News

Letters to the editor

Letters about rent control, school principal

Kim Thompson honored

A surprise celebration on Friday for Kim Thompson, principal of Graham Middle School, showed an outpouring of community support. Over 150 teachers, parents, students and community leaders expressed thanks to Thompson, who has been a teacher in the Mountain View Whisman School District for 10 years and principal at Graham for eight.

Steve Chesley led the evening of moving, and often humorous, tributes. Students spoke about how Thompson helped shaped their characters, "even when they didn't deserve it." Others spoke of how she taught them how to discover their potential and excel in school. Teachers acknowledged her personal mentoring and legacy of building an award-winning school, with a focus on high academics, STEM, fine arts, and extracurricular activities for all. Project Cornerstone parents admired her strong integration of values and ethics into the school environment. A volunteer described a gang-free school, one where almost no student is expelled and almost all advance on to high school -- a school with active involvement of parents, one with volunteer scientists and mentors, and one where students greet you with a "hello" when you walk down the halls.

Among the large turnout of Latino ELAC parents, many spoke emotionally about the woman who "showed us the best in a principal." They valued their years of workshops where they learned to be leaders and advocates for their children. Countless community members contributed to a memory book, filled with letters and photos. A Mountain View police school resource officer wrote, "I truly believe that one of the many reasons why you were so successful at Graham was simply how much you loved the students. This could also be said for the way you treated your faculty members. All of the students knew they were loved (even when they were in trouble), and knew that you genuinely cared about them, and wanted the absolute best for them."

The evening concluded with tears and hugs, given to a dedicated and visionary educator who has "made a difference on a grander scale."

Marilyn Winkleby, former Graham parent and volunteer

Joey Ordonez, Graham & community engagement facilitator

Measure V "amendment"

The League of Women Voters of Los Altos-Mountain View spent the last year studying rent control and programs for just cause for eviction in California in order to understand implementation of the Mountain View charter amendment. Our findings showed that rent stabilization and programs for just cause for eviction in California that are fair and reasonable to landlords and tenants are beneficial to the community.

The league finds that the community benefits when:

* People have stable housing and can afford to live near their work

* Businesses have access to workers of all skill and socioeconomic levels

* Rent stabilization is cost neutral to the city. (A fee paid by landlords covers the costs.)

The league supports the rent stabilization and just cause provisions in Measure V and is concerned with the efforts to "amend" Measure V. The proposed "amendment" changes the vacancy rate trigger for turning off rent stabilization to a vacancy rate above 3 percent instead of the 5 percent used in Measure V. For the last decade, the vacancy rate has consistently been above 3 percent and typically in the 4 percent range. The change in the vacancy rate would effectively repeal Measure V/rent stabilization.

Although some of the tweaks in the petition may have some validity, Measure V would be totally repealed by the lower 3 percent vacancy rate.

The LWV urges: Don't sign the petition to put the "amendment" on the ballot.

Donna Yobs

Housing committee co-chair

LWV of the Los Altos/Mountain View area

Send letters to the editor to letters@mv-voice.com.

Comments

31 people like this
Posted by Graham Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 6, 2018 at 7:42 pm

Superintendent Rudolph and the School Board could learn a few things about how we treat our educators in this town. We treat them like human beings, not human capital. We recognize their decades of commitment, caring, professionalism, sacrifice and loyalty to our communities! We thank them for their service with heartfelt appreciation! We don't just dump on them and then cover our mistakes with lots of false claims about data and surveys and rankings.

Recall the School Board. Fire Rudolph.


31 people like this
Posted by It's Only Fair
a resident of North Whisman
on May 6, 2018 at 8:58 pm

What is with you people that you have to post the same treads over and over again. Try at least waiting a week before posting the same thing again. You are doing this every 1 to 2 days, why? Do you think people are not smart enough to read the initiative themself's? You must think they are brain dead and just waiting for the higher ups to tell them what to do?

Read the other threads already about this people, you are a lot smarter than what these others think you are.

Why does not the LMV offer to pay the $2.6 million dollar bill for this new government bureaucracy, the Rent Control known as Measure V, instead of sticking this bill to the landlords. If they did that, then they might have some credibility in making such decisions.

I signed it!


12 people like this
Posted by It's Only Fair
a resident of North Whisman
on May 6, 2018 at 9:26 pm

P.S
Here is my post that I posted 2 days ago.


on May 4, 2018 at 6:54 pm

How nice of the LMV to stick it to a minority group of Mom and Pop business owners who are providing a valuable service. Is this the only answer they have to solve the affordability issue? Surly they could do better than that, but I guess as long as they do not have to pay their fair share and help to solve the issue, they are just fine with giving the bills to others.

Does the LMV object to landlords selling their property for redevelopment as well? Will you oppose any restrictions on that? Or will you force a landlord, no matter what, to stay in business.

If you have no problems with taking away property rights thru mob rules, then you have no morals or equal treatment under the law.

P.S
I signed it!!


21 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 6, 2018 at 11:03 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to It's Only Fair you said:

“What is with you people that you have to post the same treads over and over again. Try at least waiting a week before posting the same thing again. You are doing this every 1 to 2 days, why? Do you think people are not smart enough to read the initiative themself's? You must think they are brain dead and just waiting for the higher ups to tell them what to do?

Read the other threads already about this people, you are a lot smarter than what these others think you are.”

Boy if this is not a hostile attitude, what else is it? You also said:

“Why does not the LMV offer to pay the $2.6 million dollar bill for this new government bureaucracy, the Rent Control known as Measure V, instead of sticking this bill to the landlords. If they did that, then they might have some credibility in making such decisions.”

Not their responsibility, that is the responsibility of the landlords. Sorry. You also said:

“How nice of the LMV to stick it to a minority group of Mom and Pop business owners who are providing a valuable service. Is this the only answer they have to solve the affordability issue? Surly they could do better than that, but I guess as long as they do not have to pay their fair share and help to solve the issue, they are just fine with giving the bills to others.”

The League of Women Voters of Los Altos-Mountain View are a non-partisan, public interest group, which has been an example of fair representation of everyone. The fact is that landlords are not a recognized “minority” group. Landlords are for-profit, and chose to be in the business. If they don’t want to own apartments in Mountain View, they can sell them to someone else. Given the “Supply-side” economics of apartments in California via Costa Hawkins, they only have themselves to blame for the current problems. If you want to become non-profit businesses, then we can discuss a public financed solution, but without that, you have the right to leave Mountain View under the Ellis Act. You also said:

“Does the LMV object to landlords selling their property for redevelopment as well? Will you oppose any restrictions on that? Or will you force a landlord, no matter what, to stay in business.”

The Ellis Act prohibits that. Why are you asking questions that make no sense? You can choose to sell your property or just leave it empty. But you know that has a serious cost to the option of going without any rent income. You also said:

“If you have no problems with taking away property rights thru mob rules, then you have no morals or equal treatment under the law.”

Given that property owners do have due process regarding petitions, that claim seems to be very inaccurate. Making claims and statements like this simply is an emotional expression of frustration, not an expression based on reality. You finally said:

“I signed it!!”

Of course you did, you’re a landlord in Mountain View, I know who you are because I have observed your behavior at the City Council and the RHC. It is in your monetary interest to gut the CSFRA


16 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 6, 2018 at 11:07 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to It's Only Fair you said:

“What is with you people that you have to post the same treads over and over again. Try at least waiting a week before posting the same thing again. You are doing this every 1 to 2 days, why? Do you think people are not smart enough to read the initiative themself's? You must think they are brain dead and just waiting for the higher ups to tell them what to do?

Read the other threads already about this people, you are a lot smarter than what these others think you are.”

If you notice, the listing is in multiple categories listed as “Schools & Kids” and “Other Issues” so this article satisfies multiple categories, that is why it came up multiple times. Boy if this is not a hostile attitude, what else is it?


12 people like this
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 7, 2018 at 1:32 am

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to ex-Hooli person you said:

“Ian, thank you, you asked a respectful question; I'll answer in kind. In the spirit of This American Life's "Red State, Blue State" episode, my goal will not be to persuade you, but rather to inform you of my beliefs and opinions without seeking to change yours.”

My only response is that the term beliefs causes me concern because beleifs are defined as :

“Definition of belief

1 : a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing her belief in God a belief in democracy I bought the table in the belief that it was an antique. contrary to popular belief”

This definition does not in fact make a “belief” a “fact” or “evidence” the definition goes on to say:

“2 : something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion : something believed an individual's religious or political beliefs; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group the beliefs of the Catholic Church”

I respect your opinion regarding this definition. But most importantly, your belief does not mean it is validated with evidence. So I find your own words limits the validity of your claims. Finally then there is this part of the definition:

“3 : conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence belief in the validity of scientific statements”

This is where I find the most problems. The fact is that any “scientific” study of economics presented has been done without the required conflict of interest disclosures established since 2012 found here (Web Link). So the validity of such economic “research” is highly suspect. This has been the most significant problem regarding public policy in the U.S. Allowing private interests to manipulate “science” to benefit a private interest. My only requirement is that at this time, only “public” funded research, performed by those with no association with any private interest, should be considered valid research. You also said:

“For me, it's both a practical issue and a moral issue. Starting with the practical issue, I have known Mountain View for decades, and I miss the fruit trees and suburban elbow room. Those days are over. We have crowding and congestion. Nothing will turn back the clock.”

I cannot agree with you, it will take radical redesign of the current land and roadways to achieve optimal resource allocation though. This is difficult and requires significant “modeling” and “planning” before taking rash actions. You did say:

“You are incorrect in claiming that I want people to leave. For anyone who wants to live here, at any income level, I want to make room and welcome them into comfortable, reasonably priced housing--new folks and long-time residents alike.”

However, what solution are you providing other than your claim that:

“I believe that private investment is the best vehicle to create new housing. I believe that we are in the midst of such a dire housing shortage, our ambivalent pace of new construction only slows the rate at which we're falling behind.”

Given that Costa Hawkins in effect provided the lowering of risk but preserving high return on investment. I simply claim that the government has nothing to do with your claim. If good projects were designed, and thus good resource allocation was proven, the projects would have been approved. You also said:

“NIMBYs and rental market antagonists point to ever-rising rental prices and claim that we can never solve the problem by building housing, so let's just freeze rents for current occupants, prevent all future construction, and build a "big, beautiful wall" to exclude the foreigners.”

The current situation is proof that your “belief” has been based on false pretenses. I know it is difficult to accept responsibility when one “games” the market, then causes the market to fail to provide services, and then has been required to take responsibility for it. You also said:

“I think that's selfish and intellectually dishonest, or perhaps just naive. Prices are rising because we aren't building enough housing. That's supply and demand. Supply is constrained and demand is rising, so prices rise. To shift the curve downward, build more housing. City government officials know that their bread is buttered by resisting growth and change. Getting approval to build housing is a Sisyphean challenge even for the deep-pocketed corporations with the money and patience to survive the ordeal. Nit-picking drives up costs to exhorbitant levels and reduces density to thwart the demand-slaking effectiveness and profitability of the whole venture.”

I cannot agree with this because careful plans prevent unplanned consequences of rash decisions. One should carefully think before they act. You also said:

“With a ballot proposition coming up to repeal Costa-Hawkins, there's no sane investor who would consider plowing capital into this dead-end California rental housing market. Costa-Hawkins was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in order to give investors confidence that they could build housing in California and earn a profit.”

But they did not provide from as small as 1.5 million to as high as 4 million apartment units the state is lacking. The CAA, CAR, and the like had 20+ years to prove that “Supply-side” economics solves the market problems. It failed. You went on to say:

“I won't invest my life savings here if there's an imminent risk that my profits will be confiscated and redistributed.”

We do not believe in forcing anyone to do anything. You have the right not to invest. But the “market” can and will eventually find others that will invest. “You” are not specifically needed to be a part of this market. “You” can choose simply not to participate. You went on to say:

“The passage of Costa-Hawkins was solicited by San Francisco officials because their rent control laws had caused a complete halt in rental housing development. Costa-Hawkins was a big success in restoring investor appetite for rental housing development.”

Again, that claim has been proven to be a failure. What did occur is that only “luxury” housing investments were made, those too high to satisfy the market, thus resulting in the 1.5 or 4 million unit deficit we have in California. You also said:

“The biggest obstacle is regulatory barriers and regressive land use planning (i.e. NIMBYism). I'm disappointed that Scott Wiener's housing bill recently failed; that would have been a big help.”

You propose that the local government should be prevented from assessing projects and the impact it would have on their community. That was the essence of the Weiner proposal. You went on to say:

“Regarding the moral argument, I feel strongly but I see little point in discussing it.”

I respect your feelings, but I cannot agree with them.


15 people like this
Posted by ah - Business Man?
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 7, 2018 at 10:18 am

you THE MAN, but you are posting tooooooo much and toooooo many times


17 people like this
Posted by @ah-Business Man?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 7, 2018 at 4:41 pm

LOL,
It's called spam, and nobody reads spam.


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

Trials of My Grandmother
By Aldis Petriceks | 2 comments | 1,172 views

Lakes and Larders (part 2)
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 926 views