BY ALLISON LEVITSKY
Daily Post Staff Writer
Measure V Too Costly, a landlord-funded campaign seeking to effectively end Mountain View’s two-year-old rent control program, submitted petitions to City Clerk Lisa Natusch yesterday to qualify for the 2020 ballot, according to Mayor Lenny Siegel.
The campaign originally sought to get on next month’s ballot, but didn’t collect the minimum 5,126 valid signatures by the July deadline.
Petitioners had until this month to finish collecting signatures for the 2020 ballot in order to avoid having to start from zero.
In April, Siegel labeled the initiative a “sneaky repeal” when he noticed that the fine print suspends rent control anytime the city’s vacancy rates goes above 3%.
That means the California Apartment Association-funded initiative would effectively elminate rent control because vacancy rates in Mountain View have rarely fallen below 3%. Since 2009, vacancy rates have hovered between 3.9% in 2011 and 5.8% in 2016.
Other parts of the initiative were meant to attract votes, Siegel said, by promising to limit rental protections to families earning less than the median household income and ensuring that the $2.6 million organization that runs the rent control program doesn’t access general funds without City Council approval.
In reality, the Rental Housing Committee is financed entirely by rental units. Landlords pay $155 per year and committee members aren’t paid a salary.
Representatives of Measure V Too Costly didn’t return a request for comment.