When Davis was forced to “district elections” in July, it changed all the rules of the political game for the 1% who pay attention to everything, and the 5% who are involved in an ongoing basis.
Brett Lee and Lucas Frerichs were gearing up for their third terms. They have had to pull back and be in the middle of the decision about the district boundaries.
The only argument I can see for 7 districts is that it guarantees Lucas a seat in a district independent of Brett. (In some of the 5 seat maps, Lucas and Brett would be in the same district and have to run against each other.)
So, first, I support 5 districts. I don’t believe anyone should feel like they own a seat on the city council. I get the impression that Lucas believes we should be required to keep Lucas on the city council until Don Saylor eventually retires from the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, so Lucas can have a lifetime seat representing District 2. I believe that Lucas was ethically challenged when he made the initial investment in the Trackside development, and other problems about side deals concerns me. 7 districts would protect Lucas.
Second, while renters and students are under-represented, I believe that district elections will force candidates to appeal to them more than they would in citywide elections. Brett Lee is going to have many advantages in a district race, but when people find out how weak his record is, and his arrogance to impose parking meters downtown which he called a “compromise”, he is so vulnerable that he will be defeated even though he will get great responses, and his fans will love him citywide.
Third, the only thing we can count on is that South Davis has been and will continue to be neglected. If you look at the districts in the City of Sacramento, the three lowest income districts, in the north and the south, 1, 7 & 8, get the bad things that nobody else is willing to take but they have to put it somewhere.
South Davis has been and will continue to be the dumping grounds for the rest of Davis.
South Davis must have its own representative, which seems impossible in the 7 district maps. I object to the Target neighborhoods north of I-80 being included in the South Davis district, so I oppose the 5 district map option 3.
After that, the South Davis ongoing tragedy will be the window to what is really happening in citywide politics, because the council majority will gang up on South Davis.
The South Davis story will also enlighten the 5% about how different district councils are from citywide councils: for every vote, you have to develop a majority of council members who do not represent the area support the project. That is a mixed blessing and the reason why district councils are defined by log rolling (you vote for my project and I will vote for yours) and coalition building. As a result, Davis politics will have two layers, the district layer and the citywide layer. They will play out during the elections, when people with a citywide agenda (like developers with a project before the council) try to influence the outcome of district elections.
5 district map option 1 combines the North Davis west and Mace Ranch as District 2, and they are not the same communities of interest (North Safeway shoppers and Nugget shoppers), so I oppose that option.