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It's Time for a Complete Change in Davis' City Council

A number of Davisites have reported receiving the following email:

From the Desk of Michael Corbett

Former Davis Mayor

Dear Davis Citizen,

The Davis City Council Members have made some decisions over the the last 8 years that have cost the city taxpayers millions of dollars, and they have shown a lack of good judgment in protecting our quality of life. Three City Council Members responsible for those actions are currently candidates seeking re-election. Their questionable actions should be considered as we mark our ballots.

In 2014 on a 3 to 2 vote, they approved the Cannery without an agreement to provide a grade-separated crossing at F street as was originally envisioned. That crossing would have connected the planned North Davis bike system to allow people living east of F Street to safely travel to schools, the library, downtown, the University and other community facilities. Two of the tree current Council candidates voted for this deficient agreement.

The same two candidates were part of a 3 to 2 vote to allow the Cannery project to reduce the number of much-needed, affordable housing units by allowing the developer to substitute granny-flats without any price controls, a favor not afforded to other developers. They did that by allowing the substitution to be included in the Development Agreement. If either had, instead, joined the 2 no votes, they could have avoided giving up affordable units and other concessions that favored the developers rather than the public. The substitution of granny-flats for affordable units was affirmed and expanded in both the 2016 and 2018 Amendments to the Development Agreement. These two candidates had at least three opportunities to vote "no" on the granny-flat substitution incorporated into the Development Agreement and its amendments, but they did not, they acquiesced.

One of the candidates, while on the Council, invested in a development that would have to go before the Planning Commission and City Council for approval. Recusal of voting does not erase a council member's project support. In fact, it is like a yes vote.

Council Members have been taken trips in connection with developers to places such as the Netherlands, North Carolina, and another foreign country. Who is paying for these trips -- tax payers, developers, or council members? This has not been made public or how the trips benefited the City. If developers want council members to see an illustration of one of their projects or other constructive examples they can present a video to the council and commissions that the public would have access to.

One voted for the controversial BrightNight lease of City property that inappropriately excluded public and Commission input, and the City said nothing about the fact that BrightNight ask to have some of their communication hidden from the public – it appears that much of the deal was made behind the scenes!

Two chose to put the environmentally questionable Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus project on the ballot without first updating the general plan -- a plan that still reflects the economic, and climate conditions that existed 20 years ago and not the current conditions that need to be factored in. This precludes a comparison of alternatives that could thoughtfully be considered by the Commissions, Council, and the public. It also puts the future character of Davis in the developer's hands as part of a piecemeal planning approach that excludes better options that could preserve Davis's character and avoid increased traffic congestion. We are living in a rapidly changing world and should not proceed with out-of-date development concepts.

Three failed to implement several important actions from the 10-year-old Climate Action Plan.

Over and over again, the Council has failed to set enough money aside for repaving our streets, leaving them in the poorest condition of any town in Yolo County. That, in addition to their failure to set aside adequate reserve funds, leaves the City with a heavy financial burden as we now must face the financial impacts of Covid-19.

By any terms this is the worst track record of any Council I have seen in the past. We desperately need new blood. If you are thinking of supporting any of the current or former City Council Members for reelection, you might take the time to personally ask if he or she was responsible for any of the actions noted above.

Comments

Ron O

Excellent, scathing analysis.

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