Entries categorized "Politics"

Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - Volume #2

image from www.sparkysonestop.comThis is Al's Corner, a place to comment on local stuff.  It's also a place to comment on articles and comments from other local forums you may have been banned from.  For the Rule-ez, see top of right column:  "Pages" --> "Al's Corner - What It Is"

Al's Corner #1 was a smashing success.  Please ruin  Al's Corner #2 with poor, thoughtless comments that will make babies cry.  Without contrast to success, there is no victory. 

Enjoy! :-|


Letter: DiSC 2022 is a Trojan horse

I strongly oppose the DiSC 2022 project and there are plenty of reasons why, including the plethora of false claims by the Ramos developers.

First, the project will add 12,000 car trips daily to Mace Blvd., so it will increase traffic, not decrease it as they claim.

Second, the fiscal analysis contains absurd assumptions and inflated projections, resulting in a fairy tale fiscal “benefit”.

Third, while we are experiencing a serious drought and Davis residents will have to cut back on water use to conserve what we can, a large commercial park would significantly draw on our limited water resources.

Fourth, the DiSC housing would be expensive and appealing to I-80 highway commuters. DiSC’s 460 housing units would not alleviate housing need but, instead would create more housing demand for the 2,500 DiSC employees and increase local housing costs. Further, DiSChas no mechanism to assure that any DiSC employee would live on-site, therefore creating even more traffic. The minimal number of “affordable units” will not all be located on-site. In fact, they may not materialize since the developer can opt to pay “in lieu” fees instead. Further, this housing is not geared for family housing. Who wants to raise their kids in a commercial/research park?

Continue reading "Letter: DiSC 2022 is a Trojan horse" »


Sierra Club Endorses Juliette Beck for Yolo County Supervisor District 2

Beck(From press release) After an extensive evaluation process by the Management Committee of the local Sierra Club Yolano Group, the Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter Political and Executive Committees, and the Sierra Club Northern California Political Review Committee, the Sierra Club Yolano Group is pleased to announce the Sierra Club's official endorsement of Juliette Beck for Yolo County Supervisor District 2.

We were convinced of our choice based on Ms. Beck's extensive and demonstrable commitment to environmental and social justice and her unwavering support for a just transition when addressing the impacts of climate change on the least fortunate of our citizens. Ms. Beck's  platform embraces a progressive, humane, and evidence-based approach which gives voice to historically marginalized citizens which aligns with the core beliefs of the Sierra Club.

Why we are endorsing Juliette Beck for Yolo County District 2 Supervisor

Juliette Beck is running to be the first woman elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors since 2006. Beck believes that with transformative climate leadership, youth empowerment, and a laser focus on health and community well-being, the county can build an inclusive economy and truly sustainable communities.

As a mother, raising a fifth-generation Central Valley family with her husband Nick, Beck believes we can not simply hope that things will get better. She is running for Supervisor to create systemic change with opportunities for all Yolo County residents – especially children – to thrive.

Her platform is based on the indigenous concept of “buen vivir” - to live well is to live in harmony with all of life.

Climate Leadership

Continue reading "Sierra Club Endorses Juliette Beck for Yolo County Supervisor District 2" »


Misrepresentations of the Yes on H/Yes on DiSC campaign

Yes-on-H-mailer-cropped-annotatedBy Colin Walsh

The Vanguard published a guest commentary by Jackson Mills, “Debunking Deceptive Descriptions of DiSC in No on H Campaign Messaging,” on Tuesday morning. But it’s the commentary itself that is deceptive.

Ironically Mr. Mills himself chooses to mislead people in his selection of an outdated illustration to lead the article. It is notable that the illustration used with this article is from the previous DISC proposal and is certainly not an accurate picture of the current DiSC proposal. The water feature in this picture is an idealized version of the drainage ditch that ran through the middle of the previous project (it also shows far more water than there ever would have been). The drainage ditch does not run through the project in the current iteration. And the drainage ditch certainly doesn’t support paddle boarding as depicted on the Yes on H mailers.

The Vanguard has done nothing to address the Misrepresentations of the Yes on H campaign. Those claims have included such outrageous exaggerations and misinformation such as:

Measure H “helps our community fight the housing crisis” – DiSC will have over 2,400 employees, and by the City’s own documents only 187 will live in the onsite housing. That adds over 2,200 additional people looking for housing in Davis, adding pressure to our already incredibly tight Davis housing market.

Continue reading "Misrepresentations of the Yes on H/Yes on DiSC campaign" »


Davis LWV offers Pros and Cons on Measure H

Sitemapfordisc
This is the developer's provided "Land Plan," downloaded from the City's website here.

(From press release) One side sees new jobs, housing, and city revenue. The other sees traffic gridlock, growing demand for housing, and exaggerated economic benefits.

Davis voters will decide on June 7 whether to annex agricultural land for the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Center (DiSC 2022). This is a scaled-down version of a project defeated by Davis voters two years ago.

To help voters decide for themselves how to vote on the new proposal, the League of Women Voters Davis Area has prepared a nonpartisan Pros and Cons on Measure H.

In table form, the document provides a summary of the pro-and-con arguments on important issues: impact on city and school revenue, the environment, housing, jobs, traffic and impact on the downtown. An overview and history of the project also are provided.

The document can be viewed at bit.ly/MeasureHProCon.

More information about the Davis League — and a copy of the document — are available on the organization’s website at: lwvdavisarea.org.


Don't tax the sun

Solarpanels(from press release) Despite clear public opposition to a Solar Tax and to making solar unaffordable, the CPUC announced last week that they are still considering a Solar Tax of between $300 to $600 per year for the average solar user, while also slashing the credit for the solar energy sent back to the grid.

Because we were so successful at stopping their first Solar Tax, the CPUC is now trying to hide the ball by calling the tax by a different name. Their latest idea is to tax the solar energy you produce and use at home. The less energy you buy from the utility because of your solar, the higher the tax.

This is like taxing people who hang-dry their clothing instead of running the dryer. It's absurd, it's intrusive, and it violates every principle of conservation and responsible citizenship. It contradicts everything the Newsom Administration says it is for: solving climate change, promoting clean energy, making solar more equitable, and keeping the lights on. We are also quite sure it is illegal.

But, unless we speak out forcefully against this new Solar Tax proposal, it may very well become the new reality in California. Earlier this year, your voice helped to defeat the CPUC's first Solar Tax. We need your voice again, as loud as ever:

Continue reading "Don't tax the sun" »


This Sounds and Smells Fishy – More Noise Ordinance Follies

By Robert Canning

Almost a year ago, City of Davis staff attempted to slip a change to the City’s sound ordinance through the city council with little discussion and no commission input. The proposal was pulled back by staff after questions immediately arose about the intent and substance of the change, and how they related to a controversial (and noisy) piece of playground equipment in Arroyo Park.

Now, the staff are bringing a new proposal to the Recreation and Park Commission and asking the commission to review the report of a sound consultant and give “feedback” on new locations for the Sky Track equipment based on the staff report and a survey of Davis residents who live within 1,000 feet of the equipment. The staff report quotes at length from and discusses the sound consultant’s report. But basically, the sound consultant parrots the line from a year ago that the city should use the average of sound over time rather than the maximum allowable sound as the basis to evaluate whether the Sky Track produces is too noisy. 

It is puzzling why the consultants continue to use the Leq metric since that does not appear anywhere in the Davis Municipal Code section on sound (Sec. 24.020). In fact the ordinance specifically states that “Noise Level means the maximum continuous sound level or repetitive peak level produced by a sound source or group of sources…” It’s unclear why the staff report states on page 2 of the report that the consultants “determine that the “City Standard is a Leq”. Isn’t it the city’s job to tell the consultants what the code says? We shouldn’t be asking noise consultants to give a legal interpretation of the city code – to the city. And there is no timeframe referenced in the city code, which would be required if an average measurement is to be used. A change in the language of the ordinance regarding maximum allowable sound levels, as has been pointed out before, has ramifications beyond the issue of Arroyo Park and are akin to last year’s fiasco should not be contemplated without more public input.

Continue reading "This Sounds and Smells Fishy – More Noise Ordinance Follies " »


Welcome to Al's Corner - A Place to Comment on Local Stuff - #1

image from www.sparkysonestop.comThis is Al's Corner - A Place to comment on Local Stuff, free from the censorship of biased people.  Free speech rocks!  Recent happenings at Netflix & Twitter give hope that Cancel Culture in the U.S. is dying.  Recent happenings in Davis local media . . .  not so much.  Al's Corner is a place to speak your mind on all things Davis, even as other local forums become more exclusive, more moderated, and more noisier echo chambers that don't welcome dissent, recognize humor, or allow 'incorrect' opinions.  That's why I created Al's corner -- comment here on local media content and comments, without having to deal with the Thought Police. 

Continue reading "Welcome to Al's Corner - A Place to Comment on Local Stuff - #1" »


Affordable Housing Expert argues that Affordable Housing at DiSC does not Comply with City of Davis Municipal Code

Landplan
Site map showing the Residential Area of DiSC adjacent to the Advanced Manufacturing Area. Most of the residential units will be market rate, not Affordable.

By Matt Williams

Each morning for the next two weeks I will provide Davisite readers and Davis voters with an article on one of the dozen issues that I covered in my presentation on Thursday at University Retirement Community which had Dan Carson presenting for Yes On Measure H.  For everyone’s reference, at the end of this article I have listed those dozen issues that argue strongly for a “No” vote on Measure H.

What is the most important reason to vote “No” on Measure H?

On Tuesday I got a telephone call from David Thompson, the president of he Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation and co-principal of Neighborhood Partners LLC, which has developed and has in development over 1,400 units of low-income integrated nonprofit housing valued at over $200 million. His Affordable Housing projects in Davis include:

Creekside
Eleanor Roosevelt Circle
Cesar Chavez Plaza
Tremont Green
Moore Village
Twin Pines
Owendale
Dos Pinos

David has forgotten more about Affordable Housing than I will ever know. So when he asked me if I was interested in understanding how there is considerably less Affordable Housing in the DiSC project than is required by the City of Davis Affordable Housing Ordinance, I was quick to listen.

Continue reading "Affordable Housing Expert argues that Affordable Housing at DiSC does not Comply with City of Davis Municipal Code" »


Fact Checking Matt Williams's Affordable Housing article

By Matt Williams

This table provides fact checking for the article Affordable Housing Expert argues that Affordable Housing at DiSC does not Comply with City of Davis Municipal Code

What is the most important reason to vote “No” on Measure H?

A header

On Tuesday I got a telephone call from David Thompson, the president of the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation and co-principal of Neighborhood Partners LLC, which has developed and has in development over 1,400 units of low-income integrated nonprofit housing valued at over $200 million. His Affordable Housing projects in Davis include:

Creekside
Eleanor Roosevelt Circle
Cesar Chavez Plaza
Tremont Green
Moore Village
Twin Pines
Owendale
Dos Pinos

Factually correct

David has forgotten more about Affordable Housing than I will ever know. So when he asked me if I was interested in understanding how there is considerably less Affordable Housing in the DiSC project than is required by the City of Davis Affordable Housing Ordinance, I was quick to listen.

Factually correct

David started our discussion by asking me whether I had received the recent promotion piece for Yes on Measure H, which says, “Measure H enhances and advances more of what we love about Davis by creating affordable housing.”

Factually correct … confirmable on the Yes on DiSC website

After I told him that I had indeed seen that statement, he replied “That statement by DiSC is simply not true!”

DISC is purposefully choosing to provide less affordable housing as a percentage of the total than any previously proposed site that has come up for a citizen vote.

Factually correct.  He absolutely shared that opinion with me.

The reason is both simple and straightforward. Prior to 2018 all citizen vote proposals provided at least 25-35% of the housing units as permanently affordable under the provisions of Article 18.05 of the City of Davis Municipal Code … the City of Davis Affordable Housing Ordinance … which states.

Factually correct.

To the maximum extent feasible, each developer must meet the ownership affordable unit requirement as it pertains to the project, as set forth below:

(a) Standard ownership affordable housing requirements. Any development that is comprised in whole or in part of ownership units shall comply with the following requirements, which shall be included in the development’s affordable housing plan.

(1) Affordable Housing Requirements, by Residential Product Type.

(A) For projects comprised of market rate single-family detached ownership units on lots larger than five thousand square feet in area, the developer must provide for a number of affordable housing units equivalent to twenty-five percent of the total units being developed, including the affordable units, by means of one of the methods set forth in this section.

[…]

General plan implementing policies also require that, to the extent feasible and subject to existing law, rental housing developments with five to nineteen units shall provide fifteen percent of the units to low income households and ten percent to very low income households; and in rental housing developments with twenty or more units that twenty-five percent of the units be affordable to low income households and ten percent of the units be affordable to very low income households. General plan policies also require that affordable rental units remain affordable in perpetuity. (Ord. 2418 § 1, 2013)

Factually correct.  Every word is copied verbatim and pasted directly from the Municipal Code

David went on to explain that DISC is applying under the “Interim Affordable Housing Ordinance” which substantially reduced the requirement to 15%.

Factually correct

The interim Affordable Housing Ordinance was passed by City Council in February 2018 with the stated plan that it would sunset on December 31, 2018. That sunset never happened, and its interim policy is still in effect.

Factually correct.  The Vanguard has published that very information in past articles.

However, that interim policy with its lowered 15% was written specifically to apply to land already in the city, and was/is based on the December 11, 2015 Economic Report prepared for the City by A Plescia & Co entitled Preliminary Project Economic Analysis For City of Davis Affordable Housing Ordinance.  That Plescia report begins as follows:

Factually correct.

The primary purpose of this summary report is to present preliminary information related to the projected economic implications of potential affordable housing ordinance requirements on certain urban scale residential ownership and rental development prototypes. The project economic analysis summarized in this report addresses the estimated financial feasibility (including profitability) information for certain identified residential ownership and rental development prototypes.

Factually correct.  Every word is copied verbatim and pasted directly from the Plesia Report document

The preliminary project economic information presented in this report can be used by the City of Davis to inform the process being undertaken by the City of Davis in regard to its consideration of amending its existing Affordable Housing Ordinance as it relates to the identified residential ownership and rental development prototypes addressed in this memorandum.

[…]

For purposes of this preliminary project economic analysis, the identified residential and mixed-use prototype alternatives are assumed to each be developed on a hypothetical 2.0 acre infill development site within the current urbanized area of the City of Davis.

Factually correct.  Every word is copied verbatim and pasted directly from the Plesia Report document

Why within the current urbanized area of the City?

Header

Because land costs in the City had risen to the level of  hundreds of thousands of dollars per acre.

There probably were a number of reasons, but this is the root cause reason.  So this statement can be characterized as an opinion rather than a fact.

Land that is outside the urbanized area, like the DISC site, does not suffer from high land costs. It resides on agricultural land outside the City Limits that was purchased for considerably less than $10,000 per acre … NOT hundreds of thousands of dollars per acre.

Factually correct

That economic reality, and the clear words of the Plescia report mean the affordable housing requirement for DiSC should remain at the 25-35% threshold contained in Article 18.05 of the Municipal Code

Opinion / Conclusion / Position

In November 2019 hundreds of Davis residents applauded Richard Rothstein’s talk on the “Color of Law,” which critiqued the role of government in reducing housing for people of color. Many of us want a future Davis to be more inclusive and expansive of housing for low income residents and racial minorities.

Factually correct

DISC does the opposite by providing considerably less housing for low income residents and racial minorities.

Opinion / Conclusion / Position

David is unequivocal in his opinion that the interim Affordable Housing Ordinance simply does not apply to DiSC, and until and unless the DiSC project changes its Affordable Housing Plan to comply with the provisions Article 18.05 of the City of Davis Municipal Code, the only choice is to vote “NO” on Measure H.  David Thompson has clearly stated that it is the most important reason to vote “No.”  None of us should want to live in a Davis that accepts fewer homes for those most in need and people of color.

Opinion / Conclusion / Position plus a recommendation for solving the problem identified.

As noted at the beginning of this article, each morning for the next two weeks I will provide Vanguard readers and Davis voters with an article on one of the dozen issues listed below that I covered in my presentation on Thursday at University Retirement Community.

Reasons to Vote “NO” on Measure H

• Massive Traffic Problems
• No Firm Plans to Mitigate Traffic
• Unmitigated Greenhouse Gas Emissions
• DISC will Cannibalize Existing Downtown and Local Businesses in Davis that are Still Hurting from the Pandemic
• Projected Financial Projections to the City are Questionable or Misleading
• We Cannot Trust our City Staff and Council to Protect Us from Rapacious and Predatory Developers
• Critical Farmland, Habitat, and our Last Views of the Sierra and Sacramento Skyline will be Lost Forever
• A Yes Vote Gives the Developer Lucrative Entitlements with No Guaranteed Baseline Features in Many Critical Areas
• The Project Will Exacerbate the Housing Shortage in the Davis Area
• The Scale of the DiSC Business Park is Much Too Large for a Small College Town Like Davis
• An industrial-research development while we are in a serious drought?

N/A


Letter: 2 reasons for voting No on H: Muzzling citizens & exclusionary housing

Thompson graphic 2Dear Davis Citizens:

Two reasons for voting No on H.

Council Member Carson tried to silence six voices opposed to Measure H. The six Davis citizens incurred a $71,000 bill to defend themselves, and now Carson is suing them for his legal costs of $76,358. Those volunteer voices are potentially paying $147,000+ from their personal savings.

On the other hand Carson has incurred no personal costs because his attempt to muzzle citizen voices opposed to Measure H was financed by the DISC developer.

That has prompted me to raise my own citizen voice … Council member Carson’s developer-funded stealth tactic should not be rewarded!  That alone is reason enough to vote No on Measure H.

However, there is a second reason to vote No on H. There’s Less Affordable Housing than the norm!

I received a Measure H piece, stating,

Measure H enhances and advances more of what we love about Davis, Affordable Housing.

Simply not true. DISC is providing less affordable housing as a % than any site set for a citizen vote.

Prior to 2018 all citizen vote proposals provided at least 25-35% of the housing units as permanently affordable. DISC is applying under the “Interim Affordable Housing Ordinance” which substantially reduced the requirement to 15%.

However, the interim policy with its lowered 15% was written specifically to apply to land already in the city.  Why?  Because land costs in the City are hundreds of thousands of dollars per acre.

The DISC site does not suffer from high land costs.  It resides on agricultural land outside of the city that was purchased for likely less than $10,000 per acre.  Therefore, the affordable housing requirement should remain at 25-35%.

In November 2019 hundreds of Davis residents applauded Richard Rothstein’s talk on the “Color of Law,” which critiqued the role of government in reducing housing for people of color. Many of us want a future Davis to be more inclusive and expansive of housing for low income residents and racial minorities.

DISC does the opposite by providing considerably less housing for low income residents and racial minorities.

Please join me in voting No on H.

David J Thompson
Davis


No on DiSC's statement on vandalized Yes on H signs

IMG-4080The No on DiSC/No on H campaign denounces the recently discovered vandalism of a large Yes on Measure H sign posted on Covell Blvd at Risling Ct., possibly in the public right of way. Although we have been frustrated by the misrepresentations of the Yes on DISC campaign (including the signs themselves which give no indication of the true nature of the DiSC project) this type of petty property crime is not an appropriate means of advocacy.

The No on H campaign has also been experiencing rampant sign theft. Large numbers of the signature orange “No on H” traffic jam signs have been stolen across the city. Most notably, on 2 separate occasions more than 10 signs were removed from multiple homes in 2 different neighborhoods.

If your sign has been stolen or damaged, or if you would like a “No on Measure H” lawn sign, please contact the campaign through the website https://www.VoteNoOnDisc.com/


Six former Davis mayors condemn Councilmember Carson’s actions

D990E760-85E9-4B6F-A119-2D7DC1CCFA89We are concerned that Davis City Councilman Dan Carson’s involvement in the Measure H campaign and his efforts to pass Measure H set a terrible precedent for Davis and harms our citizen-based democratic processes.

Carson is the first elected official in Davis to lead a developer’s campaign committee to annex land to the city for a subdivision. He is also the first member of the city Council to use developer money to file a lawsuit to strike down his fellow citizens’ ballot arguments against annexation.

Councilman Carson’s lawsuit did not produce any meaningful changes to the citizen’s ballot arguments. A judge changed one word and converted a troy measurement to a metric measurement. That’s it. The apparent purpose of the developer-funded lawsuit was to squelch the speech of the opponents to Measure H. Mr. Carson and his deep-pocketed backers probably assumed that the citizens would not be able to afford to litigate the ballot argument.

Special interests like developers already have a financial advantage and regularly outspend citizen campaigns by more than twenty to one. Mr. Carson and the Measure H developer have come up with a new tactic to press their financial advantage even further — file a lawsuit against the citizens. Win or lose, it makes no difference. Citizen defendants will have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a legal defense, further curtailing their ability to challenge the developer’s project.

Just the possibility of another developer suing the citizen opponents of a project could scare Davis residents from standing up and speaking out. That’s not the Davis way. Winning a political debate shouldn’t depend on the size of your pocketbook. Instead, make your best case and then let the voters decide.

The problem with Carson’s conduct in the Measure H campaign is that he has blurred the line between his role as an elected representative of the people of Davis and his advocacy for a development project. This conflict of interest was on full display at the April 5 City Council meeting, when he took up a Measure H matter that was not on the agenda and gave a lengthy political speech. Even Mayor Gloria Partida admonished Carson this was improper.

As past mayors of the city of Davis, we can assure Davis citizens that Dan Carson is charting new political ground and that it is not good. We would ask that Councilman Carson carefully reconsider what he is doing with respect to Measure H.

Joe Krovoza, Sue Greenwald, Mike Corbett, Ken Wagstaff, Ann M. Evans, and Bill Kopper (former mayors of Davis)


Letter: Who wants DiSC?

DISC overview shotWho wants 12,000 more daily car trips on Mace Blvd? 

Who wants to annex and pave over 102 acres of prime farmland and environmental habitat OUTSIDE the City of Davis boundary?

Who wants to violate every principle of effective city planning by developing 80,000 square feet of retail businesses beyond the city’s downtown?

Who wants an additional 460 housing units that would deplete scarce water resources and distress our already fragile infrastructure, including roads, schools and downtown parking?

Who wants a project that may violate air quality standards and add a 4.5 percent increase to Davis’s carbon footprint?

Who wants a project that proponents say will “Combat Climate Change”? (Been to Mar-a-Lago lately guys?)

Who wants a project that will develop 1.34 million square feet of office space when most businesses are transitioning to remote work-at-home employees? (Seen those massive empty development projects in China?)

Vote “NO” on H.

Here’s what Joni Mitchell said:

“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swinging hot spot
Don’t it always seem to go that
You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

David L. Johnson
Davis


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
Davis


Letter: Growth and Gridlock in Davis

Isn’t there a better way to provide funding for city services than paving over prime agricultural land with an industrial park? We have an internationally recognized agricultural research university and the city is proposing to despoil the very essence of that educational field: the land. The university hasn’t asked for this project or even endorsed it.

I’ve lived in Davis for 37 years and have watched leaders plead again and again for sprawl on our periphery, touting the need for often-delusive revenue to cover unchecked city spending. Like many, I put roots down in Davis because it offered what I desired most, excellent, innovative city planning, strong schools, and a strong city spirit. In the past, Davis was known nationally as a charming small college town with abundant bike paths and lanes, surrounded by farm land and open space.  I left southern California specifically because of regional gridlock and air quality. Why are Davis leaders trying to replicate those problems here?

Are we in a race with other communities to build the most car-centric, traffic-choked developments: Is there something inherently wrong with maintaining  a small community that values its neighborhoods and agricultural roots?  Why don’t city leaders demonstrate some  economic creativity and re-imagine a  government that can sustain itself without gobbling up all the open space that surrounds it.  Or shall we let regional developers dictate our future?

The commuter gridlock that has already invaded East and South Davis is spreading throughout the city. Is this to be our future?  Besides death and taxes, it’s the one sure thing that will happen if the proposed development, Measure H, passes. Yes, ‘more cars are coming anyway’ as a result of the ‘Waze’ traffic app. Why make that worse by adding another 12,000 car trips to the mix?

 Please help maintain the current quality of our city and vote No on Measure H.

C.H. Pickett
Davis


The Whole Story about DiSC’s Claim of $3.88 Million Net Revenue to the City

Seven ways in which the City and the Yes on Measure H campaign make DiSC 2022 appear economically far rosier than is likely

By Matt Williams

The City and the Yes on Measure H campaign literature for the DiSC project emphasize that one of the important benefits to the City of Davis General Fund is a “$3.9 million net revenue gain for the City of Davis annually to address the city’s $7 million funding gap and maintain our quality of life without a tax increase.”

The net annual revenues projected to accrue to the City that have been presented to the voting public use the most optimistic “best case scenario” to make their pitch … but other less rosy scenarios exist.  During the December meeting of the Davis Finance and Budget Commission (FBC), Commissioner Jacobs suggested multiple times that it would be helpful to City Council if the consultant were to run the analysis using a worst-case and best-case scenario.  Unfortunately, that suggestion was not implemented by the City.

Scenario analyses are particularly valuable here in Davis because, for a variety of reasons, past development projects in the City have rarely yielded the revenues the City expected to them to produce. The $3.88 million surplus projected for this Measure H project may be the theoretical best case, but it does not recognize potential adverse impacts on this rosy projection. As shown below, if all of the seven impacts quantified in this document are considered, net annual revenues to the City could actually result in a deficit of $770,000.

Continue reading "The Whole Story about DiSC’s Claim of $3.88 Million Net Revenue to the City" »


PBE welcomes No on DiSC to public forum

(From press release) The Davis Progressive Business Exchange will meet from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 4, at Lamppost Pizza, 1260 Lake Blvd. in West Davis.

The topic will be DiSC, the Davis Innovation Sustainability Campus. After supporters spoke last month, Matt Williams will speak on May 4, representing the No on DiSC campaign. Davis voters will be asked to vote on this issue on June 7 as Measure H.

The public is invited to these free open forum events. Contact Bob Bockwinkel at 530-219-1896 or e-mail G Richard Yamagata at yamagata@dcn.org for  information.


Letter: Time to say "No" to DiSC

ClockOne of the few benefits of COVID has been people’s heightened awareness around the climate crisis. For me personally I have made significant lifestyle changes regarding my transportation choices and frequency of travel, started purchasing second hand clothing, and committed to eating sustainably produced foods.

I would like to think that our City Council would also have learned and grown more conscious of their leadership’s impact on Davis during this urgent time when we need to reduce our carbon footprint. Look no further than the DISC development (Measure H on the ballot) to see how they have failed to grow.

The new 2022 iteration of DiSC will, according to the Sierra Club, create “excessive traffic, greenhouse gas emissions, and poor land-use and planning.” DiSC will “increase the city’s carbon footprint by 5%.” It is frightening to see the City Council push so hard for this massive development of office space, a big hotel, and fancy condos on the outskirts of town near an area of Davis already burdened by poor planning decisions (e.g., Mace Mess).

Meanwhile one council member, the notorious Dan Carson, took the time and small- minded perspective of suing the citizens of Davis themselves who operate the No On DISC campaign. What an incredibly unconscious and egocentric move! Is this the government we have to help us create radical change to address climate crisis issues?

As an average citizen who works from home for a non profit, is married to a Davis school teacher, and believes a better world is possible if we all contribute, I would kindly ask you to open your minds to voting No on Measure H in the June ballot. Learn more at VoteNoOnDisc.com campaign site.

Nikki Martin
Davis


League of Women Voters hosts forum on county supervisor race

Juliette-cropped lucas-cropped(From press release) The League of Women Voters Davis Area will sponsor a nonpartisan election forum Saturday, May 7 on the District 2 race for Yolo County Supervisor.

The event will be run from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at 23 Russell Blvd. in Davis. Free tickets are available on Eventbrite at  yolosupervisorforum.eventbrite.com.

Davis Media Access will record the event and make the video available to voters.

Davis City Councilmember Lucas Frerichs and local climate activist Juliette Beck are competing to replace incumbent Supervisor Don Saylor, who is not running for re-election. His term expires at the end of 2022.

District 2 covers southwest Yolo County, including Winters, West Davis, parts of central Davis and the area between Winters and Davis. Jim Provenza represents District 4 on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, which also includes parts of Davis. His term does not expire until Dec. 31, 2024.

Frerichs has served on the Davis City Council since 2012. A long-time former staffer in the California State Assembly, he currently works as associate director of state policy for The Nature Conservancy and serves on the boards of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, the Yolo County Transportation District, Valley Clean Energy, and the Yolo Habitat Conservancy.

An ecologist, Beck helped initiate a Climate Strike advocacy movement in 2018 that gathers in Davis Central Park every Friday at noon. In 2020, she helped establish a Yolo County Climate Action Commission to address climate change. When schools closed for the pandemic, she worked with educators, parents, and UC Davis students to fund a free youth summer camp that focuses on ecology and community activism. 

Davis resident Donna Neville will moderate the forum. A semi-retired lawyer, she currently chairs the City of Davis Finance and Budget Committee. She worked as an attorney for the Office of the Legislative Counsel early in her career and later was chief legal counsel to two state agencies: the California State Auditor’s Office and the State Board of Education.


Letter: Measure H misrepresents itself

Greenwashed-trafficDavis voters rejected DISC in 2020. We didn’t want environmental and quality of life costs for all in exchange for economic gain for few. So the developers hired a PR firm to reframe the issue as Measure H, or to lie so blatantly as to make Loki swoon.

They say paving 102 acres will “preserve agricultural land,” that DISCs 12,000 more cars daily will “make driving easier” and “speed up commutes” (quotes direct from Yes on H). They think a population that is in favor of downtown, open space, clean air and minimal traffic will vote for a project that is the antithesis of these because they put a bicycle on their lawn signs.

They hope Davisites are too stupid to see through greenwashing newspeak and they need the councilpeople they own to maintain a pretense of environmentalism while vigorously campaigning for a freeway sprawl development that’s as carbon neutral as Charles Koch’s vacations. In future I suggest the developers save the corporate PR money and I can suggest equally believable slogans like “Trees Favor Axes,” “Snails For Salt” and “Turkeys Love Thanksgiving.”

Dan Urazandi
Davis