Blogging always sounded so easy, but I'm beginning to feel like Lucile Ball in that classic episode from I Love Lucy where she is working on a candy assembly line and falling behind. The "weeks" just keep coming, endlessly, marching on. Where does the time go. As Former Mayor Jac Siegel keeps reminding me, being Mayor takes a lot of time!
April ended with a fascinating presentation by Michael Friedman, a nationally renowned architect who is credited with creating what we now know as Downtown Mountain View. He gave a presentation to an overflowing crowd at the Adobe Building and spoke passionately about how planning communities has changed, and challenged the separation of uses. He went so far as to claim that the "office park" as we know them is dead. It was an interesting discussion in light of the General Plan update. The day ended with a wonderful reception for the many volunteers at the Center for Performing Arts. Our volunteers come from all over the county and save the city over $1 million a year staffing related costs. Thanks to the CPA volunteers as well as the many other volunteers who devote their time to making the City a great place to live and work.
May started, as do most weeks with the weekly Agenda Review meeting with the City Manager. We meet every week with senior staff to prepare the upcoming agenda and scope out the draft agendas for the coming weeks. The number of issues the Council deals with on a weekly basis is somewhat like those chocolates on I Love Lucy; they just keep on coming.
Later in the week, Mountain View played host to The Startup Conference where over 2000 people came to learn everything they need to know about the startup world. It was exciting too see so much innovation, and to know that our community may well be the birthplace of the next Netscape or Google or Evernote...you get the idea. While speaking to the conference, I noted that the only thing Castro Street had more of than restaurants was startups, and I think that may in fact be true. It is an exciting time!
The following week started with a meeting with our Youth Advisory Committee to start planning for this years Mayor's Youth Conference. This highly engaged group of middle and high school students is full of energy and commitment and is working hard to plan a great conference. They always do a great job and we are blessed to have such hard working, dedicated and engaged young people in our community. The day ended with another group of young people at the Community School of Music & Arts ChoralFest at Shoreline Amphitheater. There were performances from every school in the district and the crowd was full of proud parents. CSMA does such a fantastic job of providing music and arts education to people of all ages.
As the week flew by, the Council made the final decision on our new animal control contract. There was a strong show of support for our existing contract with Palo Alto, but for a number of reasons, including better services, less cost for taxpayers and a say in how the program is run, the Council decided to enter into a new contract with SVACA in Santa Clara.
After a late Council meeting, the Cities Youth Resources Manager, Kim Castro, was honored at the Annual Challenge Team breakfast for hard work in the area of youth engagement. Kim has done a great job the recognition for her efforts was well deserved. Later that evening, the Council Neighborhoods Committee held its second neighborhoods meeting with the Rengstorff Area community. There were a number of questions about the San Antonio Center project, traffic and the state of the City. If you haven't been to one of these meeting, I would encourage you to attend one in your area. We have two more this summer.
The week drew to a close with Bike to Work Day on Thursday. I rode my bike to the Transit Center to see the volunteers working at the Energizing Station and then rode to City Hall to meet all the employees who rode to work. The furthest distance was 61 miles from Gilroy. I'm not sure we can expect people to leave for work at 1 AM, no matter how "green" riding your bike to work is.
As the day progress, Mountain View was visited by a delegation from the Province of Florence Italy who was visiting their Sister County, Santa Clara County. The Chair of the Sister County Commission is former Public Works Director Cathy Lazarus, so she invited the group to Mountain View for a tour of our facilities and then a quick trip to Google. Everybody likes to visit Google!
The day was capped off by participating in the Employee Service Award Ceremony at City Hall. We recognized those employees who have reached milestones with the City, everywhere from 5 to 35 years of service. Seeing the dedication of these hardworking public servants reinforced how lucky we are to live and work in Mountain View.
Now, I'm off to Mocha with the Mayor.