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PAPA PACKS THEM IN WEEKEND | P.15 JUNE 10, 2011 VOLUME 19, NO. 21 650.964.6300 INSIDE: MOVIES | PAGE 18 Preschool says goodbye and hello City budget relatively painless this year By Nick Veronin in employee compensation costs expected next year. Unions had f the city’s unions can agree previously been asked for $1 milthis week to trim compen- lion in savings. If that’s unsucsation hikes next year by cessful, the backup plan involves $500,000 it appears that the city the elimination of four city jobs, will enjoy a bit of a break from two of which are filled: the fire major budget troubles, thanks department’s public outreach in part to new lease money from person and an assistant at the Google. Mountain View Center for PerCompared to the last few forming Arts. years, much less time was spent Following several tough budwrestling with last-minute city get years, and several more budget problems on Tuesday, likely to be ahead, council memthe week before the city’s 2011- bers expressed their gratitude to 12 general fund budget is due. interim City Manager Melissa With only a few minor tweaks Stevenson Dile and others for made Tuesday, coming up with the budget is a balanced budnow all set for Council members get proposal approval June that does not hope to get the final cut services or 14. The relatively lay employees $500,000 from the off. painless budget is possible partThe biggest city’s unions. ly because the controversy deficit in the apparent Tuescity’s $90 million general fund day was whether to charge a budget recently shrank from $2 facility use fee for each of $2.6 million to $2 million. The the Center for Performing Arts $600,000 difference came from tickets given to non-profits who a new estimate of next year’s use over 10,000 of the free tickets costs that showed a savings of every year for fund-raising and $257,000. Another $357,000 was to promote the arts. Mike Cobb, spared by mustering reserves to board president for the Peninsula pay for predicted takeaways from Youth Theater, said organizathe state. Interim City Manager tions would simply stop using the Melissa Stevenson Dile noted tickets because the fee would not what some council members be affordable. Council members had said in previous meetings agreed that there was no point — there’s no point in having to the fee in that case, and that reserves if you don’t use them. it wasn’t worth the potential loss To fill the new $2 million gap, of revenue to downtown restauthe council supported covering rants and shops caused by fewer 75 percent of it with $380,000 patrons at the theater. in “operational efficiencies” and $1.16 million in annual revenue Strategy will from Google’s latest lease of city reduce reserves property. Council members hope The city proposes using as to get the final $500,000 from much as $1.4 million in reserves the city’s unions, who are not next fiscal year to deal with being asked for a pay cut, but to several predicted costs. The reduce the $3.8 million growth By Daniel DeBolt F amilies and children that have passed through the Los Altos Parent Preschool over the past 13 years showed up at the school’s Los Altos High School campus for a final goodbye Sunday. The preschool, which has been in the community in one form or another for more than 55 years, was notified late last year that its lease would be terminated this summer. The organization had trouble finding a new location that would allow it to offer the same low-cost tuition it has been known for since it was founded. The preschool eventually found a new home at Covington Elementary School in Los Altos. With the move-out day of June 15 fast approaching, the preschool decided to hold a farewell day on June 6, so parents and children could come together “one last time” at the site, which had been the home of the preschool since 1998. “It was a wonderful day,” said Dara Tynefield, board president emeritus of the cooperative. Tynefield advocated strongly for the preschool to stay in its current location at multiple board meetings of the Mountain ViewLos Altos Union High School District. In the end, however, the district maintained that it needed the space occupied by the preschool to accommodate the anticipated growth in its student body. Tynfield, who had been disappointed with the district’s decision, said that everything ultimately worked out. The Los Altos Parent Preschool secured a grant to help them move everything, including their See PRESCHOOL, page 7 INSIDE I MICHELLE LE CELEBRATION TIME It’s a joyful time of year, as excited high school seniors, like this group of Los Altos High School students, celebrate their graduation. The Voice’s special graduation section begins in Section 2 with photos, stories and a list of local graduates. Inks criticizes pay deal with new city manager COUNCIL AGREES TO $240,000 PLUS PERKS, BUT BALKS AT CAR ALLOWANCE By Daniel DeBolt A t Tuesday’s City Council meeting, council member John Inks criticized the $240,000 salary the council approved for new city manager Daniel Rich, saying the council missed a rare opportunity to cut employee costs. “I can’t go along with this,” Inks said. “I support his appointment, not the salary.” Inks was the sole opponent to Rich’s compensation deal approved Tuesday, but the vote on whether to hire Rich was unanimous. “Those of us elected to council don’t get many opportunities to be assertive about containing employee compensation costs,” Inks said. With every new union contract, costs seem to be “spiraling up.” Rich was initially offered a lower salary, but a council majority accepted a higher counter-offer from Rich, Inks said. The council also took note of one Mountain View department head’s relatively high salary in making the See CITY MANAGER, page 7 GOINGS ON 19 | MARKETPLACE 27 | REAL ESTATE 29 | VIEWPOINT 13 See BUDGET, page 9

Mountain View Voice 06.10.2011 - Section 1

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