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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!