Monday Morning Thoughts: The Davis City Council and the CFD

Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis is an impassioned plea for one councilmember to change their mind
Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis makes an impassioned plea for one councilmember to change their mind

Is a Picture Worth 1000 Words?

At the council meeting on Tuesday, I wanted to capture some of the key moments of the CFD discussion in photos. So I snapped off my typical 20 photos of Robb Davis during his impassioned speech and discovered something interesting – in every one it appeared that his colleagues Dan Wolk and Rochelle Swanson were smirking or laughing.

Given the angle I was at, it would have been awkward to attempt to cut them out of the photo – so I left it in. Some people commented on the photo, both in public and in private. Are they laughing at him? I don’t know. Are they making side-jokes and laughing at something else? Again, I don’t know.

Either way is troubling in its own way. This was during the core part of his speech, where he is trying to convince his colleagues to change their mind, so it stands to reason they are either mocking his efforts or they are not listening at all and having their own side conversation.

The Davis City Council has a number of very critical decisions ahead, but I feel like the council itself is at crossroads. Tuesday night felt like 2010 again. As I stated in Thursday’s column, for the first time since 2010, it felt like old times on the Davis City Council, in that the vote was 3-2, and it never felt like there was a reasonable chance to swing the vote.

When I first started covering the Davis City Council in 2006, the council’s atmosphere was completely toxic. I started for reasons that had little to do with the divide that had emerged in Davis City politics. But the fray I jumped into was one of bitter dissension and open hostility.

We termed it the Council Majority because, on the critical issues, there was almost invariably and with very rare exceptions a 3-2 majority – indeed the same 3-2 majority of Don Saylor, Ruth Asmundson and Stephen Souza against then-Mayor Sue Greenwald and Councilmember Lamar Heystek.

Whatever hopes of accord were destroyed early on as the Council Majority weighed the idea of denying Sue Greenwald the mayorship despite her finishing first in 2004, and as Councilmember Don Saylor openly mocked and lectured Lamar Heystek’s first venture at establishing a living wage in Davis.

For four years we had a 3-2 stranglehold on the council, controlled by the Council Majority. It was four years of frustration for the minority members. It was to the point where, ultimately, Lamar Heystek would leave after one term in 2010 and Sue Greenwald would often be baited into mistakes.

However, things began to change in 2010. The community grew tired of the toxic atmosphere and, over the course of the next two years, two members would not seek reelection. Don Saylor would move up to the Board of Supervisors and, in 2012, incumbents Sue Greenwald and Stephen Souza would be defeated.

Beginning in 2011 when Don Saylor left the council, it began a new era – one of the reform on key budget issues, one of peace and respect on the dais, and one of overt work for consensus.

This new council is a little different from the councils from 2011 to 2014. I spoke to several of the members of council and there are some clear and developing personality conflicts. There is also no real clear consensus on a lot of policy issues. While on most issues there are not huge differences, the personality conflicts may make it much more difficult to form consensus and coherent policy.

The council needs to figure out a way to work together for the betterment of the community. The council is probably at a critical crossroads in that respect. We don’t want to go back to the days of the 3-2 council where there was no possibility of forming a consensus – that is what happened on Tuesday and that is not for the benefit of the community.


Former Mayor Joe Krovoza
Former Mayor Joe Krovoza

CFD: Former Mayor Joe Krovoza Speaks Out

Usually, following a big vote like the one on CFD, a relatively clear picture emerges as to what happened and how it transpired. This one is different – I am getting a very different story depending on whom I talk to.

Former Mayor Joe Krovoza, really for the first time since he left office last July, has spoken up – in a Vanguard column. He writes, “How recognition of a CFD [Community Facilities District] was handled in the DA [Development Agreement] is now in question. From my perspective, as staff and the sub-committee assessed dollars for use in the DA, funds from a possible CFD simply weren’t discussed. “

Mr. Krovoza adds, “I was clear to staff that I wasn’t interested in a CFD because it looked like we could fund the amenities without one. Perhaps staff never really considered a CFD, or perhaps they were considering such but never raised the issue with me. All I know is that I was never involved in any discussion with staff, Lucas (the only councilmember I could speak with due to the Brown Act) or publicly. It just didn’t come up. “

Some I have talked to have been incredulous about this claim. However, I am convinced by one key consideration – if the CFD were a real option at the time, Mayor Krovoza would have leveraged his support for at least a smaller CFD ‒ for assurances about a second grade-separated crossing. The fact that this discussion never entered the public realm, even at the 11th hour when Mayor Krovoza was still attempting to push for more amenities, suggests that Mr. Krovoza’s recollection is accurate.

The pro forma suggests that the developer has ample revenue to make this project work with, without or with a reduced CFD.

Joe Krovoza writes, “What did the pro forma conclude might come from the developer for the DA? The staff concluded in the November 12 staff report that ‘the Development Agreement could accommodate $4 – $4.5 million in benefits to the City under current assumptions.’”

He said, “It was very hard for me to accept this.” Indeed, “everything in the pro forma seemed very conservative to me. Most notable was the assumption of $270/sq.ft. for the houses. If that went to $300/sq.ft., which was the price at the time, there would be another $21 million in revenue.”

He added, “And the pro forma assumed a 10 percent contingency, which on $250 million (conservative) in revenue would be $25 million. So very superficially, it seemed to me there was a $25-46 million dollar question about TNHC revenue. Given this, I was very skeptical of the staff’s assessment of $4 – $4.5 million from TNHC for the DA, and there just wasn’t any reason for a CFD.”

Part of the question is how the CFD came back up in late 2014 and this year. There was a staff presentation on the possibility of a CFD back in November, but there did not seem to be great staff support for it.

In fact, I was told that Interim City Manager Gene Rogers never weighed in on anything except the CFD, which he thought was an exceedingly bad idea. It was only when Dirk Brazil was hired as the city manager that the idea of a CFD gained traction.

It is worth noting that the motion that the council passed 3-2 was not necessarily to support the CFD that the staff report laid out. Instead, council directed staff to negotiate down the CFD to fund the essential parts of the DA. No one knows exactly what that means – will it reduce the CFD down to $500 or $600 a year which would gain four or five votes, or will it be a token reduction?

Finally, there is the issue of the two grade-separated crossings. Mr. Krovoza writes, “When the DA came out in the November 19, 2013 staff report, the guarantees for two good, grade separated bike and pedestrian crossings seemed very weak. The November 12, 2013 staff report made clear reference twice to transportation dollars funding a SE crossing, but the November 19, 2013 staff report and DA didn’t guarantee good crossings.”

“I saw this as backpedaling,” he said. He writes, “At the November 19 meeting, I sought more dollars in the DA to guarantee both crossings, and a commitment that the poor alternative at the SW would be removed as an option. The council majority for the project didn’t adopt my request, and the Cannery development was approved 3-2.  Brett Lee and I were the dissenting votes.”

He concludes, “Today, it’s very disappointing to me that the SE grade separated crossing has been abandoned by TNHC and the city. I believe that’s bad faith. At the SW, the decent option of using the H Street tunnel is moving slowly, and might still happen, but if not, the truly mediocre option of using the south side of Covell may become the only bikeway into town that doesn’t have to coexist with cars on Covell Blvd.”

Given that council has agreed to providing The New Homes Company with a CFD, it would seem reasonable that we could at least be assured of the two grade-separated crossings. To my knowledge, there has been no public discussion or vote backing off that commitment.

Vacation Alert

Today, my grandmother turns 100 years old. So late on Wednesday, my family and I are going to leave town and go to Florida for a Friday birthday party. I will be gone from the 26th of March until late on March 30. This is the first real vacation we have taken in several years. The Vanguard will continue its publication and hopefully the interruptions will not be noticeable.

—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.

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47 Comments

  1. SODA

    “where he is trying to convince his colleagues to change their mind so it stands to reason they are either mocking his efforts or they are not listening at all and having their own side conversation.”
    David, was this what you meant to say? I would hope ‘it would not stand to reason’ that because a CCperson is lobbying for his stand on an issue, the others would mock or not listen. I realize what the tone of your article is but this seems very strong language, as if it would be predictable which is upsetting to think about. Hopefully you wrote it or I read it incorrectly or differently than you meant.

      1. SODA

        My concern was ‘it stands to reason’ as though disagreeing with a colleague gives permission to smirk, side converse, not listen…..I will calm down and have another cup of coffee!

    1. DanH

      It is difficult to interpret this photo one way or the other. A wider alternate angle might prove illuminating, maybe not. Perhaps we are seeing a reaction to the presence of the photographer. I am assuming (and I may be wrong)) that this image was shot at the time Robb Davis was making an impassioned plea for another council member to change his vote. I was at home watching this meeting on live streaming video. My own emotional response at this moment was one of amusement and it was probably accompanied by a facial expression. Had I been in a business meeting in the same situation I would have maintained a poker face, but that’s just me.

  2. Barack Palin

    The council needs to figure out a way to work together for the betterment of the community. The council is probably at a critical crossroads in that respect. We don’t want to go back to the days of the 3-2 council where there was no possibility of forming a consensus – that is what happened on Tuesday and not for the benefit of the community.

    Are you saying that Robb Davis and Brett Lee need to get with the program to form a consensus?

    Or is it since you didn’t like the outcome of the vote you’re going to now attack the process?

    1. hpierce

      I can’t imagine anyone thinking that the CFD votes WOULDN’T have been 3-2.  The only question, ever, from what I saw, was whether it was 3-2 in favor, or 3-2 against.  This issue was a “‘tweener”.  I am opposed to CFD’s involving SFR housing, but believe they can be very useful for non-res projects.  Never surprised with “‘tweeners” going 3-2.  This is not an issue I’d see as ever getting a consensus.

      There will be other issues on the horizon, that it WILL be important to send a unified message.  On the Cannery, it will be the structuring of the ‘acquisition agreement’.  There, they could ‘mitigate’ what I believe was a bad decision on the CFD.  To put in the maximum protections for the City and the future HO’s, (and, STICK TO THEM) it will be crucial to get to 4-1, or better, 5-0. That margin will give staff the support they will need to “stick to their guns”.

       

    2. Michelle Millet

      I’m much more concerned about how and why council members vote the way the do rather then there not being consensus on every vote. I would have found it much more troublesome if it had been a 5-0 vote in favor of the the CFD, and I don’t see how this would have been in any way beneficial to the community. I’m grateful that 2 council members were willing to vote against it. I would hope council members base their votes  on the their conscious and their desire to do what is best for the community, and not in attempt to achieve a 5-0 outcome.

       

  3. Joe Krovoza

    To add a bit more context, and to perhaps state the obvious, there were lots of items “on the bubble” for inclusion in the DA as it was being completed in October and early November 2013.  A senior housing element of some sort was being articulately advanced by the CHA group — and a last minute agreement was reached to the delight of all.  Lucas and I thought the operating funds for the urban farm were small initially and those were increased to the current level of $100K per year for three years.  Many wanted more guarantees for a true and conscious low-carbon community, and TNHC was very receptive, but not interested in promising zero net carbon.  David Taormino shared with me that the neighborhood he was building at Mace and Montgomery had a city requirement that a percentage of the homes have solar.  So he built the first units with solar to get the requirement completed, but then found that almost every prospective buyer wanted the solar.  From this conversation with David, we came up with the idea of zero net electricity for 25 percent of the first 100 homes.  TNHC was sure they could meet this, and I was sure that once the solar/zn-electricty ball got rolling, zero net electricity would be desired by all as it’s simply a financial no-brainer in today’s energy market, and especially so when the solar is financed in a 30-year mortgage.  (Note, zero net electricity doesn’t mean zero net carbon.  Zero net carbon was a much “heavier lift” that would require removing natural gas from the development and instead using geothermal for radiant heating/cooling.  I would have loved that, but I didn’t see the votes for such and it was complex to push along with everything else.)

    But I digress.  What I want to say is that I pushed at the very end for the bike crossings over other items because I believed they were challenging but clearly feasible, valued by a broad cross-section of Davis for their ability to reduce traffic on Covell and at the Covell-J intersection, reduce demand on downtown parking, get kids to school and parks safely, and simply build our community’s unique culture just as the new urban farm would.  It was my view that if the undercrossing were done in the DA and during Cannery construction, the efficiency of building concurrent with the Cannery going in (as opposed to expensive retrofits later) was just good planning.  I thought other elements desired by the community might be easier to adopt later if interest remained.  On the home energy side, I hoped that simple economics would help spur zero net carbon for Cannery.  But for the crossings, I feared that if they didn’t get locked down at project approval, all the planning and energy for them would drift away.

    And, “Yes,” if TNHC thought they really needed my vote, and they knew they would eventually ask for a CFD, then, certainly, adding a CFD to the DA discussions in the fall of 2013 would have been one possible solution for the crossings and other items.

     

  4. davisite4

    I am a bit stunned at the low key response to Krovoza’s accounting of events.  If what he says is true — and as David says here, it all seems to add up — then some of the things that the current councilmembers have been saying are simply false.  It seems false that the developer has been expecting the CFD (unless there were back channel promises, which is even worse) and that we would be acting in bad faith if we didn’t go forward with the CFD.  It makes the decision to go forward with the CFD look that much worse, and it already looked pretty bad.  Where’s the outrage?

    1. Davis Progressive

      it seems like the time of year is such that a lot of people are on vacation.  on the other hand, they appear to be getting a fair number of reads.  i’ve also heard that some of joe’s complaints/ recollections aren’t accurate, but those people aren’t talking, so i have no real way of knowing.

      1. Don Shor

        i’ve also heard that some of joe’s complaints/ recollections aren’t accurate, but those people aren’t talking, so i have no real way of knowing.

        Evidently they are talking, but just in the form of whispers. Pretty sleazy.

        1. hpierce

          Both from the side of the “whisperers” and those they ‘whispered’ to, who then protect the “whisperers”. [Hoarse whisperers?]

          Reminds me of a Looney Tunes cartoon, where a character says (sings, actually), “I know a secret I won’t tell …”.

    2. hpierce

      Ok… seems you have a problem with the “process”… I’ve been expressing at least “umbrage” with the deed itself for quite a bit.  Is there any “process” that justifies the ‘wrong thing’?  Maybe I missed your opposition to ‘the deed’.

      It’s pretty clear that either someone (on CC) was ‘clueless’/misinformed and/or is lying/’spin-controlling’, now.  Have no way of knowing which/who.  Maybe a “reporter” can figure it out.

      1. Frankly

        My mother used to always tell me “don’t attribute to malice what can be attributed to ignorance.”   I find this to be true more times than not.

        Think about the timing of leadership changes and elections and all the other CC agenda items taking attention.

        These are part-time CC members.  They have existing full-time jobs as I understand (although not sure about Robb).

        The old CM was leaving and the new one would need time to come up to speed.

        Staff was over-stressed and more tuned for acquiring a farmland moat rather than vetting a complex development agreement.

        I think it is possible that all of this CFD and missing second crossing stuff can just be chalked up to insufficient management of the process.

        I wonder… does the city need another commission to help here?  At risk of the too many cooks in the kitchen problems, it seems that we might benefit from a commission of experts that can assist staff and the CC and help provide some transparency to the process and the issues that develop.

        In most communities that host complex development the city staff are experienced enough to handle the project management.  However, Davis is in unique position in that the city staff lack experience and they are pulled every which way by all the myriad of competing interests.   It would seem in Davis’s best interests to recognize the capability and resource gap for effectively managing large and complex development projects and to elicit help from strength in the community.

        Or maybe we should be talking about full-time CC positions?

        1. Doby Fleeman

          In the end, nothing that more money can’t fix I’d imagine.

          When is the last time you went ice skating?  In my case, it’s been a good ten years and I’d likely find myself a little rusty.  I don’t care how skilled the staff may be, when you haven’t looked at a major development agreement in the previous ten years, it shouldn’t be surprising that things fall between the cracks – in addition to all the myriad of distractions you have previously identified.

          Without a coherent General Plan, including a comprehensive Transportation Plan that includes long-term management plans for bicycle, pedestrian, public transit and motorized vehicles – it is any wonder that staff has a difficult time with crossings issues.   We’re only now talking about a comprehensive, integrated Covell Corridor plan.

          We don’t have the financial resources to properly maintain our existing streets, we don’t have enough money to have a current, comprehensive updated General Plan, we don’t have enough money to rebuild our community pools and multipurpose rooms.  Is it really any wonder that some items fell through the cracks on this development agreement?

          How about if we take a deep breath, be appreciative of what the community has accomplished and take a hard look at where we’d like to go next and what it will take to get us there?

           

           

           

           

           

        2. Don Shor

          The impression I got was that the second crossing died when the Cannery was approved. It was a major factor in the ‘no’ votes, and if the council majority had wanted it they would have held out for it.
          I can’t think why Davis staff would be inexperienced in this regard. Most have been here for quite awhile. I think the staff acceded to the council’s direction on this issue.

          Staff was over-stressed and more tuned for acquiring a farmland moat rather than vetting a complex development agreement.

          I think that’s different staff that deals with open space issues. But I could be wrong.

        3. hpierce

          Doby… closer to 25 years ago, not 10.

          As was done back with MR, hope the City uses an outside firm to manage the acquisition agreement (many agencies use these, and they are familiar with the CFD ‘rules’), rather than further burdening staff, except for policy oversight, or bringing on additional staff whose function will pretty much go away after the first 5 years.

        4. hpierce

          Don… Frankly’s comment about “Staff was over-stressed and more tuned for acquiring a farmland moat rather than vetting a complex development agreement.” is BS/’tripe”.  maybe 1 FTE staff has been involved in open space/moat.  At most 1.5 FTE, at peak. In that comment Frankly, frankly, was being Frankly [because of course, he is].

          Yet, there were probably key staff, particularly in PW, who were kept out of the loop almost entirely by St Pinkerton.  Don’t know that, but suspect based on the last 3-4 DA’s.  Before that senior PW staff were “at the table” for DA’s, and for the MR CFD.  Many years ago.

        5. Frankly

          Doby – agree.

          hpierce –  you seem to be heading toward the “malice” reason (“St. Pinkerton”).  My point was more to what Doby wrote… it isn’t the roles of staff per se, it is the experience they have.  My point was/is that there is more collective experience in open space preservation that there is project management for development.

          I am not bashing staff with this point.  There is nothing that will substitute for experience.

          1. Don Shor

            My point was/is that there is more collective experience in open space preservation that there is project management for development.

            I still think that’s incorrect.

        6. Frankly

          Count all the city land transactions with the Yolo Land Trust and then count all the large development with complex DA needs.

          The former exceeds the latter by an order of magnitude.

        7. Frankly

          The Department of Community Development & Sustainability does both.  They have big land trust muscles from all the workout building the farmland moat, and they are out of shape for development use of land.

          1. Don Shor

            You seem to be working really hard to prove that staff is very exercised in creating land trust agreements. Your continual use of the term “farmland moat” is just silly, more of your typical partisan trolling. And I think you have no basis for your comments as to the expertise or experience of the staff. It’s just conjecture on your part. Commissions can be useful in reviewing things in public. If you want to make that reasonable suggestion, couching it in denigrating terms probably undercuts your effectiveness.

      2. davisite4

        hpierce, yes, I did express opposition to the deed itself, regardless of process.  However, these problems with the process make things worse, imo.  It means that what seemed like slim/weak justification for the CFD is probably in fact no justification at all.  So, I was surprised that there was so little reaction to that part of Krovoza’s post.  I would have thought that heads would be spinning off.  Mine sure is.

    1. Unspecified

      The second crossing, at L Street, was killed by the City Council in Oct 2014 as part of the East Covell Corridor Plan. I’m pretty sure that Robb Davis was one of the votes. It was too expensive and the existing buildings and underground pipes meant that it would have had to go very deep and make an ackward return to grade (i.e. even if they wanted to spend the money, it would have been a bummer to use). As far as I know, they are going to go with a dutch junction.

  5. Doby Fleeman

    Maybe it’s as simple as the city had evolved a “tradition” of approving CFDs for large scale residential developments over the past several decades?  If so, perhaps that is what informed staff viewpoint and default documentary language.

    Has there been any comparable, large-scale development in the past decade since the Measure J initiative was approved?

    Market dynamics clearly have changed since 2004, but perhaps the process, timing and methodology for approvals of CFDs has not.  Guessing one would have to go back and look at their history to determine what has traditionally been “the norm” here in Davis.

    hpierce, can you help to shed any light on the past “traditions” here in Davis?

    1. hpierce

      Ok…. there have been 2 DJUSD CFD’s formed.  For any development that occurred since very early 90’s, a home would pay into both.  A ‘pre-existing’ residence only pays into one.  DJUSD CFD #1 ‘costs’ about 1/3 of CFD#2.  So, if a pre-1990 home pays $200 per years, a ‘post 1990’ home pays ~ $800.

      Also, in the early 90’s, the City adopted a City-wide CFD, with various areas of benefit, so there are different rates for ‘new development areas’, including So Davis, West Davis, East Davis, East-Davis/Mace, and North Central.  New development outside those areas of benefit pay higher “impact fees” at ‘CO’ (Certificate of Occupancy).

      Mace Ranch has been the one and only CFD that was “for” the developer.  Most, if not all, the staff involved in the formation, initial admin of that district that have left the City due to retirement, or other factors.  One event is not a “tradition”, nor a “norm”, in my opinion, and most of the staff involved swore “never again”.  Those voices have pretty much disappeared.

      At the time the previous CFD’s were approved, as I recall (perhaps incorrectly), bond rates were at or below mortgage rates.  Not the case in 2015.

      Does that serve to answer your question?

       

      1. Doby Fleeman

        Yes, thank you, I believe it does help in terms of establishing some perspective.  In other words, it has been some time since the city’s last real experience with their crafting.

        No doubt there are better, more current, more transparent routes to their creation.  That said, can we redirect the current handwringing and agency bashing to a more productive conversation addressing what and how we can do better next time?

        What could we have done better this time?  What will we do better next time?

        In other words, how long is it productive to remain suspended in this endless rinse cycle?

        1. Don Shor

          Picking up on some of Frankly’s constructive suggestions, perhaps the roles of the commissions could be better identified; a new commission might even be necessary for these purposes. And it isn’t at all unreasonable to consider bringing in outside consultants and professionals to help negotiate development agreements. It could be money well spent.

        2. Doby Fleeman

          Don,

          Thanks for the new tack.  I’m not so sure about more commissions, but it does seem important that we have the financial wherewithal to hire consultants who are subject matter experts, in areas where necessary, to supplement staff resources.  It does seem like it could be money well spent.  How we can come to recognize and admit when these additional experts may be necessary will be our next challenge.

        3. hpierce

          Clarification, Don… at this point it’s about crafting the acquisition agreement, and then monitoring performance.  We have moved from policy to implementation, most of it technical.  IMO, unless the reviewers are technically qualified from an auditing/engineering/construction background, they’ll just muck everything up big time.

  6. hpierce

    Still have a question as to whether the Cannery was annexed into the City-Wide CFD (North Central) as Northstar and Wildhorse were.  Also, unclear if the Cannery was annexed into the CFD#1, CFD#2 of DJUSD.  If not, the Cannery folk may be getting a “pass”.  They may not be assessed for the facilities that the rest of the City folk are paying for to accommodate the students eventually within the Cannery project

    Saw on my property tax bills, that the developer ($605) + City-wide City CFD’s assessments amount to about $720/yr, DJUSD’s assessments ~ $800/year.  Except for ‘interest’, technically not deductible.  [Side note… in addition the the DJUSD assessments for the CFD’s, there is ~ $600/year on TOP of that.  ~ $1,400 total].  ‘Nuff said.

    1. Barack Palin

      I’ve got a caption, maybe they’re smirking because one of them whispered to the other:

      “There’s that f’ing Greenwald taking our photo again.”

       

  7. Eskimo Pie

    About the picture: I think your speculation is quite unfair to Rochelle and Dan. They could have been reacting to something Robb said. He was not somber in his remarks, and at times was intentionally humorous to make a point. Yet that was not given as a possibility of why Dan and Rochelle are smiling in the picture. It’s stuff like this that really turns me off to the Vanguard and why I barely ever enter the comment dogpile. One picture taken, speculation runs wild, blogging at its worst.

    1. Frankly

      That was my take.  Robb is really a very dry comedian that causes random smiles and smirks.  I wasn’t making much out of a point in time picture.  Maybe Dan burped or something.

      One more thing to consider… us little people tend to get our underwear all in a bunch making these city policy issues into life and death significance.   If you work at executive level on a board or CC you will have conflict and then move on to the next item.

  8. Unspecified

    “… how long is it productive to remain suspended in this endless rinse cycle?” Doby Fleeman
    “… making these city policy issues into life and death significance.” Frankly
    “… speculation runs wild, blogging at its worst.” Eskimo Pie

    The psyche of Davis is deeply influenced by our academic neighbor to the west. To borrow from Wallace Sayre, Laurence Peter, Henry Kissinger, and others:

    Davis politics is so vicious because the stacks are so small.

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