Analysis: A look back at Measure N at Why It Was Defeated

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imageCity of Davis

The results for Measure N can be looked at in two ways. On the one hand, the measure failed by just 2000 votes despite large amounts of public confusion about what the measure would do and why it was needed.

On the other hand, opponents of Measure N point out that Davis rarely opposes such measures, that there was only late organized opposition, no ballot argument against the measure, and yet it lost.

Both in a way are probably correct. The Davis Enterprise in a rare moment of editorializing by city beat writer Claire St. John suggests:

“The death knell probably rang when Mayor Ruth Asmundson, who voted in favor of putting Measure N on the ballot, encouraged voters to turn it down.”

I would tend to agree with that analysis. But this article will look further and argue that this was a much broader and deeper defeat than the surface numbers might suggest.

Councilmember Lamar Heystek along with his colleague Stephen Souza was the strongest supporter of the measure. The Vanguard is awaiting his exclusive statement, in the meantime, we post his statement as printed in the Davis Enterprise.

“I have learned much from those who were most vocal in their opposition to Measure N… I hope the community at large, especially those who campaigned actively against Measure N, will continue to provide guidance to the City Council on the issues that are related to the charter.

And I think that people who did not support Measure N would like to have greater engagement with the community, and I think that is something we’ve learned from the process.

Anything the city would want to pursue as a result of a charter will require much more discussion and a much better understanding on everyone’s part.”

Mayor Pro Tem Don Saylor has at times called the measure “a solution in search of a problem.”

“I think this vote indicates that any future consideration of change to our city’s governance structure must be clear and specific and based on deep community engagement.”

In my own view, I think Councilmember Heystek has indeed learned from this setback for his cause of home rule and eventually choice voting.

Commentary

There were two critical errors along the way. One was the separate the issue of choice voting from the issue of the charter city in order to gain the support of Mayor Ruth Asmundson, a gesture that was already futile even before she changed her vote.

The other error was to bring about this process without more community involvement and buy-in. The result of both of these was a confusing and sterile measure that many did not understand more still failed to appreciate any sense of its necessity.

In the final analysis then, Don Saylor’s view is right, there must be clear and specific changes to the city and it must be based on deep community engagement. The irony is that they had the latter back in 2006, but it got lost along the way.

Vanguard Analysis

The Vanguard analysis paints a far grimmer view of the measure that goes well beyond the narrow 2000 point defeat which marked a 54-45 verdict.

Looking at the city precincts only, we see that there was a considerable undervote when compared to its companion Measure W.

In the city of Davis, 28,105 people cast their ballots for the Presidential Election–of which 22,653 voted for President Elect Obama (80% if you are scoring at home).

Measure W in the city of Davis received around 26,263 votes of which The fall of which just under 20,000 were Yes votes. From the Presidential election at the top of the ballot to Measure W was a decline of just 2000 votes. That means there was only 6.6% drop off from the Presidential Election at the top to Measure W–a remarkable feat given the length of the ballot and the fact that Measure W was on the second side of the ballot and past all of the propositions.

However, Measure N received just 22,760 or 3503 less than W and 5,659 less than the Presidential election. That is a drop of nearly 20%. One in five people did not cast their ballots for Measure N.

Even the Los Rios Bond which was on the ballot in Davis and never even discussed among most people either in the papers or on the Vanguard only had 12% who did not vote for it.

The comparison is probably most striking with Los Rios because there was a measure that was never discussed and yet it was very clear what it was about and what it would do.

We can go back to the Davis Enterprise editorial a month ago, the people of Davis simply do not know what the measure was about and therefore a large number either voted against it or did not for it at all. Only 10,395 of 28,105 (about 37%) of those who cast their ballots on November 4, 2008 voted yes on Measure N.

The bottom line here is that we see the perils of putting a measure on the ballot during this type of election that is complicated. Measure W and Measure M were both straightforward. Voters knew a yes vote generally meant money for education and that a N vote would deny that money. People did not have that easy frame for Measure N and as a result uncertainty about what the measure did caused some people to vote No and others to simply not vote at all.

The future of a charter city, choice voting, and home rule will depend on this community. The perils of a council driven initiative were well-demonstrated this week. Now we will see what the people of Davis want and if this effort dies here or continues on.

—David M. Greenwald 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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64 thoughts on “Analysis: A look back at Measure N at Why It Was Defeated”

  1. Anonymous

    David:

    As usual, a thoughtful analysis. What else could we expect from you? (You probably understood this already, but only City residents could vote on "N," but many more (in DJUSD) who don't live in the City per se could vote on "W."-)

    Even though I self-identify as a "progressive," I believe the actions (or inactions) of Lamar & Sue on Measure N have assured that Sidney Vergis will be elected to join Don Saylor & Steve Souza as our next (2010) council majority.

    (Sue will remain on board for two more years, but Lamar is finished. His obstinate behavior over "N," against some of his formerly stalwart supporters, spelled the end for Lamar. Save your money, Lamar; you don't stand a chance of being re-elected without an infusion of $30-$50K).

  2. Anonymous

    David:

    As usual, a thoughtful analysis. What else could we expect from you? (You probably understood this already, but only City residents could vote on "N," but many more (in DJUSD) who don't live in the City per se could vote on "W."-)

    Even though I self-identify as a "progressive," I believe the actions (or inactions) of Lamar & Sue on Measure N have assured that Sidney Vergis will be elected to join Don Saylor & Steve Souza as our next (2010) council majority.

    (Sue will remain on board for two more years, but Lamar is finished. His obstinate behavior over "N," against some of his formerly stalwart supporters, spelled the end for Lamar. Save your money, Lamar; you don't stand a chance of being re-elected without an infusion of $30-$50K).

  3. Anonymous

    David:

    As usual, a thoughtful analysis. What else could we expect from you? (You probably understood this already, but only City residents could vote on "N," but many more (in DJUSD) who don't live in the City per se could vote on "W."-)

    Even though I self-identify as a "progressive," I believe the actions (or inactions) of Lamar & Sue on Measure N have assured that Sidney Vergis will be elected to join Don Saylor & Steve Souza as our next (2010) council majority.

    (Sue will remain on board for two more years, but Lamar is finished. His obstinate behavior over "N," against some of his formerly stalwart supporters, spelled the end for Lamar. Save your money, Lamar; you don't stand a chance of being re-elected without an infusion of $30-$50K).

  4. Anonymous

    David:

    As usual, a thoughtful analysis. What else could we expect from you? (You probably understood this already, but only City residents could vote on "N," but many more (in DJUSD) who don't live in the City per se could vote on "W."-)

    Even though I self-identify as a "progressive," I believe the actions (or inactions) of Lamar & Sue on Measure N have assured that Sidney Vergis will be elected to join Don Saylor & Steve Souza as our next (2010) council majority.

    (Sue will remain on board for two more years, but Lamar is finished. His obstinate behavior over "N," against some of his formerly stalwart supporters, spelled the end for Lamar. Save your money, Lamar; you don't stand a chance of being re-elected without an infusion of $30-$50K).

  5. David M. Greenwald

    I disagree with you that this is going to make a difference for Lamar’s reelection. People were confused about this measure, but I do not sense a lot of anger about it or his sponsorship of it.

    On the other point, I did the analysis by analyzing precinct by precinct the vote totals to make sure I was comparing apples to apples.

    Thus there were 2699 votes on Measure W outside of the city of Davis, of which 1927 were yes votes. Those were not included in the comparison between Measure N and Measure W.

  6. David M. Greenwald

    I disagree with you that this is going to make a difference for Lamar’s reelection. People were confused about this measure, but I do not sense a lot of anger about it or his sponsorship of it.

    On the other point, I did the analysis by analyzing precinct by precinct the vote totals to make sure I was comparing apples to apples.

    Thus there were 2699 votes on Measure W outside of the city of Davis, of which 1927 were yes votes. Those were not included in the comparison between Measure N and Measure W.

  7. David M. Greenwald

    I disagree with you that this is going to make a difference for Lamar’s reelection. People were confused about this measure, but I do not sense a lot of anger about it or his sponsorship of it.

    On the other point, I did the analysis by analyzing precinct by precinct the vote totals to make sure I was comparing apples to apples.

    Thus there were 2699 votes on Measure W outside of the city of Davis, of which 1927 were yes votes. Those were not included in the comparison between Measure N and Measure W.

  8. David M. Greenwald

    I disagree with you that this is going to make a difference for Lamar’s reelection. People were confused about this measure, but I do not sense a lot of anger about it or his sponsorship of it.

    On the other point, I did the analysis by analyzing precinct by precinct the vote totals to make sure I was comparing apples to apples.

    Thus there were 2699 votes on Measure W outside of the city of Davis, of which 1927 were yes votes. Those were not included in the comparison between Measure N and Measure W.

  9. Anonymous

    In your last two posts you bash the reporters of the Enterprise .

    Why ?

    Stop it , your actions are not constructive !!!

    Are your blogs that poorly written that you have to make attacks in the middle of them.

    You sound like Rich Rifkin …

  10. Anonymous

    In your last two posts you bash the reporters of the Enterprise .

    Why ?

    Stop it , your actions are not constructive !!!

    Are your blogs that poorly written that you have to make attacks in the middle of them.

    You sound like Rich Rifkin …

  11. Anonymous

    In your last two posts you bash the reporters of the Enterprise .

    Why ?

    Stop it , your actions are not constructive !!!

    Are your blogs that poorly written that you have to make attacks in the middle of them.

    You sound like Rich Rifkin …

  12. Anonymous

    In your last two posts you bash the reporters of the Enterprise .

    Why ?

    Stop it , your actions are not constructive !!!

    Are your blogs that poorly written that you have to make attacks in the middle of them.

    You sound like Rich Rifkin …

  13. David M. Greenwald

    You obviously have a very different definition of bash than I do.

    “The Davis Enterprise in a rare moment of editorializing by city beat writer Claire St. John suggests:

    “The death knell probably rang when Mayor Ruth Asmundson, who voted in favor of putting Measure N on the ballot, encouraged voters to turn it down.”

    I would tend to agree with that analysis.”

    How is suggesting I agree with her analysis a bash?

    I agree that my other article was more critical of the coverage in the Enterprise on the Judicial Appointment, but I do not agree that it rises to the level of bash.

    The most critical remark about Keene and the Enterprise is:

    “What neither Lauren Keene nor the Davis Enterprise tell you is “

    That’s a bash? Good grief.

    I’ll be very interesting to see if you respond to this post and can justify your depiction of “bash.”

  14. David M. Greenwald

    You obviously have a very different definition of bash than I do.

    “The Davis Enterprise in a rare moment of editorializing by city beat writer Claire St. John suggests:

    “The death knell probably rang when Mayor Ruth Asmundson, who voted in favor of putting Measure N on the ballot, encouraged voters to turn it down.”

    I would tend to agree with that analysis.”

    How is suggesting I agree with her analysis a bash?

    I agree that my other article was more critical of the coverage in the Enterprise on the Judicial Appointment, but I do not agree that it rises to the level of bash.

    The most critical remark about Keene and the Enterprise is:

    “What neither Lauren Keene nor the Davis Enterprise tell you is “

    That’s a bash? Good grief.

    I’ll be very interesting to see if you respond to this post and can justify your depiction of “bash.”

  15. David M. Greenwald

    You obviously have a very different definition of bash than I do.

    “The Davis Enterprise in a rare moment of editorializing by city beat writer Claire St. John suggests:

    “The death knell probably rang when Mayor Ruth Asmundson, who voted in favor of putting Measure N on the ballot, encouraged voters to turn it down.”

    I would tend to agree with that analysis.”

    How is suggesting I agree with her analysis a bash?

    I agree that my other article was more critical of the coverage in the Enterprise on the Judicial Appointment, but I do not agree that it rises to the level of bash.

    The most critical remark about Keene and the Enterprise is:

    “What neither Lauren Keene nor the Davis Enterprise tell you is “

    That’s a bash? Good grief.

    I’ll be very interesting to see if you respond to this post and can justify your depiction of “bash.”

  16. David M. Greenwald

    You obviously have a very different definition of bash than I do.

    “The Davis Enterprise in a rare moment of editorializing by city beat writer Claire St. John suggests:

    “The death knell probably rang when Mayor Ruth Asmundson, who voted in favor of putting Measure N on the ballot, encouraged voters to turn it down.”

    I would tend to agree with that analysis.”

    How is suggesting I agree with her analysis a bash?

    I agree that my other article was more critical of the coverage in the Enterprise on the Judicial Appointment, but I do not agree that it rises to the level of bash.

    The most critical remark about Keene and the Enterprise is:

    “What neither Lauren Keene nor the Davis Enterprise tell you is “

    That’s a bash? Good grief.

    I’ll be very interesting to see if you respond to this post and can justify your depiction of “bash.”

  17. Rich Rifkin

    To all of David’s reasons for the failure of N I would add one more: There is only so much passion people can have in a single election and only so much attention voters will pay to down-ballot items.

    Because of all of the passion in the presidential race, the passion on Prop 8 and to a lesser extent Prop 2, and the passion on Measure W, there was none left in the community one way or the other for Measure N.

    You note that Measure Q, which got no discussion at all, had more votes up or down. But Q was a bond measure for schools, and that is something very easy to understand and ubiquitously supported in this liberal and academically oriented community.

    Measure N (for all its potential good from my perspective) was not easy to understand. And with all the passion on other issues — arguably issues which deserved more passion and attention — it got lost.

    Perhaps if it comes back in an odd-year election, voters will give it more thought. But that does not mean they will ever vote yes on it. It’s entirely possible that this community just disagrees with the notion of a charter.

    My own feeling is that it should be brought back, and insofar as the charter could be improved, the charter should be thus amended.

    I thought it made good sense to separate the first vote on a charter from a major change in our election system. However, I might have been wrong in that. If including choice voting would garner more support from the community — I should note I favor choice voting and district elections — then include it and see what happens.

  18. Rich Rifkin

    To all of David’s reasons for the failure of N I would add one more: There is only so much passion people can have in a single election and only so much attention voters will pay to down-ballot items.

    Because of all of the passion in the presidential race, the passion on Prop 8 and to a lesser extent Prop 2, and the passion on Measure W, there was none left in the community one way or the other for Measure N.

    You note that Measure Q, which got no discussion at all, had more votes up or down. But Q was a bond measure for schools, and that is something very easy to understand and ubiquitously supported in this liberal and academically oriented community.

    Measure N (for all its potential good from my perspective) was not easy to understand. And with all the passion on other issues — arguably issues which deserved more passion and attention — it got lost.

    Perhaps if it comes back in an odd-year election, voters will give it more thought. But that does not mean they will ever vote yes on it. It’s entirely possible that this community just disagrees with the notion of a charter.

    My own feeling is that it should be brought back, and insofar as the charter could be improved, the charter should be thus amended.

    I thought it made good sense to separate the first vote on a charter from a major change in our election system. However, I might have been wrong in that. If including choice voting would garner more support from the community — I should note I favor choice voting and district elections — then include it and see what happens.

  19. Rich Rifkin

    To all of David’s reasons for the failure of N I would add one more: There is only so much passion people can have in a single election and only so much attention voters will pay to down-ballot items.

    Because of all of the passion in the presidential race, the passion on Prop 8 and to a lesser extent Prop 2, and the passion on Measure W, there was none left in the community one way or the other for Measure N.

    You note that Measure Q, which got no discussion at all, had more votes up or down. But Q was a bond measure for schools, and that is something very easy to understand and ubiquitously supported in this liberal and academically oriented community.

    Measure N (for all its potential good from my perspective) was not easy to understand. And with all the passion on other issues — arguably issues which deserved more passion and attention — it got lost.

    Perhaps if it comes back in an odd-year election, voters will give it more thought. But that does not mean they will ever vote yes on it. It’s entirely possible that this community just disagrees with the notion of a charter.

    My own feeling is that it should be brought back, and insofar as the charter could be improved, the charter should be thus amended.

    I thought it made good sense to separate the first vote on a charter from a major change in our election system. However, I might have been wrong in that. If including choice voting would garner more support from the community — I should note I favor choice voting and district elections — then include it and see what happens.

  20. Rich Rifkin

    To all of David’s reasons for the failure of N I would add one more: There is only so much passion people can have in a single election and only so much attention voters will pay to down-ballot items.

    Because of all of the passion in the presidential race, the passion on Prop 8 and to a lesser extent Prop 2, and the passion on Measure W, there was none left in the community one way or the other for Measure N.

    You note that Measure Q, which got no discussion at all, had more votes up or down. But Q was a bond measure for schools, and that is something very easy to understand and ubiquitously supported in this liberal and academically oriented community.

    Measure N (for all its potential good from my perspective) was not easy to understand. And with all the passion on other issues — arguably issues which deserved more passion and attention — it got lost.

    Perhaps if it comes back in an odd-year election, voters will give it more thought. But that does not mean they will ever vote yes on it. It’s entirely possible that this community just disagrees with the notion of a charter.

    My own feeling is that it should be brought back, and insofar as the charter could be improved, the charter should be thus amended.

    I thought it made good sense to separate the first vote on a charter from a major change in our election system. However, I might have been wrong in that. If including choice voting would garner more support from the community — I should note I favor choice voting and district elections — then include it and see what happens.

  21. Rich Rifkin

    “In your last two posts you bash the reporters of the Enterprise.”

    He didn’t bash anyone.

    Sue will remain on board for two more years.”

    Sue was just re-elected and thus has most of four years left.

    “Lamar is finished.”

    Not only is Lamar widely liked — I’ve never met anyone in town who didn’t admire him — but his advocacy on Measure N was not harmful to his own future. As I noted above, there was no passion in Davis for this issue (partly because it would have made so little difference at first), and thus no one will hold it against Lamar that his side lost on N.

    It is one thing to be seen as wrong on questions of growth or annexations or school taxes — people care about those matters a whole lot — but it is something far less to be seen as wrong on being a charter city or a general law city.

  22. Rich Rifkin

    “In your last two posts you bash the reporters of the Enterprise.”

    He didn’t bash anyone.

    Sue will remain on board for two more years.”

    Sue was just re-elected and thus has most of four years left.

    “Lamar is finished.”

    Not only is Lamar widely liked — I’ve never met anyone in town who didn’t admire him — but his advocacy on Measure N was not harmful to his own future. As I noted above, there was no passion in Davis for this issue (partly because it would have made so little difference at first), and thus no one will hold it against Lamar that his side lost on N.

    It is one thing to be seen as wrong on questions of growth or annexations or school taxes — people care about those matters a whole lot — but it is something far less to be seen as wrong on being a charter city or a general law city.

  23. Rich Rifkin

    “In your last two posts you bash the reporters of the Enterprise.”

    He didn’t bash anyone.

    Sue will remain on board for two more years.”

    Sue was just re-elected and thus has most of four years left.

    “Lamar is finished.”

    Not only is Lamar widely liked — I’ve never met anyone in town who didn’t admire him — but his advocacy on Measure N was not harmful to his own future. As I noted above, there was no passion in Davis for this issue (partly because it would have made so little difference at first), and thus no one will hold it against Lamar that his side lost on N.

    It is one thing to be seen as wrong on questions of growth or annexations or school taxes — people care about those matters a whole lot — but it is something far less to be seen as wrong on being a charter city or a general law city.

  24. Rich Rifkin

    “In your last two posts you bash the reporters of the Enterprise.”

    He didn’t bash anyone.

    Sue will remain on board for two more years.”

    Sue was just re-elected and thus has most of four years left.

    “Lamar is finished.”

    Not only is Lamar widely liked — I’ve never met anyone in town who didn’t admire him — but his advocacy on Measure N was not harmful to his own future. As I noted above, there was no passion in Davis for this issue (partly because it would have made so little difference at first), and thus no one will hold it against Lamar that his side lost on N.

    It is one thing to be seen as wrong on questions of growth or annexations or school taxes — people care about those matters a whole lot — but it is something far less to be seen as wrong on being a charter city or a general law city.

  25. Sue Greenwald

    Explaining my decision to stay neutral in the Measure N vote:

    I was the sole vote against the earlier ballot measure which was an advisory vote asking whether Davis voters wanted to “consider” choice voting. I voted against that measure, arguing that it would be unclear what for. Our city attorney said we still had to hire them, because they had not, or not yet, lost their license.

    Some citizens have argued that we should have offered a charter that specified choice voting. But that would have meant that, if we tried out choice voting and it was a fiasco, we would have had to hold another election to undo it. Hence, a narrower charter would have made it very difficult to experiment with choice voting, which the citizens seemed to have voted that they wanted to do so.

    All this aside, I liked Don Shor’s suggestion that our Charter specify that we retain all the rules governing general law cities unless changed by a vote of the people. That is basically what I did in a narrower sense when I insisted on keeping the general law prohibition against binding arbitration.

    I don’t understand why a few people are being so hard on Lamar. Choice voting had a constituency of idealistic progressives. Right or wrong, choice voting is believed by many to be a better way to assure that minority voices have a seat at the table. Lamar was trying to help these folks, who included a large contingent of UC Davis students, try out choice voting in the city. Whether or not you agree this was worth the potential costs (which again, I think are somewhat exaggerated), was worth this benefit (and a number of progressive-minded people of good will think it is a benefit), Lamar was doing his best to try to carry will of the people as expressed in the previous advisory measure vote.

    As to the future, I am not interested in voting to become a charter city again unless it is part of an attempt to institute district elections.

  26. Sue Greenwald

    Explaining my decision to stay neutral in the Measure N vote:

    I was the sole vote against the earlier ballot measure which was an advisory vote asking whether Davis voters wanted to “consider” choice voting. I voted against that measure, arguing that it would be unclear what for. Our city attorney said we still had to hire them, because they had not, or not yet, lost their license.

    Some citizens have argued that we should have offered a charter that specified choice voting. But that would have meant that, if we tried out choice voting and it was a fiasco, we would have had to hold another election to undo it. Hence, a narrower charter would have made it very difficult to experiment with choice voting, which the citizens seemed to have voted that they wanted to do so.

    All this aside, I liked Don Shor’s suggestion that our Charter specify that we retain all the rules governing general law cities unless changed by a vote of the people. That is basically what I did in a narrower sense when I insisted on keeping the general law prohibition against binding arbitration.

    I don’t understand why a few people are being so hard on Lamar. Choice voting had a constituency of idealistic progressives. Right or wrong, choice voting is believed by many to be a better way to assure that minority voices have a seat at the table. Lamar was trying to help these folks, who included a large contingent of UC Davis students, try out choice voting in the city. Whether or not you agree this was worth the potential costs (which again, I think are somewhat exaggerated), was worth this benefit (and a number of progressive-minded people of good will think it is a benefit), Lamar was doing his best to try to carry will of the people as expressed in the previous advisory measure vote.

    As to the future, I am not interested in voting to become a charter city again unless it is part of an attempt to institute district elections.

  27. Sue Greenwald

    Explaining my decision to stay neutral in the Measure N vote:

    I was the sole vote against the earlier ballot measure which was an advisory vote asking whether Davis voters wanted to “consider” choice voting. I voted against that measure, arguing that it would be unclear what for. Our city attorney said we still had to hire them, because they had not, or not yet, lost their license.

    Some citizens have argued that we should have offered a charter that specified choice voting. But that would have meant that, if we tried out choice voting and it was a fiasco, we would have had to hold another election to undo it. Hence, a narrower charter would have made it very difficult to experiment with choice voting, which the citizens seemed to have voted that they wanted to do so.

    All this aside, I liked Don Shor’s suggestion that our Charter specify that we retain all the rules governing general law cities unless changed by a vote of the people. That is basically what I did in a narrower sense when I insisted on keeping the general law prohibition against binding arbitration.

    I don’t understand why a few people are being so hard on Lamar. Choice voting had a constituency of idealistic progressives. Right or wrong, choice voting is believed by many to be a better way to assure that minority voices have a seat at the table. Lamar was trying to help these folks, who included a large contingent of UC Davis students, try out choice voting in the city. Whether or not you agree this was worth the potential costs (which again, I think are somewhat exaggerated), was worth this benefit (and a number of progressive-minded people of good will think it is a benefit), Lamar was doing his best to try to carry will of the people as expressed in the previous advisory measure vote.

    As to the future, I am not interested in voting to become a charter city again unless it is part of an attempt to institute district elections.

  28. Sue Greenwald

    Explaining my decision to stay neutral in the Measure N vote:

    I was the sole vote against the earlier ballot measure which was an advisory vote asking whether Davis voters wanted to “consider” choice voting. I voted against that measure, arguing that it would be unclear what for. Our city attorney said we still had to hire them, because they had not, or not yet, lost their license.

    Some citizens have argued that we should have offered a charter that specified choice voting. But that would have meant that, if we tried out choice voting and it was a fiasco, we would have had to hold another election to undo it. Hence, a narrower charter would have made it very difficult to experiment with choice voting, which the citizens seemed to have voted that they wanted to do so.

    All this aside, I liked Don Shor’s suggestion that our Charter specify that we retain all the rules governing general law cities unless changed by a vote of the people. That is basically what I did in a narrower sense when I insisted on keeping the general law prohibition against binding arbitration.

    I don’t understand why a few people are being so hard on Lamar. Choice voting had a constituency of idealistic progressives. Right or wrong, choice voting is believed by many to be a better way to assure that minority voices have a seat at the table. Lamar was trying to help these folks, who included a large contingent of UC Davis students, try out choice voting in the city. Whether or not you agree this was worth the potential costs (which again, I think are somewhat exaggerated), was worth this benefit (and a number of progressive-minded people of good will think it is a benefit), Lamar was doing his best to try to carry will of the people as expressed in the previous advisory measure vote.

    As to the future, I am not interested in voting to become a charter city again unless it is part of an attempt to institute district elections.

  29. Sue Greenwald

    Oops! Part of the previous post was deleted during cut and paste. Here is the whole thing:

    Explaining my decision to stay neutral in the Measure N vote:

    I was the sole vote against
    the earlier ballot measure which was an advisory vote asking whether Davis voters wanted to “consider” choice voting. I voted against that measure, arguing that it would be unclear what “consider” meant if the vote passed.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Don Saylor voted to put this previous measure on the ballot KNOWING THAT TO SER
    RIOUSLY CONSIDER CHOICE VOTING, WE HAD TO BECOME A CHARTER CITY.

    Choice voting is illegal under a general law city; it is only possible under a charter city. When citizens voted in favor of the previous advisory measure – the measure I had opposed putting on the ballot — I spent considerable effort trying to contact State Senator Machado and asking him to support the state level legislation allowing general law cities to adapt choice voting. This legislation was ultimately vetoed.

    I was never eager to have us become charter city, although I saw both pros and cons. But I felt obligated to try to carry out the will of the citizens to “consider” implementing choice voting, and we clearly had to be a charter city to seriously consider implementing choice voting. Thus, I voted to put the charter on the ballot, in order to enable citizens to have that discussion.

    This discussion occurred. Citizens listened to arguments in favor and against the charter, and voted against it.

    In no way did voting to allow the citizens to have a discussion and a vote on the charter morally obligate me to campaign for or against it.

    In fact, I saw pros and cons in becoming a charter city.

    On the con side, I had argued publicly many, many times at council meetings that I did not like the fact that a charter would allow us to hold a vote of the people to institute a property transfer tax, because I think that this is an unfair form of taxation which taxes the minority of voters who lose their jobs, don’t get tenure, want to downsize, or who could only afford a starter home. If people had not heard me voice this objection to charters, they weren’t paying attention.

    However, I don’t think a charter would have been a disaster. The worst potential abuse, which would have been the adoption of binding arbitration by a vote of the council, was averted when I insisted on including a provision in our charter outlawing binding arbitration.

    I think that the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal that was before us have been exaggerated.

    I will give you two examples:

    1) under a charter city councilmembers can set their own city. But today, under our current form of government, councilmembers can vote to pay themselves up to about $30,000 dollars a year, and we have not even done that.

    2) Competitive bidding is not required under a charter city. This does open the door to cronyism and corruption. On the other hand, the general law competitive bidding requirement means that we have to select the contractor who submits the lowest bid, even if they have a history of shoddy work. And, in fact, we had a recent case where many citizens were upset because they believed that the contractors who we had hired for a major city project had been the same individuals who had owned a firm that went bankrupt, leaving a number of citizens without the product that they had already paid for. Our city attorney said we still had to hire them, because they had not, or not yet, lost their license.

    Some citizens have argued that we should have offered a charter that specified choice voting. But that would have meant that, if we tried out choice voting and it was a fiasco, we would have had to hold another election to undo it. A narrower charter would have made it very difficult to experiment with choice voting, which the citizens seemed to have voted that they wanted to do so.

    That said, I liked Don Shor’s suggestion that our Charter specify that we retain all the rules governing general law cities unless changed by a vote of the people. That is basically what I did in a narrower sense when I insisted on keeping the general law prohibition against binding arbitration.

    I don’t understand why a few people are being so hard on Lamar. Choice voting had a constituency of idealistic progressives. Right or wrong, choice voting is believed by many to be a better way to assure that minority voices have a seat at the table. Lamar was trying to help these folks, who included a large contingent of UC Davis students, try out choice voting in the city. Whether or not you agree this was worth the potential costs (which again, I think are somewhat exaggerated), was worth this benefit (and a number of progressive-minded people of good will think it is a benefit), Lamar was doing his best to try to carry will of the people as expressed in the previous advisory measure vote.

    As to the future, I am not interested in voting to become a charter city again unless it is part of an attempt to institute district elections.

  30. Sue Greenwald

    Oops! Part of the previous post was deleted during cut and paste. Here is the whole thing:

    Explaining my decision to stay neutral in the Measure N vote:

    I was the sole vote against
    the earlier ballot measure which was an advisory vote asking whether Davis voters wanted to “consider” choice voting. I voted against that measure, arguing that it would be unclear what “consider” meant if the vote passed.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Don Saylor voted to put this previous measure on the ballot KNOWING THAT TO SER
    RIOUSLY CONSIDER CHOICE VOTING, WE HAD TO BECOME A CHARTER CITY.

    Choice voting is illegal under a general law city; it is only possible under a charter city. When citizens voted in favor of the previous advisory measure – the measure I had opposed putting on the ballot — I spent considerable effort trying to contact State Senator Machado and asking him to support the state level legislation allowing general law cities to adapt choice voting. This legislation was ultimately vetoed.

    I was never eager to have us become charter city, although I saw both pros and cons. But I felt obligated to try to carry out the will of the citizens to “consider” implementing choice voting, and we clearly had to be a charter city to seriously consider implementing choice voting. Thus, I voted to put the charter on the ballot, in order to enable citizens to have that discussion.

    This discussion occurred. Citizens listened to arguments in favor and against the charter, and voted against it.

    In no way did voting to allow the citizens to have a discussion and a vote on the charter morally obligate me to campaign for or against it.

    In fact, I saw pros and cons in becoming a charter city.

    On the con side, I had argued publicly many, many times at council meetings that I did not like the fact that a charter would allow us to hold a vote of the people to institute a property transfer tax, because I think that this is an unfair form of taxation which taxes the minority of voters who lose their jobs, don’t get tenure, want to downsize, or who could only afford a starter home. If people had not heard me voice this objection to charters, they weren’t paying attention.

    However, I don’t think a charter would have been a disaster. The worst potential abuse, which would have been the adoption of binding arbitration by a vote of the council, was averted when I insisted on including a provision in our charter outlawing binding arbitration.

    I think that the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal that was before us have been exaggerated.

    I will give you two examples:

    1) under a charter city councilmembers can set their own city. But today, under our current form of government, councilmembers can vote to pay themselves up to about $30,000 dollars a year, and we have not even done that.

    2) Competitive bidding is not required under a charter city. This does open the door to cronyism and corruption. On the other hand, the general law competitive bidding requirement means that we have to select the contractor who submits the lowest bid, even if they have a history of shoddy work. And, in fact, we had a recent case where many citizens were upset because they believed that the contractors who we had hired for a major city project had been the same individuals who had owned a firm that went bankrupt, leaving a number of citizens without the product that they had already paid for. Our city attorney said we still had to hire them, because they had not, or not yet, lost their license.

    Some citizens have argued that we should have offered a charter that specified choice voting. But that would have meant that, if we tried out choice voting and it was a fiasco, we would have had to hold another election to undo it. A narrower charter would have made it very difficult to experiment with choice voting, which the citizens seemed to have voted that they wanted to do so.

    That said, I liked Don Shor’s suggestion that our Charter specify that we retain all the rules governing general law cities unless changed by a vote of the people. That is basically what I did in a narrower sense when I insisted on keeping the general law prohibition against binding arbitration.

    I don’t understand why a few people are being so hard on Lamar. Choice voting had a constituency of idealistic progressives. Right or wrong, choice voting is believed by many to be a better way to assure that minority voices have a seat at the table. Lamar was trying to help these folks, who included a large contingent of UC Davis students, try out choice voting in the city. Whether or not you agree this was worth the potential costs (which again, I think are somewhat exaggerated), was worth this benefit (and a number of progressive-minded people of good will think it is a benefit), Lamar was doing his best to try to carry will of the people as expressed in the previous advisory measure vote.

    As to the future, I am not interested in voting to become a charter city again unless it is part of an attempt to institute district elections.

  31. Sue Greenwald

    Oops! Part of the previous post was deleted during cut and paste. Here is the whole thing:

    Explaining my decision to stay neutral in the Measure N vote:

    I was the sole vote against
    the earlier ballot measure which was an advisory vote asking whether Davis voters wanted to “consider” choice voting. I voted against that measure, arguing that it would be unclear what “consider” meant if the vote passed.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Don Saylor voted to put this previous measure on the ballot KNOWING THAT TO SER
    RIOUSLY CONSIDER CHOICE VOTING, WE HAD TO BECOME A CHARTER CITY.

    Choice voting is illegal under a general law city; it is only possible under a charter city. When citizens voted in favor of the previous advisory measure – the measure I had opposed putting on the ballot — I spent considerable effort trying to contact State Senator Machado and asking him to support the state level legislation allowing general law cities to adapt choice voting. This legislation was ultimately vetoed.

    I was never eager to have us become charter city, although I saw both pros and cons. But I felt obligated to try to carry out the will of the citizens to “consider” implementing choice voting, and we clearly had to be a charter city to seriously consider implementing choice voting. Thus, I voted to put the charter on the ballot, in order to enable citizens to have that discussion.

    This discussion occurred. Citizens listened to arguments in favor and against the charter, and voted against it.

    In no way did voting to allow the citizens to have a discussion and a vote on the charter morally obligate me to campaign for or against it.

    In fact, I saw pros and cons in becoming a charter city.

    On the con side, I had argued publicly many, many times at council meetings that I did not like the fact that a charter would allow us to hold a vote of the people to institute a property transfer tax, because I think that this is an unfair form of taxation which taxes the minority of voters who lose their jobs, don’t get tenure, want to downsize, or who could only afford a starter home. If people had not heard me voice this objection to charters, they weren’t paying attention.

    However, I don’t think a charter would have been a disaster. The worst potential abuse, which would have been the adoption of binding arbitration by a vote of the council, was averted when I insisted on including a provision in our charter outlawing binding arbitration.

    I think that the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal that was before us have been exaggerated.

    I will give you two examples:

    1) under a charter city councilmembers can set their own city. But today, under our current form of government, councilmembers can vote to pay themselves up to about $30,000 dollars a year, and we have not even done that.

    2) Competitive bidding is not required under a charter city. This does open the door to cronyism and corruption. On the other hand, the general law competitive bidding requirement means that we have to select the contractor who submits the lowest bid, even if they have a history of shoddy work. And, in fact, we had a recent case where many citizens were upset because they believed that the contractors who we had hired for a major city project had been the same individuals who had owned a firm that went bankrupt, leaving a number of citizens without the product that they had already paid for. Our city attorney said we still had to hire them, because they had not, or not yet, lost their license.

    Some citizens have argued that we should have offered a charter that specified choice voting. But that would have meant that, if we tried out choice voting and it was a fiasco, we would have had to hold another election to undo it. A narrower charter would have made it very difficult to experiment with choice voting, which the citizens seemed to have voted that they wanted to do so.

    That said, I liked Don Shor’s suggestion that our Charter specify that we retain all the rules governing general law cities unless changed by a vote of the people. That is basically what I did in a narrower sense when I insisted on keeping the general law prohibition against binding arbitration.

    I don’t understand why a few people are being so hard on Lamar. Choice voting had a constituency of idealistic progressives. Right or wrong, choice voting is believed by many to be a better way to assure that minority voices have a seat at the table. Lamar was trying to help these folks, who included a large contingent of UC Davis students, try out choice voting in the city. Whether or not you agree this was worth the potential costs (which again, I think are somewhat exaggerated), was worth this benefit (and a number of progressive-minded people of good will think it is a benefit), Lamar was doing his best to try to carry will of the people as expressed in the previous advisory measure vote.

    As to the future, I am not interested in voting to become a charter city again unless it is part of an attempt to institute district elections.

  32. Sue Greenwald

    Oops! Part of the previous post was deleted during cut and paste. Here is the whole thing:

    Explaining my decision to stay neutral in the Measure N vote:

    I was the sole vote against
    the earlier ballot measure which was an advisory vote asking whether Davis voters wanted to “consider” choice voting. I voted against that measure, arguing that it would be unclear what “consider” meant if the vote passed.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Don Saylor voted to put this previous measure on the ballot KNOWING THAT TO SER
    RIOUSLY CONSIDER CHOICE VOTING, WE HAD TO BECOME A CHARTER CITY.

    Choice voting is illegal under a general law city; it is only possible under a charter city. When citizens voted in favor of the previous advisory measure – the measure I had opposed putting on the ballot — I spent considerable effort trying to contact State Senator Machado and asking him to support the state level legislation allowing general law cities to adapt choice voting. This legislation was ultimately vetoed.

    I was never eager to have us become charter city, although I saw both pros and cons. But I felt obligated to try to carry out the will of the citizens to “consider” implementing choice voting, and we clearly had to be a charter city to seriously consider implementing choice voting. Thus, I voted to put the charter on the ballot, in order to enable citizens to have that discussion.

    This discussion occurred. Citizens listened to arguments in favor and against the charter, and voted against it.

    In no way did voting to allow the citizens to have a discussion and a vote on the charter morally obligate me to campaign for or against it.

    In fact, I saw pros and cons in becoming a charter city.

    On the con side, I had argued publicly many, many times at council meetings that I did not like the fact that a charter would allow us to hold a vote of the people to institute a property transfer tax, because I think that this is an unfair form of taxation which taxes the minority of voters who lose their jobs, don’t get tenure, want to downsize, or who could only afford a starter home. If people had not heard me voice this objection to charters, they weren’t paying attention.

    However, I don’t think a charter would have been a disaster. The worst potential abuse, which would have been the adoption of binding arbitration by a vote of the council, was averted when I insisted on including a provision in our charter outlawing binding arbitration.

    I think that the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal that was before us have been exaggerated.

    I will give you two examples:

    1) under a charter city councilmembers can set their own city. But today, under our current form of government, councilmembers can vote to pay themselves up to about $30,000 dollars a year, and we have not even done that.

    2) Competitive bidding is not required under a charter city. This does open the door to cronyism and corruption. On the other hand, the general law competitive bidding requirement means that we have to select the contractor who submits the lowest bid, even if they have a history of shoddy work. And, in fact, we had a recent case where many citizens were upset because they believed that the contractors who we had hired for a major city project had been the same individuals who had owned a firm that went bankrupt, leaving a number of citizens without the product that they had already paid for. Our city attorney said we still had to hire them, because they had not, or not yet, lost their license.

    Some citizens have argued that we should have offered a charter that specified choice voting. But that would have meant that, if we tried out choice voting and it was a fiasco, we would have had to hold another election to undo it. A narrower charter would have made it very difficult to experiment with choice voting, which the citizens seemed to have voted that they wanted to do so.

    That said, I liked Don Shor’s suggestion that our Charter specify that we retain all the rules governing general law cities unless changed by a vote of the people. That is basically what I did in a narrower sense when I insisted on keeping the general law prohibition against binding arbitration.

    I don’t understand why a few people are being so hard on Lamar. Choice voting had a constituency of idealistic progressives. Right or wrong, choice voting is believed by many to be a better way to assure that minority voices have a seat at the table. Lamar was trying to help these folks, who included a large contingent of UC Davis students, try out choice voting in the city. Whether or not you agree this was worth the potential costs (which again, I think are somewhat exaggerated), was worth this benefit (and a number of progressive-minded people of good will think it is a benefit), Lamar was doing his best to try to carry will of the people as expressed in the previous advisory measure vote.

    As to the future, I am not interested in voting to become a charter city again unless it is part of an attempt to institute district elections.

  33. Sue Greenwald

    typo correction to my post:

    I will give you two examples (of overstated inherent in charter city status):

    1) under a charter city councilmembers can set their own SALARIES (not city, as I had typed). But today, under our current form of government, councilmembers can vote to pay themselves up to about $30,000 dollars a year, and we have not even done that.

  34. Sue Greenwald

    typo correction to my post:

    I will give you two examples (of overstated inherent in charter city status):

    1) under a charter city councilmembers can set their own SALARIES (not city, as I had typed). But today, under our current form of government, councilmembers can vote to pay themselves up to about $30,000 dollars a year, and we have not even done that.

  35. Sue Greenwald

    typo correction to my post:

    I will give you two examples (of overstated inherent in charter city status):

    1) under a charter city councilmembers can set their own SALARIES (not city, as I had typed). But today, under our current form of government, councilmembers can vote to pay themselves up to about $30,000 dollars a year, and we have not even done that.

  36. Sue Greenwald

    typo correction to my post:

    I will give you two examples (of overstated inherent in charter city status):

    1) under a charter city councilmembers can set their own SALARIES (not city, as I had typed). But today, under our current form of government, councilmembers can vote to pay themselves up to about $30,000 dollars a year, and we have not even done that.

  37. Bob

    I figured I must have missed the articles where the case was made.

    Mr. Rifkin wrote a good piece in favor of the charter a week before the election. Mr. Shor had some good points on the other side.

  38. Bob

    I figured I must have missed the articles where the case was made.

    Mr. Rifkin wrote a good piece in favor of the charter a week before the election. Mr. Shor had some good points on the other side.

  39. Bob

    I figured I must have missed the articles where the case was made.

    Mr. Rifkin wrote a good piece in favor of the charter a week before the election. Mr. Shor had some good points on the other side.

  40. Bob

    I figured I must have missed the articles where the case was made.

    Mr. Rifkin wrote a good piece in favor of the charter a week before the election. Mr. Shor had some good points on the other side.

  41. Unconvinced Progressive

    Sue, Sue…Why didn't you submit your pro and con arguments to the Davis Vanguard & The Enterprise BEFORE the election? And why after voting to put "N" on the ballot, did you refuse to sign the ballot argument? (You intimated to some confidants that you refused to sign, because the argument contained "false statements," or was it "lies?)If you believed the ballot argument contained false or misleading statements, why didn't you exercise your responsibility as an elected "representative," and share your concerns with Davis citizens?You wouldn't have needed to "campaign" for or against N, but you simply went into hiding one N became controversial. Fence-sitting on enough issues will eventually give you more than a few splinters.  And, why are people being so hard on Lamar? Let me count the whys: he joined with Souza to rush N onto the ballot, with essentially no public discussion of the charter contents or its specific goals; joined with three strong supporters of Covell Village (Adler, Asmundson and Souza)in signing the "Yes" on N ballot argument; made inaccurate, public statements about the new, real property transer tax power the council would gain as a charter city; and did not address in any way, the "No on N" criticism that a charter city does not have to follow its own general plan, even as many citizens are working diligently on helping the Council develop a new general plan! So, those are a few reasons (among many), why people are being "so hard" on Lamar.

  42. Unconvinced Progressive

    Sue, Sue…Why didn't you submit your pro and con arguments to the Davis Vanguard & The Enterprise BEFORE the election? And why after voting to put "N" on the ballot, did you refuse to sign the ballot argument? (You intimated to some confidants that you refused to sign, because the argument contained "false statements," or was it "lies?)If you believed the ballot argument contained false or misleading statements, why didn't you exercise your responsibility as an elected "representative," and share your concerns with Davis citizens?You wouldn't have needed to "campaign" for or against N, but you simply went into hiding one N became controversial. Fence-sitting on enough issues will eventually give you more than a few splinters.  And, why are people being so hard on Lamar? Let me count the whys: he joined with Souza to rush N onto the ballot, with essentially no public discussion of the charter contents or its specific goals; joined with three strong supporters of Covell Village (Adler, Asmundson and Souza)in signing the "Yes" on N ballot argument; made inaccurate, public statements about the new, real property transer tax power the council would gain as a charter city; and did not address in any way, the "No on N" criticism that a charter city does not have to follow its own general plan, even as many citizens are working diligently on helping the Council develop a new general plan! So, those are a few reasons (among many), why people are being "so hard" on Lamar.

  43. Unconvinced Progressive

    Sue, Sue…Why didn't you submit your pro and con arguments to the Davis Vanguard & The Enterprise BEFORE the election? And why after voting to put "N" on the ballot, did you refuse to sign the ballot argument? (You intimated to some confidants that you refused to sign, because the argument contained "false statements," or was it "lies?)If you believed the ballot argument contained false or misleading statements, why didn't you exercise your responsibility as an elected "representative," and share your concerns with Davis citizens?You wouldn't have needed to "campaign" for or against N, but you simply went into hiding one N became controversial. Fence-sitting on enough issues will eventually give you more than a few splinters.  And, why are people being so hard on Lamar? Let me count the whys: he joined with Souza to rush N onto the ballot, with essentially no public discussion of the charter contents or its specific goals; joined with three strong supporters of Covell Village (Adler, Asmundson and Souza)in signing the "Yes" on N ballot argument; made inaccurate, public statements about the new, real property transer tax power the council would gain as a charter city; and did not address in any way, the "No on N" criticism that a charter city does not have to follow its own general plan, even as many citizens are working diligently on helping the Council develop a new general plan! So, those are a few reasons (among many), why people are being "so hard" on Lamar.

  44. Unconvinced Progressive

    Sue, Sue…Why didn't you submit your pro and con arguments to the Davis Vanguard & The Enterprise BEFORE the election? And why after voting to put "N" on the ballot, did you refuse to sign the ballot argument? (You intimated to some confidants that you refused to sign, because the argument contained "false statements," or was it "lies?)If you believed the ballot argument contained false or misleading statements, why didn't you exercise your responsibility as an elected "representative," and share your concerns with Davis citizens?You wouldn't have needed to "campaign" for or against N, but you simply went into hiding one N became controversial. Fence-sitting on enough issues will eventually give you more than a few splinters.  And, why are people being so hard on Lamar? Let me count the whys: he joined with Souza to rush N onto the ballot, with essentially no public discussion of the charter contents or its specific goals; joined with three strong supporters of Covell Village (Adler, Asmundson and Souza)in signing the "Yes" on N ballot argument; made inaccurate, public statements about the new, real property transer tax power the council would gain as a charter city; and did not address in any way, the "No on N" criticism that a charter city does not have to follow its own general plan, even as many citizens are working diligently on helping the Council develop a new general plan! So, those are a few reasons (among many), why people are being "so hard" on Lamar.

  45. A Real Progressive

    I have read and heard the inaccurate statements about Documentary/Property Tranfer Tax Rates for the last time without commenting.
    1) Every city and county can as general law entities tax at a rate of $0.55 per $1,000.
    2) Woodland and Winters do so at $1.10/$1,000 and Davis and West Sacramento do so at $0.55/$1,000.
    3) Yolo County gets the same matching amount as that charged by Yolo Cities plus another $1.10/$1,000
    4) The amount charged by Woodland and Winters is 2 times that charged by by all other general law cities for some reason.
    5) Most cities no matter their incorporated legal status only charge $0.55/$1,000
    6) Of the 112 chartered cities 22 have a higher rate.
    7) A charter city that has no provision in its charter has to first amend its charter to include a real estate tranfer tax. Then it must also have a second vote of the people as to what amount per $1,000 it will charge. Both ballot measures can be at the same election. The amendment measure only needs 50% plus 1 to pass. The rate measure if it is general only requires 50% plus 1, if it is specific requires 67%.
    Here is a link to a web page with all the cities and counties rates:
    http://www.californiacityfinance.com/PropTransfTaxRates.pdf

  46. A Real Progressive

    I have read and heard the inaccurate statements about Documentary/Property Tranfer Tax Rates for the last time without commenting.
    1) Every city and county can as general law entities tax at a rate of $0.55 per $1,000.
    2) Woodland and Winters do so at $1.10/$1,000 and Davis and West Sacramento do so at $0.55/$1,000.
    3) Yolo County gets the same matching amount as that charged by Yolo Cities plus another $1.10/$1,000
    4) The amount charged by Woodland and Winters is 2 times that charged by by all other general law cities for some reason.
    5) Most cities no matter their incorporated legal status only charge $0.55/$1,000
    6) Of the 112 chartered cities 22 have a higher rate.
    7) A charter city that has no provision in its charter has to first amend its charter to include a real estate tranfer tax. Then it must also have a second vote of the people as to what amount per $1,000 it will charge. Both ballot measures can be at the same election. The amendment measure only needs 50% plus 1 to pass. The rate measure if it is general only requires 50% plus 1, if it is specific requires 67%.
    Here is a link to a web page with all the cities and counties rates:
    http://www.californiacityfinance.com/PropTransfTaxRates.pdf

  47. A Real Progressive

    I have read and heard the inaccurate statements about Documentary/Property Tranfer Tax Rates for the last time without commenting.
    1) Every city and county can as general law entities tax at a rate of $0.55 per $1,000.
    2) Woodland and Winters do so at $1.10/$1,000 and Davis and West Sacramento do so at $0.55/$1,000.
    3) Yolo County gets the same matching amount as that charged by Yolo Cities plus another $1.10/$1,000
    4) The amount charged by Woodland and Winters is 2 times that charged by by all other general law cities for some reason.
    5) Most cities no matter their incorporated legal status only charge $0.55/$1,000
    6) Of the 112 chartered cities 22 have a higher rate.
    7) A charter city that has no provision in its charter has to first amend its charter to include a real estate tranfer tax. Then it must also have a second vote of the people as to what amount per $1,000 it will charge. Both ballot measures can be at the same election. The amendment measure only needs 50% plus 1 to pass. The rate measure if it is general only requires 50% plus 1, if it is specific requires 67%.
    Here is a link to a web page with all the cities and counties rates:
    http://www.californiacityfinance.com/PropTransfTaxRates.pdf

  48. A Real Progressive

    I have read and heard the inaccurate statements about Documentary/Property Tranfer Tax Rates for the last time without commenting.
    1) Every city and county can as general law entities tax at a rate of $0.55 per $1,000.
    2) Woodland and Winters do so at $1.10/$1,000 and Davis and West Sacramento do so at $0.55/$1,000.
    3) Yolo County gets the same matching amount as that charged by Yolo Cities plus another $1.10/$1,000
    4) The amount charged by Woodland and Winters is 2 times that charged by by all other general law cities for some reason.
    5) Most cities no matter their incorporated legal status only charge $0.55/$1,000
    6) Of the 112 chartered cities 22 have a higher rate.
    7) A charter city that has no provision in its charter has to first amend its charter to include a real estate tranfer tax. Then it must also have a second vote of the people as to what amount per $1,000 it will charge. Both ballot measures can be at the same election. The amendment measure only needs 50% plus 1 to pass. The rate measure if it is general only requires 50% plus 1, if it is specific requires 67%.
    Here is a link to a web page with all the cities and counties rates:
    http://www.californiacityfinance.com/PropTransfTaxRates.pdf

  49. Don Shor

    General law cities cannot levy a non-conforming real property transfer tax.
    Charter cities can, with a vote of the public.
    Property owners may wish to look at some of the rates charged, listed below, and consider the possibility that a city with a high population of renters could vote to enact a high tax.

    Here is what I found, looking at various sources, from my previous post on this topic.

    Counties levy a tax of 0.11% on property sales, and share half of that (0.055%) with those cities that have levied their own 0.055% tax.
    Some charter cities have levied a “non-conforming” tax, at a rate above 0.055%. In such cases, there is no credit against the county tax collection. The county receives the full 0.11%, and the property seller pays the additional rate levied by the city. The ability of a charter city to levy its own real property sale or transfer tax was challenged and has been confirmed by the State Supreme Court. General law cities cannot levy a non-conforming tax.

    Some examples of real property transfer taxes levied by charter cities:
    Los Angeles 4.5%
    Oakland 15%
    Sacramento 2.75%
    San Francisco 6.8%
    San Jose 3.3%
    Bear in mind that the seller will still pay the full 0.11% on top of this tax.

    So here’s a comparison for a $500,000 home.
    Current tax: $550, half to the county, half to the city.
    At the San Francisco rate of 6.8%:
    $550 to the county, $3400 to the city.

  50. Don Shor

    General law cities cannot levy a non-conforming real property transfer tax.
    Charter cities can, with a vote of the public.
    Property owners may wish to look at some of the rates charged, listed below, and consider the possibility that a city with a high population of renters could vote to enact a high tax.

    Here is what I found, looking at various sources, from my previous post on this topic.

    Counties levy a tax of 0.11% on property sales, and share half of that (0.055%) with those cities that have levied their own 0.055% tax.
    Some charter cities have levied a “non-conforming” tax, at a rate above 0.055%. In such cases, there is no credit against the county tax collection. The county receives the full 0.11%, and the property seller pays the additional rate levied by the city. The ability of a charter city to levy its own real property sale or transfer tax was challenged and has been confirmed by the State Supreme Court. General law cities cannot levy a non-conforming tax.

    Some examples of real property transfer taxes levied by charter cities:
    Los Angeles 4.5%
    Oakland 15%
    Sacramento 2.75%
    San Francisco 6.8%
    San Jose 3.3%
    Bear in mind that the seller will still pay the full 0.11% on top of this tax.

    So here’s a comparison for a $500,000 home.
    Current tax: $550, half to the county, half to the city.
    At the San Francisco rate of 6.8%:
    $550 to the county, $3400 to the city.

  51. Don Shor

    General law cities cannot levy a non-conforming real property transfer tax.
    Charter cities can, with a vote of the public.
    Property owners may wish to look at some of the rates charged, listed below, and consider the possibility that a city with a high population of renters could vote to enact a high tax.

    Here is what I found, looking at various sources, from my previous post on this topic.

    Counties levy a tax of 0.11% on property sales, and share half of that (0.055%) with those cities that have levied their own 0.055% tax.
    Some charter cities have levied a “non-conforming” tax, at a rate above 0.055%. In such cases, there is no credit against the county tax collection. The county receives the full 0.11%, and the property seller pays the additional rate levied by the city. The ability of a charter city to levy its own real property sale or transfer tax was challenged and has been confirmed by the State Supreme Court. General law cities cannot levy a non-conforming tax.

    Some examples of real property transfer taxes levied by charter cities:
    Los Angeles 4.5%
    Oakland 15%
    Sacramento 2.75%
    San Francisco 6.8%
    San Jose 3.3%
    Bear in mind that the seller will still pay the full 0.11% on top of this tax.

    So here’s a comparison for a $500,000 home.
    Current tax: $550, half to the county, half to the city.
    At the San Francisco rate of 6.8%:
    $550 to the county, $3400 to the city.

  52. Don Shor

    General law cities cannot levy a non-conforming real property transfer tax.
    Charter cities can, with a vote of the public.
    Property owners may wish to look at some of the rates charged, listed below, and consider the possibility that a city with a high population of renters could vote to enact a high tax.

    Here is what I found, looking at various sources, from my previous post on this topic.

    Counties levy a tax of 0.11% on property sales, and share half of that (0.055%) with those cities that have levied their own 0.055% tax.
    Some charter cities have levied a “non-conforming” tax, at a rate above 0.055%. In such cases, there is no credit against the county tax collection. The county receives the full 0.11%, and the property seller pays the additional rate levied by the city. The ability of a charter city to levy its own real property sale or transfer tax was challenged and has been confirmed by the State Supreme Court. General law cities cannot levy a non-conforming tax.

    Some examples of real property transfer taxes levied by charter cities:
    Los Angeles 4.5%
    Oakland 15%
    Sacramento 2.75%
    San Francisco 6.8%
    San Jose 3.3%
    Bear in mind that the seller will still pay the full 0.11% on top of this tax.

    So here’s a comparison for a $500,000 home.
    Current tax: $550, half to the county, half to the city.
    At the San Francisco rate of 6.8%:
    $550 to the county, $3400 to the city.

  53. Tax Man

    A Transfer Tax is imposed on property owners upon the successful negotiation of a sale of real property when it can be paid out of the sales price of the real property. California Revenue and Tax Code section 11901 et seq. establishes the procedures by which a county and a city may impose a Transfer Tax and the maximum tax rate. A county may impose a Transfer Tax on documents used to transfer real property within the county when the consideration or value of the property interest conveyed exceeds $100, at the rate of $0.55 for each $500 or fractional part thereof. Cal. Rev. & Tax Code § 11911(a). Once a county imposes the Transfer Tax, a city within the county may also impose the Transfer Tax at the rate of one-half the amount of the county tax. Id. at § 11911(b). If the city tax is imposed in conformity with Section 11911(b), city taxpayers are given a credit against the county Transfer Tax for the Transfer Tax paid to the city. Id at § 11911(c).

    In accordance with the Revenue and Tax Code, the county collects the Transfer Tax and allocates the proceeds. If a city within the county imposes a tax in conformance with section 11911(b), the city receives one-half of the proceeds of the Transfer Tax the county collects within the corporate area of the city. Id. at § 11931. In contrast, if a city within the county does not conform with these provisions and the maximum tax rate, no credit for city taxpayers is permitted and all proceeds of the tax collected are allocated to the county. Id. At §§ 11911(c) and 11931(3). A city may, however, impose its own non-conforming Transfer Tax and retain all of the proceeds generated from the tax.

    Once a county and city have adopted a Transfer Tax, the tax rate is effectively established by state statute. As noted above, the City and County have adopted the Transfer Tax in conformance with the tax rate established in the Revenue and Tax Code.

    While the courts have recognized that a charter city may impose a Transfer Tax or create its own non-conforming Transfer Tax when the tax is for general purposes, if a Transfer Tax is imposed or created for specific purposes it is prohibited by Article XIII A of the California Constitution. Fisher v. County of Alameda, 20 Cal. App. 4th 120 (1993), Fielder v. City of Los Angeles, 14 Cal. App. 4th 137 (1993).

    The Documentary Transfer Tax or Real Property Transfer Tax revenue for Davis in fiscal years: 2002-03 was $239,465; 2003-04 was $270,800; and 2004-05 $334,523. The source for this info is California State Controller Cities Annual Report. http://www.californiacityfinance.com/PTT05PUB.xls

  54. Tax Man

    A Transfer Tax is imposed on property owners upon the successful negotiation of a sale of real property when it can be paid out of the sales price of the real property. California Revenue and Tax Code section 11901 et seq. establishes the procedures by which a county and a city may impose a Transfer Tax and the maximum tax rate. A county may impose a Transfer Tax on documents used to transfer real property within the county when the consideration or value of the property interest conveyed exceeds $100, at the rate of $0.55 for each $500 or fractional part thereof. Cal. Rev. & Tax Code § 11911(a). Once a county imposes the Transfer Tax, a city within the county may also impose the Transfer Tax at the rate of one-half the amount of the county tax. Id. at § 11911(b). If the city tax is imposed in conformity with Section 11911(b), city taxpayers are given a credit against the county Transfer Tax for the Transfer Tax paid to the city. Id at § 11911(c).

    In accordance with the Revenue and Tax Code, the county collects the Transfer Tax and allocates the proceeds. If a city within the county imposes a tax in conformance with section 11911(b), the city receives one-half of the proceeds of the Transfer Tax the county collects within the corporate area of the city. Id. at § 11931. In contrast, if a city within the county does not conform with these provisions and the maximum tax rate, no credit for city taxpayers is permitted and all proceeds of the tax collected are allocated to the county. Id. At §§ 11911(c) and 11931(3). A city may, however, impose its own non-conforming Transfer Tax and retain all of the proceeds generated from the tax.

    Once a county and city have adopted a Transfer Tax, the tax rate is effectively established by state statute. As noted above, the City and County have adopted the Transfer Tax in conformance with the tax rate established in the Revenue and Tax Code.

    While the courts have recognized that a charter city may impose a Transfer Tax or create its own non-conforming Transfer Tax when the tax is for general purposes, if a Transfer Tax is imposed or created for specific purposes it is prohibited by Article XIII A of the California Constitution. Fisher v. County of Alameda, 20 Cal. App. 4th 120 (1993), Fielder v. City of Los Angeles, 14 Cal. App. 4th 137 (1993).

    The Documentary Transfer Tax or Real Property Transfer Tax revenue for Davis in fiscal years: 2002-03 was $239,465; 2003-04 was $270,800; and 2004-05 $334,523. The source for this info is California State Controller Cities Annual Report. http://www.californiacityfinance.com/PTT05PUB.xls

  55. Tax Man

    A Transfer Tax is imposed on property owners upon the successful negotiation of a sale of real property when it can be paid out of the sales price of the real property. California Revenue and Tax Code section 11901 et seq. establishes the procedures by which a county and a city may impose a Transfer Tax and the maximum tax rate. A county may impose a Transfer Tax on documents used to transfer real property within the county when the consideration or value of the property interest conveyed exceeds $100, at the rate of $0.55 for each $500 or fractional part thereof. Cal. Rev. & Tax Code § 11911(a). Once a county imposes the Transfer Tax, a city within the county may also impose the Transfer Tax at the rate of one-half the amount of the county tax. Id. at § 11911(b). If the city tax is imposed in conformity with Section 11911(b), city taxpayers are given a credit against the county Transfer Tax for the Transfer Tax paid to the city. Id at § 11911(c).

    In accordance with the Revenue and Tax Code, the county collects the Transfer Tax and allocates the proceeds. If a city within the county imposes a tax in conformance with section 11911(b), the city receives one-half of the proceeds of the Transfer Tax the county collects within the corporate area of the city. Id. at § 11931. In contrast, if a city within the county does not conform with these provisions and the maximum tax rate, no credit for city taxpayers is permitted and all proceeds of the tax collected are allocated to the county. Id. At §§ 11911(c) and 11931(3). A city may, however, impose its own non-conforming Transfer Tax and retain all of the proceeds generated from the tax.

    Once a county and city have adopted a Transfer Tax, the tax rate is effectively established by state statute. As noted above, the City and County have adopted the Transfer Tax in conformance with the tax rate established in the Revenue and Tax Code.

    While the courts have recognized that a charter city may impose a Transfer Tax or create its own non-conforming Transfer Tax when the tax is for general purposes, if a Transfer Tax is imposed or created for specific purposes it is prohibited by Article XIII A of the California Constitution. Fisher v. County of Alameda, 20 Cal. App. 4th 120 (1993), Fielder v. City of Los Angeles, 14 Cal. App. 4th 137 (1993).

    The Documentary Transfer Tax or Real Property Transfer Tax revenue for Davis in fiscal years: 2002-03 was $239,465; 2003-04 was $270,800; and 2004-05 $334,523. The source for this info is California State Controller Cities Annual Report. http://www.californiacityfinance.com/PTT05PUB.xls

  56. Tax Man

    A Transfer Tax is imposed on property owners upon the successful negotiation of a sale of real property when it can be paid out of the sales price of the real property. California Revenue and Tax Code section 11901 et seq. establishes the procedures by which a county and a city may impose a Transfer Tax and the maximum tax rate. A county may impose a Transfer Tax on documents used to transfer real property within the county when the consideration or value of the property interest conveyed exceeds $100, at the rate of $0.55 for each $500 or fractional part thereof. Cal. Rev. & Tax Code § 11911(a). Once a county imposes the Transfer Tax, a city within the county may also impose the Transfer Tax at the rate of one-half the amount of the county tax. Id. at § 11911(b). If the city tax is imposed in conformity with Section 11911(b), city taxpayers are given a credit against the county Transfer Tax for the Transfer Tax paid to the city. Id at § 11911(c).

    In accordance with the Revenue and Tax Code, the county collects the Transfer Tax and allocates the proceeds. If a city within the county imposes a tax in conformance with section 11911(b), the city receives one-half of the proceeds of the Transfer Tax the county collects within the corporate area of the city. Id. at § 11931. In contrast, if a city within the county does not conform with these provisions and the maximum tax rate, no credit for city taxpayers is permitted and all proceeds of the tax collected are allocated to the county. Id. At §§ 11911(c) and 11931(3). A city may, however, impose its own non-conforming Transfer Tax and retain all of the proceeds generated from the tax.

    Once a county and city have adopted a Transfer Tax, the tax rate is effectively established by state statute. As noted above, the City and County have adopted the Transfer Tax in conformance with the tax rate established in the Revenue and Tax Code.

    While the courts have recognized that a charter city may impose a Transfer Tax or create its own non-conforming Transfer Tax when the tax is for general purposes, if a Transfer Tax is imposed or created for specific purposes it is prohibited by Article XIII A of the California Constitution. Fisher v. County of Alameda, 20 Cal. App. 4th 120 (1993), Fielder v. City of Los Angeles, 14 Cal. App. 4th 137 (1993).

    The Documentary Transfer Tax or Real Property Transfer Tax revenue for Davis in fiscal years: 2002-03 was $239,465; 2003-04 was $270,800; and 2004-05 $334,523. The source for this info is California State Controller Cities Annual Report. http://www.californiacityfinance.com/PTT05PUB.xls

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