No on H Campaign Issues Statement on Judge’s Ruling

Alan Pryor (left) and Nancy Price (right) speaking against the original DISC project before the Planning Commission in 2020

by the Vanguard Staff

On Wednesday, Judge Dan Maguire dismissed the bulk of allegations against the No on H ballot statement filed by Councilmember Dan Carson alleging the arguments to be false or misleading.

On Wednesday evening, the campaign issued a statement expressing relief and gratitude for the ruling.

“The No on DiSC campaign is thrilled that Judge Maguire’s ruling upends Dan Carson’s lawsuit alleging our ballot statement was filled with lies and misinformation. The ruling leaves our ballot argument unchanged but for the suggestion the No on DiSC campaign itself recommended, making clear that, contrary to Councilmember Dan Carson’s allegations, our campaign has been honest and forthright. This is a clear victory for the rights of Davis residents to speak out against a bad project and have their voices heard free of political bullying,” stated No on DiSC campaign officer Alan Pryor.

Pam Gunnell, one of the authors of No on H’s Rebuttal Ballot Argument stated, “I have been an active and involved citizen in Davis for over 25 years and such a lawsuit by a seated member of the city council is unprecedented. The fact that our grassroots campaign was sued has imposed a huge financial burden on us and compromised our ability to campaign against deep-pocketed developers.”

Pryor went on to say “Dan Carson’s own lawyer admitted in court that DiSC is inconsistent with the current general plan so not surprisingly the Judge ruled that the statement that the DiSC 2022 project was ‘still non-compliant with the City of Davis General Plan’ was not to be stricken or amended as requested by Carson. The Judge even validated our opinion that the DiSC project can be seen as inconsistent with several General Plan policies, including a requirement to ‘aggressively work to prevent sprawl on the periphery.’”

Nancy Price, also a signer of the Rebuttal argument, noted, “The Judge also upheld our language about the project’s ‘Unmitigated Greenhouse Gas Emissions’. Furthermore, Judge McGuire completely let stand our statement, ‘The Developer has made almost no binding commitments and has no viable ways to clean up this traffic mess.’”

Alan Pryor went on to say, “I am pleased that the Judge took our suggestion that the phrase, ‘Their only promise is to develop a Traffic Demand Management Plan if the project is approved. But figuring this traffic mess out later is not a plan!’ should be changed by deleting the word ‘only’ and changing ‘Their’ to ‘They’. And the Judge ruled that our recommendation that the use of 54 million pounds to describe the unmitigated greenhouse gas emissions from the project should be changed back to 20,000 metric tons/year as in the project’s Environmental Impact Report should appear in the ballot statement.”

Pam Gunnell further said, “Unfortunately, the relief we feel about Judge McGuire’s favorable ruling is overshadowed by the emotional and financial toll this lawsuit has taken, especially on the constituents Councilmember Carson named as defendants in his lawsuit. The lawsuit is completely unwarranted in the setting of Davis’ democratic tradition, which champions robust public debate. The filing of this cynical lawsuit by a sitting City Councilmember who serves as the Honorary Chair of the Yes on DiSC campaign committee is not at all keeping with ‘the Davis way.’”

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60 Comments

  1. Keith Y Echols

    So the comments in the article are fairly straight forward.  They were right and get to keep most of the wording in the voter document.  Good for the No team for standing their ground.  I’m glad it’s resolved.

    Pam Gunnell further said, “Unfortunately, the relief we feel about Judge McGuire’s favorable ruling is overshadowed by the emotional and financial toll this lawsuit has taken, especially on the constituents Councilmember Carson named as defendants in his lawsuit. The lawsuit is completely unwarranted in the setting of Davis’ democratic tradition, which champions robust public debate.

    This kind of crap irritates me.  Stop whining and trying to get poor little victim points.  “Emotional toll” over a handful of words that was resolved in couple weeks????   The opposing side disagreed with what you said in a voter’s document.  How else are they supposed to compel you to change it?  Say “pretty please” and send flowers to you?  It was a legal matter that was settled legally.  End of story.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Of course, it’s easier for me to be amused, since I wasn’t personally named as a defendant in the lawsuit – unlike others who signed the ballot statement.  (Not sure if Pam was one of those named.)

        Those signers were potentially responsible for legal fees, as well. I’d call that an “emotional toll”.

      2. Keith Y Echols

        Of course, only “one” side has the funds to pursue (or defend against) this type of frivolous action.

        Again, it’s whiney crap.  AGAIN…if I disagree with how you write the facts about something that opposes me.  HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO RESOLVE IT????   IT’S A LEGAL MATTER.

        Or you can irrationally whine about those big bad city leaders and their evil empire developers.

        1. Ron Oertel

          When you’re named in a lawsuit (as a result of your involvement in local politics), and are potentially financially responsible for the result – let us know if that’s not an emotional burden, for you.

          Bonus points if you’re going up against a council member and/or wealthy developers.

          By the way, when do you suppose that Dan Carson will disclose who is paying his legal fees for this challenge? Do you think it’s Dan, himself?

        2. Keith Y Echols

          When you’re named in a lawsuit (as a result of your involvement in local politics), and are potentially financially responsible for the result – let us know if that’s not an emotional burden, for you.

          Over handful of words over a couple weeks…lol….yeah…I’d manage.  I’m a former developer….I’ve been through much worse.   I guess those poor, poor unfortunate souls are scarred for life.  “Named in a lawsuit”….don’t make me laugh.  It’s an administrative thing.

          By the way, when do you suppose that Dan Carson will disclose who is paying his legal fees for this challenge? Do you think it’s Dan, himself?

          It’s irrelevant.  It’s a legal matter.  For all I know or care either side could have called up 1800-lawyers and hired Saul Goodman.

          Once again, I’ll ask you.  HOW ELSE ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO RESOLVE A LEGAL MATTER?  Or are we going to focus on tribalism, a sob story and feel bad for the people that are on your side?  Me?  I’m happy they won and that’s resolved.  But this pity party thing is distasteful.

        3. Ron Oertel

           

          Over handful of words over a couple weeks…lol….yeah…I’d manage.  I’m a former developer….I’ve been through much worse.   I guess those poor, poor unfortunate souls are scarred for life.  “Named in a lawsuit”….don’t make me laugh.  It’s an administrative thing.

          It is not simply an “administrative thing”.  Again, they were personally liable for their own legal costs, and potentially – the opposing side’s costs, as well.

          Maybe not a big deal for you, but certainly for most people.

          And again, I ask “who” is paying for Dan Carson’s legal fees.

          Once again, I’ll ask you.  HOW ELSE ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO RESOLVE A LEGAL MATTER?

          Probably by reaching out, and discussing it with them before launching a lawsuit.  (If it was me, I would have agreed to the two changes that the judge implemented. 

          However, I might have also asked the other side to make some changes to THEIR ballot statements. But, I doubt that they would have agreed to do so.)

          In general – if only one side has money, they are in a better position to use the power of the legal system to intimidate.

        4. Keith Y Echols

          It is not simply an “administrative thing”.  Again, they were personally liable for their own legal costs, and potentially – the opposing side’s costs, as well.

          David says they weren’t personally liable.  But even if they were.  What’s the end result penalty?  A million dollar settlement?  Or some changes of words on a voter’s document?

          And again, I ask “who” is paying for Dan Carson’s legal fees.

          What difference does it make?  It’s either him and/or someone who supports YES on DISC.

          Probably by reaching out, and discussing it with them before launching a lawsuit. 

          Maybe they did that.  Maybe they didn’t.  They (both sides) certainly stated their opposition to the comments in the voters document.   The YES group was adamant that the NO’s statements were false.  NO clearly disagreed. The next step is to let a judge decide.  To do that you file a law suit.

           

        5. Ron Oertel

          David says they weren’t personally liable.

          Again, I recall him saying the opposite, in a recent article.  Others have told me that they were potentially personally-liable, as well.

          But even if they were.  What’s the end result penalty?  A million dollar settlement?  Or some changes of words on a voter’s document?

          There’s two costs.  One is your own attorney fees.  The other is the opponents’ attorney fees, had they lost.  The latter (in particular) could have been a very substantial sum.

          Me:  And again, I ask “who” is paying for Dan Carson’s legal fees.
          You:  What difference does it make?  It’s either him and/or someone who supports YES on DISC.

          Leaving aside the fact that he’s a council member who is supposed to represent everyone, including those opposed to DISC, the “No” side definitely does not have developer money to launch lawsuits.  (Of course, Dan Carson could come out and state who is paying for his lawsuit.)

          Me:  Probably by reaching out, and discussing it with them before launching a lawsuit. 
          You:  Maybe they did that.  Maybe they didn’t.  They (both sides) certainly stated their opposition to the comments in the voters document.   The YES group was adamant that the NO’s statements were false.  NO clearly disagreed. The next step is to let a judge decide.  To do that you file a law suit.

          You asked me what “should have been done”.  I gave you my answer, which wasn’t a lawsuit.  However, as it turns out – Dan Carson lost on most of the issues.  So, would have he been satisfied with the two minor changes that the judge implemented?  (I don’t think so.)

          In fact, the “No” side agreed with one of the two minor changes, and might have agreed to the other – had they been asked.  (But again, perhaps the developer’s ballot statements could have been challenged, as well.)
          Ignore Commenter

        6. Keith Y Echols

          There’s two costs.  One is your own attorney fees.  The other is the opponents’ attorney fees, had they lost.  The latter (in particular) could have been a very substantial sum.

          It’s a legal matter.  It’s going to cost to resolve legally.  No way around it.  Some people/groups have more money than others.  Are only poor people allowed to use the legal system to resolve things?  Life is unfair; get over it.  Or start a No Growth PAC and raise funds for these problems.

          Leaving aside the fact that he’s a council member who is supposed to represent everyone, including those opposed to DISC, the “No” side definitely does not have developer money to launch lawsuits.  (Of course, Dan Carson could come out and state who is paying for his lawsuit.)

          Council members do not represent everyone.  There’s one fallacies of yours we’ve identified. They represent their specific constituents and what is best for Davis overall.  Robb Davis came here last year and stated that about himself.   Yeah, the NO side does not have developer money to overcome a whopping two week disagreement over a handful of words.  

          You asked me what “should have been done”.  I gave you my answer, which wasn’t a lawsuit.  However, as it turns out – Dan Carson lost on most of the issues.  So, would have he been satisfied with the two minor changes that the judge implemented?  (I don’t think so.)
          In fact, the “No” side agreed with one of the two minor changes, and might have agreed to the other – had they been asked.  (But again, perhaps the developer’s ballot statements could have been challenged, as well.)

          Where are you going with all this?  The issue isn’t the measure itself or even the outcome it’s about PROCEDURE.   If the NIMBYs have an issue with the YES group’s (including the developer) statement then they need to talk to them or sue them to get a judge to force them to change it.  THAT’S PROCEDURE.

          I asked you what you would have done.  You said talk to them (you’re assuming/inferring the parties didn’t talk).  But if the opposing party said they wouldn’t make the changes you demanded.  Then what?  Just say…okey dokey…poor silly nimbys….I don’t want to make you feel bad and make you spend on some administrative legal fees even though I think you’re wrong and should change some words?

           

           

        7. Ron Oertel

          It’s a legal matter.  It’s going to cost to resolve legally.  No way around it.  Some people/groups have more money than others.  Are only poor people allowed to use the legal system to resolve things?  Life is unfair; get over it.

          And that’s going to have a chilling effect on any “regular” citizens signing ballot statements.

          Council members do not represent everyone.  There’s one fallacies of yours we’ve identified.

             
          Council members literally represent everyone in the city.  All politicians represent all of their constituents. Normally, they don’t sue the ones they disagree with.

          Yeah, the NO side does not have developer money to overcome a whopping two week disagreement over a handful of words.

          Given that you claim to have experience with lawsuits, it seems strange that you’re not familiar with the financial costs/liabilities.

          You asked me what “should have been done”.  I gave you my answer, which wasn’t a lawsuit.  However, as it turns out – Dan Carson lost on most of the issues.  So, would have he been satisfied with the two minor changes that the judge implemented?  (I don’t think so.)

          In fact, the “No” side agreed with one of the two minor changes, and might have agreed to the other – had they been asked.  (But again, perhaps the developer’s ballot statements could have been challenged, as well.)

          Your “follow-up” question: Where are you going with all this?

          Again, you asked me the question.

          I asked you what you would have done.  You said talk to them (you’re assuming/inferring the parties didn’t talk).  But if the opposing party said they wouldn’t make the changes you demanded.  Then what?  Just say…okey dokey…poor silly nimbys….I don’t want to make you feel bad and make you spend on some administrative legal fees even though I think you’re wrong and should change some words?

          Again, if you can’t see the difference between a council member’s lawsuit (possibly backed up by developer money?), vs. “regular” citizens (in terms of financial liability / personal risk), I don’t know that discussing this any further will help.  But again, we won’t know unless Dan Carson discloses this.

        8. Keith Y Echols

          Again, if you can’t see the difference between a council member’s lawsuit (possibly backed up by developer money), vs. “regular” citizens (in terms of financial liability), I don’t know that discussing this any further will help.  But again, we won’t know unless Dan Carson discloses this.

          It’s a YES vs. NO admirative dispute.  If the NO’s were backed by a billionaire land open land owner….would that make you feel better (to pay for the $1.80 in legal fees….yes, I’m exaggerating).

          Council members literally represent everyone in the city.  All politicians represent all of their constituents. 

          Carson represents District 1….clear on the other side of town from DISC.  As I said, Robb Davis said as much in comments here last year.   Wouldn’t it be in West Davis and North Davis, Central Davis and parts of South Davis if it had more revenue coming into the city?  I’ve said all along that if DISC is to succeed; it’s going to have to convince North, West, Central and parts of South to screw over East Davis.  But then that’s how things usually get done in cities.

          You still haven’t said how you resolve a legal dispute without involving lawyers and a judge.  Your response of just asking the opposing team nicely to make the requested changes seems silly.

        9. Ron Oertel

          Carson represents District 1….clear on the other side of town from DISC.  As I said, Robb Davis said as much in comments here last year.   Wouldn’t it be in West Davis and North Davis, Central Davis and parts of South Davis if it had more revenue coming into the city?  I’ve said all along that if DISC is to succeed; it’s going to have to convince North, West, Central and parts of South to screw over East Davis.  But then that’s how things usually get done in cities.

          There are opponents in District 1, as well.  There’s opponents in all districts.

          Council members represent the entire city, as well.

          But I do agree with your analysis, that development activists attempt to “screw over” (as you put it) one area at a time. And, attempt to create division, that way.

          I would argue that it actually screws over the entire city (in more than one way), but will leave that argument be for now.

          You still haven’t said how you resolve a legal dispute without involving lawyers and a judge.  Your response of just asking the opposing team nicely to make the requested changes seems silly.

          Again, my suggestion was to avoid the lawsuit, by implementing the two minor changes.  But given that Carson was pushing for changes that were not supported by the legal system itself, it seems unlikely that he (or his allies) would have agreed to that suggestion – short of being forced to do so.

          So in that case – you are correct that it was unavoidable.

        10. Keith Y Echols

          There are opponents in District 1, as well.  There’s opponents in all districts.
          Council members represent the entire city, as well.

          Not according to Council members.  Maybe you should reevaluate your understanding of this subject.

          Yes there are opponents of DISC in each district.  But each Council member should act as he/she’s promised to the constituents that voted him in.  In this case economic growth and development (at least in this case in another part of the city).

          But I do agree with your analysis, that development activists attempt to “screw over” (as you put it) one area at a time. And, attempt to create division, that way.

          You’re biased in your analysis of my comment.  It works both ways.  No growthers screw over the rest of the city by strangling economic growth.  Btw. I’m mostly on the fence on this one.  I think DISC is good for the overall city but don’t like the idea of screwing over East Davis (even if they say it’s temporary).

          Again, my suggestion was to avoid the lawsuit.  But given that Carson was pushing for changes that were not supported by the legal system itself, it seems unlikely that he (or his allies) would have pursued that suggestion.

          You’re avoiding answering the question.  Because simply avoiding a lawsuit doesn’t fix the problem.  Once again, what do you do to make the opponents change the wording in the voter documents?  You’re also once again confusing the issue with PROCEDURE.  Carson believed the legal changes he wanted were supported by the legal system.  So he pursued legal action.  He was mostly wrong.  But that doesn’t change the procedure.  Once again, it’s a legal procedure that requires legal action.

        11. Ron Oertel

          Not according to Council members.  Maybe you should reevaluate your understanding of this subject.

          They don’t represent the city, with unique emphasis on their own districts?

          Yes there are opponents of DISC in each district.  But each Council member should act as he/she’s promised to the constituents that voted him in.

          His constituents asked him to sue opponents of a proposal that hadn’t even come forth – in its latest version?

          By the way, did they also ask him to start exploring ways to undermine Measure J (as I recall being discussed on here)? As I recall, he did not “slice-and-dice” Measure J in this manner when running for council.

          But I do agree with your analysis, that development activists attempt to “screw over” (as you put it) one area at a time. And, attempt to create division, that way.

          You’re biased in your analysis of my comment.  It works both ways.  No growthers screw over the rest of the city by strangling economic growth.  Btw. I’m mostly on the fence on this one.  I think DISC is good for the overall city but don’t like the idea of screwing over East Davis (even if they say it’s temporary).

          I look at the fiscal, traffic, and other impacts all of the developments proposed for this area, not just DiSC (e.g., the “other half” of DiSC, Shriner’s, Palomino Place, the space inside of the Mace curve, etc.).  However, DiSC would facilitate the other developments, as well.

          None of this is “temporary”, nor has most of it even been analyzed, much less mitigated.

          Again, my suggestion was to avoid the lawsuit.  But given that Carson was pushing for changes that were not supported by the legal system itself, it seems unlikely that he (or his allies) would have pursued that suggestion.

          You’re avoiding answering the question.  Because simply avoiding a lawsuit doesn’t fix the problem. Once again, what do you do to make the opponents change the wording in the voter documents?  You’re also once again confusing the issue with PROCEDURE.  Carson believed the legal changes he wanted were supported by the legal system.  So he pursued legal action.  He was mostly wrong.  But that doesn’t change the procedure.  Once again, it’s a legal procedure that requires legal action.

          Me?  I would have asked them to make the two changes, as I’ve already stated.  (Those two changes are something I might have suggested even without the lawsuit.)

          However, I also probably would have suggested changes to the proponents’ ballot statements.

        12. Keith Y Echols

          Me?  I would have asked them to make the two changes, as I’ve already stated.  (Those two changes are something I might have suggested even without the lawsuit.)
          However, I also probably would have suggested changes to the proponents’ ballot statements.

          You’re still avoiding/dancing around the question.  What do you do to get changes to the voter doc that the opponent won’t change?   You keep saying you’d ask them…so what.  Ask away.  They can (and will) refuse.  Then what.  After you futilely asked away. What recourse do you have?  And please focus on that this is a procedural question; I’m not asking about the right and wrong or merits of the issue.

        13. Ron Oertel

          I don’t know what you’re asking me, at this point.

          If I was on the development team, I would have asked the opponents to make the (two) changes, one of which they apparently agreed-to already.  And as the recipient of those requests, I would have agreed to it.

          As the recipient, I (also) would have likely asked the “pro” side to make some changes.

          The “anti” side is not the party that initiated the lawsuit.  Maybe you should ask Dan Carson or his allies how this could have been avoided.  (Especially since they’re the ones who aren’t looking too good, at this point.)

          Some may speculate that this whole thing is an attempt to impact the side which has less finances – in which case that’s an entirely different goal.

        14. Keith Y Echols

          I don’t know what you’re asking me, at this point.

          You’re trying way too hard to dance around the question.

          It’s simple.  You want X from the opposition.  The opposition says no.  You believe you’re right about wanting X.  How do you make the opposition give you X?  What procedure do you follow?  You disagree with taking legal action for a legal matter.  So what do you do?

           

        15. Ron Oertel

          I don’t know if they even asked X to make changes.  All I can tell you is that I would have agreed with the two that the judge made – even before reaching the court system.

          I also probably would have asked Y to make some changes. Had they not done so, I still might have agreed to make the two, just to avoid the hassle and expense.

          However, it’s not turning out (legally or politically) how Y would want it to. So, perhaps they’re the ones who made an unwise decision. Unless the goal was to have a disproportionate financial impact (given resource considerations), in which case they might have “won”.

        16. Ron Oertel

          Carson represents District 1….clear on the other side of town from DISC.

          Actually, one of the people named in Carson’s lawsuit is apparently a resident of District 1, and is also a candidate for supervisor (running against Lucas).  (Juliette Beck.)

          In addition, Carson was elected “at large” (city-wide).

          So regardless of how you look at it, Carson did indeed sue one of his own constituents over the wording of the ballot statement. And lost, for the most part.

          https://www.davisite.org/2022/02/local-mom-and-climate-activist-juliette-beck-considers-run-for-yolo-county-supervisor.html

        17. Keith Y Echols

          I don’t know if they even asked X to make changes.  All I can tell you is that I would have agreed with the two that the judge made – even before reaching the court system.
          I also probably would have asked Y to make some changes.

          X are the changes….I used “X” to signify that it doesn’t matter what the changes are; this is a procedural question; since you object to the legal action that was taken.  There is no Y in this scenario.

          How do you know what the judge is going to rule before he/she makes a ruling?

          You (Ron) are assuming the YES team (Dan Carson) didn’t ask the opposition to make any changes.  But regardless of that; the only way to force those changes  is through legal action.  IF ALL YOU DO ASK THE OPPOSITION FOR THE CHANGES; THEY’RE GOING TO SAY NO.  You keep talking about two items that you would have agreed to…what?  It doesn’t matter.  If there are 10 items that make up X and you demand those 10 items because you think you’re right and the opposition is wrong.  Why would you settle for two and avoid taking it to court?

          So again, I ask you how do force the opposition to make those changes you want without legal action?  

          Don’t bother with the useless and pointless conjecture about financial impact.  That’s weak and it shows that you’re stuck on your point of view (that legal action was bad because of those poor little NIMBYs) and don’t want to acknowledge that legal action was the only course to get the desired changes (again….regardless of the outcome).

          1. David Greenwald

            There’s a key point missing here – time. They basically had to evaluate the ballot arguments and file the writ in a week. When they filed it, it was at the statutory limit. And then it had to get on the court calendar, litigated and decided in time to get the ballots printed. This is not a process conducive to settlement. There is a statutory provision for filing the writ, the cure for an inaccurate argument is as we saw – cure and correct. They aren’t entitled to damages or anything like that.

        18. Ron Oertel

          X are the changes….I used “X” to signify that it doesn’t matter what the changes are; this is a procedural question; since you object to the legal action that was taken.  There is no Y in this scenario.

          Ah.  What is the X/Y axis in this scenario?  🙂

          How do you know what the judge is going to rule before he/she makes a ruling?

          I don’t.  But I noticed those two things even before it went before the judge.  I also noticed potential issues in the proponents’ statements.

          You (Ron) are assuming the YES team (Dan Carson) didn’t ask the opposition to make any changes.  But regardless of that; the only way to force those changes  is through legal action.  IF ALL YOU DO ASK THE OPPOSITION FOR THE CHANGES; THEY’RE GOING TO SAY NO.  

          Like I said, I would have agreed to the two, and likely would have asked the other side to make some changes as well.

          You keep talking about two items that you would have agreed to…what?  It doesn’t matter.

          Then why do you keep asking me?

          If there are 10 items that make up X and you demand those 10 items because you think you’re right and the opposition is wrong.  Why would you settle for two and avoid taking it to court?

          Maybe because “two” is all you’ll get, and you’ll look like a jerk (or worse) trying to get more?

          Don’t bother with the useless and pointless conjecture about financial impact.  That’s weak and it shows that you’re stuck on your point of view (that legal action was bad because of those poor little NIMBYs) and don’t want to acknowledge that legal action was the only course to get the desired changes (again….regardless of the outcome).

          I’m not debating the pros/cons of the development itself, here.  You’re the one bringing it up.

          Congratulations to Mr. Carson for getting the word “only” removed, and for changing the format regarding the amount of greenhouse gasses this turkey will create.

          As a side note, do you ever read advertisements for housing, and notice how often they’re described as “turkey” houses? (Or, maybe that’s “turnkey”, not sure.) 🙂

          I’m referring to “pre-owned” houses.

          Don’t get me started regarding the difference between “undeserved” and “underserved”.

        19. Ron Oertel

           

          Like I said, I would have agreed to the two, and likely would have asked the other side to make some changes as well.

          But again, I have a problem with council members being on “one side” in the first place.  Especially if they’re backed up by developers (and are part of the development team, themselves – as an “honorary” member).

          I am somewhat surprised that this is even legal – even while acting outside the scope of official duties.

          Again, these folks are supposed to be representing the city, not suing individual constituents on behalf of a development proposal. And if it turns out that he’s not paying his own legal costs, that’s even worse.

        20. Ron Oertel

          There’s a key point missing here – time. They basically had to evaluate the ballot arguments and file the writ in a week. When they filed it, it was at the statutory limit.

          And, too late for the “other side” to challenge the proponents’ statements after learning about the lawsuit.

          If one were to view the timing in a more cynical manner, one might conclude that this was not an accident.

          Of course, one side seems to have a lot more funds than the other in the first place, which might itself limit the ability to launch frivolous lawsuits.

          And then it had to get on the court calendar, litigated and decided in time to get the ballots printed. This is not a process conducive to settlement.

          Certainly not in the manner handled by Dan Carson. Probably to be expected, when a council member is an “honorary” member of one side.

          There is a statutory provision for filing the writ, the cure for an inaccurate argument is as we saw – cure and correct. They aren’t entitled to damages or anything like that.

          Had one side completely lost, they would have indeed been subject to a claim for legal fees from the opposing side (in addition to their own). I’d call those “damages”. Again, levied against INDIVIDUALS named in the lawsuit. Personally responsible.

    1. David Greenwald

      ” They were right and get to keep most of the wording in the voter document. ”

      They weren’t necessarily right, they just weren’t wrong enough that the judge would be forced to change the language.

      1. Ron Oertel

        And yet, you and Carson claimed that they had violated the law.

        So now, you’re switching back to a political argument.

        But no, this won’t cause anyone to view the actions with cynicism.

    2. Alan Miller

      KYE — Agree on both your points, re:  winning & whining.

      It’s some sort of weird modern paradigm to score points via victim status. I literally don’t get it — except that maybe it makes sense to people who think that way and there are enough of them that it appears to work within the confines of an echo chamber.

      1. Ron Oertel

        “Winning” also entails financial costs. And it’s not $1.80, despite what Keith E. claims in jest.

        And prior to that point, unknown (personal) financial costs – depending upon the outcome.

        This was a lawsuit against INDIVIDUALS who signed the ballot statement. None of whom had anything to gain (financially), by winning.

        Had they lost, they would have been subject to their own legal costs, as WELL AS the other side’s legal costs.

        Pretty frightening, regarding citizen involvement in campaigns. And way to go, council member Carson.

      2. Alan Miller

        I do wish to retract the above, at least 90%.  I was commenting ONLY on KYE’s *first* post and the fact that I thought it was poor strategy to admit that the other side was ‘getting to you’ emotionally.  Better a stiff upper lip and say we are damaged and not deterred.  What I don’t understand is that this tact seems to score points with some internally, but realize this shows weakness externally and scores negative points.

        KYE then goes on in multiple emails to berate the NO side with a sledgehammer, and I want NO part of that.  Cuz I do believe DC is misusing his position, that the developer has the monetary advantage, that this is extremely poor precedent for political discourse in Davis, that Carson’s spin that they won is laughable, that a councilmember suing citizens is unseemly, and overall this stinks to high heaven.

        This behavior is so egregious to me that I have gone from just over the line supporting the project (I liked the bike tunnel getting built, if that was even really guaranteed – still not sure), to opposing the project.

        1. Bill Marshall

          Vote your informed conscience, your ‘gut’, Alan M, come June, and I will do the same, as will other members of the household…

          I may (strongly) think that the JeRkeD measures are not good government, good planning… but it is what it is…

          My vote will reflect my informed beliefs as to the pros/cons of the proposed project… I just hope all voters base their votes as an informed (not coerced/misinformed) electorate… yeah, I know that might be an unachievable plane of existence, but “if a person’s reach does not exceed their grasp, what’s a heaven for?”…

          At the end of the day, I can well live with a Yes, or No decision… I believe that the JRD process is truly ‘jerked off’… I still (perhaps stupidly) hope that the vote is based on informed choice/weighing the merits/implications… the fact is, we have to wait until June to know the outcome, and ‘why’ will probably never be known, but assuredly will be speculated on, by those who “win” or “lose”… good fodder for pundits, blogs…

        2. Darell Dickey

          Thank you for clearing that up, Alan.

          I’ll just say this: It really sucks to be sued. And it is a massive suck of time and money that unfairly tips the scales in the name of JUSTICE! for those with the most time and/or money. I’m not crying about it. But that doesn’t make it suck any less.

        3. Keith Y Echols

          KYE then goes on in multiple emails to berate the NO side with a sledgehammer, and I want NO part of that.  Cuz I do believe DC is misusing his position, that the developer has the monetary advantage, that this is extremely poor precedent for political discourse in Davis, that Carson’s spin that they won is laughable, that a councilmember suing citizens is unseemly, and overall this stinks to high heaven.

          See this is why I have little faith in direct democracy.  It never fails that the hoi polloi will misunderstand or have little comprehension of political, legal and administrative matters.  The simple folk vote with their emotions.  This is good.  That is bad.  This person good.  That person bad.  Policy wonks go on on on about this and that but at the end of the day it”: this good.  That bad.  So in this case, the simple person’s understanding of the situation is that those big bad developers and that city council guy did bad to the poor little NIMBYS.  The evil councilman and developers must be bad and are trying to muscle their way with money (it’s a feel good for the little guy narrative).  Nevermind that there’s no other way than legal action for one side can force the other side to make change to the voting document.  Oooh!…what would have been the horrible penalty for losing more of the case. GASP….having to change some words.  My heart would have bled for the poor NIMBYs!

          Everyone thinks everyone else is part of the simple folks, the hoi polloi.  We’re all part of it.

          One of these days, I’m going to run for City Council under some of the comments I’ve made here:

          The unwashed masses shouldn’t be directly involved in the local government.
          The more I talk to people, the more I believe everyone’s vote shouldn’t count the same.
          The people of Davis think too much of themselves.
          No students aren’t pollution.  PEOPLE are pollution.
          Life’s not fair.  Get over it.

          Now pipe down and vote for me.

        4. Ron Oertel

          Everyone thinks everyone else is part of the simple folks, the hoi polloi.  We’re all part of it.

          The unwashed masses shouldn’t be directly involved in the local government.

          The more I talk to people, the more I believe everyone’s vote shouldn’t count the same.

          The people of Davis think too much of themselves.

          No students aren’t pollution.  PEOPLE are pollution.

          Life’s not fair.  Get over it.

          Now pipe down and vote for me.

          As are the elected officials you refer to (until they obviously become land use experts as soon as they win a spot on the council).  🙂

          Or, if you’d prefer some actual, specific subject-matter experts – perhaps the Mace Mess is a good example of the results.

          Or, maybe changing it back is within the realm of the elected experts on the council, again. The same group that pursued SACOG funds to create the situation in the first place. The same group that is ordering ladder trucks, etc. The same group that doesn’t seem to know what a budget is – throughout California, for that matter.

          poor little NIMBYS.

          Peripheral sprawl is not really a NIMBY issue.

           

           

        5. Ron Oertel

          It wouldn’t matter, as you probably have the “student vote” all locked-up anyway.  (The group you called a “pestilence”, as I recall.)  🙂

          I suspect that the College Democrats have burned your likeness in effigy a million times over, by now. Either that, or they use that effigy to continue recruiting more members.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Good decision – thanks.

        Again, I’d ask why you (now) seem to believe that the defendants had no (personal) liability regarding their own legal costs, as well as the other side’s cost (had they lost).

        This is not a level playing field, in terms of resources.  (I would retract that observation, if it turns out that Dan Carson is paying for his own legal costs.  But I suspect that’s not the case.)

      1. Ron Oertel

        Yeap – it’s easy when you’re not personally named in a lawsuit, to laugh at it.

        I’ve had a good chuckle myself, at the result. For that matter, I didn’t even sweat it prior to that result. But, I do appreciate those who were willing to personally lay it on the line. I admire them, as they have a level of bravery that few others are willing to put forth on behalf of the city.

        But I don’t think I’d sign a ballot statement anywhere or anytime, after this. Or, maybe I’d seek “prior approval” from a council member and/or his developer allies, before doing so. (And of course, would raise no objections to their ballot statements.)

        1. Bill Marshall

          Were you named in the suit?  Your comment,

          Yeap – it’s easy when you’re not personally named in a lawsuit, to laugh at it.

          misses two crucial elements… the lawsuit was not, what you assert I was ‘laughing at”…

          You missed who I point my derision to…

  2. wesleysagewalker

    No on H’s ballot statement was ruled by a Yolo County Superior Court judge to be “verifiably false” and “misleading.” Furthermore, the judge only withheld striking their claim of “Unmitigated Greenhouse Gas Emissions” due to its brevity noting that the opponents’ discussion of the Environmental Impact Report after this heading lent credence to this being a false assertion that the project contains no greenhouse gas emission mitigation measures.

    The reality is that this is the first Davis ballot statement in the history of Measure J/R/D that was declared to be verifiably false and misleading. A judge decided it was appropriate to intervene in modifying and striking sections of the No on H ballot statement despite the very high level of protection afforded to political speech. This is not something that happens in the normal course of campaigning and goes to show just how extreme and misleading the claims the No on H team is making. To claim that this ruling is a victory strikes me as a bit hollow given the extraordinary nature of the judge’s ruling that their language is “verifiably false” and “misleading.”

    The fact is that DiSC must achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. The head of the Yolano Sierra Club has personally commended the sustainability commitments DiSC has made with respect to its built environment and has said that it will likely be the most sustainably built project of its type in the state of California if not the nation. Independent professional traffic engineers’s modeling of the project’s robust transportation infrastructure improvements show improvements to traffic coming as a result of DiSC. Independent professional economic consultants show significant economic benefits to the City of Davis, Yolo County, DJUSD, and the Davis and regional economy. The No on H campaign’s assertions to the contrary are not grounded in objective analysis.

    1. Alan Pryor

      The head of the Yolano Sierra Club has personally commended the sustainability commitments DiSC has made with respect to its built environment and has said that it will likely be the most sustainably built project of its type in the state of California if not the nation.

      Here we go again,  Wesley – You are clearly trying to desperately spin the facts by only selectively reporting information. As we noted in our Statement above, the Judge required only two minor changes in our entire ballot statement but let stand all the statements themselves. How you and Carson can spin that into a victory is beyond the pale. But it is consistent with the dishonest approach you personally have taken throughout the campaign.

      And let’s be further honest here, Wesley, in terms of the incentives that you personally are receiving to front for the campaign. You are an employee of the consulting firm hired by the Yes campaign. I question your  objectivity in the matter when you are paid so highly to be fronting for the campaign. I am paid NOTHING for my work on the No campaign. Will you disclose how many tens of thousands of dollars that you personally will receive due to the enormously large Yes campaign piggyback? Until you honestly disclose how much money is in this for you, excuse me if I take from you with a large does of salt.

      I also take personal offense at your mischaracterization above of our conversations about the GHG emissions when the Sierra Club Yolano Group met with the Yes on H side during deliberations on whether or not to take a position on Measure H. Yes, as chair of the Sierra Club Yolano Group,  I did say (as I have always done so) that the Yes side has many sustainable features in the built environement. BUT, I also made VERY clear and unmistakeable that the DiSC project’s achilles heel was that 78% of the project’s GHG emissions were traffic related and that the Developer had would not commit to ANY verifiable traffic reduction levels.

      Cherry-picking one part of the discussions with the Sierra Club Yolano Group during the endorsment review process that might prove favorable to you while glossing over many other substantive parts of our interview that were otherwise quite unfavorable does not reflect well on your personal integrity.

      With respect to your suggestion that the project will achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, you only have to look at the statement in our Ballot Argument that was left after amending by the judge,

      From the Ballot Argument Against the Measure

      Yet alarmingly, the Environmental Impact Report states DiSC is projected to produce 20,000 metric tons/year of new greenhouse gases annually – largely from vehicle emissions. DiSC alone will increase the City’s carbon footprint by almost 5%, completely derailing the City’s ability to meet its carbon-neutral goal by 2040.

      And we additionally provided more context in our unchallenged Rebuttal to the Argument For the Measure,

      Deceptive GreenWashing
      The Developer asserts the project will use 100% renewable energy, but this will probably be required for every new California project by the time DiSC is built. Meanwhile 12,000 additional car trips/day will produce 78% of DiSC’s greenhouse gases. To “offset“ these emissions, the Developer can purchase inexpensive offsite carbon credits that do nothing to actually reduce pollution!

      We can make this statement because the City’s own internal documents showed that the City admitted that many of the mitigations measure suggested by DiSC may never even materialize because they are economically unviable or technologically unfeasible.

    2. Darell Dickey

      >> No on H’s ballot statement was ruled by a Yolo County Superior Court judge to be “verifiably false” and “misleading. <<

      Boy, that takes some moxy! Of course what you have written here is verifiably false and misleading. While I may be impressed with the nerve it took to write that in public, I’m still dismayed at your intent to mislead.

      The NO on H ballot statement consists of many words. Hundreds of them! And this “verifiably false” wording in the ruling is due to a single word: “only.” Because the developer indeed promised more than only one thing. The No campaign offered to remove the word only.  That was accepted to make the sentence accurate. The single other change required by the ruling was in measurement units for the pollution that the project is expected to generate. The Troy weight initially used was found to be unintentionally “misleading” (not inaccurate, not false, but unintentionally misleading) because Troy weight is less common than metric tons. The No campaign offered to change the unit to Metric tons.

      The “ruling” from the Superior Court is that the No on H ballot statement is appropriate after the agreeable elimination of one word, and the conversion of units for pollution data.

      You and I have never met, and I know literally nothing about you beyond what you have written here. And to make the choice to write that first sentence that serves to willfully mischaracterize the court’s ruling says far more about the YES on H campaign than it does about the NO statement in question.

  3. Bill Marshall

    Again, if you can’t see the difference between a council member’s lawsuit (possibly backed up by developer money?), vs. “regular” citizens (in terms of financial liability / personal risk), I don’t know that discussing this any further will help.  But again, we won’t know unless Dan Carson discloses this.

    First bolded one borders on passive-aggressive, libelous/slanderous innuendo… typical… cleverly with enough waffle words to avoid a lawsuit for slander/libel… almost accountant/auditor-like… “I wonder”…

    Second one… if a CC member accepts ‘developer money’, for ANY purpose, it will likely show up in their Form 700 submittal Form 700 (ca.gov)

    Which, for 2022, needs to be done/submitted by April 1, 2023… that’s factual, not spurious, trolling, spaghetti throwing, P-A, etc.

    Wah-wah-wah…

    1. Ron Oertel

      .Terrific – we’ll wait for it to show up, then.

      Personally, I have doubts as to an individual (other than someone with a direct financial interest in the development) being willing to pay for such a lawsuit in this case.  I don’t see anything “passive-aggressive, libelous, or “slanderous” regarding expressing that opinion.

    2. Ron Oertel

      But in the meantime, anyone who knows the answer is certainly free to provide that information, now. At which point you wouldn’t hear me expressing any further doubt.

  4. Bill Marshall

    Kudos to Keith O, who came closest… as to comments (paraphrasing)

    Final score:
    Ron O….21 (actually, 23 of 47 as to # of posts, today, this thread…)

    With some ‘support’, despite

    ModeratorMarch 31, 2022 at 9:49 am
    Five comment rule is in effect. Please monitor your own comment count.

    But ‘cooler heads’ prevailed…

    Ron Oertel March 31, 2022 at 9:59 am
    Fine, moderator – but your system is cutting off comments during the editing period.
    Ignore Commenter

    ReplyReport comment ↓

    David Greenwald March 31, 2022 at 10:43 am
    I think as long as the discussion remains civil, we can relax that today
    Ignore Commenter

    ReplyReport comment ↓

    Ron OertelMarch 31, 2022 at 10:49 am
    Good decision – thanks.
    and,

    Keith Olson March 31, 2022 at 10:49 am
    Thank you, it should be relaxed everyday as long as the discussion remains civil.

     

    Whatever floats folks boats… meant as a civil comment…

  5. Jim Frame

    By the way, when do you suppose that Dan Carson will disclose who is paying his legal fees for this challenge? Do you think it’s Dan, himself?

    I kind of doubt it.  I spoke with an attorney today who pegged the cost of litigating this at about $40k per side.

     

    1. Ron Oertel

      Yikes!

      That’s the real impact of this, in regard to the side that has much less money.

      Hopefully, those funds won’t be coming out of the personal pockets of anyone named as a defendant.

      1. Darell Dickey

        When freedoms cost money and one side has million$ against another side that has thousand$… do we really have freedom? One side can and did just financially squash the other. THAT was the real (only) win as far as I can tell. And it just makes me sad.

    2. Darell Dickey

      That’s a reasonable guess. And it doesn’t take into account the court’s time (judge, reporter, staff, use of property, etc) volunteer time to prepare and show up. So just for grins, let’s use a round number of $100,000 for this lawsuit.

      If the YES side calls this a win…. and what they won at this enormous cost was removal of the word “only” and change of units used for pollution reporting… I do NOT want these same people making fiscally-responsible decisions for me or my beloved town.

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