Guest Commentary: How We Govern

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Can We Talk?

by Larry Guenther

First, full disclosure. I am on boards, commissions, and committees in Davis, but I am speaking on my own behalf as an individual community member.

Whether there is an issue with minority representation on the Davis City Council and, if so, whether district elections would address that issue, appear to be moot. We are going to create districts and have district elections.

But while we’re sorting out those districts, I feel other questions with the way our city is governed should be discussed at the same time. That discussion might include:
1) should we change the number of council members?
2) should we have district representatives and a mayor elected at large?
3) should we continue with the ‘strong-city-manager’ approach or should we change?
4) should council positions be full-time or remain part-time?
5) should Davis become a charter city?

One can always choose to be the victim or the beneficiary of change. If we are going to benefit from this change, this seems like an opportunity we should not pass up.


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3 thoughts on “Guest Commentary: How We Govern”

  1. Ron Glick

    “The government that governs least governs best.”

    Full time CC noooooo!

    Why give them more time to figure out ways to pass things like noise ordinances, put in parking meters, charge more for less service i.e. the claw, prohibit locking a jump bike to a tree in a park, how far from a door someone can smoke or panhandle, who your default electricity provider should be, design roads to make it inconvenient to drive to work, if you can smoke in the privacy of your own home, decide where you can put a basketball hoop, regulate aluminum can theft and regulate when and how you can water your garden even when there isn’t a drought.

    I’m not making any of these things up and I’m sure they had staff or high paid consultants come up with a good rationale for everyone of these things. The sad part is that too much regulation demeans all regulation. So some people run and sometimes win by bemoaning over-regulation. Then they try to get rid of the regulation that is actually needed like auto emission or vehicle mileage standards.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Goes even deeper, Ron G… a full time CC would feel a need to justify that status, and seek to increase staffing, attention from existing staff, to work on their pet projects/issues… particularly once we move to district elections…

      A recipe for disaster, financially… not just the regulatory aspects…

  2. Craig Ross

    I find a disconnect between Ron’s resurrection of Jeffersonian democracy and his view that government should be able to prevent private owners from building on their own property.

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