Issuu on Google+

OFFICIAL PROGRAM INSIDE APRIL 25, 2014 VOLUME 22, NO. 12 650.964.6300 MOVIES | 25 Commission wants to track jobs-housing ratio PLANNING PANEL HEARS PLENTY OF SAD STORIES AS IT TAKES UP NEXT HOUSING ELEMENT By Daniel DeBolt M ountain View’s plans to sharply widen the gap between job growth and housing growth, even while in the midst of a housing crisis, has spurred quite a bit of media coverage and public discussion in recent days. On April 14 an article on went viral, linking the jobs-rich and housing-poor growth pattern seen in Mountain View and other Bay Area cities to the gentrification of San Francisco. It was titled “How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained)” — referring to how Mountain View City Council members refused to build housing in North Bayshore for Google employees two years ago, citing potential impacts to the rare burrowing owl — and how a protester drew attention to the situation by vomiting on the windshield of a Google employee shuttle. Mountain View — as the article points out while citing the Voice’s reporting — is on track to develop space for more than 42,000 tech jobs in the coming years, and only a few thousand new homes. Writer Kim-Mai Cutler blames a striking lack of housing for Valley employees on the “NIMBY” culture (not in my backyard) among politically powerful homeowner organizations who have blocked housing development in cities such as Mountain View and Palo Alto. She calls on Peninsula homeowners to “stop sitting in the background while the city’s See JOBS-HOUSING, page 13 Council to ask voters for a raise COUNCIL MEMBER PAY COULD GO FROM $600 TO $1,000 A MONTH, STILL SUB-MINIMUM WAGE By Daniel DeBolt C MICHELLE LE Thida Cornes embraces Nakoma on the front porch of her house on April 15. She says having a service dog changed her life. Much more than a pet SERVICE DOG HELPS MV COMMISSIONER NAVIGATE DAY-TO-DAY LIFE By Kayla Layaoen N akoma wagged her tail and wrapped her teeth around the pen. She passed it to Thida Cornes, who handed it back to this reporter. “Good girl, Komie,” Cornes said. “Sorry if it has a little bit of INSIDE spit on it now,” said her 11-yearold daughter Kerensa. Cornes, a member of the Mountain View Parks and Recreation Commission, has a rare movement disorder called myoclonic dystonia. Her new service dog, Nakoma, was given to her by Canine Companions for Independence. Having a service dog has changed her life, she said. Canine Companions provided her with her first service dog, Tovi, in 2008. Since then, Tovi has retired, and she’s had Nakoma, a labrador-golden retriever mix, for three months. See SERVICE DOG, page 14 VIEWPOINT 18 | GOINGS ON 26 | MARKETPLACE 27 | REAL ESTATE 29 ity Council members voted Tuesday to trim down a proposed raise in pay for themselves, expressing fear that residents wouldn’t approve of a boost that would bring it up to minimum wage. At the April 22 meeting, the council decided to have city staff draft a measure for the November ballot to raise council member pay from $600 a month to $1,000 a month — not the previously proposed $1,200 — effective January 2015. For the first time, council pay would rise annually to reflect rising costs of living, tied either to the consumer price index or city employee cost of living adjustments, whichever is lower. Because of a 1984 ballot measure, the city’s charter prevents council members from approving a raise themselves, so the city’s voters must decide. Council members want what is effectively a decrease in pay compared to years past. If adjusted for inflation, Mountain View’s 1968 council pay of $250 a month would be $1,697 today; the $500 a month that voters approved in 1984 would be $1,137, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ online calculator. Though they will leave the council before the raise goes into effect, members Jac Siegel, Margaret Abe-Koga, Ronit Bryant joined John Inks (who will remain) in blocking a higher raise for the council, including the three new council members to be elected in November. Siegel was the swing vote in the compromise amount of $1,000 a month (a raise to $800 was also discussed.) Citing concerns that those who work regular jobs cannot afford to be on the City Council, council members had previously said they want a pay raise to make the job attractive to a wider range of candidates. In November of last year, members voted 6-1 to begin drafting the raise, which John Inks opposed. “A group visiting us from Italy a few years ago asked how much we were paid and I told them — they were shocked,” said Bryant last November, advocating for the pay raise that she ended up wanting to trim down. “They said, ‘How do you get anyone See COUNCIL PAY, page 16

2014 04 25 mvv section1

Related publications