Mon10202014

Mountain View on the Move

State of the race: Mountain View City Council candidates outline their platforms


Photo By: Courtesy of STANSULT
Photo Courtesy Of Stansult The race is on for four seats on the Mountain View City Council. Six candidates are on the Nov. 6 ballot, vying for the opportunity to represent the city.

Six candidates declared their intentions to run for four open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 6 election. Following are the candidates’ positions, outlined via email correspondence with the Town Crier.

The candidates run in alphabetical order. Text has been edited for brevity.

Margaret Capriles

Age: Not given

Education: University of San Francisco, Bachelor of Science in information systems management

Occupation:

Data quality consultant

Years living in Mountain View: More than 40

Personal: Married, four children, nine grandchildren

More information: www.margaretcapriles.com

 

Why are you running?

I want to keep Mountain View a great city and to work toward its growth and improvement. From my perspective, it’s the city that leads as a role model in forward-looking management for many other communities. I want us to maintain that role.

What are your qualifications?

During 27 years at Hewlett-Packard, I was a business and data analyst and owned a small business as well. I gained an understanding of how to obtain efficient operation.

This background prepares me to foster economic development initiatives, which will provide revenue for city services.

I have participated in many community organizations. This background makes me aware of areas in our city that require improvement. I’ve volunteered for the YMCA as branch board member, Fund Development Committee chairwoman and Advisory Board member.

Currently I am co-leader of the grants committee for the El Camino Hospital Foundation Hope-2-Health Initiative. I am a member of the League of Women Voters and the Sierra Club.

What is the city’s biggest challenge?

Fulfilling the housing need at all income levels, providing infrastructure for alternative modes of transportation and maintaining a balanced budget to support these requirements.

Name three goals.

• Define an action plan with budget to implement a transportation infrastructure with bicycle and pedestrian access and a possible community shuttle.

• Implement the initial plans for the El Camino corridor, San Antonio and North Bayshore areas.

• Identify areas in the budget that allow us to continue to provide quality services to the community and equitable benefits to its employees.

Why should we vote for you?

I will use my extensive experience in business, hands-on involvement in nonprofit management and leadership positions to help Mountain View to continue its visionary work in Silicon Valley. I have the experience, passion and commitment to be a strong representative for Mountain View. I am prepared to tackle upcoming challenges head-on and work collaboratively on issues.

Chris Clark

Age: 29

Education: Stanford University, Bachelor of Arts in political science, minor in economics

Occupation: Business development director at tech company

Years in Mountain View: 5

Personal: Single

More information: www.ElectChrisClark.com, www.facebook.com/ElectChrisClark

 

Why are you running?

I’ve been interested in public policy and serving the community since I was very young. Though I work in the private sector, I got involved in the Mountain View community by serving on the Human Relations Commission and now the Environmental Planning Commission. My goal is to make our city a better place to live for present and future generations. Serving on the city council will allow me to provide a unique perspective on land use, fiscal management, public policy and a broader set of issues.

What are your qualifications?

My years of commission experience combined with extensive community involvement through organizations like the Community Health Awareness Council qualify me to serve on the council. Mountain View voters can vote for four candidates in this election. We should consider diversity along with experience. As a younger resident who rented in Mountain View neighborhoods and recently made the leap to homeownership, I understand the challenges facing a large demographic that is currently underrepresented. We need at least one councilmember who can represent young families and residents just putting down roots in the city.

What is the city’s biggest challenge?

Prudently managing Mountain View’s finances. We have been well managed in recent years, and we need to continue controlling spending, budgeting conservatively and maintaining a competitive and dynamic community for residents and the businesses that serve them.

Name three goals.

• Fiscal discipline – through conservative budgeting, cost restraint and addressing long-term structural deficits. Do what we can to preserve our status as one of the most fiscally well-managed cities in the state.

• Balanced growth and development – I helped craft the General Plan that just passed, and I will implement it as a councilmember.

• Transportation and infrastructure – Improve connectivity via all modes of transportation throughout the city. Solve the transit issues for North Bayshore and keep options on the table for that initiative. Transit and infrastructure are key components of our economic engine. We must reduce congestion through better infrastructure, alternative forms of transportation and innovative incentive structures.

Why should we vote for you?

I bring a unique perspective to the council. Mountain View has a large population of young workers, families and those who are just starting to put down roots. I think it’s important that we have at least one or two councilmembers who represent this unique and important perspective.

John Inks (incumbent)

Age: 63

Education: Georgia Tech, Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering; Stanford University, Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Occupation: Retired aerospace engineer

Years living in Mountain View: 37

Personal: Single

More information: www.ElectInks.com.

 

Why are you running?

In my first 3-1/2 years on the council, I have developed a solid record as a policymaker and have been responsive and dependable in assisting residents and businesses. I have served on a council that appears to have selected the right candidates for the three appointee positions and balanced budgets for four fiscal cycles. Not to be immodest, but Mountain View needs my kind of leadership and constituent support.

What are your qualifications?

Experience, aptitude for policymaking and effective constituent support. I served seven years on the Parks and Recreation and Environmental Planning commissions. I interact well with residents, project applicants, opponents, neighborhoods, interest groups, city staff and my council colleagues.

What is the city’s biggest challenge?

Mountain View is a built-out community. There continues to be needs for additional housing, offices, open space, day care, senior facilities and many other services. We are entering an era of more control on development and more stringent regulatory requirements. We need flexibility, as the General Plan must be implemented as the city transitions from existing zoning to meet the varied needs.

Name three goals.

• Continue to have structurally balanced budgets every fiscal year. Additional revenues should come from economic growth, not increasing fees or taxes.

• Contain the planning process and fees and cost recovery, especially for small property owners and businesses.

• Reduce the council workload by having fewer standing committees, ad hoc committees, initiatives and goals.

The council used to meet twice a month. Now we meet almost every week. Council workload must be reduced to attract more diverse candidates.

Why should we vote for you?

I have a solid record protecting taxpayer dollars, a commonsense approach to zoning and regulatory policy and have been available, reliable and dependable in supporting constituents with city matters.

Mike Kasperzak (incumbent)

Age: 59

Education: Lewis and Clark College, Bachelor of Arts; UC Hastings College of the Law, Juris Doctorate

Occupation: Mediator

Years living in Mountain View: 35

Personal: Married, one grown child

More information: www.kasperzak.org

 

Why are you running?

We accomplished a lot with the General Plan, now we need to begin implementation. Experience with the process and the city is needed. Three experienced members will “term out” in two years, and there will be at least two new members this year, so there is a need for experience.

What are your qualifications?

I have served on the council 12 years with a two-year break after my first eight years. I served as mayor in 2003 and again this year.

I was president of the League of California Cities this past year and have gained a perspective on how cities function. I served on the Parks and Planning commissions and am an attorney and mediator.

What is the city’s biggest challenge?

Municipal finance will continue to be a significant issue due to the economy and the cost of labor. Traffic congestion, commutes and the environmental and social impact are important issues that need new and creative solutions.

Name three goals.

• Begin development of an innovative transportation solution to connect the North Bayshore with the rest of the city, and address traffic congestion.

• Ensure that the city is fiscally sustainable.

• Increase the supply of housing and more particularly affordable housing.

Why should we vote for you?

I have the knowledge, experience, demeanor and skills required to represent the citizens of Mountain View.

I have a proven track record representing them locally, statewide and nationally.

John McAlister

Age: 59

Education: UC Berkeley, Bachelor of Science in business administration

Occupation: Certified public accountant; co-owner of Baskin-Robbins franchise and Stepping Stones Preschool

Years living in Mountain View: 55

Personal: Married, with children.

More information: johnmcalister.org

Why are you running?

I have deep roots in Mountain View. I grew up in Mountain View. I went to schools in Mountain View. I’m raising a family in Mountain View and I am a business owner in Mountain View. I want Mountain View to have the same character and feel as the city I grew up in. And I want Mountain View to have local control on how it grows.

What are your qualifications?

My all-around perspective of living in Mountain View. Professional training – CPA and business owner. Leadership – five years on the Planning Commission. Education – bachelor’s degree in business from UC Berkeley. Community commitment – youth sports, school involvement, Rotary Club member.

What is the city’s biggest
challenge?

• Budget – We need one that is sustainable and keeps Mountain View financially strong.
• Transportation – We need transportation that is efficient and comprehensive that ties into regional systems.
• Growth – We just approved a new General Plan that allowed higher density.

Name three goals. See above.

Why should we vote for you?

I have the time and the energy to be fully committed. I will be the residents’ voice and make sure residents’ views and concerns are heard.

Jim Neal

Age: 48

Education: Master’s degree, business

Occupation: System administrator

Years living in Mountain View: 7

Personal: Married, four grown children

More information: www.facebook.com/nealformountainviewcitycouncil

Why are you running?

Because I attended several city council meetings and was very dissatisfied with many of the decisions of the city council and their handling of the city budget. The council is not responsive to the voices of the people and wants to rule them rather than protect their rights. Mountain View has enough real issues to manage without micromanaging its citizens.

What are your qualifications?

I have one qualification: Real life! I am a proud graduate of the School of Hard Knocks! I am a well-educated, self-made man of many talents and skills. I do not believe that the role of government is to create additional burdens. I spent approximately seven years working in restaurants and two in the military, so I understand how to serve the people, the true role of government.

What is the city’s biggest
challenge?

Short-term, the budget is the biggest challenge. The city cannot continue to spend more than 83 percent of the general fund on salaries and pensions. The percentage increases every year. If unchecked, it would soon devour the entire budget and result in the bankruptcies filed by three California cities. Pension reform is needed.
Long-term, high-speed rail. This threatens both the finances and the character of Mountain View. Only approximately 20 percent of the project is funded, which leaves the remainder to the taxpayers and the cities. With the economy already in a quagmire of debt and default, this is the last thing California should impose.

Name three goals.

• A balanced budget that includes pension reform.
• A ban on bans.
• Mountain View’s joining the fight to oppose high-speed rail.

Why should we vote for you?

I will represent your interests, values and concerns when I am on the council, not those of special interests.
I am the one voice that is different from the chorus that seems to want to pursue projects with city dollars attached.

Schools »

Schools
Read More

Sports »

sports
Read More

People »

people
Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

photoshelter
Browse and buy photos