Back on February 28, the Davis College Democrats held a forum – but only five of the nine candidates were able to participate since participation was limited to registered Democrats. Eric Gudz, Mark West, Linda Deos, Gloria Partida, and Mary Jo Bryan were there, but Dan Carson, Ezra Beeman, Luis Rios, and Larry Guenther were not.
The candidates were asked about Measure J (Nishi) as well as their views on Measure R renewals. Here are their responses.
First they were asked if they would support Measure J:
Linda Deos: “Yes. I will be supporting Measure J.” She said, “I am concerned, I have been hearing a lot about the air quality issues, I am satisfied that with the mitigation – the trees, the bushes, all of that, that helps me think it will be fine. We need housing. The location for student housing is perfect.” She said, “As far as housing going forward, I’m much more comfortable, I’m going to support the mixed use housing – housing that can be accommodated for all demographic groups, not just students, not just seniors, not just any group in particular. I’m also going to be advocating for more of the multi-unit housing.”
Mark West: “I’m voting for Nishi. I voted for it the first time around. I wish we had a better project than this one, but we need the housing and it’s an appropriate location.”
Eric Gudz: “Yes on Nishi in 2016, yes on Nishi in 2018.” He also said he will work very hard to make sure the affordable housing “put into Nishi becomes the standard in the city of Davis going
Mary Jo Bryan: “Yes I voted for Nishi in 2016, I will be voting yes on this one also.” And, “I’m sorry that the first one didn’t go through, but there were some reasons, the people of Davis don’t like high density types of projects. I was very surprised by my friends who voted no, I was sure that they were going to vote yes.”
Gloria Partida: “Yes and Yes. Yes I voted the first time, and I will vote yes this time.”
They were then asked – Measure R will be on the ballot in 2020, will you support amending or repealing Measure R?
Mark West: “Measure R was the great lie of Davis. It was put forward to say that we were going to protect farmland and it has not done so. All it’s done is move development to Woodland or on the university campus. Farmland is being destroyed anyway. We have an ethos of protecting that farmland – so if we kept that housing in Davis, we would be able to control the density… I think Measure R is a stranglehold on our ability to solve both our housing problems and our economic problems or fiscal problems and so, I plan on working to repeal it when it comes up for reelection. We can talk about amending it, but I don’t think that’s the best choice.”
Gloria Partida: “I believe we need to amend it. It has changed the entire character of our city. For as much as we talk about how we want to keep Davis a certain way, what Measure R has actually done is change the whole make up of our city and it needs to be changed. We have to grow very carefully, that’s the only reason I would say we have to amend and not just repeal.”
Mary Jo Bryan: “You have to know the history of Measure J and what it was trying to do at that point, the situation now is very different. We’re not providing homes for people that live in Davis already, that work in Davis and want to live here.” She then clarified her position, “Repeal it. I have never voted for it.”
Linda Deos: “The whole Measure R thing… have created a difference between the haves and have-nots. If you have it, great. It you don’t have it, you’re screwed. It also takes the power outside of us into the hands of developers. We know what’s best for you, we’re going to tell you what developments going to be. Here you vote it up or down. I don’t like that. I want to keep the power in with us. It’s going to be very hard to take the vote away from people. So we’re going to have to educate to get them to repeal it.”
Eric Gudz: “I’m a strong supporter of urban boundaries,” he said. “Urban growth boundaries will actually save us in the centuries to come in the way in which we are developing our cities and towns. We don’t want to sprawl out to the middle of nowhere. We don’t want to be like San Jose. However, this measure needs to be amended for it to reflect the realities of today. It absolutely needs to be amended, we need to have an ability to figure out what’s best for Davis.”
(Programming note: Starting March 19, the Vanguard will have weekly questions for all the candidates to answer).