In 2002, Matt Neely, Mike Kasperzak and Greg Perry emerged from a field of 11 candidates for Mountain View City Council, all promising to build more housing throughout the city. Perry's suprising decision to drop out of this year's council race robs the council of a man so meticulously honest he once reports $6.25 worth of buttons on a campaign contributions form. It also means that the phrase "at least one council member" will appear less frequently in the newspapers. Most of all, it means that the council will have lost its three biggest proponents of new housing projects, and the crop that replaces them is likely to roll back some of their efforts.
With the city awash in new residential developments as a result of recent votes, a growing residentialist backlash will have plenty of candidates to support this year. The Voice has endorsed three candidates it believes are likely to put the brakes on the housing developments. This is ironic, to say the least, for two reasons. The Voice consistently backed the housing policies supported by Perry, Neely and Kasperzak. Furthermore, the city council and city staff are both on record as saying they do not want the current pace of development to continue for more than a few years.
Anyway, here are he candidates, in alphabetical order, complete with links to their Web sites and smarmy comments:
- Margaret Abe-Koga: Attacks by Perry and disappointing interviews spelled doom for her 2004 bid, but she's back for more after serving on the environmental planning commission for the last two years. Once again leading in endorsements and money raised.
- Ronit Bryant: A sextalingual green thumb from Old Mountain View. Matt Neely once introduced her at a party as a planning commissioner before she reminded him that the council had rejected her application.
- Alicia Crank: Human relations commissioner, renter, blogger, weight loss success story and Nemesis of Evil reader, and not the kind that found by doing a vanity search. (Speaking of which: welcome candidates.)
- Tian Harter: Best understood by his decision to avoid paying federal income taxes by refusing to collect any income.
- John Inks: Soft-spoken, upstanding libertarian parks and recreation commissioner. The kind of person whose best qualities are the same ones that will keep him from going far in politics. Has collected endorsements from those who fought against the city's decision to build a privately-operated child care center in Rengstorff Park.
- Kalwant Sandhu: Blunt-spoken HRC member. Enthusiastic about sports, but rumored to pay too close attention to his jv soccer team's record and not enough to player development. Has suffered the indignity of the Voice mispelling his name in different ways on different occasions.
- Jac Siegel: The conservative EPC member has the backing of several council members. A supporter, according to his Web site, of "win-win solutions," he is also one of Mountain View's 10 most eligible bachelors.
- John Webster: Former standard bearer for the Libertarian Party, supports this guy, but also this guy. Barely lost 2004 primary after fellow party members decided certain things, like his unflinchingly honest biography, were best left off the platform.