6 candidates running for 3 seats on Mountain View City Council

Daily Post Staff Writer

Six people are running for three open Mountain View City Council seats this November, including two incumbents, two planning commissioners and former Mayor John Inks.

Current Mayor Lenny Siegel and Councilwoman Pat Showalter are both planning to run for their second terms, as are planning commissioners Ellen Kamei and Lucas Ramirez.

Alison Hicks, 60, pulled papers on Tuesday. She holds a master’s degree in city planning from UC-Berkeley and has worked as a city planner in Oakland and San Jose.

Hicks helped to launch the slow-growth group Livable Mountain View, which advocates against new downtown developments.
Inks, 68, a retired Lockheed Martin mechanical engineer, left council in 2016 after hitting the limit of two consecutive terms. A libertarian, he has advocated against Mountain View’s rent control program and against the city going out for new tax revenue when it has a budget surplus. He filed candidate papers on June 14.

Kamei, 34, is a third-generation Mountain View resident and has served on the Leadership Mountain View Advisory Council, Mountain View Public Safety Foundation and the Mountain View Historical Association. She filed candidate papers on May 24.

A statement on her campaign website says she intends to “maintain Mountain View’s character and diversity for everyone” by ensuring neighborhood services and adequate transportation infrastructure and increasing housing options “across the spectrum.”

She’s won endorsements from the Mountain View Professional Firefighters union and Mountain View-Los Altos High School District board member Fiona Walter.

Ramirez, 29, filed candidate papers on Feb. 13. He ran for one of four open council seats in 2016 and placed fifth out of eight candidates.

“I will champion sustainable land use policy, increased investment in transportation infrastructure and jobs/housing balance,” Ramirez writes on his campaign website. “The swelling population of RV and other vehicle-dwellers has made the intractable struggle of homelessness painfully conspicuous in our neighborhoods.”

Ramirez served two terms as chair of the city’s Human Relations Commission and was appointed to VTA’s 2000 Measure A Citizens Advisory Committee. Councilman Ken Rosenberg, who will step down at the end of the year, has endorsed Ramirez.

Showalter, 66, filed candidate papers on Oct. 25 and has said she would focus on easing the city’s transportation and housing woes.

“I have talked repeatedly about the perils of prosperity that we face: not enough housing and too much traffic,” Showalter writes on her campaign website. “Many people can’t afford to pay rent or buy a home near our jobs, so they drive many miles to work here. That chokes the roads for everyone.”

Showalter says the solution is to change the city’s zoning code to allow for more housing, enhance the city’s bike infrastructure and build a reversible bus lane on Shoreline Boulevard.

Siegel, 69, has long championed housing construction in Mountain View and founded Balanced Mountain View, which advocates for correcting the jobs-housing imbalance.

He’s led the charge on increasing the business license tax for large employers like Google and advocated for funding an automated, elevated guideway — a driverless transit system — that would link downtown with North Bayshore as well as fixed, elevated transit along Highway 85.