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June 2022

Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - Volume #4

image from www.sparkysonestop.comThis is Al's Corner, a place to comment on local issues and articles/comments in other local forums that you may or may not have been banned from.  For the few Rule-ez at Al's Corner, see "Pages" --> "Al's Corner - What It Is".


Community Leaders Urge – Vote "No" on Measure H

(From press release) Here are six of the many respected and well-known community leaders who urge you to vote No on Measure H against the DiSC project, together with a brief statement of their concerns.

Evans "Previous City Councils required 25-35% affordable housing per each new project. DISC is providing many fewer low income units under a weakened ordinance that does not apply to land outside the city. This project is designed to deliver less units of affordable low income housing."
Ann Evans
Former Mayor of Davis; Founder of the Davis Food Co-op; Author, Davis Farmer’s Market Cookbook
w/ David Thompson
Affordable Housing Developer


Jolly“If these developments were about providing needed and affordable housing and not speculation, the developers would have broken ground on already approved projects. No on Measure H.”
Desmond Jolly
Former Long Range Planning Commission Member
Director Emeritus, UC Statewide Small Farm Program
w/ Julia Jolly



Krovoza“Long-term fiscal sustainability of projects for Davis is paramount. This means projects that pay for their impact and don't further burden city resources. The tax sharing deal with the county was done after the city announced the supposed financial returns. That's completely backwards. I firmly believe the 50/50 split with the county is low, and there's no evidence it’s based on which jurisdiction would pay the most for negative impacts. No on H, for sure.”
Joe Krovoza, Former Mayor of Davis
w/ Janet Krovoza



Dickey“A sustainable project needs to be sited and connected to the community it serves; it needs to favor walking and bike-riding. The location of DiSC 2022, the promise of minimal connectivity for active transportation, and a decidedly car-optimized design will ensure thousands of additional motor vehicle trips through town and onto the freeway each day.”
Darell Dickey
Former Commissioner, City of Davis Bicycle Advisory Commission
Living Streets Activist
Advisor, Bike Davis



Corbett“There are better options for Davis than DiSC. It will not do what they say it will do. With a new general plan Davis can maintain its compact size on existing land and actually provide a better transportation design, more affordable housing, desirable jobs, and improved City financing.”
Mike Corbett
Former Mayor of Davis
Developer of Village Homes
Affordable Housing Developer
w/ Grandson



Caswell“The worst, most deceptive, and disgraceful greenwash campaign in Davis’ history.
Measure H is bad for Downtown, bad for climate, bad for traffic, bad for Davis! Please vote for the Davis you Love, vote no on H”
Heather Caswell
Owner of The Wardrobe
Founder Davis Community Vision Alliance

 

 


Letter: Where’s the Water? NO on H!

Measure H is a rare opportunity for us, as individuals, to choose what is good for the many over what is good for the few.  The NO on H arguments focus on verifiable negative impacts of the proposed DISC development such as increased traffic and paving over of prime agricultural land, while the Yes side claims that, if all goes as advertised, the city will benefit financially.

No matter which arguments you believe or favor, there is one overarching reason to vote NO on H – WATER.  The City of Davis, indeed the entire state, is in the throes of a severe, worsening drought.   Davis receives surface water from the Sacramento River and well(or ground-)water pumped from aquifers beneath the city.  Our surface water supply is limited by finite, maximum water “rights,” which in turn are dependent on upstream reservoir levels and snowpack, both of which are far below normal, and pumping huge volumes of water, especially from the deep aquifers, is unsustainable. 

The agricultural land on which DISC would be built currently receives NO water from the city of Davis – NONE.  And, as ag land, it can be fallowed if necessary.  BUT, if Measure H passes, that 100-plus acres of land will be annexed into the City and connected – permanently - to our city water infrastructure, thus creating a new drain on our already-limited water supply.  And, if water is like any other commodity, even as we conserve more as a community, the demands of DISC and already-approved projects will lead to increased water rates.

But fear not, our city leaders have not forgotten us.  Even as they are campaigning for Measure H, they are planning to educate us with a new “messaging” slogan: “No doubt, We’re in a Drought!”  

Seriously folks, a few people could make a pile of money if H passes, and the City might benefit financially, but I believe we need to help the many by voting NO on Measure H.

Rick Entrikin
Davis


Letter: Not buying DiSC

I knew this Yes on H campaign was off to an ignominious start when I started receiving phone calls.  A lot of phone calls. All seeking my opinion.  Developers care about my thoughts? Not likely.  When you get THAT many phone calls, you know the pockets pushing a project are deep, aggressive, and expect to make a lot of money. They don’t like anyone getting in their way.  Then a sitting city Davis city council member, who heads the Yes on H campaign, sued the opposition with the apparent intent of snuffing out dissenting voices.  This lawsuit against the No on H folks felt Trump inspired: sic lawyers on any opposition and financially drain them into submission. That’ll teach ’em to speak up!

The Yes on H folks are trying to create the illusion that this enormous industrial development will attract people seeking nature.  This project is simultaneously being billed as helping solve the housing crisis in Davis (it won’t), helping endangered species (by paving almost 100 of acres of land, I guess) and solving climate change (because some people may take the bus or bike out there). Their “transit plaza” is …a bus stop. See how easy solving world climate change was! All solved with a single development!  Wow.  I guess mentioning “world peace” was too much of a stretch, even for them. Maybe next time, after they’ve had their way with Davis, they’ll say that their NEXT mega development will solve the Middle East Crisis.

When they expect over 2,500 employees working at site, yet only 460 housing units (with no guarantee that residents in the development are actually working at the site) … then … well, it’s not going to be an environmental utopia, no matter the grand the promises.  No solving the Climate Crisis.  No world peace either, I guess.

Davis needs to vote no on this project before the project leaders shut down any more voices that they don’t like with their lawyers.

Liz Reay 

Davis


NO on Carson (Letter to Editor, Davis Enterprise, June 3rd, 2022)

Campaigners are often so set in the righteousness of their views that they forget that the only people they need to convince are those few in the middle weighing both sides. Carson changed my vote on Measure H.

I see both advantages and consequences to building DiSC; my main issue was infrastructure, specifically the bike under-crossing. I was torn but until recently decided to cross the 50-yard line in support of the project, based on the developer's commitment to build the bike/ped tunnel (though I was getting concerned as some pointed out the wording in the agreement could allow the 'commitment' to be pushed off indefinitely).

Then Carson became the head of the committee to support the project he just voted to put on the ballot, as a coucil-member. I'm fine with council-members having opinions and speaking out, but I don't ever want to see such an intimate relationship between a party of interest and a politician, even if technically legal. Honestly, I may never have noticed, had Carson not chosen to become the developer’s proxy to sue Davis citizens over a ballot argument. Yes, the ‘No’ ballot argument is outrageous; also outrageous is the developer’s ‘Yes’ ballot argument, lawn signs, etc. That's the nature of ballot arguments!

Loss of political integrity on this scale trumps mere issues and must not be tolerated. I will not only vote No on H, but likely permanently against this piece of land and this developer. I will also get my exercise this fall by walking the streets of West Davis in support of Carson's replacement.

Vote NO on Carson.

Alan C. Miller
Davis


Opposition to Measure H from Davis's Environmental Recognition Award Recipient

Eliot Larson, Climate Strike Leader
Eliot Larson, Climate Strike Leader

Dear City Council members, Mayor Partida and other local leaders,

Last month (April of 2022) you presented me with a special environmental recognition award to which I had very mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it felt good to be recognized for the work I do as a youth climate activist but on the other hand it felt like all of you were just trying to cover up our inactions.

Today, I got a pamphlet in the mail for yes on Measure H. I wanted to be open minded and see the points that yes on H stated. As I looked over the pamphlet I was horrified to see the seemingly endless list of people who have signed onto this measure, most of whom I know; the mayor of Davis, as well as many former mayors, Dan Carson, Lucus Frerichs; the list went on. I saw only half truths and mostly lies about what this project will bring to the community.

I know a lot of people here in Davis feel very strongly about this measure and I admit that I am one of those people. I cannot stand to think of another part of our beautiful Mother Earth being paved over and hundreds of wild animals losing more of their land. We need to remember that this is not our land and we have no right to destroy it. I will not stand for more agricultural land being taken and Davis becoming an even bigger and more politicized city.

I did not want this letter to be all about measure H. No, I want it to be about how disappointed I am in the leaders of my community who claim they want to save the Earth and make Davis a more affordable and safe community. Davis will not be affordable or safe if humans build on every bit of the land they can and climate change destroys the rest.

Now, to the leaders of this community who have signed onto this destructive project, I am disappointed in you. Is that what you wanted? Did you really want a 15 year old queer kid to have fight the rest of their life for climate justice because you didn’t step up and do the right thing? You have no right to be leading this community unless you are capable of caring for its children and that includes fighting for their futures. Think about that for a moment. And maybe, if any of you have any conscience, you will reach out to me about how we can start taking steps towards a livable future.

Eliot Larson


Ramco Enterprises spends over $600,000 to date on Yes on H campaign

Pileofmoney(From press release) DiSC developers, led by Frank Ramos of Ramco Enterprises, poured $317,503 into the Yes on H campaign in a single day last week, bringing total developer contributions to the campaign committee to more than $600,000 in less than five months. The only other major donor to the campaign is Buzz Oates, Ramco’s partner in the development.

Yes on H expenditures have included:

  • $123,00 to Spafford and Lincoln, a public relations and campaign management firm based in Davis CA. Spafford has been hired by developers of several major Davis projects in the past. Their role includes providing paid influencers, door-to-door solicitors, and phone bankers misrepresenting themselves as volunteers.

  • $28,000 in direct payments to individuals actively campaigning publicly for DiSC. These are people who have tabled at the Farmers Market, and written letters and solicited support from local political parties, civic organizations, Parent-Teacher Association groups, and news and social media outlets.

  • $45,000 to KMP Strategies. Their website describes their work as reaching “stakeholders where they are.” “Where they are” includes “on their phones, in their mailboxes, in their homes, in between songs on their playlist, or through those they trust.”
  • $89,503.34 for lawyers from 2 separate law firms to prosecute Councilmember Dan Carson's lawsuit against the No on Measure H ballot statement signers and to represent the Developers before the City Council, City Advisory Commissions, and during other public events.

Continue reading "Ramco Enterprises spends over $600,000 to date on Yes on H campaign" »


Yolo County judge orders Councilmember Carson to pay the No on Measure H campaign $42,210 in legal fees

Justice2(From press release) In a 16-page opinion, Superior Court Judge Daniel Maguire found that Davis Councilmember Dan Carson, the honorary chairman of the Yes on H campaign, failed to prove the majority of claims he made in a lawsuit targeting the six Davis residents who signed and submitted the No on H ballot argument. The named defendants were the five No on Measure H ballot statement signers (Roberta Millstein, Juliette Beck, Michael Corbett, Stephen Wheeler, and Darell Dickey) and the No on Measure H Principal Officer and ballot statement co-author (Alan Pryor). 

This is the first time in Davis that an elected city official led a developer's campaign seeking to annex farmland into the city for a subdivision. The act of bringing this lawsuit was previously condemned in a statement made by six former Davis mayors.

Those ballot-signers "achieved the greater share of success" in the lawsuit and should have most of their legal fees paid for by Carson, Judge Maguire wrote.

The No on H campaign’s defense of their ballot arguments in the face of Carson’s challenge both protected No on H’s right to free speech and the public interest in receiving the No on H argument against the DiSC development. Judge Maguire states in his order, “Our society has a deep commitment to free speech, especially in political matters, and by defending their right to make their argument in their words, the Real Parties in Interest have also enforced an important right affecting the public interest.

"We thank Judge Maguire for his thoughtful consideration of the issues and are heartened that our grass roots campaign was vindicated and prevailed over deep-pocketed developers and politicians who tried to intimidate Davis residents with meritless litigation," said Alan Pryor, chair of the No on H campaign.

Continue reading "Yolo County judge orders Councilmember Carson to pay the No on Measure H campaign $42,210 in legal fees" »