Council Unanimously Supports Plastic Bag Ordinance

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Davis secured its place among the more progressive communities in California Tuesday night, as the Davis City Council finally made Davis the 61st community in the state of California to pass an ordinance restricting the use of single-use carryout bags.  While there was some discussion about alternatives, in the end, the motion made by Lucas Frerichs and seconded by Dan Wolk prevailed 5-0, calling for the ordinance to impact all retail.

“The large retail option captures those 44 businesses, which is roughly 80 percent of the bags. That’s great.” Lucas Frerichs stated.  “I personally think it should be applied across the board if we’re going to do it at all.”

For all of the community discussion leading up to the debate, there was limited opposition to a plastic bag ordinance.  Citizen Adrienne Austin-Shapiro offered an alternative path, arguing that she, as someone who does not drive, relies on plastic bags to carry her belonging and groceries, and while she was concerned with the impact of the bags on the environment, her preference was a 20 cent fee, which she felt would eliminate the problem while funding a locker for the homeless.

However, the general consensus was that any effort to charge more than the cost of the bag itself – and ten cents was proffered as the cost of a paper bag – would trigger a possible lawsuit by the plastic bag industry.

Rich Rifkin provocatively argued against the idea that this was a single-use ordinance: “I don’t know anybody who uses a plastic shopping bag one time…  It’s just total ideology to call it the single-use, it’s such bogus stuff.”

“I’m going to oppose this in the strongest terms, I think this is really crazy,” he continued.  “This ban… is a solution in search of a problem.”

“We have no problem in Davis with plastic bags floating around.  We have no problem in the county with plastic bags floating around,” Mr. Rifkin argued.  “The Natural Resources people will say, you’ll see them all over the county, I’m a bicyclist, I ride every single county road that there is around here.  I ride road 28H by the dump, they say there’s plastic bags all over there, I rode out there this morning, there were none.”

He said, “It’s just a big load.”

Plastic-bag-ordinances

The other major opposition came from the Chamber and business owner Janis Lott of Newsbeat.

The Chamber on Tuesday morning put out a position that stated, “We agree that the production and discarding of single-use shopping bags – plastic, paper and biodegradable – has an unsustainable economic and environmental impact on our planet. We also agree that from an overall environmental and economic perspective, the best alternative to single-use carryout bags is a shift to reusable bags.”

They argued, “We do not believe that precious City resources should continue to be wasted on this topic.”

The bottom line recommendation of the Chamber that was read by Board Chair Gregg Herrington was, “Direct City Staff and the Natural Resources Commission to discontinue all work on this topic until such time as the CA State Legislature passes, and the Governor signs, legislation to regulate single-use carryout bags.”

Janis Lott, echoing those concerns, stated that she agreed with the environmental perspective to go to reusable bags as a more sustainable road.  She also argued that the banning of the plastic bags “falsely inflates the relative environmental benefits of paper which is just amazingly costly environmentally.”

She commended the city and Davis Waste Removal for always being ahead of the curve environmentally.  “I have always been less interested in the perception that Davis has been somehow falling behind these other communities because I’ve lived here for forty years and I know how great we are,” she said.  “I am more concerned about getting it right.”

Plastic-bag-impact

Ms. Lott commended Senator Lois Wolk, calling her a great senator, for her efforts to extend for seven years the requirement that big boxes provide recycling on site, and she is afraid if single-use plastic bags go away, so too will these recycling efforts.

Senator Wolk, however, has repeatedly opposed statewide efforts to ban single-use plastic bags and in his brief comment, Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk, the senator’s son, remarked, “I agree with Janis (Lott) about how great our Senator is; but this is an issue where we don’t see eye-to-eye.”

Lucas Frerichs was among several who responded to the provocative comments by Rich Rifkin.

“It was mentioned by Rich Rifkin that he has not ever seen a wayward plastic bag floating around here in travels throughout Yolo County,” Councilmember Frerichs stated.  “I’m just assuming the sun must have been in his eyes on those many sojourns around the county.”

“I, on the other hand, both when I’m out in a vehicle, on a bike, in the Yolo Bus,” he continued, “see wayward single-use plastic bags all over the place.”

“They’re all over the place.  It’s long past time for the city of Davis to act on this,” he said.

Alan Pryor, who has been one of the chief proponents of the ordinance, urged the council to avoid altering the provisions as they are “bullet proof,” having been litigated by the plastic bag industry and having survived legal challenges.  He urged the council not to impose a fee on the plastic bags, believing that the industry would sue, and while the city may survive, they would be looking at a costly legal fight.

Representatives from Californians Against Waste and the California Grocer’s Association both spoke in favor of the ordinance.

Mark Murray from Californians Against Waste offered, “This probably isn’t the most important environmental issue that you’re going to deal with, probably not even the most important waste issue that you’re going to be dealing with.”

But he argued, “This is a policy whose time has come.”  He continued, “The basic ordinance that you have before you is one that is proven and has been litigated in other communities.”

This, he said, was an opportunity for the city of Davis to join with 80 other communities.

And while that number might not seem very large, because of the population bases involved, it was noted that this represents 65% of the population of the state of California.

It became clear as the conversation progressed that the vast majority of the councilmembers favored one form of the ordinance or another.

Councilmember Brett Lee argued, “This issue is not of critical importance to the running of the city.  Whatever we decide tonight the sun will still rise tomorrow.  Everything will keep moving forward.”

He said he was puzzled that the advocates of the restriction were only focused on 44 out of 400-plus locations.  That sentiment was echoed by everyone on council.  As Rochelle Swanson pointed out, this is bad for the environment, “So why are picking on some, but not on others?  If we want to reduce, we should reduce.”

Councilmember Lee would later offer a substitute that would still impose an outright ban on the 44 stores, but would augment it with a charge of 10 cents for bags at all remaining stores.

Councilmember Swanson wanted to remove the word “ban” from the ordinance, saying that it is not a ban, it is an ordinance.  There was also a call to regulate thick bags with a ten-cent charge that staff believed could be sustained in terms of the cost of the bag.

In the end, despite all of the acrimony, only a few people spoke outright against the ban, and the motion ultimately passed unanimously.  The ordinance will come for a second reading before being implemented by the city of Davis, joining dozens of other communities in regulating, if not banning, the use of single-use carryout plastic bags.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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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78 thoughts on “Council Unanimously Supports Plastic Bag Ordinance”

  1. JustSaying

    The most interesting surprise of the evening came when Councilmemember Swanson elicited the fact that the “not a ban” on plastic bags will have even less impact on the county dump litter situation than was first claimed.

    Who knew that Davis contributes less than 20% of the landfill material–because our county landfill continues to be filled up with trash from as far away as Napa County as well as throughout Yolo County, excepting Davis?

    It also was interesting to see from where the supportive testimony came, in addition to the original bag man: three statewide organizations, mostly CALPIRG (“standing up to powerful interests”) students.

    It was good that the council continued seeking unanimity on the issue until our fair city, as David notes, “secured its place among the more progressive communities in California.” No more “dark underbelly” and no more staged photo illustrations in the Vanguard.

  2. Growth Izzue

    Good, now all the good Davis liberals can sleep well at night knowing that they secured their place with the other 60. I wonder if after the ordinance kicks in if they will bring their cameras out to dumps and take pictures of the other community’s plastic bags in the creeks and fences?

  3. Frankly

    How pathetic. What a cry for attention.

    Here we have are growing backwater town filled with a growing minority of people frantic to be recognized as having some say in the liberal progressive sphere of influence. They were so anxious about this plastic bag ban… “What if it failed?”, “What will all my liberal progressive peers say about us, and me?”… that they pulled out all the stops to make enough noise to get noticed.

    There is nothing progressive about this decision. It is way too late for that. It is just stupid. It is following the sheep. It does not do a thing to help cement the notion that Davis is progressive. It cements the notion that Davis is indecisive, conflicted, weak, irrational, leaderless, dysfunctional and wasteful (in time and effort dealing with critical problems rather than twaddle). But most of all, it cements the notion that Davis is one of the most business-hostile little city in the region.

    There was an opportunity to shine here. Davis could have lead the way with a TRULY progressive program to encourage business and shoppers to go reusable. But instead the council got all fluffed up and pat themselves on their backs for… what… copying 60 other communities in the state, most of which are either coastal communities or that lack anything close to Davis’s average education level and affluence.

    I’m not sure if I agree with council member Lee that the sun will shine tomorrow. I think there will be some lasting bad taste about this decision that will affect his and other council members’ reelection campaigns. All of the have a big “BUSINESS-HOSTILE” tattoo on their forehead at this point, and it is not going to be easy for them to wash off.

  4. JustSaying

    Growth Izzue, I’m sure you heard last night that the reason many of us haven’t seen empty bags all the time everywhere is that they’re “hiding” underneath the shrubs in massive numbers.

    The ordinance won’t change the dump litter problem and expense at all and hardly will affect the in-town, under-the-bushes problem since Davisites who still choose bags at stores will be importing them from other shopping spots.

    Yet, I suspect the good feelings will have the bag “ban” proponents proclaiming that our streets are free of bags…still. As Dunning noted yesterday, even the enterprising Enterprise photographers haven’t been able to document a single errant bag in our town.

    And, as David notes, this isn’t the end of the problem. But, it ends our concerns since we’ve perceived that we were ending the problem.

  5. Growth Izzue

    Frankly, often on a whim after seeing a movie or getting a bite to eat downtown my wife and I will walk the streets and do some shopping. I refuse to pay for any bags so it looks like those businesses will lose out. Yes I will still frequent the local grocery stores but will buy more bulk in Woodland and other local cities when we shop there. If enough follow this pattern and local businesses feel the hit their businesses will take I think we might hear a different tune.

  6. Davis Progressive

    [quote]Frankly, often on a whim after seeing a movie or getting a bite to eat downtown my wife and I will walk the streets and do some shopping. I refuse to pay for any bags so it looks like those businesses will lose out. Yes I will still frequent the local grocery stores but will buy more bulk in Woodland and other local cities when we shop there. If enough follow this pattern and local businesses feel the hit their businesses will take I think we might hear a different tune.[/quote]

    you were so appalled by the decision that you failed to show up before the fact to ask the council not to make it and frankly was so concerned he went out to dinner rather than speaking out. if you don’t show up to vote, you don’t get to complaint is the mantra for voter turnout, should not the same standard apply to civic participation – if you don’t come to council or speak out, you can’t rightly complain?

  7. Frankly

    [i]I don’t think the conservatives get to decide what’s progressive[/i]

    LOL. Considering that it was a Republican-conservative President that actually invented the term and started the first Progressive Party, I think you might not really understand what the term means. Just because you are liberal does not mean you are progressive. Maybe “regressive” is a better term with respect to this decision.

  8. Frankly

    DP, If the council makes their decision only based on the noise made in council chambers, as it appears might be the case, then it clearly would have been a waste of time for me to cancel an important business dinner meeting and attend the council meeting instead.

    You see, there is a silent majority of people in this city not a student, not living of the soft money of government and not retired. This silent majority all have busy lives. They commute to other cities to work because Davis has s few good jobs. The leave for work at 7:00 AM or earlier, and get home around the same hour at night. They stop at a grocery store on the way home. Then they make dinner and help their kids with their homework because our crappy education system does less real teaching during the regular school hours. They don’t have time to agitate for causes, they expect the political leaders they elect to understand them and support them and their beliefs and desires.

    But in this case they learned that their elected leaders care squat about them. Their elected leaders only cared about appeasing that minority with too much free time on their hands, and having an obsession to be thought of as right and important.

  9. Davis Progressive

    “DP, If the council makes their decision only based on the noise made in council chambers, as it appears might be the case, then it clearly would have been a waste of time for me to cancel an important business dinner meeting and attend the council meeting instead.”

    only based on? NO. but, you don’t think it’s a factor? you don’t think that the temperature in the room doesn’t play a role – i’ve been watching these guys (and others like them) for decades. will they buck the crowd? sometimes. but more often than not the crowd plays a role. largely empty chambers and a dozen speakers like last night, council went with their cut.

  10. Davis Progressive

    “DP, I emailed every council member and a few of the staff my feelings about the plastic bag ordinance. “

    that’s good, but not the same. a few years ago when the council stared down 150 angry city employees and cut compensation, that took guts, but lost in that show of force was the fact that two councilmembers blinked.

  11. Frankly

    DP – If you are correct, then I have even less respect for the council and our municipal decision processes. Take your description to the national level, and our congressional reps are justified in responding to only lobbyists while ignoring the desires of their constituents. Is that the point you are making? That the underemployed having some axe to grind, and special interests that are funded and with incentives, are the only groups that get any traction to influence the council?

    That is sad.

  12. Growth Izzue

    DP, well that’s the thing about this town. Liberals are always good at getting their activists to show up for their causes while the rest of us have lives as Frankly so astutley pointed out. I’m sure many who were against the ban also felt itimidated to show up and speak up knowing that so many of the liberal activists would be on hand. Kudos to Rich Rifkin for speaking his mind, he earned points in my book.

  13. Davis Progressive

    frankly: you are looking in terms of justification rather than human nature. if you meet with someone who holds a position and they make a strong point – are you going to ignore it? if only one side is talking, that’s all you hear from. unless you are rigid and set in your ways (which are not good qualities) arguments and appeals will sway. it’s not sad at all.

  14. Davis Progressive

    growth: “liberals are always…” that’s the problem here. this isn’t about what liberals are about, this is about local policy makers trying to balance a variety of interests, if they end up only hearing from one side, they are going to sway to that side.

  15. Frankly

    DP – you don’t need to lecture me on human nature. But these are council members elected to make decision in support of ALL residents, not just a vocal minority. There will always be a vocal minority. And rarely does the vocal minority speak for the majority.

    But one opposing vocal minority was the local Chamber.

    ALL of the council members ignored the Chamber.

    Like I wrote… “BUSINESS-HOSTILE” tattooed on their foreheads.

    Might I ask… what do you do for a living that allows you the time to attend so many council meetings?

  16. Davis Progressive

    “you don’t need to lecture me on human nature. “

    it appears that i do.

    but we’re getting off track here. the bottom line is that you did not do all you could to prevent this, you are engaging in a futile protest that will likely cost you far more money in the long run, and it’s not an issue many are going to join you on. so the city ends up with a few dollars less (if it does).

  17. Frankly

    Here is how a REAL progressive city gets it done…

    [quote][b]City announces community design contest for reusable shopping bags[/b]

    Community members are encouraged to participate in a contest to design reusable bag graphics that reflect the spirit of Boulder. Winning designs will be printed on reusable shopping bags to help promote community adoption and use. The City of Boulder will be using funds from a 10-cent fee on disposable checkout bags to provide the community with a limited number of reusable shopping bags that are made to withstand repeated use and are capable of carrying more weight than plastic or paper bags.

    The contest is open to all ages and several winning designs may be chosen. The community can submit single-colored designs in JPEG format online at Inspire Boulder, the city’s digital town hall, by Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. Submissions may also be sent:
    • by standard mail to: City of Boulder Local Environmental Action Division, Attn: Jamie Harkins P.O. Box 791 Boulder, CO 80306; or
    • by email to: bags@bouldercolorado.gov.

    In November 2012, City Council passed an ordinance requiring a 10-cent fee for both plastic and paper checkout bags at all grocery stores in Boulder. The disposable bag fee will not apply to restaurants, bulk or produce bags, newspaper bags, or any other kind of food packaging bags. The ordinance will become effective on July 1, 2013.

    The 10-cent fee is intended to address the environmental issues associated with the use of disposable bags. The funds collected from the fee will help to offset the city’s mitigation costs, including education, administration, equipment replacement, and distribution of reusable bags to the community.

    For more information about the community design contest or disposable bag fee, contact Sustainability Specialist Jamie Harkins at 303-441-1846 or visit http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/LEAD/bags.
    [/quote]

  18. Davis Progressive

    “Here is how a REAL progressive city gets it done…”

    david and others have argued that davis is behind the curve. you’re just making his point for him.

  19. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]But in this case they learned that their elected leaders care squat about them. Their elected leaders only cared about appeasing that minority with too much free time on their hands, and having an obsession to be thought of as right and important.[/quote]

    I think that it is an error to make the assumption that the “silent majority” as you have described them. Folks who work long hours, stop at the store, make dinner, and help with homework all feel the same way that you do. I was at the CC last night although I did not speak on this issue. Even when my kids were here and I did all those things, I was in favor of a plastic bag ordinance. I strongly suspect that the “silent majority” just don’t care enough about this issue for it to make a difference.

    And I am very surprised in one attitude of yours. You claim that the CC has not proven themselves leaders. I would say that they have demonstrated their leadership over and over again, you simply do not happen to like the direction they are leading on this particular issue.

  20. JustSaying

    [quote]“The Calistoga Green Committee was given the green light to start working with merchants on voluntarily eliminating distribution of plastic bags in their stores…Karen Chang, president of the committee, said voluntary participation by merchants is the best way to get residents to carry reusable bags with them when shopping instead of carrying purchases out in new single-use plastic bags.”[/quote]And, another approach.

    Isn’t is just a little ironic that trash from Napa County (without a bag “ban”) is shipping its bag and other trash to blow around our landfill?

    Does anyone know what other outside communities are sending their garbage to the landfill on the outskirts of Davis? Why was this fact left out during our deliberations?

    The county has no interest in making bag “ban” ordinances a condition for outside dumping at our landfill. So, don’t expect a county-wide rule to be hypocritically imposed on our local communities.

    Of course, the landfill appreciates Davis’ unilateral action. Where there are five flying bags to get picked up, soon there’ll be as few as four.

  21. Frankly

    DP – [i]david and others have argued that davis is behind the curve. you’re just making his point for him[/i]

    Boulder did not BAN plastic bags. Can you read?

  22. Frankly

    Boulder’s ordinance is not business-hostile, and is truly progressive and creative.

    Davis is behind the curve on just about everything and will continue to be behind the curve because the agenda is run by those lacking leadership skills and will.

  23. JustSaying

    DP, could you have missed last night’s meeting as well as the last two years of arguments?

    If you were correct that the Davis bag “ban” is all about the broad issue(s) of sustainability, the dynamics of the debate would have been much different.

    And, I suspect, the effort wouldn’t have been half as convincing as the appeals that constantly were made regarding massive amounts bag litter, expenses at the landfill, plastic particles in the ocean, gagged and trapped animals, birds and fish, our shameful diminishing reputation as a progressive enclave, and on and on.

    The issues of the bag production environmental costs (vs. the convenience provided) and other sustainability matters surely are worth action statewide or, say, in Los Angeles where only 10% of those millions were turning down bags that really did end up in the Pacific. But, why in quaint Davis where more than half of shoppers were found to refuse single-use bags?

    I think the bag “ban” initiative was an exceptional campaign–including the issues repeatedly raised, the initial untenable proposal scaled to a “compromise,” the recruitment of foot soldiers, and all the way to last night with the threat to “do it my way or you’ll get sued by the bad guys.” I expect to see the strategy to be repeated on other NRC somewhat frivolous, minor-league matters. But, this one’s a done deal.

  24. Skip Harrison

    Aren’t we splitting hairs between a ban and an ordinance?
    I could care less whether the so called single use bags are banned or not. I rarely ever use them and when given the choice I always opt for paper. Sometimes I even feel self-righteous and take my own cloth bags with me when I can remember to take them from the trunk or the back seat.

    Since it was passed I am glad it is almost all retail rather than singling out, what 44 locations? That would have been a nightmare, IMO. Now can we get on to more important problems facing the city?

  25. Ginger

    Medwoman says the CC were being leaders, DP says they were taking temperature of the room and being swayed.

    Is it a ban or an ordinance? Isn’t that dependent upon what the meaning of “is” is?

    Conservatives can’t speak to what is/isn’t progressive, you can’t complain if you weren’t at the CC meeting, the ban/ordinance isn’t about plastic bags [i]really[/i], it’s about sustainability.

    Dodging and verbal gymnastics.

    In the end, I guess I will have to make more purchases out of town to get free plastic bags that I [b]reuse[/b] (not single use, that’s so silly) nearly daily. When shopping in Davis I’ll get paper bags (as I usually do anyway) until they are (once again) the target of the sustainability police who react because they don’t feel that Davis is keeping up with the progressive pack.

    PS: With Obamacare, the penalty isn’t a FINE, it is a tax. Verbal gymnastics FTW!

  26. Davis Progressive

    ” DP says they were taking temperature of the room and being swayed. “

    so we’re clear, i didn’t say that. i said that was a factor among many.

  27. Growth Izzue

    Ginger:
    [quote]In the end, I guess I will have to make more purchases out of town to get free plastic bags that I reuse (not single use, that’s so silly) nearly daily.[/quote]

    That makes three, maybe we can get something going. Let’s call it the ban on stores that ban plastic bags. That’s how things get changed, when retailers see a drop in revenue they’ll go screaming to the council.

  28. Ginger

    DP:
    [quote] Ginger: “DP says they were taking temperature of the room and being swayed. ”

    so we’re clear, i didn’t say that. i said that was a factor among many.
    [/quote]

    But DP, you said:
    [quote]…if you don’t come to council or speak out, you can’t rightly complain [/quote] and when GI said they emailed CC and city staff you doubled down: [quote] that’s good, but not the same. [/quote]

    So while you initially said that people only “get to complain” if they were vocal in a CC meeting, it now sounds like you now agree with GI and Frankly that many other “factors” are important and thus people who didn’t go to the CC meeting “get to complain?”

    GI:

    [quote]That makes three, maybe we can get something going. Let’s call it the ban on stores that ban plastic bags. That’s how things get changed, when retailers see a drop in revenue they’ll go screaming to the council.[/quote] I actually am a bit torn here. I feel VERY bad for the businesses who must comply with this ban/ordinance/fine/tax/is-is and will find their bottom line reduced.

    That being said (call back to the human nature discussion), I do reuse plastic bags for a number of things. Do I want to now go to a Davis Safeway and BUY plastic bags (that are all boxed up…more waste) or do I want to stop at a store the next town over, buy my bananas and dog food (one reason I need those plastic baggies) and laundry detergent and wine and mascara and get FREE plastic baggies there? 🙂

  29. Michael Harrington

    Poor Safeway! You put their store bag in your top photo. Actually, for tabling for direct voter democracy, Safeway is one of the more friendly stores.

  30. B. Nice

    [quote]Boulder’s ordinance is not business-hostile, and is truly progressive and creative.[/quote]

    Frankly, Boulder charges for both plastic and paper bags (I though you didn’t like the fact you had to pay for a bag?), and it seem like business’ will have to track how many they distribute. How is this business friendlier then Davis’ ordinance?

    Here is an excerpt: As of July 1, 2013 all grocery stores in Boulder are required to charge 10 cents for every plastic or paper bag used at the checkout. The stores retain four cents of the fee and the remaining six cents is sent to the City of Boulder to address the impacts of disposable bags in our community.

    [url]https://bouldercolorado.gov/lead/exploring-bag-use-in-boulder[/url]

  31. Michael Harrington

    This ban is yet another taking away of our rights by “liberal” political officials.

    I was the swing vote (since I lived and worked downtown, my opinion swayed the day) on banning alcohol in public areas. It was one of my worst votes ever. The ordinance directly takes away invididual freedom to have a glass of wine or beer, or two, without harming anyone else. There already was a public drunkennesss ordinance, and that would have been enough for the police to take action against someone who was really abusing their privileges.

  32. Growth Izzue

    [quote]I was the swing vote (since I lived and worked downtown, my opinion swayed the day) on banning alcohol in public areas. It was one of my worst votes ever.[/quote]

    Thank you Michael for the mea culpa. You show there is indeed hope for liberals.

  33. Frankly

    It is COMPLETELY business-friendly within the scope of a progressive and environmentally-friendly city. The $.04 per bag that the store gets adequately covers the cost of labor to track the sales and tax.

    I have never said/written that I am against paying for plastic or paper bags. I absolutely would have supported an ordinance that implements financial incentives to help motivate desired behavior.

    I already pay $.05 for the plastic bags at IGA (Delanos). $.10 or even $.15 would be fine by me.

    But now we have this ban.

    Boulder is the real progressive, creative, notable city dealing with this issue. Davis is a backwater, johnny-come-lately, sheep-following follower that just likes to ban things.

  34. B. Nice

    [quote]Their elected leaders only cared about appeasing that minority with too much free time on their hands, and having an obsession to be thought of as right and important.[/quote]

    People in Davis clearly make their voices known and heard when they oppose or support an issue. Clearly not enough people in this town opposed this ordinance, we would have heard from them it they did, they would have made the time if this issue was that important to them, it wasn’t.

  35. Frankly

    I think Bob Dunning tends to speak for the silent majority… except in some rare cases where there is a close split like for the surface water project.

    The council would probably bat 750 for matching true public opinion if they would just vote as Bob says.

    However, they bat 250 by just listening to the screeching and screaming.

  36. shamusd

    I am very concerned with the shadow politics in Davis, this blog is a prime example. People are afraid to state their name for whatever reason, yet they question why people don’t show up at city council meetings to express their opinions. Move on Davis, its time to take ownership of your views in public, don’t hide behind the anonymity at the ballot box or this blog.

    Say what you mean, mean what you say and own it!

    Jim Donovan

  37. Frankly

    GI: [i]Thank you Michael for the mea culpa. You show there is indeed hope for liberals[/i]

    Agreed. I wish more of our politicians past and present would fall on their sword when warranted (metaphorically-speaking of course).

  38. Ginger

    OMG does every thread here have to have someone complaining about people posting anonymously? I was hoping if I went away a bit that would stop, that it was just a phase. *sigh*

  39. B. Nice

    [quote]It is COMPLETELY business-friendly within the scope of a progressive and environmentally-friendly city.[/quote]

    There was talk last night of amending the ordinance to charge for both bags with revenue (after expenses) being put toward some kind of program similar to Boulders. Councils concerns with doing this was the extra burden it would place on business’ to track bag, (which I thought was something the business’ in Davis were really opposed to be required to do).

    Sorry I thought you said you didn’t want to pay for bags, maybe I was thinking of GI.

  40. B. Nice

    [quote]Say what you mean, mean what you say and own it! [/quote]

    Yes, and get verbally accosted in front of your kids, threatened, and maligned, and have your words taken out of context and used in a malicious smear campaign against you and organization your are associated with for expressing an opinion someone doesn’t agree with. When people stop doing that, I’ll start posting with my real name.

  41. B. Nice

    [quote]The council would probably bat 750 for matching true public opinion if they would just vote as Bob says.[/quote]

    Bob’s columns are meant to be controversial, he would be out of job if this many people agreed with him.

  42. Frankly

    One the main reasons that Boulder decided to charge a fee instead of a ban is that they new that people would just shift to paper bags instead of reusables.

    So they solved that by charging a fee for both paper and plastic.

    And they accepted that some people would chose to pay the fee for the convenience, but enough would be motivated to go reusable that it would materially solve the problem they wanted to solve.

    Interesting that there was a groups of ignorant and idealistic school kids that demanded a ban and were disappointed. That appears to be the level of leadership in our little slow-mo city.

  43. medwoman

    Ginger

    [quote] I guess I will have to make more purchases out of town to get free plastic bags that I reuse (not single use, that’s so silly) nearly daily. [/quote]

    I would say that “free” is also a verbal gymnastic. I guarantee you that there is no “free lunch”. Those bags are being payed for in some fashion. I believe that they are probably being payed for by overall charges on a number of items. So, when you have the choice to purchase plastic bags if that is your preference, why do you think that other shoppers should subsidize your preference for plastic ? Even if used 3 or 4 times by everyone,
    plastic, which is obviously not the case, it is still not good for our environment. Do you really believe that it is ? Neither is paper if used only a few times. I happen to believe that sustainability is more important than what some of you feel is your right to”free” goodies for personal convenience.

    And while present during the full discussion, I did not speak before the council on this issue. However, I certainly did not notice any “environmental wackos” there. Just some citizens and a group of students who cared enough to speak out.

  44. Frankly

    [i]Bob’s columns are meant to be controversial, he would be out of job if this many people agreed with him.[/i]

    I think you really don’t know the influence of Bob. He has his finger on the pulse of the typical Davisite… that is why he is so popular… that and his finely-tuned sarcastic humor.

  45. B. Nice

    [quote]One the main reasons that Boulder decided to charge a fee instead of a ban is that they new that people would just shift to paper bags instead of reusables.[/quote]

    We were talking about this in terms of business friendliness, not “ignorant and idealistic school kids”. One of council’s reasons for not doing this was so business’ would not have to track bags, they viewed this as unfriendly business part of the ordinance. What’s worse not providing plastic or more paperwork (in which they have to account for every bag and keep books on the money that needs to be given to a program)? I don’t know. Have business owners in Davis weighed in on this?

  46. Frankly

    Business owners were clear through the letter from the Chamber. They opposed any bans or restrictions of bags, and suggested the city work on passing a resolution for a state action, and then get back to more pressing business.

    If given a choice, I’m sure most businesses would accept a per-bag fee versus a ban. Likes I said, Delanos already charges a fee for their expensive recycled bags. Since each transaction includes the number of bags charged for, it does not take much of any extra time to figure out what a tax payment would be using computerized POS systems… which all stores use these days.

  47. B. Nice

    [quote]I think you really don’t know the influence of Bob. He has his finger on the pulse of the typical Davisite… that is why he is so popular… that and his finely-tuned sarcastic humor[/quote]

    He didn’t seem to have much influence on this issue. (Again when people REALLY care about an issue in this town, that let there voices be known, this issue seemed to have very little in the way of organized if any opposition.)

  48. B. Nice

    [quote]However, I certainly did not notice any “environmental wackos” there. Just some citizens and a group of students who cared enough to speak out.[/quote]

    The only real whacko comment I heard from either side was Rifkin’s claim that he never see’s stray plastic bags near the landfill.

  49. B. Nice

    [quote]If given a choice, I’m sure most businesses would accept a per-bag fee versus a ban. [/quote]

    It was discussed council, especially Rochelle, seemed to have a different opinion on this.

  50. shamusd

    b.nice,
    I am sure you are a wonderful role model to your children. Having the courage to say what you believe regardless of what other people think is an invaluable lesson for your children. No disrespect meant.

  51. Ginger

    Medwoman:
    [quote]I would say that “free” is also a verbal gymnastic. [/quote]

    Of course the cost of the bags are currently folded into the pricing structure in any store, just as the electricity bill is, the labor costs, shoplifting losses, etc. However, if they add that EXTRA ten cents per bag, that would actually affect my purchasing decisions in some instances. Some of us, at times, really do count pennies.

    Also…if a ten cent per bag fee were mandated by the government, do you really think that stores are going to reduce the cost of items across the board to account for not needing to fold the prices into their cost structure?

  52. B. Nice

    [quote]Having the courage to say what you believe regardless of what other people think is an invaluable lesson for your children.[/quote]

    If it was just what people thought, I wouldn’t have a problem. It was actions people took that made me realize that in order to express my opinions and explore idea’s freely, (some I might later regretted or changes my mind about) I needed to do so anonymously. I’ll teach my children that same lesson.

  53. GreenandGolden

    Do y’all realize that this has become Frankly’s blog. You rise to his bait over and over again. He is a troll who is outgrowing the damp space beneath his bridge.

  54. Frankly

    Me Frankly…

    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscfrank/frankly.jpg[/img]

    Frankly though, I think G&G has a point. I will be taking a breather. Noticed that I am snapping at employees and family members over this damn plastic bag ban and the ongoing inability for our city council to get anything done that isn’t wasteful twaddle.

    Football season is starting, and I just got some new golf clubs to replace the once I purchased 25 years ago.

    So bye bye blog for a while.

  55. jimt

    How about just an education campaign about recycling the plastic bags–as I understand it; grocery stores are required to have a plastic bag recycling bin (is this correct? I recycle mine at grocery outlet; they have a prominent plastic bag recycling bin there). Maybe if more people were aware that there are plastic bag recycling bins located conveniently, more of them would be recycled.
    Although I suppose the type of people that litter are not the type to recycle; wonder what % of errant plastic bags are due to littering (e.g. from freeways too) and what % blow over from landfill? I don’t understand the mindset of people who just throw their garbage out the window; like the whole world is their garbage can.

  56. Growth Izzue

    Frankly, maybe sometime you and I can play a round of golf, I’d enjoy that. Just golf, no politics, maybe a few beers. (:

    GreenandGolden
    [quote]Do y’all realize that this has become Frankly’s blog. You rise to his bait over and over again. He is a troll who is outgrowing the damp space beneath his bridge. [/quote]

    GreenandGolden….you came across as the real troll here. We were having a good debate and you the troll came out of nowhere from under your bridge and threw the stone. Shutup and go back into your crevice.

  57. DT Businessman

    “However, I certainly did not notice any “environmental wackos” there.”

    medwoman, I’m not sure which public comment period you were tuned into, but the comments of the pro ordinance speakers were pretty goofy falling into 2 broad categories:

    1) Everybody else is doing it.
    2) This is long overdue.

    There was virtually zero substance there. The Chamber position statement was far and away the most coherent argument put forth, yet it had no sway. What’s that say about the CC?

    -Michael Bisch

  58. DT Businessman

    Brett Lee was about the only CC member that had his head screwed on straight regarding this matter. His core position was this issue is essentially inconsequential, so why are we taking up so much time with it? Really? We don’t have more important challenges to resolve? His position essentially mirrored the Chamber position as opposed to the Calpirg kids who managed to gin up an inconsequential matter as a life and death struggle and had 4 CC members buying into it.

    -Michael Bisch

  59. DT Businessman

    Just to recap here. It took the CC 3 years, countless minutes of public comment, numerous public meetings, untold staff time, $30k for a negative declaration, not sure how much city attorney billing hours, etc. to pass an ordinance addressing less than 20% of less than 1% of the waste stream to our landfill. At that rate we’ll solve our fiscal deficit sometime in 3013. Now that’s progressive.

    -Michael Bisch

  60. Adam Smith

    DAvid ….; [i]Davis secured its place among the more progressive communities in California Tuesday night, as the Davis City Council finally made Davis the 61st community in the state of California to pass an ordinance restricting the use of single-use carryout bags. [/i]

    DTB…. [i]Just to recap here. It took the CC 3 years, countless minutes of public comment, numerous public meetings, untold staff time, $30k for a negative declaration, not sure how much city attorney billing hours, etc. to pass an ordinance addressing less than 20% of less than 1% of the waste stream to our landfill. At that rate we’ll solve our fiscal deficit sometime in 3013. Now that’s progressive. [/i]

    Come on DTB — this isn’t about substance for David.. or many other “progressives”…its meaningless in any scientific or substantive way. But it looks good on the Davis Progressive CV. That, and a $1.25 at Peets, will get a small coffee to start your day.

  61. Davis Progressive

    re: dunning… if anything we saw how little he reflects the views of the typical davis voter. few spoke out against the plastic bag ban despite his long tirade against it. he was on the other side of the water issue. other side of the wood burning issue. he seems to reflect the views of the older guard, more conservative members of the community rather than its more liberal and progressive wing.

  62. medwoman

    Michael Bisch

    [quote]What’s that say about the CC? [/quote]

    To me, it says absolutely nothing about the City Council. I strongly suspect that as long as this issue has been around, the CC probably did not make their decision based on what a handful of members of the community said one way or the other. At least I hope they do more homework than that. And that was not the point I was addressing in my post. So let me try again.

    Many posters here have expressed negative attitudes about our youth in a number of different contexts.
    It is common to hear that today’s youth don’t care or become involved in our community.
    Then, we get a group of youth who obviously do care enough to take action about something they consider important ( even if you don’t) and they get branded as “environmental wackos”. Now that doesn’t strike me as a particularly good way to encourage them in their civic endeavors. It was that deliberate demeaning of their activities that I was speaking to.

  63. SouthofDavis

    DT Businessman wrote:

    > Just to recap here. It took the CC 3 years, countless
    > minutes of public comment, numerous public meetings,
    > untold staff time, $30k for a negative declaration,
    > not sure how much city attorney billing hours, etc.
    > to pass an ordinance addressing less than 20% of less
    > than 1% of the waste stream to our landfill.

    I’m getting ready for another 3 years of debate over the plastic “sandwich bag” ban…

  64. medwoman

    Adam Smith

    [quote]its meaningless in any scientific or substantive way[/quote]

    I think that is demonstrably not true by the number of posts that have been written on this subject. If this were truly meaningless to people, it would have been a yawn, “that one is settled”, now lets move on. For reasons not clear to me, this issue has struck a chord way out of proportion to its impact.

    How I interpret this is that appearance truly does matter and perception shapes reality. Some in our community are happy that we are adopting what they perceive as a conservation, environmental, or sustainability measure even if the overall impact will be small since it is perceived as moving us in the right direction. Some feel that it is “forcing” them to do something they dislike even though plastics are still available if you want to pay for them. Either way you see this, the issue, if not the measure itself is substantive as measured by the amount of emotion and commentary it has generated.

  65. DT Businessman

    medwoman, following your reasoning, we should spend 3 years passing an inconsequential ordinance to help the homeless, and another inconsequential ordinance to reduce our carbon footprint, and another inconsequential ordinance to improve our economic sustainability, and so on, keeping ourselves busy, but not really achieving anything all because “appearance truly does matter and perception shapes reality.” I don’t support that at all and I don’t support a CC that follows that strategy. I support meaningful action with substantive results.

    -Michael Bisch

  66. medwoman

    Michael,

    I think that our difference of opinion on this may come down to two points:
    1) I agree that this is a matter that should not have taken three years to decide one way or the other.
    A matter of a few months to assess the process, the impact on other cities and to seek community input
    should have been sufficient. But I disagree that the matter should not have been addressed at all.
    2) Inconsequential is not synonymous with meaningless. While there may not be the robust physical effect
    that I would hope for from this ordinance, I do believe that small steps in the right direction do have
    significance and will eventually move us towards more sustainability in the future even if
    it only makes us more aware of our destructive current tendency to waste, throw away and litter. Small
    steps do matter and are not inconsequential or meaningless in the long run.

  67. biddlin

    Frankly, I understand. I try to spend more time with my guitars than blogging . I also like walking and last year spent some time walking and talking with folks in rural areas. I met 100s of folks with entirely different concerns and points of view than mine. It was inspiring and instructive. Seriously,I think you should go out among your neighbours and find out what they really want for Davis’ future. Listen to their views and concerns. I know that there are other Davisites who,like you,see the opportunities for meaningful development and job growth being tossed aside by the doctrinaire “Progressives”. I think now is a time when someone with the vision for a future Davis can act decisively to effect positive changes. Just my twopence old bird.
    Biddlin ;>)/

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