Commentary: The City of Davis Spent $75,000 on THIS?

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Background

Late last November, before many on who read this blog frequently, were even reading the Vanguard, the City Council had an item on the agenda that would consider hiring consultants at a cost of between $50,000 and $75,000 to update the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan (adopted in 1998) and “create a survey to learn how residents can be better served by their parks.”

That’s right up to $75,000 to learn about how residents can be better served by their parks. Frankly at the time this seemed an extreme waste of money. Both Mayor Sue Greenwald and Councilmember Lamar Heystek argued at the time that if we are going to spend money provided by Measure G it ought to be on projects that have not yet been completed that go to actual improvements of the park.

But the council majority did not agree with that viewpoint. How important was it to the council majority for this survey to be conducted? Well Ruth Asmundson was not at the original meeting because she was on her Philippines junket. So the vote ended up at 2-2, or should have ended up 2-2. However, Don Saylor recognized the likely outcome and utilized parliamentary procedure.

As the Vanguard described at the time:

But Saylor had one more trick up his sleeve and with a shocking move he joined Heystek and Greenwald in support of that motion. Why would he do that? Parliamentary procedure states that in order to reconsider an item, a person who voted with the prevailing side is the only one who can bring it up for discussion again. Saylor could not bring the item back had he voted against taking no action… Thus, when Asmundson returns, Saylor can bring the item back for discussion and they can vote to hire the consultant.

At the next meeting, Don Saylor as expected brought the item back for consideration, this time with his 3-2 majority in tow.

At that meeting on December 12, 2006, Don Saylor dodged accusations that he had strategically voted against the project in order for the item to be reconsidered.

Councilmember Saylor angrily responded to allegations of parliamentary maneuvers:

“Let me respond. I’ll be very specific. Earlier this evening we talked about an item that had to do with Employee Assistant Program, one of the councilmembers asked that that item as a courtesy be held over and we agreed with that. I voted to hold that over as a courtesy to a colleague. Two meetings ago we had an item that we were stalemated on, two of us believed that we should proceed, two believed that we should not. I asked that we hold that item over until December 12 so that we would have a full council so that we could consider it. That motion was defeated. Then the motion that we were voting on was, should we take action on that item, and the motion was we should not take action on that item that night. And I think that was the motion… And having voted on that motion in the affirmative I now have the right to request reconsideration by the full council. That’s what I’m doing.”

Stephen Souza defended the authorization of the request for proposal (RFP) suggesting that he was just doing it to consider such a survey, not to actually authorize it.

“This an RFP, it is a request for proposals, it’s not an adoption of a proposal, it’s not the acceptance of a proposal, it was just a request for proposals. So if we consider this, all we’re considering is putting out a request for proposals. I see no harm in putting out a request for proposals. We then would then if we had a proposal come back to us, we would then have to accept the proposal or reject the proposal.”

On April 27, 2007, as we suspected at the time, with little fanfare, the city of Davis had an item on the consent calendar to approve at a $75,000 expenditure for the update of the Parks and Facilities Master Plan.

So what did the people of the city of Davis get for their $75,000?

Remember at the time of the January debate, Mayor Greenwald and Councilmember Heystek were arguing that this is something that staff could perform, and the staff and the Council Majority were arguing that they could not. Well here is the first of the surveys and what their “key findings” are and you decide.

First, they did not design a random sampled phone survey.

“On May 17, 2007 the city-wide Celebrate Davis event was held in Community Park. While sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Davis is a platinum sponsor and signature participant in this popular special event. To kick-off the master planning process, an intercept survey was administered by Parks and Community Services staff during the event. The intercept surveys were designed to engage both children and adults about their parks usage, preferences and desires for the future. Over 900 complete surveys were collected and analyzed, key findings are listed below.”

Here are the key findings:

  • Nearly sixty percent of Davis adults visit Davis Parks daily or multiple times a week
  • Walking/ running and playing with kids are primary reasons for adult park visits
  • Rainbow City Park is the most popular park for Davis youth
  • Davis youth primarily get themselves to parks by bike or by foot
  • Davis residents have plenty of ideas for new park amenities
  • Davis residents want more passive recreation opportunities, evening and after-school programming
These are all great findings and I am sure they are very helpful. However, let’s look over this list very carefully.

First, it seems that extrapolating from a survey taken at a park is not a good way to determine the percentage of adults that visit Davis Parks. You are basically asking people at a park how often they use a park and assuming that holds for the general population.

Second, is there anything that they discovered from the other key findings that they couldn’t have done by a cheap mail out survey prepared by staff? I like survey data as much as the next person, but we spent $75,000 to determine what people do at a park and what additional features they want. That seems overly extravagant.

Third, I really did not need a survey to tell me why adults primarily visit the park, I would guess that the other usage would be for picnics and barbecues.

Fourth, I think you could solicit ideas for new park amenities any numbers of ways that would be less costly.

Finally, I am very glad to know that youth get themselves to parks by bike or by foot, since they cannot drive. The only other option would be for their parents to drive them to the park. Did we really learn much from that finding?

Despite the arguments of the council majority, there is nothing here in the survey that could not have been done in-house. And I have to seriously question the validity of some of the findings of the survey, particularly the usage finding, given how the survey was conducted.

The bottom line here for me, is that the council majority went to extraordinary efforts to get this survey passed, it took them three meetings to do so. And what have we learned from it and what have we gained from it?

The city is having a phone survey as well this month. I have not seen the questions yet, but I have heard from a few people who have received the phone survey and they are not impressed with the level of questions.

The city has had long discussions in recent weeks about budget priorities. This money was earmarked for parks, so it could only go to parks, but my point is, given limited money, why not spend it to finish the long list of unfinished projects from the previous parks master plan? Why waste it on consultants? Why waste it on a survey that really does not tell us much that we could have figured out for ourselves? We could have come to the same conclusions for a considerably cheaper cost to the city, so why wasn’t this done? If our budget is as strained as we believe it to be, this was a colossal misappropriation of funding. We said this to council at the time, but the council majority still went to extraordinary lengths to get this passed.

—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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80 thoughts on “Commentary: The City of Davis Spent $75,000 on THIS?”

  1. Diane

    DPD – Do you know the name of the “consultant(s)” that conducted the survey?

    It makes one wonder if they’re simply shuffling money towards a particular consulting firm or consultant. There is a lot of needless money being spent by three council members (Saylor, Souza, Asmundson).

    They could have gotten off their duffs and had a survey at farmers market. They could have emailed out a survey. They could have sent it out in the little 2 page newspaper that goes out citywide.

    They did not have to spend $75,000 to tell us something that could have been done for a lot less dollars.

    Thank you for the story.

  2. Diane

    DPD – Do you know the name of the “consultant(s)” that conducted the survey?

    It makes one wonder if they’re simply shuffling money towards a particular consulting firm or consultant. There is a lot of needless money being spent by three council members (Saylor, Souza, Asmundson).

    They could have gotten off their duffs and had a survey at farmers market. They could have emailed out a survey. They could have sent it out in the little 2 page newspaper that goes out citywide.

    They did not have to spend $75,000 to tell us something that could have been done for a lot less dollars.

    Thank you for the story.

  3. Diane

    DPD – Do you know the name of the “consultant(s)” that conducted the survey?

    It makes one wonder if they’re simply shuffling money towards a particular consulting firm or consultant. There is a lot of needless money being spent by three council members (Saylor, Souza, Asmundson).

    They could have gotten off their duffs and had a survey at farmers market. They could have emailed out a survey. They could have sent it out in the little 2 page newspaper that goes out citywide.

    They did not have to spend $75,000 to tell us something that could have been done for a lot less dollars.

    Thank you for the story.

  4. Diane

    DPD – Do you know the name of the “consultant(s)” that conducted the survey?

    It makes one wonder if they’re simply shuffling money towards a particular consulting firm or consultant. There is a lot of needless money being spent by three council members (Saylor, Souza, Asmundson).

    They could have gotten off their duffs and had a survey at farmers market. They could have emailed out a survey. They could have sent it out in the little 2 page newspaper that goes out citywide.

    They did not have to spend $75,000 to tell us something that could have been done for a lot less dollars.

    Thank you for the story.

  5. Anonymous

    MIG has gotten the nod countless times by our councils. It does look a little fishy.

    What an incredible waste of tax-payer dollars. This money could have been much better spent on actual park amenities or maintenance. Time after time, we hear how the City needs more money for park maintenance. We pass the taxes and this is what they do with the money?

  6. Anonymous

    MIG has gotten the nod countless times by our councils. It does look a little fishy.

    What an incredible waste of tax-payer dollars. This money could have been much better spent on actual park amenities or maintenance. Time after time, we hear how the City needs more money for park maintenance. We pass the taxes and this is what they do with the money?

  7. Anonymous

    MIG has gotten the nod countless times by our councils. It does look a little fishy.

    What an incredible waste of tax-payer dollars. This money could have been much better spent on actual park amenities or maintenance. Time after time, we hear how the City needs more money for park maintenance. We pass the taxes and this is what they do with the money?

  8. Anonymous

    MIG has gotten the nod countless times by our councils. It does look a little fishy.

    What an incredible waste of tax-payer dollars. This money could have been much better spent on actual park amenities or maintenance. Time after time, we hear how the City needs more money for park maintenance. We pass the taxes and this is what they do with the money?

  9. Anonymous

    MIG, Inc. is a planning and design firm. I wonder about the choice of consultants in doing this survey.
    $75,000 to do a survey in one evening and then perform the data entry and write up a summary with little pie charts? This seems a little expensive – around $80 per completed survey. Perhaps Saylor, Sousa and Asmundson can explain what new data we’ve learned and how it will help them decide the direction the City will now take in the development of its parks. This $75,000 could have paid for two part-time interns for the parks department for the year (who could have done this survey), or one full-time employee for the year, or expanded afterschool programs, etc.

  10. Anonymous

    MIG, Inc. is a planning and design firm. I wonder about the choice of consultants in doing this survey.
    $75,000 to do a survey in one evening and then perform the data entry and write up a summary with little pie charts? This seems a little expensive – around $80 per completed survey. Perhaps Saylor, Sousa and Asmundson can explain what new data we’ve learned and how it will help them decide the direction the City will now take in the development of its parks. This $75,000 could have paid for two part-time interns for the parks department for the year (who could have done this survey), or one full-time employee for the year, or expanded afterschool programs, etc.

  11. Anonymous

    MIG, Inc. is a planning and design firm. I wonder about the choice of consultants in doing this survey.
    $75,000 to do a survey in one evening and then perform the data entry and write up a summary with little pie charts? This seems a little expensive – around $80 per completed survey. Perhaps Saylor, Sousa and Asmundson can explain what new data we’ve learned and how it will help them decide the direction the City will now take in the development of its parks. This $75,000 could have paid for two part-time interns for the parks department for the year (who could have done this survey), or one full-time employee for the year, or expanded afterschool programs, etc.

  12. Anonymous

    MIG, Inc. is a planning and design firm. I wonder about the choice of consultants in doing this survey.
    $75,000 to do a survey in one evening and then perform the data entry and write up a summary with little pie charts? This seems a little expensive – around $80 per completed survey. Perhaps Saylor, Sousa and Asmundson can explain what new data we’ve learned and how it will help them decide the direction the City will now take in the development of its parks. This $75,000 could have paid for two part-time interns for the parks department for the year (who could have done this survey), or one full-time employee for the year, or expanded afterschool programs, etc.

  13. Irate Taxpayer!

    Frankly the people that should be most pissed off by this should be the police and fire. Parks were given the priority for the tax by the council even though perhaps public safety was a more pressing need. Now the council is squandering taxpayer money on consultants and bullspit surveys.

  14. Irate Taxpayer!

    Frankly the people that should be most pissed off by this should be the police and fire. Parks were given the priority for the tax by the council even though perhaps public safety was a more pressing need. Now the council is squandering taxpayer money on consultants and bullspit surveys.

  15. Irate Taxpayer!

    Frankly the people that should be most pissed off by this should be the police and fire. Parks were given the priority for the tax by the council even though perhaps public safety was a more pressing need. Now the council is squandering taxpayer money on consultants and bullspit surveys.

  16. Irate Taxpayer!

    Frankly the people that should be most pissed off by this should be the police and fire. Parks were given the priority for the tax by the council even though perhaps public safety was a more pressing need. Now the council is squandering taxpayer money on consultants and bullspit surveys.

  17. Mike

    MIG is a local favorite of the council, I guess they were running a little behind on their bills and needed a quick infusion of cash. Perhaps when its time for Christmas bonuses they can survey local library needs (for $100K). I can predict results:

    100% of people surveyed (at the library) find books “Very” important.

    95% of people surveyed think that libraries are a “Good thing”

    80% of the people surveyed would “Like to see more books” in the library.

    Ahhh, its good to know that this kind of good-old boy kick-back system works in more places than just the deep south.

    MIG’s offices are right across the street from the Davis Co-Op.

  18. Mike

    MIG is a local favorite of the council, I guess they were running a little behind on their bills and needed a quick infusion of cash. Perhaps when its time for Christmas bonuses they can survey local library needs (for $100K). I can predict results:

    100% of people surveyed (at the library) find books “Very” important.

    95% of people surveyed think that libraries are a “Good thing”

    80% of the people surveyed would “Like to see more books” in the library.

    Ahhh, its good to know that this kind of good-old boy kick-back system works in more places than just the deep south.

    MIG’s offices are right across the street from the Davis Co-Op.

  19. Mike

    MIG is a local favorite of the council, I guess they were running a little behind on their bills and needed a quick infusion of cash. Perhaps when its time for Christmas bonuses they can survey local library needs (for $100K). I can predict results:

    100% of people surveyed (at the library) find books “Very” important.

    95% of people surveyed think that libraries are a “Good thing”

    80% of the people surveyed would “Like to see more books” in the library.

    Ahhh, its good to know that this kind of good-old boy kick-back system works in more places than just the deep south.

    MIG’s offices are right across the street from the Davis Co-Op.

  20. Mike

    MIG is a local favorite of the council, I guess they were running a little behind on their bills and needed a quick infusion of cash. Perhaps when its time for Christmas bonuses they can survey local library needs (for $100K). I can predict results:

    100% of people surveyed (at the library) find books “Very” important.

    95% of people surveyed think that libraries are a “Good thing”

    80% of the people surveyed would “Like to see more books” in the library.

    Ahhh, its good to know that this kind of good-old boy kick-back system works in more places than just the deep south.

    MIG’s offices are right across the street from the Davis Co-Op.

  21. davisite

    Saylor and Souza’s hope for reeelection rests upon Davis voters being unfamiliar with their public record in office. Their “deep pockets” will make sure that they have the cash to run a well-funded campaign and flood our mailboxes with glossy literature. Will YOU be canvassing precincts,knocking on doors and talking to your neighbors?? If you do not plan to respond when the call for volunteers goes out in the upcoming
    Council election campaigns to counter their money advantage, don’t be griping about their agenda and election results.

  22. davisite

    Saylor and Souza’s hope for reeelection rests upon Davis voters being unfamiliar with their public record in office. Their “deep pockets” will make sure that they have the cash to run a well-funded campaign and flood our mailboxes with glossy literature. Will YOU be canvassing precincts,knocking on doors and talking to your neighbors?? If you do not plan to respond when the call for volunteers goes out in the upcoming
    Council election campaigns to counter their money advantage, don’t be griping about their agenda and election results.

  23. davisite

    Saylor and Souza’s hope for reeelection rests upon Davis voters being unfamiliar with their public record in office. Their “deep pockets” will make sure that they have the cash to run a well-funded campaign and flood our mailboxes with glossy literature. Will YOU be canvassing precincts,knocking on doors and talking to your neighbors?? If you do not plan to respond when the call for volunteers goes out in the upcoming
    Council election campaigns to counter their money advantage, don’t be griping about their agenda and election results.

  24. davisite

    Saylor and Souza’s hope for reeelection rests upon Davis voters being unfamiliar with their public record in office. Their “deep pockets” will make sure that they have the cash to run a well-funded campaign and flood our mailboxes with glossy literature. Will YOU be canvassing precincts,knocking on doors and talking to your neighbors?? If you do not plan to respond when the call for volunteers goes out in the upcoming
    Council election campaigns to counter their money advantage, don’t be griping about their agenda and election results.

  25. Anonymous

    Rainbow City is the most popular park for youth … results from a survey done at: Rainbow City (Community Park).

    Hmm. I wonder if you took the same survey at, oh, Central Park, Arroyo Park, or Slide Hill Park what results you would get.

  26. Anonymous

    Rainbow City is the most popular park for youth … results from a survey done at: Rainbow City (Community Park).

    Hmm. I wonder if you took the same survey at, oh, Central Park, Arroyo Park, or Slide Hill Park what results you would get.

  27. Anonymous

    Rainbow City is the most popular park for youth … results from a survey done at: Rainbow City (Community Park).

    Hmm. I wonder if you took the same survey at, oh, Central Park, Arroyo Park, or Slide Hill Park what results you would get.

  28. Anonymous

    Rainbow City is the most popular park for youth … results from a survey done at: Rainbow City (Community Park).

    Hmm. I wonder if you took the same survey at, oh, Central Park, Arroyo Park, or Slide Hill Park what results you would get.

  29. Anonymous

    i received the survey phone call the other evening, and participated in the 20 minute plus survey.
    i didn’t feel underwhemlmed by the scope or type of questions posed regarding my usage or preference of parks/ activities.

    however, i do feel that 75,000 dollars could be much better spent!

    how about fixing the solar panels in community park, or fixing all of the locations where grrenbelt sprinklers constantly leak day after day, even as its raining outdoors.

    thanks for the report, dpd.

  30. Anonymous

    i received the survey phone call the other evening, and participated in the 20 minute plus survey.
    i didn’t feel underwhemlmed by the scope or type of questions posed regarding my usage or preference of parks/ activities.

    however, i do feel that 75,000 dollars could be much better spent!

    how about fixing the solar panels in community park, or fixing all of the locations where grrenbelt sprinklers constantly leak day after day, even as its raining outdoors.

    thanks for the report, dpd.

  31. Anonymous

    i received the survey phone call the other evening, and participated in the 20 minute plus survey.
    i didn’t feel underwhemlmed by the scope or type of questions posed regarding my usage or preference of parks/ activities.

    however, i do feel that 75,000 dollars could be much better spent!

    how about fixing the solar panels in community park, or fixing all of the locations where grrenbelt sprinklers constantly leak day after day, even as its raining outdoors.

    thanks for the report, dpd.

  32. Anonymous

    i received the survey phone call the other evening, and participated in the 20 minute plus survey.
    i didn’t feel underwhemlmed by the scope or type of questions posed regarding my usage or preference of parks/ activities.

    however, i do feel that 75,000 dollars could be much better spent!

    how about fixing the solar panels in community park, or fixing all of the locations where grrenbelt sprinklers constantly leak day after day, even as its raining outdoors.

    thanks for the report, dpd.

  33. 無名 - wu ming

    BREAKING! davisites enjoy taking children to parks!!!

    this story would be hilarious if they hadn’t spent 75 grand doing it instead of, say, just asking the kids at rainbow summer or something.

    next up: a $100,000 study on whether people buy vegetables at the farmer’s market.

  34. 無名 - wu ming

    BREAKING! davisites enjoy taking children to parks!!!

    this story would be hilarious if they hadn’t spent 75 grand doing it instead of, say, just asking the kids at rainbow summer or something.

    next up: a $100,000 study on whether people buy vegetables at the farmer’s market.

  35. 無名 - wu ming

    BREAKING! davisites enjoy taking children to parks!!!

    this story would be hilarious if they hadn’t spent 75 grand doing it instead of, say, just asking the kids at rainbow summer or something.

    next up: a $100,000 study on whether people buy vegetables at the farmer’s market.

  36. 無名 - wu ming

    BREAKING! davisites enjoy taking children to parks!!!

    this story would be hilarious if they hadn’t spent 75 grand doing it instead of, say, just asking the kids at rainbow summer or something.

    next up: a $100,000 study on whether people buy vegetables at the farmer’s market.

  37. Mitt romney fan

    Its 75thousand dollars, a waste of money but not that much in the grand sceme of things. I think the Vanguard can find much bigger wastes some where else. Please do DPD

  38. Mitt romney fan

    Its 75thousand dollars, a waste of money but not that much in the grand sceme of things. I think the Vanguard can find much bigger wastes some where else. Please do DPD

  39. Mitt romney fan

    Its 75thousand dollars, a waste of money but not that much in the grand sceme of things. I think the Vanguard can find much bigger wastes some where else. Please do DPD

  40. Mitt romney fan

    Its 75thousand dollars, a waste of money but not that much in the grand sceme of things. I think the Vanguard can find much bigger wastes some where else. Please do DPD

  41. Anonymous

    Per the City’s website and looked at the Parks and Rec Department. It appears that the $75,000 is paying for the update to the Facilities Master Plan of 1998. MIG, Inc. has the contract, but they are using Godbe Research to do the survey part. The $75,000 doesn’t just pay for the survey, but the entire update of the Master plan process. It looks like they are using various ways to collect data – on online survey, a random phone sample, and City Park staff who did the “intercept” survey at Celebrate Davis. They have a summary of the results of the “intercept” survey posted on the City’s website, but not the telephone or online survey results. There are supposed to be some community meetings to collect more information to help update the Master plan.

  42. Anonymous

    Per the City’s website and looked at the Parks and Rec Department. It appears that the $75,000 is paying for the update to the Facilities Master Plan of 1998. MIG, Inc. has the contract, but they are using Godbe Research to do the survey part. The $75,000 doesn’t just pay for the survey, but the entire update of the Master plan process. It looks like they are using various ways to collect data – on online survey, a random phone sample, and City Park staff who did the “intercept” survey at Celebrate Davis. They have a summary of the results of the “intercept” survey posted on the City’s website, but not the telephone or online survey results. There are supposed to be some community meetings to collect more information to help update the Master plan.

  43. Anonymous

    Per the City’s website and looked at the Parks and Rec Department. It appears that the $75,000 is paying for the update to the Facilities Master Plan of 1998. MIG, Inc. has the contract, but they are using Godbe Research to do the survey part. The $75,000 doesn’t just pay for the survey, but the entire update of the Master plan process. It looks like they are using various ways to collect data – on online survey, a random phone sample, and City Park staff who did the “intercept” survey at Celebrate Davis. They have a summary of the results of the “intercept” survey posted on the City’s website, but not the telephone or online survey results. There are supposed to be some community meetings to collect more information to help update the Master plan.

  44. Anonymous

    Per the City’s website and looked at the Parks and Rec Department. It appears that the $75,000 is paying for the update to the Facilities Master Plan of 1998. MIG, Inc. has the contract, but they are using Godbe Research to do the survey part. The $75,000 doesn’t just pay for the survey, but the entire update of the Master plan process. It looks like they are using various ways to collect data – on online survey, a random phone sample, and City Park staff who did the “intercept” survey at Celebrate Davis. They have a summary of the results of the “intercept” survey posted on the City’s website, but not the telephone or online survey results. There are supposed to be some community meetings to collect more information to help update the Master plan.

  45. Anonymous

    You mean like it said in the article:

    “the City Council had an item on the agenda that would consider hiring consultants at a cost of between $50,000 and $75,000 to update the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan (adopted in 1998) and “create a survey to learn how residents can be better served by their parks.””

    Doesn’t the city have a parks and rec department that can do this for much cheaper by keeping it in house?

  46. Anonymous

    You mean like it said in the article:

    “the City Council had an item on the agenda that would consider hiring consultants at a cost of between $50,000 and $75,000 to update the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan (adopted in 1998) and “create a survey to learn how residents can be better served by their parks.””

    Doesn’t the city have a parks and rec department that can do this for much cheaper by keeping it in house?

  47. Anonymous

    You mean like it said in the article:

    “the City Council had an item on the agenda that would consider hiring consultants at a cost of between $50,000 and $75,000 to update the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan (adopted in 1998) and “create a survey to learn how residents can be better served by their parks.””

    Doesn’t the city have a parks and rec department that can do this for much cheaper by keeping it in house?

  48. Anonymous

    You mean like it said in the article:

    “the City Council had an item on the agenda that would consider hiring consultants at a cost of between $50,000 and $75,000 to update the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan (adopted in 1998) and “create a survey to learn how residents can be better served by their parks.””

    Doesn’t the city have a parks and rec department that can do this for much cheaper by keeping it in house?

  49. Anonymous

    City manager Emelen is paid a very handsome salary to lead his city staff in gathering information and making recommendations to the
    Council. Wasting $75,000 on outside consultants is a transparent attempt to insulate city staff and the Council Majority from any political blow-back.

  50. Anonymous

    City manager Emelen is paid a very handsome salary to lead his city staff in gathering information and making recommendations to the
    Council. Wasting $75,000 on outside consultants is a transparent attempt to insulate city staff and the Council Majority from any political blow-back.

  51. Anonymous

    City manager Emelen is paid a very handsome salary to lead his city staff in gathering information and making recommendations to the
    Council. Wasting $75,000 on outside consultants is a transparent attempt to insulate city staff and the Council Majority from any political blow-back.

  52. Anonymous

    City manager Emelen is paid a very handsome salary to lead his city staff in gathering information and making recommendations to the
    Council. Wasting $75,000 on outside consultants is a transparent attempt to insulate city staff and the Council Majority from any political blow-back.

  53. Tide may be turning

    I’m not convinced the move to spend $75,000 – to tell us what we already know – will insulate the Council Majority from anything. This was such a collosal blunder, heavy-handed and arrogant – a clear abuse of process. What was such an important item doing on the consent calendar, other than to fly under the radar screen because it would not pass muster in the public forum?

    Right about now, I don’t think the Council Majority could get elected dog catchers – my apologies to animal control!!! Taxpayers are fed up with being soaked like this – you can feel it in the tenor of the Op Ed pages of the Davis Enterprise, along with comments on this Internet blog. Pressure is mounting for some accountability everywhere.

    The fire folks, who can’t catch a break from the City Council, should be infuriated that money was just completely blown to no good purpose – while they go begging. How insulting to them and to the taxpayers!!!

  54. Tide may be turning

    I’m not convinced the move to spend $75,000 – to tell us what we already know – will insulate the Council Majority from anything. This was such a collosal blunder, heavy-handed and arrogant – a clear abuse of process. What was such an important item doing on the consent calendar, other than to fly under the radar screen because it would not pass muster in the public forum?

    Right about now, I don’t think the Council Majority could get elected dog catchers – my apologies to animal control!!! Taxpayers are fed up with being soaked like this – you can feel it in the tenor of the Op Ed pages of the Davis Enterprise, along with comments on this Internet blog. Pressure is mounting for some accountability everywhere.

    The fire folks, who can’t catch a break from the City Council, should be infuriated that money was just completely blown to no good purpose – while they go begging. How insulting to them and to the taxpayers!!!

  55. Tide may be turning

    I’m not convinced the move to spend $75,000 – to tell us what we already know – will insulate the Council Majority from anything. This was such a collosal blunder, heavy-handed and arrogant – a clear abuse of process. What was such an important item doing on the consent calendar, other than to fly under the radar screen because it would not pass muster in the public forum?

    Right about now, I don’t think the Council Majority could get elected dog catchers – my apologies to animal control!!! Taxpayers are fed up with being soaked like this – you can feel it in the tenor of the Op Ed pages of the Davis Enterprise, along with comments on this Internet blog. Pressure is mounting for some accountability everywhere.

    The fire folks, who can’t catch a break from the City Council, should be infuriated that money was just completely blown to no good purpose – while they go begging. How insulting to them and to the taxpayers!!!

  56. Tide may be turning

    I’m not convinced the move to spend $75,000 – to tell us what we already know – will insulate the Council Majority from anything. This was such a collosal blunder, heavy-handed and arrogant – a clear abuse of process. What was such an important item doing on the consent calendar, other than to fly under the radar screen because it would not pass muster in the public forum?

    Right about now, I don’t think the Council Majority could get elected dog catchers – my apologies to animal control!!! Taxpayers are fed up with being soaked like this – you can feel it in the tenor of the Op Ed pages of the Davis Enterprise, along with comments on this Internet blog. Pressure is mounting for some accountability everywhere.

    The fire folks, who can’t catch a break from the City Council, should be infuriated that money was just completely blown to no good purpose – while they go begging. How insulting to them and to the taxpayers!!!

  57. Anonymous

    Asmundson, Saylor, and Souza have a history of putting important items on the consent calendar in hopes of trying to “sneak them by” public input.

  58. Anonymous

    Asmundson, Saylor, and Souza have a history of putting important items on the consent calendar in hopes of trying to “sneak them by” public input.

  59. Anonymous

    Asmundson, Saylor, and Souza have a history of putting important items on the consent calendar in hopes of trying to “sneak them by” public input.

  60. Anonymous

    Asmundson, Saylor, and Souza have a history of putting important items on the consent calendar in hopes of trying to “sneak them by” public input.

  61. Anonymous

    Des[pite how much I love our town, I have not been impressed with how the second most educated city does its OWN work….many many too many consultants. And when money is tight, the staff whines for more money rather than looking at different ways to do things…..e.g., different plantings on the greenbelts that don’t take as much upkeep. We in South Davis have much fewer grassy areas….and don’t mind….but wish the parks folks came around more often to trim the bushes, etc. Once again, dump on South Davis….am I whining? !

  62. Anonymous

    Des[pite how much I love our town, I have not been impressed with how the second most educated city does its OWN work….many many too many consultants. And when money is tight, the staff whines for more money rather than looking at different ways to do things…..e.g., different plantings on the greenbelts that don’t take as much upkeep. We in South Davis have much fewer grassy areas….and don’t mind….but wish the parks folks came around more often to trim the bushes, etc. Once again, dump on South Davis….am I whining? !

  63. Anonymous

    Des[pite how much I love our town, I have not been impressed with how the second most educated city does its OWN work….many many too many consultants. And when money is tight, the staff whines for more money rather than looking at different ways to do things…..e.g., different plantings on the greenbelts that don’t take as much upkeep. We in South Davis have much fewer grassy areas….and don’t mind….but wish the parks folks came around more often to trim the bushes, etc. Once again, dump on South Davis….am I whining? !

  64. Anonymous

    Des[pite how much I love our town, I have not been impressed with how the second most educated city does its OWN work….many many too many consultants. And when money is tight, the staff whines for more money rather than looking at different ways to do things…..e.g., different plantings on the greenbelts that don’t take as much upkeep. We in South Davis have much fewer grassy areas….and don’t mind….but wish the parks folks came around more often to trim the bushes, etc. Once again, dump on South Davis….am I whining? !

  65. Anonymous

    The city is having a phone survey as well this month. I have not seen the questions yet, but I have heard from a few people who have received the phone survey and they are not impressed with the level of questions.

    I got the telephone survey two days ago. It was irritating, a hopeless mishmash of topics written in a simple minded style. Incompetence on display, I thought as I was asked to assess the relative importance to me of a long list of randomly-ordered park-and-recreation activities. The results they get will be of little use in deciding how to spend the city’s funds. I agree that it seems on the surface to be more money wasted. — Dennis D.

  66. Anonymous

    The city is having a phone survey as well this month. I have not seen the questions yet, but I have heard from a few people who have received the phone survey and they are not impressed with the level of questions.

    I got the telephone survey two days ago. It was irritating, a hopeless mishmash of topics written in a simple minded style. Incompetence on display, I thought as I was asked to assess the relative importance to me of a long list of randomly-ordered park-and-recreation activities. The results they get will be of little use in deciding how to spend the city’s funds. I agree that it seems on the surface to be more money wasted. — Dennis D.

  67. Anonymous

    The city is having a phone survey as well this month. I have not seen the questions yet, but I have heard from a few people who have received the phone survey and they are not impressed with the level of questions.

    I got the telephone survey two days ago. It was irritating, a hopeless mishmash of topics written in a simple minded style. Incompetence on display, I thought as I was asked to assess the relative importance to me of a long list of randomly-ordered park-and-recreation activities. The results they get will be of little use in deciding how to spend the city’s funds. I agree that it seems on the surface to be more money wasted. — Dennis D.

  68. Anonymous

    The city is having a phone survey as well this month. I have not seen the questions yet, but I have heard from a few people who have received the phone survey and they are not impressed with the level of questions.

    I got the telephone survey two days ago. It was irritating, a hopeless mishmash of topics written in a simple minded style. Incompetence on display, I thought as I was asked to assess the relative importance to me of a long list of randomly-ordered park-and-recreation activities. The results they get will be of little use in deciding how to spend the city’s funds. I agree that it seems on the surface to be more money wasted. — Dennis D.

  69. Anonymous

    May. 1, 2007 City Council Agenda item on the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan Update can be found at:

    http://www.city.davis.ca.us/meetings/councilpackets/20070501/04C_Park-Rec_Master_Plan.pdf

    The Master Plan update is a year long process that involves collecting existing parks and population data, touring and evaluating the condition of Davis Parks and Facilities, and connecting the public to community interests and needs. The facility and program needs of the community will be assessed through a telephone survey, web survey and public events. The synthesis of this information will result in an update of relevant goals, policies, classifications and standards related to the delivery of parks and programs for the Davis community. The updated plan will allow the Department to continue providing the same quality of services and opportunities that Davis residents currently enjoy.

    A random-digit dial, statistically valid phone survey is being administered now. This update of the Parks and Facilities Master plan will be completed in spring 2008.

    The city of Davis last adopted a Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan in 1998.

    The city of Davis received five proposals from consultants to prepare an update to the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan.

    The proposals were reviewed by staff representing recreation programming, parks/facilities
    maintenance, parks/facilities planning, the director and two Recreation and Parks Commissioners. The group selected four of the consultants to interview. The group recommended MIG as the firm that would be the best fit for the Davis project. MIG has local offices, are familiar with Davis and have extensive experience with parks master planning and civic engagement. The group was impressed with the team MIG has put together to work on the city of Davis project, and are confident that MIG understands the community. The team includes Godbe Research, who will be conducting the survey. Godbe has performed several surveys for the city of Davis, and is very familiar with Davis.

    The City shall pay MIG a total sum not to exceed $75,000.

    The funds will come from the Community Services Department Administration, and Public Education account ($40,000), Park Impact Fees ($25,000) and Program 4114 ($10,000).

  70. Anonymous

    May. 1, 2007 City Council Agenda item on the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan Update can be found at:

    http://www.city.davis.ca.us/meetings/councilpackets/20070501/04C_Park-Rec_Master_Plan.pdf

    The Master Plan update is a year long process that involves collecting existing parks and population data, touring and evaluating the condition of Davis Parks and Facilities, and connecting the public to community interests and needs. The facility and program needs of the community will be assessed through a telephone survey, web survey and public events. The synthesis of this information will result in an update of relevant goals, policies, classifications and standards related to the delivery of parks and programs for the Davis community. The updated plan will allow the Department to continue providing the same quality of services and opportunities that Davis residents currently enjoy.

    A random-digit dial, statistically valid phone survey is being administered now. This update of the Parks and Facilities Master plan will be completed in spring 2008.

    The city of Davis last adopted a Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan in 1998.

    The city of Davis received five proposals from consultants to prepare an update to the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan.

    The proposals were reviewed by staff representing recreation programming, parks/facilities
    maintenance, parks/facilities planning, the director and two Recreation and Parks Commissioners. The group selected four of the consultants to interview. The group recommended MIG as the firm that would be the best fit for the Davis project. MIG has local offices, are familiar with Davis and have extensive experience with parks master planning and civic engagement. The group was impressed with the team MIG has put together to work on the city of Davis project, and are confident that MIG understands the community. The team includes Godbe Research, who will be conducting the survey. Godbe has performed several surveys for the city of Davis, and is very familiar with Davis.

    The City shall pay MIG a total sum not to exceed $75,000.

    The funds will come from the Community Services Department Administration, and Public Education account ($40,000), Park Impact Fees ($25,000) and Program 4114 ($10,000).

  71. Anonymous

    May. 1, 2007 City Council Agenda item on the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan Update can be found at:

    http://www.city.davis.ca.us/meetings/councilpackets/20070501/04C_Park-Rec_Master_Plan.pdf

    The Master Plan update is a year long process that involves collecting existing parks and population data, touring and evaluating the condition of Davis Parks and Facilities, and connecting the public to community interests and needs. The facility and program needs of the community will be assessed through a telephone survey, web survey and public events. The synthesis of this information will result in an update of relevant goals, policies, classifications and standards related to the delivery of parks and programs for the Davis community. The updated plan will allow the Department to continue providing the same quality of services and opportunities that Davis residents currently enjoy.

    A random-digit dial, statistically valid phone survey is being administered now. This update of the Parks and Facilities Master plan will be completed in spring 2008.

    The city of Davis last adopted a Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan in 1998.

    The city of Davis received five proposals from consultants to prepare an update to the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan.

    The proposals were reviewed by staff representing recreation programming, parks/facilities
    maintenance, parks/facilities planning, the director and two Recreation and Parks Commissioners. The group selected four of the consultants to interview. The group recommended MIG as the firm that would be the best fit for the Davis project. MIG has local offices, are familiar with Davis and have extensive experience with parks master planning and civic engagement. The group was impressed with the team MIG has put together to work on the city of Davis project, and are confident that MIG understands the community. The team includes Godbe Research, who will be conducting the survey. Godbe has performed several surveys for the city of Davis, and is very familiar with Davis.

    The City shall pay MIG a total sum not to exceed $75,000.

    The funds will come from the Community Services Department Administration, and Public Education account ($40,000), Park Impact Fees ($25,000) and Program 4114 ($10,000).

  72. Anonymous

    May. 1, 2007 City Council Agenda item on the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan Update can be found at:

    http://www.city.davis.ca.us/meetings/councilpackets/20070501/04C_Park-Rec_Master_Plan.pdf

    The Master Plan update is a year long process that involves collecting existing parks and population data, touring and evaluating the condition of Davis Parks and Facilities, and connecting the public to community interests and needs. The facility and program needs of the community will be assessed through a telephone survey, web survey and public events. The synthesis of this information will result in an update of relevant goals, policies, classifications and standards related to the delivery of parks and programs for the Davis community. The updated plan will allow the Department to continue providing the same quality of services and opportunities that Davis residents currently enjoy.

    A random-digit dial, statistically valid phone survey is being administered now. This update of the Parks and Facilities Master plan will be completed in spring 2008.

    The city of Davis last adopted a Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan in 1998.

    The city of Davis received five proposals from consultants to prepare an update to the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan.

    The proposals were reviewed by staff representing recreation programming, parks/facilities
    maintenance, parks/facilities planning, the director and two Recreation and Parks Commissioners. The group selected four of the consultants to interview. The group recommended MIG as the firm that would be the best fit for the Davis project. MIG has local offices, are familiar with Davis and have extensive experience with parks master planning and civic engagement. The group was impressed with the team MIG has put together to work on the city of Davis project, and are confident that MIG understands the community. The team includes Godbe Research, who will be conducting the survey. Godbe has performed several surveys for the city of Davis, and is very familiar with Davis.

    The City shall pay MIG a total sum not to exceed $75,000.

    The funds will come from the Community Services Department Administration, and Public Education account ($40,000), Park Impact Fees ($25,000) and Program 4114 ($10,000).

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