by Robert Cox & Carter Coleman
“Well, tonight’s the night I meet Greg David!” I thought, as Carter Coleman and Jack Perkins led me across Old Mountain View to Greg’s place on Fairmont. There were a lot of Johnny Rebs who were on the other side of the Prometheus controversy. I wondered what this guy is going to be like. I had read his postings on OMVNAtalk, so I knew he has ideas of his own!
It was then I caught sight of Greg’s Biergarten and Greg himself. Greg is a hulk of a guy who is as quick with a firm, friendly handshake as he is with an offer of great tasting beer on tap. “I’ve been to Germany over thirty times,” Greg remarked, “and my biergarten is how I bring a friendly Oktoberfest spirit to our corner of Old Mountain View.”
“So, why are you running for council, Greg?” I asked.
“I was born and raised here in Old Mountain View, Robert. I’m running to help preserve the quality of life that all of us enjoy.”
Carter was quick to catch the developing theme, and asked, “So, Greg, what do you think of zoning? Is a guideline, or is it the law?”
“I think of it as a guideline,” Greg responded, “The rights of owners and developers need to be respected when Council makes a decision.”
“And Minton’s?”Carter asked.
“I would have voted against Prometheus on that one. There’s no way that 1.5 parking spaces per unit is going to work out, the way the world is today.”
“Hmm, something for everyone,” I mused.
“So, Greg, what do you think of this idea that there’s a housing and jobs imbalance in Mountain View,” Jack asked.
Greg was quick with his response. “There are two reasons people who work in Mountain View don’t live here. We don’t have much single family housing currently available, and what we have is pretty expensive. We do have a lot of apartments, but a lot of them are old and run down, and they’re not the kind of places many people want to live. Mountain View is, what it is. You can’t force people to live here who don’t want to.”
Greg continued, “You know, if you go over to my web page www.mvgreg.com, you’ll see my theme: ‘It just makes sense.’ I do have a degree in business management, and I’ve worked in the high tech world, but when it comes down to it, I’m going to rely on common sense and my experiences living here when I decide how to vote on council issues.”
Greg continued with a theme also popularized by the other non-incumbent candidates. “For example, on the budget, the biggest problem is the continually rising cost of our employee base. We have to get out of the retirement planning business, and give city employees the same deal that privately employed people get. And, we’re spending too much money on consultants who just tell us what anyone with common sense already knows.”
We also asked Greg a question we’ve been asking each candidate—his view on whether the city should have purchased the parcel at Verlarde and Calderon for a park. “That’s an easy one,” said Greg. “It’s a unique piece of land and it will be diffcult to find similar parcels this size in Old Mountain View. It would also have provided a new route to Landels school and the Steven’s Creek Trail.”
After we got to know Greg a little better, we found out that he is very multifaceted and involved. For example, Greg is one of the most loved and well-known volunteers for Pediatrics at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, El Camino Medical Center at the old Emporium site.
In the pediatrics waiting room there is a 4’x 8’ European themed model train layout that runs when the kids press the big red button. The layout was built by members of Greg’s train club, ETE (European Train Enthusiasts www.ete.org). Greg is the primary maintenance person. Greg maintains these trains and changes the locomotives to keep the trains running smoothly and looking fresh. These trains are so popular with the kids that kids often visit the medical center even when they don’t have a medical appointment, just so they can watch the trains. If you ever have a chance to visit this Pediatrics waiting room you will see how much joy these trains bring to these young patients.
We had already drunk a lot of Greg’s beer, and it was 10 p.m. on a Thursday evening. It was time to start home. As we walked down Fairmont, Jack remarked, “It would be interesting to have someone on the Council who actually lived his whole life here.”
“And someone with down-to-earth attitude that people can relate to,” Carter added.”
As for me, I still haven’t made up my mind on whether I’m voting for Greg, but I do know I’d consider it a special honor to be counted as one of his friends.
Robert Cox is the Secretary and Carter Coleman is the Treasurer of OMVNA, but the views expressed here are Carter’s and Robert’s own and do not reflect the opinion of OMVNA.