Council to Discuss and Formulate 2020 Goals and Focus Items

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Mayor Brett Lee

Back in September 2018, the Davis City Council met to discuss overall goals for the 2018-20 legislative period.  In addition to reaffirming their eight overall goals for the period, the council established seven “focus items” – intended to be shorter-term and more focused tasks that could be completed in a relatively brief period of time.

These items included:

  • Install lights at Toad Hollow Park (Complete)
  • Create an inventory of space for economic development/innovation center (Complete)
  • Develop a communications strategy (Complete)
  • Develop a homelessness strategy (Initial work complete. Tasks shifted to other homelessness priorities as City direction has evolved)
  • Restripe safe routes to school (This fiscal year’s work complete and plan in place for future years)
  • Complete an economic analysis for a multi-sport complex (Underway and to be completed by end of 2019)
  • Construct two downtown restrooms (Construction underway, complete by May 2020)

With these items either complete or nearing completion, the council is considering a new group of focus items for 2020.

Staff recommends, “Council choose 6-8 new Focus Items. Each item should be a tangible task that can be completed prior to the end of the 2020 calendar year.”

2019-20 Davis Goals:

Goal 1: Ensure Fiscal Resilience

Goal 2 – Drive a Diverse and Resilient Economy

Goal 3 – Pursue Environmental Sustainability

Goal 4 – Fund, Maintain, and Improve the Infrastructure

Goal 5 – Ensure a Safe, Healthy, Equitable Community

Goal 6 – Build and Promote a Vibrant City

Goal 7 – Foster Excellence in City Services

Goal 8 – Cultivate Positive Workplace Dynamics

Under each goal are some objectives.  For instance, under fiscal resilience is: “REVENUE: Ensure fair City tax rates and fees while investigating new and sustainable sources of revenue to strengthen the economic base and to provide the services desired by the community.”

“COST CONTAINMENT: Seek increased cost efficiency and containment in service delivery, while maintaining high quality city services.”

“TRANSPARENCY: Take actions to enhance and promote fiscal transparency.”

Under a diverse and resilient economy includes providing a “support network for business,” utilizing “city-owned property to support economic development goals,” and addressing “the needs of new businesses and business types identified as desirable additions to our economic diversity and sustainability.”

Under pursuing environmental sustainability: reduction of the carbon footprint including a reduction of VMT, conservation of resources in an environmentally friendly way, initiating and update of the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, supporting VCE, evaluating water conservation strategies on greenbelts and parks, and enhancing open space areas.

Under funding, maintaining and improving the infrastructure, “Develop plans and funding strategies to address the long term needs of the community in planning for maintaining/enhancing city infrastructure and assets,” providing for a safe and efficient circulation system, addressing long-term maintenance and funding needs for parks and open space, and continuing to expand the greenbelt and open space connectivity network.

Under a safe, healthy and equitable community they list increasing and maintaining the supply of affordable housing, reducing the number of people who are homeless, policies for a safe, healthy and inclusive community, visible and sufficient public safety services, maintaining efficient and highly trained public safety staff, creating an environment that promotes safety and well-being.

Under a vibrant city: long-range community planning, improving downtown for motor vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian travel, improve public spaces and downtown amenities, enhancing downtown ambiance, and expanding opportunities for local artists.

Under fostering excellence in city services: “Strive to provide transparency, valuable information to citizens in a timely, efficient, effective and respectful manner and actively seek input and feedback from the community.”  They also list: creating dialogue opportunity to seek input and feedback from the community, a customer service program, and seek to improve services.

Under cultivating positive workplace dynamics: ensure human resources processes that effectively documented and structured, attract and retain a competitive and diverse workforce, opportunities for enhanced workplace morale, classification and compensation information, evaluate needs related to supervisory development as well as risk management needs.

The staff then creates a list of potential council focus items:

  • Goal 1: Ensure fiscal resilience
    • Debt management policy
    • Legislative program (In progress)
    • Consider policy for City contributions to non-profit organizations/community groups
  • Goal 2: Drive a diverse and resilient economy
    • Cannabis business update
    • Economic development scorecard
    • Food truck regulation/FED group (In process)
    • Aggie Research Center application
    • Economic development funding for start-up support
    • Economic development strategy
    • Fee waivers (Request)
  • Goal 3: Pursue environmental sustainability
    • Bikeshare parking pilot project/fees (In process)
    • Climate Action Plan update (In process)
    • Cost benefit analysis of water efficiency efforts
    • EV readiness plan (completed, grant for implementation in process)
    • Grant pilot program for habitat restoration (Measure O open space funds)
    • Measure J/R Renewal
    • Tree ordinance update (In process)
    • Update on IPM implementation
    • Coordinated plan for communications about sustainability efforts
  • Goal 4: Fund, maintain, and improve infrastructure
    • Anderson Road corridor improvements
    • City Hall Gym rehabilitation
    • Da Vinci sewer line disposition
    • Drainage fee study consultant contract
    • F Street garage improvements
    • Fire hazard mitigation planning
    • Mace Boulevard improvements (In process)
    • Municipal broadband
    • Private maintenance of greenbelts
    • Pump Track implementation
    • Russell bike path (In process)
    • Rust property bike connection
    • South Davis storm drainage
    • Sports complex/aquatics studies (In process)
    • Traffic calming (In process)
    • Vets Theater improvements
  • Goal 5: Ensure a safe, healthy, and equitable community
    • Affordable housing – additional sites
    • Affordable housing – exemptions
    • Affordable housing – funding plan
    • Animal Services Governance/Shelter (In process)
    • Apprenticeship requirements
    • District Elections – Governance Principles
    • Fire station needs assessment
    • Giving meters
    • Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter shuttle, staffing funds and capacity building
    • assistance (Request)
    • Ladder Truck
    • Lower speed limits for priority routes for school children
    • Neighborhood focus/protections/additional public noticing for projects
    • Overnight homeless shelter
    • Renters rights ordinance updates (In process)
    • Respite Center – Day (In process)
    • RV as residential use pilot program
    • Sanctioned camping
    • Vaping/Flavored Tobacco
  • Goal 6: Build and promote a vibrant city
    • Additional infill sites
    • Adopt form-based planning (In process)
    • Arts – 1% Private Development Fund
    • Arts –Mobile Stage (In process)
    • City property – business start ups
    • City ride share
    • Downtown Plan (In process)
    • General plan update
    • Historic Resource Management Designations
    • Housing Element update
    • Parking Districts 101/Streamlining
    • Ride share and taxi services follow-up
    • Shopping cart management
    • Short Term Rental Regulations (In process)
    • Sister city policies update
    • Wireless telecommunications ordinance updates (In process)
  • Goal 7: Foster excellence in city services
    • Broaden City-sponsored cultural events
    • District Council Elections (Implementation)
    • Enterprise Resource system acquisition (In process)
    • Noticing Guidelines
  • Goal 8: Cultivate positive workplace dynamics
    • Employee recognition programs

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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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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20 thoughts on “Council to Discuss and Formulate 2020 Goals and Focus Items”

  1. David Greenwald Post author

    I didn’t want to put my thoughts into the article but here are some ideas for focus items:

    On fiscal resilience I think we need clear goals on the three planks: containment, revenue and taxes and I don’t see really any of them outlined here – (A) what is the city’s strategy to contain future costs, (B) how is the city going to get short-term revenue for infrastructure, (C) how is the city going to build its economic development base.

    On Goal 2: I think they are in good shape. I will be interested to see what an economic development scorecard is.  The economic development strategy is a key – are they going to continue with the dispersed innovation strategy and also what is “Plan B” if Aggie Research Center does not get approval?

    On Goal 3: Obviously Measure R renewal is key, climate action plan update, but there is no overarching transportation strategy, especially in light of the traffic and parking concerns.

    On Goal 4: Clearly Mace Blvd is going to be the key focus right now.

    On Goal 5: Affordable housing funding plan is going to be critical.  Where is the city going to get funding to building more affordable housing – and that can tie back into a legislative plan to get the legislature to re-enact some sort of increment tax.  I do think they make a mistake by including affordable housing with public safety and that they should consider separating them.  There is a key issue not covered here – how do we protect our city from fire given climate changes and also there is another key issue with coverage for police services.  One huge downside of the lack of fiscal resilience is lack of ability to expand either Police services or Fire services to better protect our city.

    On Goal 6: The Downtown Plan, Housing Element, and General Plan will all be huge focuses.  But looking at additional infill sites as well as some sort of densificatio nand redevelopment plan seem to be key omissions.

    On Goal 7: I think figuring out better ways to engage the community and foster transparency are going to be essential for looking at things like noticing guidelines.

    On Goal 8: I think the city really drops the ball here.  Employee recognition is fine but that’s not what creates positive workplace dynamics.  The lack of items here suggests: (A) maybe this isn’t really a priority and could be subsumed under 7 and (B) more thought needs to be given.

    Personally I would separate 5 – affordable housing and homeless issues from public safety and combine 7 and 8.

  2. Ron Glick

    It has been 20 years since J/R was passed. The unintended consequences of Measure R should be obvious to all by now. Some of these include the failure to  meet even the minimum 1% SACOG growth requirement, increases in rent beyond CPI inflation rates, the repurposing of residential homes as overcrowded mini-dorms, the lack of available land for residential development, neighbor opposition to infill and the loss of Davis families to leapfrog development in Woodland. The council needs to modify Measure R if it is going to place a renewal before the voters. If people want an un-modified renewal they should petition for it themselves. If the CC places an unmodified Measure R before the voters people should vote no.

    1. Rik Keller

      “Some of these include the failure to  meet even the minimum 1% SACOG growth requirement,”

      In recent years, Davis has been growing at very close to the same rate as California and the SACOG region—all close to 1%. At a 1.1% population growth rate, it has also grown at a faster rate than Woodland and the state this past year.

      “The population of Davis continues to tick up annually — at a faster rate than Woodland and West Sacramento — according to the latest population estimates for cities and counties by the California Department of Finance…Overall, California’s population grew at a rate of 0.47 percent from 2018 to 2019.”

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/davis-population-up-1-percent/%3famp=1

      1. Bill Marshall

        In recent years, Davis has been growing at very close to the same rate as California and the SACOG region—all close to 1%. At a 1.1% population growth rate, it has also grown at a faster rate than Woodland and the state this past year

        Would that be actual increase in population, or dwelling units approved, but not yet built nor occupied?

        How many years are “recent”, as you use the term?

        As to “this past year”, see first question…

        Meant as honest questions… to permit verification of ‘facts’…

        1. Don Shor

          Would that be actual increase in population, or dwelling units approved, but not yet built nor occupied?

          I don’t think Rik’s number address household numbers or densities, just population. The change in number of people per household over the last two decades or so would answer the question as to whether housing growth has tracked with population growth, or whether the ubiquitous mini-dorms are a result of insufficient housing with an increasing population.

          1. Don Shor

            Here is another factor we should be paying attention to – overcrowding.
            Mr. Kadin writes: “Overcrowding is a new one due to SB 828.”

            Under SB 828, there is required “data relating to the percentage of renter’s households that are overcrowded and vacancy rates for healthy housing market functioning and regional mobility.”

            The bill goes on to require “the council of governments to provide data on the overcrowding rate for a comparable housing market, and would define the vacancy rate for a healthy rental housing market for those purposes to be no less than 5%.”

            For the purposes of the bill, “The term ‘overcrowded’ means more than one resident per room in each room in a dwelling.”

            We have noted, based on data from the Housing Task Force at UC Davis, that there has been a large increase in the density of units in Davis to compensate for the shortfall of housing units.

            As we previously reported, Don Gibson, who chaired the ASUCD Graduate Student Association (GSA) Housing Task Force, wrote last year, “The density of the units in Davis for multi-families has gone from 2.4 to almost 3.”

            That means that in 2000, the average unit had 2.37 (rounded up to 2.4) people per unit and it now has almost 3 people per unit. This is not due to changes in the structure of units, and there have been almost no additional units built in that time – that is due to more students moving into existing housing units.

            That means that while the density in owner-occupied homes is declining, density in rental homes is increasing as more students are packing into the units.

            He said, “Not as many students as I suspected were actually leaving town – they were just having to double-up in rooms.”

            He added, “That’s led to the mini-dorm problem that has garnered a lot of discussion here in town.”

            It appears that SB 828 will now take these factors into account when calculating the housing needs.

            For the purposes of SACOG, “Your adjustment is based on the difference in overcrowding rates between your region and comparable regions. We worked extensively with HCD to identify our comparable regions based on economic metrics.”

            https://www.davisvanguard.org/2019/08/analysis-more-signs-that-housing-requirements-are-about-to-rise/

        2. Bill Marshall

          With all due respect, Don, I’d hope that Rik would answer the questions I posed to him… unless your response was based on knowledge of what he had in mind, when he posted.

          In this case, you come across as an “apologist”… which you are certainly free to do…

    2. Bill Marshall

      Ron G.

      I agree with your 7:17 post… good news… passage of a renewal of Measure R, as written, has not been a STATED goal of the CC… hope it remains that way.

      May be a David Greenwald goal, but he (and others) have recourse with citizen initiative.

      Bring it on!

       

    3. Don Shor

      The council needs to modify Measure R if it is going to place a renewal before the voters. If people want an un-modified renewal they should petition for it themselves.

      I think the council should put two versions of Measure R on the ballot: one modified, and one verbatim version of the current measure. No need to require a petition, just let the voters choose and the top vote-getter prevails.

      1. Bill Marshall

        That leaves out the third option… sunsetting, where it just goes away… by its own terms…

        In your scenario, would want it set up as a 2/3rds vote, for either to pass… could be seen as a ‘de facto’ tax on housing (increased processing costs for a project), and parcel specific taxes require a two/thirds vote…

        It certainly appears you favor some version of Measure R… please be honest and say so, directly… and whether you want to see it “as is”, or what modifications you would propose.  Strengthening or weakening.

        I prefer sunsetting it, as there have always been other remedies, via the referendum process… so far, all of those have failed.  But, if there are good reasons, one could succeed…

        1. Don Shor

          It certainly appears you favor some version of Measure R… please be honest and say so, directly… and whether you want to see it “as is”, or what modifications you would propose. Strengthening or weakening.

          ———-

          Don Shor June 9, 2018 at 9:22 pm
          [Alan Miller:]I also hear over-and-over (by City Council candidates) this idea of “changing” Measure R, yet I never hear HOW. Let’s be real, there is no “change Measure R”, only scrap it and possibly replace it without something else, or don’t.
          —-
          Ok, I’ll give it a try. In the General Plan update, establish an urban limit line for the city. Then put to a vote of the public the annexation of key parcels within that limit. Put to the voters the zoning changes (residential, commercial, mixed use) and the densities. Development proposals to be decided by the council with input from commissions after the land is annexed.

          The developers know what to expect. Those living next to the properties know what to expect. Anything that significantly changes the land use after annexation would require a subsequent re-vote for that project. There is, of course, always the option of a referendum for any proposal. But it would be best to minimize that likelihood by establishing clear basic parameters for the annexed properties.

          First up: the northwest quadrant. I see no particular reason the WDAAC can’t proceed anyway.

          The public does not need to vote on the particulars of a project, nor even really need to have them in hand before making an annexation or rezoning decision. That is what is hamstringing developers and keeping reasonable projects from coming forward. That is likely part of what drove the north Davis business park team up to Woodland.

        2. Bill Marshall

          So, Don, it still seems like you favor some “flavor” of Measure R, and would not favor it ‘dying a natural death’… your quotes indicate you’d be supportive of a change…

          But the words you quoted still call for a vote… of the public.

          I disagree with that.  There are other ‘remedies’.  It is true that faced with a vote of whether to renew R, as is, or modify it, to be less onerous, I’d vote for the proverbial “lesser of two evils”.

          I hope it sunsets, or a third alternative (repeal) be on the same ballot… since the latter will not happen (pointless, as it is due to sunset), I hope it has to pass at least a 60% vote (like a CC vote to approve  project) to renew or modify, preferably a 2/3 vote to do either.

          We can agree to disagree, but that’s my views and will stick to those.

          And, I’m not pro-development… I am pro constitutional law and pro ‘fair process’ (in addition to ‘due process’)…

  3. Alan Miller

    2019-20 Davis Goals:

    Goal 1: Ensure Fiscal Resilience

    Goal 2 – Drive a Diverse and Resilient Economy

    Goal 3 – Pursue Environmental Sustainability

    Goal 4 – Fund, Maintain, and Improve the Infrastructure

    Goal 5 – Ensure a Safe, Healthy, Equitable Community

    Goal 6 – Build and Promote a Vibrant City

    Goal 7 – Foster Excellence in City Services

    Goal 8 – Cultivate Positive Workplace Dynamics

     

    All of this is just Space Fuzz.  Nothing specific – nothing dangerous to politicians.  Like running weather on the national news.

    May I add one?  • Davis supports the humane treatment of kittens and puppies.

    Space Fuzz!

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      In fairness, I would say you’re looking at the equivalent to chapter titles and proclaiming that they are not in sufficient detail or scope. When you drill down a few levels, you get to something more substantial. Still plenty of room for discussion/ disagreement.

      1. Alan Miller

        In fairness, I would say you’re looking at the equivalent to chapter titles and proclaiming that they are not in sufficient detail or scope.

        My bad & my apologies to DV and City Council.  With my morning cup I sometimes have time to read the whole article and sometimes not.  I read the old goals & compared to the new and the new had no specifics but the old did, then stopped and commented — but I hadn’t read down to the detail level at the bottom of the article.  Premature commenting error on my part.

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