Name: Carmen Montano
(Currently serving as Vice Mayor on the Milpitas City Council)
Running for: Mayor of Milpitas
Why are you running?
I am running because many in the community have asked me to run, especially folks who have lived in Milpitas a long time that have strong roots in Milpitas as I do. I am also running to make sure our city steers in the right direction of smart growth that encompasses the quality of life for everyone.
What’s the biggest problem facing Milpitas right now and how would you intend to solve it?
High increase in crime. I will work closely with our police department to find solutions for the smash and grab crimes in our shopping centers and the stealing of home delivery packages.
What would your priorities be should you get elected?
Fiscal responsibility by making sure public funds are spent wisely. Ensuring our city is beautified and that the infrastructure is updated. Public safety is very important for the welfare of the residents and I’ll ensure our first responders have the equipment they need to keep residents safe. I will create a safe parking place for our working poor who are unhoused. Work closely with schools to create a fund for teacher aides to help low performing students in the classroom.
What can you bring to the table that you feel no other candidate can bring?
What I bring to the table are my out-of-the-box ideas and my experience of over 30 years. I have served on several city commissions such as the Library Commission, Parks & Rec commission, and Planning Commission; and served on the school board for 8 years. I have brought many ideas that have been implemented in the city; a couple of those include establishing an arts ordinance that requires new developments to place art on their projects or pay an in lieu fee, and creating a housing subcommittee to provide utility and rent relief.
Where do you see Milpitas 10 years from now?
Ten years goes by really fast. I see the transit area fully completed, more folks taking BART to work, having a fleet of SMART shuttle service vehicles in service, and more affordable housing projects in place. I see the widening of Calaveras bridge since I have been advocating for it while serving on the VTA board. I see my initiative to have free bus fares for all high school students in Milpitas in place.
Who is your inspiration and why?
I would say my mother. She was my inspiration. Although she has passed on, she instilled in me to respect all people and taught me my hard work ethic. She was my role model and I am thankful for her and my father who taught me the love of music.
Can you tell us one interesting thing about you that other people don’t really know about?
I am very creative. I am a singer/songwriter, story writer, and poet. I have written a children’s story (not published), and created a CD of some of my songs. I am frequently invited to events to sing the National Anthem and America the Beautiful.
What is your favorite spot in Milpitas?
My favorite spot in Milpitas is our public library because it is a place where many families go. What I like about it is the ambiance. I love the architecture that braids in the old with the new. The old grammar school is the façade which was kept to preserve our past with the present. It’s a cool place to be at.
What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in Milpitas right now?
The development of the Transit Center along with future plans for an Innovation Center near the Transit Center.
What do you love most about Milpitas?
I love our hillsides that overlook Milpitas. My role in reinstating the hillside ordinance in 2016 has kept our hillsides from being overdeveloped to preserve the open space for future generations.