After a short City Council Meeting lasting only 3 days, Davis City Council members managed to wrap 3 issues into one compromising solution.
The Davis City Council has been accused of being out of step with the public in its move to eliminate its street “claw” yard waste pick up, installation of parking meters in the downtown, and its failed attempt to levy a parcel tax for road repair. In all 3 cases the City has faced stiff opposition and name calling, which prompted Council Member Frerichs to chant “I am rubber you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!” at the recent parking meter Council meeting.
Day 1 was entirely taken up by public comment. The council took turns pretending to listen to citizens as a colorful cast of characters poured their hearts out, sometimes even about the topic at hand. A highlight of the evening was when instructors from the Pam Trokanski Dance studio attempted to teach the City Council the art of partner dancing in the hope they would be better in step with the citizenry, but the lesson was cut short when Mayor Lee enforced the 2 minute 59 second time limit.
Day 2 discussions focused on revenue generation. It was clear that the entire Council was on the same page in their hope to greatly increase revenues for the City so they could better fund pet projects like the Mace/Cowell intersection degradation project, the blank graffiti canvas being erected at the corner of F and Covell, and a new mega sports complex. Council member Carson summed it up best when he exclaimed, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”
But initial revenue generation proposals seemed unlikely to be accepted by the public. They included:
- 500% tax on Sodas
- A $20 entry toll at Richards Tunnel
- A $1.00 per leaf claw pick up fee
- Allowing the City name to be changed to Whitcombville
- Banning all cars and taxing bicycles
- Licensing naming rights to “that old toad tube” to an internet company
- “getting in on that girl scout cookie thing”
Frerichs also brought to the Council’s attention that thousands of “out-o-towners and Sac-ro-menters” pass through Davis on the Amtrak Capital Corridor train daily without Davis getting a dime. But his train robbery proposal found no support amongst the Council. Brett Lee briefly suggested highway robbery was the greener choice since it did more to discourage driving, but Lee could not get a second on his motion.
Day 3 however proved unusually productive with the Council cobbling together a solution to end Davis’s problems. After much discussion Council Member Partida made a motion to install parking meters in front of all Davis homes. The parking spaces in front of these meters can be used for storing yard waste while it waits for the once monthly claw pick up. Any yard waste in front of an expired meter will result in a fine to the household.
Yard waste parking fines will escalate with each infraction and non-payment can result in a “Denver Boot” being placed on the adjacent home.
Partida’s initial motion included a 2-hour maximum on the meters requiring homeowners to feed the meter every 2 hours. Carson saw this as particularly unfair and offered a friendly amendment for the meters to interact with smart phones thus allowing the meters to be fed digitally from anywhere with cell or internet service.
Frerichs advocated, “internet connectivity will keep the buck-a-roos rolling into City Hall better than if Bernie Maddoff were mayor.”
Staff sought assurances that this new internet connected meter deal would be included in the WAVE/Astound monopoly giveaway.
With Carson’s amendment the Council unanimously passed the compromising proposal. Meter installation in front of Davis homes will begin next month. This will give just enough time for the Council to consider Mayor Lee’s proposal to buy a tank, MRAP, or other type of armored vehicle to protect the meter installers.
Will Arnold recused himself because he feels he has a personal interest in everything that happens in Davis.
City Council Member homes will be exempt for life.
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