County Board of Supervisor’s Meeting Format Draws Frustration as Showdown Nears

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As the city of Davis and Yolo County brace for a potential showdown on Tuesday over three proposed “special study areas” on the Davis periphery which have been proposed for inclusion in the Yolo County General Plan Update, one side issue that has angered many has been the scheduling format that has been laid out by the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, or more to the point, the lack of a scheduling format.

The way things stand now, the board is prepared to hear each of the localities’ plan individually and make a determination as to what to do on staff recommendations. The meeting is set to start at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 17, 2007. It would then run until lunch and break. Then the board would take up regular business at 1:30 until they concluded that business. Upon completion of that business, they would resume discussion on the General Plan Update. Previously in February, the meeting ran until 11 pm. The format has caused a number of inconveniences to citizens and also localities who are affected by the proposed developments.

First, the county cannot pinpoint a time when a given localities proposals will appear on the agenda. That means that citizens planning to speak either have to stay all day or coordinate with others as to when to appear.

Moreover, representatives from the localities have work commitments and in the case of the city of Davis, a full blown city council meeting that evening.

The board meets during the day, meaning that people who work are often unable to go to these meetings. This may not seem like a big deal, but it gives an advantage to developers who have their representatives paid to be at the meeting, but not citizens who have to work.

People who cannot stay all day are thus left to guess as to when their item comes before the board of supervisors.

This entire set up seems un-democratic and to discourage rather than encourage participation. It does not make sense for the county to be taking up other business along side the general plan discussion. Moreover, it would make more sense to take up a few proposals at a time, so that everyone knows when their city or location will come up and can plan accordingly.

For items like this, it would make more sense to schedule an evening meeting, where they could take up four to six proposals at a time, discuss them within a period of time, and then have a series of these meetings.

The tension is especially high at this point because the perceived stakes are also high. The county is proposing three large areas on Davis’ periphery be placed into “special study areas.” As much as that is causing large concern, no one is exactly sure what this means–whether they go into the county’s general plan EIR or whether that means a separate process is about to begin to study these areas and determine whether they should be entitled and their land use designation changed.

Regardless, this fight can be stopped tomorrow. The prognosis of this is clear–if the county votes against studying these three areas on Davis’ periphery, the proposal dies. If however, the county votes to study these three areas on Davis’ periphery, the fighting and war of words that we have seen this past week is just the beginning.

Efforts are presently underway to launch a recall effort if this process moves forward to a point where a single-vote of the board would lead to a land-use designation change. However, everyone seems hopeful that such a last resort can be avoided. Tomorrow’s meeting will go a long way toward resolving precisely that question.

The Vanguard will be there–blogging live

The People’s Vanguard of Davis will be at the meeting, blogging live with updates about progress and proposals that have come forward. Citizens of Davis should stay tuned and the Vanguard will provide them with a ballpark as to when the county will take on the issues for discussion on the “study areas” on the periphery of the city of Davis and alert them as to when the County begins discussion on the Davis items. Citizens who wish to address the board of supervisors, will have time to get up to Woodland and come speak at that point in time. Stay logged into the Vanguard for wall-to-wall coverage and breaking news of key events with regards to the General Plan Update as they happen.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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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.

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40 thoughts on “County Board of Supervisor’s Meeting Format Draws Frustration as Showdown Nears”

  1. davisite

    DPD… What a resource for the citizens of Davis you have created!! A blogging connection to the day-long goings-on at the BOS meeting..

    The BOS and certainly OUR two elected Sups are well-aware of the feelings of their constituents which is that this very much looks like a strategy to pressure us into not exercising our autonomous decision powers(as given by the pass-through agreement). Our Council majority will be bringing CV back in the next few months and the terror threat(do we have a County peripheral development threat color code in place?) needs to be ratcheted up a notch or two. The sense of betrayal is overwhelming and will result in a recall effort.
    If this is not their intent, I urge Helen and Mariko to table the decision on launching the 3 study areas in order to take the time to educate the voters concerning what the concepts of study-areas, joint-study, the pass-through agreement “not working anymore” really means to their constituents. Respect for her constituents calls for Mariko , who does not plan to go before her Davis constituents again,to table this issue, educate the Davis voter and permit Provenza and Ferrera to campaign on this as they run for her vacated Sup seat in 2008.Helen Thomson was part of the recently renegotiated pass-through agreement that is now said to “not work anymore” She has been accused of inappropriately attempting to pressure the Davis voters during the Measure X campaign on Covell Village. She also evidently does not plan to return for support from her Davis voters when her Sup term is up.. Davis voters have a few things that they WILL NOT tolerate from those whom they elect to represent them. Two of them are perceived(perhaps erroneously) to be in play here: Arrogant attempts to bully them into submission and perceived distain and contempt for their intelligence.

  2. davisite

    DPD… What a resource for the citizens of Davis you have created!! A blogging connection to the day-long goings-on at the BOS meeting..

    The BOS and certainly OUR two elected Sups are well-aware of the feelings of their constituents which is that this very much looks like a strategy to pressure us into not exercising our autonomous decision powers(as given by the pass-through agreement). Our Council majority will be bringing CV back in the next few months and the terror threat(do we have a County peripheral development threat color code in place?) needs to be ratcheted up a notch or two. The sense of betrayal is overwhelming and will result in a recall effort.
    If this is not their intent, I urge Helen and Mariko to table the decision on launching the 3 study areas in order to take the time to educate the voters concerning what the concepts of study-areas, joint-study, the pass-through agreement “not working anymore” really means to their constituents. Respect for her constituents calls for Mariko , who does not plan to go before her Davis constituents again,to table this issue, educate the Davis voter and permit Provenza and Ferrera to campaign on this as they run for her vacated Sup seat in 2008.Helen Thomson was part of the recently renegotiated pass-through agreement that is now said to “not work anymore” She has been accused of inappropriately attempting to pressure the Davis voters during the Measure X campaign on Covell Village. She also evidently does not plan to return for support from her Davis voters when her Sup term is up.. Davis voters have a few things that they WILL NOT tolerate from those whom they elect to represent them. Two of them are perceived(perhaps erroneously) to be in play here: Arrogant attempts to bully them into submission and perceived distain and contempt for their intelligence.

  3. davisite

    DPD… What a resource for the citizens of Davis you have created!! A blogging connection to the day-long goings-on at the BOS meeting..

    The BOS and certainly OUR two elected Sups are well-aware of the feelings of their constituents which is that this very much looks like a strategy to pressure us into not exercising our autonomous decision powers(as given by the pass-through agreement). Our Council majority will be bringing CV back in the next few months and the terror threat(do we have a County peripheral development threat color code in place?) needs to be ratcheted up a notch or two. The sense of betrayal is overwhelming and will result in a recall effort.
    If this is not their intent, I urge Helen and Mariko to table the decision on launching the 3 study areas in order to take the time to educate the voters concerning what the concepts of study-areas, joint-study, the pass-through agreement “not working anymore” really means to their constituents. Respect for her constituents calls for Mariko , who does not plan to go before her Davis constituents again,to table this issue, educate the Davis voter and permit Provenza and Ferrera to campaign on this as they run for her vacated Sup seat in 2008.Helen Thomson was part of the recently renegotiated pass-through agreement that is now said to “not work anymore” She has been accused of inappropriately attempting to pressure the Davis voters during the Measure X campaign on Covell Village. She also evidently does not plan to return for support from her Davis voters when her Sup term is up.. Davis voters have a few things that they WILL NOT tolerate from those whom they elect to represent them. Two of them are perceived(perhaps erroneously) to be in play here: Arrogant attempts to bully them into submission and perceived distain and contempt for their intelligence.

  4. davisite

    DPD… What a resource for the citizens of Davis you have created!! A blogging connection to the day-long goings-on at the BOS meeting..

    The BOS and certainly OUR two elected Sups are well-aware of the feelings of their constituents which is that this very much looks like a strategy to pressure us into not exercising our autonomous decision powers(as given by the pass-through agreement). Our Council majority will be bringing CV back in the next few months and the terror threat(do we have a County peripheral development threat color code in place?) needs to be ratcheted up a notch or two. The sense of betrayal is overwhelming and will result in a recall effort.
    If this is not their intent, I urge Helen and Mariko to table the decision on launching the 3 study areas in order to take the time to educate the voters concerning what the concepts of study-areas, joint-study, the pass-through agreement “not working anymore” really means to their constituents. Respect for her constituents calls for Mariko , who does not plan to go before her Davis constituents again,to table this issue, educate the Davis voter and permit Provenza and Ferrera to campaign on this as they run for her vacated Sup seat in 2008.Helen Thomson was part of the recently renegotiated pass-through agreement that is now said to “not work anymore” She has been accused of inappropriately attempting to pressure the Davis voters during the Measure X campaign on Covell Village. She also evidently does not plan to return for support from her Davis voters when her Sup term is up.. Davis voters have a few things that they WILL NOT tolerate from those whom they elect to represent them. Two of them are perceived(perhaps erroneously) to be in play here: Arrogant attempts to bully them into submission and perceived distain and contempt for their intelligence.

  5. Rich Rifkin

    “The board meets during the day, meaning that people who work are often unable to go to these meetings. People who cannot stay all day are thus left to guess as to when their item comes before the board of supervisors.”

    This is part of the problem with having a “professional” BOS. It’s all they do. If they were “volunteers,” as we have with the Davis City Council (and every other municipal government in Yolo County), they would have to conduct their public meetings for the convenience of the public. But because we pay them — far too much, in my opinion — to sit in Woodland for 8 hours a day, during the day, they will of course have their meetings during that time. They don’t have anything else to do.

    The exception — to not having anything else to do — is the one member of the board who has a full time job outside of the Board of Supervisors. It seems as if he can do all of his supervisorial work in his spare time, much the way our working councilmembers do their council duties in their spare time.

    I suppose we cannot turn the clock back to when the Board of Supervisors was run like the city council — by (almost) unpaid volunteers. However, I am completely unconvinced that it takes any more time to be a member of the Board of Supes than it does to be an effective member of the Davis City Council.

    Were it up to me, I would get rid of the salaries and staff that we give to supervisors. I think they deserve about $1,000 a month, plus reimbursement for any reasonable expenses. And I would give the same deal to city councilmembers, who currently receive much less than that.

    “Citizens who wish to address the board of supervisors, will have time to get up to Woodland and come speak at that point in time.”

    Are you going to chime in at the meeting, David?

  6. Rich Rifkin

    “The board meets during the day, meaning that people who work are often unable to go to these meetings. People who cannot stay all day are thus left to guess as to when their item comes before the board of supervisors.”

    This is part of the problem with having a “professional” BOS. It’s all they do. If they were “volunteers,” as we have with the Davis City Council (and every other municipal government in Yolo County), they would have to conduct their public meetings for the convenience of the public. But because we pay them — far too much, in my opinion — to sit in Woodland for 8 hours a day, during the day, they will of course have their meetings during that time. They don’t have anything else to do.

    The exception — to not having anything else to do — is the one member of the board who has a full time job outside of the Board of Supervisors. It seems as if he can do all of his supervisorial work in his spare time, much the way our working councilmembers do their council duties in their spare time.

    I suppose we cannot turn the clock back to when the Board of Supervisors was run like the city council — by (almost) unpaid volunteers. However, I am completely unconvinced that it takes any more time to be a member of the Board of Supes than it does to be an effective member of the Davis City Council.

    Were it up to me, I would get rid of the salaries and staff that we give to supervisors. I think they deserve about $1,000 a month, plus reimbursement for any reasonable expenses. And I would give the same deal to city councilmembers, who currently receive much less than that.

    “Citizens who wish to address the board of supervisors, will have time to get up to Woodland and come speak at that point in time.”

    Are you going to chime in at the meeting, David?

  7. Rich Rifkin

    “The board meets during the day, meaning that people who work are often unable to go to these meetings. People who cannot stay all day are thus left to guess as to when their item comes before the board of supervisors.”

    This is part of the problem with having a “professional” BOS. It’s all they do. If they were “volunteers,” as we have with the Davis City Council (and every other municipal government in Yolo County), they would have to conduct their public meetings for the convenience of the public. But because we pay them — far too much, in my opinion — to sit in Woodland for 8 hours a day, during the day, they will of course have their meetings during that time. They don’t have anything else to do.

    The exception — to not having anything else to do — is the one member of the board who has a full time job outside of the Board of Supervisors. It seems as if he can do all of his supervisorial work in his spare time, much the way our working councilmembers do their council duties in their spare time.

    I suppose we cannot turn the clock back to when the Board of Supervisors was run like the city council — by (almost) unpaid volunteers. However, I am completely unconvinced that it takes any more time to be a member of the Board of Supes than it does to be an effective member of the Davis City Council.

    Were it up to me, I would get rid of the salaries and staff that we give to supervisors. I think they deserve about $1,000 a month, plus reimbursement for any reasonable expenses. And I would give the same deal to city councilmembers, who currently receive much less than that.

    “Citizens who wish to address the board of supervisors, will have time to get up to Woodland and come speak at that point in time.”

    Are you going to chime in at the meeting, David?

  8. Rich Rifkin

    “The board meets during the day, meaning that people who work are often unable to go to these meetings. People who cannot stay all day are thus left to guess as to when their item comes before the board of supervisors.”

    This is part of the problem with having a “professional” BOS. It’s all they do. If they were “volunteers,” as we have with the Davis City Council (and every other municipal government in Yolo County), they would have to conduct their public meetings for the convenience of the public. But because we pay them — far too much, in my opinion — to sit in Woodland for 8 hours a day, during the day, they will of course have their meetings during that time. They don’t have anything else to do.

    The exception — to not having anything else to do — is the one member of the board who has a full time job outside of the Board of Supervisors. It seems as if he can do all of his supervisorial work in his spare time, much the way our working councilmembers do their council duties in their spare time.

    I suppose we cannot turn the clock back to when the Board of Supervisors was run like the city council — by (almost) unpaid volunteers. However, I am completely unconvinced that it takes any more time to be a member of the Board of Supes than it does to be an effective member of the Davis City Council.

    Were it up to me, I would get rid of the salaries and staff that we give to supervisors. I think they deserve about $1,000 a month, plus reimbursement for any reasonable expenses. And I would give the same deal to city councilmembers, who currently receive much less than that.

    “Citizens who wish to address the board of supervisors, will have time to get up to Woodland and come speak at that point in time.”

    Are you going to chime in at the meeting, David?

  9. Anonymous

    I think paying them to work for the County is not a problem.

    I do think that they are aware that the Davis “study area” recommendation is a problem and they should have scheduled the meeting in a way that that the community would feel that it will be addressed appropriately. The agenda could’ve been done to give people a time and also enough time to address it. I might have been able to get off of work to run up to Woodland during a “lunch hour” if I knew when. But, then I’m only a current resident and homeowner of the County, not a speculative land owner.

    Thank goodness we have the internet. I don’t see how people were able to keep themselves informed before this. However, I won’t be surprised if there are technical difficulties with the streaming video tomorrow.

    Doug, keep us informed! I’ll be tuning in.

  10. Anonymous

    I think paying them to work for the County is not a problem.

    I do think that they are aware that the Davis “study area” recommendation is a problem and they should have scheduled the meeting in a way that that the community would feel that it will be addressed appropriately. The agenda could’ve been done to give people a time and also enough time to address it. I might have been able to get off of work to run up to Woodland during a “lunch hour” if I knew when. But, then I’m only a current resident and homeowner of the County, not a speculative land owner.

    Thank goodness we have the internet. I don’t see how people were able to keep themselves informed before this. However, I won’t be surprised if there are technical difficulties with the streaming video tomorrow.

    Doug, keep us informed! I’ll be tuning in.

  11. Anonymous

    I think paying them to work for the County is not a problem.

    I do think that they are aware that the Davis “study area” recommendation is a problem and they should have scheduled the meeting in a way that that the community would feel that it will be addressed appropriately. The agenda could’ve been done to give people a time and also enough time to address it. I might have been able to get off of work to run up to Woodland during a “lunch hour” if I knew when. But, then I’m only a current resident and homeowner of the County, not a speculative land owner.

    Thank goodness we have the internet. I don’t see how people were able to keep themselves informed before this. However, I won’t be surprised if there are technical difficulties with the streaming video tomorrow.

    Doug, keep us informed! I’ll be tuning in.

  12. Anonymous

    I think paying them to work for the County is not a problem.

    I do think that they are aware that the Davis “study area” recommendation is a problem and they should have scheduled the meeting in a way that that the community would feel that it will be addressed appropriately. The agenda could’ve been done to give people a time and also enough time to address it. I might have been able to get off of work to run up to Woodland during a “lunch hour” if I knew when. But, then I’m only a current resident and homeowner of the County, not a speculative land owner.

    Thank goodness we have the internet. I don’t see how people were able to keep themselves informed before this. However, I won’t be surprised if there are technical difficulties with the streaming video tomorrow.

    Doug, keep us informed! I’ll be tuning in.

  13. Rich Rifkin

    “they don’t make enough. only 45K to 49K.”

    Last year, their salary was $49,730. By contrast, Davis City Council members — who, from what I can tell, have an equal amount of work to do — make $500 per month ($6,000/year).

    It is possible that the supervisors deserve much more money. However, I’d like to see the Board demonstrate exactly why they have so much larger of a workload than our city councilmembers have. Considering the fact that Chamberlain has time to be a full-time farmer, and Rexroad a full-time political consultant in Sacramento, I have to wonder how much time it really takes to do the work of a supervisor.

    Also, before Rexroad was sworn in, the supervisors voted (with Chamberlain voting no) to increase their annual salaries to $70,000 a year. However, I believe that increase was put on hold, after the taxpayers association threatened to take that 41% raise to a vote of the people.

  14. Rich Rifkin

    “they don’t make enough. only 45K to 49K.”

    Last year, their salary was $49,730. By contrast, Davis City Council members — who, from what I can tell, have an equal amount of work to do — make $500 per month ($6,000/year).

    It is possible that the supervisors deserve much more money. However, I’d like to see the Board demonstrate exactly why they have so much larger of a workload than our city councilmembers have. Considering the fact that Chamberlain has time to be a full-time farmer, and Rexroad a full-time political consultant in Sacramento, I have to wonder how much time it really takes to do the work of a supervisor.

    Also, before Rexroad was sworn in, the supervisors voted (with Chamberlain voting no) to increase their annual salaries to $70,000 a year. However, I believe that increase was put on hold, after the taxpayers association threatened to take that 41% raise to a vote of the people.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    “they don’t make enough. only 45K to 49K.”

    Last year, their salary was $49,730. By contrast, Davis City Council members — who, from what I can tell, have an equal amount of work to do — make $500 per month ($6,000/year).

    It is possible that the supervisors deserve much more money. However, I’d like to see the Board demonstrate exactly why they have so much larger of a workload than our city councilmembers have. Considering the fact that Chamberlain has time to be a full-time farmer, and Rexroad a full-time political consultant in Sacramento, I have to wonder how much time it really takes to do the work of a supervisor.

    Also, before Rexroad was sworn in, the supervisors voted (with Chamberlain voting no) to increase their annual salaries to $70,000 a year. However, I believe that increase was put on hold, after the taxpayers association threatened to take that 41% raise to a vote of the people.

  16. Rich Rifkin

    “they don’t make enough. only 45K to 49K.”

    Last year, their salary was $49,730. By contrast, Davis City Council members — who, from what I can tell, have an equal amount of work to do — make $500 per month ($6,000/year).

    It is possible that the supervisors deserve much more money. However, I’d like to see the Board demonstrate exactly why they have so much larger of a workload than our city councilmembers have. Considering the fact that Chamberlain has time to be a full-time farmer, and Rexroad a full-time political consultant in Sacramento, I have to wonder how much time it really takes to do the work of a supervisor.

    Also, before Rexroad was sworn in, the supervisors voted (with Chamberlain voting no) to increase their annual salaries to $70,000 a year. However, I believe that increase was put on hold, after the taxpayers association threatened to take that 41% raise to a vote of the people.

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