Davis youth strike to protest lack of climate emergency planning by city
Why DiSC matters for the City Council election

Davis Deserves Better than Carson

Carson-doesnt-work-for-DavisBy Scott Steward

I hope District 1 voters agree that Dan Carson has not earned a second term on the City Council.

If you were for a Davis Innovation and Sustainability Center (Measure H), then you should know Dan Carson's lawsuit, against fellow Davis residents opposed to Measure H, (a lawsuit which Carson technically lost), was such an obvious attack on Davis civil engagement that the lawsuit alone sunk Measure H.

If you were for Davis energy independence, then you should know that Dan Carson led the closed door effort to allow BrightNight to control Davis land rights for $50,000 dollars a year, when the solar project lifetime electricity value for the site was estimated to be $120 million. No one, including Dan Carson, Brett Lee or any city employee examining deal had commercial solar development experience.

The Davis Utility Commission voted (5 to 2) to have the City walk away from the BrightNight deal. Davis solar and energy experts condemned the decision. Public pleas to rescind were ignored and publicly rebuked by Dan Carson. (Davis Enterprise April 21, 2020)

The solar BrightNight fiasco and the Measure H lawsuit have caused much spilled ink, lawyer fees, and lost opportunity. Dan Carson's actions invoked the unprecedented condemnation of seven former Mayors: Krovoza, Davis, Corbett, Greenwald, Wagstaff, Evans, and Kopper. (Davis Enterprise April 27, 2020 and May 18, 2022)

Carson continues to insist that his experience, as a former Budget Analyst for the State of California, should pave the way for all to accept his good judgement. Except the record shows, Dan Carson does not have good judgement and does not respect shared decision making.

It's time for District 1 to have a different representative. Candidates Kelsey Fortune and Bapu Vaitla are excellent candidates. Please don't vote for Carson.



I can't believe I'm saying this but I agree with everything Scott Steward wrote here. Carson has shown his true colors and needs to go. The only problem is the two other candidates are going to split the "anyone but Carson" vote so Carson might slip though.

George Galamba

BrightNight is reason enough to dump this entire council. They all participated in this sham. Honest government doesn't work this way.

Roberta L. Millstein

As George says, BrightNight alone is enough. BrightNight + the developer-backed lawsuit against Davis citizens (which none of the current councilmembers has ever condemned in any way) makes the case for ousting Carson in particular and current councilmembers in general overwhelming.

Sharla Cheney

This Council brought us Healthy Davis Together and through COVID. It was a wonderful collaboration with UCD and made me proud to live in Davis.

Roberta L. Millstein

Sharla, a lot of people tout HDT as an accomplishment of the City, but it was never clear to me what Davis (or the council) actually contributed beyond saying “yes.” UCD came up with the proposal, had the funding, developed the in-person and behind the scenes protocols… Davis did, what? Allowed some of its buildings to be rented? Did they even play a role in that? Put their faces on some glossy ads? Anyone could see this was a good idea, so agreeing to go along with it gets no points in my book. If you know some actual contributions that the CC made, I would love to hear them.

Colin Walsh

I appreciate HDT but I don't see Davis leadership as having played much of a role in developing or implementing it. A large anonymous outside funder worked with UCD to develop it, and Davis did what? exactly? How did Davis even accept enormous monetary contributions without considering and revealing potential conflicts of interest? Used the opportunity to push the DiSC project on the ballot twice during the pandemic? Gave away millions of money from the federal government without asking for tangible returns on the investment?

Sharla Cheney



I'm curious, did Davis fair better than the rest of the country when it came to COVID? Or did COVID just run its course in Davis as it did everywhere else?

Roberta L. Millstein

Sharla, I looked at the article that you linked to, but I don't see where it says anything about the contributions of the Davis City Council to HDT other than, as I said before, saying "yes" and agreeing to put their faces on some promotional materials. It seems like the vast majority of the effort came from UCD, not the Davis City Council. I don't think it's right to give the Davis City Council credit for the HDT effort.

Sharla Cheney

Roberta, If that’s how you think, then Partida shouldn’t be responsible for putting DISC on the ballot. All she did was say “YES.” One can’t cherry pick just the things that enrage and ignore or discount the positive things. . It is about who represents the community best and who will advocate for their District best. The Council does not really have a say in development outside our City limits. They can only vote to allow the residents of Davis vote on it.

Roberta L. Millstein

Sharla, you are mistaken about the role of a councilmember with respect to development. As a member of the subcommittee (with Dan Carson) she worked closely with the developer and staff to adjust the project, and then as a councilmember, was responsible to ask questions and ask for changes after taking in the input of citizens and commissions. In short it is the job of the Council to make sure only the best projects come to voters after all the negotiating is done. Instead DiSC was a rushed re-hash of the earlier failed project with minimal input from Council. They even put it on the ballot before the tax sharing agreement with the County was in place!

I would be surprised if citizens of District 4 -- the citizens who would have been most affected by DiSC --thought that Partida "represents the community best" and "advocated for their District the best" when she analyzed DiSC. We don't have the breakdown for the second DISC vote, but for the first DISC vote her district had the largest number of "No" votes, and it's hard to see why that would change.

Also, she actively promoted the project with a letter published in the Davis Enterprise "From the Desk of Mayor Gloria Partida." Carson, of course, was "Honorary Chair" and presumably part of the campaign strategy in that role -- certainly the lawsuit.

But I am not aware of any input given by the Council to HDT. Again, if you or anyone else has any actual info about that I am willing to be corrected. But it certainly didn't happen in a Council meeting the way that it did for DiSC.

Sharla Cheney

Roberta - I’m speaking toward your complete dismissal of Council leadership during COVID, while enhancing the negative leadership role of development. This is unfair, as we have taken away the power to approve development from the Council, its advisory Commissions, and Staff. All they have the power to do is place the proposal on the ballot. The community already voted to not move forward with the project, likely for the reasons you mention. I appreciate my City leaders collaboration with scientists and researchers at UCD to respond to the COVID pandemic and I appreciate the community’s willingness to follow the Council leadership and Staff’s plan for implementing the strategies for the Non-UCD community.

Roberta L. Millstein

Sharla, and I will say again that you are mistaken about the Council's role in development. I explained how they do, in fact, do much more than say "yes" or "no" about putting something on the ballot (and by the way, not all development projects go on the ballot -- most don't). You have yet to provide any evidence that the Council had the level of involvement with HDT that they did with DiSC and other development projects where they are actively weighing in on the design and participating in negotiations. Did Council weigh in on how HDT would be run? Did they participate in negotiations? Again, I'd be happy to learn about it if they did.

Ron O

Testing for Covid accomplished NOTHING, unless those infected actually quarantined themselves. And we have no idea whether or not that actually occurred.

For that matter, those with symptoms (but without being tested) might quarantine themselves, as well.

Testing was not entirely reliable in the first place.

Young people (e.g., students) were ALWAYS more resistant to serious symptoms. As such, towns with large, young student populations were always going to have significantly less serious symptoms.

And the rest of Davis (being relatively "on board", due to their political outlook) were already among the more-careful populations. Not exactly a Sturgis motorcycle rally-type crowd. (Or even a "Redding, California" type of crowd.)

If you want to see the "damage" Covid did, visit nursing homes - where they tested, took extensive precautions (but where the virus spread among residents and staff, regardless). Gee, I wonder what folks in nursing homes have in common? Illness, age, etc.?

But yeah, if you want to "pat UCD on the back", go for it.

Didn't UCD also hold prohibit in-person classes, for awhile?

Sharla Cheney

I’d say that you are firm in your beliefs and I’m not feeling that it is worth my time to try to prove to you or convince you that people really stepped up to help guide the town through a really challenging time or that Davis faired better than other communities due to our collaboration with UCD and acting as one community. It proved to me that Davis can be a good place to live.

Roberta L. Millstein

Sharla, and I'd say that you have offered no evidence for your belief, while I have said that I would change my mind if you offered any evidence. But one place you and I agree, while disagreeing with Ron, is that HCD was a good thing. I just think that the lion's share of the credit goes to UCD.

Bob Milbrodt

Citizens have taken no power away from the city council regarding development issues (or any other issues). The expectation of Measure J (renewed as Measure R/D) is that the council will follow a citizen based general plan. (They haven't, they routinely make "amendments" to insert projects into the general plan that were never there in the first place.) For certain projects, after having complied with the general plan, the city is supposed to put the project before the voters for validation or veto. That is consistent with our democratic republic form of governance.
Measure H wasn't just a lousy project, it was a violation of proper governance. If you believe in the American form of government, you must reject the candidacy of anyone who supported Measure H.

Ron O

To be clear, I'm not saying that the testing was a "bad" thing - not at all.

I'm just saying that it's difficult to determine cause-and-effect. Testing itself does not prevent spread of the disease, unless the individuals take action based upon a positive result. And who knows if they do so - even within their own household (which is pretty difficult to do).

For that matter, not all of those who work at UCD (and were presumably tested) even live in Davis.

Those who seek out testing (beyond those required to do so) are likely a careful bunch in the first place.

I did hear of a nursing facility in Davis which had substantial "positive" results (both residents, and staff) - despite frequent (required) testing (and subsequent required quarantine procedures). I believe this information can also be found online.

Wondering how they'd know what the actual positivity rate for the city was, unless the entire population was tested.

I know of people who believe they (probably) had Covid, but did not test for it.

Then, there's those who are walking around before they even test for the disease in the first place.

But again I ask - didn't UCD prevent students from in-person attendance, for a period of time? (For both students and staff?) If so, that probably had the biggest impact of all.

And again I'd point out that the population of Davis itself is likely very different than that of surrounding communities. Highly-educated, some might (derisively) say "know-it-alls". Even the students are a "cut above" those at say, Sacramento State.

The Davis Elites, as it were.

You could probably offer free testing in some other cities, with much fewer "takers".

I don't deny that the testing offered had some impact, but I wouldn't attribute all cause-and-effect to it.

The article that Sharla posted almost sounds like it was written by UCD's public relations department. Are they working on curing cancer, next? (Or, at least taking credit for it?)

Ron O

In any case, this is also from the article that Sharla posted:

"Some researchers aren’t yet convinced. Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said the researchers’ modeling relies too heavily on test positivity, which he described as “far too simplistic.”

Testing more people would naturally result in lower positivity because you would be testing more people who didn’t have the virus, he said. Osterholm said he could not determine for sure what role any particular factor — the volume of testing, adherence to other public health protocols, the demographics of the community — played in driving down infection rates and saving lives."

Ron O

As a side note, my comment regarding "Davis Elites" was intended in a semi-humorous manner.

When I was younger, I always wanted to be a "YUPPIE". Never quite made it - in my mind at least.

Let alone an "Elite".

Hell, I graduated from a state university - what do you expect? :-)

Sharla Cheney

Ron - My department was one of a few that had in person classes throughout 2020 - 2022. We had to take precautions. International students who remained in the U.S, we’re required to take in person classes. There were students living in dorms and bubbled with roommates in Davis the whole time. Once vaccinations became available, our department transitioned to a hybrid model, with large lectures over zoom or through lecture capture and in person labs and discussion sections. Staff returned in person for at least 3 days a week. That’s when frequent testing became even more important.

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