The attack line goes: “Flip flops are perfect… for the beach.” “But flip flops are bad for public policy… because flip floppers can’t be trusted.” The punch line: “Assembly candidate Dan Wolk has flip flopped on every major issue he’s voted on.”
The Vanguard has had a front row seat for just about every vote that Mr. Wolk has made in his three years on the Davis City Council. He has flip-flopped on one major issue. In October of 2013, he voted to support the shared-management services for fire. Two months later, after letters from public officials including his mother, he cast a “no” vote on the final vote for the JPA.
However, that is not one of the lines of attack included in the brochure.
CLAIM: The PAC attacks him for promising “not to raise water rates without community support.” They say, he “voted to raise to water rates by 300% and ignored the community.”
Leaving aside the sloppy typo,
The truth: The truth is that Dan Wolk on September 6, 2011, voted to implement the surface water project and the approved Prop 218 rates. However, the public signed a petition to put the rates on the ballot and so on December 1, 2011, he and Rochelle Swanson announced they were pulling back.
As Councilmember Wolk told the Vanguard, “For a number of reasons, I don’t believe putting the ordinance on the ballot is wise. Instead, we need to work together to forge a better path forward on this issue.”
He said that was his intent on September 6 and “we need to try again at this one.”
So Dan Wolk helped to implement a long community-based process that includes a year-long study by the Water Advisory Committee, put the surface Water Project on the ballot in March 2013, and the rates to a Prop 218 process in April 2013.
He didn’t ignore the community, he followed community concern in pulling back and the community then approved the project in March 2013.
CLAIM: PAC writes, “Promised support for the new plan to strengthen fire safety services.” Dan Wolk “voted against fire safety at a late-night meeting when voters wouldn’t notice.”
The truth: It is not actually clear what the PAC is referring to. There was no plan to “strengthen fire safety services.” There were a series of reforms that were implemented last year: boundary drop, longer response times, fire staffing cuts, and shared management services.
Dan Wolk supported the first two, he never said he was in favor of fire staffing cuts, and as we indicated above, he did change his vote on shared management services, but none of these resemble the claim and none of the votes occurred late at night when voters wouldn’t notice. Moreover, each of the reforms were passed, and Mr. Wolk was on the losing side on the last two.
VERDICT: Mostly False
CLAIM: “Championed a program to reduce waste.” Dan Wolk “voted to increase garbage rates without including waste reduction program.
The truth: It is again unclear what this attack refers to. The city did move to implement variable rates on waste containers. They have also moved to implement reforms to reduce waste reduction through greenwaste containerization, variable rates, food scrap and other innovations. In March, Dan Wolk among others “expressed concern that the city would not be able to renew its storm water quality permit if it continued with a exclusive loose in the street collection method.” There is no indication that Dan Wolk opposed the waste reduction program.
CLAIM: “Refused to ban plastic bags.” Dan Wolk “voted in favor of the plastic bag ban.”
The truth: Ironically, Dan Wolk was being hit here for a stance that he was most consistent on, of any stances he ultimately took. As we reported back in February 2011, Dan Wolk stated that this was one issue where he differed from his mother who put forth legislation opposing a plastic bag ban. Using almost the same language in September 2013, Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk 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.”
VERDICT: Dan Wolk has been completely consistent on this issue
Summary: The FAIRPAC has completely distorted the public record in terms of the issues at hand, the positions that Dan Wolk has taken, and his votes. In most cases, their claims do not bear any resemblance to the facts.
The most ironic thing is that, in criticizing him for flip-flopping on the plastic bag ban, they hit on the area he was probably most consistent on.
—David M. Greenwald reporting