Santa Clara County's official election results for Super Tuesday are finally in. For Mountain View, that means no changes to rent control, two school bonds and a runoff between Josh Becker and Alex Glew for state Senate.
Mountain View voters overwhelmingly reject Measure D
A City Council-initiated ballot measure that would have altered Mountain View's rent control program was handily defeated by voters last month, with the final vote tally showing more than two-thirds of ballots were cast in opposition to the measure.
With all of the ballots now counted, a total of 15,399 residents voted against the measure, just shy of 70%, while 6,709 voted in favor of it. The total vote count was 22,108, making voter turnout around 58% in the city -- higher than the Santa Clara County average of 52.1%, and similar to that of the 2016 primary election.
Measure D was the first chance for voters to consider changes to the city's rent control law since it was passed by voters in 2016. The campaign was spearheaded by council members, who said its concessions to landlords were a fair way to balance out rent control in a compromise that both property owners and tenants could accept.
Despite attempts to build a consensus, the measure was staunchly opposed by tenant advocates, mobile home residents and local chapters of the Santa Clara County Democratic Party and the League of Women Voters.
The election took some unexpected turns leading up to election day. The California Apartment Association (CAA), a major lobbying group opposed to rent control, actively campaigned in favor of Measure D despite the proposed changes leaving much of Mountain View's rent control law intact. Mountain View's largest mobile home park owner, John Vidovich, campaigned against the measure, even though it explicitly excluded mobile home owners and renters from benefiting from rent control.
Voters will face another proposal to weaken rent control in Mountain View this fall. A CAA-initiated measure that would render rent control unenforceable received enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. During the campaign for Measure D, the CAA vowed to drop its support for the measure if Measure D passed.
Measure T school bond coasts to victory
From the moment the first election results came in on Tuesday, March 3, Mountain View Whisman School District officials and parents leaders were ready to celebrate, confident that the district's $259 million Measure T bond would pass.
Since then, the margin of victory has only widened. The final vote count released Wednesday shows that 13,285 (69.5%) of district voters supported the measure, with 30.50% (5,831) opposed, well beyond the required 55% yes-vote needed to pass.
The bond measure takes on several major priorities laid out by district staff last year, including $60 million earmarked for construction costs for a 144-unit workforce housing project planned at 777 W. Middlefield Road.
More than one-third of the bond money, just over $102 million, will go toward school improvements at sites throughout district, ranging from energy efficiency upgrades and teacher storage to security measures to limit public access during school hours.
Measure T was passed just seven months after district officials announced that previous bond funds, made available through the $198 million Measure G in 2012, had been completely exhausted. What's more, the district incurred more debt when it borrowed $40 million to supplement Measure G for the construction of Vargas Elementary School, which now must be paid back.
Under the district's Measure T spending plan, $40 million of the newly passed bond will be spent wiping away that debt, freeing general fund money to be spent on salaries and classroom activities.
District 13 State Senate race: Becker, Glew to move forward
Moving ahead to the General Election to represent District 13 in the California State Senate are Democrat Josh Becker and Republican Alex Glew.
District 13 includes about 1 million residents and covers the Peninsula from South San Francisco to Sunnyvale, and along the coast from north of Pacifica to Ano Nuevo State Park.
Becker, a Menlo Park resident, had a strong lead with 66,428 votes, or 23.8% in the seven-way race, while Glew, who lives in Los Altos, came in second with 48,378 votes, or 17.3%.
Other contenders were Democrat Sally Lieber of Mountain View with 47,773 votes, trailing Glew by 605 votes. Next came Democrat Sally Masur at 45,211 votes; Democrat Annie Oliva at 33,311 votes; Democrat Mike Brownrigg at 32,481 votes and Libertarian John Webster at 5,910 votes.
Voters back bond measure for community college district while parcel tax falls short
Final election results confirm the early outcomes for a Foothill-De Anza Community College District bond and parcel tax: the former has been approved, while the latter failed.
58.8% of voters — above the 55% threshold for passage — supported the $898 million Measure G, the largest school bond in Santa Clara County's history. The bond will cover about 60% of the estimated $1.5 billion in infrastructure and capital needs at the community colleges in Los Altos Hills and Cupertino, from student and staff housing to technology and security upgrades.
Measure H, however, failed to reach the two-thirds, or 66.6%, in support needed to pass, with 62.61%. The $48 parcel tax would have provided the two community colleges with approximately $5.6 million annually over five years to help fund housing assistance for students and staff, mental health services, tutoring and services to address student food insecurity and homelessness.