Council to Name Partida Mayor Effective July 1

When the City of Davis agreed to transition to district elections starting in November 2020, it had not decided what to do about the mayor.  Under the current system, while the council formally chooses the mayor, it has deferred to the top vote-getter from the previous election.

However, the changes to the voting system renders that old system moot.  In addition to changing the system from at-large to district, the council has moved back the term from a primary in March or June to the general election in November.

Writes staff, “The extension of the Council terms from March to November warrants consideration of the timing of Mayor transition between the current Mayor and Mayor Pro-tempore.”

After considerable discussion, “Mayor Lee and Mayor Pro-tempore Partida are recommending a transition of the Mayor role to Councilmember Partida effective July 1, 2020 for a two-year term.”

Staff writes, “This ensures that Councilmember Partida fulfills a full two-year term as Mayor as required under current City ordinance.”

Following that term by Mayor Partida, the selection of mayor would switch “to a process where those roles are decided directly by the City Council.”  There would also potentially be a vice mayor.

The council would then give direction to transition the council to directly select the mayor.  Staff notes: “This transition in Mayor selection procedure is necessary as the district election process precludes the City from having an equitable single highest ‘vote-getter.’”

Mayor Lee and Mayor Pro-Tem Partida are recommending that, in June 2022, the council select a mayor and vice mayor for a short period effective July 1, 2022 to November 2022.

Staff writes, “This would allow an opportunity for another member of the then City Council body to serve in the Mayor capacity.”

The council would also at that time give consideration “as to whether or not there is a desire to have a position of Vice Mayor.”

The vice mayor would function as a vice chair, serving to fill in as mayor and preside over meetings during absences of the mayor.

The council could create it so that the vice mayor is “the presumptive next Mayor” which would be “subject to ratification by the City Council.”

Staff writes: “Often, Vice Mayors do become the next Mayor, but there is nothing to preclude the City Council from providing full flexibility in assigning these roles. The existence of a Vice Mayor can provide for continuity and ease of identifying who will fill the Mayor role in those instances of the Mayor being absent (planned or otherwise).”

Council would need an ordinance in place by June 2020 to implement this.

Traditionally, the mayor has served for a two-year term under the at-large city council election system. However, staff notes that under the district election system the city council will decide the duration of nayor terms, and one-year terms are not uncommon among cities.

This is up to the discretion of council.

—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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18 Comments

  1. Alan Miller

    At the City Council meeting where they decided on the new location for the respite center, only the councilmember who represents future District 3 mentioned that the neighborhood should be brought into the conversation.  At the open house for the respite center, only the councilmember representing the future District 3 was present.  Coincidence, or the new Davis Way?   We may be looking at a future of FIVE DAVIS’s, divieded against each other, we fall.  Thanks, Rexroad!

  2. Ron Glick

    The sooner he better. Good riddance to Mayor Lee,  who once proclaimed, that he wouldn’t be swayed by public speakers or emails in opposition to what he believed then folded like a cheap shirt on the very issue at hand because of the overwhelming opposition to what he was trying to do..

    Adios’ Mayor Lee, who consistently throughout his term, has worked to truncate public comment by unilaterally limiting it to two minutes while he passive aggressively claimed he didn’t enjoy cutting people off as if he had no control over the time limitation he had put in place.

    Davis needs leadership that wants to hear what the people of Davis think not one who thinks he knows what is best for the people he is supposed to serve. I hope the new Mayor actually wants to listen to the citizens of Davis unlike the current one who in my opinion has done the worst job as mayor of anyone I can remember.

     

    1. Alan Miller

      RG, I never knew you were such an avid anti-Lee.  Sound like you don’t want him as not mayor, but more like are ready to start a recall.  I don’t know the issue you are burning about nor hold such contempt.

      I will, however, much agree with you on the two-minute time limit.  A previously un-named mayor did the same thing after awhile in their term.  I think council-members must get burned-out and tire of listening to their constituency at some point.  Soon, they’ll only be listening to speakers in their districts, so expect a lot of laptop reading while you are standing at the podium.

      But seriously, folks. The two minutes is too little.  2-1/2 would be fine.  It’s hard enough for us vets, but I really feel bad for first time speakers there on an issue important to them, and they’ve barely collected their thoughts and get cut off.  Boo.

    2. Tia Will

      Ron

      That is interesting. First, you accuse Mayor Lee of folding like a “cheap shirt” to public opinion. Then you accuse him of “not wanting to listen to the people of Davis”. I am truly confused just what you are accusing the mayor of since these are diametrically opposed accusations.

  3. Don Shor

    Many thanks to Brett Lee for his service as mayor. He has been very thoughtful, civil, and fair.

    I appreciate his apparently unflappable nature in the face of constant criticism. This council, like the last few, has made great strides on getting rental housing planned and approved, and has also tackled tough issues that seem intractable. It must be very challenging to be a public official in this community, where everyone wants to talk issues to death.

    Best wishes to Gloria Partida as she takes over the gavel. I think she’ll represent Davis very well.

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    1. John Hobbs

      ” It must be very challenging to be a public official in this community, where everyone wants to talk issues to death.”

      Amen. I have long wondered why anyone would want the job. It seems nothing gets the Davis electorate riled up like real action on issues.

  4. Ron Glick

    “That is interesting. First, you accuse Mayor Lee of folding like a ‘cheap shirt’ to public opinion. Then you accuse him of ‘not wanting to listen to the people of Davis’”.

    Let me fill in the blanks. After Mayor Lee shocked the crowd with his end of the public hearing on parking meters statement about not being swayed by speakers or emails he was condemned by many in the community. Bob Dunning spent most of a column on the conflict between leading your constituents and listening to them in response to  Lee’s remarks.

    The second issue of him folding on parking wasn’t because of the public speakers or the emails. It was because of the overwhelming opposition  from all corners of the community that had the entire city council reeling. He led on the issue but he didn’t have the 3 votes needed to pass it so he backed down rather than force a vote he would lose.

    They still voted to put parking meters into the parking lots. It was a decision that contradicted the argument Lee made in an op-ed he wrote about people who park closer should expect to pay more but I never believed his argument was anything more than a cover for monetizing parking  so I wasn’t surprised.

    By the way the current public works budget is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars this fiscal year to plan for the parking meters to go into the lots. They are likely waiting until after the election to put them in because they know how unpopular its going to be.

    Of course the next council will have the opportunity to do the right thing and not install them.

    1. Alan Miller

      Ok.  Well, the final decision on parking went against everything the council was trying to achieve and encourages circling, so yeah on that, RG.  Do you have a link to the Dunning article you refer to?

  5. Ron Glick

    “RG, I never knew you were such an avid anti-Lee.  Sound like you don’t want him as not mayor, but more like are ready to start a recall.  I don’t know the issue you are burning about nor hold such contempt.”

    Its mostly about his contempt for the public weighing in. I have policy differences but its not really about that. In my opinion someone who says they won’t be swayed by public speakers and emails and then reduces the time people are allowed to speak obviously thinks he knows better than the people he was elected to serve and isn’t really interested in hearing from them. Its unfathomable to me that such a person would want to be on the CC in the first place because its so out of character with culture of the community. I get that listening to the public can grow tiresome but its part of the job. If you don’t want to do it that’s fine but then don’t run for CC because being elected means you have to suffer your constituents.

    1. Alan Miller

      I get that listening to the public can grow tiresome but its part of the job.

      Yes it is.  That 2-minute limit serves the Council much more than the citizens.

      1. Bill Marshall

        I hope you are not advocating for the equivalent of a Public Comment ‘filibuster’… used to be a 3-minute rule, 5, if speaking on behalf of a group (who basically gave their time)… public comments may be made, in writing (e- or other), verbally before the meeting, etc.

        I like the 3-5 minute protocol.  People should be ‘focused’ (and, succinct)… on a contentious issue (lots of speakers), thinking 2 (individual) to 5 (group)… I like that unlike BOS and others, we do not have to fill out “comment cards” in order to be recognized… suggest being happy for what we have.

        There have been many who seem to seek not just access to the CC, but like to hear their voice on TV/internet (I hate hearing replays of my voice!).  Or, have other ‘issues’ (think Joe S)…

        There are many ways of communicating views to the CC… most (all written/e-mails) part of the public record… open-ended pubic comment timelines is NOT in the best interest of the City/community…

  6. Bill Marshall

    BTW… when Gloria was elected, assumption was she would be Mayor, July 1… kudos to the CC for fulfilling that reasonable expectation…

    Her term as mayor should be extended, to conform with the new ‘reality’ of November CC elections…

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