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Nom Nom Palo Alto WEEKEND | 20 NOVEMBER 22, 2013 VOLUME 21, NO. 43 650.964.6300 MOVIES | 23 Costs going up to park downtown COUNCIL ALSO CALLS FOR STRICTER ENFORCEMENT OF TWO-HOUR TIME LIMIT By Daniel DeBolt T MICHELLE LE Richard Torrez selects groceries at Community Services Agency. He says that with CSA’s help, he is no longer homeless. ‘A hand up, not a hand-out’ COMMUNITY SERVICE AGENCY HELPS THOSE THE ECONOMY LEFT BEHIND By Nick Veronin Mountain View Voice I t’s hard living paycheck to paycheck. It’s even harder if you happen to live in the heart of Silicon Valley, where, over the last 18 months, rents have jumped significantly, according to officials with the 2013 Community Service Agency. “The rents in Mountain View and the surrounding areas have skyrocketed in the past year and a half, and working poor families are just getting squeezed,” says Maureen Wadiak, associate director of CSA, a local non-profit that helps struggling people and See CSA, page 13 hose who drive to work in downtown Mountain View be warned: the city is finally enforcing its two-hour time limits on parking. As the City Council voted to increase parking permit fees Tuesday from $240 to $300 a year, City Manager Dan Rich revealed that the police department has stepped up enforcement of two-hour time limits in city parking lots and streets downtown to encourage purchase of permits for unlimited parking. The city is also looking into purchasing sensors that can tell when a car has overstayed the two-hour limit. Council members noted that the two-hour limits downtown have seen little enforcement in the past. Those likely to face consequences of parking more than two hours are employees who park downtown, those who park and ride on Caltrain and those who attend long lunch meetings. “In Palo Alto I’ve been given tickets when I’m 10 minutes late,” said council member Margaret- Abe-Koga. In Mountain View “I’ve had times where I’ve been 30 minutes late and we just don’t have that kind of staffing.” “People get shocked when they’ve parked in a place for hours and hours and someone starts enforcing it,” said council member Ronit Bryant. “It is like, ‘what’s going on here?’ It is important to really widely publicize it.” To park longer than two hours and avoid a $36 ticket, drivers must purchase a daily, monthly, quarterly or annual permit at City Hall, which can be highly inconvenient for those wishing to spend one day downtown, some said. “Who is going to go downtown to city hall to buy a daily pass? It doesn’t make sense,” said Dan Smolkin, who said he represented a downtown business. Council members discussed the possibility of placing permit machines in downtown parking lots where people can pay with credit cards. “I know in San Francisco now See PARKING FEES, page 8 Council: Pay raises needed to attract candidates By Daniel DeBolt C Chris Clark is the only regularly employed council member. INSIDE ouncil members said Tuesday said that they spend 30 hours a week doing a job that pays only $600 a month — amounting to $5 an hour — limiting the position to those lucky enough to not need regular jobs. “The local government we have is really flawed,” said council member Ronit Bryant. Council members said they agreed with her comments. Because of low pay, a position on the council is largely limited to those who are retired, supported by a spouse or independently wealthy. “A group visiting us from Italy a few years ago asked how much we were paid and I told them — they were shocked,” Bryant said. “They VIEWPOINT 18 | GOINGS ON 24 | MARKETPLACE 25 | REAL ESTATE 27 said, ‘How do you get anyone who doesn’t either have money or is retired to run for City Council?’ I said that’s a very good question — my husband supports me.” After failing in 2006, council members said Tuesday that they are interested in asking voters again for a raise, voting 6-1, with Mayor John Inks opposed, to have the council’s procedures committee study the possibility. Council members can’t approve a raise themselves, as they are bound by a city law that says “The City Council has no power to increase its salary by ordinance, resolution or motion.” Council member Jac Siegel said that given the political climate and people’s views of See RAISES, page 14

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