The Official Davis College Democrats City Council Candidates Questionnaire, 2008
Welcome to the official Davis College Democrats (DCD) questionnaire for all five Democratic Davis City Council candidates in 2008. Here's a little background and info for all of you not so familiar with the current race:
There are currently five sitting members on the Davis City Council (by last name): Ruth Asmundson (mayor pro-tem), Sue Greenwald (mayor), Lamar Heystek, Don Saylor, and Stephen Souza, all Democrats. Councilmembers are elected at large (by the whole city) to four-year terms, with no term limits. There is a city council election every two years, with three spots open one election (2008), then two spots open (2010), then three again (2012), etc. This year, three spots are open for contention on the council, currently held by Sue Greenwald, Don Saylor, and Stephen Souza, who are all running for re-election. Councilmembers Heystek and Asmundson's seats are safe until the 2010 election. In addition, there are three challengers, Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald (no relation to Sue Greenwald) and Sydney Vergis, both Democrats, along with Rob Roy, a Green. Whoever gets the most votes in this election will serve as the Mayor pro-tem for two years (2008-2010), then as Mayor for the next two (2010-2012). The current Mayor pro-tem, Councilmember Asmundson, will serve as Mayor from 2008-2010. The city council election will be held on June 3, 2008 along with primary elections for state assembly and other ballot initiatives.
The Davis College Democrats felt the need to put themselves into the fray this year by endorsing two, possibly three city council candidates. DCD feels that getting involved in local elections was important, and giving endorsements and club coordinated campaigning in the month of May for the endorsed candidates might ultimately help to swing the election in their favor. DCD also feels it is important that students take a more active role in the community most of them live in, and giving endorsements while backing it up with a potential army of grassroots activists will help to send a clear message to the community that student issues really do matter in the City of Davis.
According to the endorsement procedures of the DCD club constitution outlined in Article 8, section B, DCD is sending out a club-approved questionnaire to all five Democratic City Council candidates. The questions focus mainly on student issues, ranging from growth of housing to a tenants bill of rights. After DCD has given what it considers a reasonable amount of time for the candidates to get back to them, they will evaluate the candidates' responses and use them to help decide who to endorse. DCD will also base its endorsements off of the results of the DCD-sponsored city council candidates forum which will be held somewhere in Wellman Hall, April 23, at 7 PM. Stay tuned to the club blog, facebook, and/or the Aggie for more details on the forum! DCD will update this page with answers to the questionnaire and will check in regularly to make sure people are not tampering with the questions and answers.
Concerning Rob Roy, as he is a member of the Green Party, and the DCD club constitution forbids the club from endorsing "non-Democrats for any position" (Article 8. Section A), DCD will not be sending Rob Roy a questionnaire nor will it be able to endorse him as a candidate. However, the questions will be publicly available on this wiki for all to see and edit, and he is welcome to respond to DCD's questions on the page, preferably under the Daviswiki screenname RobRoy.
UPDATE (4/13): DCD will vote on endorsements for both city council and state assembly in the evening of April 30th. We respectfully request that officials acting on behalf of their campaigns decline to attend the endorsement meeting.
(Note: most of the stuff you see above was written by Brandon Key, an active member of DCD)
Ladies and gentlemen, here are the questions:
Disclaimer: Some of the candidates feel that they did not answer some of these questions to the best of their ability when they first responded to these questions and may contact DCD in the future with revised answers. For the interest of space, if the revised answers to not backtrack on an earlier response they gave, the new response will simply be pasted over the old response. Of course, on Daviswiki, you can click on the info button at the top and check out what was written before.
- What do you feel is an ideal growth rate in Davis?
- "The ideal growth rate is one that meets the housing needs of our community. One of the main goals of the Smart Growth movement is to provide a range of housing choices. We need new homes that are both affordable and accessible to all of our citizens. Growth management can work to ensure that our character is maintained and still ensure that we provide our regional fair share of affordable work force housing. The essence of growth management is to minimize costs and maximize benefits to individuals and to the community as a whole. Our community must be able to provide housing for our teachers, firefighters and other city staff. Anybody who works in Davis should be able to live in Davis. We can create new housing in Davis by building at about 1% of our housing stock yearly in redevelopment, densification, and some small periphery growth on non-prime ag land. We can take our fair share of growth that is internally generated by the University and others who fall in love with our way of life, like me and my wife, and want to stay here. This minimal and smart growth will not degrade our high standard of living if we continue to approve only those projects that meet our high standards." Stephen Souza
- "Rather than define a fixed growth rate, we need to determine our long-term needs for the future of the community. The City has met our Regional Housing Needs Allocation (our ‘share’ of the region’s growth as mandated by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG)) through the year 2013. Now is the time to start thinking about what kind of housing and services we want to provide our existing residents, and where it should be placed. Our General Plan, which is our main land use policy document, will be updated over the course of the next four years. I believe that this election must be about the city’s guiding policy document and who has the land use and community consensus building experience to lead in the successful implementation of a vision that is representative of our community values. This is the background and experience I offer the community as a Senior Land Use Planner. The Housing Element, as developed by the 2013 General Plan/Housing Update Steering Committee, is the best place to start. This group of 15 community members ranged significantly in ideas and visions- and yet came together to rank best locations and densities for new housing development. I sat in on about half a dozen Committee meetings and was impressed by both the process and product- This, and the City’s Housing Needs Assessment form a solid foundation for a community discussion about our future." Sydney Vergis
- "The one percent growth guideline sounds like a small amount of growth. However, it is the equivalent of a development larger than Covell Village spread over a period of five years. I oppose the 1% growth guideline as too high. For me, the ideal growth rate is less about a number and more about a vision for this community—how do we preserve open space, agricultural land, avoid sprawl developments while at the same time providing for our housing needs? We need to focus less on the numbers and more on what types of housing projects we want to preserve the character of Davis." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
- "I am comfortable using a 1% annual growth parameter as a cap for our housing planning until we have updated the housing needs assessment and implemented the next General Plan. So often, discussions of growth in Davis become polarized at the outset. On the one hand looms the spector of sprawling development and its many damaging impacts; on the other hand are equally serious concerns about affordability and availability of housing for specific populations, such as for UCD students. To bridge this deep gap in perspectives we need to engage each other in a discussion of the underlying interests and our shared vision of what constitutes quality of life for all of us in the Davis community. Davis is a university community with great schools and a commitment to open space, environmental stewardship and preserving our agricultural heritage. It is a great place for families to call home, for children to grow up, for seniors to live active, healthy lives and for all of us to live, work and study. I believe that the quality of life in Davis hinges on that balanced vision. Clearly, we need serious discussions about the legitimate need for responsible planning to address housing affordability and the specific housing needs of UC Davis students, seniors, and working families. We are currently experiencing some very challenging circumstances. Our community is reeling from the impacts of declining K-12 enrollments leading to school closure and program reductions. Apartment vacancy rates are once again lower than 1% and more and more UC Davis students than ever before are compelled to live in neighboring towns rather than in Davis due to price and availability. The percentage of Davis residents who commute to work on bicycles has declined as the percentage who drive from Davis to work in neighboring towns has risen. Many senior citizens have told me that they would like to stay in Davis and move into smaller homes but there is no place for them to move. Approximately 40% of Davis households experienced some level of excessive housing costs in 2000, with renter households experiencing a disproportionate share of housing affordability problems. In 2006, monthly rental rates for one- and two-bedroom apartment units averaged between $867 and $1,112 per month. These rates are not affordable to the very low and low income households likely to be interested in such units. Very few for sale units exist within Davis for households earning less than $100,000 per year. In 2003, the Council adopted a 1% adopted growth parameter based on a Housing Needs Assessment that showed that somewhere between 275 and 375 additional housing units per year would be required between 2003 and 2010 to meet “internally generated” housing needs. The objective of establishing this parameter was at the outset to limit the rate of growth to a very slow measure by any definition and yet set that rate based on some measure of actual internal housing needs. That maximum rate of 1 % translated to about 250-275 housing units per year. In 2005, this 1% annual growth parameter was ratified by the Council as a cap for consideration of numerous pending proposals for housing then before the City. Certain types of housing, including affordable multi-family housing, were excluded from this cap. Planners estimated that these exemptions might add up to 75 units in some years, bringing the maximum to 325 in years when the entire allowable units were constructed and an affordable multi-family project moved forward. In 2008, the Council again discussed and reestablished the 1% parameter as a cap for the period up to 2013. Once again, we have numerous competing projects proposing to address some element of housing needs in Davis and once again we have a strong, shared community interest in metering out growth slowly. Recently, the Council received the report from our Housing Element Steering Committee that ranked potential housing sites in and around the City based on some overarching goals drawn mostly from the General Plan. We have asked the Planning Commission to advise us on how to apply the growth parameter to this listing of potential sites and we will need to assess the actual feasibility of these sites. I am comfortable using a 1% parameter as a cap for our planning for housing over the next few years and do not anticipate we will actually experience even that growth. We need to update the underlying assumptions for such things as the expected research park job growth that has not occurred. Nevertheless, this is a reasonable parameter to guide our actions. While substantial amounts of analysis, discussion, and community consideration has gone into the topic of annual growth rates, caps, targets and parameters over the past few years, very little actual new housing has been added to our community. In 2006 only 104 building permits were issued and in 2007 only 44 permits were issued. Given the current array of pending projects, it is unlikely that we will actually experience 1% annual growth in the number of housing units for several years, making much of this discussion mostly philosophical rather than practical." Don Saylor
- "I think we should have a project based, rather than a numbers-based, approached to housing. Our new peripheral subdivisions have tended to attract an increasing number of commuters. While many of my friends, and half of my campaign steering committee are commuters, this trend, if it continues, will make Davis a less University-oriented town. I favor focusing on projects that are particularly innovative, and that fill special Davis needs. To give you my favorite example, we have a tremendously exciting opportunity to bring a high-density, transit oriented development to the underused 27 acre PG&E site at L street between 5th and 2nd. Twenty-five acres is large –it is the size of our entire commercial core downtown. This site is walking distance to downtown and Amtrak. This project would make downtown housing available that I think would be particularly attractive to young people starting out. PG&E is interested. This project IS feasible, and if the council majority wanted it. Condominiums and apartments near downtown are environmentally sound. We have very few ownership possibilities near downtown now; a project like this would add substantially. It would provide housing more housing options, and would help provide business for our downtown merchants, restaurants and theaters. The condominiums that are owner-occupied would help to provide the business these merchants need during summer and holidays when classes are not in session, thus adding to the vitality of downtown." Sue Greenwald
- High housing, rental prices, and a less than 1% vacancy rate cause 8,000 UC Davis students to live outside of the City of Davis. How will you work to create affordable housing in Davis?
- "I helped create one the nation's most stringent requirements for affordable housing in all new projects built in Davis. I will continue to emphasize the need for more affordable housing in all new projects proposed to the City. But affordability rates are not the root of the problem. The University simply must provide more housing on campus for students. I will continue to work with UC Davis to revise UC Davis / City agreement to develop plans, procedures and priorities that will ensure the development of maximum student housing on campus. The West Village is a step in the right direction, but recent increases in the student population will still leave us with a huge shortage of housing supply for students. It is imperative that every student who wants to live in Davis can afford to live in Davis. Our carbon footprint is affected by those students who commute here from outlying communities on a daily basis. We should be looking at housing new students on properties like the Nishii property that is adjacent to campus. The Solano Park complex should be updated for energy efficiency and densified. The University has the best availability to create affordable units because they take out the highest portion of the cost of an apartment unit: the land value." Stephen Souza
- "Davis has one of the most ambitious affordable housing ordinances in the state. Additionally, new rental projects must meet low/moderate income housing requirements- 25% of all new rental projects with 5 to 19 total units, and 35% of new rental projects with 20 or more units are required to be affordable. By capitalizing and applying good long term land use planning principles to existing infill sites (of which Davis has over 200- acres), we can optimize the use of existing resources to provide for our needs. One example of a potential site for new, affordable, well placed, density housing is the Nishi property, located between highway 80 and the Mondovi Center. Assuming vehicle access though UCD only, we could create housing opportunities with good bike/walk transportation options to downtown Davis and the University. Additionally, the University’s energy efficient West Village project will add 1,400 housing units to the existing stock. However, the increasing amount of student and work commuters in and out of the City necessitate that we, as a community need to begin a conversation about the environmental and economic impacts that our ‘no growth’ land use decisions and policies have created." Sydney Vergis
- "We have to start with the understanding that UC Davis provides fewer students with on-campus housing than nearly every UC in the system. As councilmember I will work with the university to provide, good on-campus housing for students, to collaborate on projects to provide faculty and staff with good affordable places to live with their families. By providing more affordable and high quality housing for students on campus, we can free up some of the single family homes in town to provide more families with in-town options. Finally, we need to look at good infill development with small units that working people can afford." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
"It is time to call for a collaborative joint planning effort between UCD leadership and stakeholders and the Planning Commission and City Council. Currently, about 6500 or 24% of the approximately 27,000 Davis-based UCD students reside in housing provided on campus. The remaining 20,000 students live off campus in Davis and surrounding communities. The proportion of students living outside the Davis community has grown in recent years, largely because of the lack of affordable and available housing. The UCD Long Range Development Plan calls for Davis-based enrollment to grow by 3000 from 27,000 to 30,000 by 2015 and provides 4300 additional student spaces above the numbers shown above. By the end of the LRDP planning period, about 10483 Davis Based students or 36% of the total enrollment of 30,000 will be accommodated on campus under current plans — however, the LRDP states this is contingent upon the availability of funds. West Village and the other campus housing elements in the LRDP will accommodate the LRDP enrollment growth and reduce the amount of off-campus housing needed. A recent letter from the Chancellor indicates that UCD projects Davis based enrollment to grow further to 32,350 by 2020. The scope of the LRDP does not does not provide any solutions for this new enrollment growth projection. The City of Davis and the University share responsibility to address this need. It is time to work far more closely together than we have over the past two years. The absence of reasonably priced housing options in our community has created significant challenges for UCD students, families with children, people who work in Davis and seniors who would like to remain in Davis. I believe that it is irresponsible and environmentally unconscionable to fail to provide opportunities for housing for UCD students in the community where they study. As I described above, the Council commissioned a review of all potential housing sites in and around Davis. I see the findings of the Housing Element Steering Committee as a building block for a comprehensive and proactive plan to address targeted housing needs. Contained within the report is a set of overarching goals such as compact urban form, preservation of agricultural land, locating housing near centers of work and study and/or on transit routes, and other criteria that make sense to me and capture our community mindset. The next step in the process will be to assess the true feasibility of the sites and establish a proactive action plan to address each of the targeted housing needs. I think the most promising prospects to address student housing near the campus are:
- West Village. Located west of Highway 113 and south of Russell Blvd. This project includes 3000 spaces for students in dormitory and apartment settings. This site is in the works and expected to begin occupancy by 2009-10.
- Additional LRDP housing. In addition to West Village, the LRDP calls for another 1300 student living spaces not yet built. This includes 500 units planned for the Tercero first year dormitory and another 800 spaces in the core of the campus.
- Additional student housing on campus. West Village and other LRDP housing additions appears to address the majority of the additional needs of student enrollment increase during the Long Range Development Planning period, it does not address the existing student housing needs or the newly anticipated needs ofr projected enrollment growth between 2015 and 2020. There is a need for the University and City to discuss additional student housing on campus.
CITY/COUNTY HOUSING SITES
- Nishi Site. Located south of the Mondavi Center, between Interstate 80 and the railroad. This is a very promising site for student housing and other UCD affiliated housing due to proximity to the campus and downtown. This location could accommodate high density apartments, group living houses, dormitories and other housing types. The Nishi site could provide housing for well over a thousand students. This site requires a Measure J vote if annexed to the City of Davis. Access issues from Olive Drive and/or from the UCD I-80 interchange need considerable discussion and analyses. While this site is very promising, it is likely to be several years out.
- Infill sites along bus routes. Several of the infill sites identified in the recent rankings of potential housing sites are located along bus routes or streets where bus routes could easily accommodate bus routes. Most of these sites are currently zoned non-residential. I support more active consideration of zoning changes for commercial sites adjacent to the southern side if I-80 for residential areas that would be suitable for student apartments. Some of these sites could move ahead very quickly — within a few years.
- Second units and other small additions. There are a number of small sites and potential increases in use that could add some housing stock attractive for some students.
- Relief from other housing additions. Part of the problem with availability of housing for students is the competition for housing throughout the Davis market. To a greater or lesser degree, any change in the availability of housing will ripple through the market. If a neighborhood designed with the idea of providing a down sizing community opportunity for seniors is constructed, some of the residents will move from other homes in Davis and those homes will become available on the market. If affordable work force housing is made available, some people currently renting apartments or houses may relocate. Both of these scenarios would provide some level of relief in the housing market students face." Don Saylor
- "First, I think it is easy to underestimate the effect that the planned UC dorms will have on the apartment demand. It will help tremendously. Secondly, to the extent that apartments can be built on campus, they will remain more affordable, because they won’t be market rate. Third, the University obviously has more land close to campus than the City does. That said, when we had a crisis in student housing in my first term, I took the lead in pushing through and fast-tracking the large Cantrell Avenue complex, even though the project was not ideal, because we had a student housing crisis. I asked for more apartments for the failed Covell Village project, but did not have a council majority to get the student housing included." Sue Greenwald
- Do you believe there should be separate policies relative to group housing such as differences between Greek and Cooperative housing?
- "Any organization that adheres to the seven defining principles of a cooperative (Voluntary and Open Membership, Democratic Member Control, Member Economic Participation, Autonomy and Independence, Education, Training and Information, Co-operation among Co-operatives, Concern for Community) should be subject same housing policies and regulations. Policies that discriminate between different types of student organizations should not be allowed. But, all of these organizations and housing groups must be respectful and mindful of the neighborhood settings in which they reside." Stephen Souza
- "I am against discrimination in all forms." Sydney Vergis
- "I would have to look more into this issue; however, I believe that all housing should be fair and equal to all parties involved and not treat one group in a discriminatory fashion from another group." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
- "I am disappointed that the current LRDP plans do not include additional congregate housing sites on campus. Group housing experiences can enrichen the college experience and allow participants to form life long relationships. This is one of the topics that should be addressed in discussions between UCD and City stakeholders. The current city growth parameter of 1% includes an exemption for affordable housing and multi-family projects as well as unique projects that address specific city goals. It appears possible that a well planned congregate housing project that is compatible with its surrounding uses may qualify for such consideration. It is essential that we balance the interests of all concerned in considering any change to existing neighborhoods. Currently there are no such projects pending for consideration for location within the city to my knowledge. Greek and cooperative housing projects are often viewed with fear by neighbors. If there is an actual interest by the campus or student groups in pursuing additional projects, we should work on a policy framework and examine the sites in our rankings for consideration for such facilities. I am familiar with the Cal Aggie House project and worked hard to balance the objectives and design of that project with neighborhood concerns. In the end, I supported this project through to completion with a number of modifications in response to neighborhood concerns. I believe that in time this project will be well received by all concerned." Don Saylor
- "I would have to go back and review the current policies and give this some thought." Sue Greenwald
- Do you support the tenant bill of rights as proposed by Lamar Heystek? See attachment
- "YES" Stephen Souza
- "As a long-time Davis renter, I am becoming increasingly concerned that information regarding the extensive rights that are in place under existing law, are not well understood. The results of the February 2008 ASUCD Housing Day survey (715 student responders!) indicated that 90% of the responders received generally acceptable responses from management on tenant issues, BUT nearly 2/3 of the responders were interested in gaining knowledge of existing renter’s rights and responsibilities. The proposed tenant bill of rights is another indicator to me that we need to do more in the way of renter and landlord education. Many components of the attachment are already included in the existing Davis Model Lease or established in existing renter’s rights law. The Model Lease’s history started 30 years ago, where a diverse group of stakeholders including ASUCD and property owners came together to create this Model Lease- it has not been updated in 10 years. I think that components of Councilmember Heystek’s draft bill of rights would be good starting points for an overdue update of the Model Lease. Additionally, I would like efforts focused toward City/ASUCD/GSM/landlord co-operation to improve our annual Housing Day and provide information relating to existing renter’s rights and resources. 55% of the households in the City of Davis are renter households- it is important that the City and University work collaboratively to ensure that we are providing information about renter rights." Sydney Vergis Note: Sydney also answered the question below on the Davis Model Lease in her response to this question
- "Like Lamar Heystek, I have been a longtime renter in the city of Davis and many of the issues that renters face, I have faced personally. If elected I hope to work with Lamar Heystek in forging a renter’s bill of rights. It is vital for students to be able to know that they will get the kinds of service from the management, predictable late fees and returns on deposits. We have what is essentially a seller’s market, which leaves many students not only in need of affordable housing, but leaves them vulnerable to the better informed management. One of the big advances this year has been the right for renters to display political signs. This was a crucial victory for students and renters alike." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
- "Of course, I support the rights of tenants. The majority of housing units in Davis are rental housing occupied by students and other residents. Over the past year, I witnessed my daughter, a student at another campus, struggle through some very unreasonable demands form a rental property owner. For starters, I believe that all renters are entitled to fair treatment, freedom of speech, clean and safe living areas, reasonable responsiveness on repair requests, and protection from rental price gouging and arbitrary denials of security deposits. Over the 12 years I have served in elected office, I have found that making policy decisions without active consideration of all the stakeholders usually results in unbalanced solutions that often need to be revisited. It is essential that we find the right balance between meeting the needs and rights of renters as well as taking the needs of rental property owners into account. In this instance, it appears that the bulk of the provisions in the attachment are already in place under current state law or City of Davis ordinance, are included in the Davis Model Lease, or are recited verbatim from the Resident’s Bill of Rights adopted by the California Apartment Association (CAA). There are some differences in the provisions of these various documents and consolidating the provsions in a single package makes sense. My approach to the specific language attached will be to refer it to the Rental Housing Subcommittee of the City/Student Liaison Commission for discussion and recommendation. I am open to considering this language and want to hear the dialogue and debate that comes out of the Commission process in order to make a reasoned final decision. Finally, it appears that there is a need for increased awareness by both renters and property owners of rights and responsibilities of both stakeholders. In addition to reviewing the consolidated package of language, I would like the City/Student Liaison Commission Rental Housing Subcommitte to work with ASUCD and rental property owners to develop a training program for both renters and property owners." Don Saylor
- "Yes." Sue Greenwald
- What is your position on the current Davis Model Lease? And what changes or improvements would you suggest?
"There are two provisions in the DML that should be changed to provide for a fairer and equitable lease.
1) All security deposits should bear interest while resting with the property owner. That interest rate should be linked to a standardized federal lending rate, minus minimal accounting fees.
2) A fairer accounting of the property's condition prior to occupancy is necessary. A standardized walk-thru checklist and photographic evidence should be instituted.
3) Subletting should be allowed in order to fulfill the renter’s contract, so that renters are not forced to pay for housing they can not occupy." Stephen Souza
- Sydney Vergis answered this question as part of her response to the "Tenant Bill of Rights" question above.
- "As I stated above, my position on the Model Lease is that we should look at the rights of renters and the responsibilities of landlords and apartment managers. Too often buildings are left in poor condition and disrepair. Too often students have no predictable means to recover their security deposit and little recourse if the management should withhold it. Late fees are often imposed when the inconvenience to management is minor." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
- "The Davis Model Lease was last revised in 1994. It was an outstanding example of rental tenants, students, ASUCD, property owners, and the City collaborating to develop a template agreement that strives to be fair to both tenants and owners. The Model Lease and process used to develop it are an example that many other cities can follow and provides for additional tenant rights above most typical rental leases. Use of the Model Lease is voluntary for property owners. It is essential that we find the right balance between meeting the needs and rights of renters as well as taking the needs of rental property owners into account. The City/UCD Student Liaison Commission has a Rental Housing Subcommittee currently working on analyzing renters issues and developing a plan of action to address identified issues. I expect that among the issues to be revisited will be:
- Extent of current use and ways of expanding participation by property owners:
- Updates in legal provisions:
- Payment and calculation of security deposit interest rates;
- Timing of lease renewals; and
- Improved education and rental housing days.
I plan to pay attention to the recommendations of the City/UCD Student Liaison Commission Rental Housing Subcommittee with regards to renters issues and suggestions for improvement to the Davis Model Lease." Don Saylor
- "I would have to review it, but I remember liking it when I read it." Sue Greenwald
- Do you believe that students and faculty living on campus, including the West Village expansion, should have the ability to vote in city elections?
- "Yes, ultimately it is in the best interests of both the City and residents on campus being enfranchised. In order to enfranchise all voters, the sharing of taxes and services on these campus lands must be distributed in a manner that allows for fiscal neutrality between the City of Davis, Yolo County and the University." Stephen Souza
- "The University is currently considered part of the County, and thus those living on-campus can vote in County elections. Until the University decides to relinquish land use control over its dormitories to the City, and request to be annexed into the City, living on-campus is much like other communities that currently are established on the periphery of the city limits. In the meantime, this group and other politically active groups have the unique opportunity to team to provide voter registration information to freshman leaving the dorms to live within the City limits, to ensure civic engagement. Increasing local involvement amongst young voters is something that I feel particularly passionate about, and am working towards as the Chair of the Yolo County Young Democrats." Sydney Vergis
- "For the most part this is not a city decision. However, the city does have the power to annex West Village which would make the residents of West Village eligible to vote. I fully favor annexing West Village for many reasons including the enfranchisement of students. As a councilmember, I would be open to looking to development new on-campus housing in locations that could be annexed by the city." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
- "The presence of UC Davis is the essence of this community. I feel strongly that students and others associated with the UCD are vital members of the Davis community. I applaud the efforts of the UC Davis College Democrats and the ASUCD in voter registration and voter contacts in recent elections at the local, state and national levels. Students and faculty living within the City of Davis are eligible to vote in city elections and comprise a substantial proportion of eligible voters in Davis. This large group of eligible voters has long lent a strong campus voice to local elections and could be even more effective through the ongoing efforts of student groups. Individuals living outside the City Limits are legally precluded from voting in city elections. The campus of the University of California at Davis is outside the City Limits of Davis. In addition to the campus, there are several areas close to the City of Davis where members of our broader community reside. These areas include El Macero, North Davis Meadows, Binning Tract, Willowbank. Residents in these areas, as well as the campus, are clearly a part of the life of our community. Nevertheless, they are not eligible to vote in city elections by virtue of living outside the City Limits. Consideration of annexation of West Village or any other portion of the UC Davis campus involves the University, Yolo County, and the Yolo County Local Area Formation Commission. I do not favor annexing any area for the sole purpose of extending the franchise to vote in city elections to persons residing outside the city limits. Any annexation decision must consider at least:
- Responsibility for services such as police, fire, road maintenance, water and waste water, and other municipal services;
- Cost for provision of these services;
- Revenues from property tax or other sources that would support the services;
- Land use planning authority; and
- Governance issues, such as voting rights.
In the case of West Village, the UCD is positioned to provide all basic municipal services and has made all land use decisions to date (with some input from Davis residents). Previous fiscal analyses of annexation options for West Village have shown that annexation shifts costs for service to the City without the necessary revenues to support those costs. I would only support annexation of West Village if the service arrangements and financial framework are reasonable and do not impose a substantial added financial burden on existing residents within the City of Davis. Moreover, I would expect that any annexation of a housing project would involve specific agreements about mitigation of the immediate and comprehensive impacts that development would have on the existing community." Don Saylor
- "The only way that those who live on campus can vote in City elections is if they are annexed the City. I took the lead on having West Village annexed. I tried for over a year obtain a clear council statement supporting annexation. After failing a number of times, I asked the City Manager to put the question annexation on the agenda. The City Manager kept saying that the “subcommittee” (Saylor and Asmundson) wasn’t ready, that “staff” wasn’t ready. Finally, I placed annexation on the agenda as an item submitted by councilmember. I have always favored annexation of the entire campus, but that is not as likely to occur as annexation of West Village. UC Davis is one of very few U.C. or California State Universities that is not within the jurisdiction of its host city." Sue Greenwald
- How can the City of Davis better promote a positive relationship with the university and its students?
- "Students must be better informed of the venues and mechanisms that are in place for them to voice their concerns, questions, and suggestions. We need to continue the relationship that has been developed with the City/UCD Student Liaison Commission and use that forum as a sounding board and public forum for any student/university issues that need to be resolved. We must also plan activities that can be promoted and enjoyed by the two partners." Stephen Souza
- "Understanding that the University and the City have the same constituency is a good first step. The second is continuing to work together on programs such as the formalized Commissions like the City-UCD Student Liaison Commission, expansion of the Unitrans system which is a model for University/City/School District cooperation, and continuing to strengthen the existing “Good Neighbor Initiative” (endorsed by the City, UC Davis, and ASUCD), designed to improve relations between student and community members through Block Parties that gave neighbors a change to get to know each other and share information regarding pertinent City regulations." Sydney Vergis
- "As councilmember, I will look to form a variety of partnerships with university. This would be formed to deal with issues of mutual interest. Too often, the relationship between the city and the university and the city and the students has been filled with distrust, acrimony, and tension. We need to move beyond that. Students who live in Davis or who live on campus but frequent the establishments in Davis, are a vital part of our community. We already have a number of commissions, such as the UCD-City of Davis commission - that I chaired as a student - that serve to foster those ties. However, it is important to create voting positions on a variety of commission that serve the students. We need to engage students in vital input but also work with students to implement those policies that affect them." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
- "The City and University collaborate to offer students and other Davis residents will opportunities to build positive relationships. The goal we strive for is an engaged community where everyone feels safe and connected and we can all make good things happen. I plan to continue my direct, personal support and involvement in the excellent community-building programs we have developed in Davis, including:
- Safe Party Initiative – Spearheaded by the UCD Cowel Student Health Center, this collaboration between ASUCD, the two police departments, and other agencies seeks to promote safer party advice to students. As a founding member of the Campus/Community Alcohol and Other Durg Coalition, I have worked since 2001 on this effort.
- Davis Neighbor Night Out – This award winning example of “town/gown” relations started in 2006, with a pilot project in Oeste Manor Neighborhood. I was instrumental in planning that first event and even used my City Council stipend to pay for the cost of a band. The band performed on a flat bed truck trailer I borrowed from a local business. Now the Davis Neighbors Night Out is an event that takes place in local neighborhoods throughout Davis on a Saturday in October. Local block parties are hosted by neighborhoods to get families, students, seniors and other residents to meet, mingle and have fun. The 2008 event is tentatively scheduled for October 5, 2008.
- Entertainment Partnership – A terrific collaboration between the City of Davis and ASUCD. Promotes entertainment options in the City for UCD students. On May 8, 2008 we will present the third annual Entertainment Partnership Free Concert in Central Park. I am a founding and continuing member of this Committee started by Caliph Assagai and nurtured by Darnell Holloway and Kareem Salem.
- ASUCD Police Student Relations Commission – The commission brings students and both police departments together to discuss issues of mutual concern and to strengthen relationships. As a Council Liaison to the City/Student Liaison Commission, I particiapted in the work of the predecessor committee and in the formative discussions regarding this Commission.
- Principles of One Community – An effort initiated by a student, Steven Lee, to highlight the commitment all entities in Davis with one another. I agree wholeheartedly with the Principles of One Community to sustain a united and mutually respectful community.
- Personal relationships – As a Council Liaison to the City/Student Liaison Commission from 2004-06, I made it a point to establish and maintain personal contacts with student leaders. I continue to make that a part of my service." Don Saylor
- "I think we have done a lot of work this recently, with the neighbors’ night, the police ombudsman, the principles of one community. The ASUCD leadership has been particularly effective and proactive recently. I don’t have any particularly creative ideas at this point in time, but I am always on the lookout for them." Sue Greenwald
- How will you ensure that downtown Davis continues to meet the needs of students including safe entertainment options?
- "The City must work with business organizations to attract more entertainment venues like clubs, live theatre and live music spaces in the downtown area. An 18 year old and over club is a missing component of our downtown entertainment scene that must be filled to lessen the predominance of house parties. I will continue to work with the Business & Economic Development Commission, the Davis Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Business Association to fill these needs. I will encourage staff to work with the ASUCD Entertainment Council to book more events at under-used city venues like the 3rd & B Teen Center and the Veteran's Memorial Theatre. There are also several exciting opportunities for the construction of an outdoor amphitheatre to host world class entertainment. We should also encourage existing business owners to open up their rooftop terraces for more social spaces downtown." Stephen Souza
- "First, we must ensure that our downtown core remains a vital place for eating, drinking, shopping and other forms of entertainment. This can be enhanced by making sure we continue to provide good access to the downtown area by bike, walking, and transit services. I will also look for ways to encourage students to use the services downtown. I would like to see the City, Chamber, and ASUCD work together to expand the current on-campus meal plan to not only be able to be used at participating food vendors in Davis, but be able to be used at all Davis businesses. The more students that frequent the Downtown, the more financial incentive a range of businesses have to locate downtown." Sydney Vergis
- "One of my areas of focus as councilmember will be a strong and vibrant downtown. Right now, the downtown is under utilized as a place for good and safe later night entertainment options. Businesses close down at 9 pm too frequently and thus fail to take advantage of a student population that is looking for food and entertainment later into the night. When I was an undergraduate there were few options for late night study in town and I tended to spend time at Lyons. Unfortunately, Lyons is no longer in Davis and the number of options is limited." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
- "Downtown Davis is a vibrant destination with restaraunts, coffee houses, clubs and shops. Downtown merchants provide high quality service and products in a friendly and relaxed setting. Overall, despite the loss of one large restaurant, I am very pleased with the progress we have made over the past four years downtown and in addressing entertainment and shopping options for young adults downtown and throughout Davis. Moreover I am excited about the road ahead for more entertainment and shopping possibilities. Over the past four years, we have:
- Established a City/ASUCD Entertainment Partnership with a series of free concerts in Central Park. I was a founding member of that Partnership along with Caliph Assagai, Darnell Holloway and Kareem Salem. The third annual concert is scheduled for May 8, 2008.
- Completed Bistro 33 and added a very popular venue for students and other community members for poetry, trivia nights and other nightlife as well as dining out.
- Purchased the Varsity Theater and partnered with a private business to open an independent movie house.
- Transitioned from Tower Records to Dimple Records. Added yogurt shops, Burgers and Brew, Pita Pit to downtown.
- Improved the corridor along 3rd Street.
- Conducted welcoming celebrations downtown for returning students at the beginning of fall quarter for the past three years.
- Added retail in the Second Street Crossing project so students who have previously shopped outside Davis will have another option in Davis.
Over the next four years I am committed to continuing to enhance our virbant downtown, strengthen Davis as a destination, bolster the economic spinoffs from UCD, and complete the retail activites we have underway. Some of the actions we have on the horizon:
- Strengthen the Entertainment Partnership and enhance other musci venues in downtown.
- Implement the downtown/campus shuttle – UDASH.
- Conduct a comprehensive review of downtown parking issues and provide additional parking.
- Add a redevelopment project with a new parking structure and additional ground level retail.
- Bring additional music venues into downtown.
- Make better use of the Tank House / Hunt Boyer sites.
- Pursue a redevelopment project at the block bounded by 3rd/4th/E and F Streets, including additional parking, retail and other businesses.
- Complete the retail expansions at Second Street Crossing and the Alhambra Shopping Center.
- Reenergize the two struggling neighborhood shopping centers, possibly with the designation of “green business zones”." Don Saylor
- No answer from Sue Greenwald yet, but we might hear back from her shortly on this
- Would you support the protection and expansion of family planning resources in the city?
- "YES. We are lucky to be in Yolo County which does an excellent job of providing family planning resources to our citizens. Yolo County and Planned Parenthood's support of CommuniCare is a great benefit. The City of Davis currently supports CommuniCare with Community Development Block Grant money in the amount of $28,000 per year. I look forward to continuing this support with pass-thru money from federal grants. I hope that in the very near future, we will see an increase in funding from the federal government for family planning resources." Stephen Souza
- "Yes- I would also support and encourage student & related community groups getting involved in sharing more information about the resources that Davis currently has, including the Davis Community Clinic, which includes family planning services, a Teen clinic, and anonymous HIV testing." Sydney Vergis
- "I am a strong proponent of family planning resources and would like to hear from students and others about the current needs and current services provided. I am also proud to say that I have received the endorsement of Campus NOW and 100% rating of supporting Pro-Choice issues and initiatives by Planned Parenthood Mar Monte." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
- "Yes. Family planning services are an essential public health component." Don Saylor
- "Yes, definitely." Sue Greenwald
- A living wage was just discussed at a recent city council meeting. How do you feel we should best implement a living wage and how much should it be?
- "YES. I support a living wage ordinance in the City of Davis for all municipal contracts with vendors that is based upon the lowest amount paid to our city employees ($13.08/hour). We have already given staff direction to draft an ordinance and return to the Council for further direction." Stephen Souza
- "I would support the City analyzing it’s ability to support implementing a ‘living wage,’ such that those working for the City as contract staff are paid in accordance with City staff wages. I am concerned that a focus on implementing a living wage on all local businesses that employ more than 50 employees, will lead to increased costs for basic services and/or will lead to the loss of jobs and result in a correlated decrease of services and diversity in this City, due to the increased ‘cost of doing business.’ One of the most important things I learned in my undergraduate Economics courses at UCD was that careful examination of the unintended consequences of government mandated economic policies must be undertaken place prior to implementation." Sydney Vergis
- "I am a strong advocate of an expanded living wage. The city of Davis has agreed to look into a living wage for all city employees that would be $13.08 per hour. In addition, I was strongly in favor of Lamar Heystek’s initial proposal for a city-wide living wage for large employers. I think that is the right direction to go. We talk about affordable housing often, but rarely talk about wages. Right now, the lowest paid workers cannot even afford to live in the affordable housing projects in Davis. $13.08 would be just enough to do that. That is a huge problem and one that I think we need to address. Many of the food service workers who I supported becoming university employees, cannot afford to live in town because they do not make enough money, even if we had more affordable housing. We need to ensure that people working in this city make enough to be able to work in this city." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
- "The Davis City Council is currently considering a living wage requirement for employees of contractors doing business with the City. I recently supported and voted to require that there be a minimum hourly wage consistent with the City of Sacramento living wage rate of $10.33. We extended three contracts (landscaping and custodial) for six months with this requirement and directed our staff to further analyze the structure of a living wage ordinance for contractors with the intention to adopt such an ordinance and rebid the contracts by December 31, 2008. In addition, as part of this discussion I asked and the Council agreed to direct staff to reexamine the rationale for contracting rather than having services performed by city employees for landscaping and custodial work. I also asked that we see an analysis of the reasons for contracting in each instance we currently do this. It seems to me that this is the central question. The definition of living wage is still a moving target for us as we sort through the policy issues. I have had brief discussions with researchers at the UC Berkeley Labor Center regarding the options, costs, and implications of various approaches to living wage ordinances. As the Council moves forward with consideration of living wage for city contract workers, I want to be sure we include the cost of health insurance coverage in the calculation. Any consideration of expansion of living wage rules beyond city contracts will need to consider the size of the employers and the ability of the businesses to support the cost. I am also interested in consideration of the impacts and implications of living wage rules on part time workers, many of whom are UC Davis and Davis High School students." Don Saylor
- "Councilmember Lamar Heystek and myself were the only two councilmembers to vote to immediately implement a living wage of $13.11 per hour immediately." Sue Greenwald
- How will you address homelessness in Davis?
- "I will continue to support the programs that have been established in Davis and Yolo County to help the homeless such as Davis Community Meals-Cold Weather Shelter, Davis Community Meals-Shelter & Resource Center, Food Bank of Yolo County, Yolo County Homeless Coordination- Cold Weather Shelter, STEAC and the Yolo County Homeless and Poverty Action Coalition." Stephen Souza
- "The last US Census accounted for 120 homeless persons living in Davis. The City currently contains a range of resources for the homeless including non-profit shelters (Davis Community Meals cold shelter and transitional housing), community voicemail, free Unitrans passes for seniors and disabled persons (no ID needed), and food (free sack lunches from the Davis Community Church, and vegetarian meals through Food Not Bombs). The best thing that we, as a community can do, is continue to provide information relating to the extensive resources currently available in the City." Sydney Vergis
- "I worked as Director of the Sacramento Housing Alliance which worked to create affordable housing for homeless people and others in Sacramento. We need to make a concerted effort to work with the county to provide the types of services and shelters needed to not only be able to house the homeless, but to help the homeless become productive members of our society." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
- "The issues of homelessness are huge and require resources and approaches beyond what any single community can deploy. I am committed on a personal and policy level to addressing issues of homelessness in Davis. On a personal level, my wife and I have made sandwiches for the rotating cold weather shelter and in the January 2008 poower outage I visited the homeless shelter to be sure they had electricity or backup. From a policy perspective, I have participated in a County-wide task force on homeless issues and supported increased resources in Davis and other cities in Yolo County. I will continue to pursue these options both as a Councilmember and a resident of Davis who is involved with numerous service organizations. There is a homeless population of about 110-130 in Davis. Every two years, we conduct a new count using a rubric and process established by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. The counts have varied form 121 in 2003 to 86 in 2007. The count includes homeless living on the streets and homeless living in shelters, transitional housing, and domestic violence shelters. The homeless population in Davis is comprised largely of people who are a part of our community for an extended period of time. Those who work closely with the homeless in Davis estimate that about 50-60% of the individuals and families they work with are from Davis. Many are from other places but have been in Davis for more than 1 year. Transient clients from out of the area are generally only in Davis for brief periods of time. There are many existing programs available in Davis, including:
The Council has taken several actions over the past four years in this area:
- Opened a cold weather shelter in Davis operated by Davis Community Meals when the Yolo County shelter located in Woodland was unavailable. We evaluated that operation and maintained the Davis cold weather shelter each of the past three years, even expanded the days of operation for the weather conditions.
- Approved zoning requests to permit an interfaith rotating ermergency shelter to accommodate additional homeless persons in excess of the capacity of the DCM shelter.
- Sponsored the Yolo County Homeless Summit in 2006.
- Provided a portion of our annual Community Development Block Grant funds to the County homeless shelter and coordination.
- Approved the construction of Cesar Chavez Plaza, on Olive Drive. This project has provided to approximately 20 individuals who had been homeless or living in shelters of some kind or nature. It has provided affordable housing to many with fixed incomes such as SSI. The supportive services aspect should provide many with needed resources to help keep them self sufficient and housed. However, we still have gaps in services for homeless families with children. In Yolo county, there are a variety of housing programs for homeless families, including Wayfarers Center and Broderick Christian Center. We generally do not see families with children living on the streets. Individuals in our homeless population have a myriad of needs. They have a high incidence of mental health and substance abuse issues and there is a paucity of services available to deal with these issues. We need to continue to work on this issue as resources permit and enage with Yolo County and non-profit agencies to continually improve our safety net. We especially need:
- Affordable and accessible mental health services and in-patient substance abuse treatment programs. basic housing for those with extremely low and very low incomes.
- Job opportunities, especially those that would have some flexibility with drug conviction issues and some criminal backgrounds.
- Programs targeted to a younger population (18-25), sometimes referred to as transitional aged youth, many from foster care but not all.
- More emergency shelter beds (although the rotating shelter helped tremendously in Davis)
- Day warming centers for weather emergencies.
- Sensitive handling of intergroup conflicts between homeless population and other residents to assure safety of all concerned and to assure that public spaces can be comfortably used by everybody." Don Saylor
- "I have always been in favor of increasing section 8 vouchers for the homeless, of supporting the volunteer efforts in the community, and supporting statewide legislation for mental health facilities and social service support for the homeless." Sue Greenwald
- What have you done or will do in Davis to ensure that our city stays at the forefront of good environmental policies including alternative energy?
"As a life-long environmentalist, I have fought many battles for the preservation of open space and the funding of our city’s parks and greenbelts.
That didn’t stop when you elected me to the City Council.
I am proud to count the following as accomplishments of my first term on the council:
- Initiating a Davis/Dixon Ag Greenbelt
- Enacting a 2:1 Agricultural Mitigation Ordinance
- Preserving over 2,000 acres of open space around Davis which includes the acquisition of the McConeghy, Ebey/Laughtin and Barger Ranches.
As the current Vice Chair of the Yolo Natural Heritage Program, I am working to leverage hundreds of additional acres of Open Space via the Swainson’s Hawk Interim Mitigation Fee Program.
In my second term, I am committed to the completion of the Davis Bikeway/Greenway system.
I will also issue a challenge to my colleagues on the council and you, the citizens of Davis, to reduce our City’s Carbon Footprint by:
- Transitioning all city fleet vehicles to hybrid electric cars
- Promoting 100% usage of compact fluorescent light bulbs in city buildings
- Promoting the use of solar energy and other alternative technologies in municipal buildings" Stephen Souza
- "Professor Dick Dorf from the Graduate School of Management, Ben Finkelor from the Energy Efficiency Center, and I recently co-wrote a “Voluntary Sustainable Technology Financing District Initiative” and submitted it for City Council’s consideration. The Initiative is available on my website sydneyvergis.com. The concept is to allow property owners to finance Sustainable Technology installations, such as rooftop solar PV array units, through a voluntary assessment on their individual property tax bills, and encourage cooperation between City staff, the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, prospective private sector partners, and interested members of the community to develop an implementation timeline and pursue possible sources of grant funding. Cities can play a large role in providing incentives for individuals to make better and greener lifestyle and transportation decisions- and the City of Davis has the opportunity to implement exciting programs that are already enjoying vast success in other jurisdictions. For example, the City of Vacaville has implemented and Electric Vehicle Incentive Program- The City reduced the cost of EV leasing for residents by pursing federal and regional air quality grants that provided up to $6,000 in incentives for those who leased or purchased an EV from an automobile manufacturer. Additionally, cities like Chicago are currently providing existing and new businesses incentives to install ‘living rooftops,’ which use plants and grasses to reduce building heat load, decrease runoff, improve water quality, and sequester carbon. In the face of global warming and peak oil there is no doubt we are entering into an era where conservation and stewardship are of critical importance and where local leadership is urgent and necessary. I have created a three point plan for the City to achieve carbon neutrality, which is available on my website, sydneyvergis.com. My plan includes focusing on City facilities, providing incentives for alternative transportation, and focusing on energy efficiency as a way to decrease tax burdens and decrease our impact on the environment." Sydney Vergis
- "One of my top goals in this race will be to help develop a green city by working for efficient building requirements and smart building designs that utilize passive heating and cooling and energy alternatives such as solar and wind power to enhance energy efficiency of all homes & businesses. Davis has not been the leader on this front that we were in the early 1970s, we need to go back toward that time when we were innovators of good policy. There are many other communities that are looking into ways to help mitigate the costs to individuals and businesses for things such as solar panels and efficient building design that would be where I start." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
- "Among the steps I have lead the Council to take over the past four years are:
- Presented the Council a proposal that was adopted 5-0 to establish a Climate Action Team to involve knowledgeable and passionate community members in planning for our community.
- Presented the Council a proposal that was adopted 5-0 to ban purchase of individual serving water bottles using city funds other than in very limited circumstances.
- Presented the Council a proposal that was adopted 5-0 to oppose the construction of a landfill site in Cortina that would involve about 100 trucks daily hauling garbage from the bay area through Yolo County.
- Represented the Council in talks with City of Dixon regarding opposition to the Dixon Downs race track that would have resulted in massive increases to traffic on I-80 and Davis surface streets.
- Acquired more than 500 acres of agricultural easements for preservation of local farmland.
- Adopted stringent 2:1 agriculturatl mitigation ordinance for any new development that removes land from ag production.
- Required that the Target project meet stringent environmental design and operations standards.
Over the next four years, I will work to:
- "When I was first elected to the council in 2000, I initiated the effort to keep the PVUSA photovoltaic facility, which was slated to be shut down, in operation. If it weren’t for myself, that facility would probably not be producing solar energy today. The result wasn’t all I hoped for, but according to such local experts as Dean Newberry, it was probably the best deal we could have gotten at the time. I would like to expand this facility, or a similar one, and the return the research and testing facet. Again, in 2000, I proposed the open space tax. Initially, the council at the time turned it down in a 4-1 vote, but ultimately I convinced the council to pass it unanimously. This modest tax has given us additional resources to buy ag land and conservation easements in the Davis planning area. I was an early supporter of Mark Spencer’s innovative adjacency mitigation ordinance for mitigating ag land lost to development. For the last 15 years, I am been actively fighting for traffic calming and a bike and pedestrian –orientation. I have fought the cutting down of trees and the widening of roads. I can honestly say that I ran on an “environmental” platform before it became fashionable and took the lead on many of our environmental, ag and habitat preservation issues before it was the fashionable thing to do." Sue Greenwald
- One major issue with biking is plant material that is left in the bike lanes. What will you do to ensure that we do not have waste causing bikers to crash and increase bike safety in general?
- "The city must commit to double striping bike lanes on most streets in town with reflective paint. Then, if plant waste or other items are obstructing the bike lanes it can be seen even in the night. In order to be a more sustainable community, we must follow the lead of our bike-friendly counterparts in Western Europe with street calming and enhanced bikeway infrastructure. If we make it more difficult to move about town in cars and easier to move about by bike, we will have increased ridership and safety. Bicycle safety is still a concern and I will continue to work with the BAC to move forward in developing alternatives such as enhanced enforcement, improved street lighting, additional monitoring, and documentation." Stephen Souza
- "The City’s proposed containerized green waste project did not gain traction; thus, the best and most cost effective strategy that the City can employ to ensure the compatibility of bikers and discarded plant material in the roadway is to double strip its bike lanes while at the same time mandating that green waste, be placed outside of the double striped bike lane. Additionally, this double strip creates a more significant visual barrier for cars, thus increasing the overall safety of bikers. I am concerned that the City and the University is not doing enough to educate new students and other members of the community on bike safety (especially regarding the value of helmets! Protect your college investment!). I would like to pursue a City/University co-sponsored Bike Day early in the fall, that features safety tips and educates the community on the value bike maintenance. Important topics and information can also be posted on the City’s website. As noted in UCD’s own Ted Bueler’s “50 years of bicycle policy in Davis, CA” paper, the City is seeing a steady decrease in ridership AND bicycle modeship (percentage of trips taken by bike) - Many factors have caused biking to decrease including the loss of subsidized helmet programs, elementary school education programs, incoming student orientation programs, and high minimum standards for new bicycle infrastructure. I am committed to renewing City focus on non-motorized transportation modes. My “Three Point Plan to Bring Back the Bike” is also featured on my website: Sydneyvergis.com." Sydney Vergis
- "I was in favor of a containerization program for green waste; Davis is one of the few communities in the nation without one. It is a hazard on a number of levels. Having the second stripe for the bike lanes may help, but I think we need to fight the battle a bit harder for containerization and find a way to make that work for people who may not be able to deal with large amounts of tree clippings. Again, they seem to manage it in other communities." Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald
- "I agree that this is a safety issue – particularly on through streets used for regular bike commuters. At this point we have strong divisions of opinion on this topic. I think we need to do the following to move forward.
- Paint a double stripe lane on key collector streets that are wide enough to accommodate this approach. The lane closest to the curb will be the area for green refuse.
- Conduct an awareness and education effort for homeowners on the dangers of green refuse to bikers.
- Consider limiting green refuse piles to certain days to keep the piles from accumulating and remaining for many days.
- Consider additional ground focused lighting I some areas that are currently too dark to see piles.
- Identify one or two collectors and engage in a carefully thought through pilot effort for containerization. The previous attempt at a “pilot” was far too large and included many streets that did not require containerization for safety." Don Saylor
- "I joined the rest of the council in asking staff to come up with a compromise solution, such as painting another line behind which the leaves must be kept." Sue Greenwald
2008-04-25 07:55:00 I'm currently at Memphis International Airport, having just attended the Young Elected Officials Network National Convening in Little Rock, Arkansas. I just wanted to say that I'm extremely impressed with the informativeness of the Davis College Democrats City Council Candidates Forum and Questionnaire. The only thing that would have made the forum and this web page more informative would be the inclusion of former ASUCD Senator Rob Roy. I wish I'd had a chance to participate in more student-led opportunities like these when I ran in 2004 and 2006. Because of your work, I've actually learned a great deal about my current and prospective colleagues' views, particularly about renters' rights. I don't remember any of the two dozen candidates forums I've been in ever asking about tenants' issues (with the notable exception of the ASUCD forums), even though most Davisites live in rental units. I can't thank DCD enough. —LamarHeystek
2008-04-25 11:20:34 Thanks Lamar! —brandonhkey