Monday Morning Thoughts II: Global Cooling, Prosecutorial Misconduct and More

global-coolingGlobal Cooling

One of the more interesting arguments I hear against Global Warming is that ‒ 40 years ago – at least some scientists believed that the earth was cooling.

An April 28, 1975 Newsweek article wrote: “The central fact is that, after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the Earth seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.”

Writing in May 2014, Peter Gwynne, who authored the original 1975 article writes, “While the hypotheses described in that original story seemed right at the time, climate scientists now know that they were seriously incomplete. Our climate is warming — not cooling, as the original story suggested.”

However as Mr. Gwynne points out, “certain websites and individuals that dispute, disparage and deny the science that shows that humans are causing the Earth to warm continue to quote my article. Their message: how can we believe climatologists who tell us that the Earth’s atmosphere is warming when their colleagues asserted that it’s actually cooling?”

Think about the world that has changed since 1975. Thinking about computing, when I graduated from college in 1996, which is just under 20 years ago, I bought a PC which operated Windows 95, its hard drive was 1 GB, it has a 28.8 modem. As cool as I thought my computer was back then, my phone is much more powerful with a 64 GB in memory. That’s just 20 years ago.

Apple Computer was not born until 1976. Macintosh wouldn’t even come out until 1984.

Why am I pointing out computer technology changes? Well, climate models are run on computers, and the ability to model the climate and analyze data has revolutionized climate science.

Or, as Mr. Gwynne argued last year, “In the 39 years since, biotechnology has flowered from a promising academic topic to a major global industry, the first test-tube baby has been born and become a mother herself, cosmologists have learned that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate rather than slowing down, and particle physicists have detected the Higgs boson, an entity once regarded as only a theoretical concept.”

He notes, “Those that reject climate science ignore the fact that, like other fields, climatology has evolved since 1975. The certainty that our atmosphere is indeed warming stems from a series of rigorous observations and theoretical concepts that fit into computer models and an overall framework outlining the nature of Earth’s climate.”

He adds, “These capabilities were primitive or non-existent in 1975.”

Another interesting point that Mr. Gwynne makes is that efforts to clean up emissions into the atmosphere such as the Clean Air Act of 1970 reduced other pollution, especially the amount of sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere. “Since those compounds primarily reflect heat, their reduction effectively gave carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases more control over the Earth’s temperature,” he said.

See the full article by Peter Gwynne.


prosecutorial-misconductFox Guarding the Hen House on Prosecutorial Misconduct

In the battle against prosecutorial misconduct, no agency has been hammered harder than the California Bar Association. As we have noted, starting with the Innocence Project’s 2010 study, the Bar Association has rarely disciplined attorneys involved in prosecutorial misconduct.

Now the San Jose Mercury News on Sunday came out with an article, “Prosecutor with checkered record is training legal watchdogs.”

Writes the Mercury News:

“The agency in charge of disciplining California’s lawyers has the pick of the litter when it comes to contracting with legal specialists. So the State Bar’s decision to hire a Bay Area attorney with a checkered record is raising eyebrows.

“Alfred F. Giannini, a retired San Mateo County deputy district attorney, has been criticized by the Northern California Innocence Project for committing misconduct in three murder trials that led to a reversal or a mistrial.

“Now he’s coaching trial attorneys on how to win cases against lawyers the State Bar accuses of stealing, cheating or lying.

“It’s a bizarre choice. He’s like the poster boy of misconduct,” said Kathleen M. Ridolfi, the project’s former director, who teaches at Santa Clara University’s law school. “It’s a very sad statement about the Bar in California.”

Mr. Giannini defends his record, “offering detailed explanations for each problematic case and criticizing the Innocence Project’s research in annual reports about prosecutorial misconduct as incomplete.”

He was hired by the Bar last year to spend about 10 hours a week, at $75 an hour, “training its litigators under a year-long contract.”

A spokesperson for the Bar told the Mercury News that the agency would not comment but did say that “there are no plans to renew” Mr. Giannini’s contract when it expires in May.


Cannery-undercrossing

Councilmember Frerichs on the Cannery CFD

In recent weeks, both Robb Davis and Brett Lee have explained their votes on the CFD. This week Councilmember Lucas Frerichs, in an interview with the local paper, said that “refusing a CFD would come at a price, such as amenities and infrastructure not being built for years, as the developer waits for money from future home sales.”

Moreover, he reiterated that “a CFD was part of the talk throughout the discussion of The Cannery’s development agreement.”

He told the paper, “What I don’t want to see is what happened when Mace Ranch was built.”

He also said that “the CFD money doesn’t come from the city general fund, would not be paid by the entire community and would be paid for by future Cannery residents one way or another — either through higher-priced homes or through a CFD.”

He added, “With an anticipated $11.8 million sale, the city would receive $750,000 from the developer. For any amount above $11.8 million, Frerichs said, there would be a 50/50 split, resulting in potentially millions of dollars for the city.”


solar-panels-1

Community Choice Energy

Last week Robb Davis and Lucas Frerichs wrote an editorial on a community choice energy (CCE — formerly known as CCA) program in Davis. At the February 3 council meeting, they established the Community Choice Energy Advisory Committee to determine specific options for developing such a program.

They explain:

CCE is a mechanism by which a local government jurisdiction (e.g., a city, county or joint powers authority) contracts directly with a wholesale electricity supplier to purchase and supply electrical power only (excluding gas). In essence, the CCE becomes the energy-buying agent for consumers instead of the local investor-owned utility (Pacific Gas & Electric in our case).

Under a CCE model, PG&E continues to do the billing, turns on and off power when you move, maintains and owns the power lines, and other infrastructure and resolves outages. PG&E will bill customers for the metered energy used and forward to the CCE monies collected for the electrical generation portion of the electric bill. The CCE entity then pays the energy generator for the electricity provided.

In a CCE model, individual customers can opt out and continue to receive electricity directly from PG&E.

Unlike a publicly owned utility — which was under consideration in 2013-14 — the city of Davis would not incur the costs of acquiring PG&E’s transmission and distribution infrastructure. However, a CCE does permit the city to select electricity generation sources (including greener, renewable energy such as solar and wind) as well as capture a portion of “public purpose funds,” which it can use, in turn, to promote energy conservation and develop local generation of renewable energy.

The councilmembers explain, “The CCE model is gaining traction across California, and there are about 30 local jurisdictions in various stages of exploring, forming or operating a CCE throughout the state, including places such as Lancaster, Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, San Francisco and Richmond.”

Moreover, they add, “Developing a CCE today does not preclude developing a publicly owned utility later, and does not increase the cost of doing so. Choosing not to acquire transmission and distribution infrastructure is likely a much more cost-effective choice, at this time.”

They add, “A CCE, therefore, potentially would allow the city to move forward with a form of public power, all while allowing us to determine the sources of electricity we use as we continue to develop additional local sources.”

—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

30 Comments

  1. Topcat

    CCE is a mechanism by which a local government jurisdiction (e.g., a city, county or joint powers authority) contracts directly with a wholesale electricity supplier to purchase and supply electrical power only

    The CCE sounds like an interesting concept. It could inject some competition into the electricity supply business. PG&E would almost certainly be against allowing competition so I expect there would be legal and political challenges to overcome.

    Is there some reason that the CCE could not be owned and operated by a private company?  I don’t see why it would need to be run by a “government jurisdiction”.

    1. Anon

      It is my understanding that a CCE cannot be opposed by PG&E, and is one of the reasons a CCE might be a better choice than a POU, which PG&E can freely oppose with all its might.

      1. Topcat

        It is my understanding that a CCE cannot be opposed by PG&E

        It may be illegal for them to overtly oppose a CCE, but PG&E could make it very difficult to implement by being uncooperative or charging high rates for using their distribution system.

        It will be interesting to see what ideas the Community Choice Energy Advisory Committee comes up with.

  2. Frankly

    He notes, “Those that reject climate science ignore the fact that, like other fields, climatology has evolved since 1975. The certainty that our atmosphere is indeed warming stems from a series of rigorous observations and theoretical concepts that fit into computer models and an overall framework outlining the nature of Earth’s climate.”

    The models are used to predict future temperatures.  When the actual data arrives and there is a significant delta, they use that data to “recalibrate” the model.  There have been significant delta in the data over the last 14 years.   The significant delta is strongly indicative that the previous models were inaccurate.  It is those previous models that had been relied upon for all the doom and gloom predictions of global warming… a theory that was conveniently and suspiciously changed to “global climate change”.

    There are five problems with this “science”

    1. It has been largely politicized by the left in their crusade against capitalism and industrialism… and these folks aid and abet the enemies of the US that would love to see us even more economically crippled than our incompetent government has already caused us to be.

    2. There is no “proof” that man-made emission (C02, methane, or other) are a significant cause of climate change.  The “evidence” is primarily circumstantial despite the volumes of writing that attempts to convince everyone otherwise.

    3. The failure of the past models to accurately predict global temperatures is “proof” that science is not evolved enough to be relied upon.

    4. We absolutely do not know what the consequences of climate change will be on the global human condition.  The left and the science (are they any different?) focus on the negative predictions.   While ice retreats in the northern hemisphere, it grows in the southern hemisphere.

    5. All this fear mongering about global warming has caused a focus on policy that science already tells us is fruitless, and takes our attention away from policies of adaption.  For example, check that building permits are still given to people building just a few feet above current sea level on the coast.

    Decades from now looking back at the history of the US and world relative to this global warming hysteria, I think the primary outcome will be to recognize the crucible for when the profession of science lost a lot of credibility… and joined the “news media” as just another mouthpiece of propaganda for those that seek political power and those that benefit from the payoff for helping those that seek political power.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “The models are used to predict future temperatures.  When the actual data arrives and there is a significant delta, they use that data to “recalibrate” the model.  There have been significant delta in the data over the last 14 years.”

      you definitely want to update the models as more data becomes available.  however, the significant delta is largely explanable because of the vastness of the oceans compared to land.  what’s happened is that the oceans have absorbed much of the heat energy in the last 14 years, that makes the overall trend all the more alarming.

      “There is no “proof” that man-made emission (C02, methane, or other) are a significant cause of climate change. ”

      proof is for mathematics as my social science friends love to point out, there is plenty of evidence both in the lab and overall that it is true.

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      Excellent reply. I have a few additions.

      6. A computer is merely a tool. The Apollo Mission was accomplished with on board computers incomprehensibly less powerful than what we have today – in any home.

      7. Garbage in, garbage out. We have at least two ClimateGate scandals where data was manipulated in order to suit political needs.

      8. I discussed climate with a friend who has studied the topic for decades. He informed me that there are weather stations that were located near towns with a population of 200 or 500, that today have 500,000 inhabitants. Buildings retain heat, business generates heat, so guess what happens to the nearby temperature readings? There were also locations that are quite cold (I think one may have been Siberia) where someone decided four temperature readings were as good as the previous eight. If you want to compare apples to apples, then do that.

      9. My understanding is that those who believe in Global Warming (now rebranded Climate Change) offered 40 models of what would happen, and they all failed to predict the temperature.

      10. We have had a Global Warming “hiatus” for 18, 20, 21 years, depending upon who you talk to that Warmists are now having to explain.

      11. Of 20 concerns of ordinary Americans, last I read climate change was number 19.

      12. If the Warmists were really serious, I believe the IPCC report said that we need to build 1,000 nuclear power plants worldwide ASAP (they emit no Co2) to meet our green energy needs. Most on the left don’t make this step. This kind of hypocrisy leads some to believe that what they are after is not a safer environment, but power and control.

      1. Davis Progressive

        “A computer is merely a tool. ”

        while true, the ability to analyze and model large amounts of data have greatly advanced the ability to model climate changes.

        “My understanding is that those who believe in Global Warming (now rebranded Climate Change) offered 40 models of what would happen, and they all failed to predict the temperature.”

        a climate model should not be able to predict the temperature.  the reason that scientists and others refer to it as climate change is that climate and weather are unequal phenomena, there will be places that actually cool down under climate change, there are likely to be more extreme weather conditions and so global warming is less accurate than climate change.

        “We have had a Global Warming “hiatus” for 18, 20, 21 years, depending upon who you talk to that Warmists are now having to explain.”

        i love how you repeat the same points over and over again as though no one has explained them to you and refuted them.

        “If the Warmists were really serious, I believe the IPCC report said that we need to build 1,000 nuclear power plants worldwide ASAP (they emit no Co2) to meet our green energy needs. Most on the left don’t make this step. ”

        as i pointed out when you said this the last time, a lot of scientists agree with you here that nuclear power plants are a good option.  there is a divide between scientists and environmentalists on this point for sure.  part of that comes from environmentalists concerns that the byproduct of nuclear power is not necessarily environmentally friendly, part of that comes from a political concern that spreading nuclear power to third world countries is a recipe for disaster environmentally and in terms of weapon potential.  but yes, climate scientists agree with you.

    3. wdf1

      Frankly:  From time to time the U.S. Department of Defense releases reports like this:

      DoD Releases 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap

      Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) released its 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, which focuses on various actions and planning the DoD is taking to increase its resilience to the impacts of climate change.”Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change,” said Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. “Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. By taking a proactive, flexible approach to assessment, analysis, and adaptation, the Defense Department will keep pace with a changing climate, minimize its impacts on our missions, and continue to protect our national security.”

      I usually have a lot of respect for the military having a no bullish*t (i.e., political baggage) attitude towards its mission (protecting the American public), so I take this to mean that the military takes this kind of thing more seriously than probably you do.

      What is the Frankly spin on this kind study?

      1.  A bunch of “panty waists” at the Pentagon?

      2. The influence of a Democratic administration pushing a certain agenda?

      3. Other?  If so, please explain.

      1. Frankly

        By taking a proactive, flexible approach to assessment, analysis, and adaptation, the Defense Department will keep pace with a changing climate, minimize its impacts on our missions, and continue to protect our national security.”

        The DOD is one smart agency.  They take the safe PC road but include the word “flexible” in there to cover the reality of “we don’t know”.

        1. Frankly

          No, I am saying that the issue is politicized, but any useful assessment and response would simply note that the weather is largely unpredictable as is the cause is largely indeterminable… and so the smart agency would come up with a statement like this that covers both the political and real-life situation.

        2. Davis Progressive

          the weather may be unpredictable, but we’re talking about climate and overtime the individual variability smooths out and trends become more noticeable.

        3. wdf1

          Frankly:  …would simply note that the weather is largely unpredictable as is the cause is largely indeterminable

          Continuing off of DP’s comments, you confuse weather and climate.  Weather can be less predictable within certain parameters.  Climate defines those parameters (the typical temperature range throughout the year, what time of year most of the rain falls, etc.).   For instance, we don’t have yearly India-style monsoons here in the central valley.

          Farmers rely on those parameters to determine what crops to plant.  The most telling anecdotal experiences I have had about climate change have been conversations I’ve had with local farmers with a long history of farming in the area.  The time to plant and harvest certain crops has shifted over time.  If you have such connections, I would encourage you to ask those kinds of questions.

        4. Frankly

          I’m not arguing that climate or weather patterns are not changing.  I think there is plenty of historical evidence that climate and weather patterns have constantly changed.

          You cannot solve a problem unless you know first know that there actually is a problem and you know what that problem is, and second you can identify the root cause(s) of the problem.

          Farmers rely on weather patterns, but farmers will also tell you it is and always has been a crap shoot.

          But let’s get back to another fact… isn’t it true that the same scientists that tell us that the emissions from mankind are causing greater global warming are also telling us that there is nothing we can do to stop, or even materially slow, global warming?

          That being the case it would be logical to admit that anyone pursuing regulations to restrict emissions at some material cost to the human condition are doing so irrationally.  And instead they should be focused completely on adaption as the “solution”.

           

        5. hpierce

          Frankly (although I’m not), the reduction in SO2 and particulates, good by most/all measures, has contributed to ‘climate change’.  Damned if you do….

          Maybe, to protect the planet from human activity, we need to eliminate the species.

        6. Frankly

          Maybe, to protect the planet from human activity, we need to eliminate the species.

          Either that is the end game of those most vocal in politicized alarm-ism about global warming, or they have not completely thought through their demands.  It is probably a little bit of both.

          But here is my deeper thinking on a subset of the other “thinking” people that are on the side of more aggressive government policy, laws and rules to reduce the amount of Co2 and methane emitted by human activity or human consumption…

          I think they don’t like the American-standard high-activity, hard-working, competitive, dog-eat-dog, high-consumption style of existence and have latched on to this theory (that belongs in their super-set platform of environmental sustainability) as being the gas to drive us to a more easy-going, less-stressful, less competitive, more cooperative and less consumptive standard of living.

          In other words, to be more like the French.

          But if we are talking sustainability… the French are the last people to consider as models.  In fact, the Socialist French President just appointed a new Minister of Finance that is an old-school free-market capitalist.   The French are in trouble… anemic growth as a result of more and more punishing restrictions and regulations on business and super high taxes to “protect” the environment and make it less stressful for French workers to have to fend for themselves in an open competitive job market… has resulted in even the Socialists to recognize that they were about out of other people’s money and heading toward a giant fiscal catastrophe like Greece before them.

          There is environmental sustainability and there is economic sustainability.  So far nobody has come up with any working utopian model that does not treat economic sustainability at at least an equal.

          My main problem with the global warming platform is the disconnect from the economic realities for supporting an acceptable human condition.  The alarms should not be sounding in fear of the environmental impacts because there is too much we do not know.  The alarms should be sounding in fear of the economic impacts because we know absolutely.

        7. wdf1

          Frankly:  There is environmental sustainability and there is economic sustainability.  So far nobody has come up with any working utopian model that does not treat economic sustainability at at least an equal.

          My main problem with the global warming platform is the disconnect from the economic realities for supporting an acceptable human condition.  The alarms should not be sounding in fear of the environmental impacts because there is too much we do not know.  The alarms should be sounding in fear of the economic impacts because we know absolutely.

          Environmental resources are economic resources.  Environmental impacts are economic impacts. Environmental sustainability is economic sustainability but over a longer term than you are willing to consider.  The difference is the time frame and whether you value “environmental resources” in your calculations of economic reality.  Traditional economics usually looks at activity over the shorter term.  Environmental sustainability deals with life resources over longer spans of time.  You probably don’t think human activity has longer term impacts that are discussed in environmental terms. You might also have a shorter vision of economics, probably how to keep things going until you die.  If someone has a longer view of economics (“environmental sustainability”) then it looks strange to you with your shorter term vision.

        8. wdf1

          New Evidence Suggests Last Ice Age Caused By Earth Floating Into Extremely Chilly Part Of Galaxy

          BERKELEY, CA—Offering an alternative explanation for the period of heavy glaciation and lower global temperatures, new evidence published Wednesday by scientists at the University of California suggests that Earth’s most recent ice age was caused by the planet drifting into a particularly chilly part of the Milky Way. “While past theories have posited that the last ice age was the result of factors ranging from changes in the planet’s atmosphere to the precession of its rotational axis to an ebb in solar activity, our research concludes that the epoch-long drop in surface temperatures can instead be attributed to Earth having floated through an extremely nippy corner of the galaxy,” said Dr. Gerard Weidl, explaining that the exceedingly brisk conditions prevailing in that particular region of outer space could be blamed for the growth of polar ice caps and the spread of glaciers across nearly a third of Earth’s total land area. “Luckily, about 11,000 years ago we coasted into a significantly balmier part of the Milky Way, which explains how much toastier everything’s been since then.” Weidl added that, should the planet float back into a chilly pocket of the universe, the few species that manage to survive would likely need to bundle up or else they would catch the shivers.

          courtesy of The Onion

  3. Tia Will

    Frankly

    “The DOD is one smart agency”

    Well if flexibility is your hallmark for “smartness” with regard to climate change, or any other scientific precept for that matter then the DOD is in very good company with the vast majority of researches whether governmental, private or public academic or private industrial taking exactly the same position. Namely that science is by nature a constantly evolving set of information from which we derive our understanding of how our world works. What science is not is the determination of a set of immutable beliefs. Therefore flexibility of belief is necessary to an understanding off scientific information, not an attribute that makes one “smart” or politically more savvy.

     

  4. zaqzaq

    It looks to me like Frerichs is grasping at straws with his pathetic justification for a CFD.

    1.  He does not want what happened in Mace Ranch when it was built to happen at the Cannery.  Now what happened at Mace Ranch happened in conjunction with a CFD.  The individuals whom I have spoken to who live in Mace Ranch hat the mello roos tax which is not a tax.  If he is referring to the parks and greenbelts being put in at the end of the development building process why wasn’t front loading this infrastructure included in the development agreement?  I would think that the sale price would be higher for the homes if the greenbelt and parks are already built.  Just an observation on my part.

    2. He then justifies the CFD since it was “part of the talk” throughout the Cannery development agreement process.  If the CFD was so important to Frerichs or the developer then why wasn’t it included in the agreement?  Did the development agreement have a better chance of passing a measure R vote if the CFD was not included?  Was there a backroom deal to include it later?  In the 90’s the Evergreen development was built without the use of a CFD.  So it can be done.

    3. Then Frerichs points out that current residents will not have to pay for this.  Frerichs’s trust me we are sticking it to the new people moving in is an attempt to resonate with current residents.  How many of these new residents will vote the Davis way in support of parcel taxes for our school and city needs when they learn that the current city council stuck it to them as part of a backroom deal.  David has already pointed out that the Mace Ranch neighborhood has not supported parcel taxes.

    4. Then Frerichs throws out his end of game desperation long ball that there may be some money in it for the city if the sale exceeds $11.8 million.  Now it is projected at $11.8 million so that looks about as optimistic as the Raiders winning the super bowl next year.

    Frerichs and his buddies “Developer Dan” and Rochelle need to rethink their votes and end this farce.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i tend to agree with your assessment here.  the big issue that frerichs dodges is that the $11.8 million is a community asset that was given away by himself and his two colleagues.

    2. Frankly

      Lucas also mentions that voting down the CFD would put amenities at risk.  This seems to be a key consideration.  If these other amenities are already in the agreement, then why we would we be concerned about them at this point?  The only other possibility is that he and the other two CC members that voted yes are thinking we will have demands for new amenities not yet funded and/or not in the agreement.

      1. hpierce

        Demands for new amenities for ‘the community’, if financed thru the CFD, will fall on the new property owners, many of whom will be current City residents.  Nice.

        And, the costs of those “goodies” will be financed at a higher rate by those owners than if included in the purchase price.  Nice.

        Lucas was “interviewed” not writing as himself.  The article was in error saying that the CFD ASSESSMENTS are TAXES. El wrongo (my bad, that could be considered racist!).  Many people believe that if it shows up on your property tax bill, it is a tax.  Not.  IRS has not been actively pursuing this.  They might (a “what if”).

        In my view, Mr Lucas was using the interview as a ‘safe place to land’, rather than owning up to the totality of his reason to vote in favor of the CFD formation.  To me, appears as a “back-pedal”.

  5. Anon

    1.  Cannery folks have to option of no tax, by prepaying the cost of infrastructure up front.

    2. Cannery is not subject to a Measure R vote – it is within the city limits.

    3.  Potential buyers of Cannery homes will have to pay for the infrastructure one way or another – either through a more expensive home, or by financing the cost of infrastructure over a period of years.

    4. If the Cannery has a CFD, the city will be paid an extra $750,000, plus 50% of any profit that exceeds $11.8 million.

    1. hpierce

      To your points 1 & 3.  Correct… except that to buy out, a property owner would not only have to buy out the capital costs, but the imputed interest that would accrue as if they paid thru the CFD.  This is required to protect the CFD bond financing.  Ask anyone who tried to buy out of the MR CFD.  The financing under the CFD is at a higher rate than mortgage rates, AND is subject to more variables, which are likely to further increase the yearly assessments, over time.  “lose-lose” comes to mind.

      As to your point 4.  Nice.  Existing residents who do not buy in the Cannery, get the “goodies” while existing residents who do buy there, and the “newbies” pay for those “goodies”.  Very nice.

      Using that logic, let’s set the bonds to the highest rates possible, so existing residents can share in the “booty” (take that any way you wish)

    2. Matt Williams

      Anon, your four points are good as far as they go, but they don’t go far enough.

      Regarding 1. your point is correct; however, if the individual home buyer and New Home Company do not include a discount on the sales price equal to the prepayment, then the home buyer is paying for the same amenities twice … once in the prepayment and a second time in the price of the home.  With that said, Susan Goodwin, the City’s Bond consultant was very direct in saying that Table 1 of the Staff Report “suggests home buyers don’t have the ability to discern increased annual costs, and take that into account in their buying decision, and of all places that that will not be true, the City of Davis is one place where that certainly will not be true.  These homeowners are very conscious [sic] of the annual impact it has, and they will take that into account in the sales office, and they will demand a discount, and if they have the chance to buy the same sized home with a Mello-Roos (CFD) or without a Mello-Roos (CFD) clearly they are not going to pay the same price.”

      Regarding 2. I agree

      Regarding 3. the buyers absolutely should pay for the infrastructure one way or another; however, they should not be expected to pay for the same infrastructure twice.  As noted in 1. above, Susan Goodwin expects the sales price to reflect a CFD discount.  There will be no double payment of the amenities by the buyers if the discount has the same value as the CFD, either as a prepayment or as the present value of the 30-40 year stream of annual CFD payments, which in the case of the Figure 1 example is $2,224 in year one, with compounded escalation of 2% each year thereafter.  The present value of that stream of payments is just over $50,000.

      Regarding 4. you have described the payments to the City, but you haven’t described the costs that the City will incur.  In Susan Goodwin’s scenario, the sales price will be reduced $50,000 if a 100% reduction is negotiated.  That means the assessed value of the home will be $50,000 less than in a scenario where no CFD exists.  The impact of 547 homes, each with a $50,000 reduced assessment, is a loss of over $300,000 per year in the Ad Valorem Taxes shown in Figure 1 of the Staff Report.  Instead of paying $6,750 per year Ad Valorem Taxes, the homeowner will pay only $6, 215 per year.  Over the 30 year life of the CFD, that means a loss to the Davis community of over $9 million in revenue.  Who will make up for that revenue loss?  If the CFD goes forward as proposed, it will be all the Davis taxpayers who will have to cover that $9 million.

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