Last night (2/28/2018), the Davis College Democrats held a forum for candidates for Davis City Council. Well, not all candidates -- you had to be a declared Democrat to participate, even though the City Council is supposed to be non-partisan. Forum participants also had to answer a series of loaded questions. Here's one:
Our city is running out of room to accommodate future growth, with a severe housing and financial crisis. Measure R has placed a stranglehold on any annexation efforts to deal with this problem by requiring a ballot measure for any significant development. In 2020 Measure R will go on the ballot for reauthorization. If elected how will you augment Measure R to stave off another city housing or financial crisis?
Davisites might be surprised to learn how the five candidates (out of nine running) in attendance answered.
For background, in case people aren't familiar with Measure R (an extension of the previous Measure J, often called Measure J/R), it is:
An ordinance of the City of Davis amending the city's general plan to add a policy requiring voter approval for certain changes to the land use designations or entitlements of properties shown on the general plan land use map and enacting the citizens' right to vote on future use of open space and agricultural lands ordinance to provide for voter approval of (1) any general plan land use map amendment that changes a land use designation from an agricultural or urban reserve designation to an urban designation or from an agricultural designation to an urban reserve designation and (2) any proposal for development on the last two large vacant properties designated for urban use commonly known as the Covell Center and Nishi properties; this ordinance to be adopted by the voters and effective upon adoption by the voters of the city.
In other words, Measure J/R puts the power in the hands of Davis's voters to decide what their borders will be -- when open space and ag land should be used for development and when it should be preserved for future generations and for habitat for non-human species. In 2010, Measure R passed by 76.7%.
But, it seems, all five of the Council candidates in attendance want to either take that power away from you, putting into their own hands should they be elected, or they want to reduce your power. That would be (in alphabetical order): Mary Jo Bryan, Linda Deos, Eric Gudz, Gloria Partida, and Mark West. All want to overturn or revise Measure J/R.
If this issue is important to you, vote accordingly.
[I am republishing this previously published post, originally posted on Mar 1 2018, with a new title at the suggestion of a reader, who said he thought that the new title would make the article more accessible].