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Around the world, one plate at a time WEEKEND | 18 APRIL 4, 2014 VOLUME 22, NO. 10 650.964.6300 MOVIES | 22 Councilman’s ‘bribery’ charge irks colleague INKS CITES LAST-MINUTE $100,000 COST TO PROMETHEUS PROJECT By Daniel DeBolt C MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE FILE PHOTO A 9-week-old kitten waits for adoption. Cat rescue groups argue that new provisions in the city’s revised animal control ordinance would result in more cats being euthanized and a boom in the feral cat population. Council balks at controversial cat rules NEW CITY ORDINANCE PITS CAT RESCUE GROUPS AGAINST AUDUBON SOCIETY By Daniel DeBolt W ith weeks of controversy over new cat license requirements now resolved, you might think that a new city animal control ordinance would have passed without a hitch at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. That wasn’t the case. The City Council approved a new animal control ordinance at its April 1 meeting that almost included new laws against feeding and releasing stray cats on public and private property north of Highway 101, where council members say feral cats could easily wipe out the few remaining burrowing owls at Shoreline Park. North Bayshore is also home to a large mobile home park and — if a campaign is successful See ANIMAL CONTROL, page 11 City declares water shortage emergency RECYCLED WATER SYSTEM EXPANSION IN THE WORKS By Daniel DeBolt D espite the rain this week, City Council members unanimously voted to declare a water shortage emergency on Tuesday, asking residents to take measures to reduce water use to reach a 10 percent reduction goal. “Even though it’s raining now, we are so far behind a typical rainy season,” said coun- INSIDE cil member Mike Kasperzak. “We have had bad droughts in the past, we muddle through them. Water is more important now and becoming scarcer and scarcer with climate change.” City officials presented a list of six water uses that are always prohibited, which residents and businesses are asked to be careful to adhere to during the so-called “stage one” water shortage: ■ Wasting water from broken or defective water systems. Time allowed for repairs is 10 days. ■ Using water in a manner that results in flooding or runoff into the gutter. ■ Cleaning hard-surfaced areas with a hose unless equipped with a shutoff valve. ■ Washing vehicles with a hose unless equipped with a shutoff valve. VIEWPOINT 14 | GOINGS ON 23 | MARKETPLACE 25 | REAL ESTATE 27 ouncil member John Inks says his colleagues are guilty of taking a “bribe” because of the way they recently required a developer to cough up $100,000 at the last minute. Inks made the accusation on March 18 and again at the start of the March 25 council meeting, saying that requiring developer Prometheus Real Estate Group to pay $100,000 towards bike and pedestrian improvements near its 66-unit project at 1616 El Camino Real was “effectively a $100,000 bribe to get a project through.” When confronted about the accuracy of his use of the word “bribe” in a phone interview, Inks said, “It’s not exactly like money changing hands but that’s what it was to me, watching the meeting on television” after watching it in person. “I think what I witnessed was effectively a $100,000 bribe to get a project approved,” Inks said when restating his issue on March 25. “It had no stated rational basis for the amount that was ■ Serving water in a restaurant, except upon request. ■ Operating single-pass cooling systems. Those prohibitions are usually enforced on a complaint basis, but not during water shortages. And anyone who is caught and ignore notices about the problem from the city, faces a penalty: city code “authorizes the city to install flow-restriction devices on the water service line of a customer who violates the water conservation provisions.” “If you read the ordinance, we’re going to bend over back- asked and certainly no basis for the cost estimate. I hope I don’t see any more motions like this.” Fellow counJohn Inks cil member Ronit Bryant said she couldn’t let the repeated accusations pass on March 25. “To use a word like ‘bribe’ is really offensive and I don’t think it fits with the collegial relationships we have had,” Bryant said. “I would ask the council member to recall how we treat each other here. I am very proud of how we usually treat each other and accept each others’ opinions and that was really inappropriate.” Inks responded to Bryant with: “I would just like to say thanks for letting us all know how you feel.” Inks stood by his comments, calling them collegial in a phone interview. “I think Ronit was right, we discuss these items very colSee BRIBERY, page 13 wards not to turn people’s water off,” said council member Jac Siegel. “There two to three notices, an appeals hearing — hopefully they will respond with these many different ways we will contact them.” In the early 1990s, there was a drought bad enough to require a 25 percent reduction, said Elizabeth Flegel, water conservation coordinator. If such a “stage two” water shortage happens soon, residents will be asked not to wash their cars with a hose, to not turn on See WATER SHORTAGE, page 13

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