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 four-part series.
5 – Davis has adopted a Zero Waste Resolution striving to achieve zero waste by 2025. As part of this program, it is proposed to restrict food service industry use of non-recyclable or non-compostable food service and drink containers – including a ban on all Styrofoam containers.
Do you support or oppose such restrictions in Davis and why or why not?
I support moving completely to recyclable and compostable food and drink containers. I have seen many local restaurants move in that direction already, leading me to believe the change does not present an insurmountable financial or logistical burden.
I support a citywide Styrofoam ban- we’ll join many other jurisdictions throughout California in doing so.
I’d take a further step, mandate the use of paper straws- the single use disposable plastic straws are a major pet peeve of mine, and we needlessly waste billions per year. If people need a straw at all, a paper one works just as well.
Yes, I support this. I have mentioned this before. In Oakland they have been requiring this for years. In Davis we already have several businesses doing this already.
Yes, as a member of the Natural Resources Commission, I voted in support of the Zero Waste Resolution.
6 – The long term waste management plan for the City of Davis calls for mandatory commercial and multi-family food scrap collection and composting.
Do you support these measures and why or why not?
I support the waste management plan, I support commercial and multi-family food scrap composting, and I support green waste containerization that combines food waste and yard waste. These are important steps toward diverting as much as possible away from landfills.
Yes. While on the City Council, I voted in favor of instituting the mandatory citywide organics program –which will roll-out citywide this summer (2016). I helped negotiate the new contract with DWR, which builds on the successful (but inadequate) voluntary food scrap collection program. The only way we can to state required 75% diversion, and ultimately Zero Waste, is through mandatory actions like the green waste/food scrap collection program..
We are moving forward with the residential program this Summer. I thought we were already planning this for commercial and mutli-family as well (I know we have had a successful pilot program). I will check into this. If we are not doing it for commercial and multi-family, I will see why not. I see no reason not to.
Yes, as a member of the Natural Resources Commission, I voted in support of the long-term waste management plan.
7 – The Davis City Council has called for a voluntary city-wide 20% reduction in water usage over the next 3 years.
What water conservation measures for the City and its businesses, and residents would you recommend as being most productive and cost-effective?
I support this reduction goal and commend Davis citizens for meeting and exceeding the tough water conservation goals set by the State in summer 2015. Now that El Niño has given us somewhat of a reprieve, it is important that we do not revert back to the pre-drought mentality, but continue to strive for water savings in times both wet and dry. We must make water efficiency and saving a major part of any rebuilding, re-landscaping, or new building project. The promotion of greywater and rain capture systems is especially important.
I’ve advocated for the City to start a “Cash for Grass” program, which would incentivize the removal of unneeded/unused yet water intensive turf.
I also supported ending the toilet rebate program, which has not shown to be the best use of our precious rebate dollars.
I supported the hiring of Dawn Calciano, who is the City’s new Water Conservation Coordinator, the first time Davis has hired someone expressly for this purpose.
Lastly, the City needs to continue to be leading by example…we cannot ask residents to conserve if the City is not doing its part by reducing watering, removing unused turf, and replacing with drought tolerant landscaping.
Increased simplicity of gray water usage permitting. Using gray water should not require a lot of red tape and expense.
We finally hired the water conservation person. I would like to see a robust city water conservation office that offers residents free water usage audits and provides recommendations on water wise gardening and landscaping ideas as well as inside the home water efficiency suggestions. This office can be staffed by UCD student volunteers coordinated by our full time staffer.
For the typical Davis residence, outdoor water use for plant irrigation is three times the amount of indoor water use. Given that, improvements in irrigation efficiency and reduction in irrigation demand will be the most effective water conservation measure. I personally have implemented reduced water demand in my own life The home I owned together with my ex-wife in El Macero from 1998 through 2014 did not have a single blade of turf grass on the property..
8 – The Yolo County Health Council has continued calls for mandatory system-wide fluoridation of our water supply as a dental decay preventative measure.
Do you support or oppose municipal water fluoridation in Davis and why or why not?
I don’t think we should revisit the fluoride proposal. The citizens and the City have spoken on that issue. As a major supporter of the joint surface water project, I saw this issue as an unnecessary distraction from the important goal of securing a sustainable supply of clean water. I do strongly support providing access to important dental care to those in need, and I am interested in continuing to explore targeted dental healthcare improvements.
Oppose- I voted against municipal fluoridation back in 2013. I felt like the whole fluoridation issue was a bait and switch – the community was asked to support the surface water project without fluoride…and at the last minute there was a push by some to make fluoride part of the surface water project.
I think fluoride can be effective, but works best when topically applied, and not included in our entire water supply….I applaud the efforts of the Davis Oral Health Project in trying to provide additional resources to children who need oral health assistance.
I voted no on water fluoridation. I believe that there are more appropriate ways of addressing dental health.
Having said that, I am a little troubled by the fact that we have not come up with a more robust children’s dental health program.
Given the controversial nature of municipal fluoridation in Davis, I believe it is prudent not to proceed with a system-wide fluoridation implementation.
With that said, neither the pro-fluoridation nor the anti-fluoridation camps have presented up-to-date peer-reviewed, primary, scientific evidence that supports their position. The evidence provided by the pro-fluoridation camp is stale dated, and the evidence provided by the anti-fluoridation camp is secondary. Until either camp remedies the problems in their evidence, any decision regarding fluoridation in Davis will be a political calculation.