Saturday, November 15, 2008

No hope for affordable rent in Mountain View

The letter to the editor of Mountain View Voice


I know a lot of Mountain View people are pleased with Barack Obama's election, and it has brought them hope. My Mexican neighbor (and friend) pays about $1,800 a month rent on his townhouse, and he thinks (hopes) Obama will bring his rent down.

I was a successful "affordable rent" landlord for 35 years in three cities (including Mountain View) and two counties. Trust me — there is no hope coming in Mountain View.

Obama, like any other reasonable government leader, wants to keep Google employing 10,000-plus people here. Jobs, right now, are far more important than keeping the unemployed, retired or subsidized citizens in high-quality medium density housing.

The City Council has been wise in tearing out the older, cheaper, less desirable housing units that prevent the younger, more educated people with far more financial potential from displacing the "dead wood" people (like me) who have lived here and stood in the way of "progress" for years.

Mountain View needs higher rents, more tax revenue, higher utility rates, less services and much higher resident turnover.

Just ask our city manager, our mayors (past and future), our city staff members or any of the City Council candidates. I think they would all agree with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and President-elect Obama: former residents should get out and make room for the future. Go Google.

Donald Letcher

N. Rengstorff Avenue

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