A Tale of Two Cities on Sales Tax

Mind Body mixes high tech software with delivery of wellness and health services
Mind Body mixes high tech software with delivery of wellness and health services

Last week, the Vanguard presented data on per capita retail revenue, and it was not completely surprising to find Davis at the bottom of the list of cities on that particular list.  But it was surprising to see that San Luis Obispo ranked just below Palo Alto in terms of per capita retail sales.

I have spent the last week in San Luis Obispo and, in a lot of ways, it is a mirror image of Davis.  San Luis Obispo is a town of 45,000 people, and it has only grown by less than 2000 people in the 20 years since I graduated from Cal Poly and moved out.  At this point, they have a one percent growth cap and project a population of about 57,000 by 2035.

San Luis Obispo is the home of Cal Poly, a CSU university that is remarkably similar to UC Davis in a lot of ways, although it has about 20,000 students.  However, there are similar issues about student housing and an agreement by the university to take on additional growth and provide those new students with on-campus housing.

San Luis Obispo, like Davis, is buoyed by stable employers.  In addition to Cal Poly, they have Cuesta Community College, Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant (which has announced its closure by 2025 and figures to be a huge $12 million hit on the local schools), and the California Men’s Colony, a medium security prison.

San Luis Obispo survived the economic downtown because of tight growth control policies that left the real estate market and values intact.  That meant that, without overbuilding the supply of housing, the bounce back in the economy did not need to go so far on growth.

San Luis Obispo, like Davis, has a vital downtown area – in fact, in a lot of ways it is a lot bigger, although in many ways finding similar challenges with holding onto retail as it has been becoming more restaurant- and entertainment-oriented, even though retail remains a vital hub of the city’s sales tax revenue.

Costco and the area around is a key economic driver
Costco and the area around is a key economic driver

And yet, in the end, San Luis Obispo in many ways is thriving in terms of its sales tax base while Davis is struggling.  On Thursday, the Vanguard met with San Luis Obispo Assistant City Manager Derek Johnson to get a better understanding as to why.

It did not take long to figure out a big piece of the puzzle.  A remarkable 72 percent of sales tax for San Luis Obispo comes from people who live outside of the city.  San Luis Obispo and the majestic central coast are a magnet for tourists.  They have hotels and restaurants that draw people to stay in the city and visit the nearby coast.

The second piece of the puzzle is that, unlike Davis, San Luis Obispo is a regional center for retail.  People in the south and north parts of the county drive to San Luis Obispo to do a lot of their shopping.

While Mr. Johnson could not break down the percentage of sales tax coming from tourism versus coming from inside of the county, this is clearly driving the economic vitality of San Luis Obispo.

The city draws $8200 annually in sales tax per capita.  The Vanguard was not able to get the sales tax per capita for the city of Davis for comparison.  They have a standard 7.75 percent state sales tax with an additional half cent district tax.

Davis, by contrast, is underdeveloped in terms of retail, which leads to people going to Dixon, Woodland, West Sacramento and the like for a lot of their shopping.  While San Luis Obispo draws people into their city, Davis is pushing people out of town for shopping.

Forever 21 had a huge space it inherited from Gottschalks and is now gone
Forever 21 had a huge space it inherited from Gottschalks and is now gone

Derek Johnson told the Vanguard that the biggest sales tax area for the city is what they call the Los Osos Valley Corridor.  This includes a traditional auto mall area.  There are also hotels near the major highway, but there is also a new section of commerce that was not there 20 years ago.  There is a Costco, a Home Depot, a Target, and a Dick’s Sporting Goods, along with countless smaller stores.

What is interesting is that commerce and revenue seem to be thriving even as key areas of town are struggling.  For instance, the Madonna Plaza has seen the departure of some major anchor tenants.  Gottschalks went under during the recession; it was replaced by Forever 21, which is now gone.  Staples is gone.  Sports Authority is gone.

Sports Authority occupied a huge space and is gone
Sports Authority occupied a huge space and is gone

Mr. Johnson downplayed this.  He said that natural cycles are occurring everywhere.  He said, at this point in time, the vacancies aren’t alarming and there are active efforts to re-tenant those places.  The landscape overall is shifting in general.  More and more consumers are going online for their commerce and that places a high need for creating authentic and social local retail experiences.

The downtown is the second highest area in retail activity.  But it too has some struggles.  There are vacant stores along the main drag and the downtown closely resembles that of Davis.  Sure, there is more retail and places like the Apple Store – which Davis has attempted to get but has been unsuccessful, but much of downtown looks like Davis, with bars, restaurants, coffee shops and the like.

Farm Supply is a strong local company
Farm Supply is a strong local company

Economic development is a big part of the current strategy.  San Luis Obispo has an Economic Development Strategic Plan and is working closely with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Cal Poly.

Like Davis, there is a focus on agriculture, but also an emerging tech startup culture.  They have built over 100,000 square feet of R&D and other startups over the last four years.  Derek Johnson noted the emergence of Mind Body and iFix It, as well as Amazon.  He said that there are a number of other high-tech firms that have interest in coming to San Luis Obispo, as they flee the Bay Area’s housing crisis.

Apple Store in downtown SLO
Apple Store in downtown SLO

Derek Johnson explained that the community has been very deliberate about their economic development strategy and how they have grown their city.  Cal Poly has one of the best planning programs in the country and has been deliberate about how they grow retail.  This has left them in a fairly strong position to avoid huge vacancies when there is a market disruption.

The bottom line is that, while in a lot of ways San Luis Obispo and Davis are similar.  San Luis Obispo is thriving primarily because they have the retail in place to take advantage of tourism and of being a regional center.  Davis, on the other hand, does not have that retail in place and lacks the advantages of San Luis Obispo.

—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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41 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Cities on Sales Tax”

  1. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > San Luis Obispo, like Davis, is buoyed by stable employers.

    > Including Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and

    > the California Men’s Colony, a medium security prison.

    Maybe we could build a nuclear power plant or prison on the Nishi site…

    P.S. I know that if a neighbor on the Davis side of Putah Creek buys a new $40K Toyota truck in Davis at Hanlee Toyota and tells them that he will “garage” it South of Davis on the other side of the creek he will pay the 7.5%  Yolo County sale tax rate not the 8.5% Davis sales tax rate and save $400.   Any idea if car sales in town to people that live out of town are included in the city sales tax totals?  Any idea if Davis gets any sales tax money when someone drives to Sacramento and buys a car from Niello (and pays the Davis tax rate if they admit that the car will be registered and garaged in Davis).

    P.P.S. The above example is purely hypothetical since I can’t imagine anyone in Davis who would register their vehicle at a friends house to deprive the city of Davis of $400 in taxes…

  2. Frankly

    Davis, on the other hand, does not have that retail in place and lacks the advantages of San Luis Obispo.

    And Davis has Measure J/R and a larger population of pompous, ignorant fools… and fewer true leaders that can visualize, plan and execute.

    The good news from this report is that the light bulb is at least coming on in David’s head.  But it won’t help while Measure J/R exists.

  3. Topcat

    San Luis Obispo is thriving primarily because they have the retail in place to take advantage of tourism and of being a regional center.  Davis, on the other hand, does not have that retail in place and lacks the advantages of San Luis Obispo.

    Yes, the lack of retail in Davis is the result of decisions that were made 30 to 40 years ago when it was decided not to allow big box and chain retailers that would be a regional draw.  We can see the results now with Woodland, Dixon and West Sacramento all having the type of retail stores that generate lots of retail sales.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      The discussion going forward needs to be along the lines of where we can develop retail and generate sales tax. I don’t think our immediate reaction needs to be that we need to look like Woodland or West Sacramento, though that is one plausible conclusion.

      1. Frankly

        I think you should pay attention to your own reporting.  What does “look like” mean? Does San Luis Obispo “look” bad to you with this retail?  It does not sound like it does.

        I am getting real irritated with this (ignorant) projecting of aesthetic qualities in future development.  It is all WAY above the pay-grade of those most active in opining about it.

        “Look like”?

        “Look like”?

        What does Davis look like 20 years from now given the Davis-DNA-standard response to new development?

        Let me paint the picture… a run-down, leaking, sinking ship of old fools and poor students.

        1. Davis Progressive

          slo is not davis.  what is working in slo isn’t going to work in davis.  that means we have to figure out what will work for us.  i think we were on the right track with the high tech research park.  the person you should lambaste here is harrington and his ilk who are against everything.  how do they plan to fix the sinking ship?

        2. Frankly

          Harrington only has traction because of the NIMBYs that fret over “looks like”.

          God forbid we would have a manufacturing business on the periphery.  That would look terrible!

          That is the point.  SLO and many other places that have much stronger developed commercial and retail… they “look” good too.

          You make the point “won’t work for Davis” based on what?

        3. South of Davis

          Frankly wrote:

          > You make the point “won’t work for Davis” based on what?

          I don’t want to speak for DP but Davis will never have the retail sales of SLO since even if we get a Costco we will not have the sales numbers from people driving for miles to get here.  Unlike SLO we don’t have to drive over 100 miles north and over 30 miles south to get to the next Costco since we have a Costco 7 miles north of the city limit (and three Wal Marts about 10 miles to the north, east and west).  People in Wildhorse can drive to Costco in less time than it takes to drive across town from Frankly’s NW Davis neighborhood to David’s SE Davis neighborhood.

      2. Matt Williams

        David, a community has to have a critical mass of demand in order to increase the amount of retail over its current ambient level.  The demographic statistics argue that Davis doesn’t have a critical mass of retail demand, rather Davis has a critical shortage of retail demand.

        The reasons for that are pretty straightforward.  First, Davis is not a regional hub (like SLO, Chico, etc.).  Our retail businesses draw on the residents of the City and UCD. All the retail demand to the east of Davis goes to Sacramento because of the intervening presence of the Yolo Bypass.  The population to the south of Davis has no critical mass mostly due to the Delta.  Dixon and Winters provide some demand to the west, but with the average age of Winters over 8 years older than Davis, Winters has the same I’m not looking to acquire “things,”  I’m looking to divest them to my children challenge Davis does.  So the most promising regional retail demand is anything Davis can cannibalize from Woodland.

        As a result, an Apple Store is the most promising retail/sales tax opportunity.  Technology is the one market where UCD students can be expected to buy “things” locally rather than from the Internet and/or discount stores.

        1. Don Shor

          I can’t think why an Apple store wouldn’t simply locate on campus if they wanted to open here at all. They already have an Authorized Campus Store there.

        2. David Greenwald Post author

          There is an interesting back story as to why the Apple Store is in SLO. It was one of the first and had to do with the fact that one of the high ups at Apple was a Poly grad.

        3. Marina Kalugin

          of course!  and the UCD alumni are the ones who can make the difference in Davis  – but they are typically heading for better jobs elsewhere, and unlike the kids who grew up in Davis, many do not have the draw to come back and live here.

          the UCD Bookstore was the Apple Store for the region decades ago…..the staff and students were the local experts of Apple and did the tech support for the region.

          I was one of the very first “macheads” and  “tech support” on the UCD campus.   my ex and I knew Steve Jobs…etc

          Apple no longer has that truly close connection with the UCD Bookstore and just a few weeks ago they expanded their relationship with Best Buy.   The Geek Squad is now being trained to service macs to a much greater extent.

          When I bought a new macbook a few months ago, I found that the Best Buy had an Apple employee on site to handle the “tougher” questions.  Of course, I always ask questions the typical employee cannot answer…and I usually do my own tech research, but simply don’t have the time these days.

          One of my brilliant sons works for Geek Squad in Elk Grove…they keep his hours to a minimum so that they don’t have to pay benefits…I still pay his medical….

          He does tech support on the side, or builds computers for friends and family, and that works for him.

          We had our first macplus before he was born.

          Many of the most brilliant DHS grads work for Apple…their parents are faculty on campus.

          In Palo Alto, there are 2 Apple stores and there are others a few miles down the road in each direction.

          They are always completely full.  Those who have more money tend to buy Apple products.   Our faculty have always been predominantly Apple users.

          Campus used to be standardized on macs…and at some point some departments switched to pcs and so on.

          One can either spend money on the hardware or on a larger IT support group.

          It is always one’s choices.

          These are answers to some of the questions below this, as there is no “reply” button on some of the comments by the DV guys…


        4. Matt Williams

          Don’s point about an Apple Store captures one of the core challenges Davis faces . . . the fact that our business community has historically been very passive.  Bottom-line, we won’t see any improvement in our retail landscape unless we proactively take the steps to make it happen.  We need more people being proactive like Grok was (vis-a-vis his/her advocacy for more parking for the downtown economy).  Apple isn’t going to come to Davis if we sit back and wait for them to come.  We need to make the case to them for why it makes sense for them to locate a store in Davis.  If we don’t do that then “I can’t think why an Apple store wouldn’t simply locate [anywhere but in Davis]” will be a prophetic statement.

  4. Marina Kalugin

    Actually, there have been many a more recent decision that adversely affected having needed businesses in Davis.  For example, the Sears Home Store.  they were doing very well in the Nugget mall in South Davis… then the new landlord decided to increase the rent and they moved to Woodland.

    And, instead we get more crap companies like Goodwill donation center which brings in no revenue and is a truly miserable company which abuses workers who have few other options..  And, which contributes nothing to the economy for the many “donation” station space they now occupy.   And, don’t get me started on what they did to the laundromat on E 8th…. and they didn’t even really need that storage space either….they had another “donation ” station just down the road….

    That was only in recent years….and there is Tuesday Morning, who also didn’t want to move…and loved being in Davis…. They told me they are looking for a decent place to start up again in Davis…

    That type of store is a perfect fit for Davisites, many of us who like the nice things, but don’t really like to spend the money to ever pay retail.

    What about the skateboarding store?   look at what happened to them…

    I am sure the longer I “think” about this, the more will come to mind.

    The issue is that Davis doesn’t need nor want big-box….Davis needs to support the local businesses and not allow them to be forced out due to new owners and higher rents…

        1. Davis Progressive

          but you’re missing a much worse problem – yes, davis has rising rents, but they are nothing compared to palo alto and yet, palo alto is thriving and davis is sinking

        2. Frankly

          Three primary problems:

          1. High rents.

          2. Lack of suitable real estate.

          3. Shrinking demographic of people that buy things.

          One solution:

          1. Develop more commercial property.

          One primary impediment to the solution:

          1. Measure R

        3. Davis Progressive

          of the three that frankly mentions, the biggest problem is number 3.  why?  because we need to bring people into town who can purchase our products.  that’s what is lacking now

        4. Frankly

          Exactly, but if you build it they will come.

          They would come for the jobs.  Without the jobs they will not come.

          There are three ingredients to an innovation ecosystem.

          1. Innovators – Davis has buckets of them

          2. Capital – Davis has the attention of venture funding

          3. Space – Davis lacks it… but not because Davis lacks the land around it like so many other places that would kill for our opportunities to grow our local economy.    Davis lacks it because Davis has a high percentage of NIMBY fools living here and a Measure J/R that gives them power to block everything.

          So again, the source of the problem is Measure J/R.

          I used to think it was just that more people needed to be educated as to the reasons Davis needed to develop its local economy and take advantage of the opportunities provided by having UCD here.  But that changed with Measure A being defeated.  Now I know that until Measure J/R is overturned, the fools will control the development game.

          Note that you will not find as much interest in expanding retail in and around Davis until the demographics change where there are more young professionals and young families living here and/or working here.   It is a cart and horse thing.  I am not going to start a retail business that bleed red ink for years before the people arrive.  The retail is built because the demand is already there.  In some cases it might be a regional draw, but mostly it will require an assessment of the local customer base.

        5. Grok

          No, measure R. is not the problem. Not having good proposed projects is why nothing has passed. Further none of what is being suggested here has ever come to a measure R vote.

        6. Mark West

          Grok:  “No, measure R. is not the problem.”

          I agree that Measure R is not the problem, but not for the reason you state. The problem is the community’s ‘no on everything’ mindset that was responsible for the creation of Measure J and subsequent continuation as Measure R. As a community we look at every potential change as something to be opposed first, until someone proves to us that Davis ‘after the change’ will be better than the optimized vision of Davis that we carry in our imaginations. It is this mindset that any change will be detrimental that is preventing us from addressing our critical problems. What the community needs to realize is that change is an opportunity to improve our lives and create a stronger, better version of Davis. Fear of change only leads to the stagnation and decay of the community that is apparent to those willing to open their eyes and face reality.

  5. Marina Kalugin

    Along the way, I, a single mother with truly limited resources for most of my life, learned the value of a dollar and saving a dollar, but I chose not to shop at the Walmarts and Targets.  Instead I enjoyed consignment stores and thrift stores and mostly didn’t have time to shop nor waste money – and most of us have way more items of clothing that we could ever need.

    On the other hand, I never scrimped on paying for good service, and quality.  I would to to Discovery’s and later that lovely children’s toy shop on G street  (now gone for some years also) and buy high quality, educational toys as birthday gifts for my son’s friends.   I appreciated getting the great service, great advice, and nice wrapping paper jobs.

    If one spends much time in places like Menlo Park, Palo Alto, etc.   one finds many a “unique shop”  high quality antique and consignment shops, dress shops like the ones which just closed in Downtown Davis due to the sale of the Brinley owned “buildings”, real food restaurants instead of starbucks and chain shops.   There are places to sit and eat and there is tons of free parking in the alleys behind the stores.

    People can browse, lounge, eat and shop to their hearts content.

    Davis is the upscale town in this area, and would draw more shoppers if we were smarter and also if we have policies in place which would protect the unique, mom and pop and other small businesses from the upheaval created as new owners take of older buildings.

    Actually, Winters and Woodland, and even Dixon, are now doing it better than Davis these days.

    That is where I choose to go out to eat, now that the options are so limited in Davis.

    It is easier to get to, easier to park, many others of my age group enjoying a more peaceful atmosphere, etc.   With the loss of Monticello and Tucos, and even that G st. place where the Blue Mango used to be….what was that called?  there is little of interest for me left in this town.

    The place in Village Homes is nice, but their hours and prices are not really what works for us, plus way too much gluten – all that pasta.

    We tend to go at off hours, and now most places are closed on Mondays or closed at lunch or closed between “lunch and dinner”…and we often are eating a “Late lunch” or an”early dinner”…  Village Bakery restaurant is one of the few we like that has the quality and options that is open.

    I have tried some of the overpriced “newer” places like Our House, and the place the De Vere White’s son owns… and some others, and they are, like I said, overpriced for what you get and too noisy…

    Even Winds of Change, which advertised  everything “made from scratch” and”use of olive oil” was using canola in their dressings and for cooking,   and their desserts were made with the lowest quality Crystal Ice Cream which includes soy lecithin…  why, when one could use the “mid range” or the “premium” organic for just a few more cents per serving…

    Anyway, these are the reasons that us older folks are not hanging as much downtown as we would if there were better options…

    Interestingly enough, one of my most favorite places to go for lunch now is Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe….and oddly enough their prices are comparable to many overpriced chains and junk food places…and surprisingly enough there are many students in there at lunch time.   The students who want real made from scratch food which is organic and of the highest quality, and don’t mind a wait as they tend to be kinda busy have found that hidden gem….shhhh…




    1. Davis Progressive

      this is all interesting but not helpful.  we need money for infrastructure and services, millions of dollars, how do you propose we get there?

        1. Marina Kalugin

          heck, try it – you may like it  🙂  I also shared what others we like and why, and why we were sad to see the other faves pushed out…Monticello especially, had issues with the landlords who didn’t do what they promised and allowed the strip to get so empty and  faculty would complain about the location…the city didn’t do their jobs of ensuring that the strip would be maintained as promised, and finally they left and the new tenants are paying more….

        2. Jim Frame

          the city didn’t do their jobs of ensuring that the strip would be maintained as promised

          How was the city involved in this?  It’s private property, and any contractual disputes are between the parties to the contract.  Unless there are code violations, the city has no say in what happens there.

          I think that center’s a mess because it’s paid for and is a cash cow, even in its under-rented state.  There are so many heirs that they can’t agree on anything, so it never gets fixed up.

    2. Marina Kalugin

      there was no reply button to JF, it was all over the enterprise for years….and you could go back and read all about what happened to Monticello and why….I am sorry that I don’t have more time to address that point further……thank you

  6. Marina Kalugin

    first stop making it hard for the smaller shops to survive…and then use those tax dollars for improving infrastructure and services…

    stop giving millions back to developers who managed to outsmart the current CC majority and make them pay their fair share.

    stop doing  dumb things like millions for a new surface water project, which was not needed, except for the fact of developers said that the current wells would not be enough to support future development

    and so on.

    PS>  the technology exists to way more economically “treat” the water in the wells that may not be up to latest CA standards, and would have saved countless millions..

    Dixon just put in a new well for their new development.

    the developers have been in charge in this town for way too long….and unfortunately that is just going to continue until the next election…

    1. South of Davis

      Marina wrote:

      >  first stop making it hard for the smaller shops to survive…

      Government on all levels say they like “small business” but since most small business don’t have a “government relations” department that gives cash to elected officials most elected officials work to make it harder and harder (and more and more expensive) each year for small business people to earn a living so their big business friends and donors can move in.

  7. Misanthrop

    Highways 1 and 101 meet in SLO. Highway 101 has a business loop through the town. There are lots of hotels there. I wonder how many hotel rooms they have. It seems it must be many more than Davis. SLO is also the county seat a position that brings lots of dollars into the city. Still you are correct the lack of retail has hurt Davis. As for mom and pop small businesses getting priced out of Davis by rents the answer is obvious, build some more retail space. New retail supply will reduce rents for existing shop owners.

    1. Topcat

      Highways 1 and 101 meet in SLO. Highway 101 has a business loop through the town. There are lots of hotels there.

      SLO is a logical overnight stop for people traveling between northern and southern California.  Davis is NOT a logical stop for travelers; however, Woodland IS because I5 goes right through there.  You may have noticed that there are now 4 motels near I5 and road 102 to accommodate all the I5 travelers.

      1. Marina Kalugin

        actually, Davis is a logical stop for anyone heading up 80 and/or then on to 50, 70, 99 etc. and to all of the lakes, rivers, forests, Tahoe, ski resorts and such  in all directions …  many people I know from the Bay Area love to stop at Redrum Burger on the way …those in the know do like to stop in Davis…

  8. Marina Kalugin

    and, then Davis did build more retail space out by Ikeda’s and it didn’t fill very well still empty spots and now much of that “retail” is banks and such….does the town get any benefits from banks?   no taxes other than property right?

    The prime location for walkability is the downtown..

    If I were a city planner, I would completely block off some of the streets to cars completely….and also force bicyclists to walk their bikes if choosing those streets…

    make a walking mall space and then get the little open air trams circulating around…throughout..

    I haven’t even seen those around campus in some time….anyone know what happened to those?

    put the parking structure at the Mace exit park and ride and similar at the 80 to campus and 113 exits..

    and “encourage” folks to leave their cars and take the trams around…

    or bike rickshaws…

    that would make it more of a “destination” spot and have more open air concerts and such….that also draws in people.

    we used to love to go to the 2nd friday, but parking is often a bear and that could all work synergistically…



  9. Frankly

    My early career was in information technology (IT).   This experience provided me an understanding of fundamental personality differences that contributed to various IT roles.  More specifically, most high-performing IT employees would be those wired to get excited about change.  Most of the demanding customers of IT were those other business employees that would become easily frustrated with change.

    This wasn’t an age thing, although certainly younger employees tended to be more open to change and some older employees would get stubborn and set in their ways.  In terms of age, I determined it was more of a speed thing.   The older employees were more often made uncomfortable with the speed of change that they younger employees would sometimes facilitate.

    I think Davis is over-represented in both demographics: change-averse and older speed-averse.

    And they are the reactionaries.

    The problem here is that we talking about an emotional response.  It is really impossible for these people having a strong emotional reaction to change to develop an accurate vision of the future state that would derive from the change.  Their gut feel is that almost any change is bad and so it requires a tremendous pile of energy to reassure them that the impacts of the change will be much less than they are feeling.   Some of them are unable to accept change until they gain complete understanding of all the myriad details surrounding the change… but fail to acknowledge that it is impossible for them or most other mortal beings… or else they really know it to be the case, but keep demanding the same as an effective change blocking technique (if we just keep meeting and talking about it allowing everyone to spill their fears, we will eventually know enough that allows us to accept the change… right… never happens).

    Reactionaries should not lead.  They are incapable of leading.   They are those that need to be forced to follow toward change that will ultimately be good for them.  However, in Davis, Measure R gives the reactionaries power to lead.  And as is their tendency, they exploit that power to block change.

    Reactionaries should have a seat at the table leading to a decision.  They are not to be ignored since some change agents are just cowboys shooting from the hip.  Some are change-agents looking to benefit themselves at the expense of others.

    Effective decision processes require a governance structure that optimizes the inputs and the eventual decision so that it does the most good and the least harm.

    Measure R completely destroys effective governance.

    Measure R is a giant mistake that sets Davis on a path of destructive stasis… reactionaries that are wired to have strong feelings against change are calling the shots.  Those lacking visioning skills are setting the vision for Davis.

    It is a mess.

  10. Marina Kalugin

    nah…..it only tries to make the cc and the planning and building departments do their jobs better….

    in this town the developers have been running amuk for at least a few decades..

    starting with Ricci/Woodbridge and going forward…

    as a “change ” agent since my very youngest of years, some may think they understand why I do what I do…

    most are usually mistaken…

    If we want “small mom and pop” shops, then just support them…and so on.

    Don’t waste time and money driving outside of town to “save a buck”…  or around town either…

    Measures J/R are not the problem.

    And, it is way too simplistic to blame any group or any side and so on…

    Nishi lost because the silent majority was smart enough to understand the real issues and because of a grass root group who brought the issues to light…

    stop blaming the wrong targets and vote with your dollars, and your feet, and so on…


  11. Marina Kalugin

    the developers thought they had enough money and a ton of gullible students to walk around and try to “convince” people why they needed that pig with green lipstick, to quote someone on another thread…..

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