New Council Met the Public Monday Evening

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It was termed the next generation of leadership in Davis, a young council, certainly the youngest in recent years, with Joe Krovoza and Brett Lee the eldest at 49 and 46 years of age respectively.  Dan Wolk, the newly-elected Mayor Pro Tem and Lucas Frerichs are in their thirties,and  Rochelle Swanson, as they said, is in the middle.

“I don’t know if we’re the youngest council ever,” Mayor Joe Krovoza quipped.  “But we have two in their early thirties, two in their forties, and Rochelle’s in-between.”

On Monday they were introduced to the public at the John Natsoulas Art Gallery in Downtown Davis at an event sponsored by the DDBA and the ChamberPAC.

It was largely a lighthearted moment for each of the councilmembers, including the newly-elected ones, to speak for a couple of minutes to the audience.

Mayor Joe Krovoza said he was relieved the campaign was over, welcomed the newbies and then proceeded to roast Dan Wolk, calling him a “semi-newbie” as he was elected for the first time.

“It really is a great swagger that goes with being elected, you know now that the community’s behind you in such a huge way.”

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The mayor also promised that the meetings would be shorter – “we’ll make speed dating look slow.”

Mayor Krovoza also thanked Mayor Pro Tem Rochelle Swanson for her service as Mayor Pro Tem.  She filled the appointed role that will soon be filled by Dan Wolk.

“Rochelle has carried the portfolio of economic development for our council over the last year and a half, I know that that will continue, I’m grateful that that will continue,” he said.

Mayor Pro Tem Swanson took time to thank city staff for being at this event.

Nats-4“We can make policy but it doesn’t go anywhere if we don’t have people who can help us get it out there,” she said.

She also thanked  Mayor Joe Krovoza, who she said was completely behind the economic development movement.

But this event was really about the new candidates getting to introduce themselves to the business community and the broader Davis community.

“This is a new generation of leadership guys,” Mayor Pro Tem-Elect Dan Wolk said.

He said there would be plenty of time to talk about the challenges of economic development, though he noted, “As I look around this room there is no doubt we can come together and address those challenges.”

Rochelle Swanson cut in to say, “Thank you Dan for proving that we were right for appointing you.  All of the citizens pretty much ratified our choice.”

Lucas Frerichs in his first public speech as councilmember-elect said, “It’s been quite an eventful past couple of months.  I’m very glad that the campaign is over.”

“I very much look forward to the work ahead,” he said.  “There are certainly many challenges facing this community, but I very much appreciate the support from this community.”2012_VCW_Fundraising_webad

“I’m so excited to work with this bunch of people,” he added.  “It really is a brand new day for this community.”

Chamber Executive Director Kemble Pope said, “During the course of this campaign, a lot of us got to know Brett Lee for the very first time.  During the course of these few months, I have to say, I’m more impressed with him every time that I hear him.  I’m so happy to have a fresh perspective on dais and someone who understands business as well as a business person and has a lot of great ideas about how to create efficiency in our city organizations and the way we do things in this city.”

Brett Lee thanked those who supported him and those who did not support him “but are here to support the council.”

“I think one of the things that you’ll see is that we will work together as a team,” he said.  “I really think there’s a strong sense among the council-elect and also the existing council people, there’s a very strong sense that we have some very large things to tackle in the coming months and we do plan to work together.”

He offered to the business community “a willing partner to work with you and not work against you.”

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And that sums up the evening.  There was a sense of relief, a sense of renewed hope, but also a very real sense that we have serious challenges ahead.  The council tonight is going to have a very long meeting and is needing to address a number of these issues.

The business community has been pushing strongly for economic development.

So for one evening everyone paused and recognized the beginning of a new chapter and the work that will have to be performed in the coming weeks and months.

—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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7 Comments

  1. medwoman

    Could not help but notice that although the new council mey be young with fresh new ideas, with the exception of Rochelle, they are quite frankly, sartorially speaking, exceptionally boring. Could their choice if all blue shirts represent a new “Gang of Four”? We will be watching !

  2. Rifkin

    [i]”I don’t know if we’re the youngest council ever,” Mayor Joe Krovoza quipped. “But we have two in their early thirties, two in their forties, and Rochelle’s in-between.”[/i]

    I would guess* that the 1972-74 quintet of Maynard Skinner (46), Bob Black (24), Dick Holdstock (37), Joan Poulos (35) and Richard Weinstock (27) was the youngest Davis City Council. Total age = 169; Avg = 33.8

    Joe Krovoza (49), Brett Lee (46), Rochelle Swanson (42), Dan Wolk (34) and Lucas Frerichs (32) are a combined 203 years old. Average = 40.6 years.

    *I don’t know how old the Councils were in the late 1910s up to 1930. But I think most of them in the first 13 years of incorporated Davis had at least one person at least 55 years old. From 1928-1947, every Council included Mayor Calvin Covell, who was 42 in 1917 when he first served. So he was 53-72 in his mayoral years, and thus it is likely that none of those groups was as young as the 1972 Council. After WW2, most members (I think) were in their 40s or 50s.

  3. Adam Smith

    I attended last night and have a couple of observations:

    1. Look at the crowd – nice mixture of city staff, political types and a cross section of business folks from Davis. Pretty big group for a Monday afternoon, with no real draw other than to “meet and greet” the city council members.

    2. The optimism in the room was palpable. All acknowledged that tough decisions and compromises, but to a person that I spoke with or heard about, everyone was optimistic and energetic. To use a sports analogy, every manager knows that the composition of the team is important, and teams with significant negative influences can cause big problems with the team’s performance. Congratulations to Davis voters for understanding that, and putting a new team on the field.

  4. Adam Smith

    Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention, as a sign of the excitement and enthusiasm for the new direction the Chamber is taking. I heard that there were 48 new members of the Chamber of Commerce since the ChamberPAC was formed. I don’t know how many members the Chamber has, but 48 new memberships in the last couple of months seems like a pretty big increase. I guess more than a few folks feel like this is the right direction.

  5. JustSaying

    [quote]“I heard that there were 48 new members of the Chamber of Commerce since the ChamberPAC was formed.”[/quote]But, remember, it doesn’t count unless they all are small retailers.

    Interesting that Joe made the comment, and he’s the principle individual dragging up the age average. He should stick with the “age equals wisdom” observations instead of the youth emphasis.

    It is nice to see our council saying nice things about each other. How long can they keep this up?

  6. E Roberts Musser

    I was sorry to have missed this event. I am so glad to hear it foreshadows a more collaborative approach and new hope that the CC will truly grapple with all the difficult problems our city faces. It will take just about everything each CC member has got to “get ‘er done”!

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