by Michael Harrington
I think the Trackside project is too large and grossly violates several planning documents; others will discuss those details.
I have a more nuanced concern.
I understand that one current member of the Davis City Council is a partner in this project, and he may participate in voting on other projects that are being advanced to the CC by one or more of his partners in Trackside.
For example, say Council Member “1” has Partner “2” in Trackside (Project “A”). Partner 2 has another project coming before the CC, Project “B.”
CC Member 1 should recuse himself from Projects A and B due to a conflict of interest under the Brown Act.
If Partner 2 stands to gain financially from the approval of Project B, and CC Member 1 can vote YES on Project B, making Partner 2 stronger and more able to help CC Member 1 make Project 1 successful, then CC Member 1 certainly has a conflict of interest in participating in the vote on his Partner 2’s Project B.
Also, my concerns go one step further. Say Partner 2 is a silent partner of Project 2 … shouldn’t the City know that, and require that CC Member 1 recuse himself?
There are many projects coming to the City now; it’s a feeding frenzy while the investment money interest rates are low, and the economy is coming up on the crest after years of disaster.
I fully support reasonable densification of the downtown areas and economic development, but I hope that the City will scale this large project back to where the local neighborhoods of Old East and Old North can support it, and ensure that the Brown Act is strictly followed by City Council members with all Trackside partners in their other projects pending before the City.