One of the less controversial votes was a 4-1 vote by the Board of Supervisors to apply the new specific plan designation to approximately 398 acres which could include up to 1,335 homes and 160 acres of commercial/industrial development.
The one dissenting vote was Supervisor Matt Rexroad. One the surface of it, it is an odd vote. The people of Madison are in favor of the development. Furthermore, the Supervisor who actually has Madison in his district, Duane Chamberlain, was in favor of the development and Chamberlain is a strong opponent of new developments.
Nevertheless, Rexroad’s “no-vote” has the people of Madison talking recall despite the fact that they won the vote 4-1 and despite the fact that Madison is not even in his district. I am not certain how that will work, but I am fairly certain that you have to be in someone’s district to recall them and I am even more certain that the people who live in Rexroad’s district are not about to try to recall him over what he voted on in Madison. Needless to say however, Rexroad is all shook up about this. On the phone last night, he could not stop laughing.
The funny thing is, is when you look at the proposal and the arguments employed by Mr. Rexroad, I have to agree with him that this probably not the place to develop.
First, the people of Madison have argued that this would provide homes for the casino workers, but as Rexroad points out that housing in Esparto would make a lot more sense since it is closer to the casino, there are existing schools, and it is not a flood zone.
Speaking of flooding, Rexroad argues that most of the problems with flooding will be resolved by road improvements to Highway 16, and once that is done, the rest of the flood solution can be resolved by the existing residents.
The issue of revenue for the county comes up as well, however the economic people in the county project that the county will not make money unless the homes are $400,000 plus and they are not building those kind of homes in Madison.
Based on these arguments, I have to agree with Matt Rexroad, this proposal makes little sense. I would however like to here from the good folks in Madison about why we need this new development.
As I suggested at the beginning on this piece, the folks in Davis have largely stopped following this process once Davis literally dropped off the map, although I really expect this issue to arise in the future. The heat got too hot for some in the county, but I suspect that the core reasons for their support for development remain. However, honestly, from top to bottom, I am appalled and outraged at some of the proposals that have come forward and that will be supported by the county.
The county somehow believes that they are going to grow themselves into new revenue. I really wish they would study other counties and municipalities who had the same belief and see how that turned out for them. I would venture to guess you will have a hard time finding a county in the black, regardless of growth policies. I suspect that will leave us with two alternatives, a good look at what we are spending money on currently and a good look at how the state can do a better job of funding counties for the services that they provide to citizens.
In the meantime, I would hope that the folks of Madison have something better to do than to try a vengeance recall effort on someone else’s county supervisor, but who knows.
—Doug Paul Davis reporting