Not Just Rain Falling - Campaign Signs Too!
Leadership change for Arts Alliance Davis

Morrill Has the Davis Values and Skill Set our Council Needs Now

6a017d3c4588ca970c02a308d936d2200c-600wiAdam Morrill is perfect for our city council, and the time we need him is now. The core task of serving on city council is overseeing the efficient and principled running of our city. This means making sure our roads and parks are maintained, that we fund the level of police and fire service we need (not more, not less), and that we approve development projects that match our values. Adam is a professional in city services, 25-year resident as a student (service as a Unitrans driver and OA raft guide even), husband and father -- and fully understands the responsibility of making our dollars last. He wants fewer costly consultants and better pay to retain our staff. He's open, thoughtful, analytical and caring. Solutions, not platitudes, make up his DNA.

To The Davis Enterprise, Adam observed that our
urrent council is “detached from the public.” That’s spot on. Our current council is out of touch, doesn't lead, nor does it provide meaningful oversight of senior staff. Staff propose actions, and the council almost always goes along. Cases in point: every council member loved the peripheral DiSC development, but it went down in flames when we voted. The council even put DiSC on the ballot before mapping out the revenue sharing; by then, of course, the county had the lion's share of leverage and the resulting finances were completely skewed against us. That’s unthinkable -- knowing the finances before putting anything on the ballot is a simple issue no council member should miss. Then there was the 2020 BrightNight decision where we gave a no-bid, long-term sweetheart lease of city land to untested solar speculators (U.S. headquarters a residence in El Dorado Hills!). Zero oversight there. No neighborhood notice whatsoever before putting the obnoxious Sky Track in Arroyo Park -- council didn't care and they are still throwing good money after bad to defend poor staff work. Adam’s opponent voted yes for all of these travesties and was our mayor for the first two mentioned.

Adam has the experience, perspectives and conviction to serve the city he, his wife, Nicole (UC Davis staff), and children (Davis High and St. James) love. He’ll serve us well. Heck, being an AYSO referee might even be the best training ever for council – know the rules, apply them fairly, and give back! Without a single reservation, I endorse Adam Morrill for the District 4 (Central/East Davis) city council seat. Change will be good.

Joe Krovoza

Mayor, 2011-2014

Comments

Greg Rowe

This is not a comment regarding the candidate or the author, but an observation about city council exerting meaningful oversight of senior staff.

In a Council-City Manager form of municipal government, the City Council delegates all staff supervision to the city manager. If a city council has any concerns about senior staff, such as department heads, the council should make those concerns known to the city manager. For all intents and purposes, a city council only has one employee, that being the city manager.

A number of years ago, the Oakland city council often make negative comments to the media about city staff, and were known to criticize staff during council meetings. I was very aware of this because my job at the time required me to regularly attend council meetings.

When new city manager Robert Bobb came on board, he assertively informed the council that the council only had one employee: him. He reminded the council that any concerns about staff were henceforth to be privately communicated to him. From my experience observing council-manager relations in a number of cities, this is a maxim generally observed in cities in California and elsewhere.

catherine L portman

It is very helpful for undecided voters to see an endorsement from someone who has served in the role a candidate is running for. Joe Krovoza knows the job of a city council member and has the best insight of the personal qualities that would make a good city council member. Krovoza's endorsement should weigh heavily on voters' decision to vote for Adam Morrill.

Keith

Personally endorsements never mean much to me. I find it hard to believe that people actually vote according to who someone else endorses.

Roberta L. Millstein

Greg, in terms of how the chain of command works you are right, but the City Council still needs to be more involved with how staff operates -- something that hasn't happened since Joe Krovoza was Mayor. Recent councilmembers have not spoken up about obvious staff blunders and mistakes in process -- that is, they are not bringing concerns to the City Manager or holding the City Manager's feet to the fire to make sure that the changes occur. (One recent Mayor in particular told me flat out that he did not think that it was his job to oversee the manager or the staff in any way.) Many debacles have ensued, such as the Bright Night incident.

In July 2020, a number of commissioners, including commission chairs, co-signed a letter that in part called for changes in staff process (https://www.davisite.org/2020/07/improving-city-of-davis-decision-making-an-open-letter.html). The City Council gave some lip service to it, formed a subcommittee, co-opted the process in another direction, and then buried it.

Councilmembers who are willing to work -- even if this happens via the City Manager -- to improve the way that staff interacts with other staff members, with citizens, with commissions, and with the Council are sorely needed.

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