Candidates, ballot measures abound as filing deadline nears

Los Altos Town Crier
August 8, 2018


There are currently six potential candidates for three open seats on the seven-seat Mountain View City Council. Incumbent Mayor Lenny Siegel and Councilwoman Pat Showalter have indicated that they will run again. Councilman Ken Rosenberg will not seek a second term.

The other potential candidates include former Councilman John Inks, who termed-out in 2016; Lucas Ramirez, who serves on the city’s Planning Commission; Ellen Kamei, former member of the city’s Planning Commission; and activist Alison Hicks.

Also on the ballot are two initiatives seeking voter approval for city efforts to collect additional revenue.

The more controversial of the two is the proposed restructuring of the city’s business-license fees, which have remained unchanged since 1954. Voter approval would boost license revenues from approximately $260,000 a year to an estimated $6 million. The plan taxes small businesses the least, but it levies a head-count tax on larger firms – Google Inc. alone, with its 23,000 employees, would pay an estimated $3.3 million if the initiative passes. The Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, in particular, has vigorously opposed the plan.

The second initiative would enable the city to tax cannabis sales up to 9 percent, which would generate annual revenues of approximately $1 million. The ballot measure appears in conjunction with city efforts to draft an ordinance regulating cannabis sales.