interest provisions of the City Council Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct goes on to further say:

3.4.3 COUNCILMEMBERS SHALL NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SERVICES OR OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONAL GAIN by virtue of their public office that are not available to the public in general.

Given that the Website “MeasureVTooCostly” is a for profit website and organization, there must be either financial gains or gains in kind being provided to this City Council member that would not be available to us regular citizens. The Code of Conduct goes on to say also:

3.4.8 To the best of their ability, Councilmembers shall represent the official policies and positions of the City Council. When presenting their personal opinions or positions publicly, members shall explicitly state they do not represent the Council or the City.

Given that she did not make any statement to the effect of not representing the City of Mountain View, MORE TO THE POINT SHE WAS MAKING A STATEMENT AS AN ACTIVE CITY COUNCIL MEMBER, this is a clear violation of the City Council Code of Conduct.

Insofar as the City Council is prohibited from acting against the City Charter please refer to the City Charter Section 506:

Section 506. - Powers vested in the council.

All powers of the city, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS CHARTER, shall be vested in the council, and said council may establish the method by which any of such powers may be exercised.

Thus if powers are preempted by the City Charter, as the CSFRA has done, the council is prohibited from interfering with the City Charter as a Whole. The public should be aware of this.

Insofar as the limitations on the city council from interfering with the City Charter please refer to section 513:

Section 513. - Council action.

Legislative action shall be taken by the council ONLY BY MEANS OF AN ORDINANCE, RESOLUTION OR MINUTE ACTION DULY RECORDED IN THE OFFICIAL MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL. (As amended November 3, 1998.)

Thus any actions taken outside the City Council are in effect prohibited by the City Charter. NO City Councilmember can actively participate in political action involving any political interests as long as they sit at the City Council

Insofar as the possibility of removal of office please refer to section 1304 of the city charter that states:

Section 1304. - Recall of elective officials.

Every incumbent of an elective office of the city, whether elected by popular vote or appointed thereto to fill a vacancy, SHALL BE SUBJECT TO REMOVAL FROM OFFICE BY RECALL BY THE VOTERS OF THE CITY. THE PROCEDURE TO EFFECT SUCH REMOVAL FROM OFFICE SHALL BE AS PRESCRIBED BY THE ELECTIONS CODE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, AS THE SAME NOW EXISTS OR MAY HEREAFTER BE AMENDED, RELATING TO THE RECALL OF MUNICIPAL OFFICERS.

It would appear in its face that the Citizens of Mountain View have just cause to recall this City Councilmember at this time. It would be prudent to do so.

Along with investigations to determine if any violations of the California Political Reform Act or Brown Act has been violated.



Steven Nelson
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Mar 30, 2018 at 10:00 am
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Mar 30, 2018 at 10:00 am
8 people like this

@The Business Man. I was trying to praise your posting that I (personally) find helpful and (perhaps too quietly) discourage you from long repetitive rants (like above).

You fundamentally misunderstand the protections of Free Speech that are in the California Constitution (let alone the Federal Constitution's First Amendment, applied to states through the 15th Amendment). It does not In The Least Matter what you think the City Council Code of Conduct prohibits! It does not and cannot (legally) prohibit a council member for identifying themselves as a Council Member - and giving their option on any city topic, or anything under the Sun, or in the Universe!

That is the essence of Free Speech protections in both the state and federal constitutions. Civil rights.

Thank you for being civil, BTW!


SteveC
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Mar 30, 2018 at 3:33 pm
SteveC, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Mar 30, 2018 at 3:33 pm
3 people like this

Budget for Measure V, fiscal year Jul 2017 - Jun 2018, is $2.59 million. However, revenue is coming in faster than predicted.
Per Patty Kong, Director of Finance and Administrative Services Director, City of Mountain View, "the revenues received as of February 28, 2018 are $2,112,927."
If $2.1 million is the revenue for eight months, then projected annual revenue would be $3.2 million, a revenue surplus of $1.1 million by June 30, 2018.

The absurd claim that "Measure V too expensive" is completely invalid by definition.
"Expensive" come from the word expense, but revenue is the opposite. The opposite of "expensive" is currently what is happening.

"Measure V too expensive" is completely false and ridiculous, now that the revenue surplus is highly likely.

However, you could go with "Measure V bringing in too much revenue". True statements are always a better choice.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2018 at 7:45 am
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 31, 2018 at 7:45 am
3 people like this

In response to Steven Nelson you said:

“You fundamentally misunderstand the protections of Free Speech that are in the California Constitution (let alone the Federal Constitution's First Amendment, applied to states through the 15th Amendment). It does not In The Least Matter what you think the City Council Code of Conduct prohibits! It does not and cannot (legally) prohibit a council member for identifying themselves as a Council Member - and giving their option on any city topic, or anything under the Sun, or in the Universe!”

Actually, this is not correct because any City Council member must not only sign an explicit agreement to act in accordance with the City Council Code of Conduct, but swear an oath to do so as well. This is a legal contract that must be agreed with in order to take office in the state of California. If one has the intent to violate the code beforehand, they are in violation of a contract.

To put it into current events, it is like when President Trump arranges the Non-Disclosure Agreements. Once someone signs a contract with the City to comport with the City Council Code of Conduct and the City Charter, that contract supersedes the “Freedom of Speech”. Because doing so violates the contract. Thus any City Council member “Disqualifies” themselves from their position. In effect she is in breach of contract, and has given up her qualifications to hold office.

This applies in effect to anyone within and state or local government in the state of California in light of the California Political Reform Act of 1974. No court or any advisory documents that I see has ever written a decision or regulation establishing that this law and code of conduct rules cannot “control” the “conduct” of any government official as far as “Freedom of Speech”.

Please understand that whenever anyone acquires power over others in the political sphere in California, there is a price to be paid. Like Stan Lee states “With great power comes great responsibility”.


Bluejay
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2018 at 12:19 pm
Bluejay, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 31, 2018 at 12:19 pm
7 people like this

It seems that most people agreed that Measure V is very costly. The differences is about who pays for this $2.5M annual budget. Whether it's from the city funds or from the owners, none of these are the TRUE PAYER.

Regardless of admitting or not, the TRUE PAYERS are: ALL MV RESIDENTS! Here are the reasons:
1. More and more homes will be pulled off from the rental market (rebuild, sit vacant or AirBnB), this results even more shortage and all future tenants will have to pay higher rents. SF currently have more than 30000 vacant units, owner doesn't want to rent out due to the unfair rental law.
2. The neighborhood will become more and more run down, because owners will not be able to maintain their buildings. If you happen to be surrounded by old apartments, a run down neighborhood will impact your property value.

There are many more to list! Bottom line --- Measure V is very costly and the entire city is paying for it!


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2018 at 3:49 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 31, 2018 at 3:49 pm
5 people like this

In response to Bluejay

Your comment is not on the topic, but I will explain some things

Either you are confused or you’re trying to confuse others. The CSFRA has jurisdiction on only multi-unit building greater with 4 or more units older than 1995. Thus it has no impact on rental single unit homes. It also has no jurisdiction on AirBnB. The only cost is on the landlords of said units and no one else. So you are not correct in your claim it impacts on all citizens of Mountain View. In fact most of those units are owned by those not living in Mountain View.

With regards to the statement:

“. The neighborhood will become more and more run down, because owners will not be able to maintain their buildings. If you happen to be surrounded by old apartments, a run down neighborhood will impact your property value. “

There simply is no evidence to support the idea that owners cannot maintain their buildings. That has been an opinion used routinely to defend poor or inefficient management of property owners. Property values of single homes should not be impacted because home owners are in a different category of property values. Another misguided notion attempting to comingle homeowners and commercial properties. They are not related.

The fact is only a very small minority of individuals are being impacted by the CSFRA.

But this is not the topic of this article.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 31, 2018 at 7:27 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Mar 31, 2018 at 7:27 pm
5 people like this

WOW:

Margaret Abe Koga’s nominated RHC Board member Tom Means may have acted with a criminal enterprise. How?

The CAA and SAMCAR have been charged with 21 felony charges involving faked signatures regarding the CAA ballot measure to reverse rent control in Pacifica.

I cannot submit the web site because it will likely cause this post to be retracted. But you can google SAMCAR and felony charges.

This was the Pacifica campaign the Tom Means got paid to issue political material to support CAA and SAMCAR to get voters to adopt their ballot measure.

This situation raises a lot of serious questions that deserve answers. The questions are:

Did Tom Means get paid by a criminal enterprise?

Did Margaret Abe-Koga get any benefit of any kind by the CAA regarding her current actions?

Did Margaret Abe-Koga get advice and lobbied to nominate Tom Means to be part of the RHC board?

Does this situation require an investigation as to whether either Margaret Abe-Koga or Tom Means are potentially legally vulnerable regarding criminal investigation?

Are these individuals likely to be charged as accessory before or after the fact related to their association with either the CAA or SAMCAR?

Curiouser and Curiouser


Howard
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Apr 1, 2018 at 2:34 pm
Howard, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 2:34 pm
7 people like this

Once again, the 69% renter base rent control regime is concerned when someone speaks the truth. Sorry folks..rent control doesn't work and the emperor has no clothes!


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2018 at 3:59 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 3:59 pm
5 people like this

In response to Howard you said:

"Once again, the 69% renter base rent control regime is concerned when someone speaks the truth. Sorry folks..rent control doesn't work and the emperor has no clothes!"

The court hasn't even come close to closing arguments yet on your opinion.

You have not presented "evidence" to support your opinion, only circumstances caused by those who were adamantly opposed to the current City Charter that have done anything possible to cause inefficiency, inflate cost, and cause immense confusion. In fact the RHC budget is using the Rental Fees charged to landlords to increase revenues for the City.

I presented those facts before, but here is the summary:

In a nutshell, the budget is overcharging for the prior litigation of $190,277, there is an unaccounted $429,805 in the budget, there is a cost overestimate of about $220,000 for hearings, and charges incurred by the City Attorney of $410,662, and City Resources charges of 256,400. The sum total overcharged in the budget on these issues alone comes to $1,507,144 and this is not dealing with a good audit of the program.

If competent budgeting was performed, the budget should be half the current one. This responsibility falls squarely on the actions of the City Council, City Attorney, and those on the RHC that did not do their due diligence to prevent the overcharge. If the landlords have anyone to blame it is not the tenants, but the above mentioned parties.

If anyone is to blame for the current situation, it was not the voters. THe City Council took advantage of the CSFRA to in effect steal from landlords. They place 3 RHC members so that they could do so. That is NOT THE ELECTORATES FAULT.

You should in effect blame the correct people the City Council consisting of Lenny Siegal, Lisa Matichak, Margaret Abe Koga, Christopher CLark, John McAlister, Ken Rosenberg, and PAt Showalter. AND the inexperienced and unskilled RHC board members consisting of Chair Honey Vanessa Oldenkamp, Vice Chair Evan Ortiz, Tom Means, Emily Ramos, and Matthew Grunewald.

I hold all those above accountable without any favoritism. At one point I considered being a RHC member, but I found that as it was being formed it was being staffed by those who wanted the least qualified, but politically motivate members. My advocacy would simply have been barred by the City Council, so I withdrew.

The fact is this program has had the worst possible birth I could have seen, given the successful RHC systems in California, why using those models NOT to create the system here, was simply another obstacle for prevention of successful operations.


Howard
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Apr 1, 2018 at 4:35 pm
Howard, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 4:35 pm
7 people like this

Business man,

I know you spend an enormous amount of time analyzing this RHC but really, the truth is that it is going to fail not on management but on principle.

You can only get the minority (2%, Landlords) to pay for the(69%, tenants) for so long. Affordable housing is a problem for everyone but such a small minority won't be able to sustain the costs of such a large majority for very long.

Socialism is great until other people's money runs out. Only fools would stay and be landlords in Mountain view now.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2018 at 6:37 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 6:37 pm
5 people like this

In response to Howard:

I spend time on things that matter to all citizens. The fact is it is a part of being a citizen. Of course, it is difficult for many to do so.

As far as what you said:

“You can only get the minority (2%, Landlords) to pay for the(69%, tenants) for so long. Affordable housing is a problem for everyone but such a small minority won't be able to sustain the costs of such a large majority for very long.”

Landlords are free to leave the business. But they do not pay for tenants. The simple fact is they are making a living off of those who really do real work. Not just happen to own a building and want to make others pay whatever they want to charge to make unfettered profits.

You also said:

“Socialism is great until other people's money runs out. Only fools would stay and be landlords in Mountain view now.”

Market regulations are not socialism. Socialism by definition is the prohibition of private property as defined as:

“a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

Property in Mountain View is not owned by the City, but by private owners. So you are not accurate to make such a statement. Market regulations are normal in this country, they are not prohibited and are dependent on whether they are approved by legitimate methods. In effect the CSFRA was a legitimate approach that until repealed simply is now a fact of life. The definition goes on to say:

“(in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism.”

Simply enough, capitalism is never going to be overthrown in the U.S.

The community should be allowed to make up its own mind, I do not request anyone to agree with me. Everyone is free to their own opinion.


Bluejay
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2018 at 9:56 pm
Bluejay, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 9:56 pm
6 people like this

"Property is not owned by the government but by private owners, so this is not socialism". This logic is partially correct, because it is in deed fascism rather than socialism.

Try to control the price of egg and milk and see what happens? No egg and milk for everyone soon after. Feel free to fool yourself but this has been proved already.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2018 at 10:12 pm
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 10:12 pm
5 people like this

In response to Bluejay you said:

“"Property is not owned by the government but by private owners, so this is not socialism". This logic is partially correct, because it is in deed fascism rather than socialism. “

I think you don’t understand the definition of fascism which is:

Merriam-Webster

Definition of fascism

1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition”

I do not think you can reasonably claim that the City of Mountain View has a “centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader”. You also cannot claim that there exists “severe economic and social regimentation” given that the CSFRA does have “due-process legal proceedings to mitigate a “severe economic regimentation”. Finally you cannot claim that the City of Mountain View commits acts defined as “forcible suppression of opposition”.

I think you might want to rethink the statements you made because it doesn’t seem to agree with the current situation. Using language and expressions like this seems misguided.

I understand that one’s financial interests have been given a major readjustment. But not the way that you described it given above.

Again, what we are discussing is the violation of code of conduct, explicitly agreed to be in compliance by Margaret Abe-Koga when she signed the Code of Conduct agreement and the Oath of Office.


Howard
Registered user
Monta Loma
on Apr 1, 2018 at 11:25 pm
Howard, Monta Loma
Registered user
on Apr 1, 2018 at 11:25 pm
3 people like this

Maybe the citizens that feel betrayed by this council member should file a lawsuit against the city. Mountain View needs more lawyers getting paid by the taxpayers because of measure V.
Maybe we can increase the RHC budget up to 3 or 4 million with extra legal fees?


Gary
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Apr 2, 2018 at 2:44 am
Gary, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Apr 2, 2018 at 2:44 am
5 people like this

Margaret Abe-koga was against rent control when previously on the City Council for 8 years and was against Measure V when she ran again in 2016. In 2016, 6 of 7 members of the MV City Council had been endorsed as candidates by a landlord group. Twi council seats changed occupants after the November 2016 election but it remained that 6 of 7 councilmembers had been endorsed by a landlord group. So for Margaret Abe-Koga to speak for landlords in a political ad is just being open and consistent. The important point is that the City Council will once again put a measure on next November's ballot to repeal or "repeal and replace" (to borrow a phrase) rent control in Mountain View. Landlords need no signstures of voters for a ballot measure - landlords have 6 of 7 councilmembers. The administrative cost of Measure V is NOTHING compared to the $1,000 to $2,000 per month rent increases that will follow any repeal of Measure V. I predict that the City Council majority will not propose a simple repeal of V but a replacement that (like the competing measure the Council put on the November 2016 ballot) would NOT REALLY LIMIT RENTS.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2018 at 6:52 am
The Business Man , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 2, 2018 at 6:52 am
5 people like this

In response to Randy repealed you said:

“So for Margaret Abe-Koga to speak for landlords in a political ad is just being open and consistent. The important point is that the City Council will once again put a measure on next November's ballot to repeal or "repeal and replace" (to borrow a phrase) rent control in Mountain View. Landlords need no signstures of voters for a ballot measure - landlords have 6 of 7 councilmembers. ”

The City Council cannot place a Charter Amendment ballot question on the ballot. They are limited by the Charter by the following:

“Section 506. - Powers vested in the council.

All powers of the city, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS CHARTER, shall be vested in the council, and said council may establish the method by which any of such powers may be exercised.”

Thus if powers are preempted by the City Charter, as the CSFRA has done, the council is prohibited from interfering with the City Charter as a Whole. The public should be aware of this.

Insofar as the limitations on the city council regarding a ballot measure please refer to section 513:

“Section 513. - Council action.

Legislative action shall be taken by the council ONLY BY MEANS OF AN ORDINANCE, RESOLUTION OR MINUTE ACTION DULY RECORDED IN THE OFFICIAL MINUTES OF THE CITY COUNCIL. (As amended November 3, 1998.)”

It would seem the only way to place a ballot question for a City Charter amendment is to gather the signatures as was done by the Mountain View Tenants Coalition did for Measure V. If this is not done, the November Ballot for this year or any other year cannot contain a Ballot Measure for City Charter Amendment based on the City Council because they are restricted to ordinances and resolutions.

Why doesn’t the public know this?


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