Commentary: And then there were five…

Wolk-DanMake no mistake about it, the entry of Lucas Frerichs into the Davis City Council race is a major shakeup.  There is no doubt that Mr. Frerichs is a formidable candidate, and his endorsement sheet was filed with practically the entire Davis School Board and a who’s who of Davis politics for the last two decades.

With three incumbents on the ballot, we may well see the first incumbent in Davis to lose since 2004 when Michael Harrington – yes that Michael Harrington – was unseated by a combination of the strength of Stephen Souza and Don Saylor and the dirty tricks of Steve Gidaro.

The political climate is quite different from four years ago, when three incumbents including Stephen Souza and Sue Greenwald were reelected.  Those were still the pre-collapse days.

As we attempt to handicap this race, we bear in mind that things can change very quickly.  This week is only the beginning of the filing period, the end does not come until mid-March.  Other candidates could join the fray, but we believe that this is the final major candidate.

Two years ago at this time, many believed that Sydney Vergis was a cinch to win one of the two open seats.  We however always believed she was quite a bit weaker than conventional wisdom held, and eventually we were proven correct as her candidacy seemed to collapse down the stretch and ultimately she was defeated by Rochelle Swanson, in addition to Joe Krovoza.

We believe at this point that Dan Wolk is the odds-on favorite to become the next Mayor Pro Tem and eventually replace Joe Krovoza.  Not only does he have a name advantage, not only does he have a 3 to 1 spending advantage over his nearest competition, but he appeals across what is left of the city’s political divide.

Make no mistake, as the issue of land use has declined in the last few years, as Measure J realities have taken hold, as a consensus has formed even at the county level that growth on a city’s periphery should be the purview of the city not the county, and other issues have risen in prominence – namely water and the budget – the traditional battle lines have broken down.

Dan Wolk appeals not only to the constituency who elected his mother, but to the constituency who applauds the last budget and his deciding vote in a 3-2 vote to take money from employee compensation and move it to shore up the city’s infrastructure and unfunded liabilities.

Lucas Frerichs has the potential to capture a similar constituency – as he appeals across traditional lines.  However, if you look at many of the supporters of Mr. Frerichs they have tended to be on the establishment and more pro-development side.  Likewise, his strong support for Covell Village may harm him with the more progressive elements of the city.  Nevertheless, his demeanor, and his long service to this community will serve him well.

If Dan Wolk is the front runner – does that make Sue Greenwald and Stephen Souza vulnerable?

The two longest serving members on the Davis City Council might be seen as vulnerable.  Stephen Souza, aside from his ill-considered move to become mayor at the beginning of last year, has been a more low-key figure on this council.  No longer does he generally belong to the 3-2 voting block and no longer can he occasionally become the swing vote.

In a lot of ways, he has struggled for an identity and perhaps even a constituency.

Sue Greenwald has no such problem.  Her identity remains intact, she is the ardent defender on most issues of fiscal sustainability, the lone dissenter on the September 6 water issue, and she has a strong core constituency as perhaps the last progressive on council.

While her style has produced a number of detractors, she emerges with a strong following still, with those who admire her stances on land use and those who appreciate her fight for fiscal sanity.

Where does that leave Brett Lee, the other challenger in this race?  In our view, Mr. Lee, who is likely the least known of the candidates, has a lot of work to do to get into this race.  He needs to stake out his core ground and emerge with his core constituency.  We need to see some fire, passion and urgency from him.

Things can change quickly.  But as we handicap this race, here is how we see it.  The first place finish is Dan Wolk’s to lose.  He ought to try to avoid getting complacent, but barring the proverbial skeleton emerging it is difficult to see anyone else getting more votes than him.

Lucas Frerichs has a good chance of knocking off one of the incumbents.  He is young, he is smart, he is a very nice guy, and for those who have been concerned in the past about the tenor of the council, he will fit in with the new kinder and gentler council.

We could be misreading things, but right now we see Stephen Souza as more vulnerable than Sue Greenwald.  Certainly Sue Greenwald is a more polarizing figure – people tend to love her immensely or hate her with the fire of a thousand suns.  But she has her niche, and her core constituency emerges more intact than does Mr. Souza’s.

However, that is going to be a close race and if it is, Stephen Souza has the potential to outwork Sue Greenwald.

We are not saying Lucas Frerichs is a lock by any stretch.  It has been eight years since an incumbent has been defeated and both Sue Greenwald and Stephen Souza have strong followings.  It is entirely possible that both incumbents get reelected.

As we said, Brett Lee has work to do.  He too is a nice guy, he is very bright as well, but he has to capture a core constituency and he has to get his name out.  There is time to do that and as someone who worked tirelessly against Covell Village, he has that capacity, but there needs to be a lot of urgency in his game.

Who else will emerge?  We do not believe any major candidates will – but you never know.  More likely a student or someone like a Jon Li will come in who will not spend any money but rather use the election as a bully pulpit.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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110 Comments

  1. 2cowherd

    Dr. Wu was so right when she/he quoted in yesterday’s blog —

    “Candidate Wolk,Lee and Freirichs’ public positions to-date are long on safe general platitudes that attempt to straddle both sides of the fence on important upcoming policy issues and short on clear answers. Without a clear public record to assess, this is troubling if we are to be able to assess what their political direction will be if they gain a seat on our Council.”

    Until we hear more specifics about the policies of Wolk, Lee; and Frerichs we really don’t know what their effect on our City will be. The voters should be scrutinizing all 5 of the candidates carefully and asking for more information from them.

  2. Dr. Wu

    2cowherd: Thanks for the reinforcement–I was quoting davisite2 from the same blog yesterday.

    A corollary: we know where Sue stands on the issues and imho Sue deserves our vote–she has been right on most of the important issues–and often before they became the popular stand (e.g., water, WHR, fiscal responsibility).

    Do we want someone who will tell us what we want to hear now or someone who will take the tough votes even when they are unpopular? (Though ultimately they become the right vote.)

    We also know where Souza stands on the issues and I suspect most regular readers of this blog will be unlikely to vote for Souza.

    If you support fiscal responsibility and smart growth, you should vote for Sue even if you do not agree with her on each and every issue.

  3. Mr.Toad

    Don’t forget Steve got more votes than Sue last time. I think you also have forgotten Sue kicking Ruth when she was down, something, I believe, that is still fresh in many voters minds.

    The big thing that you seem to have missed is the chance for a generational transition should Dan and the newcomers sweep. It would be great to see if the young people in this town grew up, got the vote out and stopped letting their parents make their decisions for them.

  4. David M. Greenwald

    “I think you also have forgotten Sue kicking Ruth when she was down, something, I believe, that is still fresh in many voters minds.”

    That was part of the consideration, though to be honest, I don’t hear it mentioned much when people talk about Sue. I suspect the people who care about that, are people who are unlikely to vote for Sue in the first place.

  5. JustSaying

    “Dan Wolk appeals not only to the constituency who elected his mother, but to the constituency who applauds the last budget and his deciding vote in a 3-2 vote to take money from employee compensation and move it to shore up the city’s infrastructure and unfunded liabilities.”

    I wonder if Dan’s mother situation might not also be a burden. Sometime’s fresh faces just look like just kids. How much might people write off his earlier council selection as a reflection of his mother’s power and influence? And, while we some of us might admire his principled stand with the majority on budgeting, how many of the people who will vote know or care about it?

    Sue and Stephen, unlike the others, have built reputations based on how they behave and how effective they are on the council. Some votes for the lesser-knowns might even come from people voting AGAINST them.

    I don’t see Lucas quickly jumping to the top of the list, regardless of his service and his niceness. How many voters have heard the name Freriches?

  6. Dr. Wu

    [quote]It would be great to see if the young people in this town grew up, got the vote out and stopped letting their parents make their decisions for them[/quote]

    We also need someone with experience (not named Souza).

    Don’t forget that Joe and Rochelle are relatively new and Wolk is essentially brand new, so at the most we’d have two old timers.

    I don’t think having a completely new and untested City Council with little experience is an advantage–yes new blood is good, but so is experience.

  7. Matt Williams

    rusty49 said . . .

    [i]”Sue is a [b]shoe[/b] in. With her slow growth stance and her stand against the water project she has a built in large base of votes.”[/i]

    Very punny rusty. Were you referring to Sue kicking Ruth when sh was down, or were you saying she was a shoo-in?

  8. Mr.Toad

    “I suspect the people who care about that, are people who are unlikely to vote for Sue in the first place.”

    In as much as people who supported Preston Brooks didn’t lose their support of him after the caning of Charles Sumner. Still I think there are people in town who may have supported Sue in the past who want their civil society to be civil and will never vote for Sue again. In my own case I voted for Sue until I realized that her politics were an impediment ( shoe reference) to my interests but seeing her belligerent behavior on the dais both online and in person is what really turned me against her. I suspect that there are others who no longer support Sue who once did. Remember her vote total peaked two elections ago.

  9. Michael Harrington

    Sue is going to do fine. Most of the time she votes in favor of local business, for city fiscal sanity, for good land use planning, for neighborhood preservation, for careful planning of our water supply system

    Twelve years of getting it right ( other than DACHA, of course) will give her a big win this time

  10. JustSaying

    “David. You continue to predict Dan will follow Joe as mayor. What happened to Rochelle? :-)”

    Dan just called…wanted to thank David for running his handsome face to illustrate a story on “then there were five” candidates. Hopes he’ll do it again–large, in color and often–during the campaign. Said he’d appreciate being the designated shoo-in the next time the candidates’ chances are evaluated.

  11. Herman

    It’s funny how perceptions, and maybe memories, differ, but (allowing for the fact that I did not attend or watch all council meetings), it is my recollection that almost always Sue has been incredibly civil and professional, especially given that on many issues she was in a minority of one. On the other hand, not uncommonly, I found Ruth’s leadership of the council as mayor pro-tempore high-handed, uncivil, and impatient and particularly with respect to Sue. To me comments on Sue such “as kicking Ruth when she was down” remind me of the Republican accusation that Obama is engaging in class warfare.

    As I have said in the past, Sue most certainly deserves re-election for many reasons including the good ones put forth by Dr. Wu. But, alas, given how unfairly she has been treated by her political opponents, and in view of her courageous stances we alas cannot and should not take this for granted and nor should we.

  12. Rifkin

    [i]”You continue to predict Dan will follow Joe as mayor. What happened to Rochelle?”[/i]

    No one has answered this good question, so I will. Joe is the mayor now, but he is so only because Don Saylor left for the Board of Supervisors and the others on the Council chose Joe to replace Don as mayor. Because Joe won the most votes in the 2010 race, Joe won the right–under the current rules–to serve as mayor for his 3rd and 4th years of his 2010-2014 term. So Joe will become “the people’s mayor” after this year’s election. By finishing second in 2010 Rochelle was never in position to be mayor, unless the others on the Council had favored her to fill in for Don.

  13. JustSaying

    “Twelve years of getting it right ( other than DACHA, of course) will give her a big win this time.”

    Maybe you haven’t been keeping up. She got DACHA right. Neighborhood Partners are the only ones who got it wrong. Shoely she’s still batting 1000.

  14. Rifkin

    [i]”So, if these were district elections, how would this be shaping up? Any idea what part of town these candidates reside?”[/i]

    From what my telephone listings tell me:

    Dan Wolk–Stonegate (WEST)
    Sue Greenwald–Rice/University Area (CENTRAL)
    Stephen Souza–Wild Horse (NORTH)
    Brett Lee–Central Davis (CENTRAL)
    Lucas Frerichs–Covell Park (NORTH)

    No one from South Davis, East Davis or Mace Ranch is running … or biking … or walking.

  15. JustSaying

    Rich, thank you for raising the question and answering it about when someone will follow Joe. Is there any suggestion that the “current rule” would be changed by the council itself, esp. given the awkward, embarrassing attempt to change it once before?

    So, this election will determine who typically would be selected be the council as mayor for 2015-2016? And Rochelle’s earliest future hope would be 2017-2018?

    How did we decide we don’t want to elect the Mayor of Davisville and when?

  16. Michael Harrington

    I like most of the candidates, but to me, it seems that everyone but Sue is drinking from the same quart of JPA provided Kool Aid that we need the surface water plant. Maybe when I look at literature I might endorse another one

  17. Sue Greenwald

    I would like to weigh in on the time I said “Ruth, you lied about my motion”.

    I understand that this is politics, and David Greenwald posted my most irritable moment on u-tube. It is one thing to report it; it is another to post it on u-tube. This was David Greenwald’s choice. It hurt me very deeply on a personal as well as on a political level. But again, it was David’s choice. He knew what he was doing.

    When I said “Ruth, you lied about my motion”, it was late at night at the end of a difficult and long meeting. I was very upset about the council’s lack of progress on the cafeteria cash-out because I knew it would lead to the problems the city faces today. I was particularly frustrated because I felt that Ruth really did agree with me, but was voting with Don Saylor and Stephen Souza. And because Ruth really did agree with me, I often miss her on the council. She would have voted with me to retain a larger neighborhood-compatible high-tech/non-profit component of the Cannery project last week.

    That said, I should not have said “Ruth, you lied about my motion”. I should have given it up or said “Ruth, you’re 180 degrees wrong about my motion.

    But let’s face it. It is just not out of the realm of what politicians say about issues. Witness the presidential primaries.

  18. Michael Harrington

    One thing I want to hear from all of them is whether our rates are unconstitutional as violating the proportionality requirement. See, City of Palmdale decision, filed by the 2nd DCA on august 9, amended Aug 25, 2011

  19. Michael Harrington

    This has nothing to do with the surface water plant. It’s all about our current rates, and how residential users heavily subsidize commercial, but the city costs to provide each gallon are the same I ask each candidate to comment on this issue.

  20. Rifkin

    [i]”Is there any suggestion that the ‘current rule’ would be changed by the council itself, esp. given the awkward, embarrassing attempt to change it once before?”[/i]

    I doubt it will be changed. Unless there is an upswell in feeling that the current system for picking the mayor is broken, I would guess inertia will cause it to remain in place.

    That said, the mayor should be chosen by the council itself. The two major powers of the mayor–to help set the agenda; and to run the meetings–should be the purview of a majority on the council, not the purview of the person who happened to get a few dozen more votes than anyone else two years prior.

    My advice is that the members of the council select the mayor for a one year term* at the last meeting of each fiscal year (that is, the last meeting in June) and the person chosen becomes mayor at the first meeting of the next fiscal year. I would not set any term limits, so the Council could choose any one of the five, including the incumbent mayor.

    [i]”So, this election will determine who typically would be selected by the council as mayor for 2015-2016?”[/i]

    The first place finisher in the 2012 election will serve as mayor pro-tempore from 2012-14 and then will automatically be the mayor from 2014-16. The other members of the council will not “select” the 2014-16 mayor. Joe Krovoza, as I noted above, will be the mayor from 2012-14 due to his first place finish in 2010.

    [i]”And Rochelle’s earliest future hope would be 2017-2018?”[/i]

    If Rochelle runs for reelection in 2014 and finishes first, she would serve as mayor pro-tempore from 2014-16 and the serve as mayor from 2016-18.

    [i]”How did we decide we don’t want to elect the Mayor of Davisville and when?”[/i]

    The people of Davis have never directly elected the mayor. For the first 60 or so years, the council majority chose who the mayor was. From 1917 to 1947, for example, every single term the council majority picked Gordon Anderson (the grandfather of Davis Ace’s Jennifer Anderson) or Calvin Covell as mayor.

    But since the late 1980s–I don’t recall exactly the year the change was made–the council has automatically awarded the position of mayor to the top vote-getter in the council race two years prior. Not that she did a bad job of it, but I think the mayoralty of Susie Boyd showed why this system is not so good. Boyd won the most votes in her race because she was the lone pro-growth candidate in a very anti-growth period of Davis politics. On the council, even though she was mayor, her colleagues usually outvoted her 4-1 on every controversial issue. It would have made far more sense to have one of the people in the majority as their “speaker,” but the system gave that title to a minority of one on that council.

    *In my ideal system, if a majority on the council wanted to unseat the mayor before his/her one year term was up, they could do so at any time. It’s good to have that flexibility, because some people chosen as mayor may prove to lack the skills it takes to run the meetings or retain the support of the others on the council.

  21. Mr.Toad

    It wasn’t the part where you called her a liar it was the part where you so lost control that you continued acting belligerently while the medics were attending to Ruth. it was the comment and please correct me if I am remembering it wrong where you dismissed Ruth’s distress with “Some people aren’t cut out for politics.”

    Rich I think you have Lucas’ address wrong he walks or bikes to the Farmers market and car pools to work. Dan also bikes to the train for work. Both are trying to reduce their carbon footprints where they can.

  22. hpierce

    [quote]It wasn’t the part where you called her a liar it was the part where you so lost control that you continued acting belligerently while the medics were attending to Ruth. it was the comment and please correct me if I am remembering it wrong where you dismissed Ruth’s distress with “Some people aren’t cut out for politics.” [/quote]I believe that David was present at that point, and actually witnessed what happened… David?

  23. Sue Greenwald

    [quote] Boyd won the most votes in her race because she was the lone pro-growth candidate in a very anti-growth period of Davis politics. On the council, even though she was mayor, her colleagues usually outvoted her 4-1 on every controversial issue.-[b]Rich Rifkin[/b][/quote]I am a little confused, Rich. Which council was this? Who was on it?

  24. hpierce

    Mr Rifkin has the history mostly right… there is a phenomenon that occurs every other 2 year, when 3 seats are open… often people have fairly strong convictions on their first two votes, but then vote their “third” for a nice person… this happened with Debbie Nichols-Poulos, and Julie Partansky (first term)… like Rifkin, can’t remember the years, but was here to witness both… if a candidate is ‘everybody’s” third choice, guess what? They tend to be the highest vote-getter. Debbie was denied the mayor spot, when it was “due” to her, by a political move by Mike Corbett. That led to the current ‘system’… Julie was spared that, as a result. I miss Julie… quirky… didn’t always agree with her… but a helluva nice person, and a credible CC member and Mayor.

  25. Matt Williams

    Michael Harrington said . . .

    [i]”One thing I want to hear from all of them is whether our rates are unconstitutional as violating the proportionality requirement. See, City of Palmdale decision, filed by the 2nd DCA on august 9, amended Aug 25, 2011.”[/i]

    Michael, since the September approved rates are rescinded, why should we devote even a minute of thought about their unconstitutionality?

    If you are talking about our past rates (which are now our current rates), since the WAC has been created to put together a going-forward rate structure, why should we devote even a minute of thought about any unconstitutionality of those rates that will be superseded at the end of the WAC process?

  26. Matt Williams

    Michael Harrington said . . .

    [i]”This has nothing to do with the surface water plant. It’s all about our current rates, and how residential users heavily subsidize commercial, but the city costs to provide each gallon are the same I ask each candidate to comment on this issue.”[/i]

    Michael, as I said above, since the WAC has been created to put together a going-forward rate structure, why should we devote even a minute of thought about any unconstitutionality of those rates that will be superseded at the end of the WAC process?

    Are you simply trying to stir the emotional pot?

  27. Rifkin

    [i]”Rich I think you have Lucas’ address wrong he walks or bikes to the Farmers market and car pools to work.”[/i]

    I’ll take your word for it. I don’t know Lucas. I simply found his name in the white pages listed as residing on Camino Court, which is a small street off of Alvarado Avenue in Covell Park.

  28. Rifkin

    [i]”I am a little confused, Rich. Which council was this? Who was on it?”[/i]

    I just looked up the history and it appears I misremembered. The council I was thinking of had you, Wagstaff, Boyd and Freeman. But Wagstaff was the mayor, not Boyd. Sorry for the confusion. I recall quite a few 1-4 votes with Boyd losing.

    When Susie became mayor after the 2002 election, she was more-less allied with Puntillo and Asmundson, and the minority (on growth questions) was you and Harrington. I think it was her term as mayor when the question of the bio-lab came about, and Susie seemed to be out on her own on that one, at least once community members decided to oppose the bio-lab.

  29. Sue Greenwald

    [b]@Rich Rifkin:[/b]No, Susie and Ted Puntillo and Ruth Asmundson all strongly supported the bio lab. By the way, the neighborhood in Boston that got one of the two biosafety level 4 labs is still fighting it; it’s been in the courts for years.

  30. Rifkin

    This is off-topic, but … in case anyone is interested, my column regarding Benjamin Disraeli’s advice on the DACHA mess ([url]http://www.davisenterprise.com/opinion/opinion-columns/disraelis-wisdom-would-serve-us-today/[/url]) is up now on The Enterprise website.

    For Sue … I will be back in Davis late tonight.

  31. davisite2

    “Stephen Souza has the potential to outwork Sue Greenwald.”

    They are both totally well-known with extensive public records. Campaign mailings containing platitudes will be ineffective except for those voters with no political “memory” and there probably have been precious few of them who have been added to the voter rolls in the past few years.
    Councilperson Souza cannot escape his public record as the last remaining member of the Council who, along with Don Saylor, railroaded a surface water project through the Council which has essentially been found fundamentally flawed by all of the other current Council members.

    Mr Toad has been “selling” the idea that the current Council is too old a and needs to be replaced( read Councilperson Greenwald). IMO, on the contrary, all of the sitting members and candidates, with the exception of Councilperson Greenwald(forgive me for this public observation, Sue), are, I would guess, no older than 45. From my vantage point, this is not an “old” group. Sue Greenwald is the only Council representative, whose age-related life experiences and “memory” as it relates to Davis local politics is shared by a significant percentage of the active Davis voting population. This should be a definite plus as she pursues reelection.

  32. Mr.Toad

    “Sue Greenwald is the only Council representative, whose age-related life experiences and “memory” as it relates to Davis local politics is shared by a significant percentage of the active Davis voting population.”

    Well its true as long as both you and her have memories that hold up. Kidding aside 12 years is enough. Rooseveldt only served 13 and you can only be in the legislature for 14. You would think that after 3 terms you should move up or out. I mean if your vote peaked 8 years ago doesn’t it tell you that the Peter Principle applies. Has anyone ever served 4 terms on the council before? Thankfully, as the years go by her sclerotic no growth constituency will continue to shrink. Oh yes young people you should know before Sue was on the council there was no open container ordinance in Davis. Oh and to paraphrase her generation never trust anyone over 60.

    Stop letting you parents run your life. Get up and vote.

  33. Mr.Toad

    “I understand that this is politics, and David Greenwald posted my most irritable moment on u-tube. It is one thing to report it; it is another to post it on u-tube. This was David Greenwald’s choice. It hurt me very deeply on a personal as well as on a political level. But again, it was David’s choice. He knew what he was doing. “

    Okay ,my previous post was cheap, I admit it, but this is not. Sue is blaming David for reporting her behavior. Yes Sue, posting the video is how its reported in the 21st Century.

    This reminds me of Meg Whitman trying to blame Jerry Brown for the story about her firing the nanny. As Jerry Brown told her “Don’t run for governor if you can’t stand up on your own two feet and say ‘Hey, I made a mistake, I’m sorry, let’s go on from here.”

    I take it that my recollection about what Sue did and said when Ruth collapsed was correct since she failed to respond to my invitation for correction.

  34. Sue Greenwald

    [b]@Mr. Toad[/b]Toad, I know that you don’t like my slow-growth policies and that is a legitimate difference of opinion. But to bring ageism and personal attacks into the campaign does no one any good.

  35. David M. Greenwald

    [quote]When I said “Ruth, you lied about my motion”, it was late at night at the end of a difficult and long meeting. I was very upset about the council’s lack of progress on the cafeteria cash-out because I knew it would lead to the problems the city faces today. I was particularly frustrated because I felt that Ruth really did agree with me, but was voting with Don Saylor and Stephen Souza. And because Ruth really did agree with me, I often miss her on the council. She would have voted with me to retain a larger neighborhood-compatible high-tech/non-profit component of the Cannery project last week.

    That said, I should not have said “Ruth, you lied about my motion”. I should have given it up or said “Ruth, you’re 180 degrees wrong about my motion.
    [/quote]

    I did not bring this issue up, and I really did not intend to re-hash this issue. But I have to make a few corrections.

    First, it was not late in the evening, the item was the first regular item on the agenda. There still needed to be a discussion of the West Village annexation – those were the only two major items on the agenda.

    I believe it was actually before 8 pm, because I still had Jasmine (who was then barely a month old) and Cecilia had not picked up her up.

    I remember this because Sue is conveniently leaving out what happened outside of the meeting which was far worse. You put me in a horrible position because twenty people saw what happened in the vestibule and had it not been reported and reported accurately, I would have been accused of favoritism.

    So I made the decision to post a full account of both what happened inside and outside of the meeting on separate days. I think it was the right decision. If you did not want it posted on youtube, you should have conducted yourself better inside and outside of the meeting.

    I will say this, since that time, I think you have for the most part. It was two years ago, I’m not going to bring it up in a column, but if you raise this issue in a comment I will respond with what I believe is an accurate account of what happened.

  36. JustSaying

    [quote]“if a candidate is ‘everybody’s” third choice, guess what? They tend to be the highest vote-getter.”[/quote]What a fascinating analysis! There’s hope for the least of us.

  37. Mr.Toad

    I already admitted it was a cheap shot but i stand by my point that there is a chance for generational change and my long held belief that if young people in this town participate more in local elections they will be treated better over all in Davis.

    Recently I have been going out of my way to talk to college kids. They are quite nice, respectful and open to advise. I get this sense that they are glad to talk to a local adult who isn’t negatively predisposed toward them. Isn’t that sad. It is my deepest belief that if they participated more in local politics much of the control of their behavior demanded by the long time residents of the city would not be cow towed to by the City Council. And yes I believe things like the open container ordinance and the noise ordinance contribute greatly to students feelings of alienation and oppression.

  38. Mr.Toad

    David you are letting Sue off the hook for blaming you for reporting her behavior. Its as if the media is responsible for George Allen’s racist remark during the 06 campaign. If a tree falls in the Council Chambers and nobody reported it did it really fall? Yes Sue it did.

  39. Mr.Toad

    Sue Greenwald said “When I said “Ruth, you lied about my motion”, it was late at night at the end of a difficult and long meeting. I was very upset about the council’s lack of progress on the cafeteria cash-out because I knew it would lead to the problems the city faces today. I was particularly frustrated because I felt that Ruth really did agree with me, but was voting with Don Saylor and Stephen Souza.”

    Isn’t the art of politics in Davis how you get to three votes. Honestly, by this measure Sue you have been a failure as a politician, alienating everyone over the years outside your base. Its one reason your dream of the PG&E site has never gotten any traction.

  40. Sue Greenwald

    David, I didn’t know that Ruth was sick, and I didn’t think that Ruth was sick. When I came into the lobby, I had no idea what was going on. I was clueless. She had seemed very healthy when she argued and stormed in and out of the room twice. And, she left bright and early the next morning for the Philippines.

    If I had known she was sick, I would have dropped everything and held her in my arms. I am not the kind of person who would put a minor dispute above anyone’s health, let along someone that I care about and I do care about Ruth.

  41. rusty49

    Sue, you don’t have to defend yourself to these haters. It was my observations that the “Gang of Three” was far more demeaning towards you than anything you ever did to them.

  42. Caroline

    As someone who finds herself in agreement with Sue on most issues, I am continually troubled by the lack of success she has ever shown in moving her colleagues toward our point of view, or even to a reasonable compromise. I have become convinced that Sue is more interested in being a martyr for the cause, content with losing a vote and turning to her constituents to say “I tried” and “you’re lucky I’m there fighting for you”, rather that getting anything accomplished for the people who elected her.

    Recent examples of this include the first surface water vote, where a compromise was on the table but failed for lack of her support, and the vote on budget cuts, for which Sue – astonishingly, in my opinion – voted against the majority on an issue she had been championing for years. In both instances, Sue made a nuanced argument for why she was for it before she was against it, but the bottom line seems, to me, that she is more comfortable in the minority than she is in getting things done for her fellow progressives.

    When you combine that with the absolutely unacceptable behavior ([url]http://youtu.be/IKudm65Dhek[/url]) Sue has displayed in the past, I cannot bring myself to vote for her again this time around.

  43. Sue Greenwald

    [b]@David Greenwald:[/b]I expected a vicious, hard-ball campaign, but this is getting ridiculous. For everyone’s sake, I hope this campaign will be focused on the issues. Here are a couple that I am particularly iterested in:

    1) How to plan our water/wastwater infrastructure improvements in an affordable manner?

    2) How to form a partnership with our employees to solve the budget problem. For example, I would prefer not to privatize, but we also need cooperation in solving our unfunded liabilities.

    3) How to preserve the downtown. This is something that really concerns me, and I hope that I can convince some of the other candidates of its importance.

    I hope that the ideology of densification, which I support if it the right locations, will destroy the character of our downtown. I think that we have to be very careful not to overdo the stucco three and four story building in the commercial core, and I think that we have to be careful not to eliminate the set-backs and reasonably spacious sidewalks.

    When I stand on the Northeast corner of 5th and G street and look at the three stucco infill projects, they look great for that location. But if I close my eyes and try to imagine the entire downtown filled with such buildings, it is not something that I think most people want to see.

  44. Don Shor

    I support Sue Greenwald because of the institutional history she brings, particularly to the budget issues. The budget is the most important issue facing Davis. She has long brought a healthy skepticism to fiscal issues, does her homework, and asks the questions that need to be asked. I disagree strenuously with Sue on some issues (water, downtown) and find we largely agree on others (peripheral growth). I’m not supporting her because of her personality, although I’ve never found her disagreeable. I support her because she has done her job well and has earned, in my opinion, another term.
    There was a lot of tension on the council in past years. That isn’t there any more, for any number of reasons. So while some may wish to revisit the old incidents and use them as the basis for deciding how to vote, I urge them also to look at Sue’s long record of fiscal management and consider what we would be losing.

  45. Sue Greenwald

    [quote], I am continually troubled by the lack of success she has ever shown in moving her colleagues toward our point of view, or even to a reasonable compromise.–[b]Caroline[/b][/quote]Actually, Caroline, nothing could be further from the truth. I am preparing a long list of items where I started in a 4-1 or 4-2 position, and either brought the entire council around, or helped appeal directly to citizens to overturn the council decision.

    The most recent was my initiative to bring Professors Tschabonoglos and Schroeder in to save the city $80 to $100 million on the wastewater treatment plant. I spent almost a year vainly pleading with my colleagues, and eventually brought them around when the contract for the $200 million plant was on the city managers desk ready to sign.

    You can’t get more effective than that.

  46. JustSaying

    “Davis City Council Erupts with Councilmember Greenwald Calling Mayor Asmundson a Liar”–The strong, on-the-record record language is not the worst of what happened that evening. As I remember, David at first avoided reporting what happened outside. He was wrong to even have thought about not reporting, assuming he plans on operating a legitimate news site, and he did right to report the events of the evening.

    It’s surprising that Sue was as restrained as she was during that period. She was treated like dirt, without the respect any elected official deserves, for months at a time, by several of her colleagues including two mayors. Ruth established the atmosphere and setting for an explosive situation during that period. Whether Ruth got what she deserves is debatable–but she certainly isn’t without blame for what happened.

    Does anyone even suggest that Sue would have behaved the way she did and said the things she did if she knew what we later learned about Ruth’s tender condition? Ruth was being treated as if she had some life-threatening illness. She didn’t, but we don’t take chances given the situation.

    It’s way past time to give Sue a pass on this. She suffered at the hands of others, had nothing to do with Ruth’s collapse, didn’t know the situation and made amends for what she did at the time. Leave it alone, and make judgments on her performance, not on some freak event.

  47. davisite2

    “You would think that after 3 terms you should move up or out”

    Again, Mr. Toad missed the mark and inadvertently makes a point in Councilperson Greenwald’s favor. “Moving up” almost inevitably requires catering to developer “deep pockets”(which usually requires building an expensive future campaign war-chest to pay for a successful campaign ) rather than being fully committed to representing only the desires and interests of the Davis voters that they have been elected to our Council to represent. We have all seen this AGAIN and AGAIN on our Council by former politically ambitious Davis Council members; voters would be well-advised to try and assess who,on the upcoming June ballot,is most likely to be seeking a future campaign war chest for their future “moving-up” campaign.

  48. Michael Harrington

    Caroline

    I agree that there have been some process problems

    But listen to sues substance : she was the only one asking to reduce the cash out, and failed. She only wanted 25% and could to get that small reduction

    I’ll take her vote over rhe process of making sausages

    BTW. Julie was verbally battered when she was on the CC By many of the same ones who bash and ridicule Sue

    Also, for the record, I never knew Ruth to lie on the CC

  49. DT Businessman

    “When I stand on the Northeast corner of 5th and G street and look at the three stucco infill projects, they look great for that location. But if I close my eyes and try to imagine the entire downtown filled with such buildings, it is not something that I think most people want to see.”

    Sue, instead of closing your eyes all the time and listening to the voices in your head, you might consider opening your eyes and ears. One of the 3 buildings you mention is by a wide margin, predominately brick, steel and glass.

    OK, I confess, I’m a Sue basher, but she’s such an easy target with all the goofy statements she makes. As for the Ruth thing, what has changed? A number of the Vanguardians apparently don’t spend much time in the council chambers. You can’t see it on TV because the camera focuses on the speaker, but Sue is constantly getting agitated, wheeling her arms about, rolling her eyes, actually arguing with public speakers during their 3 minutes, bringing the proceedings to a screeching halt with her outbursts. It’s a public embarassement. And have you ever sat in on a policy discussion with her? It’s painful. She comes in, goes off on an hour-long monologue, and then it’s time to go home. Wow, a lot accomplished there. Where’s the intellectual exchange? The curiosity? The willingness to engage? The effort to find the best path forward for the community? Where is the ability to come-up with bold ideas and persuade your council colleagues of the merits of your arguments? They are nowhere to be found with Sue.

    If you are a regressive, Sue is your candidate. If you have yours, you’re retired with a university pension, have your house paid off, you wish to freeze Davis in time, Sue is your candidate. If you still have dreams, believe in innovation, creativity, a better future, are not willing to settle for what is, but strive for improvement, have a family and employees to provide for, you better be backing another candidate.

    Sue is the candidate of “NO”. Unfortunately, “NO” has a pretty big following.

    DT Businessman (aka Michael Bisch, Davis Commercial Properties, DDBA Co-Prez)

  50. Mark West

    A good leader understands that listening to opposing views is an important part of the job. They have to ultimately make a decision, but if they are not willing to listen to other points of view, then they are not leading, they are just spouting their own opinion. Leading involves listening and learning.

    Sue loves to hear her own voice, something she proves every Council meeting with her excessively long monologs where she attempts to justify her votes. In my opinion, Sue has a constituency of one, as the only voice she hears is her own. If you agree with that point of view, vote for Sue. If you want your Council members to listen to the arguments and data and make the best decision for the City, vote for someone else. Sue will always vote for her own point of view, which of course is the only view she will ever hear.

  51. Mr.Toad

    Sue Greenwald said “If I had known she was sick, I would have dropped everything and held her in my arms. I am not the kind of person who would put a minor dispute above anyone’s health, let along someone that I care about and I do care about Ruth.”

    If this isn’t revisionist history I don’t know what is. It was after Ruth complained about her health suffering that Sue said in reference to Ruth “Some people aren’t cut out for politics.” Sue was being anything but kind. When Sue went out into the hall so blinded with rabid rage that she failed to observe the paramedics attending to Ruth. At least Ruth had the good sense to step down.

    It was when I viewed the tape that I decided that Sue was not fit to serve in public office and posted comments reflecting that belief at the time. While I generally disagree with Sue about certain policy issues it was her behavior that evening that caused me to become so critical of her continuing to serve. If her supporters want to re-elect her in spite of her behavior that is their right, but, I am not going to let her get away with downplaying what went on that night. For her to suggest that she truly cared for Ruth and would not ever hurt her reminds me of the end of the Hitchcock thriller Psycho where Norman Bates says “They will see I wouldn’t even hurt a fly.” For those of you who don’t remember the story here is the link you decide for yourself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKudm65Dhek

  52. Mr.Toad

    “Moving up” almost inevitably requires catering to developer “deep pockets”(which usually requires building an expensive future campaign war-chest to pay for a successful campaign ) rather than being fully committed to representing only the desires and interests of the Davis voters that they have been elected to our Council to represent.”

    Or by building a constituency that can overcome the money. Sue wanted to run for Supervisor but didn’t because Don had the money and the popular support and Sue would have lost.

  53. hpierce

    [quote]She has earned our votes [/quote]She has also “earned” free medical coverage for life. Which she would deny employees who have served the city longer than she.

  54. Crilly

    Mr. Toad. You are living in a self-fabricated universe when it comes to Sue. No semblance of objectivity can be found in any of your comments. Sue bends over backwards to be civil, and given the rudeness of past councils towards her and the challenges she’s faced trying to get these councils to listen to reason, that’s been quite a feat. Sue is right on the issues–all the issues–and that’s the most important thing during any election. And very interestingly, she’s often been able to ultimately persuade council members who opposed her views to see the truth in them, leading them to actually come around to her side. She’d never have been able to do that if she were the demon you say she is.

  55. DT Businessman

    4 years into a recession, what some call a faltering recovery, the community cannot afford another 4 years of Sue Greenwald. She is toxic to job creation and the local economy. At every opportunity she undermines job growth and economic development efforts. I predict business owners will vote 9 to 1 against her this go around. That’s not to say the regressives won’t save her bacon.

    Note: Just to head off any Sue bullshit, I am not a proponent of peripheral growth and challenge anyone to provide a quote to the contrary (unless I was engaged in satirical humor). Furthermore, approx. 75% of my clients are small, hardworking business owners (retailers, service providers, innovation entrepeneurs, medical practitioners, and the like), 20% small property owners, and 5% innovative, mixed-use, urban, infill developers.

    DT Businessman (aka Michael Bisch, Davis Commercial Properties, DDBA Co-Prez for another term)

  56. Mr.Toad

    “It’s way past time to give Sue a pass on this. She suffered at the hands of others, had nothing to do with Ruth’s collapse, didn’t know the situation and made amends for what she did at the time. Leave it alone, and make judgments on her performance, not on some freak event.”

    So how come all you progressives gave her a pass on running out the clock on running against Don? By signaling that she was going to run it kept any other challengers from emerging and organizing a run. She stalled until the last minute and then didn’t file handing an uncontested win to Don who she opposed on water development. I have never seen anything like it. I have seen candidates file at the last minute but not wait keeping everyone back and then not file. Can anyone think of another example like this anywhere? Yet you all give her a pass on handing the seat to Don.

  57. Mr.Toad

    “Sue bends over backwards to be civil, and given the rudeness of past councils towards her and the challenges she’s faced trying to get these councils to listen to reason, that’s been quite a feat.”

    Only if you agree with her. In fact, I have had her be rude to me in front of my family when we were minding our own business at the Farmers Market.

  58. Mr.Toad

    “She’d never have been able to do that if she were the demon you say she is.”

    I’ve never called her a demon. I don’t even think I ever said I don’t like her. I just don’t want her on the city council anymore and I certainly don’t want her misrepresenting the record as I believe she is trying to do with Ruth in order to seem to be a more favorable candidate.

  59. Lucas Frerichs

    @rifkin:

    Hi Rich- This is from yesterday’s story about me on the Vanguard:

    Lucas Frerichs, and his wife Stacie Frerichs, along with several friends which include former Mayor Mike Corbett, co-built an infill project in Central Davis in 2008. “The Davis community has regularly engaged in a discussion about creating housing through infill projects. My wife and I have put words into action, and we’re making our best attempt to live the principles we strongly believe.”[/i]

    We live on B Street, between 7th and 8th. I’ve never lived on Camino, or really anywhere near that part of town.
    The “white pages” are inaccurate. I dont think there is another Lucas Frerichs in Davis, let alone anywhere near Davis…it’s not the most common name.

    I’d gladly show you, or any Vanguard reader, around our infill project…its not for everyone, but it is quite livable- especially if infill is done right.
    Thanks-
    Lucas

  60. Mr.Toad

    Don Shor said “There was a lot of tension on the council in past years. That isn’t there any more, for any number of reasons.”

    Oh really, what about her dissing Steve over who should take over as mayor. Wasn’t that score settling for attempts to block her from being mayor when she came in first in 2004. Or getting Dan to embarrass himself and support putting her on that water committee. These were contentious, more civil on the surface, but still contentious.

  61. Sue Greenwald

    I want to tell my supporters out there that I am very proud of you. You are not attacking the candidates with whom you disagree in this rather vile manner.

    As to Mark West’s comment: “In my opinion, Sue has a constituency of one, as the only voice she hears is her own” — fortunately, my constituents are not a figment of your opinion, and there are obviously a goodly number of them who elected me three times despite my extraordinarily low-keyed campaigns.

    At least you, unlike some of the others, have the courage to sign your name. I did enjoy the evening I spent at your winery down there by the Target. We discussed development, and it is true that you prefer much more development than the 80% of Davis citizens. But why can’t we keep it to a discussion of the issues, as we did at your winery, rather than this personal stuff?

  62. Lucas Frerichs

    To all Vanguard readers:

    My goal is to try and respond to questions, comments, etc. in a timely manner.
    I do work during the day in Sacramento, and will not respond from work.
    So, it is likely that I will respond in the evenings(most likely), on the weekend (somewhat likely) and pretty much never during working hours.

    Feel free to email any questions, concerns, etc at lucasfrerichs@gmail.com

    in cooperation-
    Lucas

  63. Mr.Toad

    Sue Greenwald said: “At least you, unlike some of the others, have the courage to sign your name. I did enjoy the evening I spent at your winery down there by the Target. We discussed development, and it is true that you prefer much more development than the 80% of Davis citizens. But why can’t we keep it to a discussion of the issues, as we did at your winery, rather than this personal stuff?”

    So how about the issues; the issues of character, ability, political skill and truthfulness are important too. Just because you want to talk about water, sewers, contracts and development doesn’t mean these other issues are not important in leadership. It seems that attacking my desire to be anonymous is the least relevant issue of your campaign.

  64. Don Shor

    Hi Lucas,
    With respect to the quote I posted earlier on this thread: what is your position on possible modification of Measure R, specifically to exempt certain types of projects outside the city limits?

  65. Lucas Frerichs

    @ Don Shor-

    The voters of Davis strongly supported Measure J in 2000, and renewal of Measure J (now Measure R) in 2010.
    I’m not in favor of modification.
    If a project comes forward on the periphery (one that specifically is not housing), any applicant would have to proceed with a Measure R vote, specifically if the parcel is not located within the City limits.

    If it were a project (again, specifically non-housing) that I supported, I would likely help advocate for it…but I would not try to “get around” Measure J/R.

    in cooperation-
    Lucas

  66. Mr.Toad

    Measure J and R are the stupidest things ever done by the voters of Davis. The smart thing to do would be to master plan Covell Village and the Cannery together for a generation of growth but this is not possible because of measure R.

  67. Matt Williams

    Sue Greenwald said . . .

    [i]”As to Mark West’s comment: “In my opinion, Sue has a constituency of one, as the only voice she hears is her own” — fortunately, my constituents are not a figment of your opinion, and there are obviously a goodly number of them who elected me three times despite my extraordinarily low-keyed campaigns.

    At least you, unlike some of the others, have the courage to sign your name. I did enjoy the evening I spent at your winery down there by the Target. We discussed development, and it is true that you prefer much more development than the 80% of Davis citizens. But why can’t we keep it to a discussion of the issues, as we did at your winery, rather than this personal stuff?”[/i]

    Sue, I for one don’t see Mark’s comment as “personal stuff.” I could be wrong, but he appears to want his City Council members to be positive, constructive ambassadors for the City as it tries to take the necessary steps to pull itself up out of this economic recession. Being an ambassador means doing a whole lot of listening, very little talking and a whole lot of collaboration.

    What Mark and Caroline and Mr.Toad and Michael are clearly saying is that as an ambassador of the City you do very little listening, lots of talking and very little collaboration. While that assessment is more absolute than my own views, it does have a certain resonance to it based on my own personal experience. Do you remember what you said to me when I first approached you about land use issues outside the City Limits, but well within the Pass Through Agreement area? You said, “I’m not doing anything for El Macero until El Macer agrees to be annexed by the City. You all are on your own.” I walked away from that very curt exchange with you with the distinct impression that without knowing any details of what I had in mind, you unilaterally weren’t willing to listen, were happy to talk, and weren’t at all collaborative.

    Subsequent to that exchange, I came to appreciate your positions and tenacity more, but based on that initial interchange you and I had, it is awfully hard for me to disagree with Mark’s and Caroline’s and Mr.Toad’s and Michael’s basic premise.

  68. Sue Greenwald

    Matt, you actually sort of brought up a topic, although you couched it in personal terms, so I will respond in kind.

    I do recall being unusually put-off because you were advocating growth in someone else’s neighborhood rather than your own. You wanted to stop development near your El Macero neighborhood and suggested developing in some part of Davis instead. You can refresh my memory, but I think it was one of the peripheral West Davis proposed subdivision. I explained that the West Davis citizens would not like that.

    A lot of us have been trying to avoid pitting neighborhood against neighborhood. I recall explaining this to you in no uncertain terms. I don’t recall if it was during this initial conversation or a subsequent conversation, but you were lobbying me to let El Macero have a dedicated seat on, I think it was the housing steering committee. I don’t get annoyed with people too often unless they are attacking me, but that did annoy me enough that it stands out in my memory. That is when I explained to you that, many years ago, the city had wanted to annex El Macero but that El Macero didn’t want to pay city of Davis taxes. No representation without taxation. Good motto. I stand by it today.

  69. Sue Greenwald

    That said, I have many good friends in El Macero. But they are not demanding dedicated seats on city commissions. I think that I explained to you that no tax-paying Davis neighborhood was guaranteed a seat on any commission.

  70. JustSaying

    [quote]” I don’t get annoyed with people too often unless they are attacking me, but that did annoy me enough that it stands out in my memory. That is when I explained to you that, many years ago, the city had wanted to annex El Macero but that El Macero didn’t want to pay city of Davis taxes. No representation without taxation. Good motto. I stand by it today.”[/quote]This attitude seems similar to feelings you express about dealing with the university on long-term planning issues, the current RDA hotel/conference center scheme, for example.

  71. Matt Williams

    Sue, your memory is partial on this, but that is understandable since it was a minor blip amongst a wealth of other much more major blips over your time on the Council.

    The conversation you cite regarding the HESC, which was well over a year after our initial conversation (that I referenced in my post above) was not demanding anything, but rather suggesting that much like the current WAC, where the water service area extends beyond the City limits and the Council chose to ensure that there were no portions of the service area where “taxation without representation” might happen. That conversation with you about the HESC happened as a result of my March 6, 2007 comments in the Public Comment portion of the Council meeting that evening. Here is what I said at Council

    [i]Good evening Mayor Greenwald and City Council Members, my name is Matt Williams. I have lived in Yolo County for the last nine years. I speak tonight in respectful support of the General Plan Update / Housing Element Steering Committee’s efforts to date.
    With that said, I believe the Steering Committee could be even more effective and representative if it were expanded to include five additional members. Specifically, representatives from each of the following:

    •UC Davis
    •The Associated Students of the University of California, Davis (ASUCD)
    •The Davis Joint Unified School District, and
    •Residents of the areas covered by the Pass-Through Agreement that are outside Davis’ city limits.

    If added to the Committee, those representatives would bring ideas, thoughts and positions, to the Housing Element Update process that will make it even more effective than it already is.

    I believe each of you have a personal connection to these suggested additions.

    •Mayor Greenwald meets with Chancellor Vanderhoef regularly in their 1×1’s
    •Council Member Heysteck works closely with ASUCD
    •Mayor ProTem Asmundson’s connection to the workings and issues of the School District benefit everyone in Davis
    •Council Member Saylor’s district is adjacent to the Northwest Quadrant of the Davis City Edge, and
    •Council Member Sousa’s adjacent to the Southeast Quadrant

    I urge you to act on these natural connections and each appoint one additional member to the Housing Element Committee. If you do I strongly believe the General Plan Update will be both more representative of our community as a whole and more effective in serving the interests of that community.

    If you have any questions regarding this request I will be glad to answer them. Thank you.[/i]

    Bottom-line, there was no demand at all, and definitely no demand for El Macero specifically. You chose a confrontation method of following up with me later that evening. Other Council members also said “no” to my idea, but they chose not to be confrontational, but rather share their thoughts about how the then-current trajectory of the HESC was far enough along as to make my suggestion a practical challenge. They were right . . . but it is important to point out that they took the time to listen, share their thoughts and be collaborative.

  72. Dr. Wu

    This blog is now stale so I am probably wasting my time but I do have a couple of comments:

    1. I thought the Vanguard had a policy against personal insults but apparently its ok to call Sue’s supporters “regressives” which is clearly pejorative. I strongly request that this term be abolished, though I hasten to add that if being for smart growth and fiscal responsibility is “regressive” sign me up as the ultimate regressive Indeed our founding fathers were also regressives I think.

    2. Sue’s detractors mostly focus on (perceived) style over substance. Lets stipulate right now that we have smoother slicker politicians on the City Council–and I personally like some of them. What we will lose if Sue is not re-elected is some one who will dig deep on important issues, and not just follow staff or the current fad. As has been pointed out above she has taken stands on many tough issues and later on turned out to be right–salaries, pensions, peripheral growth, water, etc. The ultimate test of a politician is whether they get the right things done–on that score Sue deserves very high marks. Those concerned with style over substance have many other choices.

    3. How about more talk about the issues–that is what this blog should be about.

  73. David M. Greenwald

    Dr. Wu:

    I agree we have a policy against personal insults, it’s always a tricky line when you get to political labels and public candidates for office.

    Second, I would prefer to keep this about the issues as well. I will note, I did not bring up the two year old issue. I did respond however when Sue responded to another poster on it with what I believe to be inaccurate accounts. Had she not said anything, this discussion never would have occurred.

    I do not intend to write on what happened two years ago unless it becomes a matter of public debate. Instead of telling people let’s talk about issues – it is generally better not to bring up the things you don’t want to talk about and instead discuss the things that you do.

    One of my interesting questions is what will this campaign be about? Personalities? Land use? Budget? Water? That’s a topic that interests me.

  74. Matt Williams

    Sue Greenwald said . . .

    [i]”I do recall being unusually put-off because you were advocating growth in someone else’s neighborhood rather than your own. You wanted to stop development near your El Macero neighborhood and suggested developing in some part of Davis instead. You can refresh my memory, but I think it was one of the peripheral West Davis proposed subdivision. I explained that the West Davis citizens would not like that.”[/i]

    For the record the message of the people who opposed the Vineyards at El Macero did not in any way say that development should happen in West Davis. That was a leap of assumption on your part as you will see below. To help refresh your memory, here is exactly what we said:

    [i]”I speak in respectful opposition to any development in the Southeast Quadrant. I respectfully ask that you support the unanimous decision of the Planning Commission, and also your Staff recommendation. This area actually continues to have tomatoes and corn and be very productive in terms of crops. If we are serious about preserving ag land, this is an area of development that we should be thinking about seriously. We would be taking productive ag land out of production if we allow development here.

    Looking at Davis and Woodland, both of them have traditionally aspired to be concentric communities. They have not desired to be strung-out communities whose spine is the freeway. [b]If we look at potential development of the Southeast Quadrant we are talking about development that would be at the most distant point from Davis’ center, the most distant point from Sutter Davis and medical care, the most distant point from the University, the most distant point from the Senior Center. It is out on the fringe. It makes no sense. It would be developing the very edge of a long linear town.[/b] The development of the area would also create near it some thing we are all concerned about, it would engender traffic, and a word we have used a little while ago … about creating a walkable community … this would in contrast create a drivable community.

    Developing the Southeast Quadrant would be contrary to ag preservation, and would not be a reasonable solution for either senior housing or university housing. So simply stated, I ask on behalf of many, many, many neighbors that each of you support the recommendation of the Commission and the recommendation of your Staff not to have development in this area.

    Thank you.”[/i]

  75. Matt Williams

    . . . and since the comments were limited to two minutes here is the rest of our message:

    [i]”Good afternoon, my name is Matt Williams and I go home each night to my home in the Davis “City Edge” southeast quadrant. Forty years ago today I had the pleasure of going home to my Freshman dormitory room at Cornell University. My roommate grew up on a working farm on Long Island, and at least a dozen of our hallmates were Ag students who were there to learn how to perpetuate the life they had learned from their farmer parents. Their passion for farming was contagious.

    Our rooms and the lounge of our hall in the dorm hosted many heated discussions about the difference between farming on Long Island (with its constant urbanization pressures) and farming in Upstate New York, where (like here in Yolo County) the local government worked with the farming community to ensure both its future and the economic contribution farming made to the local economy.

    Those late night conversations had both a happy ending and a sad ending. Most of those dorm mates are still farmers today, but the County government in my roommate’s part of Long Island was unable to resist the urbanization pressures they faced. He is no longer a farmer, and the farm he grew up on is now part of New York’s urban sprawl.

    Yolo County has been proactive in foreseeing and addressing urbanization pressures from both Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area. Yolo County’s Agricultural Conservation Policies are referenced as a model for the region, and Yolo County has applied those policies to preserve agricultural lands and discourage the premature conversion of farmland to urban uses. However, if Yolo County is to maintain its agricultural base, it will need to continue work diligently for farmland protection.
    The Planning Commission’s Preferred Land Use Alternative recommendation clearly takes the position that development of additional residential units in the Davis City Edge Southeast Quadrant would be a step away from farmland protection.

    As the prior speaker has said, what is important about the Southeast Quadrant? The soils in this quadrant are among the best in the county … all Class 1 and Class 2 with high Storie Index ratings. Great soils and a history of producing year after year on a rotating basis crops of tomatoes, corn, row vegetables, and/or sod gives the Southeast Quadrant a powerful connection with Yolo County’s strong commitment to agriculture.

    I thank you for setting this Plan Update process in motion and applaud the Planning Commission for their hard work, dedication, forethought and wisdom. I urge you to incorporate the Planning Commission’s recommendation for the Southeast Quadrant into the Plan Update. By doing so you will help preserve Yolo County’s Agricultural Heritage.”[/i]

  76. Matt Williams

    rusty49 said . . .

    [i]”Why should the city of Davis grant commission seats to El Macero if they don’t pay taxes to our city?”[/i]

    Rusty, see my comments to Council above.

  77. Matt Williams

    Rusty, as you can see from the comments to Council the request was not made for El macero representation, but rather for a number of constituencies that were/are directly affected by the City of Davis’ housing decisions.

  78. Matt Williams

    David M. Greenwald said . . .

    [i]”One of my interesting questions is what will this campaign be about? Personalities? Land use? Budget? Water? That’s a topic that interests me.”[/i]

    I agree David, and would add one more . . . Initiatives for further recovery from this Recession?

  79. Anon

    [quote]I do recall being unusually put-off because you were advocating growth in someone else’s neighborhood rather than your own. You wanted to stop development near your El Macero neighborhood and suggested developing in some part of Davis instead. Sue Greenwald[/quote]Interesting. Matt Williams, of course, was the champion of moving the impacts of the proposed Results Radio tower from El Macero to Northeast Davis … which the current City Council unanimously opposes. And now we have a statement on the record from a sitting elected official that he also pushed for the relocation of proposed growth impacts from El Macero to Northwest Davis. Moreover, he lobbied for a seat on the HESC so that he could apparently push this agenda. Wow.

    Sue: Could you please expand on the tax issue? I understand (and in general agree with) your no representation without taxation point. But this raises an important issue. Since the city provides services/infrastructure, are the residents of Davis in any way subsidizing El Macero? We should be recovering 100% of all costs. Is this the case?

  80. Mr.Toad

    Interesting that both David and Matt left out student/community relations as areas of concern. Of course if students participated more by voting they wouldn’t be treated so punitively with things like the noise ordinance and the open container ordinance (Sue voted for that one). I’ll tell you I look forward to seeing the younger candidates have a registration drive aimed at the students.

    To the students you should rise up and vote. I know that the Davis establishment has been effective at marginalizing your voting block by its failure to annex the campus and constant messages about how you should vote at your parents address but please don’t let that deter you from participating in the council elections if you live within city limits. I can promise you that if you register to vote and participate it will be less likely that your concerns will be ignored as they have been for so many years and as demonstrated by both David and Matt not even including you in their areas of concern.

    You now have the opportunity to help elect younger candidates two of whom went to Davis High and two who went to UC Davis. For years Davis politics have been dominated by retired professors or the wives of professors. This is your chance to elect a new generation of leadership that has a better understanding of what it is like to be you but to do so you must register and vote! Please I invite you to participate.

  81. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    [i]”Interesting. Matt Williams, of course, was the champion of moving the impacts of the proposed Results Radio tower from El Macero to Northeast Davis … which the current City Council unanimously opposes. [b]And now we have a statement on the record from a sitting elected official that he also pushed for the relocation of proposed growth impacts from El Macero to Northwest Davis. Moreover, he lobbied for a seat on the HESC so that he could apparently push this agenda. Wow.[/b]”[/i]

    . . . and you have a correction that neither of your bolded statements actually happened, with supporting documentation. There is video proof as well if you want it.

  82. Mr.Toad

    Of course it won’t for exactly the reasons I have laid out plus the demographics of who does vote in Davis where the voting population is as gray as the Florida Republican Primary. So it shouldn’t be a surprise if someone as old as Mitt Romney wins in Davis. Still the student vote is worth some outreach for two reasons. First if you invite them they may do what is in their own interest and participate. Second it might provide a candidate that can capture the young vote without alienating the old vote the margin of victory. It worked for Lamar!

  83. Don Shor

    Mr. Toad: stop criticizing people because of their age. If you agreed with them, you wouldn’t care what their age was. Your demographic criticisms about age and employment status of candidates are frankly a form of bigotry. And particularly strange since you post anonymously, so we have no basis for comparison. For all we know, you could be a 78-year-old husband of a retired professor, living in Willowbank, trolling for fun.

    [i]the Davis establishment has been effective at marginalizing your voting block by its failure to annex the campus and constant messages about how you should vote at your parents address [/i]
    1. It isn’t their choice. UCD has zero motivation to allow its property to be annexed.
    2. Who has been sending messages of any kind, much less “constant” about where students should vote?

  84. Mr.Toad

    Actually Don, UC Davis would like West Village to be annexed into the city because it would reduce their expenses. Call Gary Sandy and ask him yourself. It is up to the city, county, and university working through LAFCO to get it done. Together I refer to them as the Davis establishment. They have never had the motivation or political will to act together and get it done. The net result is the fragmentation and alienation of the student vote exemplified by low student participation, ordinances to control student behavior, dismissive patronizing of students when they come before the council, the need for a two by two committee to address student concerns instead of the direct constituent service that only participating in the electoral process brings, the failure of any student to be elected to the city council in a generation (Lamar had finished when he got elected) in an area full of students and the fact that Matt and David don’t even think student issues rate mentioning as a factor in the coming election.

    Davis has both a large senior population and a large student population, who is better represented? The group that votes.

    Why another commenter on this blog just recently on another thread wrote about how students should vote in their home districts. It is an argument that has appeared in places over many years and I honestly wish I had more examples for you.

  85. Mr.Toad

    An ex-student of mine, Sara, who after finishing high school attended UC Davis many years ago and I had a conversation where she argued that she agreed with the argument she had heard that students are only here for a short time and should vote in their home districts. So this debate has been around as long as students have had the option of voting here or at their parents.

    I remember telling her that when she voted here she was representing not only herself but all the students that will live here after her and that while her time here is short the student population will be here forever. I stand by that argument today and encourage all young people who are living in Davis to register to vote and participate. Stop letting your parents generation make your decisions for you.

    By the way, Sara’s mother passed away before she graduated and she sold her mother’s house, was recruited by Microsoft after graduating and never returned to the town where, somehow, she had been inculcated with the notion that she should choose to vote in.

  86. Anon

    Matt: Until you can produce a video of your conversation with Sue, I’m going to assume that she is telling the truth. Your public testimony doesn’t prove anything. In fact, it raises legitimate concerns about duplicity.

  87. Siegel

    “Until you can produce a video of your conversation with Sue, I’m going to assume that she is telling the truth. Your public testimony doesn’t prove anything.”

    And Sue wonders why David would post her confrontation with Ruth on youtube – you can see exactly why here.

  88. Anon

    Brian: You’ve just made my point for me. The video of the CC meeting did not accurately reflect what happened when the cameras were off.

    My point is that Sue tells a story of selling out another neighborhood to promote the interests of El Macero and I found the similarities to the Results Radio controversy to be noteworthy.

    I hope Sue will respond to my question about whether or not El Macero is being subsidized in any way by the rest of the city. My recollection is that hpierce touched on this issue in a post some months ago and was immediately slapped down. Since then I’ve wondered why this topic was out-of-bounds.

  89. Matt Williams

    Well said Brian . . . and Anon knows full well that personal conversations during Council’s break periods between agenda items in their meetings are not video taped, so her/his statement is rhetorical.

    For those who care here is a link to the minutes of the 3/7/2006 Council meeting and I will be getting a link to the video from Zoe Mirabile.

  90. Anon

    “and Anon knows full well that personal conversations during Council’s break periods between agenda items in their meetings are not video taped”

    As do you, Matt … so why mount the bizarre defense that the public comments somehow prove that Sue is misrepresenting your private conversation.

    You can try to dodge and misdirect all you want, but the facts are that Sue has made a credible allegation that is consistent with your behavior on other issues. Spending lots of time transcribing public comment won’t give you clean hands. The basic issue is that either you or Sue is lying. I’m going with Sue on this one.

  91. Matt Williams

    Anon, I don’t think Sue is lying, she is simply conflating separate conversations, and doing her best to remember an interaction more than four years ago. I [u]know[/u] I am not lying.

    With that said, you are more than welcome to draw any personal conclusion you want to. That is your prerogative. Nonetheless, it makes no logical sense to formally present a global logic to the Council on the public record, and then turn around minutes later and contradict that formally presented logic with what Sue thought I had done, specifically “lobbying (Sue) to let El Macero have a dedicated seat on, I think it was the housing steering committee.”

    Of course, since your mind is made up on anything to do with me, there is really no point in sharing anything logical with you. As I’ve said before, your connection to issues is very close to 100% emotional. That, of course, is your prerogative.

  92. Anon

    @Matt Williams:[quote]Do you remember what you said to me when I first approached you about land use issues outside the City Limits, but well within the Pass Through Agreement area?[/quote]@Sue Greenwald:[quote]I do recall being unusually put-off because you were advocating growth in someone else’s neighborhood rather than your own. You wanted to stop development near your El Macero neighborhood and suggested developing in some part of Davis instead.[/quote]There were only two “witnesses” to this conversation, and they disagree about what was said. My point is that Sue’s characterization is disturbingly reminiscent of his position on the Results Radio tower … dump it on another neighborhood as long as El Macero isn’t impacted.

    Since Matt (as a non-resident) has decided to weigh in on the City Council race, I think the evidence that he is willing to pursue agendas that help El Macero and hurt the City Of Davis is relevant.

  93. Matt Williams

    Time will tell whether there is any quantifiable hurt to the City of Davis on the Results Radio decision. We already know there is absolutely no hurt of any kind associated with the Vineyards at El macero decision.

  94. Mark West

    Sue:

    I am happy to hear that you enjoyed yourself at the winery. We had a great musician playing the night you came in and I was very happy to enjoy the performance.

    My comment was not intended to disparage you as a person, it was instead a comment on my opinion of you as a ‘representative.’ In my interactions with you what I have found is that you are a very poor listener. You state your position, and when you hear something that does not conform to your view, you state your opinion again, repetitively. You demonstrated this trait clearly here on this blog a month or so ago when you said (and I am paraphrasing) that everyone you speak with agrees with your view of the downtown. The only way that you can make that statement is if you ‘don’t hear’ the opinions of those who do not agree with you. In short, my interactions with you have not been conversations, they have been lectures.

    I put a great deal of value in my interactions with those who disagree with me, as those relationships challenge my thinking and push me to learn. I get a great deal of satisfaction conversing with Jeff Boone and Don Shor on this site for example for the simple reason that they both respectfully disagree while at the same time acknowledge and discuss the valid points made by those with opposing views. My impression of you is that you only hear your own voice, which by definition means that you can only ‘represent’ yourself. There are others in town who happen to agree with you, but by my understanding of the word, you do not represent them, they simply agree with your predetermined opinion. I respect your intelligence, and your commitment to your position on the City Council, but I do not believe that you are a good representative of the citizens of Davis for the simple reason that representatives know how to listen.

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