Measure I Forum – (VIDEO)

Sacramento-River-stockThe People’s Vanguard of Davis and Davis Media Access sponsored a roundtable community forum on “Measure I,” also know as the Surface Water Project. DMA recorded the forum Sat., Feb. 2 from 1-3 p.m, in Community Chambers. Voters will have the opportunity to vote on Measure I in an all-mail only Special Election, March 5, 2013.Both proponents and opponents of Measure I were invited to participate. Each side was given the opportunity to have three people on the panel. Two of the three were considered advocates or supporters of either “No on I” or “Yes on I” and the third person was considered a technical expert on a critical aspect of the project including hydrology, financing and water policy.

The proponents representing Yes on Measure I include Joe Krovoza and Alan Pryor.

Opponents representing No on Measure I include former city councilmember Sue GreenwaldThe technical experts who will be present include: Professor Graham Fogg for hydrology, Rob Roscoe for finance and Walt Sadler for water policy.

• Graham Fogg, PhD, is a Professor of Hydrogeology and Hydrogeologist at UC Davis with specific expertise in groundwater contaminant transport; groundwater basin characterization and management; long-term sustainability of regional groundwater quality; vulnerability of aquifers to non-point-source groundwater contaminants.

• Walt Sadler, PE, has Over 40 years of experience both as a consultant and staff for Municipal Agencies; Past Chair of the Sacramento Groundwater Authority (SGA); Involved in the design, construction, and management of numerous water supply projects including aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) wells, water supply wells, water treatment facilities, pump stations and distribution facilities throughout the Central Valley..

Watch the Video here:

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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  1. Michael Harrington

    Love that list of endorsements for Yes on I that Alan Pryor read: nearly all of them were NO on Measure J in 2000; YES on Measure X for Covell Village in 2005; and now YES on the biggest and most expensive public works project in the history of Davis that is nearly 100% geared to over-producing water for new sprawling urban development in Woodland and Davis and Eastern Yolo County. If you voted against Covell Village, vote NO to Measure I.

  2. Frankly

    Mike, I just don’t see it. You are conflating infrastructure investment and sprawl. Not only is there no absolute connection… you have measure J and a rabid group of no-growth advocates to fight sprawl.

    You say you are a liberal. Well then, you need to get behind the environmental benefits and the long-term budget reliability. I know you don’t want any future risks to education funding measures… what new spending and costs will be assiated with trying to keep our well system working within all state and federal statutes?

    You are also also a business man and should recognize the higher value of surface water. It saves plumbing and appliances. It tastes better from the tap; eliminating the need to purchase bottled water. The higher cost will encourage greater conservation. The ONLY downside you can factually and honestly cite is the rate increase; but high quality water is a precious and relatively rare resource throughout much of the world… it should have a cost commensurate with its rarity. Your property values will be protected, if not enhanced, by the supply of clean, safe, tasty and soft water.

    Come on Mike! I admire that expensive luxury car you drive… so I know you are willing to pay more for a higher-end product!

  3. Don Shor

    Dear Mark Siegler (107 mark):
    “So it’s a question about, you know, race to the bottom in terms of water usage … When I teach introductory economics we talk about positive externalities. People who water the treescapes, people who keep their lawns nice, have a benefit for this entire community. There’s going to be incentive for Don Shor to use all this water-resistant stuff and, heck, just pull out your lawns and put down stones or gravel or whatever and just take it out by the shovelful…you really have to think about these things.”

    Um, huh?

  4. Robb Davis

    Mr Siegler’s (and I think Sue’s) comments about a “race to the bottom” in terms of conservation were odd. Their point was that if everyone conserves that costs will go up and that the benefit an [b]individual[/b] might gain will be lost when “everyone” joins in (the race to the bottom). I say it is “odd” because the projections made for the current project include global conservation gains of over 20%. So if we achieve 22% (or even slightly more I think) global conservation then costs will not go up.

    [b]Please someone, tell me if I am wrong about this.[/b]

    Can we even hope to achieve global conservation of >20%? I am not sure but that amount of savings is not going to “turn Davis brown” with everyone having to replace their lawns with “gravel”. I encourage everyone to take an early morning walk through your neighborhood and observe the amount of water from lawns running into drains or check out the sogginess of the soil in some parts of our greenbelts. I cannot quantify this waste but it would suggest that some significant reductions in use are possible without any loss of green.

  5. Ryan Kelly

    I’ve watched 1/2 of the video. I didn’t appreciate the No on I’ s Palinistic approach to questions – not answering the question asked and giving an answer to a question they wished they were asked, chiming in with answers during expert input, repeating false accusations over and over, experts giving information sprinkled with complaints about the WAC. Sue claims to have experts who are opposed to the project, or at least have serious worries about it, but we are asked to believe that they are afraid to come forward and chose Sue as the only person they speak to.

    Who in the community is opposing the project is still unclear. We could piece together a list from the donors list and Mike Harrington posted list, but that’s about all. Per studies about voter behavior, politics is personal and how your neighbors are going to vote has a lot of influence. So far we have an extensive list of elected representatives, business people, and community members supporting the project.

    David, Thank you for making this available on viewing on an iPad. Can you tell the City how you did it?

  6. Robb Davis

    Ryan said: [quote]Sue claims to have experts who are opposed to the project, or at least have serious worries about it, but we are asked to believe that they are afraid to come forward and chose Sue as the only person they speak to. [/quote]

    Sue’s contention is quite troubling to me. There can be no answer or dispute with her on this because she possesses all the information about these detractors. There is no way to verify who they are or how many there are.

    However, to be fair, I think we MUST bring these voices into the discussion and fully understand their concerns. So, here is what I would propose: Sue can invite the experts who oppose the project to a site of her choosing. They can come one at a time so as not to compromise their identities to each other. David Greenwald can get a phone connection with them, ask them about their qualifications, and then hear their concerns and then write an article about them. I know for a fact that certain members of the “No on I” have no trust in David and that is why I suggest a phone call. I would encourage Sue to set this up as soon as possible. David, are you willing?

  7. SODA

    Yes, Robb one of the most distressing points in Saturday’s forum was Sue’s contention that water experts are afraid of telling the truth because they would harm their job/consulting offers. In a University town?? I would hope this is NOT the case…apart from Sue’s contention they all call her, the thought that folks do not feel they can honestly give their expertise was most distressing. Doubt that we can ever prove it…..but hope not true.

  8. Robb Davis

    True SODA – I am serious about my suggestion of a way to bring them into the discussion and agree with you that in a University town this is very troubling (actually it is troubling anywhere).

  9. JustSaying

    What a great public service, David. The fact that I think I finally am starting to understand the issues and the relative merits of the “yes” and “no” sides is a little scary considering the obvious complexities.

    The excellent questions from both sides and the audience elicited enlightening answers, including those from the “experts.”

    The vacuousness of Sue’s repetitive answers (“you’re a liar, they’re liars,” the old secret sources gambit, failure to even try to answer questions such as “no” endorsers/supporters) probably didn’t help the “no” side. But, it was consistent with the way Michael Harrington has been running the campaign.

    I’m left with two “no” issues that weren’t answered satisfactorily for me:

    1. Why would [u]any[/u] report considered by the WAC be “not allowed to go forward….pulled from its web site.” Who “censored” the Brown-Caldwell report and why?

    2. What would be wrong with basing rates on 12-month water use rather than just summer use? Wouldn’t that deal with the “peak flow” question as well as eliminate the unfair-to-homeowner argument?

    I’ve gained new respect for our mayor–his demeanor, command of facts, ability to explain/justify city actions and to consider opinions bode well for the future management of our city.

    The back and forth on the supposed West Sac alternative, most critical to the “no” side, was especially disconcerting. Faced with the mayor’s history review and a new letter from the West Sac government, Sue charges insincerity and emotionally-invested bias on his part. Her proof, yet more Deep Throat sources from within our neighbor’s city hall. I’m drawn to compare the cuteness of our daughter’s attraction to her secret friend with the unsatisfactory impression when it comes from a local politician.

    The [i]Vanguard[/i] debate made clear that the “no” side’s arguments have been thoroughly considered over the years before they were disregarded as second-best or unworkable prospects. Your observation that Harrington’s lawsuit timing was a master political stroke also was verified by the effort to conflate the measure and the need to accommodate the 2010 ruling.

    I guess there’s a new one on the table that hasn’t yet been given serious consideration; Sue’s preferred alternative of encouraging all our neighbors to build in excess capacity so Davis can shop around for a cheap source without participating in or paying for a regional project ourselves.

    So, the “yes” supporters still need to get out adequate answers while the opposition revealed itself primarily as a name-calling movement that doesn’t intend to offer answers to citizens’ questions.

    Again, David, great idea to hold this. The format was effective although the expert participation could have been increased and five-minute opening and closing remarks might have added something since each side had to deal with two people who enjoy talking. Excellent job as moderator and the best-dressed person in the house.

  10. roger bockrath

    I heard david say that our written questions from the roundtable would be aired on the vanguard. When can we expect that to happen?
    Great forum David. Thank you!

  11. DT Businessman

    David, is there any chance you can arrange a similar debate with Dunning? I’d love to hear him defend his position, I’m still not clear what it is, in a give-and-take.

    -Michael Bisch

  12. dlemongello

    Commenting on a few posts above:
    1. Yes, anticipated 20% conservation is built into the proposed rates. Certainly some people could easily conserve that much or more due to bad habits, but I doubt they will.
    2. I believe Don Shor is ethical enough to not be promoting the project for his own gain. He has a lot to offer though as far as helping people make very advisable changes in their water use and landscaping habits.
    3. I too think the experts should have had a little more time if they needed it, the purpose was to get the info, but really good job David overall, don’t mean to be too picky.

  13. Matt Williams

    JustSaying said . . .

    [i]”I’m left with two “no” issues that weren’t answered satisfactorily for me:

    1. Why would any report considered by the WAC be “not allowed to go forward….pulled from its web site.” Who “censored” the Brown-Caldwell report and why?”[/i]

    Just Saying, here is an e-mail I sent to Walt Sadler on Sunday.

    [quote]On Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 1:59 AM, Matthews Williams wrote:
    Walt, on Saturday you stated “One of the studies that was done that the WAC would not allow to come forward, showed that if we operated our wells appropriately we can meet the selenium requirement.” That statement was incorrect. Dianna came forward with that information formally and officially in the e-mail attached below. You may want to enter a post in the Vanguard Forum Video thread correcting your statement, which comes at the 40:00 point in the video.


    Walt’s response to me was:

    [quote]From: Walter Sadler
    To: Matthews Williams
    Sent: Monday, February 4, 2013 8:58 AM
    Subject: Re: Fw: Additional Documents

    My statement was with regard to fact that we never had a presentation on the TM or its implications on the urgent need for the project. Just for the record Matt, I’m not going to spend my time responding to your comments.


    Bottom-line, after listening to Walt’s discussion of the report in a WAC meeting, and then reading the report itself once it was e-mailed to each member of the committee, the WAC decided not to include a formal presentation on the long range calendar, but rather to vote on Mark Siegler’s motion to remove the groundwater-only option from further consideration. Mark’s motion was seconded by Steve Boschken. The motion passed unanimously. Walt was an alternate that night so he wasn’t eligible to vote. Mark Siergler, Bill Kopper and Frank Loge crafted the motion that Mark made.

    As Paul Harvey would say, [i]”. . . and now you know . . . The Rest of The Story.” [/i]

  14. Matt Williams

    JustSaying said . . .

    [i]”I’m left with two “no” issues that weren’t answered satisfactorily for me:

    2. What would be wrong with basing rates on 12-month water use rather than just summer use? Wouldn’t that deal with the “peak flow” question as well as eliminate the unfair-to-homeowner argument?”[/i]

    Just Saying, the simplest answer to that question is that there are significant “bricks and mortar costs” associated with building a water supply system, and those costs are very specifically incurred in order to meet summer peak demand, which is almost double the average annual demand. If the engineers designed the water supply system to only meet the average annual demand, then in the summer (when irrigation systems are pumping out water all across the city between 4:00 am and 8:00 am), if you stepped into the shower and tried to turn on the water, you would be standing there, but no water would be coming out because the demand would be approximately four times the amount of supply. So engineers design more “bricks” into the system to make sure we can all take our morning showers and irrigate our plants at the same time. Metaphorically, after the engineers have decided how many bricks the system needs in total and makes a pile of them, each customer walks up to the pile and takes as many bricks as he/she thinks are needed to both water outside and shower inside on a hot summer day.

    Now, with each of us holding our personal supply of bricks, we have to decide how best to pay for those bricks. Our great grandparents more than likely would have paid for their bricks and mortar with a one-time cash payment. But times have changed, and our generation typically takes out a mortgage to pay for bricks and mortar. So, the Supply Charge is in effect the monthly mortgage payments for the amount of bricks that we each decided we needed in order to avoid standing in the shower in the morning in the summer waiting for water to come out of the shower head.

    Bottom-line, paying for the bricks and mortar the same way we decide how much bricks and mortar we need is both fair and proportional.

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