Mayor Lee informs commenters they may not affect decision process.
By Colin Walsh
On Tuesday March 5th 2019 The City Council heard from about 50 people in public comment on the City’s plan for paid parking in downtown Davis. Comments ranged from unequivocal support to disgusted opposition with a wide range of complaints between. Few speakers were ready to accept the plan as currently proposed and most opposed the plan altogether.
At midnight everyone was exhausted by the several hours long display of democracy, most especially the City Council. It was then that Mayor Brett Lee gave an unusual speech from the dais that is being called “condescending,” “undemocratic,” “arrogant” and “offensive” by some.
Mayor Lee’s comment that seemed to draw people’s ire is this, “The fact that 50 people email us saying yes on A and 10 may say no on A. It is not that we put our fingers up in the wind and we just do a simple head count who said yes who said no, so apologies to some of the commenters that is not the way to do proper decision making.”
I would like to give Mayor Lee the benefit of the doubt, especially given the late hour, but please watch the video for yourself and tell us what you think in the comments section.
After a long break and a short Council Q and A with the staff. Citing the need for more information and the late hour, Mayor Lee moved to continue the meeting, so they did not need to vote on it Tuesday night. After much back and forth, City Manager Mike web proposed moving the item to the next council meeting and then continuing it again to Friday March 22 at 4pm.
That puts Downtown paid parking on the agenda the Friday that starts Spring break for Davis Joint Unified School District and UC Davis. In my opinion, that time and date guarantees a very low public turnout, though there is a rumor it may change again from there.
Council was very clear at the meeting that they hoped to resume the paid parking topic without hearing any more public comment on the subject.