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.

Letters to the Editor, LAH garbage, First Street

Lip service or customer service?

The Los Altos Hills garbage collection service, GreenWaste Recovery, apparently cannot differentiate between lip service and customer service.

Letters to the Editor, quarry expansion, FHDA funding measures

Call to action: Stop quarry expansion

The huge German mining company Heidelberg that quarries limestone and burns cement in the Santa Cruz Mountains above our homes wants to expand, again. Our local governments are waging valiant efforts to protect our health and environment. But they spar with a multibillion-dollar public global company.

This quarry and cement kiln have violated their environmental operating permits over the years. They have compromised our air quality and Permanente Creek, which flows to the San Francisco Bay. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and federal courts have intervened to establish compliance. But the law-breaking continues: The county cited the quarry in 2018 for constructing an illegal road through the mountains. In June, the county cited the quarry for allowing mining overflow into Permanente Creek. Now, these distant owners want to kill thousands of trees and destroy acres of wildlife habitat, then leave a huge pile of mining waste in their wake.

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.

Editorial: 'Yes' on Foothill-De Anza initiatives

Let’s face it, many of us take our community colleges for granted. But for thousands of students throughout Los Altos, the Peninsula and the South Bay, Foothill and De Anza are launching pads for careers that will set them up for life. For others, they are new beginnings leading to encore careers. And for still others, they are economic and viable alternatives to attending expensive four-year universities. Furthermore, Foothill and De Anza are among the best in the state at what they do.

For these reasons and more, we encourage “yes” votes on two Foothill-De Anza funding measures on the March 3 ballot. Measure G is an $898 million bond that would cost property owners roughly 1.6 cents per $100 of assessed value. The measure, which requires 55% approval to pass, would fund construction of and updates to facilities. Measure H is a $48 parcel tax levied for five years that would raise $5.6 million annually for personnel and programs. It needs a two-thirds vote to pass.

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?”

Letters to the Editor, Boronda Lake, dog park

Open Boronda Lake to nonresidents

A Palo Alto friend told us their city is again considering the pros and cons of opening Boronda Lake to nonresidents. Palo Alto editorial websites have mostly expressed the sentiment that Los Altos residents long ago lost their opportunity and should live without access or pay a substantial sum to gain it.

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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