Poor communication continues; irregularities confirmed
By Roberta Millstein
At Tuesday’s Council meeting, several Davisites and I showed up to give public comment about an item on the Consent Calendar, scheduled to be approved without discussion. The item concerned the environmental review for a new housing project proposal for Olive Drive.
We raised concerns such as: the fact that this was the first time the project was disclosed to Davisites, preventing any input from citizens prior to review; the failure of City staff to provide the project application and description, only providing them when Colin Walsh noticed that they were missing and requested them, with the result that Davisites had less than the required 72 hours to review (see article from Colin Walsh); and the likelihood that the project is not realistic as proposed, which would make the environmental review pointless at best.
This was the third time in recent days that we have had to raise concerns about items being on the Consent Calendar that should not have been, the other two times having to do with a proposed ~200 acre business park on prime farmland outside of Mace curve.
Last time, Councilmember Will Arnold yelled at us. This time, he compared us to Flat Earthers.
He was unprofessional and rude, and he was out of line. Citizens should not be castigated for taking their personal time to act in what they see are the best interests of the City.
Then, after Councilmember questions, it turned out that, yes, in fact, City staff had had the project documents since August and put the item on the Consent Calendar without providing them. And that, yes, in fact, the Mayor and the City Manager could have made this a regular agenda item, where it would have gotten proper scrutiny and discussion.
It was bad night for City communication. It is exactly this sort of poor communication that led to the Mace Mess. For the most part, the City has been unapologetic about it. That needs to change.