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Letter: Why was the Yes on H campaign chair involved in the City-County negotiations?

The City's staff report for the tax sharing MOU says the "discussions . . . have included the City Council subcommittee of Mayor Partida and Councilmember Carson, along with city staff, and the City Attorney."

The staff report goes on to say "The Bradley-Burns sales taxes generated from points of sale on the project site will be shared 50% County and 50% City. This share applies to Bradley Burns only and not to the Davis local 1% sales tax as approved under Measure Q"

The involvement in this process of Councilmember Carson needs to be emphasized, because in the City's financial analysis of DiSC presented to the Finance and Budget Commission in December, the City's financial consultant EPS projected the City would get 100% of all annual sales tax revenues and the County would get 0%.  The negotiated terms of the MOU reported by both the City and the County reduce the City's projected net tax revenue by over $350,000 per year, and reduce the City's "best case" projection from $3.88 million to $3.53 million.

Since $3.88 million is no longer accurate, City should explicitly direct the Yes on Measure H campaign team to cease-and-desist any further use of the $3.88 million figure in its messaging or materials.  Given Dan Carson's dual role as a member of City Council and as the Honorary Chair of the Yes on Measure H campaign team quickly and efficiently conveying that cease-and-desist statement should be easy to accomplish. 

With all the above said, "Why was the Yes on H campaign chair involved in the City-County negotiations?" – negotiations that produced such an unfavorable result for the City?

Don C. Price


Roberta L. Millstein

Thank you for this letter, Don. When considered with Matt Williams's earlier article (https://www.davisite.org/2022/05/the-whole-story-about-discs-claim-of-388-million-net-revenue-to-the-city.html) then you realize that a realistic claim for the supposed financial benefit is actually quite a bit lower than even 3.53 million -- perhaps even a negative number. 3.53 million is, in my opinion, the rosy, unlikely scenario. More magic thinking from the Yes side.

[edited to correct number]

Matt Williams

Roberta, I think you probably meant million rather than billion.

Roberta L. Millstein

Oops, yes. Slow wake-up this morning.

Susan Rainier

Greed-Driven Corruption....

Darell Dickey

More accurately: Green-washed corruption...

Todd Edelman

With the two very related - in terms of political mechanics - but separate issues here one can be debated and the other not, right?

An optimistic economic projection is always suspect in a context that is supposed to be democratic and transparent - i.e. not Shark Tank -, yet even with the expert analysis by Matt Williams and the simple fact of the actual tax sharing agreement no one knows for sure what will happen.

On the other hand, the involvement of the campaign chair is negotiations is either a clear violation at the technical (legal) level or it's not, AND is a clear violation of the trust from the citizens given to an elected official, or it's not. There is NO gray area here. While the City Attorney or some kind of independent, third-party entity whose decision would be respected should respond to the former, it's the citizens of Davis who have supported Councilmember Carson in the past and trust his pronouncements about DISC -- or members of organizations such as Davis College Democrats - which recently honored Carson - that need to rule on the latter.

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