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7PUFST(VJEF MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE ( ELECT O N ( 12 (2 0 School district seeks $198 million bond By Nick Veronin O PHOTOS BY VERONICA WEBER State Senate candidates are, from left, Jerry Hill, Sally Lieber, John Webster and Christopher Chiang. Peninsula to elect new state senator By Gennady Sheyner T o the average Peninsula voter, Brisbane and Sunnyvale have little in common. The former is a small, industrial suburb on San Francisco’s doorstep, the latter a high-tech hub in the heart of Silicon Valley. But to Assemblyman Jerry Hill, the two municipalities are facing many of the same issues, from concerns over Caltrain’s survival and high-tech jobs to open-space preservation and airport noise. Hill, whose 19th district includes most of San Mateo County (including Brisbane), is the frontrunner in a four-way race to replace the termed-out state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, in the newly redrawn District 13. If Hill wins, his constituency would encapsulate much of his existing district in San Mateo County and the northern part of Santa Clara County, including Palo Alto and Mountain View. Hill’s most formidable opponent, Mountain View’s Sally Lieber, is approaching the race from the other side, both geographically and politically. While Hill touts his ability to find the middle ground and get along with a wide spectrum of constituents (his website includes a list of roughly 400 endorsements), Lieber embraces her image as a firebrand who fights for the needy and the disenfranchised. “I’ve never been the favored candidate of the powers that be,” she proudly proclaimed at a recent interview. Also on the ballot are ChristoSee STATE SENATE, page 26 Three elected officials vie for 5th District supervisor seat CHANG, WANG HAVE EXPERIENCE, BUT SIMITIAN’S THE 800-POUND GORILLA By Chris Kenrick C alifornia State Sen. Joe Simitian is the 800-pound gorilla in this November’s three-way race to represent northern Santa Clara County on the Board of Supervisors. The two other candidates for the board’s 5th District seat — two-time Cupertino Mayor Kris Huyilan Wang and Cupertino City Councilman Barry Chang — also have credible records in local elected office. But neither Chang nor Wang approaches the widespread name recognition enjoyed by the 59-year-old Simitian, gained over three decades in elected office, beginning with the Palo Alto Board of Education and moving through the Palo Alto City Council, county Board of Supervisors, California Assembly and California Senate. Termed out of the Senate this year, Simitian is circling back to seek for the second time a seat on the county board, where current Supervisor Liz Kniss will be termed out and is herself circling back to vie for a spot on the Palo Alto City Council. Such are the effects of term limits on the local political landscape. A run for Congress would be a logical next step for Simitian, but Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, a close friend of Simitian’s first elected to Congress in 1992, announced in August she will seek re-election this year. Con- gress is not subject to term limits, which were imposed on the state Legislature by California voters in 1990. Chang, who holds a master’s in civil engineering from the University of Cincinnati, is a Realtor. He was elected to the Cupertino Union School District Board of Education in 1995 and re-elected in 1999. He served four years on the Cupertino Public Safety Commission and was elected to the City Council in 2009. His long-running, outspoken crusade against the 73-year-old Lehigh Permanente quarry and cement plant led to a public chastising by County Executive Jeffrey Smith last spring over his behavior at two public meetings. fficials with the local elementary and middle school district are asking voters to approve a $198 million bond measure to modernize and improve school facilities and safety infrastructure. The proposed bond, which will appear on the June 5 ballot, would be supported by area home owners who would pay up to $30 per $100,000 of assessed property value for 25 years. It requires a yes vote of 55 percent to pass. It would come on top of Measure C, the eight-year, $3 million voter-approved parcel tax that went into effect in 2009. Depending on parcel size, property owners are assessed anywhere from nearly $150 to over $1,000 a year under Measure C. Money generated by the passage of the bond cannot be used for teacher or administrator salaries. Proponents of Measure G say the Mountain View Whisman School District needs the money to pay for an array of projects at all nine of its campuses — including major structural repairs, safety and accessibility improvements, technological upgrades, and the construction of new, energy efficient classrooms, along with the removal of permanent and portable structures past their prime. Opponents of the bond claim that the district should have sought more community input and overlooked simpler, more cost-effective solutions. The district’s student population is projected to swell to as many as 5,500 children over the next five years, according to Fiona Walter, a district trustee. In order to accommodate that growth, she said, the district will have to build more classrooms, purchase new equipment and, in all likelihood, reopen the Whisman campus. All of that will take money, Walter said. “We need to be proactive and have the money in hand.” Beyond being prepared for an influx of students, Walter noted that an overhaul of some of the district’s older buildings and facilities is in order. “With 50- to 60-yearold buildings, the majority of maintenance requirements can’t be covered by our annual budget,” she said. There are some multipurpose rooms in the district that don’t meet current seismic codes, and there are fire alarm systems that aren’t connected to one another and don’t communicate directly with the fire department. While Mountain View residents Steve Nelson and Alan J. Keith say they are all for ensuring the future prosperity of local schools, they take issue with much of Measure G Measure G. Both Nelson and Keith signed the “Arguments Against Measure G” in the Santa Clara County voter guide. Nelson and Keith charge that district officials have failed to present the community with a detailed vision for how the money will be spent and that the board of trustees, along with district administrators, did not secure adequate public input before placing the bond proposal on the ballot. Nelson said he was particularly concerned with what he referred to as a “laundry list” of projects under the district’s Student Facility Improvement Plan, which outlines everything district officials believe their schools need. Although the plan (or “Master Plan” as it is alternately called) sorts projects into three priority levels, Nelson dislikes that it does not organize each See MEASURE G, page 27 See DISTRICT 5, page 26 May 11, 2012 ■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ 25

Mountain View Voice 05.11.2012 - Section 2

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