As we start ramping up our coverage of the 2018 Davis City Council election, we asked each of the candidates to identify the top three issues facing the city.
They were instructed to keep their responses brief and some simply listed three issues, which was perfectly fine.
Here are their responses.
I see three priority areas:
- It’s vital we address an $8 million annual funding gap faced by the city and develop a more stable economic base. We can’t maintain and improve the stuff we all love about Davis — our parks, bike paths and greenbelts — unless we take responsible, innovative, and thoughtful actions.
- We need an inclusive and thoughtful engagement as we plan for the next wave of UC Davis growth and concerns like student housing. We need a process in which everyone is heard, concerns are understood, and the dialogue is focused on developing a healthy long-term town-gown partnership.
- Third, like nearly every community in California, we’re grappling with sustainability amid growing pressures: homelessness, a shortage of affordable housing, and climate change. Our Council’s task is to ensure that the burdens are shared appropriately between taxpayer support and volunteer efforts — and that we’re getting the job done.
Here are the three most important issues I see facing Davis:
- Providing adequate/affordable housing for working families, students, and seniors;
- Fixing our crumbling roads, bike paths, and sidewalks; and
- Creating more economic development so that we can meet our city’s ongoing fiscal responsibilities.
- Economic Development
- Fiscal Sustainability
- Community relations and transparency: healing, what I and others I speak to perceive as an increasing distance between city governance and community process and desires.
He added a quick note: “I will note that I do not believe that these issues, except perhaps the third, can be completely solved in one or even two City Council terms, but we must start making decisions that work toward those goals in a way that maintains Davis as a city worth living in for ALL its inhabitants.”
Mary Jo Bryan
(The) most important issues facing Davis from my prospective all revolve around the word “uncertainty”
- Housing Uncertainty – (a) diversity of housing types, (b) range of cost both for residents and students, and (c) conversion of single family residences into student “dorms”
- Davis Financial Situation Uncertainty (Revenues, Operational Costs, Capital Maintenance Costs, Outlook/Sustainability, etc.)
- Planning Uncertainty – we need an update of the General Plan sooner rather than later
1. (Growth and Housing ) Address the realities and regional environmental impact of our community’s decisions on growth, which have manifested for our community in the form of:
a. an acute housing crisis and severe supply shortage
b. less dollars sent and less economic development to our downtown
c. tensions within our community-driven growth process and city/neighborhood relations
2. (Community Relations) Pool our resources, networks, and partners (regional and university) together to:
a. Properly provide a diversity of housing options, both on and off campus, until we hit 5% vacancy
b. Redesign and reform our developer relations, university relations, and our neighborhood relations processes
c. Identify and implement policy pilot programs oriented around cost-saving measures (i.e. pilot program for performance-based pavement evaluation, significant savings on pavement repair costs)
3. (Develop a vision for 2040 Davis) Encapsulate these realizations along with other current realities of Davis and codify them in our next General Plan update (with a specific and intentional focus on a robust Housing Element)
There is a lot of commonality in the answers. Do you agree with these priorities? What else would you add as key issues to be addressed during the campaign?
This is the readers chance to put issues on the Vanguard agenda to ask the candidates as the campaign moves on.