Analysis: Regional View on the Loss of Innovation Park

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The back of the existing neighborhood as seen from the southeast corner of the proposed development.
The back of the existing neighborhood as seen from the southeast corner of the proposed development north of Sutter-Davis Hospital.

Yesterday the Sacramento Business Journal reported on the fact that the Davis Innovation Center “is on hold, though not officially abandoned.”

They reported that John Hodgson, “who also was the architect on the project with Hines and SKS Development, said the partners concluded the Davis Innovation Center couldn’t pass a necessary citywide vote.”

He told the Journal that they are disappointed and found “city staff and leadership had been very supportive of the idea.” However, he said, “We made a political calculus.”

These are similar views to the ones expressed last week when the Vanguard broke the news early on Wednesday morning. The article does not elaborate on what led the developers to reach this conclusion.

Mr. Hodgson said that “city residents turned back two other proposals in previous Measure R elections, and his group feared the same fate.”

“We have not given it up entirely,” he said. “But right now, we don’t have a specific timeline to move forward.”

However, that doesn’t explain what changed. After all, the group knew about Measure R when they responded to the RFEI (request for expressions of interest). They knew about the two previous failed projects.

And yet, last week, the statement they issued was, “Our decision is based on the assessment that getting approvals to develop this world class project at the current time is less likely to succeed than initially appeared.”

This is the message that the region gets about Davis – Davis has Measure R, and major development and world renowned Houston-based Hines is now pulling out and their spokesperson is pointing to Measure R.

While Measure R is an easy mark and we have recommended a small tweak to the process, we increasingly believe there is something more going on behind the scenes. For one thing, we don’t see a huge shift in the public right now.

Earlier this year, we reported on concerns from several non-Davis residents in the Binning Tract.

One letter from earlier this week stated, “Many Davis residents are breathing a great sigh of relief at the news that the SKK/Hines proposal to build out 200 acres into a business park adjacent to Sutter Davis Hospital is on hold. This gives the City Council and the mayor time to think about salient issues regarding developing commercial properties in Davis.”

“So far, the process had been the reverse of what is a healthy, contemporary approach to urban planning. Rather than involving the community in the discussion of what areas are appropriate for a 4 million-square-foot business park — which would consider zoning, the separation of residential areas from commercial, and the fit with adjacent use — the word went out to developers to simply create proposals,” Sherri Venezia stated.

“Do we want enormous business/industrial parks at edges of our town? Do we wish to live in a clone of San Jose?” she asked. “Where was the strategic vision for Davis? New commercial centers can cluster in the core as infill and along the I-80 corridor. The Nishi project is mixed-use, which makes it possible to bike or walk to work, UC Davis or downtown. The Mace proposal, on the I-80 and Second Street corridor, also makes logistical sense.”

Jim Leonard noted that he learned recently that the jobs associated with the proposed tech parks would be 18,000. Of course this figure was projected over a 20 to 50 year period. Mr. Leonard remarked, “It’s shocking that I didn’t learn that number until so far into the process.”

It should be noted that the jobs projections have actually been there for some time, as each of the innovation parks applications contained projects for jobs as well as the square footage.

Mr. Leonard continues, “But there may have been a reason I had not learned it: The number was being held back for fear of our community’s reaction. If all the 18,000 jobs meant an increase of 18,000 new community members, that would mean an increase in Davis’ total population by about 27 percent.”

He concludes, “We have a highly paid park booster on city staff, and now learn, at this late date, population numbers that would, if implemented, have a severe impact on our quality of life. Is it too late to change Davis’ approach to tech parks, or has the ‘horse already left the stable?’”

Prior to that, the only other critical letter we have seen was from Ralph Finch, who re-posted his comments on the Vanguard. He was critical of Community Choice Energy, but then wrote, “Far more serious is the council’s hardline push for ‘innovation,’ its optimistic euphemism for development gone wild. From what I read in this newspaper, influential people wouldn’t mind at all seeing Davis go the way of San Jose: Pour asphalt over the farm lands and grow, grow, grow. With a chief innovation officer now a full-time city employee, we are forced to pay someone to advocate for what many of us do not wish for Davis.”

That is not a lot of pushback as these things go. In fact, as Will Arnold noted in a comment to Ms. Venezia’s letter, “I attended one of the many community outreach events held by the project developers, and I was literally the only community member there aside from Ms. Roberts Musser. If the author of this letter feels her opinions were not heard, it was not for lack of effort by the developer.”

From our standpoint then, unless the developers had polls that we are not privy too (which is entirely possible), we don’t see huge waves of dissent forming on the innovation parks. We will be exploring other possible explanations in the coming days and weeks.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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48 thoughts on “Analysis: Regional View on the Loss of Innovation Park”

  1. Tia Will

    I had a different experience with regard to the attendance and input at a number of early out reach meetings put on by the developers and the Vanguard. At the first meeting, an open house there must have been at least 15 members of the community present during the approximately 20 minutes that I spent there ( talking directly one on one with the developers) with people just starting to arrive, the second held at city hall chambers had the room about 1/2 full and the two Vanguard events were very well attended, the second filling the conference room at Mori Seiki. So although later events seem to have been less well attended, I do not believe there was an overall lack of interest in these developments.

    Davis has Measure R and major development and world renowned Houston-based Hines is now pulling out and their spokesperson is pointing to Measure R.”

    While I agree that there are likely to be more factors involved, as virtually all community making decisions are multi -factorial, I would not discount the influence of Measure R in overall calculations. I see Measure R as a true reflection of what the majority of the voting citizenry of Davis actually want for our community. We saw a very narrow split in the Target vote with a 51 to 49 vote. Those who valued shopping convenience over leaving an “underdeveloped” piece of land and favored the immediate tax dollars over a potentially more advantageous use in the future won out. Although this did not go the way that I would have liked, I respect a decision made by the voting majority whether it goes my way or not. I think it is important to consider that perhaps those with whom we disagree are not brainwashed, or uninformed, or change averse, or greedy ( all of which have been applied in this case) but are informed individuals acting in accordances with their values and that Measure R with its uncertain outcome is certainly a major consideration for any developer, which in my view is as it should be.

     

    1. DavisBurns

      My husband and I attended the event at Mori seiki and I read the vanguard postings for awhile until I concluded the vanguard ought to be called Vanguard of Innovation Parks.  When a citizen has taken the time to become informed and concluded the known cost of growth is greater than the promised (but not guarenteed) benefits of growth, why spend endless hours reading the same story over and over or attending every meeting? Between the Enterprise and the Vanguard and the city employee paid to promote growth there has been quite a campaign to convince us that an innovation park is not just a business park but a really really special kind of development that will produce UCD inspired technological unicorns that will spread magic over all of Davis, employing people who graduated from UCD and want to live here, people who already live here and work elsewhere but want to work here, bring in just enough new employees who will live here but not so many we have to build new houses on the surrounding farmland while funding all the amenities we already have without creating the demand for more services.

      I think the reasonable people of Davis know our population density per square mile is on par with New York  and is the sixth most densely populated city in the country, there is a limit to infill and new businesses will mean both expanding our boarders and greatly increasing commuter traffic. Since no real plans for increased housing has been discussed we arent planning for alternative transportation options. I think we understand a business model that is viable and likely to thrive shouldn’t need the propoganda campaign that has been mounted to sell the concept.

      1. Biddlin

        “there is a limit to infill and new businesses will mean both expanding our boarders and greatly increasing commuter traffic.”

        Your Freudian slip is showing, lol.

        ;>)/

    2. Topcat

      Between the Enterprise and the Vanguard and the city employee paid to promote growth there has been quite a campaign to convince us that an innovation park is not just a business park but a really really special kind of development that will produce UCD inspired technological unicorns that will spread magic over all of Davis.

      Yes, there does seem to be a lot of unrealistic thinking about the proposed industrial parks.  I understand that Davis needs more economic development, but I’m not sure that automobile based  peripheral industrial parks are the answer.  I’d like to see plans for more infill development and use of already existing but underutilized facilities.

      I’m also concerned with the lack of interest and discussion regarding cost cutting and economizing in City government.  We’ve seen some discussion about City salaries and pay, but not much about how to get these costs under control.

  2. Biddlin

    Thanks Tia, I just won a  bet that the first post on this would be yours. I’ll be thanking you as I eat my ploughman’s lunch at the local. Note the phrase “voting citizenry of Davis.” Time for the pro-change crowd to register new voters.

    ;>)/

  3. Tia Will

    Biddlin

    Congratulations on your win !  My only regret is that I do not seem to have been invited to share in the “take” ; )

    Time for the pro-change crowd to register new voters.”

    And this would be true no matter which vision of change one prefers, a vision more like Frankly’s, or a vision more like mine.

     

  4. Biddlin

    ” or a vision more like mine.”

    Lol, coming from, perhaps, the most change averse poster on this matter.

    From the April 27th FT of London

    It is the city of dreaming spires, ivory towers and an ancient seat of learning, but in recent times Oxford has gained the more dubious title of Britain’s most unaffordable place to live…

    “We can’t get teachers and nurses because they simply can’t afford to live here,” says Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Conservative-held marginal seat of Oxford West and Abingdon. “[But] the opposition to building on the greenbelt here is huge. It could decide the election…”

    About 100,000 new homes are required in Oxfordshire by 2031, according to a study by local councils — a 40 per cent expansion of the current stock.

    So, do nothing and 8 or 9 centuries hence….

    ;>)/

     

  5. Tia Will

    Biddlin

    the most change averse poster on this matter.”

    Only if, like Frankly, you only count “change” as the changes you want to see. I believe that I am one of the the posters who is most in favor of change. I have spoken in favor of the Nishi project, Davis Roots, Jump Start Davis, Pollinate Davis and the concept of social innovation for Davis. This is not exactly being adverse to economic change.

    On a broader scale :
    I advocate dramatic change in our economic system, our transportation system, our education system, our medical provision system, and our judicial system to name a few. But these calls for change are frequently ignored and or derided as “utopian” or “outlandish” or “impractical” because they are presumably too different from ” what we have now”.

    I simply do not believe that with as much defense of our current system as I see from other posters, that it is me that is change averse.

    1. Frankly

      One of the tricks of the change averse to mask their change aversion is to advocate for change that is impossible to implement.

      For example, you advocate for an economic system that pays every worker the same living-wage rate but can vary only by an assessment of level of effort.  Certainly we can call this progressiveness, but also absurd in that there is no practical way to get it done and the idea lacks any consequential impact analysis or plan for moving forward.

      I can just throw the most creative ideas out there, but without analysis, feasibility and plan they are just fanciful dreams.

      And that is where we find ourselves with those blocking peripheral development.  Living in a world of fanciful dreams that they can somehow turn back the clock to remake Davis into a small 1970s village-hamlet instead of a 72,000 person medium-sized city… that they can just wish away all the costs associated to run a 72,000 population city.

      It is not healthy to live in a virtual world of unicorns, rainbows and leprechauns while failing to take care of business in the real world.

      There is a saying in business “lead, follow or get the hell out of the way”.   It is a creed that we should all adopt for life in general.   If you don’t want to follow the lead of those trying to bring the city to financial and social and economic parity with its true needs by growing the economy with peripheral innovation park development, then take responsibility to analyze, plan and implement the alternative solution.  But don’t just throw out ideas that lack feasibility in the real world and consider the job as done.   Critics are a dime a dozen.  Ideas that cannot be implemented are worth even less.

      Leading manifests in, and is defined by, getting things done.  If you are a leader, then at this point the only thing I see you getting done is to block others from getting things done.

      1. Davis Progressive

        “I can just throw the most creative ideas out there, but without analysis, feasibility and plan they are just fanciful dreams.”

        here i disagree with you.  that’s in my opinion how revolutionary ideas get started – as fanciful dreams.

        1. Frankly

          Critics are a dime a dozen.  Dreamers are a dime a dozen.

          Leaders get it done.

          I see this as the fundamental divide between academics that tend to be liberal and business people that tend to be conservative.  The difference between words and action.  The difference between talking and doing.  The difference between real leadership risk-taking and hovering around the edges disrupting the work of others.

          I am someone that absolutely values creativity and ideas.  But ideas are worthless unless they are feasible, or else there are innovators willing to push them through to implementation.  Critics have their place, but they are not and should not be in a position of leadership.  That is what Measure R does… it gives leadership power to those lacking leadership stuff.  I elevates the critic and blocker.   It turns the principle “lead, follow or get the hell out of the way”, to “get in the way to prevent leading and following.”

          And because we elevate the critic and blocker with this extra power, they also elect and push our CC to be the same.

          And then when things don’t get done or get destroyed, we hear the excuse that other leaders of change did not take charge to overwhelm the power of the critics and blockers.

          But the North Davis Innovation center died because of the feasibility analysis primarily in consideration of the political power of the critics and blockers.  Measure R makes them a force.  But it is a destructive force.  Because a decision to do nothing is still a decision.  A decision to not change, still has consequences.   And do nothing and blocking economic development change is basically locking us into a fiscal trajectory of inevitable insolvency.

      2. Tia Will

        Frankly

        If you are a leader, then at this point the only thing I see you getting done is to block others from getting things done.”

        I agree with you that I am not a leader in the community. I am still working what most people would consider full time and have a number of volunteer commitments. However, so that you have some basis to consider the potential for leadership, I will fill you in a little on some of my work projects.

        1) In collaboration with several colleagues I was a founding member of a Breast Cancer Screening Clinic that has been able to reduce the initial evaluation to diagnosis of breast cancer from approximately six weeks under our previous highly inefficient system, to our current 72 hours to one week. I was told a separate clinic had no precedent ( this was 18 years ago), was too expensive, that we lacked expertise, that unlike the surgeons patients would not want to come to gynecologists for their assessment. All arguments in favor of the status quo because people thought they were hearing the hoof beats of unicorns ( or maybe they simply could not imagine a change from how it had always been done. Women now reliably get all the needed testing done in one day and the results within one week. I can imagine that at least some of them do see a rainbow in this approach.

        2) We had decided to add a group of office only Family Practioners to our group to free up laborists and gyn surgeons to provide more timely care for these more advanced skills. Unfortunately we had made an error in understanding and judgement with regard to how much additional training they would need to be fully functional in our department. There was serious consideration of scrapping the program since some felt that our initial fumbling approach meant it couldn’t be done. I felt strongly that the failure was ours and not that of the individual provider and I set about to salvage the program by devising from scratch a training program that met the individual and group needs for additional training. The program succeeded and we now have a thriving group of office only providers of office obstetric and gyn care.

        3) I was a member of the initial pilot to streamline office processes so that patient requests for information, advice, medications, doctors notes and any of a myriad of requests from patients to doctors are handled at the most efficient level with all providers working to the full capacity of their job description. This has been a very much harder sell across departments and the region, but after many years, we are now fully implementing much of the initial model.

        4) Placing family planning, appropriate contraception, and sexual safety as a high priority for overall health with every provider, not just gynecologists, aware of the need to treat these issues as vital signs for all men and women of reproductive age. This has been a huge collaborative endeavor and frankly, was not implemented in the from for which I advocated. However, with a number of people throughout the Northern California region collaborating over the past 5 years, we have now succeeded in creating, not my vision, but a system that is vastly superior to what we had before.

        As for “blocking anyone” I think perhaps you are ascribing way too much power to me. What I prefer to do in areas in which I have little to no knowledge , such as business and community planning is to educate myself, engage actively with members of those communities which I have begun to do, and to think critically and ask questions and present alternatives that I glean either through my travels or my reading to see what people think of them. I cannot imagine how you see a sharing of my concerns and thoughts as “blocking” anything.

      3. Alan Miller

        But don’t just throw out ideas that lack feasibility in the real world and consider the job as done . . .  Ideas that cannot be implemented are worth even less.

        Such as the so-called Yolo rail relocation.  Oh, yeah, it can be implemented — with massive infusion of federal dollars — taxpayer dollars from all over the country.  But that’s OK, as it benefits “us”.  So taxing the masses is OK if we steal from everyone else and spend it on ourselves.  All the arguments about the feds taking the money, skimming off the top, and returning the remains — no longer important.  “We” benefit.

         

    2. Biddlin

      The mutton pasty was wonderful, thanks. So lets see, Nishi, a whole 45 acres? Let’s see how much support there is and where you stand when it actually comes to a vote, in November. These comments don’t give a great deal of hope.

      http://nishigateway.org/additonal-project-comments/additonal-project-comments/

      Live up to the fact that this property is not suited to this type of development and create a legendary urban park space in Downtown Davis! The Nishi Parcel would be the perfect property for the type of park being proposed by the Davis Bike Park Alliance. Creating a cycling-oriented park in Downtown Davis would also help the City and the University strengthen our reputation as the most cycling-friendly City and University in the Nation.
      Not at all sure about the wisdom of trying to develop this 45-acre space, because of its too close proximity to the railroad and I-80.     If there is development, especially residential consideration, there should be a certain percentage of garden plot available to area residents to grow their own food, or be able to garden without too many “landscaping” rules.
      You have a great opportunity to add something special to Davis. Please do not spoil it by clogging up Richard and Olive drive with more and more cars and trucks. Build on the wonderful work Davis volunteers have done to enhance the natural areas along the Putah Creek Parkway between West Olive Drive and the project area. This leads naturally into the new UCD Arboretum native plant garden north of the project site. These are valuable enhancements to our city and provide inviting pedestrian and biking paths to the downtown and campus. Please build on these — and eliminate cars/trucks from the project site (as they are on campus). Widening and extending East Olive Drive will seriously damage the new Putah Creek Parkway and make for just another car-snarled mess. If cars must get in and out of the site, do it through Old Davis Road. Better yet, require parking at an Old Davis Road access point and the main campus loop access point (near the Hyatt Place) and free the site for walkers, bike riders, and safety vehicles (just like it’s done on campus).
      This proposal contains all the right appeals, but doesn’t address access by any mode in enough detail to be convincing.  I believe that is because the plan is basically flawed and not fixable.

      The first four are pretty much reflective of all but a couple of sunshine up your skirt deals. I do not believe there is consensus for anything, other than diversity,  in Davis.

      ;>)/

  6. Davis Progressive

    “While Measure R is an easy mark and we have recommended a small tweak to the process, we increasingly believe there is something more going on behind the scenes.”

    i’m really curious about this comment.

    1. noname

      I hope it means David is going to ask the Hines folks if they received any incentives, from Ramos, from city officials or from anyone else to put their project on hold. Spending what I assume is hundreds of thousands of dollars to launch their proposal only to drop it and blame Measure R doesn’t make sense.

      Hines et al knew Measure R was in play from the start. Maybe they did private polling that troubled them. But, according to David, Ramos did polling too that allegedly showed widespread support for “innovation centers.” Could two polls show significantly different results? Perhaps, especially if one was a meaningless push poll.

      As David writes, Measure R is an easy mark for developers. But only if their assertions go unchallenged.

      1. Don Shor

        I also wonder if “putting it on hold” preserves the option for them and precludes any other firm from making a proposal for the site. Perhaps a new request for proposals needs to be put out by the city to see if any other design company wants to try.

        1. Jim Frame

          The DIC developer probably optioned the property.  As long as the option remains in force they control its fate, so issuing another RFP isn’t likely to change the outcome for that parcel.

  7. Tia Will

    Frankly

    One of the tricks of the change averse to mask their change aversion is to advocate for change that is impossible to implement.”

    There have always been those who argue that whatever they themselves cannot imagine is “impossible to implement”. Before there were airplanes, there were those who argued that men would never fly. Before there was space flight, there were those who argued it could not be done. This has been true of virtually every major technologic, economic or societal change that I can think of. Women voting ?Preposterous! It will never happen because we all “know” that women are not capable of complex thought or decision making !

    I believe that we make our own world through our actions and what we teach our children and that we are capable of what we can imagine.

    Now for the specifics of my suggestions that you are either mistakenly or deliberately mischaracterizing.

    1) “you advocate for an economic system that pays every worker the same living-wage rate but can vary only by an assessment of level of effort. “

    I have never advocated for paying workers based on “level of effort” which I agree would be completely unfeasible because who gets to determine whether physical, emotional or intellectual work is “harder”. What I have advocated for is an absolutely objective standard which we all share. Equal compensation for time worked, measured by the hour, which I am sure you would agree is the same for all of us.

    2) “It is not healthy to live in a virtual world of unicorns, rainbows and leprechauns while failing to take care of business in the real world.”

    This is what I mean about the demeaning attitude towards what you cannot imagine. I would very much like to deal with the real world. I would like to deal with a world in which the highest value is not money or material goods, in which there is less destruction of natural resources, in which there is less violence, in which there is less pollution, in which there is better and free education right through the university level. I see no unicorns, rainbows or leprechauns here. There are examples of better provision in all of the ares that I have listed in other countries, so we know that it is possible. We are just to entrenched in our obviously erroneous view that we are the best at everything to even contemplate how other systems that work in other countries might be modified to improve our own systems.

     

  8. Topcat

    Ralph Finch….. wrote, “Far more serious is the council’s hardline push for ‘innovation,’ its optimistic euphemism for development gone wild. From what I read in this newspaper, influential people wouldn’t mind at all seeing Davis go the way of San Jose: Pour asphalt over the farm lands and grow, grow, grow. With a chief innovation officer now a full-time city employee, we are forced to pay someone to advocate for what many of us do not wish for Davis.”

    I’d like to go on record as being sympathetic to Ralph’s view of things.  I understand the arguments in favor of economic development, but I’m very concerned about the lack of interest in looking at the cost cutting side of the equation.

    1. Frankly

      Topcat, you can talk about cost-cutting, but it needs to be done in context of city need.  On a per-unit basis, Davis is already significantly below other comparable cities in what we spend.  Now, we spend more per employee than some other comparable cities, but in terms of the number of city employees per population, we are on the low side.

      I personally think we can and should go lower… that there is still fat to cut.  But it is from a private-business perspective.  With the business of government, I think there is always going to be a 25-35% inefficiency rate that is just not solvable because of the lack of profit motivation and lack of competition.   Basically, it is not in the best interests of the business of government to constantly strive to do more with less.  The lack of natural motivation to do more with less means that it will always be much more inefficient than what we are used to in private business.

      So even if we can push it down lower, it is still not going to be enough to fix the growing fiscal gap in consideration of retirement benefit commitments and infrastructure maintenance.  We have to grow the economy to make up that gap.  How we grow the economy should be the debate, not IF we should grow the economy.

      1. Topcat

        With the business of government, I think there is always going to be a 25-35% inefficiency rate that is just not solvable because of the lack of profit motivation and lack of competition.

        Yes, sadly, I think that you are right.  There is a lot of waste and inefficiency in government and there is not much incentive to economize and be efficient.  I do think that there could be some big savings made if the Council would take on the challenge of getting cost under control.  Of course there will be howls of protest when people see their favorite amenities cut or fees increased.  It’s too bad that acting responsibly and living within our means have become such hated concepts.

        I am at the back end of one of the most screwed up generations of Americans ever.  They are the baby boomers.  They are like locusts to the fields of prosperity that the country previously built up through sweat, blood and tears.  Those messed up children of the greatest generation selfishly taking, taking and taking and kicking that can down the road for the future generations to pay for.

        This shows that you understand the problem that we have with trying to get government spending under control.  I agree with you on this point.

  9. Tia Will

    That is what Measure R does… it gives leadership power to those lacking leadership stuff.”

    I fundamentally disagree with this view. What Measure R does is to give power to the majority and their values. I believe that in a representative democracy, this is where the ultimate power should lie. I do not believe that because one is well connected, or respected in their area of development, or able to pitch an idea effectively, this should be allowed to trump what the majority favors.

    The city is not a private enterprise where an effective leader makes the decisions and everyone else either goes along or leaves. This would be a kingdom or a dictatorship which I am sure that neither of us would desire. I know that you favor private sector hegemony and disdain government for anything other than what you often see as “defense” and I often see as “governmentally sanctioned aggression” however, I would urge you to consider the effects of what you are calling for. Do you really want our community dictated to by those whose main goal is to maximize their own personal profit, or who will only consider one area ( in this case high tech) as worthy of support ?  Or, wait, I guess that is what you believe, and it is just that I personally do not see the world that way.

    1. Frankly

      You conveniently leave off the essence of our governance… representative democracy and all the controls and levers put in place in the business of government.    Your point is the extremist view that developers would just do what they will unless the “will of the voters” was empowered in direct democracy.

      Please argue your points including all the information available.

      And if we need these direct democracy powers as you say then WHY THE HELL DON’T WE GET RID OF ALL THE EXISTING GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRACY AND POLITICIANS THAT ARE BLEEDING US DRY!!!!

      1. Tia Will

        Please argue your points including all the information available.”

        This would be like me telling you that you can’t express a preference for a laparoscopic hysterectomy over an open abdominal hysterectomy because you cannot accurately quote all the instruments needed and all the steps involved in each procedure. People can and do make decisions based on limited information all the time. You for one have made many assertions about the superiority of health care in this country with a blithe indifference to the statistics to the contrary.

        And as to your shouted question, because I don’t see this as an either or ( the way you seem to prefer to frame everything), I see it as a balance of powers. And I do not believe that “we are being ‘bled dry’. I believe that you and I are doing quite well on any meaningful scale, don’t you think ?

        1. Frankly

          I believe that you and I are doing quite well on any meaningful scale, don’t you think ?

          You and I are 1 percenters Tia.  You can take 100% of the income of all 1 percenters and it would not put much of a dent in the combined debt in this country.  And if you take it away from me, I don’t start new businesses that create jobs and I don’t hire people to take care of my service needs.  In fact, if you tax me much more, I stop working as hard because I am just working for the government and not my family.

          But back to the point of being “bled dry”.

          My advocacy is for people other than me… primarily our young people and the generations that will come after them.

          I am at the back end of one of the most screwed up generations of Americans ever.  They are the baby boomers.  They are like locusts to the fields of prosperity that the country previously built up through sweat, blood and tears.  Those messed up children of the greatest generation selfishly taking, taking and taking and kicking that can down the road for the future generations to pay for.

          Your demands to protect YOUR Davis lifestyle by blocking peripheral economic development are more of that… more taking.   We are living a life in this city that is out of fiscal balance… costing us more than we are taking in to fund it.  You advocate for greater taxation as a way to fund it.  Yes, you and I can absorb it (but not without impact a la the Laffer Curve), but what about all those young people starting out, and all those less fortunate lower-income people trying to make a better life?

          And don’t hide behind the “rich people can pay more” shield… because again, this is just a fanciful idea that there is not any basis or support for implementing.  We would need another $400-500 tax per parcel to meet our needs.  And then we will likely get hit with more school parcel tax increases.

          And all of this is absolutely bleeding people dry.

          Just so you can maintain the illusion of a small hamlet where you own multiple properties.

  10. Barack Palin

    Power to the people, hear…hear….

    Except when it comes to a plastic bag ordinance, a fireplace ordinance, mandating what drinks can be offered in a kid’s meal, etc…………………

    Then some people are more than happy to have a few make the decisions.

    1. Frankly

      This has me progressively thinking in a blue sky, unicorns and fairy dust way.

      We want to shrink the size and expense of city government?  Let’s implement a new city-wide technology platform that requires that the citizens vote on every decision.  We can eliminate the city council and most of city management and just run the business of government through direct democracy.

      Let’s get it done people.

      As Nike says: “Just Do It!”

      1. Jim Frame

        As Nike says: “Just Do It!”

         

        The folks who wanted voters to control major land use decisions “just did it” – twice. Perhaps those who don’t like Measure R ought to lead the charge to change it, follow the leaders who implemented it, or get out of the way.

        1. Frankly

          The crook can get it done too… more than once, does not mean it is good or right.

          http://www.economist.com/node/15127600

          Put differently, it is the “tyranny of the majority” that James Madison, a Founding Father, warned about. His reading of ancient history was that the direct democracy of Athens was erratic and short-lived, whereas republican Rome remained stable for much longer. He even worried about using the word “democracy” at all, lest citizens confuse its representative (ie, republican) form with its direct one. “Democracy never lasts long,” wrote John Adams, another Founding Father. Asked what government the federal constitution of 1787 had established, Benjamin Franklin responded: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

        2. Jim Frame

          The crook can get it done too… more than once, does not mean it is good or right.

           

          How sad when one allows one’s fears to lead him into a victim mentality…

      2. Jim Frame

        How am I demonstrating fearfulness and a victim mentality?

        How about all the hand-wringing about how Measure R spells doom for the city, and how the “real leaders” are its innocent victims, for starters?

        Though my remarks were issued with tongue in cheek, I learned the rhetorical technique — painting anyone who doesn’t share my perspective as motivated by fear and quailing beneath a victim mentality — from an experienced practitioner.

         

        1. Frankly

          We have met the enemy and it is Measure R/J.   It is a primary tool of the reactionary… only sometimes being useful for the more calculating and reasoned folk to have their say on change.  I think we both agree on the value for the latter.  Unfortunately it is a big problem in the hands of the former.

          Nothing is all good or all bad.  But most things are more good than bad, or more bad than good.  Measure J/R is more bad than good.

    2. Miwok

      If you think you can just pass an ordinance to make the world better:

      “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”

      – Robert Heinlein

      1. Don Shor

        “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” — Robert Heinlein

        Possibly one of the most hyperbolic statements I’ve ever seen. Really? No worse tyranny? And this from a guy who lived through the middle of the 20th Century?

  11. SODA

    Is anyone else wondering where Rob White is in all this discussion?  Again, I am surprised I have not seen his name mentioned in the whole Hines matter.  Is he still with us?

    1. Frankly

      Judging by how good he looked last time I say him downtown, I would say he his new job is running on a treadmill most of the day when he is not laying out in the sun drinking iced tea with mint.

  12. Tia Will

    what about all those young people starting out, and all those less fortunate lower-income people trying to make a better life?”

    Well, I happen to have two of those young people just starting out, and neither of them happens to agree with you. One will probably not return to Davis because her particular program working with disadvantaged children struggling to learn reading does not have a presence in Davis. But she prefers a more urban lifestyle in any event. The other has relocated here by choice and wants Davis to retain its current character. I am sorry to disabuse you of the notion that all of the millennials or there about see the world exactly as you do.

    I was one of those less fortunate lower income people that was trying to make a better life. So my personal opinion is that what most of those folks will benefit from is help in getting their education or training for free or for an amount they can afford while living free from poverty. It is not be expecting that they should only have access to jobs that do not provide a living because they will somehow work their way up the magical ladder in the mythical “free market” which is your counterpoint to what you call my unicorns and rainbows.

    1. Barack Palin

      Tia Will, I have two children living in Davis.  One has a Masters in his field and the other has a BS.  Neither can find suitable jobs in Davis in their fields.  One is currently unemployed while the other is working as a customer service rep for local Internet company.  They both would love that Davis build the business parks with all the accompanying jobs that they feel they would have a good chance of getting.  So there’s two younguns in Davis that DO agree with Frankly, and me, their dad.

  13. Tia Will

    You can take 100% of the income of all 1 percenters and it would not put much of a dent in the combined debt in this country.  And if you take it away from me, I don’t start new businesses that create jobs and I don’t hire people to take care of my service needs. “

    Of course not. But then I am not suggesting taking everything away from the one per centers. This is a straw man argument extaordinaire. Any major economic change would of course have to be transitioned into gradually. However, you are making the assumption that people will stop working if they are not making top dollar or even excessive amounts and this is simply not true. Every Kaiser doctor will likely tell you that they could make more working outside Kaiser and that is likely true if they were open to completely giving up any semblance of a normal lifestyle to do so. However, not everyone values money above all else.

    Some value doing what they love above all else. Some value creativity above all else. Some value ongoing learning and fresh challenges above all else. Some like myself, value making a positive contribution above all else. And yes, there are always those who see work as nothing more than a job to earn enough to live. All provide different services and different contributions to our society and all are needed.

    I see compensation quite differently from how we usual talk about it. Lets say that I am going to do a surgery. I am highly trained and have spent years learning how to do this procedure. The patient may die without it. But here is the rub. I can’t do the surgery until the room has been cleaned by housekeeping, the instruments have been sterilized by the processors and layed out by the scrub tech, and the electricity had been maintained by the engineers…… The patient will be just as dead if any of these jobs are not fulfilled, and yet I make many times as much as these people whose efforts are just as critical as mine. Now, someone is going to say, but you had to pay all that money for your education. Ok, I reply, good point.  But it doesn’t have to be that way just because that is how we do it now. So while the housekeeper was doing his job and the electrician was learning his trade and I was studying anatomy, we should all have been getting the same amount of money for each hour that we put in to our respective trade. 30 years ago this might have been totally impractical since there would have been no means of keeping track of the time expenditure, but that is not the case now since we have the technology to keep track of whether or not people are actually doing what they claim. At my job the electronic medical record and patient tracking systems are such that every key stroke I make can be time stamped so there is an accurate record of what has occurred. Peoples’ training for what ever duty they are performing can easily be tracked and in my opinion since all functions that I cited are equally necessary to get the job done, all should be compensated equally.

    So I am not advocating taking away all of anyone’s money. What I would advocate for is a very gradual transition from money as the principle value in our society to contribution as the principle value. This is not impossible. Children will learn what they are taught. My mother stressed doing the best I could and contributing what I had to give. She never got as far as high school herself, but did not want me to be so limited. I accomplished what I did not because I was after the money ( I had no idea how much a doctor made when I applied to medical school). I did it because I wanted to use my mind, to commit to life time learning, and to make as large a contribution as I could given my particular strengths and weaknesses. I do not believe that I am the only person who operates this way. I believe that this is learned and that we have the ability to make of our society anything that we can dream.

     

    1. Frankly

      You are missing the point that starting and growing business takes investment capital.  And if you increase the tax against the returns for investment of a certain thing, the capital will flow to other things where there is less tax and hence greater net returns.

      Liberals have this problem understanding this simple truth, and then when the light bulb comes on they resort to demonizing people with money for not investing in lower returns just for the social benefit.  In other words, to liberals, everything should be pretty much run like a charity.

  14. Biddlin

    “In fact, if you tax me much more, I stop working as hard because I am just working for the government and not my family.”

    Never seen any real examples of this and can’t see the logic of such action.(or inaction) Richie Branson’s and Paulie Mac’s  contributions to Inland Revenue support the whole BE and it appears that they never stop working.

    ;>)/

    1. Frankly

      See here.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laffer_curve

      What do you mean that you have not seen any real examples?  The US is swimming in capital and workers and natural resources, yet we are not starting and growing new business that hires people.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/10/think-were-the-most-entrepreneurial-country-in-the-world-not-so-fast/263102/

      When I can invest in the stock market or real estate an make a much better after-tax return than taking the risks and having to work much more hard to start and grow a business that actually hires people, why do the latter?

      Investment chases returns.  Take away more of the returns by increasing taxation and regulatory costs of it, then there will be less investment in it.

      And you need to start comparing our taxation and regulatory levels to other countries because the economy has gone global and flat.

       

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