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Guest opinion: Read the text. Follow the money. Vote no on D.

The text:

1) 10% Annual Rent Increase Limit Section 1707(e) The overall Rent increase in any twelve-month period shall not exceed ten percent (10%) of the Rent actually charged to the Tenant, including any Rent increase authorized pursuant to Section 1710(e) of this Article. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the overall Rent increase in any twelve-month period may exceed ten-percent (10%) of the Rent actually charged to the Tenant only if that Rent increase is pursuant to a decision of a Hearing Officer or the Committee as a result of a Landlord Petition pursuant to Section 1710(a) of this Article.

2) Integrity and Autonomy of Committee Section 1709(k) The committee has the "duty to implement this Article and any other obligations properly delegated to it by the City Council."

3) Composition (of the Rental Housing Commission) Section 1709(a) "the City Council may appoint an otherwise eligible person who is not a Mountain View resident to the Committee so long as the person maintains an ownership or trusteeship interest in one or more Covered Rental Units."

What does the text mean?

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1) Rental increases are 10%, not the 4% per year as our council authors and the California Apartment Association would want us to believe. Measure D allows temporary rent increases of 10% to cover an expense that "extends the useful life of the Covered Rental Unit." Does this mean that costs to replace countertops and paint will be passed on each year to tenants? That will be up to our newly "composed" Rental Housing Commission.

2) The Rental Housing Commission will now take its direction from the council. The RHC is no longer an independent body and as such will be subject to the priorities and agenda of the sitting council.

3) Measure D allows for two of its five members to be nonresident property owners or their representatives.

Follow the money

Recent donations for Yes on D include $83,000 from Prometheus Real Estate Group, $50,000 from Richard Tod Spieker, $27,000 from Acco Management, and $7,000 from Real Housing Santa Rosa. Only Acco Management is a Mountain View entity. The organization collecting the funds, Mountain View Residents for Renter, Homeowner & Taxpayer Protections, is sponsored by the California Apartment Association and headquartered in Marin. Yes on D signs were funded by Grand Fir, a Sunnyvale apartment company. Mountain View residents are not the ones driving this.

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Joshua Howard of the CAA says Measure D will end "divisive rent control fights." Is that because it opens the door for industry lawyers to sit and vote on the Rental Housing Commission? Yes, Measure D opens that door.

Let's keep local government local. Let's have a city government that prioritizes the people of Mountain View ahead of business and profits.

Measure D ends rent control protections and community oversight, and hands the power to landlords and property owners.

Read the text. Follow the money. Vote no on Measure D.

Dave Arnone is a 25-year resident of Mountain View.

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

Guest opinion: Read the text. Follow the money. Vote no on D.

by /

Uploaded: Fri, Feb 28, 2020, 9:56 am

The text:

1) 10% Annual Rent Increase Limit Section 1707(e) The overall Rent increase in any twelve-month period shall not exceed ten percent (10%) of the Rent actually charged to the Tenant, including any Rent increase authorized pursuant to Section 1710(e) of this Article. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the overall Rent increase in any twelve-month period may exceed ten-percent (10%) of the Rent actually charged to the Tenant only if that Rent increase is pursuant to a decision of a Hearing Officer or the Committee as a result of a Landlord Petition pursuant to Section 1710(a) of this Article.

2) Integrity and Autonomy of Committee Section 1709(k) The committee has the "duty to implement this Article and any other obligations properly delegated to it by the City Council."

3) Composition (of the Rental Housing Commission) Section 1709(a) "the City Council may appoint an otherwise eligible person who is not a Mountain View resident to the Committee so long as the person maintains an ownership or trusteeship interest in one or more Covered Rental Units."

What does the text mean?

1) Rental increases are 10%, not the 4% per year as our council authors and the California Apartment Association would want us to believe. Measure D allows temporary rent increases of 10% to cover an expense that "extends the useful life of the Covered Rental Unit." Does this mean that costs to replace countertops and paint will be passed on each year to tenants? That will be up to our newly "composed" Rental Housing Commission.

2) The Rental Housing Commission will now take its direction from the council. The RHC is no longer an independent body and as such will be subject to the priorities and agenda of the sitting council.

3) Measure D allows for two of its five members to be nonresident property owners or their representatives.

Follow the money

Recent donations for Yes on D include $83,000 from Prometheus Real Estate Group, $50,000 from Richard Tod Spieker, $27,000 from Acco Management, and $7,000 from Real Housing Santa Rosa. Only Acco Management is a Mountain View entity. The organization collecting the funds, Mountain View Residents for Renter, Homeowner & Taxpayer Protections, is sponsored by the California Apartment Association and headquartered in Marin. Yes on D signs were funded by Grand Fir, a Sunnyvale apartment company. Mountain View residents are not the ones driving this.

Joshua Howard of the CAA says Measure D will end "divisive rent control fights." Is that because it opens the door for industry lawyers to sit and vote on the Rental Housing Commission? Yes, Measure D opens that door.

Let's keep local government local. Let's have a city government that prioritizes the people of Mountain View ahead of business and profits.

Measure D ends rent control protections and community oversight, and hands the power to landlords and property owners.

Read the text. Follow the money. Vote no on Measure D.

Dave Arnone is a 25-year resident of Mountain View.

Comments

Steven Nelson
Cuesta Park
on Feb 28, 2020 at 11:36 am
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
on Feb 28, 2020 at 11:36 am
2 people like this

I approve the above Guest Opinion. As a major donor to the NO On D campaign committee, I have 'just a little skin in the game'. I am no longer a landlord (was in Santa Cruz, gave that up 18 years ago).

Reading the actual text of a statute/City Charter change, is the best way for voters to see the intent of the authors. This Measure D was absolutely NOT a unanimous decision of our Council, including past so-so supporters of some form of rent stabilization (or "rent control" if you must). The majority of our Council, that formulated and passed this Measure (formed in a subcommittee) knew exactly what they were doing, and how far they could push to get a Council majority. That was all they needed - to hit the Election!

Please vote NO On Measure D. IMO it does not 'compromise' enough on the improvements to rent control that are obviously needed.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Feb 28, 2020 at 1:19 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Feb 28, 2020 at 1:19 pm
3 people like this

I concurr.

Especially when the proponents claim it does not have a static rent increase, when the text actually does declare one. It says when passed that:

MEASURE D MODIFIES IT TO READ:

“The Annual General Adjustment shall be equal to four percent ( 4%) to be effective on September 1, 2020.”

The word SHALL means it is MANDATORY. If the word was MAY, then they would be telling the truth. The City cannot change this unless another ballot measure rewrites this rewrite. But the City Council constantly LIES by saying it is NOT STATIC.

THIS is grounds alone to never EVER trust the City Council in any way.


Old Mtn View
Old Mountain View
on Feb 28, 2020 at 3:13 pm
Old Mtn View, Old Mountain View
on Feb 28, 2020 at 3:13 pm
21 people like this

Interesting that this article doesn't include a link to the actual proposal. To me it seems a bit of a grudge piece. We get one article from the Mayor in favor of the measure then multiple opinion pieces against. Where is the balance here? The paper does not look impartial.

This article is misleading. Makes people fear they are voting for a mandatory 10% increase but they're not.

People who say things like so-and-so LIES (their capitalization) you should just ignore. It's based on anger and emotion and not the facts.. This "business man" guy lurks on these forums and has been discredited before for these angry trolling. Yeah, you're a troll, dude. You rant.

Do I have rental property in town? No. Do I think a fraction of the costs of all maintenance should be passed to the renters? Yes, of course. If you replace the kitchen counters every 10 years, I suppose a yearly increase equal to 1/10 is fine on top of whatever else, to quote the example above. Should you pay a fraction of the cost of an earthquake retrofit on these old buildings if you live there? Sure, I have no issue with that. We do not want red tape to stop a landlord from doing work, else the market will sort this out (landlords will sell).

The sky is not falling, Chicken Little. This is no huge deal from what I can tell.

Let's stop posting articles calling each other liars. This is what makes the Internet suck. People can't talk facts and they rant.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Feb 28, 2020 at 3:56 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Feb 28, 2020 at 3:56 pm
3 people like this

In response to Old Mtn View you said:

“Interesting that this article doesn't include a link to the actual proposal. To me it seems a bit of a grudge piece. We get one article from the Mayor in favor of the measure then multiple opinion pieces against. Where is the balance here? The paper does not look impartial.”

There is no real Mayor of Mountain View, she was NOT elected to office by voters, and HAS NO ADMINISTRAIVE POWER under the City Charter. As regards to balance, that is because there are very few Mountain View residents writing support for Measure D, it is not by design, but by effect. Don’t you know that?

You said

“This article is misleading. Makes people fear they are voting for a mandatory 10% increase but they're not.”

WHERE DOES IT SAY SO IN THE MEASURE THAT IT IS NOT CORRECT?

Please read the following in the measure (:

“( e) Increases for Specified Capital Improvements. A Landlord pursuing an eligible Capital Improvement may seek reimbursement for all or a portion of the approved costs of that eligible Capital Improvement by way of a temporary Rent increase in accordance with this Section 1710(e).”

Thus, ANY landlord could force an improvement on the unit not necessarily just to maintain the inhabitability of the unit, but to “jack up” the units existing value and be given “preapproval” to raise the rent as much as 10%. And this is without any hearings. So what do you think is going to happen? The landlords will take advantage of this provision and in effect constructively evict the existing tenant by forcing a price increase witout even a petition hearing. Why should that happen?

You said:

“People who say things like so-and-so LIES (their capitalization) you should just ignore. It's based on anger and emotion and not the facts.. This "business man" guy lurks on these forums and has been discredited before for these angry trolling. Yeah, you're a troll, dude. You rant.”

That is your opinion, but I am providing an allowed counter argument to any misrepresentations made on this forum, and I do so without personal attacks. Just observable actions and that is it You said:

“Do I have rental property in town? No. Do I think a fraction of the costs of all maintenance should be passed to the renters? Yes, of course.”

But maintenance is not improvements that is clearly different even though you do not perceive it. You said:

“If you replace the kitchen counters every 10 years, I suppose a yearly increase equal to 1/10 is fine on top of whatever else, to quote the example above.”

Is replacing them maintain the existing quality of the unit, or are you “upgrading” it? There is a big difference there and you know it. You said:

“Should you pay a fraction of the cost of an earthquake retrofit on these old buildings if you live there? Sure, I have no issue with that. We do not want red tape to stop a landlord from doing work, else the market will sort this out (landlords will sell).”

Anyone in this business or considering going into this business has had full awareness that this was expected. The retrofit laws are actually quite old, and cities like Mountain View have allowed these business to operate in violation of the laws for years. It goes all the way back to 1971. Without the retrofits, the buildings are not allowed to be operated as residences. As far as selling, I have no argument with it, but their prices will be ridiculously low because they are not up to code.


Follow All the Money
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2020 at 7:32 pm
Follow All the Money, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2020 at 7:32 pm
1 person likes this

All this talk about following the money, what about the near $100,000 being spent by mobile home park owner/landlord VO, so there is big money interest for and against this measure. Seems like either way, some wealth group feels they have an inside track to benefit?

Seeing mailers saying mobile home residents are against Measure D, with the disclosure notice at the mailer that the ad was paid by their park's landlord, something is amiss.


Local
Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 29, 2020 at 4:13 am
Local, Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 29, 2020 at 4:13 am
18 people like this

I agree with Old Mountain View, above. It's interesting that the Mountain View Voice (laughable paper name, since the editor and all of the actual reporters are from cities other than Mountain View) lets one person give a "pro" Measure D opinion, and then they follow with several "anti" measure D opinions. They published the "anti" D opinions when it was too late to counteract them in their paper. Is that fair and balanced? This "guest opinion" is a perfect example of the misleading posts that suggest results that are not based on reality or fact.
Rent control is outlawed in most states in the nation for a reason: it is very counterproductive and leads to less units available. Many apartment owners, under rent control, eventually are forced to sell their buildings as they can no longer cover their expenses and make any profit. The majority of Mountain View landlords have small buildings - perhaps 4 to 8 units. People don't buy apartment buildings as a charity - and they have a right to make at least some income, don't you think?
Buildings in MV are already being converted to "for sale" condos, and more will follow if Measure D is passed. It's a fact the Voice doesn't want you to know.


local
Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 29, 2020 at 4:32 am
local, Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 29, 2020 at 4:32 am
2 people like this

I was told my last sentence is confusing on my post last night. I think it does read rather opposite of what I mean, as I omitted a word and meant to say "if Measure D is NOT passed". If Measure D FAILS, we can expect more apartments to be converted to condos, as landlords won't be able to make a living if they cannot cover expenses. Measure D is sensible, rational and fair to both the landlord and the tenant. Unfortunately, the opposition is often quite extreme, and that never works out well. Again - take a warning from the majority of states and look closely at the damage rent control can bring. D is fair, and only allows small increases in rent to cover upgrades. Please read it over, and decide with facts, truth and rational arguments.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Feb 29, 2020 at 7:34 am
The Business Man, Castro City
on Feb 29, 2020 at 7:34 am
1 person likes this

In response to Local who said:

“Rent control is outlawed in most states in the nation for a reason: it is very counterproductive and leads to less units available.”

WRONG it is outlawed because those with money “bought” the research and dictated the outcomes. And where there is the strongest laws against rent control is where the worst shortages of housing exist. Talking about misleading you said:

“Many apartment owners, under rent control, eventually are forced to sell their buildings as they can no longer cover their expenses and make any profit.”

RENT CONTROL IS NOT THE PROBLEM, THESE PEOPLE RELIED ON A FALSE PREMISE THAT BY SIMPLY OWNING A BUILDING THEY SHOULD HAVE A GUARRANTEED LEVEL OF PROFIT THEY DEMANDED, THAT IS WRONG. You said:

“The majority of Mountain View landlords have small buildings - perhaps 4 to 8 units.”

WHAT PROOF DO YOU HAVE FOR THIS STATEMENMT, THE CAA ANDLOCAL LANDLORDS PRVENT ANY DATABASE TO MAINTAIN SUCH A BREAKDOWNN OF LOCAL HOUSING. You said:

“People don't buy apartment buildings as a charity - and they have a right to make at least some income, don't you think?”

IF THEY MAKE GOOD BUSINESS INVESTMENTS, KNOW HOW TO BE EFFICIENT, AND NOT OVERPSEND ON THE PROPERTY, THEY MAKE PROFIT. THE PUBLIC DOES NOT HAVE TO GUARRENTEE THAT THEY MAKE THE PROFITS THEY WERE “PROMISED”. THE REAL ESTATE AGENTS WHO DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT RUNNING AN APARTMENT “PROMISED” THIS PROFIT, THEY JUST WANT TO SELL THE BUILDING AND MAKE THEIR COMMISSION. You said:

“Buildings in MV are already being converted to "for sale" condos, and more will follow if Measure D is passed. It's a fact the Voice doesn't want you to know.”

NOT ANYMORE DUE TO SB330, ANOTHER CLEAR USE OF MISINFORMATION. You said:

“Measure D is sensible, rational and fair to both the landlord and the tenant.”

NO IT IS NOT, IT CREATES A STATIC 4% RENT INCREASE. IT KILLS THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE RHC BY PLACING UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE CITY COUNCIL, IT ALLOWS OUT OF CITY RESIDENTS TO HAVE GOVERNMENT CONTROLS OVER THE CITIZENS OF MOUNTAIN VIEW THAT HAVE A CONFLICT OF INTEREST. You said:

“Unfortunately, the opposition is often quite extreme, and that never works out well. Again - take a warning from the majority of states and look closely at the damage rent control can bring. D is fair, and only allows small increases in rent to cover upgrades. Please read it over, and decide with facts, truth and rational arguments.”

I have demonstrated that is untrue if you read the text. I am willing to repost the truth again if asked.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:47 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:47 pm
Like this comment

Well it looks like the city voted it down by almost a 2 to 1 vote ratio

Wow


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