Misrepresenting the facts
Note: The following letter was sent to the Davis Enterprise on December 20, 2019, but so far they have chosen not to publish it.
After my previous letter to the editor concerning unprofessional and rude behavior at the City Council was published, I had hoped to say nothing further about the matter, especially after seeing Anne Ternus-Bellamy’s excellent December 6 summary of events. Unfortunately, Brian Horsfield responded by mispresenting what had happened and accusing me of lying. Eric Gudz likewise misrepresented the facts and accused me of “smearing” Councilmember Will Arnold.
So, I feel the facts need to be set straight. I refer the reader to Ternus-Bellamy’s article, but to reiterate: On three separate occasions, several Davisites and I took our personal evening time to go to Council meetings, pointing out vague and conflicting project descriptions, the absence of information on City websites, the dearth of opportunity for citizen input into projects, and more. (See, e.g., here and here).
In response (and here I quote from Ternus-Bellamy’s article), Councilmember Arnold said: “Whether it’s non-controversial, that’s a bit of a more vague circumstance. I used to think, for example, that the Earth being round was non-controversial. I unfortunately found out recently that there is controversy to that, supposedly, so I suppose anything could be controversial.”
In other words, Councilmember Arnold did exactly what I said he did. To quote myself, “he compared us to Flat-Earthers.”
As a UCD professor specializing in philosophy of science, I very much resent being compared to the most irrational of science deniers. It was rude and unprofessional for Councilmember Arnold to do so, especially since it turned out that all of our complaints, about missing information on the website and about the possibility of such items being on the regular agenda, turned out to be true.
I once again call on the City and its citizens to do better.