Mayor’s Corner

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Wolk-Dan-headshot-2014
Davis Mayor Dan Wolk

by Dan Wolk

This is the first installment of a monthly column I am calling the “Mayor’s Corner.” It will appear toward the end of each month and is intended to provide an update of what’s happening at the City Council and introduce any new policy initiatives.

City Council Update

Our new City Council was only sworn in a little over a month ago and already we have made a significant degree of headway on a number of issues. Noteworthy items include:

Water Rates. After working with the community, including the proponents of Measure P and the city’s rate consultant, the City Council has unanimously devised a rate structure that is simple and equitable. By now property owners should have received a Prop. 218 notice in the mail for the proposed rates, with the public hearing to adopt the rates set for September 16. Please read it, and if you should have any questions at all, please attend one of the upcoming community workshops or call (530) 757-5686.

City Manager. The City Council has been making progress on the very important task of hiring a new city manager. The application period closed recently, and the City Council has begun the process of culling through the applicants and will be interviewing candidates. It is my hope we will select a new city manager by the end of September.

Economic Development.
Our community is fortunate to have received three proposals for innovation centers in response to our Request for Expressions of Interest – centers that will bring highly-skilled jobs and revenue to the community. At least two of these will be submitting formal applications in September. In addition, the city is considering options for the Nishi property and downtown densification.  It is my expectation the City Council will place one or more of these proposals on the ballot in 2015.

Infrastructure Measure. The City Council has decided not to place a revenue measure on the November ballot but has assigned Councilmember Brett Lee and me to work on developing a plan to fund critical infrastructure like our roads, bike paths, and pools. With the recent revelation that Civic Center Pool is leaking over 7,000 gallons per day, this task has grown even more critical. Councilmember Lee and I will report back soon on our efforts.

New Poet Laureate. At its September 2 meeting, the City Council will thank Eve West Bessier for her service as Davis Poet Laureate and will welcome the inimitable Dr. Andy Jones to ply his craft for a two-year term.

Improvements to Council Meetings. Working with my colleagues, I have begun implementing a number of changes to make the meetings run smoother and promote public participation, including dedicating one meeting a month to ceremonial items (as opposed to each meeting), strictly enforcing the City Council’s rules of order, and keeping the meetings from going too late.

Healthy Families Initiative

Currently, the City Council is rightly focused on a number of key items, many of which Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis and I outlined in a previous op-ed. But we should not lose sight of other important efforts. This fall, I plan to formally introduce a “Healthy Families Initiative” to address various health and safety concerns in our community. If implemented, this effort would:

(1)               Ban smoking in all multi-family housing complexes.

(2)               Require all schools located in Davis to have a network of safe and accessible routes available to children who attend.

(3)               Ensure every child 0-5 years old is screened for developmental and behavioral challenges, through partnering with First 5 Yolo, the Yolo Family Service Agency and the Davis Developmental Pediatrics Group.

(4)               Stamp out bullying in our community by partnering with the Davis Phoenix Coalition and the Davis Joint Unified School District, among others.

(5)               Make low-fat milk or water the default beverage in “kids’ meals” at restaurants (preserving soda as an option).

To kick off the Healthy Families Initiative, I plan to organize a flu shot clinic immediately preceding a City Council meeting this fall. I hope you will join the City Councilmembers in receiving your free flu shot.

More Information

I hope you’ve enjoyed this first installment of the Mayor’s Corner. To contact me for any reason, please email me at mayor@cityofdavis.org or call me at 530-574-4360. The city’s website is http://www.cityofdavis.org.

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About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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7 thoughts on “Mayor’s Corner”

  1. Tia Will

    My personal thanks to Mayor Wolk on two counts.
    First, my general appreciation for “The Mayor’s Corner” which I believe will serve as a succinct way of keeping people up to date on issues facing the city.
    Second, and on a more personal level, my thanks for including public health as a major component of those issues. We are at a time in our cities history when it would be easy to let public health and safety issues take a back seat to the seemingly overwhelming economic issues. I think it is a very positive sign that you and your colleagues are keeping a broader view of what is important to the well being of our community.

  2. Jim Frame

    I, too, was glad to see Dan’s column. It’s a good way for the Council to stay connected to the citizens and to keep important issues in front of the people affected. I also know that it’s yet another task to take on, and I appreciate Dan’s willingness to do so.

  3. Davis Progressive

    i would have liked to have seen more detail, especially in the vanguard article. i like that the mayor is reaching out, but my criticism of him is he’s not very detail oriented, and this doesn’t change my perception.

    1. London

      Re:DP’s comment re:detail oriented people- that’s a challenge. Dan probably needs lots of townspeople to help him implement such a big agenda. Healthy Families Initiative is big, sweeping, long range. He’ll need help with it for sure. It is a wonderful statement about healthy lifestyle choices. I like it a lot.

  4. London

    Is #1 tobacco only or tobacco and prescription physician ordered cannabis. I guess if rx cannabis banned, other forms will be able to replace it, so I guess it’s still okay. It will be difficult to enforce a ban on smoke inside of one’s home.

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