Mountain View takes steps to help residents to weigh in more on essential services

Lauren Martinez Image
Friday, May 31, 2024
Mountain View wants residents' input on essential services
On Thursday, Mountain View hosted the first of three forums for residents to give feedback on the city's essential services.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (KGO) -- Efforts to address community safety are underway in Mountain View.

On Thursday, Mountain View police and members of the Public Safety Advisory Board hosted the first of three forums.

Police Captain Saul Jaeger hopes the forum will grows from here.

It provides a space for conversations about issues directly related to the community.

"My hope is they feel better connected to the police department," Jaeger said.

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Officers answered questions and addressed crime trends.

"Just like every city, we're suffering from a rise in property crime. We're seeing a lot of package thefts, catalytic converter thefts, a lot of auto break-ins, auto burglaries," Jaeger said.

Technology was also a topic. This week, city council approved the department's contract for automated license plate readers.

During the meeting, an officer commented that data collected from the program is stored for 30 days and not shared with a third party.

"It will be an impact on the department in a positive way. That technology in of itself will help us become more efficient with what we do. As most people know, crime doesn't have any borders," Jaeger said.

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When it comes to safety and maintaining local services, the city is hoping to hear from residents. It sent out mailers and put an online form where residents can rank their key priorities.

On Tuesday, the city posted: "We must make difficult choices about investing in local services soon. But as we plan for our future, we want to hear from you!"

Assistant City Manager Audrey Ramberg said the city wants to make sure the things the city invests in are the things the community most values.

"Safety in the broader sense not just in terms of police and fire, but also traffic and safety and the quality of our roads," Ramberg said.

Mountain View resident Genie Palmer filled out the survey she received in the mail.

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"It felt like my voice will count," Palmer said.

The Feedback Form lists essential services. It allows residents to rank them 1 through 6 with 1 being the most important.

Palmer's number one pick was fixing potholes.

"The streets and potholes along El Camino, and it's just really bad," Palmer said.

But she said maintaining emergency response was important too.

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"I just survived breast cancer, and I was having some issues and the medical response -- the paramedics were right there when we called them, and they were right there. I was just so relieved. I didn't have to wait 30 minutes or anything like that," Palmer said.

Over on Castro Street, we spoke with Robert Eckert who lives in Belmont but visits the pedestrian thoroughfare at least once a week.

"I don't think the people who are in charge are in an enviable position as it were. Personally and selfishly would like this area to be maintained in a very sustainable and quality way," Eckert said.

Mountain View resident Brian Lue would like the city to lean into technology.

"Well I think what's really important for cities to do is get data. The whole idea is there are companies that are making sensors to count people, cars and where cyclists are moving about in the city. So the cities can know where's it's best to apply resources for policing, or looking for problems, you know, in the neighborhood," Lue said.

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