Davis City Council Delays Proclamation to PG&E While Woodland “Studies” Public Power Issue

Share:
PG&E had a representative waiting in the audience to receive their award for donating $10,000 to the Davis Street Smarts program. But they will have to wait at least until the next meeting to receive it because Davis City Councilmember Lamar Heystek made a motion that would result in a delay in the proclamation presentation until a future meeting when the council could concurrently offer up a resolution similar to Woodland City Councilmember Art Pimentel’s to support future efforts to develop public power.

The move began at the start of the Council Meeting Tuesday night. Mayor Sue Greenwald asked for the approval of the agenda. Councilmember Heystek instead introduced a motion to approve the agenda with the exception of the proclamation to recognize PG&E’s contribution. Mayor Greenwald seconded the motion. And Heystek explained that he thought the council since Measures H and I passed overwhelmingly in Davis should join Pimentel’s efforts by affirming their commitment to public power at the same time they award PG&E, the city’s present provider who spent millions to defeat the public power initiative last fall.

Councilmember Don Saylor looked visibly shaken by the turn of events but eventually caught himself. When Ruth Asmundson spoke in support of Heystek’s motion, it was all over and the motion passed without dissent. Coucilmembers Heystek and Stephen Souza will be submitting resolutions that dovetail on Pimentel’s Woodland resolution and staff will iron out any differences. When the vote comes back to council, we can expect it to pass unanimously.

Unfortunately things did not go as smoothly last night up in Woodland. Instead of passing a rather simple resolution, the council has directed the formation of a subcommittee composed of Art Pimentel and Skip Davies. The passage of it will be tenuous as best as it is clear that neither Jeff Monroe nor Bill Marble will support public power again. Mayor Dave Florey may hold the swing vote there.

This is a rather disappointing turn of events, as just a few months ago, the Woodland City Council had been unanimous in their support of Measures H & I. However, the City of Woodland overwhelmingly voted down the measures on the November ballot. I am very disappointed with Jeff Monroe. Monroe is supposedly a Democrat, who has future ambitions for higher office–some have suggested possibly sheriff. Too often he is not reliable in supporting core Democratic principles. Supporting public power over the massive corporate entity of PG&E should be a no-brainer. But that might require Jeff Monroe to take a risk now that the Woodland voters so overwhelmingly opposed H & I in the wake of the disinformation campaign put on by PG&E to confuse the voters. Instead of fighting to educate his community, Monroe is playing it safe.

It may seem like a small victory, but the actions by the Davis City Council loom large as PG&E who had been pounding on the Woodland City Council and using the full force of their power and influence to prevent the passage of the resolution, were denied an honor the same night down in Davis. They will get their turn, but only as the Davis City Council renews their professed commitment to public power.

The PG&E representative, obviously caught off-guard by the actions on Tuesday, was forced to give a brief statement during public comment expressing support and commitment to safety issues.

It was not a perfect day for advocates of public power, but the Davis City Council stepped up and did the right thing. Now it will be interesting to see if PG&E wants to expend the same efforts to pound on the Davis City Council that they did to the Woodland City Council. I will go out on a limb and say they will not because they see the writing on the wall.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Share:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

24 thoughts on “Davis City Council Delays Proclamation to PG&E While Woodland “Studies” Public Power Issue”

  1. Brian

    It’s taken people like Dan Berman and the other leaders of the Davis Energy Taskforce nine years to educate the city about the benefits of public power.

    The effort in Woodland just began with H&I. Some members of the council in Woodland clearly aren’t ready to take leadership roles in continuing the public power education process, but hopefully this committee can keep up that process.

  2. Brian

    It’s taken people like Dan Berman and the other leaders of the Davis Energy Taskforce nine years to educate the city about the benefits of public power.

    The effort in Woodland just began with H&I. Some members of the council in Woodland clearly aren’t ready to take leadership roles in continuing the public power education process, but hopefully this committee can keep up that process.

  3. Brian

    It’s taken people like Dan Berman and the other leaders of the Davis Energy Taskforce nine years to educate the city about the benefits of public power.

    The effort in Woodland just began with H&I. Some members of the council in Woodland clearly aren’t ready to take leadership roles in continuing the public power education process, but hopefully this committee can keep up that process.

  4. Brian

    It’s taken people like Dan Berman and the other leaders of the Davis Energy Taskforce nine years to educate the city about the benefits of public power.

    The effort in Woodland just began with H&I. Some members of the council in Woodland clearly aren’t ready to take leadership roles in continuing the public power education process, but hopefully this committee can keep up that process.

  5. davisite

    How to educate the Sacramento SMUD users to look beyond “What’s in it for me in this SMUD expansion?” is the real obstacle to public power in Yolo. Heystek’s resolution motion serves notice on PG&E that their service and rates,not commnity PR,are
    the issue.

  6. davisite

    How to educate the Sacramento SMUD users to look beyond “What’s in it for me in this SMUD expansion?” is the real obstacle to public power in Yolo. Heystek’s resolution motion serves notice on PG&E that their service and rates,not commnity PR,are
    the issue.

  7. davisite

    How to educate the Sacramento SMUD users to look beyond “What’s in it for me in this SMUD expansion?” is the real obstacle to public power in Yolo. Heystek’s resolution motion serves notice on PG&E that their service and rates,not commnity PR,are
    the issue.

  8. davisite

    How to educate the Sacramento SMUD users to look beyond “What’s in it for me in this SMUD expansion?” is the real obstacle to public power in Yolo. Heystek’s resolution motion serves notice on PG&E that their service and rates,not commnity PR,are
    the issue.

  9. Anonymous

    SMUD is already proposing a general rate increase of 7% in Sacramento to cover rising power costs and maintain aging infrastructure. Yeah, that 2% rate reduction they promised in Yolo County would have happened…

  10. Anonymous

    SMUD is already proposing a general rate increase of 7% in Sacramento to cover rising power costs and maintain aging infrastructure. Yeah, that 2% rate reduction they promised in Yolo County would have happened…

  11. Anonymous

    SMUD is already proposing a general rate increase of 7% in Sacramento to cover rising power costs and maintain aging infrastructure. Yeah, that 2% rate reduction they promised in Yolo County would have happened…

  12. Anonymous

    SMUD is already proposing a general rate increase of 7% in Sacramento to cover rising power costs and maintain aging infrastructure. Yeah, that 2% rate reduction they promised in Yolo County would have happened…

  13. Rich Rifkin

    “Yeah, that 2% rate reduction they promised in Yolo County would have happened…”

    Your sardonicism is misplaced. The 2% price reduction by SMUD for Yolo County residents was guaranteed. The guarantee was such that our electric rates would be 2% lower than PG&E’s electric rates. However, it was not — as you seem to think — a guarantee that our prices for electricity would never rise, or be 2% lower than some fixed price set in 2006.

    Of course, once Yolo County was fully integrated in SMUD, our electric rates would have been 20-30% lower than PG&E’s, the same as it is the case now for SMUD ratepayers.

    I’m interested in your thoughts, as expressed above, because they expose the reason why H & I failed: the ignorance of so many people who either were too dumb or too ignorant to figure out that staying with PG&E is stupid.

  14. Rich Rifkin

    “Yeah, that 2% rate reduction they promised in Yolo County would have happened…”

    Your sardonicism is misplaced. The 2% price reduction by SMUD for Yolo County residents was guaranteed. The guarantee was such that our electric rates would be 2% lower than PG&E’s electric rates. However, it was not — as you seem to think — a guarantee that our prices for electricity would never rise, or be 2% lower than some fixed price set in 2006.

    Of course, once Yolo County was fully integrated in SMUD, our electric rates would have been 20-30% lower than PG&E’s, the same as it is the case now for SMUD ratepayers.

    I’m interested in your thoughts, as expressed above, because they expose the reason why H & I failed: the ignorance of so many people who either were too dumb or too ignorant to figure out that staying with PG&E is stupid.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    “Yeah, that 2% rate reduction they promised in Yolo County would have happened…”

    Your sardonicism is misplaced. The 2% price reduction by SMUD for Yolo County residents was guaranteed. The guarantee was such that our electric rates would be 2% lower than PG&E’s electric rates. However, it was not — as you seem to think — a guarantee that our prices for electricity would never rise, or be 2% lower than some fixed price set in 2006.

    Of course, once Yolo County was fully integrated in SMUD, our electric rates would have been 20-30% lower than PG&E’s, the same as it is the case now for SMUD ratepayers.

    I’m interested in your thoughts, as expressed above, because they expose the reason why H & I failed: the ignorance of so many people who either were too dumb or too ignorant to figure out that staying with PG&E is stupid.

  16. Rich Rifkin

    “Yeah, that 2% rate reduction they promised in Yolo County would have happened…”

    Your sardonicism is misplaced. The 2% price reduction by SMUD for Yolo County residents was guaranteed. The guarantee was such that our electric rates would be 2% lower than PG&E’s electric rates. However, it was not — as you seem to think — a guarantee that our prices for electricity would never rise, or be 2% lower than some fixed price set in 2006.

    Of course, once Yolo County was fully integrated in SMUD, our electric rates would have been 20-30% lower than PG&E’s, the same as it is the case now for SMUD ratepayers.

    I’m interested in your thoughts, as expressed above, because they expose the reason why H & I failed: the ignorance of so many people who either were too dumb or too ignorant to figure out that staying with PG&E is stupid.

  17. Anonymous

    Doug,

    With all due respect, I read your blog on occasion. You constantly complain that Davis city officials do not listen to the will of community (I think that is the primary reason for your blog). It seems a little disingenuous to me that you then make disparaging remarks about Woodland officials that DO listen to their community.

    I guess your comment that I should work to educate the public is meant to be a slap at the intelligence of Woodland voters. The people of Woodland knew exactly what they were voting for when they voted against public power. I heard the same arguments from some people when our community voted down the floodwall (something I supported) and when our community voted for the urban limit line (something I was against). Some people in our community tried to make the argument that the community voted out of ignorance…nonsense.

    Our council did support public power and we did our best to educate our community (I personally tried to convince more than a hundred people). However, our community voted against public power. I was disappointed by the vote. I thought SMUD was the right choice. I certainly don’t have to like the decision but I sure the heck am going to respect the community’s voice. You consider that “playing it safe.” I consider that LISTENING to the people I am supposed to represent.

    I have no idea why you think party politics should be involved in a nonpartisan position…they should not.

    Thanks for listening to my response. I am always willing to meet with you and talk about this issue further. I have already shown you that I am a good listener:-)

    Jeff Monroe
    Woodland City Council

  18. Anonymous

    Doug,

    With all due respect, I read your blog on occasion. You constantly complain that Davis city officials do not listen to the will of community (I think that is the primary reason for your blog). It seems a little disingenuous to me that you then make disparaging remarks about Woodland officials that DO listen to their community.

    I guess your comment that I should work to educate the public is meant to be a slap at the intelligence of Woodland voters. The people of Woodland knew exactly what they were voting for when they voted against public power. I heard the same arguments from some people when our community voted down the floodwall (something I supported) and when our community voted for the urban limit line (something I was against). Some people in our community tried to make the argument that the community voted out of ignorance…nonsense.

    Our council did support public power and we did our best to educate our community (I personally tried to convince more than a hundred people). However, our community voted against public power. I was disappointed by the vote. I thought SMUD was the right choice. I certainly don’t have to like the decision but I sure the heck am going to respect the community’s voice. You consider that “playing it safe.” I consider that LISTENING to the people I am supposed to represent.

    I have no idea why you think party politics should be involved in a nonpartisan position…they should not.

    Thanks for listening to my response. I am always willing to meet with you and talk about this issue further. I have already shown you that I am a good listener:-)

    Jeff Monroe
    Woodland City Council

  19. Anonymous

    Doug,

    With all due respect, I read your blog on occasion. You constantly complain that Davis city officials do not listen to the will of community (I think that is the primary reason for your blog). It seems a little disingenuous to me that you then make disparaging remarks about Woodland officials that DO listen to their community.

    I guess your comment that I should work to educate the public is meant to be a slap at the intelligence of Woodland voters. The people of Woodland knew exactly what they were voting for when they voted against public power. I heard the same arguments from some people when our community voted down the floodwall (something I supported) and when our community voted for the urban limit line (something I was against). Some people in our community tried to make the argument that the community voted out of ignorance…nonsense.

    Our council did support public power and we did our best to educate our community (I personally tried to convince more than a hundred people). However, our community voted against public power. I was disappointed by the vote. I thought SMUD was the right choice. I certainly don’t have to like the decision but I sure the heck am going to respect the community’s voice. You consider that “playing it safe.” I consider that LISTENING to the people I am supposed to represent.

    I have no idea why you think party politics should be involved in a nonpartisan position…they should not.

    Thanks for listening to my response. I am always willing to meet with you and talk about this issue further. I have already shown you that I am a good listener:-)

    Jeff Monroe
    Woodland City Council

  20. Anonymous

    Doug,

    With all due respect, I read your blog on occasion. You constantly complain that Davis city officials do not listen to the will of community (I think that is the primary reason for your blog). It seems a little disingenuous to me that you then make disparaging remarks about Woodland officials that DO listen to their community.

    I guess your comment that I should work to educate the public is meant to be a slap at the intelligence of Woodland voters. The people of Woodland knew exactly what they were voting for when they voted against public power. I heard the same arguments from some people when our community voted down the floodwall (something I supported) and when our community voted for the urban limit line (something I was against). Some people in our community tried to make the argument that the community voted out of ignorance…nonsense.

    Our council did support public power and we did our best to educate our community (I personally tried to convince more than a hundred people). However, our community voted against public power. I was disappointed by the vote. I thought SMUD was the right choice. I certainly don’t have to like the decision but I sure the heck am going to respect the community’s voice. You consider that “playing it safe.” I consider that LISTENING to the people I am supposed to represent.

    I have no idea why you think party politics should be involved in a nonpartisan position…they should not.

    Thanks for listening to my response. I am always willing to meet with you and talk about this issue further. I have already shown you that I am a good listener:-)

    Jeff Monroe
    Woodland City Council

  21. Anonymous

    I’m all for public power, but since when is it a small victory to deny a major donor the thanks they earned by contributing to a public outreach campaign? To not pass a resolution that basically says, “Thanks for the funding for our city program.” is just petty. If the Council didn’t want to say thank you for the money, they shouldn’t have accepted the gift. Donor Relations 101.

  22. Anonymous

    I’m all for public power, but since when is it a small victory to deny a major donor the thanks they earned by contributing to a public outreach campaign? To not pass a resolution that basically says, “Thanks for the funding for our city program.” is just petty. If the Council didn’t want to say thank you for the money, they shouldn’t have accepted the gift. Donor Relations 101.

  23. Anonymous

    I’m all for public power, but since when is it a small victory to deny a major donor the thanks they earned by contributing to a public outreach campaign? To not pass a resolution that basically says, “Thanks for the funding for our city program.” is just petty. If the Council didn’t want to say thank you for the money, they shouldn’t have accepted the gift. Donor Relations 101.

  24. Anonymous

    I’m all for public power, but since when is it a small victory to deny a major donor the thanks they earned by contributing to a public outreach campaign? To not pass a resolution that basically says, “Thanks for the funding for our city program.” is just petty. If the Council didn’t want to say thank you for the money, they shouldn’t have accepted the gift. Donor Relations 101.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for