The Past Is The Past, But The Future Is Here


One of the best parts of living in Mountain View is the flexibility we have as a community to pivot, be creative, and design our own present and future. Recently, we’ve had ample opportunities to see this in action. The Comprehensive Planning process has provided several key insights about who we are, and although the planning process is designed to help guide us as far as 20 years out, I am enjoying seeing some of it unfold before my very eyes.

The recent vision statement lists “maintaining community connectedness and identity” as one of the key elements to our best future. And we had strong community agreement in our desire to “preserve and enhance community assets.” Here are just a few examples of those two goals in action this last month.

Preserve and Enhance Community Assets

As many of us are painfully aware, Ames Street residents have been putting up with some difficult, on-going construction for multiple years. Orange plastic fencing fell into the sidewalk, ugly porta-potties sat out front, construction noises and debris were ever-present. To make more room for a reimagined Town Hall and help solve problems for frustrated Ames Street residents, I’m happy to share that the town purchased the problem parcel from a friendly developer who was sympathetic to the needs of the town. Preliminary plans for the parcel include designing a new park. Residents will be invited to help with the design.

The town held a town-wide clean up week in August where community members signed up to help pick up trash along all alleys and streets and shared their photos. Residents walked streets and alleys with gloves and grabby tools, and shared sweet photos. 

The town has been working on a new compost program, and in conjunction with Summit Waste, is designing a system that allows neighbors to share a single account for increased affordability, returns compost to participants for their gardens, and is a sustainable solution for yard waste in addition to the normal food items.

Recycling efforts have been a little discouraging recently when we learned the town efforts have only been 20 percent successful due to unanticipated contamination in the single-stream recycling bins. But upon learning of this, the town has rallied, and we’ve all been learning about best recycling practices and making noticeable improvements.

Maintaining Community Connectedness and Identity 

It certainly doesn’t surprise me that a rainy National Night Out didn’t deter the community from coming out to play games and have grilled hotdogs and hamburgers. A little rain can’t stop us! 

But the annual picnic is another animal altogether. We have a zipline and mechanical bull riding planned and when the planned date forecasted rain, the community quickly shifted gears. Sharing the news of the date move from Aug. 26 to Sept. 10, I didn’t hear a single grumble – only gratitude that Grammy’s Goodies was willing to make the change as well. This paper will likely be distributed after the party happens, but here’s hoping it went off without a hitch and we all had fun!

Speaking of which – I started this column with a mention of the future being here and all that. So, I’ll end it on the same note. Thank you to each and every one of the party planners (Council Member Brittany Loecher, I’m looking at you especially!) and the volunteers and staff who helped pull off a carnival-style annual picnic.

Togetherness is what Mountain View is all about. A community that gathers for food and good times together fights the quiet epidemic of loneliness that is always just an arm’s reach away in our current times, creates memories for our families, and supports each other. Maintaining that connectedness is important for all of us, and I’m always so grateful to be a part of it.

Emilie Mitcham is the mayor of Mountain View.

Share this article:

More Local News and Articles

Scroll to Top