First of all, I want to start with an apology to both Anthony Farrington and Matt Pope – this site, being that it is the Davis Vanguard is a bit Davis-centric. However, the public should make no mistake here, both Anthony Farrington, a Lake County supervisor, and Matt Pope, a staffer for Noreen Evans who is backed by the State Senator, are very formidable candidates.
I got a lot of correspondence on this topic this weekend as one might imagine. The overwhelming sentiment was agreement with my Saturday column, that a Dan Wolk – Joe Krovoza showdown will not be in the best interests of Davis.
There is strong support for the idea that the two men should meet, come to an agreement, and attempt to avoid this showdown.
A few of our readers took issue with the notion of a closed door deal that hearkens back to days of yore.
Writes Bob Dunning in this column: “Some folks are lamenting the fact that two sitting councilmen will now be spending the next year delivering body blows to each other rather than concentrating on pressing city business, but there are some folks who are licking their chops over just such a prospect.”
He later adds, “Better to let the voters have the pick of the litter than to have the job done for us behind closed doors. Let ’em duke it out in public for all the world to see. The more candidates the better.
“If it slows down city business for the next year or so, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, given the track record of this council so far.”
Mr. Dunning must be still steamed about the water issue, because the track record of this council so far has been quite exemplary.
If the only thing that mattered was the decision between two candidates for the office of Assembly, then this is correct, the voters should decide. But that ignores the impact on the Davis City Council itself, at a time when the stakes are extremely high and at a moment where we seem to be just getting things right.
I take exception to Mr. Dunning’s comment in part because other than water, I am not sure that he has covered the most serious of issues facing this community.
I have not seen a column on the $444 million hole we potentially face on roads, the $6 million structural deficit we face in the coming years, the impending impasse that we face with two of our city’s bargaining units, the infrastructure upgrades needed on parks, water, and other critical infrastructure, and now the investment we have made into economic development.
You think this doesn’t matter? The city of Davis is still facing a rather perilous crisis that if not handled properly could force us into huge losses of services if not bankruptcy.
There are those who suggest that Dan Wolk and Joe Krovoza are big boys and they are not going to allow their fight bleed onto the council dais.
“Joe and I both have the interests of the city at heart, and I know we will continue to work well together along with our council colleagues,” Dan Wolk told the Davis Enterprise.
There is no doubt that Dan Wolk means what he said, but he is not counting on other factors here.
Consider for a second Rich Rifkin’s column from May 8.
Now back on March 13 he wrote, “it is clear, when listening to (City Council members) Dan Wolk and Lucas Frerichs, both ambitious young Democrats, that they are willing to bend over backwards to not come across as anti-union. They know that label could imperil their futures in higher office.”
Mr. Rifkin continues, “Dan and Lucas understand that it’s next to impossible to climb the political ladder in their party if they stood up to the firefighters.
“No one knows the power of the firefighters better than Dan’s mother, Sen. Lois Wolk. After she once voted against them in the state Senate, the firefighters stripped her committee assignments to punish her.”
Now back on April 30 at the Davis City Council meeting, Dan Wolk argued that the fire staffing issue was “mainly about budgetary savings.” He said, ” We are in a new financial era and the old way of doing things is no longer tenable.”
He ultimately argued that the correct way to proceed here was through the MOU process.
But now comes the real dilemma. You have the firefighters who are holding out at a tremendous cost to the city’s budget, you have a looming vote on imposing impasse, and you have a group that it would at least appear that Dan Wolk is cultivating to be his foot soldiers in his battle for the Assembly.
So is Dan Wolk going to turn on his foot soldiers and vote to impose impasse? Or will politics get in the way of this?
In a tough battle, what will win out – the good of the Davis community or the good of the candidate?
From the perspective of this city, which Bob Dunning seems to lack any appreciation of the major issues facing the city, since all he mentioned was water and fluoridation, this is not a good thing.
The other point to make is an electoral point. The 4th AD is a Democratic seat for sure, at 46.7 Democratic registration to 27% Republican and 20.9% DTS, I’m not sure you would call it a safe Democratic seat as some have implied.
Jerry Brown got 57% of the vote in 2010, Barack Obama got nearly 65% of the vote. But Attorney General Kamala Harris got 47% of the vote (her opponent got 37%).
What does all of this mean? One scenario is that the top two vote getters could be Democrats, but if a strong Republican entered, in a four person race, there is a good chance the Republican could finish second (even possible first depending on the split).
From the standpoint of Davis, having a Davis representative is an advantage, especially as the city seeks to become a player on the regional area in economic development. Having Dan Wolk run against Joe Krovoza has the potential to split the vote.
Davis and Yolo County are not the largest parts of this district to begin with. Having the two strong Davis candidates on the ballot makes it less likely that one of them will end up in the general election.
There may be people who like that, there may be people who do not care, but from the standpoint of Davis, that is not in the best interest.
So it is easy to say, the more people the better and may the best candidate win out. I get that feeling and if the only thing at stake here were determining the best person to represent the 4th AD, I would be all for it. But in terms of the best interests of this community, I think we are better served by avoiding this battle.
—David M. Greenwald reporting