The Sierra Club will not be making a Davis City Council endorsement this year “since all candidates were perceived by our management committee as being equally qualified and all did very well in responding to our series of questions.”
The Sierra Club assessment of the Davis City Council candidates is as follows:
“The Sierra Club Yolano Group has carefully assessed all of the answers submitted by the four Davis City Council candidates in response to our questionnaire. Although there are some minor differences of opinions between candidates and we do not agree with all candidates on all issues, we find all of the candidates are equally worthy of receiving Sierra Club endorsement for this elective office. All demonstrated a remarkable understanding of the general environmental pressures facing the City and our planet and all seemed genuinely cognizant of the necessary urgency in responding to this challenge. Indeed, in our opinion this is the most environmentally knowledgeable and committed slate of candidates to ever run for City Council in Davis. Unfortunately, Sierra Club rules prevent endorsement of more candidates than there are available open seats in an election so the Sierra Club Yolano Group must take a ‘no endorsement’ in this Council race.“
The Vanguard will break the responses into a five-part series.
13 – Do you support the addition of parking meters on downtown streets or in downtown city-owned public parking lots or parking structures and why or why not?
I think folks will gladly pay to have a spot to park downtown, especially if technology makes it easy. I believe some paid parking has to be part of a comprehensive parking strategy.
I’m not supportive of individual parking meters (too much visual clutter, in my opinion) but I am supportive of the concept of paid parking. I’d like to see additional paid parking lots, including at the 3rd/4th E & F lot, and the train station lot be paid parking lots.
Also, as mentioned above…the City also owns an unpaved lot on the west side of Richards and Olive Dr., which could easily be paved, and accommodate approx. 50 spaces, including ensuring that it’s a paid parking lot to gain some revenue.
Yes, absolutely. We need to encourage students to park on campus when they go to class, and not take advantage of our “free” parking downtown. And we need to encourage employees to park in the existing garages.
I support a partnership with the Davis Downtown Business Association where we reward our frequent shoppers and diners with reduced parking costs. So for example if you make $50 worth of purchases downtown a month you could get your parking at half price for the month.
I would prefer seeing the paid parking recommendation of the Downtown Parking Task Force implemented first. Paid parking will produce a howl of protest from many in the Davis business community whose argument will be that changing from free parking will drive their customers away. I believe an efficiently installed and managed paid parking system can actually provide better “free” parking for the customers of Downtown businesses than the current system. In today’s computerized cash register world, providing a rebate to a customer at the time they make a purchase to compensate them for the cost of their parking will make the parking “free.” Once a month the business’ sales software would tally the total of the rebates provided, and submit that to the City for reimbursement from the paid parking revenues. That means window shoppers will pay for their parking, as will entertainment seekers. The net amount left over after the expenses are paid will go to the City coffers. It will in all likelihood be a modest amount.
14 – Small particulate pollution is the leading cause of respiratory disease in the Central Valley. Davis has implemented a wood smoke ordinance that allows complaints to be filed against wood burning residents if they are producing visible smoke from a non-EPA approved wood burning device and it adversely affects a “reasonable” person. However, the police department will not respond to complaints during nighttime hours when almost all wood-burning occurs.
Why or why not do you support this ordinance, and what changes, if any, would you support to it?
Using our police officers for ordinance enforcement presents a number of problems not unique to wood smoke, and I am open to exploring alternatives. I support the limits set by the wood smoke ordinance, and I believe they do not set an unreasonable burden on homeowners given the real health impacts.
I voted in favor to enact the woodsmoke ordinance, while on the City Council, and have tracked violations of the ordinance in my own neighborhood during the winter months.
I’ve been frustrated with lack of enforcement, and will support additional aspects of enforcement, including first talking with our new Police Chief, Darren Pytel, about what he is willing to do. I think we could get him to commit to some level of real enforcement.
Enforcement is the key on this issue, because the overall number of serial offenders is actually pretty small, but the enforcement will help get them to (mostly) comply.
We need to have the city be able to respond to nighttime complaints.
This is a public health issue. As a member of the Natural Resources Commission, I voted in support of the current ordinance because it focuses on public health.
To properly answer the nighttime Police enforcement question, I would need to better understand the Police Department’s reasons for their non-enforcement decision.
15- Pesticide/herbicide use continues to be the primary method for control of insect and plant pests by the City of Davis. Use of some of these chemicals has increased or plateaued in recent years. Currently, the City’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is only an advisory position and there have been citizen complaints of new pesticide use in previously restricted portions of public parks.
What administrative changes or changes in specific practices do you believe can be implemented to reduce overall pesticide/herbicide use by Davis and to encourage the use of least toxic controls by the City and its contractors?
As a father of young children who frequently travel and play in the parks and greenbelts, I am a passionate supporter of ridding our city of these chemical poisons. I am disappointed that their use has increased, as I believe that is a major step backward for our community. I am a strong supporter of our IPM position and am in favor of the City taking a stronger role in reducing and eliminating pesticide use, wherever possible and as soon as possible.
Similarly, our new Parks Department Director, Dale Sumersile, is now on the job, and she has been quite amenable to these types of changes…she just needs to be asked.
One aspect of issues previously was that we had the City’s HR Director also serving as Parks Director, and no real amount of attention was being paid to important issues like IPM, affecting the city’s parks/greenbelts, and our citizens.
We need to ensure that Martin Guerena has the backing of the Parks Director to reduce pesticide/herbicide usage citywide.
I support a full review of our pesticide/herbicide use and practices. We need change the way we frame the question. Rather than “why shouldn’t we use a substance”, we need to ask “why should we use a substance”. We need to ask what other practices would address why we think we need to use pesticides/herbicides.
As a member of the Natural Resources Commission (NRC), I heard at least two presentations by the City’s IPM Specialist. I believe the NRC should make recommendations to the Council regarding the optimal IPM approach.
Bottom-line, the current public process with the NRC looking into this issue should be completed before additional alternatives are advocated
16 – Glyphosate (the active ingredient in Round-Up) has been declared a probable human carcinogen by the WHO and was recently added to California’s Prop 65 list of carcinogens.
Do you support a ban on the use of glyphosate by the City of Davis and its contractors in parks and open space areas accessible to the public?
Yes, I support a ban on glyphosphate use by the City in parks/open space/greenbelts. We need to find alternatives, but more fully utilizing our IPM coordinator, Martin Guerena will allow us to do just that.
Yes. I have been on record as supporting the elimination of these.
I am not well enough informed about either the WHO declaration or the recent addition to California’s Prop 65 list. I defer to the experts on this issue.