Vanguard Commentary: Council Avoids Disaster, But Advisory Vote Perilous

Proposed Location for Mace Innovation Park
Proposed Location for Mace Innovation Park

A lot of people played a hand at bringing this process back from the precipice. Messing with Measure R would have been disastrous to this process, and so, when Dan Ramos came forward on Tuesday night indicating that they had “listened carefully to the community response to our proposal to modify the Measure R voting process” and recognized that “Davis residents treasure Measure R and do not wish to entertain changing it,” they saved their own process from doom.

Had they insisted, I think the threat of Schilling Robotics leaving would have pushed the measure through on a 3-2 vote, but it would have changed the conversation from the merits of their project and the need for a business park, to a referendum on Measure R. Despite the comments from two prominent Vanguard posters, that is a losing fight.

The advisory measure is a way forward, of sorts. It’s not a great option but perhaps is the least bad of the options. Without the looming presence of Tyler Schilling, I think that proposal would have been DOA as well. The vote on it was illustrative, I think, that while the vote read 5-0 at the end of the evening, it was really 1-3-1 and maybe even 1-2-2.

Councilmember Rochelle Swanson was clearly for it, Councilmember Brett Lee was clearly against it. The other three, Dan Wolk, Lucas Frerichs and Robb Davis, were all very reluctant on it, with both Dan Wolk and Lucas Frerichs expressing the feeling of having their backs against the wall – and frankly no one, particularly an elected official, likes that feeling.

Robb Davis was very outspoken – perhaps, some thought, too outspoken – arguing, “We’re not looking for advice. We don’t need any advice. We know what we want to do, we want to move forward.”

He spoke toward the developers, “I’m not sure you’re going to get what you want.” He added, “I don’t know what you do with a 51-49 either way.” He asked them to consider another route. He suggested a citizens’ initiative as a way to get the certainty that you want, “You won’t get this through this process.”

I think Mr. Davis is essentially correct, although the idea that they didn’t need advice was probably a bit misplaced and if the tone came across slightly preachy, we can perhaps chalk that up to the fact that this was essentially his first meeting, compressed into a 48-hour period with probably little sleep in the intervening time.

Councilmember Rochelle Swanson lamented that we have talked our way, processed our way, and delayed our way into the prospect of losing a critical company. “I understand all of the different projects and we want parity and parity is important. But we don’t want to lose the forest through the trees,” she said. “We’re talking about a major employer… and if we lose, do we lose.”

“I just challenge everyone in this room… to really stop and think about the big picture here about what we’re looking at,” she said, reflecting back to Mace 391, and “here we are 13 months later with a business owner begging us to get our act back together. Now sounding like maybe, from a regulatory standpoint, we truly might be up against the wall.”

“This isn’t about picking a project,” she said. “This is about retaining a business. The number one rule in economic development is you retain the businesses you have, then you go to get more.”

A lot of people questioned the thirteen month comment and wondered what the delay was. It is quite simply that the applicant did not come forward with the project back in January or February.

But there is a cautionary tale that Ms. Swanson, I think, understands intellectually. In my conversations with Joe Krovoza recently, one of the points he made to me was that his error on water in September 2011 was based on the fact that he had been through the JPA hearings, he understood the issue, it was clear as day to him – but what he didn’t understand (other than the fact that the experts for the city put forward a bad rate structure without a rate study) was how far he was out in front of the public on the water issue.

He was ready to go, but the public really needed to go through the WAC process, the Measure I process, and apparently even the Measure P process before they were on board. His failure to understand that led to the referendum and, at that point, wiser heads prevailed.

In some ways Rochelle Swanson is in danger of being in the same position on economic development as Joe Krovoza was on water. To some extent, I think she gets that – she made the point the other night that Sue Greenwald for years was pointing out the problems with the budget and it took years before others started taking notice.

Ramming this stuff through ahead of public opinion is not going to serve anyone’s interest. This is the same problem we have with the polling on the parcel tax. The solution here is to do a very strong public outreach, which unfortunately is not the strength of the city. The city budget meetings and outreach meetings tend to draw the usual suspects and the general public does not attend and, therefore, they really do not understand the crisis the city faces.

What people need to understand is that, at my core, I’m a slow growth guy. I live in Davis because I like the small college town environment of the city and I’m not interested in seeing a lot of residential development.

But I’m also a realist at times. The reality that we face is not a good one. The city has promised more than it can deliver in terms of employee compensation and breadth of city services.

So we have choices. We can run the city on a series of five-year incremental tax increases. We can cut services or employee compensation in lean years. But in most ways, those too will cause us to lose what is great about Davis.

So I see Nishi, the Hotel Conference Center, Mace, Northwest Quadrant, and even Davis Ranch through a different light than I did even six months ago. If we can bring in good development, exciting business parks that fit the Davis model: innovative, environmentally sustainable, and cool, then we can increase revenue without disrupting what attracts people like me to Davis.

I used the PayPal example, but there are countless examples of high-tech business parks that look like extensions of college campuses which will make the researchers and graduate students spinning off their research into startups feel right at home and it will feel to the Davis residents like we have simply extended our college campus.

But this is going to take work to educate the public as to the perils we face fiscally and why we need to move forward with these projects as a way to preserve the small town, compact city qualities that we all have come to enjoy.

The Vanguard is pledging right now to step up and help the community outreach process. We will hopefully be coming forward with a proposal in the next few weeks.

For me, however, the key is that we do this within the Measure R process. I think Measure R has gotten a bad rap. We know that Measure R can be used to stop either bad projects or poorly-timed projects. What need to be able to show is that Measure R can also be used to help us get good projects that the community will support at the ballot box.

There is no reason it can’t. We have had quasi-Measure R votes on housing developments and business development (Target). These weren’t technically Measure R votes but, really, what was the functional difference?

I have seen a lot of lament on Measure R as a barrier to development, but the opponents miss an essential point – if you get too far out in front of the public on development, they can always do a referendum and put it to a vote anyway.

I believe we can have our Measure R and we can have good projects that the voters will approve, but we have to come forward with good projects and we have to have good public outreach.

Finally, I want to make it clear, I am not handing anyone a blank check on this. If the Mace Developers or the Northwest Quadrant Developers come forward with a bad project proposal, I will oppose it.

I want to make this point really clear: we need a great project (not just passable or even good, but great) for me to support it and I think that goes for the public, as well.

I also agree with Robb Davis – the developers really need to come forward with a good proposal with meat and substance on it this fall or the advisory vote will either not pass or not give them the information they need to go forward. Either way, while the advisory vote is a compromise and a way forward, it has the potential, if used improperly, to compromise our efforts at a sustainable economy.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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.

Related posts

74 Comments

  1. Mr. Toad

    “I believe we can have our Measure R and we can have good projects that the voters will approve, but we have to come forward with good projects and we have to have good public outreach.”

    It hasn’t happened yet but it certainly has stopped projects from going forward and dissuaded others from even trying. A different question is if the cost of Measure J/R are worth the benefits. I would argue the loss of the World Food Center alone makes the case. How many other initiatives didn’t happen because of J/R. We will probably never know.

    Janet Napolitano this week announced a U.C. wide initiative to help feed the world in the 21st century including production, distribution and environmental impacts. In other words the whole enchilada and while Davis is and should be at the forefront of such a project Katahi is looking to build the infrastructure in Sacramento at a third campus. Your lifestyle choice and measure R impede Davis’ historic mission and path. As someone said to me the other night “Davis protects farmland while the world starves.”

    1. Tia Will

      Mr Toad

      I totally understand that you are very invested in rapid growth and development for Davis. I understand that you feel that UCD has a mission which includes “feeding the entire world”. I see this differently.

      I attended medical school here from 1979-1983. I then left Davis for further training before returning for now 23 years. When the medical school moved to Sacramento, it was emotionally a loss for me. However, I was able to see that of course, it is far more logical to have your medical school and your primary teaching hospital in the same location. It would have made no sense at all to locate the primary teaching hospital to Davis to “enhance our revenue base” or “enhance UCD” or “enhance Davis” since the vast majority of the patients were in Sacramento.

      I look at the potential for the development of any project in Davis in much the same way. The question for me is
      does it make sense in terms of logistics, does it make sense in terms of future growth, does it make environmental sense.? I envision the university as the idea generator and training ground for new technologies. I see Davis as a great venue for small start ups. I do not see that the city of Davis is necessarily the best venue for all developments regardless of size.

      As Mr Schilling very appropriately noted in his public comment, his crystal ball only sees about “15 minutes” into the future. I would very much like to see his company stay in Davis. However, lacking that crystal ball, cannot we not perhaps envision a time in the future when if he continues to be very successful, his needs may not outgrow Davis forcing him to move in any event. Looking at the World Food Center, can we not foresee that perhaps Davis is simply not the best venue for a project whose lofty goal is to “feed the world” just as Davis was not the best fit for a world class hospital and medical school ? I do not say this to block development. I do say it because I feel that full and holistic consideration of whether or not a project is the best fit for the community is as important as the amount of money that will be derived.

    2. Don Shor

      I would argue the loss of the World Food Center alone makes the case.

      There is no evidence that the decision by the Chancellor as to where to locate the World Food Center has anything whatsoever to do with Davis growth policies.

        1. Don Shor

          My point is that there are a couple of Vanguard regulars who are going to push the narrative that Chancellor Katehi’s decision about the World Food Center is related to Davis growth policies. There is no reason to believe that. You might contact her office and see if there would be any statement as to what factors ARE going into that decision. I know she is appointing an advisory commission to review it.
          If the Chancellor wanted to locate it in Davis, UCD is a 7,000+ acre campus. There’s plenty of room here. They could start building tomorrow if they wanted to, and wouldn’t have to annex anything or subject any part of it to a vote of the Council or the public.
          Mr. Toad is presenting a false narrative. And I’m sure we’ll hear it over and over again.

          1. David Greenwald

            I think it’s a complicated situation there. I’m not sure that Katehi’s motivated by city of Davis land use policies, but there are people in the Chancellor’s office that are. From what I have heard Katehi turned south on Davis because of the blow back from the pepper spray incident.

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            I’m not sure why the huge push to go to Sac, beyond tying UCD to the Capitol, the PR, the attention, which I get.

            It seems like there will be a lot of duplication. We are the number one ag school in the world, but we can’t host the World Food Center? Seems odd, esp. since the campus has over 6,000 acres. On the flip side, I can see where a smaller satellite center in Sac might not get the attention they desire.

          3. Mr. Toad

            She wants the private hubs, she wants them in the community where they can grow into huge money makers and then give back to the university. She wants to seed the future to be the Schilling and Marrone buildings like the Betty Irene Moore Nursing School funded by the founders of Intel or the Ellison Outpatient Building founded by Larry Ellison of Oracle. She wants to bring prosperity, jobs and vibrance to the community while educating future generations and bringing advances to the world. Contrast that with David’s remark about not wanting housing. Such a pity.

      1. Mr. Toad

        Actually there is. Katahi made a big speech at the beginning of the year before the pepper spray debacle. I think it was her annual state of the campus talk where she laid it out. She told those listening that the university was going to grow and that if Davis didn’t want to grow with it the university would look elsewhere. This is not in quotes because its only my remembrance.

        1. Mr. Toad

          Here is the speech

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6bqutDku4A

          She never says it like I remember but she talks about wanting the region to partner with the university and a willingness to develop hubs with those that want them. This is what is driving everything and if it wasn’t for measure R this community would be meeting the challenge instead of trying to keep one of our homegrown innovators from leaving.

          1. Don Shor

            She never says it like I remember but she talks about wanting the region to partner with the university and a willingness to develop hubs with those that want them.

            Which undercuts your narrative. A world food center here wouldn’t be a “hub.”
            The chancellor thinks more regionally than many of those who post here.

  2. Mr. Toad

    “I believe we can have our Measure R and we can have good projects that the voters will approve, but we have to come forward with good projects and we have to have good public outreach.”

    It hasn’t happened yet but it certainly has stopped projects from going forward and dissuaded others from even trying. A different question is if the cost of Measure J/R are worth the benefits. I would argue the loss of the World Food Center alone makes the case. How many other initiatives didn’t happen because of J/R. We will probably never know.

    Janet Napolitano this week announced a U.C. wide initiative to help feed the world in the 21st century including production, distribution and environmental impacts. In other words the whole enchilada and while Davis is and should be at the forefront of such a project Katahi is looking to build the infrastructure in Sacramento at a third campus. Your lifestyle choice and measure R impede Davis’ historic mission and path. As someone said to me the other night “Davis protects farmland while the world starves.”

    1. Tia Will

      Mr Toad

      I totally understand that you are very invested in rapid growth and development for Davis. I understand that you feel that UCD has a mission which includes “feeding the entire world”. I see this differently.

      I attended medical school here from 1979-1983. I then left Davis for further training before returning for now 23 years. When the medical school moved to Sacramento, it was emotionally a loss for me. However, I was able to see that of course, it is far more logical to have your medical school and your primary teaching hospital in the same location. It would have made no sense at all to locate the primary teaching hospital to Davis to “enhance our revenue base” or “enhance UCD” or “enhance Davis” since the vast majority of the patients were in Sacramento.

      I look at the potential for the development of any project in Davis in much the same way. The question for me is
      does it make sense in terms of logistics, does it make sense in terms of future growth, does it make environmental sense.? I envision the university as the idea generator and training ground for new technologies. I see Davis as a great venue for small start ups. I do not see that the city of Davis is necessarily the best venue for all developments regardless of size.

      As Mr Schilling very appropriately noted in his public comment, his crystal ball only sees about “15 minutes” into the future. I would very much like to see his company stay in Davis. However, lacking that crystal ball, cannot we not perhaps envision a time in the future when if he continues to be very successful, his needs may not outgrow Davis forcing him to move in any event. Looking at the World Food Center, can we not foresee that perhaps Davis is simply not the best venue for a project whose lofty goal is to “feed the world” just as Davis was not the best fit for a world class hospital and medical school ? I do not say this to block development. I do say it because I feel that full and holistic consideration of whether or not a project is the best fit for the community is as important as the amount of money that will be derived.

    2. Don Shor

      I would argue the loss of the World Food Center alone makes the case.

      There is no evidence that the decision by the Chancellor as to where to locate the World Food Center has anything whatsoever to do with Davis growth policies.

        1. Don Shor

          My point is that there are a couple of Vanguard regulars who are going to push the narrative that Chancellor Katehi’s decision about the World Food Center is related to Davis growth policies. There is no reason to believe that. You might contact her office and see if there would be any statement as to what factors ARE going into that decision. I know she is appointing an advisory commission to review it.
          If the Chancellor wanted to locate it in Davis, UCD is a 7,000+ acre campus. There’s plenty of room here. They could start building tomorrow if they wanted to, and wouldn’t have to annex anything or subject any part of it to a vote of the Council or the public.
          Mr. Toad is presenting a false narrative. And I’m sure we’ll hear it over and over again.

          1. David Greenwald

            I think it’s a complicated situation there. I’m not sure that Katehi’s motivated by city of Davis land use policies, but there are people in the Chancellor’s office that are. From what I have heard Katehi turned south on Davis because of the blow back from the pepper spray incident.

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            I’m not sure why the huge push to go to Sac, beyond tying UCD to the Capitol, the PR, the attention, which I get.

            It seems like there will be a lot of duplication. We are the number one ag school in the world, but we can’t host the World Food Center? Seems odd, esp. since the campus has over 6,000 acres. On the flip side, I can see where a smaller satellite center in Sac might not get the attention they desire.

          3. Mr. Toad

            She wants the private hubs, she wants them in the community where they can grow into huge money makers and then give back to the university. She wants to seed the future to be the Schilling and Marrone buildings like the Betty Irene Moore Nursing School funded by the founders of Intel or the Ellison Outpatient Building founded by Larry Ellison of Oracle. She wants to bring prosperity, jobs and vibrance to the community while educating future generations and bringing advances to the world. Contrast that with David’s remark about not wanting housing. Such a pity.

      1. Mr. Toad

        Actually there is. Katahi made a big speech at the beginning of the year before the pepper spray debacle. I think it was her annual state of the campus talk where she laid it out. She told those listening that the university was going to grow and that if Davis didn’t want to grow with it the university would look elsewhere. This is not in quotes because its only my remembrance.

        1. Mr. Toad

          Here is the speech

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6bqutDku4A

          She never says it like I remember but she talks about wanting the region to partner with the university and a willingness to develop hubs with those that want them. This is what is driving everything and if it wasn’t for measure R this community would be meeting the challenge instead of trying to keep one of our homegrown innovators from leaving.

          1. Don Shor

            She never says it like I remember but she talks about wanting the region to partner with the university and a willingness to develop hubs with those that want them.

            Which undercuts your narrative. A world food center here wouldn’t be a “hub.”
            The chancellor thinks more regionally than many of those who post here.

  3. realchangz

    David,
    Great points and an excellent summary of the issue. There have been a number of comments by our residents that they don’t want to be put in the position where they feel as though they are simply being sold on a done deal by a bunch of developers.

    Question: What should be the legitimate role of the city in explaining the need for this ED initiative? In your opinion, have they made their case? If not, what more remains to be done?

    1. David Greenwald

      The big issue is that the city needs to reach the people who don’t show up to council, the innovation parks task force, or development outreach meetings. Working on the answer to how best to do that.

      1. Tia Will

        However this all plays out, it is certainly an exciting time in our city. It will be fascinating to watch this evolve. One idea that I would put forward right now is directed at a very specific group.

        I would encourage any of you who read but do not comment to join the conversation. It took me a long time to do so. It wasn’t until the pepper spray incident that I felt compelled to comment. Since then I have learned a great deal about my community. I have gained a tremendous amount of perspective about the views of those who see the world differently from me. I have met members of our community whose paths would never have crossed mine otherwise. Its safe, its fun, its educational and your voice will enrich the overall conversation. So please if you are “lurking” as I was, plunge in. Who knows what doors a public conversation will open ?

          1. Tia Will

            Alan

            “Safe” is a matter of perspective. Some people are afraid to take a single
            Tylenol because of the potential for liver damage.
            Some of us are “brave” ( or crazy ) enough to live within a few yards of the tracks.

            I consider the risk of posting on the Vanguard to be negligible. Even using my own name ,the worst that has happened has been some mild name calling…”inane” and NIMBY for example. I think I can handle it ; ).

  4. realchangz

    David,
    Great points and an excellent summary of the issue. There have been a number of comments by our residents that they don’t want to be put in the position where they feel as though they are simply being sold on a done deal by a bunch of developers.

    Question: What should be the legitimate role of the city in explaining the need for this ED initiative? In your opinion, have they made their case? If not, what more remains to be done?

    1. David Greenwald

      The big issue is that the city needs to reach the people who don’t show up to council, the innovation parks task force, or development outreach meetings. Working on the answer to how best to do that.

      1. Tia Will

        However this all plays out, it is certainly an exciting time in our city. It will be fascinating to watch this evolve. One idea that I would put forward right now is directed at a very specific group.

        I would encourage any of you who read but do not comment to join the conversation. It took me a long time to do so. It wasn’t until the pepper spray incident that I felt compelled to comment. Since then I have learned a great deal about my community. I have gained a tremendous amount of perspective about the views of those who see the world differently from me. I have met members of our community whose paths would never have crossed mine otherwise. Its safe, its fun, its educational and your voice will enrich the overall conversation. So please if you are “lurking” as I was, plunge in. Who knows what doors a public conversation will open ?

          1. Tia Will

            Alan

            “Safe” is a matter of perspective. Some people are afraid to take a single
            Tylenol because of the potential for liver damage.
            Some of us are “brave” ( or crazy ) enough to live within a few yards of the tracks.

            I consider the risk of posting on the Vanguard to be negligible. Even using my own name ,the worst that has happened has been some mild name calling…”inane” and NIMBY for example. I think I can handle it ; ).

  5. Mr. Toad

    “What people need to understand is that at my core, I’m a slow growth guy. I live in Davis because I like the small college town environment of the city and I’m not interested in seeing a lot of residential development.”

    That is the problem. People like yourself who selfishly cling to some romantic vision of what Davis should be instead of what Davis is and is going to be. Davis is no longer the U.C. Berkeley farm that grew into a small town and a university campus. It is one of the world’s foremost agricultural research universities and near the top in biotech, engineering, veterinary, ecology and biology. It has major medical, law and business schools. U.S News ranks it 39th over all in the nation. This is a community with the most talented human capital of almost anyplace on earth and you stand there like the boy with his finger in the dike whining about stopping the tide and not wanting to house this population. Just please would you and measure R get out of the way.

    1. David Greenwald

      You continue to ignore several key points.

      First, Measure R and before it Measure J did not arise out of some vacuum. It represents a community value in and of itself.
      Second, prior to Measure J, there were a number of projects that were placed on the ballot. Measure J introduced certainty into the process in that it would for sure go to the ballot.
      Third, even if you did away with Measure R at this point – which is not a practical possibility – you would still have to meander through the uncertainty as to whether the community would put measures on the ballot.

    2. DavisBurns

      Don’t tell the folks in Chapel Hill we are more educated than them as they will strongly disagree. The thing tht make davis special is our agricultural mote. Any city can sprawl, it takes commitment to contain growth. Are you the one who tells people to move to winters if they want a small agricultural town? You could move to sacramento, woodland or Dixon. They aren’t anti-business or a anti-growth.

  6. Mr. Toad

    “What people need to understand is that at my core, I’m a slow growth guy. I live in Davis because I like the small college town environment of the city and I’m not interested in seeing a lot of residential development.”

    That is the problem. People like yourself who selfishly cling to some romantic vision of what Davis should be instead of what Davis is and is going to be. Davis is no longer the U.C. Berkeley farm that grew into a small town and a university campus. It is one of the world’s foremost agricultural research universities and near the top in biotech, engineering, veterinary, ecology and biology. It has major medical, law and business schools. U.S News ranks it 39th over all in the nation. This is a community with the most talented human capital of almost anyplace on earth and you stand there like the boy with his finger in the dike whining about stopping the tide and not wanting to house this population. Just please would you and measure R get out of the way.

    1. David Greenwald

      You continue to ignore several key points.

      First, Measure R and before it Measure J did not arise out of some vacuum. It represents a community value in and of itself.
      Second, prior to Measure J, there were a number of projects that were placed on the ballot. Measure J introduced certainty into the process in that it would for sure go to the ballot.
      Third, even if you did away with Measure R at this point – which is not a practical possibility – you would still have to meander through the uncertainty as to whether the community would put measures on the ballot.

    2. DavisBurns

      Don’t tell the folks in Chapel Hill we are more educated than them as they will strongly disagree. The thing tht make davis special is our agricultural mote. Any city can sprawl, it takes commitment to contain growth. Are you the one who tells people to move to winters if they want a small agricultural town? You could move to sacramento, woodland or Dixon. They aren’t anti-business or a anti-growth.

  7. Tia Will

    Mr. Toad

    UCD is and will continue to be all that you have mentioned. However, I question the use of your word selfish.
    Since UCD will continue to excel even as it expands its campuses to other, perhaps more appropriate locations, why do you consider it selfish to take into account the well being of the region instead of the creation of the vision of Davis that you favor ?
    If Sacramento turns out to be a better location than Davis for the World Food Center just as it was a better location for the teaching hospital, why would you insist that it is better for it to be in Davis ? Unless of course, you believe that Davis should have a monopoly on UCD innovations and that Davis and UCD should remain exclusively linked in ways that do not benefit other communities in the region.
    This attitude might also be seen as selfish depending upon one’s perspective.

  8. Tia Will

    Mr. Toad

    UCD is and will continue to be all that you have mentioned. However, I question the use of your word selfish.
    Since UCD will continue to excel even as it expands its campuses to other, perhaps more appropriate locations, why do you consider it selfish to take into account the well being of the region instead of the creation of the vision of Davis that you favor ?
    If Sacramento turns out to be a better location than Davis for the World Food Center just as it was a better location for the teaching hospital, why would you insist that it is better for it to be in Davis ? Unless of course, you believe that Davis should have a monopoly on UCD innovations and that Davis and UCD should remain exclusively linked in ways that do not benefit other communities in the region.
    This attitude might also be seen as selfish depending upon one’s perspective.

  9. Mr. Toad

    Talk about false narratives the med school moved to the teaching hospital only because the county hospital in Sacramento was broke. UCD moved there to capitalize on a unique opportunity.

      1. Tia Will

        True Blue Devil

        Who is the “we” in your question ?
        If you mean the City of Davis, my answer would be “no”.
        If you mean UCD, indirectly, since more convenient access for patients, in this case, also potential medical research subjects, to the offices of the researchers makes recruitment easier.
        Otherwise it is largely a matter of convenience for the medical students and staff to conduct their work of teaching and treating patients on the same location.
        What I was attempting to indicate is not that these two situations are the same, but rather as Toad correctly pointed out about the medical center, there might equally well be special circumstances that make Sacramento a better location for the World Food Center just as this was a “unique opportunity” for UCDMC to consolidate geographically with the medical school.

        1. Mr. Toad

          There might be a valid reason and that valid reason might be that the university doesn’t want to pussyfoot around with Davis Politics and a measure R vote or a West Village style lawsuit slowing things down for years.

    1. Tia Will

      Mr. Toad

      No false narrative here. I was using the medical center as an analogy. I would like to hear your evidence, not just speculation, on why the chancellor i might be favoring Sacramento and not Davis at this point ( if indeed that is the case) for the World Food Center. There may be any number of reasons including her desire to expand that scope of UCD to a regional presence, or perceived advantages to locating in the capitol of California for an institute that she hopes will be a world wide influence. While Davis slow growth preference may be one factor, I would be very surprised if Ms. Katehi were so short sighted as to not take into all the potential advantages of each site prior to making a decision.

  10. Mr. Toad

    Talk about false narratives the med school moved to the teaching hospital only because the county hospital in Sacramento was broke. UCD moved there to capitalize on a unique opportunity.

      1. Tia Will

        True Blue Devil

        Who is the “we” in your question ?
        If you mean the City of Davis, my answer would be “no”.
        If you mean UCD, indirectly, since more convenient access for patients, in this case, also potential medical research subjects, to the offices of the researchers makes recruitment easier.
        Otherwise it is largely a matter of convenience for the medical students and staff to conduct their work of teaching and treating patients on the same location.
        What I was attempting to indicate is not that these two situations are the same, but rather as Toad correctly pointed out about the medical center, there might equally well be special circumstances that make Sacramento a better location for the World Food Center just as this was a “unique opportunity” for UCDMC to consolidate geographically with the medical school.

        1. Mr. Toad

          There might be a valid reason and that valid reason might be that the university doesn’t want to pussyfoot around with Davis Politics and a measure R vote or a West Village style lawsuit slowing things down for years.

    1. Tia Will

      Mr. Toad

      No false narrative here. I was using the medical center as an analogy. I would like to hear your evidence, not just speculation, on why the chancellor i might be favoring Sacramento and not Davis at this point ( if indeed that is the case) for the World Food Center. There may be any number of reasons including her desire to expand that scope of UCD to a regional presence, or perceived advantages to locating in the capitol of California for an institute that she hopes will be a world wide influence. While Davis slow growth preference may be one factor, I would be very surprised if Ms. Katehi were so short sighted as to not take into all the potential advantages of each site prior to making a decision.

  11. TrueBlueDevil

    So in America’s Second Most Educated City, where is the education of the electorate? Why not roll out forums to every possible different group, to explain the predicament?

    I would stress to try to keep it SIMPLE and ORGANIZED. I’ve probably read 20-25 articles here, and my eyes are getting glassy. People are going round and round about “innovation centers”, ancient history, but nowhere do I see some basic concrete numbers of what revenue is needed, and what revenue these projects will realistically deliver (net), and what they will cost the city.

  12. TrueBlueDevil

    So in America’s Second Most Educated City, where is the education of the electorate? Why not roll out forums to every possible different group, to explain the predicament?

    I would stress to try to keep it SIMPLE and ORGANIZED. I’ve probably read 20-25 articles here, and my eyes are getting glassy. People are going round and round about “innovation centers”, ancient history, but nowhere do I see some basic concrete numbers of what revenue is needed, and what revenue these projects will realistically deliver (net), and what they will cost the city.

  13. Mr. Toad

    Divine & conquer: Chancellor Katehi’s plan for prosperity
    8.1.11

    This story was originally published in and is reprinted with permission from Comstock’s Magazine. I excerpted this part.

    By Douglas CurleyKatehi envisions that number growing to 40,000, which could make it the largest student population in the UC system.

    Much of the campus is situated within the city limits of Davis — a city not known for embracing growth. Katehi says communication between the city and the university remains open and cordial. She says the city will be the economic benefactor of any expansion of facilities on campus property, where most infrastructure is already in place. Most importantly, Katehi points out, UC Davis doesn’t need city permission for development that takes place on campus.

    “I firmly believe in the next five years we are going to grow by 5,000 undergraduates. That will allow us to hire more faculty. It will grow our graduate programs and allow for additional research opportunities,” she says. “And, it will spur more economic opportunity for the entire region.

    Luckily for UC Davis, the conditions for growth here are much different than at the other UC campuses. After all, it’s already invested in nearly 6,000 acres and 117 million square feet of maintainable space.
    *****************************************************************************************

    She has the land but choses to expand into Sacramento. Whether she pulls it off is another story. After this story happened we had the pepper spray incident but more importantly the anti-corporate protests that closed US Bank. Add to that traditional resistance from the Davis community and measure R and its no wonder the university is looking elsewhere. This is just not a good community to do business with. Not at the level of making us the Silicon Valley of agriculture and biotech that smart people envision. We thumb our noses at opportunity and then lament we keep the roads up.

  14. Mr. Toad

    Divine & conquer: Chancellor Katehi’s plan for prosperity
    8.1.11

    This story was originally published in and is reprinted with permission from Comstock’s Magazine. I excerpted this part.

    By Douglas CurleyKatehi envisions that number growing to 40,000, which could make it the largest student population in the UC system.

    Much of the campus is situated within the city limits of Davis — a city not known for embracing growth. Katehi says communication between the city and the university remains open and cordial. She says the city will be the economic benefactor of any expansion of facilities on campus property, where most infrastructure is already in place. Most importantly, Katehi points out, UC Davis doesn’t need city permission for development that takes place on campus.

    “I firmly believe in the next five years we are going to grow by 5,000 undergraduates. That will allow us to hire more faculty. It will grow our graduate programs and allow for additional research opportunities,” she says. “And, it will spur more economic opportunity for the entire region.

    Luckily for UC Davis, the conditions for growth here are much different than at the other UC campuses. After all, it’s already invested in nearly 6,000 acres and 117 million square feet of maintainable space.
    *****************************************************************************************

    She has the land but choses to expand into Sacramento. Whether she pulls it off is another story. After this story happened we had the pepper spray incident but more importantly the anti-corporate protests that closed US Bank. Add to that traditional resistance from the Davis community and measure R and its no wonder the university is looking elsewhere. This is just not a good community to do business with. Not at the level of making us the Silicon Valley of agriculture and biotech that smart people envision. We thumb our noses at opportunity and then lament we keep the roads up.

  15. Jim Frame

    This is just not a good community to do business with. Not at the level of making us the Silicon Valley of agriculture and biotech that smart people envision. We thumb our noses at opportunity and then lament we can’t keep the roads up.

    “Smart people”? More like “some people,” and I believe it’s a minority of the electorate. If becoming the Silicon Valley of ag and biotech means paving all the ag land like they did in Silicon Valley, then I think I most Davis voters will say “no thanks.”

    As Frankly is always quick to point out, we’re a long way from paving over our corner of Yolo County, but that’s in no small part because of the vision implemented by several generations of citizens who expressly sought not to become like San Jose or Sacramento County. (Until recently, the latter never met a development proposal it didn’t like, thus profitable — for a few — but disastrous land use decisions like urbanizing the Natomas flood basin.)

    The thing that’s going to sell a modest degree of business park development in Davis isn’t the notion of emulating Silicon Valley; it’s going to be a boost in tax revenue necessary to help see us through an intermediate-term (30ish years) bubble in employee compensation costs “gifted” to us by bad decisions on the part of past electeds, and to help us catch up with the related budget holes in infrastructure maintenance costs. I don’t see the fundamental vision of compact city form and deliberately slow residential growth garnering majority support any time soon.

  16. Jim Frame

    This is just not a good community to do business with. Not at the level of making us the Silicon Valley of agriculture and biotech that smart people envision. We thumb our noses at opportunity and then lament we can’t keep the roads up.

    “Smart people”? More like “some people,” and I believe it’s a minority of the electorate. If becoming the Silicon Valley of ag and biotech means paving all the ag land like they did in Silicon Valley, then I think I most Davis voters will say “no thanks.”

    As Frankly is always quick to point out, we’re a long way from paving over our corner of Yolo County, but that’s in no small part because of the vision implemented by several generations of citizens who expressly sought not to become like San Jose or Sacramento County. (Until recently, the latter never met a development proposal it didn’t like, thus profitable — for a few — but disastrous land use decisions like urbanizing the Natomas flood basin.)

    The thing that’s going to sell a modest degree of business park development in Davis isn’t the notion of emulating Silicon Valley; it’s going to be a boost in tax revenue necessary to help see us through an intermediate-term (30ish years) bubble in employee compensation costs “gifted” to us by bad decisions on the part of past electeds, and to help us catch up with the related budget holes in infrastructure maintenance costs. I don’t see the fundamental vision of compact city form and deliberately slow residential growth garnering majority support any time soon.

  17. Mr. Toad

    That is correct Jim when Davis passes on being the biotech version of Silicon Valley it will rob future generations of prosperity not just the current fix. When Katahi talks about hubs she is using the rhetoric of Silicon Valley. That is the model and what you are suggesting is that the prosperity spun out of UCD go to other communities that will be happy to take the money and have our residents commute adding a larger carbon footprint and less diversity to our culture. Yes there are those who lament having Apple in Cupertino instead of Cherry stands by the roadside but the commonwealth of that region where Santa Clara now has the highest income of any county in California has been a magnet of prosperity. Bummer that the 49ers are moving to Santa Clara.

  18. Mr. Toad

    That is correct Jim when Davis passes on being the biotech version of Silicon Valley it will rob future generations of prosperity not just the current fix. When Katahi talks about hubs she is using the rhetoric of Silicon Valley. That is the model and what you are suggesting is that the prosperity spun out of UCD go to other communities that will be happy to take the money and have our residents commute adding a larger carbon footprint and less diversity to our culture. Yes there are those who lament having Apple in Cupertino instead of Cherry stands by the roadside but the commonwealth of that region where Santa Clara now has the highest income of any county in California has been a magnet of prosperity. Bummer that the 49ers are moving to Santa Clara.

  19. Jim Frame

    it will rob future generations of prosperity

    It will allow future generations to decide what kind of city they want.

    what you are suggesting is that the prosperity spun out of UCD go to other communities

    What I’m suggesting is that some of the developments spun out of UCD may go to other communities, and that there’s nothing wrong with that. I want Davis to keep the ones that make sense for us to keep, not try to accommodate everything regardless of fit.

    Santa Clara now has the highest income of any county in California

    Absent a cost of living adjustment, this is a meaningless statistic. It also hints at a lack of socioeconomic diversity — the potential loss of which you bemoan at home — since it’s unlikely that cooks and dishwashers are making the kind of incomes that skew the median so high.

    Bummer that the 49ers are moving to Santa Clara.

    If we ever get to the point of talking about professional sports teams in Davis, we can be sure we’ve been sold a bill of goods.

  20. Jim Frame

    it will rob future generations of prosperity

    It will allow future generations to decide what kind of city they want.

    what you are suggesting is that the prosperity spun out of UCD go to other communities

    What I’m suggesting is that some of the developments spun out of UCD may go to other communities, and that there’s nothing wrong with that. I want Davis to keep the ones that make sense for us to keep, not try to accommodate everything regardless of fit.

    Santa Clara now has the highest income of any county in California

    Absent a cost of living adjustment, this is a meaningless statistic. It also hints at a lack of socioeconomic diversity — the potential loss of which you bemoan at home — since it’s unlikely that cooks and dishwashers are making the kind of incomes that skew the median so high.

    Bummer that the 49ers are moving to Santa Clara.

    If we ever get to the point of talking about professional sports teams in Davis, we can be sure we’ve been sold a bill of goods.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

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