Scarcity vs. Abundance

Share:

Open_Spaceby Rob White

Since arriving in Davis, I am often asked about my plans… what will be the focus of my job… what do I want to accomplish.

I’ve been thinking long and hard about those questions each and every day. And I have been approaching the questions within a framework that is based on the concept of abundance. The idea that we can all have some (or maybe even most) of what we want in life.  The idea that if we stop thinking about how to increase just our slice of pie, but instead work together by bringing each of our talents to the table and having a civil and honest dialogue, we can build a pie factory and each of us can have many choices of pie.  Because we are working together as a community. Because we are all covering each other’s shortcomings and working to amplify our best abilities.

I don’t see this as eternal optimism (though some tell me this).  I think of it as a way of trying to find the best in people before I look for the worst.  I choose to live life hoping that we can all achieve a more perfect union while respecting each other’s rights and using civil discourse to debate and (more importantly) understand each other’s views.

What happened at Council on Tuesday night was clunky and a textbook example of how none of us wants to engage in dialogue.  It’s also an example of trying to present the Council with evolving choices so that they can make decisions for all of the community’s competing needs. It wasn’t elegant, but timing of the situation really didn’t allow for elegant.

Though some call the idea of a land swap a plot, or that staff were trying “hide the ball”, it was instead an evolving idea that was presented to city staff after other options (the NRCS grant) had been put in place. From some viewpoints, that is a worthwhile concept. And the NRCS grant rules actually even contemplate such changes and allows for a swap in the first 12 months of being designated a recipient.

In February (before I was even approached about coming to Davis), staff worked with the Yolo Land Trust to explore these options with the local NRCS reps and found that the timing for a swap had run out.  When I arrived at the end of March, I was tasked with asking my federal contacts if there was a way to make a swap that wasn’t listed in the grant… i.e. were there options that could be presented to the community and the Council other than just foregoing the grant. And if you have ever worked with the federal government, words like clunky and slow can definitely come to mind. In mid-May, staff were informed by the local and federal reps that there were not any other choices than to accept or reject the grant.

So staff tried mightily in just a few short weeks to get a proposed deal structure in place so that the commissions and council could review it and have time to really consider it. The potential to gain a piece of land that many in the conservation community have targeted as an opportunity (Shriners) in swap for a piece of land that would require a Measure J/R vote (the lower portion of the Mace Curve properties) (and subject to the will of the people) seemed to be an appropriate policy objective.

It should be noted that all levels of city staff were engaged when the concept of possibly swapping a freeway parcel for a parcel that locks part of the northern boundary was brought forward. Though there seems to be some misgivings about how internal operations are conducted at City Hall, this topic was vetted with all parts of the staff that are part of this topic, including planning, sustainability, and economic development.

Also, the State of California has instituted laws that constrain actions at the local level, and in this case it was land planning laws.  Most specifically, CEQA. And CEQA causes us to not bring forth half-done ideas or partial proposals because we can inadvertently set land use policy. That means the staff can’t create forums for debate of someone’s proposal in public until we meet certain criteria and standards.  Which we couldn’t meet in such a tight timeframe. So we made a decision to take the option to Council to pause and consider the options by rejecting the grant.

The first staff report simply asked the Council for more time so staff could create the process and forum to debate these options. Too simply, we can agree now in hindsight. Yes, this offer to swap was bad timing and the policy for the Mace Curve land was already set through the NRCS grant partnership. But haven’t we all been presented with options that may have merit once we have already made a choice? Like buying a car and then realizing that someone has a better car for less… that’s why some dealers now have return periods (like Carmax).

So to answer community questions as best we could without wandering into legal issues with CEQA, we brought forth a second staff report in very short order that was fully vetted by legal council.  And legal processes can make things intentionally vague so we do not accidently trigger other issues. We tried our best to answer the reason why we were asking the Council to hit the pause button. And the policy question to Council still remained the same… do we want to pause to consider other options (even at the last minute) or are we fine with the current option.  That question has now been answered and staff are actively working to fulfill the Council wishes.  It is not our job as staff to make these choices, but instead to present options and then do the work.

None of us can disagree that the Council has to balance competing needs and policies across all aspects of the community.  Conservation, agriculture, sustainability, business, community services, etc. And it is unfair of staff to receive information about a potential opportunity (for what some may view as a better concept) and not try to vet this to some degree with the community and Council. It is the job of staff to try and give our community and Council as much opportunity and flexibility whenever possible, especially when determining impacts that will carry far into the future.

I hope that as we all do post-mortem on this topic of the land swap at Mace Curve and Shriners, we can get to a place that the community realizes that staff (and there were a fair amount involved in this process, including those involved in sustainability) wanted nothing more than to give the community and the Council the option to make choices. It’s not the job of staff to make policy, though I think that actions can sometimes be misread and incorrect conclusions drawn.

So let me answer the earlier questions in context to the process that has unfolded over the last week (at least to the degree I can).

I want to listen.  I want to hear from all aspects of the community.  Some moved to Davis and love it just as it is (or even was).  Some are looking for more.

The Council is struggling to balance competing community needs with the need for revenue (I invite you to all come out and hear the budget discussions on June 25th).  We have infrastructure upgrades that are badly needed and very little way to pay for them (and this has nothing to do with growth, but just sustaining what we have). We have a growing university that plans to robustly add more students and staff over the coming years. That means more impact on downtown, on parks, on bike paths. And we have a growing business community that is looking to stay in Davis and grow their businesses because they live here and want to work close to home. And of course, we have sustainability and conservation, community core and treasured values.  (By the way, re-read my post from May 8th if you don’t think economic development and sustainability can complement each other. Here again is a link to the study done by Collaborative Economics in September 2008, titled “The Innovation Driven Economic Development Model” (http://www.bayareaeconomy.org/media/files/pdf/InnovationDrivenEconomicDevelopmentModel-final.pdf)

Though I have been accused of having an agenda, I do not.  And to think that I have somehow enticed City staff to implement that hidden agenda is an amazing feat, especially considering I have only been here for less than 3 months. I think if we look under the covers, we will see that there is a pent up dialogue starting to unfold about economic development in the City of Davis. We heard it at Council on Tuesday. A demand that takes advantage of our partnerships with research institutions like UC Davis, federal labs, and other regional and national universities. Some accuse me of going too fast… but I am not leading, just following. And in each and every new person I meet, I ask the simple question of “what do you want Davis to be like?” I suggest we all try that for a while and start to learn what our community looks like from all voices and views.

As always, thanks for listening.  I hope that we can all sit quietly and consider what we bring to the idea of abundance.  Can we bring our best skills forward to make a better community and help our fellow community member by covering their shortcomings?  I certainly hope so. I will choose to believe this idea, even in the midst of divisive comments and unwarranted accusations. I am convinced there is a better Davis, one that meets most people’s needs and is the hallmark of unity and community pride. Like the Davis I saw at the Celebrate Davis event, or the one I see at the Farmer’s Market, or the one I see when attending an awards ceremony for local entrepreneurs.

Thoughts on this subject?  Please let me know. My email is rwhite@cityofdavis.org. And you if you want to be involved in the heavy lifting, plan to attend the DSIDE meeting today at the Davis Chamber offices on 3rd Street on June 13th at 8:30 am.
Share:

About The Author

Related posts

59 thoughts on “Scarcity vs. Abundance”

  1. davisite4

    [quote]So staff tried mightily in just a few short weeks to get a proposed deal structure in place so that the commissions and council could review it and have time to really consider it. [/quote]

    And yet, there was no mention of the proposed deal at the Open Space and Habitat Commission meeting, held just one week before the council meeting.

  2. SouthofDavis

    Rob wrote:

    > I have been accused of having an agenda, I do not.

    The word “agenda” is loaded, but if you are like most people you have “reasons” for (almost) every decision you make, and if you are like most people you only share some of the reasons with others.

    Often a person’s “public” reason (say protecting open space) is different from their “private” reasons (protecting a view, protecting a business from competition, protecting the value of another parcel that you own and hope to developed, protecting the lack of traffic in an area, protecting an employers’ business, protecting a major campaign contributor, etc.)

    P.S. Thanks for the well thought out post…

  3. Davis Progressive

    rob: i want to thank you for posting this thought out piece and engaging us in discussion. i am concerned that there is a disconnect between where staff is, council is, and the community is on this issue. the reason discussion was needed well before tuesday was that the community is largely committed to protecting ag/ open space and avoiding peripheral development. that’s not going to change overnight. it’s going to take a lot i think to change it.

  4. Michael Harrington

    Rob, when we met, you asked about development of certain sites around town. I told you that anything outside of the Mace Curve was dead before arrival. You just got an earful the other night, as expected.

    I think the Cannery is the best site for new business/commercial dense site.

    If hemmed in by 3 to 1 acre, fee simple to the city, on-site, outboard mitigation, the area around the Sutter Hospital complex might be worth looking at. But that new pocket of development would have to be completely surrounded by ag/habitat/open space, with a ban on any easements through the mitigation land for future utilities. The owners of the NW Quad land outside of that new development area would know that never in a million years would a second new development go in.

    Like I said, it’s all about the quality, quantity, and location of the mitigation land.

  5. Jim Frame

    [quote] I told you that anything outside of the Mace Curve was dead before arrival.[/quote]

    Mace is a psychological barrier for many (myself included), but now that the Arkansas 391 is locked into ag, I think the two parcels it surrounds — comprising about 184 acres — are possible for a business park. The deal would have to be sweet, but I think it could pass. The big questions are:

    1. Do the owner/developers believe the market can support such a project?

    2. Will there be enough economic return for the city to want to go through the exercise?

  6. Rob White

    SODA – I have lived in West Sac for 10 years and the Sacramento Region for 21 years. My home in WS is in the infill redevelopment area, just north of the train tracks and off of the I Street Bridge. I like infill, but I realize that it is not for most. Its a housing choice, and I like it for me.

    I do not know how long Capitol Corridor Ventures has been talking about this swap. Several ideas on swaps were brought to my attention from various parties not long after I arrived. But, like all ideas, I listen and then let the parties know that we cannot really respond to ideas and we need actual proposals showing abilities to perform financially, etc. I hear ideas and concepts often, many times multiple in a day. I do not act on ideas, because, well, they are just that.

  7. davisite4

    I should let you respond before I write more, but the tone of this article really bothers me.

    First, what I read (perhaps this was not intended) that staff was only trying its best, and then the mean, bad townspeople started casting aspersions. The reality is that there were a number of real staff screwups that made the whole thing smell. These were already outlined during the meeting, so I won’t elaborate further.

    Let’s also be clear that there was no deal on the table. There was a possible “land swap,” acre for acre. But we all know that all acres are not equal. Are these? The YLT says that Shriners property is not optimal for farming because it is too close to housing, and residents tend to complain. What about soils? What about water access? And let’s not forget all of the other myriad details that would need to fall into place for this deal to go through. Staff was recommending that Council forgo over a million dollars, and an easement consistent with its past decisions, policies, and community values for a bunch of unknowns and a lot of maybes. Even if you didn’t think the process stunk, you might reasonably think this was an irrational thing to do. So, are you suggesting that townspeople did not want to engage in dialogue over this? It’s pretty hard to dialogue over a bunch of unknowns and maybes. You’d have to *really* want that “innovation park” over other considerations to even contemplate this move at this time.

    Now you tell us that you want to listen. But you’re not listening. You’re already telling us what our values should be. You’re starting from “within a framework that is based on the concept of abundance. The idea that we can all have some (or maybe even most) of what we want in life.” Some of us find that idea objectionable. There are many things that we want that are wasteful and harmful to the environment.

    If you *really* want to dialogue with Davis’s citizens, then I suggest that you 1) stop insulting us (and yes, I find this article insulting) and 2) really, genuinely listen. Find out what it is that we value. Don’t just hear, “oh, they like land, so great, we can just do this land swap, have our cake and eat it, too!” It appears that you haven’t been here long enough to understand. A smart person would take that meeting as a learning experience and try a different approach.

    I don’t think Davisites would be opposed to an “innovation park” done in the right way. But you’re not going to figure out what that way is without a lot more listening and a lot more community involvement in the process.

  8. JustSaying

    Welcome to Davis.

    You must have realized before you took the job that in our town no good intention, effort or deed goes unpunished by at least one segment of our population. There’s almost no room for compromise on any issue in the minds of a majority of our most active citizens. The reason, I’ve come to believe after many decades, is development of a mistrust in our municipal leadership in the past 20 years or so.

    This unease is reflected in both our city government and school district. And, after many years of hard-fought battles, there’s a sense that giving any ground on anything sets us on the slippery slope. So, no item or issue is small enough to overlook in our efforts to keep things on the right track.

    Eventually, Davis residents will vote to develop both for housing and a business/technology park. It might 25 years before the first one, but I think we’re about ready to accept the need for the second, economic development initiative if it’s carefully planned and well discussed and if it makes sense and doesn’t involve participants with possible conflicts. Eventually ag land will be seen as legitimate for other critical purposes. But, every disaster like Tuesday night’s pushes such progress further out.

    There are so many errors, miscalculations, etc., with respect to prepping for and conducting the NRCS matter meeting that it’s hard to know where to start. I’d hope everyone involved took away valuable lessons learned lessons learned.

    I wonder if the techDAVIS/Capital Corridor connection didn’t suffer a serious blow in this episode. Then there’s a question of whether someone living in West Sac ever can get a fair hearing in discussions about about Davis land use matters. Maybe you’d better buy a place in town.

  9. Frankly

    Rob,

    Don’t try to make friends with everyone in this town. Realize that you will be hated and despised by those that will stop at nothing to prevent any material and useful development. Don’t believe them when they claim that there are projects that they would support. They lie.

    It is time for a change revolution. Time to knock down the old guard and start taking your case to a silent majority that wants the vision you and other leaders in this community want. There are enough of these people, but they have to be led. They have to be encouraged to come forward and overwhelm the old guard. The young people are key here. They are being screwed. The old folks are taking, taking and taking… the young people are getting priced out of everything. They can’t find work. They can’t find places to shop. They can’t afford rent. They cannot afford to start a family or buy a house.

    The old guard has the “I got mine so screw you” mindset. They are not your friend if you want economic development. They will never support you for this agenda. They will find one reason after another to demonize you and attack your character rather that collaborate on ideas. If you don’t cause a scandal, they will make one.

    I think anyone in your role, to be successful, is going to have to stop have to establish a PR strategy that is nothing like business as usual.

    I think the time is ripe for change. The economic situation is much different than the years these NIMBY, statist no-growthers have had their way. There are a lot of people in Davis that could be made excited by new creative projects that would bring in business and jobs to the community. The old guard will use their same fear tactics… traffic, sprawl, the loss of valuable farm land. You won’t stop then from doing this, so don’t engage them and start working to forge a new power in the town to get the job done.

    Look at it this way. If you try to convince the old guard to support economic development, you will certainly lose. If you work to grow a new support base, you might still lose… but you also might win.

    The “valuable lesson” you should have learned is that the blockers are rabid and irrational and not the type of people you can work with.

    Of course this is only my humble and sensitive opinion.

  10. Don Shor

    I urge you to focus, in the relatively short time you have on your contract, on things that are achievable now. There actually are broad areas of agreement about action items that can be taken for economic development. In my opinion, in a ninety minute meeting with Mark West and MIchael Bisch, you could probably develop an action item checklist for the city council. Many threads here on the Vanguard have detailed these and I won’t list them in detail — parking and circulation, rezoning options, Nishi, etc. There’s stuff that can be done, and unfortunately episodes like this one are distractions.

  11. Matt Williams

    davisite4 said . . .

    [i]”Let’s also be clear that there was no deal on the table. There was a possible “land swap,” acre for acre. But we all know that all acres are not equal. Are these? [b]The YLT says that Shriners property is not optimal for farming because it is too close to housing[/b], and residents tend to complain. What about soils? What about water access?”[/i]

    d4, the bolded comment is rhetoric. The California Right to Farm laws make Shriners immune to complaints from anyone who lives in any housing on its periphery. However, there are very few houses that abut the Shriners property. The entire eastern border is ag land in cultivation. The entire northern border is ag land in cultivation. The entire southern border is Covell Boulevard. 75% of the western border is either ag land or golf course. The remaining 25% that is housing is set behind a full width ag buffer. So there are very few residents to complain, and those that do exist don’t have a leg to stand on.

  12. medwoman

    [quote]The old guard will use their same fear tactics… traffic, sprawl, the loss of valuable farm land. You won’t stop then from doing this, so don’t engage them and start working to forge a new power in the town to get the job done. [/quote]

    I find this an interesting comment from someone who is very willing to use fear of theoretical harm from fluoride to block water fluoridation, but chooses to ignore the well established conditions of traffic, pollution, sprawl, and loss of valuable farm land as exemplified in Los Angeles, Orange County and to a lesser degree to the I-80 sprawl communities and Sacramento.

  13. JimmysDaughter

    “Because we are all covering each other’s shortcomings and working to amplify our best abilities.”

    What a wonderful sentiment. Thank you for your work.

  14. davisite4

    [quote]d4, the bolded comment is rhetoric. The California Right to Farm laws make Shriners immune to complaints from anyone who lives in any housing on its periphery. However, there are very few houses that abut the Shriners property. The entire eastern border is ag land in cultivation. The entire northern border is ag land in cultivation. The entire southern border is Covell Boulevard. 75% of the western border is either ag land or golf course. The remaining 25% that is housing is set behind a full width ag buffer. So there are very few residents to complain, and those that do exist don’t have a leg to stand on. [/quote]

    And what would be the response to these claims? I don’t pretend to know. I don’t have an analysis of the merits of the Shriners property for farming in general or for a community farm in particular.

    That’s the point I’ve been making. None of that information was presented at the meeting; there was no time to study and debate the merits of the Shriners property.

    One cannot make a reasonable decision under those circumstances.

  15. Frankly

    Hah, medwoman. There you go proving my point. Fear of traffic, pollution, sprawl and loss of farm land. And the added bits connecting Davis economic development to Los Angeles and Orange Country. You did note that I said that you would write this stuff, right?

    I don’t use fear tactics for Fluoridation. Your own favored large government labels it as a toxin and a drug. My issue is simple one of ethics. You don’t dump ANY drug into the public water system. You don’t put anything into the water other than the things that make it clean and safe. I am ashamed of doctors that continue to support this practice. It certainly damages the reputation of the profession.

    But we are not talking about fluoridation on this topic.

  16. medwoman

    Frankly

    Emissions from automobiles are definitely toxins. Unlike water, which is readily available from sources other than your tap, we all have to breathe the same air. And yet, I hear you constantly putting down those who would like to limit automobile emissions.

    [quote]I am ashamed of doctors that continue to support this practice[/quote]

    And I am ashamed of community members who put their own interests first, regardless of what might benefit others in the community and then deride others as selfish. Again, I would love for discussions to include only the merits of ideas, however, I recognize that it is much easier to shame, name call and fingerpoint.

  17. Matt Williams

    davisite4 said . . .

    [i]”And what would be the response to these claims? I don’t pretend to know. I don’t have an analysis of the merits of the Shriners property for farming in general or for a community farm in particular.

    That’s the point I’ve been making. None of that information was presented at the meeting; there was no time to study and debate the merits of the Shriners property.

    [b]One cannot make a reasonable decision under those circumstances[/b].”[/i]

    All good questions d4. I don’t pretend to [u]know[/u] either, and I couldn’t agree with your bolded words more. Given the situation the way it played out, we were damned if we did and damned if we didn’t. Brett Lee’s comment (at the 2:55 point in the video of the meeting) nailed the problem perfectly). The time needed to debate the merits of the Shriners property should have been made. Staff should have seen to that.

    If staff had brought the concept of an easement location swap forward earlier, even if the specifics associated with the Shriners property weren’t available, then the community could have weighed in without a pistol pointed at its temple because of a time crunch. I would have loved to see the Open Space Commission discuss the merits of having the land in Davis’ control rise from 391 acres to 625 acres. I would have loved to hear the discussion of a community garden on the Shriners property across Covell Blvd from Harper Junior High School. I would have loved to hear the descriptions of the disgorging of community farmers by both Unitrans and YoloBus each day. I would have loved to hear the discussions about how organic farming methods mean that there aren’t any pesticide sprays wafting over into the neighborhoods to the west and south of the community garden. But the issue of the location of the easement was made irrelevant by the way this process unfolded.

    With that said, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t acknowledge the community dialogue benefits that would have come to pass if we had managed the process better. Our decision (the Council’s decision) may not have ended up being any different, but we would have understood a whole lot better the parameters of the decision and the tradeoffs that were inherently part of those parameters.

  18. Matt Williams

    BTW d4, I live on the south boundary of the Davis community, and ever since we arrived in 1998 the farm fields immediately to the south of our property line have produced crops of tomatoes, wheat, corn and tomatoes again this year, and probably soon in our future sunflowers. The sounds of the tractors clanking around in the middle of the night tending to the crops with headlights blazing is as musically rich as any concert at Mondavi. I don’t pretend to know, but I definitely experience the immediate impact of my neighbors, the farmers. I would argue that anyone who complains about living next to an existing farm like the Shiners property, has a tin ear.

  19. Frankly

    [i]Again, I would love for discussions to include only the merits of ideas, however, I recognize that it is much easier to shame, name call and fingerpoint.[/i]

    Sorry medwoman, there is no wiggle room for discussing the merits of fluoride if you insist on putting the drug in our water.

    There have been suggestions for other methods of getting the fluoride drug to ONLY the people that need it and benefit from it (the approach that I thought doctors were always supposed to take by oath), but those have been ignored or rejected by people like yourself.

    Matt Williams, i.e., sound of farming… I agree. I would add to that the sound of crop-dusters buzzing fields. Hearing these sounds I sleep very well.

    However, you can get used to any standard sounds. My grandmother that lived in downtown SF all of her life, when visiting and staying with us in the country house I grew up in on Buckley Road between Davis and Dixon, could not sleep because of the quite and the sound of crickets. Then the tractors and crop-dusters did her in. She had gotten used to the sound of the city and asked to be taken back home. She was actually quite agitated and stressed. I suspect she would have acclimated to the sound of the country in a couple of months.

    This is a key point related to the blockers of change and growth. We all can reset to a new normal at almost any time (although I think the older we get, the more difficult it is). The “vision” (if we can call it that) for what Davis is, what it should be, and what it can be… is contracted to a very narrow scope by those clinging to some vestige of the past… like my grandmother complaining about the sounds of the country and wanting us to take her back to the city… these people just don’t get that there are other states of “normal” that are fantastic and wonderful too.

    I tell my more risk-averse partner that “a decision to do nothing is still a decision”. It is interesting watching this register with him… almost causing some anxiety as he realizes that stalling or ignoring a decision to change my also result in a mistake in judgment. Because that is what he fears more than almost anything… making a mistake.

    But if you let the fear of making a mistake dominate your decision processes, you will likely fall behind. You will miss opportunities and accumulate lost opportunity costs. Sure you can say that you never were a party to that decision that ended up a mistake. But armchair quarterbacks, critics and Einsteins-in-hindsight are a dime a dozen. It is nothing special to just sit back and wait until somebody else champions a change and then become active in blocking it. It is not only less than impressive, it is condemnable.

    This town needs leadership to move the collective toward a new vision of change. Davis has a fine foundation of all the things we say are great. These things are not at any immediate risk of dropping off. However, there are a lot of things we should be improving on. Continuing to protect the old normal, allowing fear of change and impacts to dominate our decision process, blocking and criticizing others that champion and lead… these are unwanted behaviors.

    There is a saying: lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.

    I plan to continue to hammer on those that should get the hell out of the way. We need a new normal because the old normal is unsustainable and becoming crappy.

  20. Don Shor

    You know that most people here don’t share your vision for Davis? So the decision [i]not[/i] to proceed with a large development proposal is more likely to be the decision than otherwise. And that decision would reflect the will of the citizens. I believe that to be true based on the voting record of this community. You have no basis for any belief that Davis is ready for drastic change or large development proposals.
    Generally, when large projects are put before the voters, they will tend to reject them. Asked how they want the city to grow, they tend to vote a preference for slow growth. So I don’t know why you would think that “leadership” would move the voters locally toward a “new vision of change” anything like what you want.

  21. Jim Frame

    [quote]I plan to continue to hammer on those that should get the hell out of the way.[/quote]

    Hammer away, Jeff. Just don’t expect anyone to jump just because you say so.

  22. Frankly

    [i]You know that most people here don’t share your vision for Davis?[/i]

    No I don’t, and neither do you.

    We have seen at a national level what happens when a grass-roots ground game pulls in the votes from the young and silent majority to overwhelm those grumpy old conservatives holding power.

    It is VERY clear that the last four years have changed the mindset of a lot of people living in this town. It is clear that our finances our unsustainable. It is clear that we have been living beyond our means. It is clear that Davis is in decline and that we are looking more and more like regional chumps.

    It is also clear that those blocking change have no vision. They have no plan. They have nothing compelling to address our problems and move the community forward. They have nothing but criticism for others trying to move the community forward. It is clear that these are the old-fogies of yesterday trying to cling to their 1970’s era life.

    The ONLY card these guys can effectively play is the fear of property values impacts. And I expect them to make that the main attraction of their perpetual blocking campaign. The problem with that is that there are more and more people in this town that cannot afford and do not own property. So, the power of this message is weaker than it was, and will continue to be weaker going forward.

  23. Frankly

    [quote]In 2011, The San Jose Business Journal ranked Intel fourth in corporate philanthropy in Silicon Valley and The San Francisco Business Journal ranked Intel eighth in corporate philanthropy in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    During the last five years, Intel has contributed close to $50 million to educational institutions and non-profit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento region. Intel focuses much of its corporate philanthropy on improving math, science, and engineering education.

    Intel’s California employees volunteered more than 275,000 hours in 2011, generating $2.1million in matching grants from the Intel Foundation for schools and non-profit organizations across the state.

    Intel employees and retirees also support the community through an annual giving campaign. The Intel Foundation matches employee gifts , up to $9 million, in the U.S. The 2011 campaign generated contributions of more than $4.5 million through local United Way organizations in California.
    [/quote]

    So, how much of this stuff goes to Folsom and Folsom schools?

    A lot. Intel employees’ kids go to Folsom schools.

    Don’t you think this makes for a compelling attraction for a Davis business park that would attract larger tech business?

  24. Jim Frame

    [quote]Don’t you think this makes for a compelling attraction for a Davis business park that would attract larger tech business? [/quote]

    The idea of having a large percentage of public school funding coming from corporate donations is not appealing at all, as it would represent yet another step toward privatization of the school system.

  25. Frankly

    Jim Frame,

    Yeah those Folsom kids are suffering big time from all those private Intel dollars. I think the schools and the students and the parents are feeling the same way. They would rather give up all the technical labs and tools and the new track and sports facilities that Intel donated so that their funding remains socially pure and inadequate.

  26. Rob White

    davisite4 – first, my apologies for anything I have written that sounds insulting or can be read as anything more than trying to open dialogue. Yes, I am doing a lot of listening.

    As you all know, I have been writing an article a week as a result of a discussion between David Greenwald and me in trying to create a way for people in Davis to get to know me and ask questions. I do realize that words in print can be interpreted many ways without the benefit of seeing the person’s actions, and I confess I am not a very good writer. Again, my apologies.

    I am always available for sit down meetings for coffee, lunch, or just chatting… and I will even buy to make this less of a burden. But I realize that not everyone has the time or inclination to sit with me and talk. Some on this blog have chosen to take that route and site down to chat with me. Thank you to them! The ones that have already self-identified include David Greenwald (frequently), Matt Williams and Michael Harrington (I want to respect the anonymity for all of the others). Some discussions are relatively new and I am learning more from every meeting. I am trying to look for trends in topics. A community has many voices, and I think I will be most effective by hearing from many and finding the common themes.

    Though it was inelegant and clunky, the Council and community needed to have the option to consider and balance competing demands, even if it had to be done with very little info to go on. The lack of info was a factor of timelines, proposals and process. It was truly a “too little, too late” scenario and gave everyone heartburn. But I cannot regret the staff giving the community and Council options, even if half-baked. Had we told CCV that their concept was too late in the process and not at least tried to vet it, then we would have done the community a huge disservice in making decisions without their input. There wasn’t enough meat on the bone to vet it through normal channels in the timeframe allotted. And I regret that because I think this was much less about a business park and much more about what kind of place Davis wants to be. As I said in my article a few weeks ago about where will the businesses go, the outcome is not my decision. It needs to be a community decision. (NOTE: We are in the process of synthesizing the economic development efforts to date and will work with our community partners and Council through the Fall to vet this in public forums so we get broad input to help answer these types of questions).

    Some have asked why more of the ‘swap’ concept wasn’t told to the Open Space Commission. And there is the question if I was at the meeting. The answer to both is ‘no’. About 2 ½ weeks ago the questions concerning a potential conflict of interest were raised by community members (including here on the Vanguard) and that precipitated a fire wall being immediately placed to ensure that the swap concept going forward would not be further subjected. The CCV concept had only been discussed with senior leadership at that point and was very high level and very tentative as ideas go. Our community development director was still getting his bearings and hadn’t had much time to get up to speed, so he couldn’t be expected to understand the nuances of the CCV concept. There wasn’t much he could do in a short period and there were obviously concerns about jumping over a CEQA process. And there was still not very much info on what a proposed deal structure might even look like, so it was difficult to do much more than say, “Does Davis want to pause and see if there are merits to other options by better vetting them in the coming months?” So, no, I was not at the meeting Open Space Commission meeting. Additionally, leadership at City Hall has heard the conflicts concerns and we are working quickly to address them.

    Bottom-line, I do not have an opinion from the outcome of the vote from Tuesday because it is my specific job to take the resources the community and Council give me and innovate ways to maximize them for the best benefit of the community. I have no idea if we will have an innovation park. I can tell you right now we do not… and I am focused on working with the immediate issue of how to help tech and other business stay in Davis as they need room for growth and expansion. This is jobs, revenue, and opportunities.
    I will work with what this community gives me and my team (Sarah Worley) and we will derive the best outcomes we can. I am hopeful that the general community recognizes that there are constraints and then measures me accordingly.

    Thanks again for giving me a chance to engage. Email is: rwhite@cityofdavis.org.

  27. Matt Williams

    Don Shor said . . .

    [i]”You know that most people here don’t share your vision for Davis? [b]So the decision not to proceed with a large development proposal is more likely to be the decision than otherwise. And that decision would reflect the will of the citizens. [/b]I believe that to be true based on the voting record of this community. You have no basis for any belief that Davis is ready for drastic change or large development proposals.

    Generally, when large projects are put before the voters, they will tend to reject them. Asked how they want the city to grow, they tend to vote a preference for slow growth. So I don’t know why you would think that “leadership” would move the voters locally toward a “new vision of change” anything like what you want.”[/i]

    Don, if what is put in front of the voters is a development proposal, then I agree with you. It will get voted down resoundingly. However, if what is put in front of the voters is a yes or no vote on whether to add a certain number of committed jobs to the community, then I think the will of the citizens will be very different. Development proposals are speculative. Added jobs are concrete.

  28. Rob White

    Davis Progressive – I agree with your points. And there was never an intention by staff to avoid the discussion. What was intended (and I agree, we did a poor job… lesson very well learned) was to ask Council to pause so that a fuller, community-based vetting could be accomplished regarding options that might be acceptable to the community. Yes, we did a poor job, but I am now convinced it was too little info too late in the timeline. And we now have a definitive answer.

    To give you a little more history about me so you can see what my efforts are around sustainability…

    I am a Geologist by degree and worked in the environmental engineering industry for about 13 years. I was involved in some of the very first biological surveys ever conducted on naval bases in California (Point Mugu, Mare Island, Centerville Beach (Eureka)) as well as assisting the federal and state governments in writing policy on natural resource preservation.

    I ran the Sacramento County BERC and created the region’s first sustainable business program to reward businesses with recognition for doing the right thing environmentally. That program now includes over 500 businesses (including Café Bernardo) (http://www.sacberc.org/SASB/Pages/default.aspx)

    While at Sac County, I also helped the Sacramento SPLASH program interact with county government in a much more effective way and assisted them in moving forward their agenda to save 1,000-acres of vernal pools in the South Mather area. The plan was balanced between development interest between the county and the need to protect our special places. Feel free to reach out to Emily Butler or Eva Butler and ask their opinions of me. It’s been a few years since I have seen them, but just tell them Rob White who used to work at Sac County Economic Development says “hi”. Their website contacts are below.
    http://www.sacsplash.org/meet-our-staff
    http://www.sacsplash.org/profile/emily-butler
    http://www.sacsplash.org/profile/eva-butler

    I hope this helps.

  29. Don Shor

    [quote]… is a yes or no vote on whether to add a certain number of committed jobs to the community, then I think the will of the citizens will be very different. Development proposals are speculative. Added jobs are concrete.[/quote]
    No, added jobs aren’t concrete. There are zero guarantees about who will bring jobs here, if anyone or in any number.
    Asking people to vote on whether they want a “certain number of committed jobs to the community” would be posing a falsehood to them. The only employer that can come close to [i]guaranteeing[/i] jobs is UCD. Promises from any private entity would be beyond speculative.
    You are lapsing into press release rhetoric.

  30. Frankly

    I expect UCD jobs to begin to decline in 5-10 years due to the cost of education and the emerging alternatives for undergraduate degrees.

    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_education_bubble[/url]

    [url]http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2011/04/higher_education[/url]

    [url]http://www.evolllution.com/opinions/impact-disruptive-technology-based-innovations-higher-education/[/url]

    Relying 100% on UCD for our jobs and economic inputs is foolish at this point in time.

  31. Matt Williams

    Don Shor said . . .

    [i]”No, added jobs aren’t concrete. There are zero guarantees about who will bring jobs here, if anyone or in any number.
    Asking people to vote on whether they want a “certain number of committed jobs to the community” would be posing a falsehood to them. The only employer that can come close to guaranteeing jobs is UCD. Promises from any private entity would be beyond speculative.

    You are lapsing into press release rhetoric.”[/i]

    Actually Don, the voters of Davis with respect to a Measure J/R vote are a lot like prospective lenders for a new shopping mall like Arden Fair or a new skyscraper in a big city. No lender is going to lend any construction money for a mall or skyscraper project unless they can see the signed lease agreements of a critical mass of lead tenants. Similarly, Davis voters aren’t going to vote yes on an Innovation Hub project Measure J/R vote unless they can see the signed lease agreements of a critical mass of lead tenants bringing a critical mass of jobs to Davis. Those are the political realities of Measure J/R. That will be the case with respect to Nishi. That will be the case with respect to the area around Sutter Davis Hospital. To think otherwise is drinking KoolAid. Is that what you are drinking when you are evaluating this situation purely in the light of “promises”?

  32. Don Shor

    [quote]I expect UCD jobs to begin to decline in 5-10 years due to the cost of education and the emerging alternatives for undergraduate degrees. [/quote]
    I expect that you’re wrong. Chancellor Katehi also expects that you’re wrong, and is planning otherwise. Unlike you, she is actually in a position to do something about it, and is doing so.

    [quote] Davis voters aren’t going to vote yes on an Innovation Hub project Measure J/R vote unless they can see the signed lease agreements of a critical mass of lead tenants bringing a critical mass of jobs to Davis. Those are the political realities of Measure J/R. That will be the case with respect to Nishi. That will be the case with respect to the area around Sutter Davis Hospital.[/quote]
    There is absolutely no basis for this statement of yours. Certainly not with respect to Nishi. Your certitude is groundless.

  33. Matt Williams

    Don Shor said . . .

    [i]”There is absolutely no basis for this statement of yours. Certainly not with respect to Nishi. [b]Your certitude is groundless.[/b]”[/i]

    As is your certitude.

    Have you talked to the owners of Nishi? Do you have any sense of how they view a Measure J/R vote?

  34. Mark West

    Frankly: “Relying 100% on UCD for our jobs and economic inputs is foolish at this point in time.”

    Relying on any one employer for our economic future is foolish at any point in time.

  35. davisite4

    [quote] Brett Lee’s comment (at the 2:55 point in the video of the meeting) nailed the problem perfectly). The time needed to debate the merits of the Shriners property should have been made. Staff should have seen to that. [/quote]

    Agreed.

    [quote]If staff had brought the concept of an easement location swap forward earlier, even if the specifics associated with the Shriners property weren’t available, then the community could have weighed in without a pistol pointed at its temple because of a time crunch. I would have loved to see the Open Space Commission discuss the merits of having the land in Davis’ control rise from 391 acres to 625 acres. [/quote]

    The proposal in the staff report was an acre-for-acre land swap. What makes you think that there was a possibility of gaining the Shriners property without giving up an equal amount of acreage?

    [quote]I would have loved to hear the discussion of a community garden on the Shriners property across Covell Blvd from Harper Junior High School. I would have loved to hear the descriptions of the disgorging of community farmers by both Unitrans and YoloBus each day.[/quote]

    Community farm, not community garden.

    [quote]With that said, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t acknowledge the community dialogue benefits that would have come to pass if we had managed the process better. Our decision (the Council’s decision) may not have ended up being any different, but we would have understood a whole lot better the parameters of the decision and the tradeoffs that were inherently part of those parameters.[/quote]

    I agree. It would have been great to have (had the time and information to have) a community dialogue on this issue. Maybe this is the one point on which we all agree.

  36. davisite4

    Rob White, thanks for your reply. That makes your position on all of this clearer, and I am pleased to hear that you will be working with the community to go forward on any possible future opportunities. I do hope consideration of smaller projects, such as Nishi (and dare I say Cannery Park?) will be among those.

    One things still confuses me. With respect to the Open Space and Habitat Commission, you write:

    [quote]The CCV concept had only been discussed with senior leadership at that point and was very high level and very tentative as ideas go. Our community development director was still getting his bearings and hadn’t had much time to get up to speed, so he couldn’t be expected to understand the nuances of the CCV concept. There wasn’t much he could do in a short period and there were obviously concerns about jumping over a CEQA process. And there was still not very much info on what a proposed deal structure might even look like, so it was difficult to do much more than say, “Does Davis want to pause and see if there are merits to other options by better vetting them in the coming months?” [/quote]

    but you also write:

    [quote]Though it was inelegant and clunky, the Council and community needed to have the option to consider and balance competing demands, even if it had to be done with very little info to go on. The lack of info was a factor of timelines, proposals and process. It was truly a “too little, too late” scenario and gave everyone heartburn. But I cannot regret the staff giving the community and Council options, even if half-baked. Had we told CCV that their concept was too late in the process and not at least tried to vet it, then we would have done the community a huge disservice in making decisions without their input. There wasn’t enough meat on the bone to vet it through normal channels in the timeframe allotted.[/quote]

    I guess I don’t understand the reasoning here. If it was so important for the Council and community to hear about the CCV concept, even if not fully baked, why wasn’t just as important for the Open Space and Habitat Commission to hear about it just one week before the Council meeting? Why was there enough meat for Council and community, but not enough for Commission?

  37. Matt Williams

    davisite4 said . . .

    [i]”The proposal in the staff report was an acre-for-acre land swap. What makes you think that there was a possibility of gaining the Shriners property without giving up an equal amount of acreage?”[/i]

    Joe Krovoza was quite explicit about the necessity of the City remaining in the fee-simple title picture for the “lower 234” and even went further to say that if the Innovation Park idea didn’t pan out in a predetermined amount of time that the fee-simple title would fully revert to City ownership. I can only go by what was said on Tuesday night. I fully support the approach Joe laid out. The Shriners owners would be gambling that they could truly deliver actual lead tenants to the table with actual jobs (see my dialogue above with Don Shor about what a meaningful Measure J/R vote would entail)

  38. davisite4

    [quote]Joe Krovoza was quite explicit about the necessity of the City remaining in the fee-simple title picture for the “lower 234” and even went further to say that if the Innovation Park idea didn’t pan out in a predetermined amount of time that the fee-simple title would fully revert to City ownership. I can only go by what was said on Tuesday night. I fully support the approach Joe laid out. The Shriners owners would be gambling that they could truly deliver actual lead tenants to the table with actual jobs (see my dialogue above with Don Shor about what a meaningful Measure J/R vote would entail)[/quote]

    Ok, then, so this is yet another proposal, different from the staff recommendation. Was the Shriners owner ok with this deal, too? Was this really a possibility? The owner of Shriners risks getting nothing?

  39. Rob White

    davisite4 – I can’t speak to why the concept was not vetted in the Open Space and Habitat Commission. As I indicated, I was unable to be involved due to potential conflict discussions arising in the community and was fire-walled as a way to protect the discussion. I imagine a fair amount of things could be lost through this process, but the City’s primary concern when these things get raised is to respond with very specific actions to separate any issues immediately. It’s the right thing to do, just bad timing in this case.

  40. Jim Frame

    [quote] The owner of Shriners risks getting nothing? [/quote]

    My understanding is that fee title to the Shriners parcel was never on the table, but rather that CCV/David Morris had bought an option on a conservation easement over the property. The risk of getting nothing belonged to him. (A risk that, it would seem, was realized with Tuesday’s vote.)

    Of course, none of it was real — it was all still at the pie-in-the-sky stage, which is the reason the Council turned it away.

  41. Matt Williams

    davisite4 said . . .

    “Ok, then, so this is yet another proposal, different from the staff recommendation. Was the Shriners owner ok with this deal, too? Was this really a possibility? [b]The owner of Shriners risks getting nothing?[/b]”

    Not another proposal. My personal view (for what it is worth) is that none of the discussions actually got to a true “proposal” stage. As I said in my post on Monday (before the wordShriners had even been uttered):
    [quote]Matt Williams

    06/11/13 – 12:23 AM

    There are a lot of moving parts in this situation. Many of those moving parts went into motion after the November 2010 date when the property was acquired. The Central Valley Flood Protection Plan did not exist at that time. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan was still going through growing pains. The bursting of the Housing Bubble was yet to hit bottom in 2012. The expectations of the recovery from the “Great Recession” were still overly optimistic.

    The fact that Council is taking the time to thoroughly and properly assess those moving parts is both good decision making and good government. Don’s argument that, “This proposal would be the worst sort of urban planning, it would violate the intent of the voters, it violates Yolo County’s policies about ag land,” fails to take into consideration that many of those voters have had to tighten their belts and/or move out of homes that they owned because of changes in their economic circumstances. Many of those voters have lost their jobs and are looking at life through very different eyes than they did when they exercised their vote on this issue.

    In my opinion Council should not rush to judgment without making sure that they understand the consequences of any action they take.[/quote]

  42. Don Shor

    So the council had a choice between a sure thing, with assured funding and reliable partners, versus a vague plan with possibly unreliable partners and no assured funding. And the cost of leaving the second choice open was clear loss of the funding and loss of the first option.
    The council made the right choice, for sure.

  43. davisite4

    [quote]Not another proposal. My personal view (for what it is worth) is that none of the discussions actually got to a true “proposal” stage. [/quote]

    And yet, at the Council meeting, you advocated that the Council reject the grant for these non-existent proposals.

  44. Matt Williams

    No, I didn’t advocate for anything. I started by pointing out how the alternative proposal supported all the principles of land use and land preservation that had been advocated for in all the public comment. I followed that up by pointing out that “there may be a better decision that can be made” Then, I advocated for “not adopting an alternative” just as John Johnston did at the 2:08:30 point of the meeting, opting rather for a thoughtful continued examination of all the alternatives. If you object to this kind of “don’t rush to judgment” approach, then so be it. I personally think that nothing would have been lost. If the current Mace 391 configuration was good enough to win the NRCS award once, it would pretty clearly have been good enough to win it again. If the analysis of the Shriners parcel vs. the lower 234 acres of the Mace 391 parcels showed that the swap was a better alternative, then the reapplication to the NRCS process/competition would have been a better one than one that had already prevailed. These Federal grant processes are not “one and done” they have cycle after cycle after cycle. So why break into a sweat rushing to catch a moving commuter train when you can take your time and catch the next train?

  45. Matt Williams

    Don Shor said . . .

    [i]”So the council had a choice between a sure thing, with assured funding and reliable partners, versus a vague plan with possibly unreliable partners and no assured funding. And the cost of leaving the second choice open was clear loss of the funding and loss of the first option.”[/i]

    As noted above, any loss of funding would more than likely have been temporary. As noted above, the federal grant processes are not “one and done” they are regularly initiating new cycles.

    Further, as you have addressed earlier, the NRCS grant represents a change from de facto conservation to de jure conservation. Either way the land is conserved.

  46. Don Shor

    [quote]As noted above, any loss of funding would more than likely have been temporary. As noted above, the federal grant processes are not “one and done” they are regularly initiating new cycles. [/quote]
    Your evidence for this? Put simply now, Matt, I don’t believe you have any basis for this statement either.
    You advocated (clearly) for abandoning the known funding (no risk) in order to continue discussions of a vague, unspecified swap proposal (high risk). Now you suddenly believe that the grant money would be available later anyway. I consider your unfounded belief in that regard to be at least moderate risk. The safest, most prudent, most reliable thing to do was to proceed with the process that was already in place, with known partners, known and reliable funding, and no risk.
    I seriously don’t know why you are pressing so hard for a business park on that site. You are using logical contortions at this point.

  47. Matt Williams

    Don, are you not a student of history? The existing configuration of Mace 391 was compellin g enough to win once. What makes you believe that same configuration (or an even better configuration) wouldn’t win again? Just look at the recent history of the SF Giants or the long history of the NY Yankees.

  48. davisite4

    [quote]Don, are you not a student of history? The existing configuration of Mace 391 was compellin g enough to win once. What makes you believe that same configuration (or an even better configuration) wouldn’t win again? Just look at the recent history of the SF Giants or the long history of the NY Yankees.
    [/quote]

    Because winning grants is not like winning ball games. Grants are judged by humans who take into account things like the reliability of the applicants, and our reliability would be quite low after dithering for two years, delaying, and then turning down the grant. Other grant applicants, whether new or with a successful track record, would outshine us. People who award grants actually want the money to be used for the intended purpose.

  49. Matt Williams

    I hear you, and the follow-up grant application would clearly feature the commitment to completing the journey that was paused due to the addition of meaningful new information during the 2013 timeframe.

    I guess I am colored by the fact that I had to propose to my wife three times over a period of 15 years before I got the outcome I desired in 1999 when we were married. I didn’t let the “no” answer in 1984 prevent me from “reapplying” in 1986, and I didn’t let the 1986 “no” answer prevent me from “reapplying” in 1998, when I got the “yes” answer I desired. I don’t regret any of those three proposals, nor do I regret either of the “no” answers. They actually enriched our relationship and made the “yes” answer, when it came, all the more treasured.

  50. davisite4

    [quote]I guess I am colored by the fact that I had to propose to my wife three times over a period of 15 years before I got the outcome I desired in 1999 when we were married. I didn’t let the “no” answer in 1984 prevent me from “reapplying” in 1986, and I didn’t let the 1986 “no” answer prevent me from “reapplying” in 1998, when I got the “yes” answer I desired. I don’t regret any of those three proposals, nor do I regret either of the “no” answers. They actually enriched our relationship and made the “yes” answer, when it came, all the more treasured.[/quote]

    Persistence is often a good personality trait and a good strategy.

    However, I think a better analogy would be: you propose to your wife, she accepts, and then the day before the wedding, you back out. Then you try proposing again.

    You would claim to complete the journey that was previously paused due to the addition of meaningful new information. But new information can arise at any time, and you’ve already shown yourself to be the sort of person who doesn’t follow through. So, how much weight do you think your promises of commitment would have?

  51. Matt Williams

    Your analogy is spot on if the criteria for success are solely the relationship with NCRS. For me that relationship is a relatively minor concern. The 1a) and 1b) criteria for success are “no less than 391 acres perpetually devoted to farming” and “jobs that improve the fiscal sustainability of our community.”

  52. davisite4

    You’ve changed the subject. Your claim was that we could just apply for another grant and be successful if we were persistent. I am saying that your claim is unlikely to be true.

  53. Matt Williams

    I hear exactly what you are saying. You see NRCS grant money as permanently alienated. I see NRCS grant money as only mildly impaired. You think that NRCS grants are awarded by the personal egos of the evaluators. I think that NRCS grants and USEDA grants and all sorts of other grants are awarded based on how well the proposed project accomplishes the goals of the granting organization. As I said earlier, we will have to agree to disagree.

  54. davisite4

    [quote]I hear exactly what you are saying.[/quote]

    Umm, no you don’t.

    [quote]You see NRCS grant money as permanently alienated. [/quote]

    No, I see it as unlikely that we’d get a grant from them again if we rejected this one, and [i]highly[/i] unlikely that we’d get a grant for the same parcel.

    [quote]I see NRCS grant money as only mildly impaired. [/quote]

    You can see it that way all you like, but you reveal an ignorance of how grants work.

    [quote]You think that NRCS grants are awarded by the personal egos of the evaluators.[/quote]

    No, I never said any such thing. I said that the applicants are evaluated at their success at productively using the grant money, and that we would fail miserably on that criterion if we turned down the grant. Recall that the YLT representative said as much at the meeting, pointing out that this was an explicit criterion used in evaluating grants.

    [quote]I think that NRCS grants and USEDA grants and all sorts of other grants are awarded based on how well the proposed project accomplishes the goals of the granting organization. [/quote]

    Again, you can think that all you like, but look at the granting criteria.

    [quote]As I said earlier, we will have to agree to disagree.[/quote]

    You know, I am OK with that. You said above that you enjoyed this thoughtful discussion, but I do not enjoy having a “discussion” with someone who exaggerates and misrepresents what I say, nor do I find such discussions thoughtful. I can accept that others have a different point of view on what should have been done; Rochelle, for example, made an impassioned (if long-winded and tone deaf) case for the other side. Often people’s values differ, and they come to different conclusions as a result. What irks me is that you continue to say things that are obviously false, like turning down the grant wouldn’t have affected our ability to get future grants or claiming that getting more land than we were trading was at all a realistic possibility.

    So, yes, let’s agree to disagree, because I have no interest in having a conversation with someone under these circumstances.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for