Commentary: Forget Mace 391, We Are Failing Now

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innovation-centerMace 200 Doomed to Become the Next Failed Project if Things Don’t Change – As word has begun leaking out of that the World Food Center is headed to Sacramento (most likely), behind the scenes the ghost of Mace 391 has been revived. Tech leaders and proponents of the innovation park on land that is now headed for a conservation easement are quick to point fingers as to what went wrong.

This is not only not a healthy approach, it’s also not very realistic in terms of the politics in the city of Davis. The truth is that Mace 391 was a very long longshot under the best of circumstances. Forget about the process problems, lack of community discussion, and last-minute council machinations. Forget about the value that the public puts on agricultural land, open space preservation and anti-sprawl measures.

Mace 391 would have been seen as a dangerous overreach by the public much as Covell Village was a decade ago. It would have gone to a Measure J vote with the Open Space Commission, Yolo Land Trust, and other conservationists screaming foul, in addition to the usual suspects that oppose growth. And in that landscape and climate, Mace 391 not only would have gone down to defeat, it wouldn’t have been close.

However, Dave Morris, who put this issue on the table, has been unnecessarily beaten up over this. While there were missteps, Dave Morris’ vision and the resulting discussion have opened the door to other innovation park possibilities that are far more scaled down and thus realistic.

Mace 200 and the Northwest Quadrant are two much more feasible possibilities. They are backed by studies by the Innovation Park Task Force and UC Davis’ Studio 30. Mace 200 has the added advantage that it will be surrounded by mitigated land and easements which will prevent its development from leading to sprawl.

While the discussion over Mace 391 gave energy and focus to the need for an innovation park, there are signs that city leaders are fumbling it away. In the last several months I have talked to a lot of people who have not been at the table and the response ranges from yes we need to do something, to threats that any proposal for Mace 200 is DOA.

City leaders have unfortunately been talking in a echo-chamber. We brought this issue up both at the January and February Innovation Park Task Force meetings – the need to bring a broader range of stakeholders to the table, and the need for people who supported Measure J in 2000 to be at that table to change the course of conversations that leaned heavily on the anti-Measure J/Measure R side.

At the February 24, 2014, meeting there was discussion about a Community Forum Plan and Community Outreach process which included input and direction on information gathering sources, outreach activities and a time frame.

What has happened since then? Absolutely nothing. The March and April meetings were cancelled for lack of a quorum. We are now almost at the end of May and it has been three months – there is still no proposal for a business park.

This is beginning to look like the revenue measure issue. In June of last year the issue was raised that we needed a revenue measure, it did not come up again until December, then suddenly the council had to throw up a revenue measure as the clock ticked toward midnight.

A sales tax measure can pass under those circumstance – a land use measure is going to need a lot of community dialogue and we have barely begun that.

Recognizing the need to generate discussion and opportunity, Rob White put together his proposal for an RFEI (Request for Expressions of Interest).   This would come before the council on April 22, but poor agenda management led to the item coming before council at midnight.

Mayor Joe Krovoza incredibly asked Rob White to do a three-minute presentation. Council balked at the notion of allowing Mr. White to go forward at that time, instead bringing the discussion back three weeks later.

In the meantime, the issue went to the City-County Two-by-Two, which had been almost as dysfunctional as the Innovation Park Task Force. With both city representations running for Assembly, the body had barely met. Immediately, Supervisor Don Saylor tried to co-opt the process.

He said, “I think over time I’ve heard people complain about a developer driven process, so the idea that an application would be a conversation starter seems to be concerning.”

More importantly, he said, the county and city already have structures in place and he think they could bring the proposals to “this table” and allow the city and county to establish a community engagement process. He said, “For either one to proceed down a track without that framework discussion, it sort of opens up conflict potential. We don’t have to do that.”

With Don Saylor threatening to slow down the process, the city council last week finally agreed to allow Rob White to move forward with an RFEI. It was Rochelle Swanson who stepped up last week to throw down the gauntlet.

She told her colleagues, “We have been talking for a long time about what we’re going to do. The innovation task force has been talking for a number of years. We’ve talked about waiting for proposals… I do worry that this search for the perfect is going to kill the good.”

“We don’t have to change the character of our community,” she said. “I just want to make sure that people are aware that now is the time, we are going to have to work together.”

Rochelle Swanson referenced Paul Tsongas in 1992: “He talked about how there are people on canoes and they’re rowing, and other countries are rowing and they’re all in step. And we’re standing up hitting each other over the head with paddles. When I see what the other communities are doing, they’re in lock step. They get it. They’re rowing in order. And I think we still tend to beat each other up over certain things. I want to encourage us to really move forward.”

And that’s a perfect analogy. In the months after the failure of Mace 391, we have been hitting each other over the head with paddles over lost opportunities rather than taking advantage of the opportunities we have now.

Mace 391 is not coming back, but if we fail to reach out to the community right now and if someone does not take the leadership mantle like Rochelle Swanson did last week, we are doomed to repeat history.

Mace 200 or the other projects are going to be heavy lifting, and the community will need to be brought on board or it will fail.

Tonight, The University Financing Foundation (TUFF) is coming to the community chambers to discuss various Davis projects, including the two peripheral innovation parks. According to an email from Rob White yesterday, “If you are not familiar with TUFF, they are a leader in research park and mixed use projects across the US. Their executive director, Kevin Byrne, is also the president of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP)  Board and will be one of three TUFF representatives in Davis tomorrow.”

From 3 to 4:30 will be an Informal Presentation – “Open to the Community (to be video recorded for posting to the City’s website). This will be about a 45 minute overview of TUFF, their experience, and some lessons learned from working with AURP, with time for audience questions. Due to time constraints, we are not broadly advertising the presentation, but it is certainly open to any that would like to attend. It will be held in the City Hall Community Chambers, 23 Russell Blvd, Davis.”

The bottom line here is that we are less than six months away from the November general election. We have lost three months in opportunities to outreach to the public, there is no formal project on the table, and so if people are serious about a business/innovation park, they need to forget about Mace 391 and worry about the next proposals becoming the next Mace 391 to fail to gain traction.

—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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53 thoughts on “Commentary: Forget Mace 391, We Are Failing Now”

  1. Good Government

    Having Rochelle as chair would normally be a good thing, as she is by far the most active, knowledgeable councilmember on these issues. But everyone is indeed stretched very thin with the election (thankfully only two weeks away). What are the legal deadlines the city faces for a November ballot measure?

  2. Davis Progressive

    it seems that the ball was dropped from february until now. we see the impact of the failure to outreach and yet we make the same mistake, over and over again. it seems like we are trying to do too much, but how do you not try to pass a tax and plan for economic development?

    i think we need to elect leaders who won’t run for higher office. has the city actually accomplishing anything since january 1?

  3. Frankly

    I will never forget about Mace 391. You cannot let such a foolish and harmful decision slip under the radar. It will be that stinking dead chicken hanging around the dog’s neck training him to stop killing chickens.

    1. Don Shor

      It was one of the best land-use decisions the City of Davis has made in years. Now we can move forward with other projects, if the staff and council will get on the ball and those who were emotionally invested in developing Mace 391 can get over their anger and help move the discussion forward on those other sites.

      1. Mark West

        You may well be right Don that is was a good land use decision. Unfortunately, it was one of the stupidest fiscal decisions the City could have made at the time, and more to the point, it was a decision that didn’t need to be made. We rushed into the decision without fully analyzing the consequences or examining the other options that were available, including more than one option that may well have resulted in an even better land use decision for the community.

          1. Mark West

            It may well have lost the vote (we will never know), but it also never needed to be voted upon. It was more valuable as an undeveloped piece of City owned land to be used as leverage in discussions with the owners of Mace 200 (and other sites) than it will ever be now.

            It was a stupid fiscal decision pushed through by short sighted ideologues and politicians looking to buy votes.

          2. Don Shor

            The only way to “leverage” it would have been to threaten to develop it. That would have made development of both sites less likely. With Mace 391 in conservation, planning and annexation of Mace 200 can proceed. As to your other oft-repeated claim: the conservation action was now or never.
            Land conservation is not short sighted. It is exactly the opposite. We have several hundred acres available for business park sites. You and others were obsessed with Mace 391 to the apparent exclusion of all those other sites. Nothing at all was happening, or going to happen, on those other sites until Mace 391 was off the table and put into conservation. Until then, one development scheme after another was sure to be floated. Now we can move forward. Except, apparently, for you and Frankly.

          3. Frankly

            We owned it. We don’t need to own land to place it in conservation easement. There are hundreds of land owners around Davis that are more than happy to take the money to put their properties into permanent ag easement, Buyt you know this. You know quite a bit Don. That is why your arguments are disengenuous and baseless. You demanded this other piece of the Davis farmland moat for your own reasons that are in direct conflict with what would have been a much better outcome for the residents of the city. I suspect that you have other hidden motives with your position on this, because it does not add up. Or if not you are just stubborn and stuck in denial of the truth.

            These other parcels are owned by others… others that don’t even have any plans on the boards for development. These owners are in the drivers seat despite what you and other activits like to think about your own power to steer every policy desision to your liking.

            We will never know what the Measure J outcome would have been. I am 100% convinced it would have passed in light of the budget problems just coming to light and the revenue potential combined with the exciting message that we owned it and could design it to be a world-class smart-development business park that others would envy.

            All that opportunity is lost. And the stink of that crappy decision will never go away as long as I am alive. Especially as more of our fiscal problems boil to the surface.

          4. Davis Progressive

            “We will never know what the Measure J outcome would have been. I am 100% convinced it would have passed in light of the budget problems just coming to light and the revenue potential combined with the exciting message that we owned it and could design it to be a world-class smart-development business park that others would envy.”

            you’re 100% wrong. you couldn’t get it through council. you couldn’t get them to re-examine it. how could you possibly argue it would pass by the voters?

          5. Don Shor

            We owned it. We don’t need to own land to place it in conservation easement.

            You and Mark West and others regularly disprove this thesis. The development pressure on Mace 391 was relentless. The only thing that ended it, permanently, was a conservation easement.

            There are hundreds of land owners around Davis that are more than happy to take the money to put their properties into permanent ag easement, Buyt you know this. You know quite a bit Don. That is why your arguments are disengenuous and baseless. You demanded this other piece of the Davis farmland moat for your own reasons that are in direct conflict with what would have been a much better outcome for the residents of the city. I suspect that you have other hidden motives with your position on this, because it does not add up. Or if not you are just stubborn and stuck in denial of the truth.

            Second time you’ve accused me of “hidden motives.” Either put up or shut up. What do you think they are? In the absence of any answer, please retract these baseless accusations.
            As I said repeatedly during the discussion we had last fall, putting Mace 391 into a conservation easement creates a firm urban limit line on the East boundary of the city. And it preserves very high-quality agricultural soil in near-perpetuity. That is the purpose of an agricultural easement, and constraining and re-directing urban growth to poorer soils was a principle reason for creating an urban limit line on the east. This will direct growth, as appropriate to the city’s fiscal needs, to the poorer soils along the north and northwest. And it allows one site near the freeway — Mace 200 — because developing that site will no longer lead to development pressures on nearby parcels.
            We’ve been over all this before.

            These other parcels are owned by others… others that don’t even have any plans on the boards for development. These owners are in the drivers seat despite what you and other activits like to think about your own power to steer every policy desision to your liking.

            As you know, there are discussions already underway between staff and landowners for at least three parcels. The staff guides the process, and I have reasonable confidence in Rob and others in that regard. And the voters are always in the drivers’ seat in Davis.

          6. Frankly

            and the voters are in the driver’s seat

            First, you are not a Davis voter so your credibility for understanding what the Davis voter thinks and feels is questionable at best. There is not much you trumpet that matches the opinions of my neighbors.

            Second, if the voters were in the driver’s seat then why are we in this fiscal mess?

            Third, you apparently don’t understand ownership rights. The only thing we can do is leverage the desire of the land owner to maximize his returns. And most of that desire will be in direct conflict with the desires of the elites in town.

            It is idiotic and amateurish to go around believing we have that much control… just as it is for the council to downplay the importance of developing business parks so that the land owners don’t leverage it in rejection of all the myriad of demands Davis activists will place on the project.

            You keep talking about the Mace urban limit as if you can quantify what it is relative to Mace 391 and how it values the city. It only benefits the vision of land preservation zealots and change averse NIMBYs.

            Putting Mace 391 into a permanent ag easement was a stupid, stupid move. It will continually haunt the council members and those that pushed them to make that decision.

          7. Don Shor

            There is not much you trumpet that matches the opinions of my neighbors.

            You hear yourself talk, you see them nod, so you think they agree with you.

            Second, if the voters were in the driver’s seat then why are we in this fiscal mess?

            Every property owner who has peripheral land knows that he/she has to persuade a majority of Davis voters of the value and quality of the project. That is such a given that it has probably constrained any number of possible projects that would have occurred in any other city. Measure R puts the voters in the drivers seat. You disagree with this?

            You keep talking about the Mace urban limit as if you can quantify what it is relative to Mace 391 and how it values the city.

            It conserves good land and directs growth toward other areas. Why do you think the open space organizations wanted it in the first place?

            Still waiting for you to retract your baseless accusation. But I doubt you will. Which shows a singular lack of integrity.

          8. Frankly

            You hear yourself talk, you see them nod, so you think they agree with you.

            Compared to your conversations with yourself outside of the city limits in front of your computer and you imagine you see virtual neighbors nod and agree with you.

            Really Don. There might have been a time when building a famrland moat around the city sounded like a good thing. That is so pre-Great Recession. I think you are stuck in a pre-fiscal crisis paradigm. My neighbors care about other things now. They have moved on. Why haven’t you?

            it directs growth to other areas

            Well that is sure a definitive and meaningful statement. So you have anointed yourself the development area master? Again, it is statements like this that leads a person to suspect you have some hidden agenda with Mace 391 or some other parcel around there. Do you have an interest in one of the other parcels targeted by the innovation task force? Without some explanation of other motive, you position is non-sensical. Just develop Mace 391 and then don’t develop the adjacent parcels. If the all powerful Davis voters don’t want contiguous business parks, then they will make it so. Right? Come on Don, you make the point that you know those Davis voters would have voted down a measure J vote on Mace 391, but then we are supposed to accept your “well thought out” argument that developing Mace 391 would “put pressure” on the adjacent parcels to be developed? You are talking out both sides of your mouth at the same time.

            Your arguments don’t connect. They don’t make sense. That would be acceptable if you injected some humility and open mindedness, but with your posture of the all-knowing it come off as… well weird.

          9. Don Shor

            Again, it is statements like this that leads a person to suspect you have some hidden agenda with Mace 391 or some other parcel around there. Do you have an interest in one of the other parcels targeted by the innovation task force?

            Third time. Baseless insinuations repeated again. You double down, then triple down on it. Amazing.
            You’re a banker who lends money for land deals. I’m not. Prove your own lack of self-interest in all this. The answer to your question is no, I do not have any interest in any parcel of land anywhere in Davis except the one my business is on. How about you? Do you have a financial interest in all of this? And while you’re at it, why don’t you stop hiding behind a pseudonym and let everyone here know who you are, what you do for a living, and where you live? Your former excuse for hiding behind a pseudonym no longer applies. Out yourself, buddy.

            Well that is sure a definitive and meaningful statement. So you have anointed yourself the development area master?

            No. The General Plan is our guiding document, and if you want to make major revisions in it you should probably put it forth for a full public review and revision. And so should the county, since the principles I’ve enunciated repeatedly are fully supported by the General Plans of both city and county. That would slow things down for quite awhile, so I don’t personally support that. Instead, I support a reasonable approach to land use planning that conserves the best soils, establishes limits and clearly describes the direction of growth of the city, and follows the processes via commissions and community engagement that allow for public input. That is what the Mace 391 proposal sought to circumvent, and what the ITF process should be following. So I am unhappy that the ITF isn’t meeting and that progress isn’t being made. But as you know, I support the likely developments at Nishi, Mace 200, and development of some proposals for the northwest quadrant.
            You really need to move on from Mace 391. The vitriolic debate last fall did serious harm to the community. The aggressive demonizing of the open space community was unnecessary and counterproductive. The insinuations and nasty characterizations need to stop. You are harming the development of community consensus.

          10. Davis Progressive

            disagree. try passing mace 200 without 391 serving as a buffer, you would have the naysayers opening with a tale of sprawl. now they lose that argument.

          11. Davis Progressive

            but meanwhile while you continue this argument, mace 200 is slipping away.

          12. Mark West

            The supporters of the Yolo Land Trust obviously. Are you really that… ok, I won’t go there.

  4. Frankly

    Every property owner who has peripheral land knows that he/she has to persuade a majority of Davis voters of the value and quality of the project. That is such as given that it has probably constrained any number of possible projects that would have occurred in any other city. Measure R puts the voters in the drivers seat. You disagree with this?

    Sure Don. How did that Cannery property development work for you with those voters in the driver’s seat? Did you get everything you wanted?

    1. Don Shor

      Trying to remember now. Was the Cannery property peripheral and subject to a Measure R vote? Oh, that’s right. It wasn’t. Guess you forgot that.

      1. Frankly

        Don, again you miss the point that the property owners had control to propose and push a development that served their interests over the city interests. They still needed a council vote which had as much risk as a Measure R vote.

  5. Tia Will

    “I support a reasonable approach to land use planning that conserves the best soils, establishes limits and clearly describes the direction of growth of the city, and follows the processes via commissions and community engagement that allow for public input. ”

    This is the most concise and coherent summary of how I believe that we should be approaching our selection of sites for the development of an Innovation Park, which I favor.

    I do live in Davis. I do vote here. I did attend the university. I do not have any financial interest in any peripheral land. But I do know a few things about our town and its relationship to UCD . UCD is first and foremost an agricultural university. Note again the word agricultural. Our agricultural land is our main asset. Use of land for other purposes should first take into account not the preferences of potential developers, but rather the quality of the soil of the land being considered.
    Lands with lesser quality soil should always be considered first for other purposes. If makes no sense to be affiliated with the world’s premier agricultural university, and not prioritize in order to strengthen this asset.

    Now I also am not a businessman, so I may not understand the ins and outs of “leveraging” property. But I do know a little about bluffing. And I simply do not see holding a parcel of prime ag land hostage in a game of “whose parcel shall we develop ” as a good strategy. I was ambivalent about Mace 391 when it was being hotly debuted, but now, reading the vitriolic accusations about it, I find myself more and more reassured with the eventual outcome.

  6. Jim Frame

    The concept of leaving Mace 391 in city ownership without a permanent conservation easement as a leveraging ploy has a fatal flaw, and it’s a big one: the propensity of elected officials to do big things. Council personalities change over time, and the idea that “we don’t want to develop it, we just want to use it as leverage” can easily morph into “well, we always knew we’d develop it eventually” in a single election cycle. In other words, I don’t trust an ever-changing cast of elected characters to keep Mace 391 in ag over the long haul. I believe that imposing the easement was the smartest long-term decision that could have been made for the land, and that it opened the door for development of Mace 200. I think that Measure J/R would have kept that door shut for much, much longer without the Mace 391 easement.

    1. Don Shor

      It would have just started a bidding war, which is exactly what the proponents of development wanted. Just look at the history over the last 10 – 15 years of the various properties east of Davis. How much did we spend on the EIR for the sports complex at Howatt Ranch?

      1. Frankly

        You make up fanciful stories to design your own virtual reality.

        Existing land owners are giddy with happiness that Mace 391 was pissed away by the council. I know this for a fact because I know a couple of them.

  7. Davis Progressive

    frankly: i’ll ask again, what evidence other than hope and a prayer do you have that 391 would pass?

    second, why is all of your energy on 391, that’s dead. we have options on the table, but the time is closing fast. who in the community is going to step up and take the lead? you?

    1. Frankly

      1. City going broke and lacking long-term sustainable new revenue sources other than tax increases that have a big risk of failing. $100 million in accumulative new city revenue over a 10-15 year period with ongoing revenue inflows. Get to keep the parks green and the roads maintained and grandma and junior safe in their city programs.
      2. UCD World Food Center and other UCD-related business development in need of land around Davis.
      3. City-owned Mace 391… providing an opportunity for a wold-class smart-designed business park.
      4. 2-3 open space requirement… meaning the land preservation zealots get to make more progress on their farmland moat… and the rest of us get all warm and fuzzy helping to protect those fuzzy dirt owls.
      5. Not building it gives other business park land owners more leverage to get their way since we pissed away our own land.
      6. Location is perfect… freeway access and freeway exposure mean greater interest for business and less impacts to residents from traffic flowing in and through town.

      There would have been plenty of ammunition to use for getting 50%+1 votes… primarily the one that explains how otherwise we go broke or we end up having to let developers-drive the process as we begin to beg.

      1. Don Shor

        City going broke and lacking long-term sustainable new revenue sources other than tax increases that have a big risk of failing.

        We have three other sites under consideration and moving forward.

        $100 million in accumulative new city revenue over a 10-15 year period with ongoing revenue inflows.

        I know about three people that believe those numbers. They all post on the Vanguard.

        Get to keep the parks green and the roads maintained and grandma and junior safe in their city programs.


        We have three other sites under consideration and moving forward.

        2. UCD World Food Center and other UCD-related business development in need of land around Davis.


        We have three other sites under consideration and moving forward. UCD has plenty of land.

        3. City-owned Mace 391… providing an opportunity for a wold-class smart-designed business park.


        We can demand that any of the developments on peripheral sites be world-class and smart-designed. In fact, I expect no less from Rob White and others overseeing the negotiations.

        4. 2-3 open space requirement… meaning the land preservation zealots get to make more progress on their farmland moat… and the rest of us get all warm and fuzzy helping to protect those fuzzy dirt owls.


        Which applies to the three sites that are under consideration and moving forward.

        5. Not building it gives other business park land owners more leverage to get their way since we pissed away our own land.


        Leverage to do what?

        6. Location is perfect… freeway access and freeway exposure mean greater interest for business and less impacts to residents from traffic flowing in and through town.

        You’re right. Mace 200 has all those excellent attributes.

        There would have been plenty of ammunition to use for getting 50%+1 votes… primarily the one that explains how otherwise we go broke or we end up having to let developers-drive the process as we begin to beg.

        Developers won’t drive the process. And we have three other sites under consideration and moving forward. We have hundreds of acres available for business park development. The city isn’t a land speculator, and the success rate for cities acting as speculators and developers is very poor.
        The simple answer to your campaign would be: we have three other sites under consideration and moving forward. So to say “we go broke” is not true. We won’t go broke because of Mace 391. Rich Rifkin can explain how we’ll go broke, if we do.
        The campaign against Mace 391 development would have been incredibly easy. You and others already poisoned that well.

        1. Frankly

          Mace 391 should have been developed and the Mace 200 should have been developed. In fact I would have used Mace 391 as leverage to get Ramos to the table to agree to the same park design. I would have made that park design less dense with structures… with useable open-space and ag space included to help mitigate the visual impacts and to meet at least part of the 2-3 open space requirement. That land could have included parks and bike paths… you know land that could be used by the residents instead of the 3000 acres of Measure O bought land and ag easements that most of it is off limits for use by the people that paid for it.

          Now… since you and other silly openspace and famrland moat activists are demanding we develop this smaller parcel, the pressure will be to make it dense. It will be just like every other business park when it is done.

          And forget about West Davis… there is no way the residents will approve industrial traffic on city streets. Business won’t want it either. There is much more adjacent residential property and those people are going to raise hell about any industrial development there. University Village is filled full of millionaire UCD retirees that will come out of the woodwork to kill any meaningful industrial use of that land. Retail and office might have a chance.

      2. Davis Progressive

        frankly:

        thanks for giving me something tangible to refute.

        “1. City going broke and lacking long-term sustainable new revenue sources other than tax increases that have a big risk of failing. $100 million in accumulative new city revenue over a 10-15 year period with ongoing revenue inflows. Get to keep the parks green and the roads maintained and grandma and junior safe in their city programs.”

        you’re making a clear mistake of thinking everyone is going to respond to the same crisis with the same solution as you. there are people in this town that will pay the extra taxes and keep davis small. it’s quite clear that many people are not even aware of the economic crisis.

        “2. UCD World Food Center and other UCD-related business development in need of land around Davis.”

        you see how little people care about that by the lack of responses on the vanguard.

        “3. City-owned Mace 391… providing an opportunity for a wold-class smart-designed business park.”

        already organized group of opposition.

        “2-3 open space requirement… meaning the land preservation zealots get to make more progress on their farmland moat… and the rest of us get all warm and fuzzy helping to protect those fuzzy dirt owls.”

        and that’s helped on the other land use votes, in fact, whr offered 3:1 and lost 75-25

        i could go on, i think mace 391 would have lost 60-40. i think mace 200 is 50-50.

    2. Frankly

      The reason Mace 391 continues to get my attention is because it was grossly irresponsible for the Council to waste $500,000 of our money to gift a $100 million city asset to the land preservation activists. It fits with the rest of our past Council’s gross irresponsibility making fiscally prudent decisions for the city.

      Those in the land preservation activist camp or in the change-averse-NIMBY camp are going to get the negative press that they deserve. They walk around all fluffed up like they are nobel and righteous in their pursuits when all they are is greedy. They pursue their selfish goals at the expense of many. Every future negative news story that can be attributed to the Mace 391 decision is going to be done so by me. I will keep reminding everyone.

      1. Don Shor

        Back to the ad hominems, I see. That’s usually a sign you’re just running on emotion. It’s really too bad you’re reactions to these things are so emotional, rather than rational. Ask any ten people who have held public office in Davis what they think the chances were for Mace 391 to pass a Measure R vote, and report back to us.

        1. Frankly

          On this subject you are a fool Don. You don’t have a clue. The city council are only responding to fools like you. Bellowing about your ideological demands void of all rational and fiscal considerations. Talk about emotional… you are prone too tantrums like no other… (in fact… I expect you to respond again “this debate is over.”)

          I have NEVER, EVER heard you ever concede any point in debate about what you think you know. I know people like you like the back of my hand. You are more driven to never have to admit you are wrong than you are to actually be right. You are wrong on this… 100% wrong.

          Look for coming articles from me in the Enterprise to recap the Mace 391 decision and its impacts. Let me know if you want me to include your name as being one the most vocal demanders that the city piss away that asset.

          And the $100 million in revenue over a 10-15 year period is real math. I will share that with the reading public too.

          I am certainly pissed. I am pissed that you like others continue to demand things we cannot afford. It is time to hang that dead chicken around your neck and the neck of others doing the same. You are irresponsible. You are reckless. You are a hazard to the future of the city. Well not you personally… but you and your ilk.

          The Mace 391 decision was no different than was all the past decisions to over-pay city employees. It was 100% fiscally irresponsible. If Measure O passes you will only get another few months of cover for your contribution to the coming mess.

          And if you really have confidence in that decision being the right one and that Davis voters would not even care, then you would not be spending so much time and effort arguing against me on this. I think you know that you and others stepped in it big time… and your hope is that folks like me can be shamed into going away. Not going to happen big boy.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            You’re being pissed makes you less articulate and if you run a series of articles to recap the Mace 391, all you’ll do is destroy any chance for Mace 200. I was at the TUFFs presentation yesterday, fascinating stuff, granted last second announcement during the day, but seems to me a missed opportunity by some in this community.

          2. Frankly

            I won’t have a pissed off tone in any Mace 391 Enterprise or VG piece. I reserve that for my blogging.

            I agree that we have missed an opportunity. We have missed several opportunities. We keep missing opportunity after opportunity because we don’t want to face the reality that we have failed to immediately hold people responsible for their irresponsible positions and decisions.

            There is a huge disconnect with reality here. It is like a bunch of children stomping their feet demanding Davis continue to be something that it cannot be… but more importantly to me… be something that is much less good than it has to be.

            They are not heroes with their demands for Davis to be something completely fiscally unsustainable. They are in fact the opposite. They are reckless and hazardous in their constant rejection of necessary economic growth. It is necessary. If they want more amenities like copious open space, they have to figure out how to pay for it while also paying for everything else we need and they have committed to.

            We are really just talking about a dsy of reckoning here. It is inevitable. All you need is a calculator and some minor understanding of the city’s current and long-term liabilities.

            But I will give you this. Each tax measure is a test for how long this group of false heroes can continue their march to nothing. If Measure O passes, it will be a sign that too many of our silent majority are still asleep or uninformed. But more of them awaken and become factually enlightened every day. I hope to help with that. And I will do that with plenty of calm and respectful nuance.

            Note that my ire is reserved for the minority of political elites running this town into the ground. They are not the subject audience for any article. But they don’t get to hide behind any sensitive victim shield. Time for them to put on their big boy pants and accept all the criticism they deserve.

          3. Don Shor

            Mace 391 should have been developed and the Mace 200 should have been developed.

            I rest my case.

            Well not you personally

            Whew, I’m glad we got that straight.

      2. South of Davis

        Frankly wrote:

        > The reason Mace 391 continues to get my attention is because it was
        > grossly irresponsible for the Council to waste $500,000 of our money
        > to gift a $100 million city asset to the land preservation activists.

        Don’t forget that the city also gave a HUGE gift to the (politically connected) landowners around Davis since taking a $100 million of city owned land off the table makes their land more valuable when (not if) the city expands.

        The money behind almost every effort to “preserve open space and/or ag land” I know of has either been developers/land owners who want to increase the value of their land and/or rich people that don’t want development near their property and find that it is cheaper to fund an effort to make it open space than to buy it themselves.

        1. Frankly

          Follow the money. Absolutely. I know some names and they have absolutely been involved in pushing Mace 391 into a permanent ag easement.

  8. noname

    I honestly don’t see anything happening on Mace in the coming months, not while Dan Wolk is on the ballot anyway. He doesn’t want to get caught up in a controversial development project, especially not one that may go to the voters at the same time he appears as an Assembly candidate. I suspect that’s why Don Saylor has suddenly found go-slow-on-growth religion.

    By the by, I’d be very curious to see which Mace area landowners / development interests are contributing to our city council candidates.

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