Other Voices: Measure D: Not a fair rate of return for renters

When rents were rising rapidly in 2016, forcing many renters to move, Mountain View voters passed Measure V, which stabilized rents to keep lower-income renters in Mountain View. It also enacted just cause for eviction, and, at the same time, allowed for a fair rate of return for landlords. Measure V, also known as the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA) capped rents for approximately 13,500 units in Mountain View built before 1995. The League of Women Voters of the Los Altos-Mountain View Area believes our communities are stronger when there is rent stabilization and just-cause programs to minimize displacement, provide stable and predictable housing costs and provide a fair rate of return to landlords.

However, a group of landlords initiated a ballot measure planned for the November election that makes radical changes to CSFRA, effectively suspending it. To potentially avoid this ballot initiative, the Mountain View City Council developed Measure D and placed it on the March ballot. Measure D makes significant changes to current policy. The LWV opposes Measure D because it is inconsistent with the fair rate of return standard and eliminates the use of an inflation index in determining the maximum annual rent increase. These two changes can more likely lead to large rent increases of up to 10% per year. In fact, rents could potentially increase up to 20% in just 13 months.

Other Voices: The Census is here – it's time to get counted

We are less than two months from an important date, Census Day, April 1. Counting everyone is imperative for California and Mountain View to get proper representation and essential funding per the U.S. Constitution. California is a “hard to count” state. In particular, Santa Clara County ranks as the ninth toughest to count in the nation. This is also the first time the Census questionnaire will be primarily online.

Full participation is critical. Census data is used to allocate nearly $700 billion in federal program funding and designates political representation at various levels of government. States use this funding for essential programs such as health care, social services, education grants and infrastructure. California’s political representation in the U.S. Congress is decided through the Census, and there has been talk of California losing a seat if there is an undercount. This information is also used to redraw state and local district boundaries.

Other Voices: The evolution of the Los Altos History Museum


I was recently asked, “How did the Los Altos History Museum get land in the middle of the civic center?” This is a very relevant question amid all the happenings on the civic center campus.

Other Voices: Unintended Consequences – an early 2020 update

Much has happened since our first column in the Town Crier (“Group exploring ‘unintended consequences’ of LASD-BCS facilities use,” Sept. 4), when we launched our effort to foster constructive, fact-based dialogue discussing the issues facing our community, the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School. Some of the questions and issues discussed in that article have gained additional clarity, while new issues have emerged.

The school district has now finalized the purchase of a 10th school site with a projected five-year completion timeline and no decision yet on which school will be placed there. At a Jan. 27 meeting, the district board of trustees received a report on the many site options for Bullis Charter School with a tight timeline for the evaluation of several popular options generated from the vast matrix of ideas and input presented. This next phase will apply practical consideration to each idea and determine the cost, safety and location of the options. Because proximity popularity was important in the initial workshops and charettes the district conducted, now the focus will be on “can it work?”

From the Mayor's Desk: Seven areas of focus for Los Altos

I was looking over my goals when I first ran for Los Altos City Council in 2012 and again in 2016. What did I recognize as problems, and where did I want to focus my energy? And what has been accomplished since then? I will touch on seven areas.

Other Voices: Valley Water partners to expand water supply

Visitors who tour the Silicon Valley Advanced Purification Center in Alviso get a firsthand look at the technology used to turn recycled wastewater into water purified to a level that meets California’s drinking standards.

At the end of the tour, guests receive a sample of wastewater-turned-purified-drinking-water. Time and again, the Valley Water tour guides hear the same message: This water is as good, if not better, than people’s current drinking water.

Other Voices: Turning over a new leaf in 2020


It’s that time of year for walking along forest trails, parks, streets, the backyard or anywhere in the neighborhood. Who doesn’t enjoy kicking up piles of newly fallen foliage and hearing the crunching, crackling sound made by dried leaves or the schhlurpp of the wet ones?

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 


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