Guest Submission: DDBA Town Hall Pits Yes on H against No on H – The Voters Were the Winners!

by Matt Williams

On Wednesday the Davis Downtown Business Association  (DDBA) hosted an hour and 15 minute Town Hall entitled DiSC 2022 (Measure H) Question and Answer Session  The Town Hall was moderated by DDBA Executive Director Brett Maresca and consisted of a nine minute Opening Statement by each side followed by ten (10) questions prepared by DDBA.  There were no prepared answers to any of the questions as neither the Yes team nor the No team had been provided with the questions in advance.  Each side then made a two and a half minute Closing Statement.  The session was videoed and made available to the public.

The Yes on Measure H team consisted of Matt Keasling, NJ Mvando, and DDBA member Nate Yungvanitsait founder and owner of University of Beer.

The No on Measure H team consisted of Juliette Beck, DDBA member Heather Caswell, and Matt Williams.

After a coin toss to determine the presentation order the No on Measure H Opening Statement was presented by Matt Williams.

 

That was followed by theYes on Measure H Opening Statement presented by Matt Keasling

The first question prepared by DDBA was “Project developers said they listened to the concerns of voters after the project’s first failed attempt when it was narrowly defeated at the polls.  Is the new project any different than the 2020 version other than being scaled back?”

Since No had gone first in the Opening Statements, Yes gave the first answer to this question, and then on each subsequent question the teams alternated the order of answers.  Matt Keasling answered for Yes on H and Matt Williams answered for No on H.  Their approximately one minute answers can be viewed  HERE.

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DDBA’s second question was “A major item in the debate is whether the proposed retail component of Disc will help or hurt Downtown businesses. Please provide your viewpoint” Heather Caswell responded first for No on H followed by Nate Yungvanitsait responding for Yes on H.  Their responses to this second question can be viewed  HERE.

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The third question focused on “Do you feel there are specific business sectors throughout the City of Davis that DiSC will help or harm? and Why?”  Nate Yungvanitsait and Matt Keasling shared the Yes on H response and Juliette Beck presented the No on H position.  The videos of their responses can be seen and heard HERE.

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The fourth DDBA question returned the focus to the retail component of the DiSC 2022 proposal, asking “The language of Measure H says the retail uses at DiSC the will be limited and will not compete with the Downtown or Neighborhood Shopping Center businesses.  How will this be analyzed and determined?”  Matt Williams answered for No on H and Matt Keasling answered for Yes on H.  Their answers can be viewed HERE.

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DDBA then drilled down into some of the specifics of the proposed project and asked “Have you heard whether or not DiSC developers and the City of Davis will work collaboratively with the DDBA on enhanced transportation to and from Downtown.  And whether business owners will have a voice in what retail establishments will be allowed at DiSC?”  NJ Mvando responded for Yes on H response followed by Juliette Beck for No on H.  The videos of their responses can be viewed  HERE.

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Question six from DDBA was “One of the major arguments being made against DiSc is that there is a lot of Commercial space available in Davis that research and development companies can use.  How do you view the argument that focus on infill should take priority over new development?” Matt Williams tackled that question for No on H and Matt Keasling answered for Yes on H.  Their responses to this question can be viewed HERE.

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The possible fiscal benefit of the project was the focus of question seven “One of the major arguments being made in support of DiSC is the positive financial impact it will have on the City of Davis, and be a major boom for the economy.  Do you agree with the economic analysis? and Why?”  Nate Yungvanitsait responded first for Yes on H followed by Heather Caswell responding for No on H.  Their responses to this seventh question can be viewed  HERE.

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Question eight shifted the focus back to traffic, asking “How DiSC will affect vehicular traffic especially in East Davis is a hot topic. Downtown Davis is also a popular spot for people who stop along Interstate 80. Will DiSC help alleviate existing traffic issues, create more congestion, or have little or no impact?  and Why?”  The two Matts stepped up to answer that question, Matt Williams for No on H and Matt Keasling for Yes on H.  Their responses can be viewed HERE.

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Housing was the focus of the ninth DDBA question. Is the DiSC project going to alleviate any of Davis’ current housing shortage?  NJ Mvando gave the Yes on H response followed by Juliette Beck for No on H.  The videos of their responses to this housing question can be viewed HERE.

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The final DDBA question was “How would describe the environmental impact of the DiSC project?”  Since this is a major theme of Juliette Beck’s campaign for Yolo County Supervisor, she provided the No on H position while Matt Keasling and NJ Mvando shared the Yes on H response.  The videos of the responses to this final DDBA question can be viewed HERE.

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Each side then gave their Closing Statements.  Nate Yungvanitsait closed for Yes on H

 

And Matt Williams and Juliette Beck shared the No on Measure H closing

It was a well thought-out and well executed and very informative Town Hall.  Both the Yes and the No teams thanked the DDBA for putting the Town Hall on.  It is hoped that the voters find it useful as the June 7th Election Day nears.

Thank you for voting!

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If form any reason the individual links do not work, here is an Index of the whole video
0:00 Event Introduction by DDBA
1:15 Introductions of six participants
5:50 Opening Statement by No on H (Matt Williams)
15:30 Opening Statement by Yes on H (Matt Keasling)
24:30 Questions and Answers
1——  Project developers said they listened to the concerns of voters after the project’s first failed attempt when it was narrowly defeated at the polls.  Is the new project any different than the 2020 version other than being scaled back?
25:40 Yes on H answer (Matt Keasling)
27:00 No on H answer (Matt Williams)
2—— A major item in the debate is whether the proposed retail component of Disc will help or hurt Downtown businesses. Please provide your viewpoint
28:40 No on H answer (Heather Caswell)
29:30 Yes on H answer (Nate Yungvanitsait)
3—— Do you feel there are specific business sectors throughout the City of Davis that DiSC will help or harm? and Why?
30:35 Yes on H answer (Nate Yungvanitsait) 31:50 (Matt Keasling)
32:50 No on H answer (Juliette Beck)
4—— The language of Measure H says the retail uses at DiSC the will be limited and will not compete with the Downtown or Neighborhood Shopping Center businesses.  How will this be analyzed and determined?
35:40 No on H answer (Matt Williams)
37:25 Yes on H answer (Matt Keasling)
5—— Have you heard whether or not DiSC developers and the City of Davis will work collaboratively with the DDBA on enhanced transportation to and from Downtown.  And whether business owners will have a voice in what retail establishments will be allowed at DiSC?
39:00 Yes on H answer (NJ Mvando)
41:05 No on H answer (Juliette Beck)
6—— One of the major arguments being made against DiSc is that there is a lot of Commercial space available in Davis that research and development companies can use.  How do you view the argument that focus on infill should take priority over new development?
43:25 No on H answer (Matt Williams)
45:00 Yes on H answer (Matt Keasling)
7—— One of the major arguments being made in support of DiSC is the positive financial impact it will have on the City of Davis, and be a major boom for the economy.  Do you agree with the economic analysis? and Why?
47:40 Yes on H answer (Nate Yungvanitsait)
49:15 No on H answer (Heather Caswell)
8—— How DiSC will affect vehicular traffic especially in East Davis is a hot topic. Downtown Davis is also a popular spot for people who stop along Interstate 80. Will DiSC help alleviate existing traffic issues, create more congestion, or have little or no impact?  and Why?
50:50 No on H answer (Matt Williams)
53:00 Yes on H answer (Matt Keasling)
9—— Is the DiSC project going to alleviate any of Davis’ current housing shortage?
55:25 Yes on H answer (NJ Mvando)
58:15 No on H answer (Juliette Beck)
10 —— How would describe the environmental impact of the DiSC project?
1:01:50 No on H answer (Juliette Beck)
1:04:10 Yes on H answer (Matt Keasling and NJ Mvando)
1:07:05 Closing Statement by Yes on H (Nate Yungvanitsait)
1:09:50 Closing Statement by No on H (Matt Williams and Juliette Beck)
1:12:40 Event Closing by DDBA

 

 

 

About The Author

Matt Williams has been a resident of Davis/El Macero since 1998. Matt is a past member of the City's Utilities Commission, as well as a former Chair of the Finance and Budget Commission (FBC), former member of the Downtown Plan Advisory Committee (DPAC), former member of the Broadband Advisory Task Force (BATF), as well as Treasurer of Davis Community Network (DCN). He is a past Treasurer of the Senior Citizens of Davis, and past member of the Finance Committee of the Davis Art Center, the Editorial Board of the Davis Vanguard, Yolo County's South Davis General Plan Citizens Advisory Committee, the Davis School District's 7-11 Committee for Nugget Fields, the Yolo County Health Council and the City of Davis Water Advisory Committee and Natural Resources Commission. His undergraduate degree is from Cornell University and his MBA is from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He spent over 30 years planning, developing, delivering and leading bottom-line focused strategies in the management of healthcare practice, healthcare finance, and healthcare technology, as well municipal finance.

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3 Comments

  1. Bill Marshall

    Looks like both sides were going to “the Matt”…

    That said, it is interesting that one of the ‘panelists’ wrote the article… yet, the balanced approach and the cites/sites are greatly appreciated…

    Final “said”, is that early voting is in play… some, like me, have already voted, and the County has acknowledged receipt and ‘processed’ (verifying I am who I said I am, and put in the queue for “counting”… but not “counted yet”) two votes from this household… thus, we won’t be ‘swayed’… many others did that, or dropped off ballots at “drop off” locations, or dropped them off @ a Voters Assistance Center… or, voted in person… I can speak only to the latter two… the Davis VAC, who has had the ‘highest turnout’ of the three VAC’s, have accepted ~ 20 ballots (VBM, and in person) during the first two days of ‘early voting’… we’re open until 8 P, Tues, June 7, and open 10 A – 6 P until then.

    If you don’t vote (assuming you’re eligible) don’t whine about outcomes of the vote… I don’t want to hear it…

    This a plug for ‘voting’, not as ‘how to vote’.

    1. Bill Marshall

      we’re open 7 A until 8 P, Tues, June 7, and open 10 A – 6 P until then

      Whether using VBM, mail / ‘drop off’, or voting in person, please vote.

  2. Ted Daum

    If Measure H passes all of those additional new water hookups will only increase the baseline hard demand for water in Davis. We are being asked, and will soon be compelled, to conserve water due to the unprecedented global warming driven drought that is all but guaranteed to persist into the future. If the City’s water conservation efforts were truly serious and not just meaningless virtue signaling this Measure would not have been added to the ballot by the City Council so soon after the citizens voted it down in the last election. Our water conservation efforts are in effect subsidizing this sprawl and the additional fortunes of the developers. Additional water use, impervious surface, air pollution, light pollution, noise pollution, and traffic do not make for a “sustainable” economy.

     

    Ted Daum
    Davis

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