It was another busy week in our town. In fact, as I write, I am amazed at how much is constantly going on.
For those of you who believe you live or work in a sleepy little suburban town, nothing could be further from the truth.
The week started with a meeting I set up with PG&E and EnergyUpgrade Mountain View. This is a free service to people living in Mountain View who want to find out how they are using energy and learn how to save energy and money. There are a limited number of free assessments, and while the program is pretty new, about 20 percent have been used, so don't wait too long to learn how you can save energy, cut back on greenhouse gases and save money, all for free. Visit http://www.energyupgrademv.org to sign up!
Later in the day, I was invited to speak at the Alcatel-Lucent employee meeting. Like so many businesses in Mountain View, Alcatel is growing, but there are limited opportunities for continued growth in Mountain View. This is a policy the Council is concerned about and is addressing in the General Plan update. More significantly, Alcatel donated $25,000 to . Alcatel decided that rather than have an annual holiday party, they would use the money they would have spent to help better their community. Thank You Alcatel!
The following day, former Mayor and Councilmember by the as the Athena Award winner. Laura joins a number of active woman in the community who have been honored over the years, including former Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga, former Vice Mayor Nancy Noe, Pam Martello and Rosiland Bivings to name a few. Also honored as Young Professional Athena Award was Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez. Congratulations to you both!
This week's Council Meeting started with a preliminary review of the Capital Improvement Program and an initial discussion of how the City might finance major capital projects in the future. Such projects might include a new Community Center, a major park acquisition for the Whisman area, a replacement for the aging Police & Fire Administration Building and a number of other major infrastructure improvements. These types of projects have traditionally been paid with bond proceeds, budget surpluses and a variety of other techniques. While no decisions have been made, planning for the long term needs of the City is important. The Council also recommended increasing the amount of funding for the Neighborhood Grants program and adopted a resolution supporting a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. The FEC which allowed the for the creation of SuperPacs. There is a grass roots movement called Move to Amend that is spurring action across the country to overturn Citizens United.
I also had the opportunity to attend an Open Forum at during which members of the Board described both the Hospital District and the non-profit hospital as well as the benefits of having the hospital controlled by a Board of Directors elected by the people. In short, it is our elected Directors who decide the future of the hospital and they are accountable to the voters. As such their decisions are rooted in the needs of the community rather than profit, as is the case with hospitals run by organizations like Humana. There was also a presentation on how the hospital gives back to the community and the plans to increase the size of the non-profit board and its committee structure.
Later in the week, I attended a meeting of the City, County, Schools Collaborative in Sacramento. This unique group focuses on issues related to the interaction of these three levels of government. We heard a very interesting presentation on Community Schools and how cities and counties around the country are working together with school districts to get the most out of the educational system.
Later Thursday evening, there were two fascinating events related to immigration and undocumented workers. The Human Relations Commission sponsored its and focused on the issue of undocumented workers, while the League of California Cities Peninsula Division held a panel for elected officials on the Peninsula dealing with issues related to immigration and immigrants.
As you can see, never a dull moment. There is another Council Meeting Tuesday, Mar. 27 where we will discuss a new condo development on Bryant Street downtown, an electronic communications policy for the Council and receive an update on the Burrowing Own Preservation Plan.