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May 2018

Robb Davis/Matt Williams Dialogue on Nishi Financials – Part 3 of 3

Robb and Matt at Nishi Forum

By Matt Williams

As follow-up to the May 6th CivEnergy forum on Measure J, I published my personal reasons why I oppose Measure J as an article for the Davisite and as a comment to the Vanguard.  Prompted by my list, Mayor Davis took the time to respond to all eleven (11) of my comments one-by-one.  I thank Robb for doing so, and particularly thank him for the structured format he used to reply. This is the third in a series of articles on Nishi's financials in which I respond to Robb Davis's replies to me.  The first article is here and the second article is here.

Matt: Nishi 2018 has no dollars for deferred maintenance of capital infrastructure.
Robb: See previous point. We don’t need it because the developer is responsible.
Matt: That is the same short-sighted, politically-driven thinking that created the current dilapidated state of our roads and the $8 million annual shortfall in the City Budget.
Robb: That is an editorial comment to which I will not respond.

The interchange above is at the heart of the City’s current unsustainable fiscal situation. Past Councils for well over a decade have ignored the advice of Staff regarding the maintenance of the City’s capital infrastructure. The year-by-year individual circumstances have differed, but the behavior pattern was the same. Over and over again, the Council chose to avoid a public dialogue about the fact that our City’s appetite for spending exceeded its annual income.

Continue reading "Robb Davis/Matt Williams Dialogue on Nishi Financials – Part 3 of 3" »


Robb Davis/Matt Williams Dialogue on Nishi Financials – Part 2 of 3

Robb and Matt at Nishi Forum
By Matt Williams

As follow-up to the May 6th CivEnergy forum on Measure J, I published my personal reasons why I oppose Measure J as an article for the Davisite and as a comment to the Vanguard.  Prompted by my list, Mayor Davis took the time to respond to all eleven (11) of my comments one-by-one.  I thank Robb for doing so, and particularly thank him for the structured format he used to reply. This is the second in a series of articles on Nishi's financials in which I respond to Robb Davis's replies to me.  The first article is here.

Matt: Nishi's cash contribution to City has shrunk 90% from $1.4 million down to $143,000.

Robb: Non-sequiter. Two very different projects, one with revenue from commercial activity, unsecured property tax, sales tax. I am not sure the point of this statement. It is less. It is a housing-only project.

Robb is correct that the revenues mix is different, with no unsecured property tax in this project The final EPS financial assessment of Nishi 2016 projected the unsecured property tax revenue at full-buildout at $9,000, which was one-half of one percent of the annual revenues … a rather minuscule difference.

The annual Sales Tax projection at full-buildout for Nishi 2016 was $286,000 as opposed to $198,000 for Nishi 2018, a difference of $88,000.

Continue reading "Robb Davis/Matt Williams Dialogue on Nishi Financials – Part 2 of 3" »


Robb Davis/Matt Williams Dialogue on Nishi Financials – Part 1 of 3

 

By Matt Williams

As follow-up to the May 6th CivEnergy forum on Measure J, I published my personal reasons why I oppose Measure J as an article for the Davisite and as a comment to the Vanguard.  Prompted by my list, Mayor Davis took the time to respond to all eleven (11) of my comments one-by-one.  I thank Robb for doing so, and particularly thank him for the structured format he used to reply.

After taking time off for a movie and dinner date with a group of Davis friends and the Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I have put together this point-by-point response to the first of Robb's comments. This is the first of a series of articles in which I will respond to all of Robb's points. I believe that covering them one-by-one will produce a more focused and fruitful dialogue.

Matt:   Nishi 2.0 Will Cost Davis Taxpayers between $350,000 and $750,000 per year

Robb:  FBC findings on Nishi, January 8, 2018 (the only action they took in relation to Nishi)

We also generally concur with the estimate that annual ongoing revenues and costs for the city from the project would be modestly net positive over time.

We note, however, that the estimate does not reflect additional revenues that could result if Davis voters approve an increase in parcel taxes. Also, the estimate does not include revenues from Proposition C cannabis taxes or possible community enhancement funds that could result from the negotiation of a development agreement. Also, the EIR adopted for the original, larger, version of the Nishi project suggests that police and fire costs for serving the new residents could be nominal. (A new environmental review is now being conducted for the revised project.) Thus, in some respects, the net fiscal benefit of the project could be greater than estimated.

Robb made that same point in the May 6th Civenergy Forum, which is that the Council prefers to cover its eyes and ears and proactively ignore everything other than the formal written words they received from the Finance and Budget Commission.  What they are doing is using the specifics of one facet of a multi-faceted process to hear no evil and see no evil.

Continue reading "Robb Davis/Matt Williams Dialogue on Nishi Financials – Part 1 of 3" »


Letter: School Choir Program Cuts Planned

ChoirDear Fellow Parents,

It has come to our attention that the district is planning to make cuts to the choir program for the incoming school year. The rationale given has been that next year’s enrollment numbers do not allow for two choirs at each Junior High School and the plan will be one choir per Junior High combined with 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students. Mr. Zinn’s 1.0 FTE is being reduced to a .6 position.

As we all can appreciate, differentiated teaching can be difficult.Teaching beginning choir students presents different challenges than that of more mature 9th graders, many of whom who will be preparing for auditioning for DHS choirs next Spring. Though next year’s choir class sizes could be smaller than other subject matter classes, it has been demonstrated both this year and in the past that the school district has supported and offered smaller class sizes for choir.

We, as parents, feel it is our responsibility to advocate for our teens who love music and singing. The community supported a parcel tax to support the arts program and seeing a decrease in opportunities for our kids is both disconcerting and disappointing. The DJUSD School Board and leadership need to hear from the community if there are concerns. We are urging the district to consider 1) the long-term health and quality of the DJUSD choral program as Jr High School choirs are feeders and preparatory grounds for the renowned DHS choirs and 2) the differentiated needs of current choir students by offering 2 sections of choir at the Junior Highs in the fall.

Please consider emailing your school principal, Derek Brothers, Director of Personnel (dbrothers@djusd.net) and the DJUSD School Board (boe@djusd.net) so our voices, and our kids’ voices, are heard. You may also wish to read today’s Davis Enterprise article: “Davis Schools’ Music Program Wins Another Award” and add a comment or write to the editor: 
https://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/davis-schools-music-program-wins-another-award/
Also please feel free to share this letter and information with any other interested parents, community members or stakeholders. We definitely want to be inclusive but just started here with contacting those whom we know directly.
Thank you!

Deborah Folb
Jen Miller


'THE TRUTH ABOUT VOTING WITH A CRIMINAL RECORD IN CALIFORNIA'

Courtesy of EAST BAY  COMMUNITY LAW CENTER via an attorney friend of mine.

 

"I have a felony conviction or juvenile adjudication on my record.  Can I still vote?    YES !

As long as you are at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, out of prison and off felony parole.

                                                                                                                                                                  

Can I vote while I'm on probation?        YES !

You can vote even if your are currently on probation, regardless of whether your conviction is for a felony or misdemeanor, or your probation is supervised(felony or formal probation or banked) or unsupervised (court or misdemeanor probation).      

                                                                                                                                                                  

Can I vote even if I've been to prison in the past?     YES !
As long as you are out of prison and off felony parole now, you are eligible to vote.      

                                                                                                                                                                    

Continue reading "'THE TRUTH ABOUT VOTING WITH A CRIMINAL RECORD IN CALIFORNIA'" »


Yes on Nishi exceeds a quarter of a million dollars in expenditures

Pileofmoney-croppedThis came in as a comment on an earlier post, but we thought it deserved its own post.

Davis Gateway Student Housing LLC & Afiliated Entities, the organization for the developers of the Nishi project, has now spent $250,324.06 on the Yes on Measure J campaign!

The most recent expenditures are approximately $31,000 for "Field Expenses", $2,000 for "Voter Contact", and $15,000 for another mailer. And approximately $5,000 for a print ad. That's going to be some ad. Perhaps a full-page in the Sunday paper.

Yes, folks. That's one quarter of a million dollars.


Sadie Fulton Challenges Aguiar-Curry With Write-in Bid

BallotDavisite Sarah Joan Fulton, better known as Sadie, was certified as a write-in candidate for Assembly District 4 by CA Secretary of State Padilla on May 25th.  Fulton joins two other write-in candidates and current Assembly Member Cecelia Aguiar-Curry in the June 5th open primary election.

Since Aguiar-Curry faces only write-in candidates in the June 5th primary, whichever write-in candidate gets the most votes will appear on the November ballot with Aguiar-Curry.

Continue reading "Sadie Fulton Challenges Aguiar-Curry With Write-in Bid" »


Questions About Student Housing and Nishi

Student housing2By Colin Walsh

Some excellent questions where posted about the Nishi project and I wanted to share the answers here (with permission of the questioner). 

Q> Why is nobody talking about how UC Davis has increased their student population without making sure that there is housing built for students, and how that contributes to the housing crisis in Davis?

A> You're exactly right. A few years ago the University launched the 2020 initiative that brought in 5,000 additional students to campus without planning for housing or other facilities. This has absolutely contributed to the Davis housing crunch. City leaders did nothing at the time to push the University to build more housing. Some even cheered that it would lower the vacancy rate, these same leaders now support the Nishi project. For example:

Swanson said she believes the addition of 5,000 new undergraduates and 300 new faculty will have a positive effect.

Continue reading "Questions About Student Housing and Nishi" »


Environmental scientists study residential development near major roadways

Not long ago (end of April this year), the UC Davis Institute for Transportation Studies invited Dr. C.J. Gabbe from Santa Clara University's Department of Environmental Studies & Sciences to give a talk about the issues related to the health effects of near highway residential developments..... like NISHI.

Dr. Gabbe considered economics, public health, zoning, mitigation, transportation studies, policy making, environmental justice etc etc.  You might enjoy his talk which the UCD ITS has posted using this link:

 https://ucdcoe.mediasite.com/Mediasite/Play/2cc5b94eecb8457ea77e43c9f4a17eed1d

The reason that scientists are increasingly doing these kinds of studies is that there is some real concern that an absence of consideration of the health effects in all public policies is leading to unnecessary negative health impacts for the citizens/residents of California.  Hot topic!!

Check it out.

John


10 Myths of Nishi 2.0

Myth buster 2
From The Flatlander Newspaper

What follows are some of the peculiar arguments being put forth to support Nishi 2.0.  Have any of these claims fooled you?  

1) UCD students are forced to rent in Woodland, Dixon and West Sacramento.

False.  Students are not “forced” to do anything.  They choose to live in other communities for all sorts of reasons:  a preference for a community other than Davis; lower cost, a desire to live with friends or family; proximity to employment, to name a few.  Building more housing in Davis does not change any of those factors, nor should it.

Continue reading "10 Myths of Nishi 2.0" »


A Problem with the Davis Vanguard’s Citation Practices

JournalisticethicsRecently, the Davis Vanguard has been discussing articles from the Davisite without citing them.[1] This is, in my opinion, a violation of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics.  It also hampers the ability of a community to engage in informed discussion.

Continue reading "A Problem with the Davis Vanguard’s Citation Practices" »


Opposing the Nishi project Because of Costs & Lack of Integrity in the Process

Nish-from-tracks
By Matt Williams

Individuals have different reasons for opposing the Nishi project.  My personal reasons are as follows:

  • Nishi 2.0 will cost Davis taxpayers between $350,000 and $750,000 per year.
  • Nishi’s cash contribution to City has shrunk 90%  from $1.4 million down to $143,000.
  • $650,000 per year of Community Services District revenues in Nishi 2016 have “vanished” in Nishi 2018.
  • Nishi 2018 has no dollars for deferred maintenance of capital infrastructure.
  • That is the same short-sighted, politically-driven thinking that created the current dilapidated state of our roads and the $8 million annual shortfall in the City Budget.

Guess who picks up the fiscal difference … Davis taxpayers

Continue reading "Opposing the Nishi project Because of Costs & Lack of Integrity in the Process" »


Dean Johansson for Yolo County District Attorney

Dean Johansson is an exceptionally well-qualified candidate for the Yolo County District Attorney. Not only has he served as a public defender in Yolo County for eleven years, he has served as a prosecutor in two other counties. He has practiced for ten years as private attorney representing civil rights cases. More of his biography and awards can be accessed at Meet Dean on Dean4DA.com

Dean Johansson plans to be smart on crime which means going after the serious offenders and diverting less serious individuals to programs that would address their underlying issues. Programs that accept these individuals without criminalizing them. Examples would include a working Mental Health Court that would treat the mentally ill as patients in need; a substance abuse program that would work on a medical model; anger management and domestic violence would be treated on a class therapy model.

Continue reading "Dean Johansson for Yolo County District Attorney" »


In CA, it's not too late to register and vote!

REG & VOTE MAY 22 - Jun 5IN CALIFORNIA IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO REGISTER & VOTE

Conditional Voter Registration & Voting at same time!
May 22 to Jun 5

Yolo County Location:
Yolo County Elections Department
625 Court Street, Room B05
Woodland, CA 95695

Need a ride? Call / Text M E 916.248.6442
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
May 22 to Jun 5

~~~~

Do you know when a felon in CA can vote?

When she or he is finished with parole. That very day they get signed off of parole they can register to vote.

This information is kept on the down low.  Spread the word.


UCD can, and needs to provide far more on-campus housing

OrchardPark
Orchard Park, still closed after 4 years

UCD’s inadequate LRDP needs major revisions

By Eileen M. Samitz

UCD’s LRDP proposal is seriously inadequate

The UCD LRDP and its associated Draft EIR were released recently after the UCD LRDP update process invited input since fall 2015. The problem is UCD LRDP and its associated Draft EIR are seriously inadequate, as was pointed out by the detailed City Staff letter review of the documents. The City Staff letter, approved by City Council recently, pointed out numerous problems with the UCD LRDP proposal.

The problems include an insufficient amount of student housing proposed (i.e. the City Council’s recommended “50/100” plan was not included) as well as the astonishing lack of many basic details including: 1) timelines of housing to materialize, 2) inadequate student housing densities, and 3) a failure to recognize and acknowledge the significant impacts environmentally and on the City’s infrastructure due to UCD’s shortfall of beds proposed. The proposed LRDP would continue shifting the majority of their student housing burden onto the City.

Continue reading "UCD can, and needs to provide far more on-campus housing" »


Are the Woodland Daily Democrat, the Davis Enterprise, and the Sacramento Bee to be trusted in their endorsements?

News-stock-photoBy M E Gladis

Apparently the editorial staff of the Woodland Daily Democrat, the Davis Enterprise, and the Sacramento Bee, three of the newspapers that have endorsed the current Yolo County district attorney, support a 41% rate of felony trials which end in acquittal by juries or dismissal by judges.This 41% rate is more than double the state average. Could a county supervisor please let the voters of Yolo County know how many millions of dollars of taxpayer money is wasted on these futile efforts of overcharging by the current district attorney?

It would seem these editorial staff, also appreciate direct file, which is a charge as an adult on a youth. Since 2013, 93% of direct files have been against Hispanic youth.What is behind this bias of overcharging the Hispanics? It would seem a civilian oversight of the current district attorney is in order.

Continue reading "Are the Woodland Daily Democrat, the Davis Enterprise, and the Sacramento Bee to be trusted in their endorsements?" »


Charging 12 months rent for nine months occupancy

Westvillage
Photo source: KRCA

By John Troidl

The majority of off campus and some of the on-campus housing targeting UC Davis students requires applicants for residence to sign a 12 month lease.  When I first came to Davis and some students told me about this practice, I was astonished and asked them if they were sure this was true:  Maybe they misunderstood the terms of the standard lease because after all these were young people without a lot of experiences with real estate and leasing. 

They were correct, it turns out, and they told me about the "Summer Scramble" of trying to sublet their places (with/without landlord permission) to recoup at least some of the lost cash they spent for rent on apartments that they did not need for the Summer.  Unbelievable!

Continue reading "Charging 12 months rent for nine months occupancy" »


Promised Nishi Mitigation Features May Never Materialize

Nish-from-tracks

Proponents of Nishi have made much of the promised mitigation features: the tree screen and the air filters. One has to ask, of course, why mitigation is even necessary, and the EIR for the project makes that clear: the location between I-80 and the train tracks brings with it poor air quality and "significant and unavoidable" health impacts. There is no controversy on that point, although some "merchants of doubt" have tried to turn it into one.

Questions have also been raised about whether the promised mitigation will do what it is supposed to do; for example, Dr. Thomas Cahill has pointed out that the tree screen will be much less effective because the freeway is elevated adjacent to Nishi, and the supposed 95% efficiency of the air filters has never actually been demonstrated in a real-life situation (with filters operating at a much lower efficiency in real-life situations).

But the situation is even worse than that. The promised mitigation measures might not even be implemented.

Continue reading "Promised Nishi Mitigation Features May Never Materialize" »