Mountain View City Council votes to shake up city’s Rental Housing Committee | News

Otto I. Eovaldi

Mountain View’s Rental Housing Committee (RHC), tasked with overseeing hire control in the town, is poised for huge changes this 12 months soon after the Town Council voted Tuesday to demote one of the longest-serving members in favor of a newcomer.

Immediately after two rounds of votes, council associates agreed to add Guadalupe Rosas — a cell house proprietor and union agent for Staff United — to the committee for a four-calendar year term, though reappointing Emily Ramos and Nicole Haines-Livesay. In performing so, council members bumped Matt Grunewald, who has served on the RHC given that its inception in 2017, to an “alternate” member.

Alternate members only participate in conferences wherever there is an absence, properly preserving him out of most meetings.

The higher-profile committee plays an important purpose in placing the ground procedures for landlords and tenants below the city’s lease command law, the Group Stabilization and Truthful Rent Act (CSFRA). Nevertheless the committee have to adhere to the framework of the voter-accepted regulation, the very first four years have demonstrated there is certainly plenty of room for interpretation.

Committee members clashed on yearly limitations on hire will increase, and sparred above whether or not the law applies to cellular homes.

For some council users, the present roster functions great. Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga claimed she supported reappointing Grunewald, Ramos and Haines-Livesay and maintaining the existing equilibrium on the RHC, suggesting that the committee ought to be level-headed and analytical instead than craft coverage close to emotion. Councilman Lucas Ramirez took the identical strategy, in spite of currently being at odds with Grunewald’s earlier conclusions.

“I really don’t agree with a whole lot of committee member Grunewald’s votes, and I assume which is okay,” Ramirez claimed. “I believe he delivers an essential standpoint, and he also is a stakeholder … as the only sitting down member who owns rental property.”

Grunewald owns a rental home in San Francisco, granting him encounter as a landlord without having owning monetary stakes in his selections on the RHC. Although Grunewald was generally deemed the swing vote in main selections, he was among the the vast majority who voted to oppose extending rent manage to cell houses.

But many others ended up searching for a shake up on the committee. Councilwoman Pat Showalter mentioned the RHC experienced a “rocky get started” due to the fact members of the committee have been not supportive or outright hostile to rent command. She argued that new and reappointed members need to commit to building the legislation perform, and check out rent handle as a indicates to maintain tenants housed.

“The genuine motive for the CSFRA is to deliver security in our local community, specially for our far more vulnerable members,” she mentioned.

Showalter, alongside with councilwomen Sally Lieber and Alison Hicks, did not support reappointing Grunewald. Hicks stated she was significantly involved by Grunewald’s reviews with regards to the likelihood of suspending parts of the lease manage law even though emptiness prices have spiked throughout COVID-19. The committee in the long run declined to peel again sections of the law — and Grunewald opposed even exploring the plan — but she mentioned it was a induce for problem.

“I just feel to entertain that idea … while we are sheltering in location and while some peoples’ rents are even now going up is a step also considerably for me,” Hicks said.

Changing Grunewald as a complete-time member will be Rosas, a resident of the Santiago Villa cell dwelling park. Rosas is effective as a union consultant for Staff United, and describes herself as a extensive-time neighborhood organizer. She also speaks Spanish and is well-related with the Latino local community in Mountain Perspective, which she explained is significant in partaking people who are if not detached from civic motion.

“I believe I can provide a whole lot of people who you should not fully grasp the CSFRA and permit them know that this is a reside document, that they have the electric power to master it, to realize it and to be ok with it,” Rosas said.

Rosas and Ramos received the most assistance at the March 23 assembly — obtaining votes from six of the 7 council associates. But the last appointment and alternate seat came down to a three-way tie concerning Haines-Livesay, Grunewald and Keating Rhoads, a retired resident who owns a single-family rental in San Francisco.

In a runoff vote, Mountain Look at Mayor Ellen Kamei, Councilwoman Lisa Matichak and council members Abe-Koga and Ramirez voted for Grunewald as their very first choice, adopted by Haines-Livesay and Rhoads. Councilwomen Lieber, Showalter and Hicks selected Grunewald as their final decide on, preferring either Haines-Livesay or Rhoads. The vote created a very clear divide between council associates, and gave Haines-Livesay a slight edge to keep her seat.

Council customers will formally appoint the users of the Rental Housing Committee up coming month.

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