Is there really a fiscal crisis?

By From page A10 | March 21, 2014

We’ve been told that the city is in such bad financial shape that we’ll be voting soon on whether to approve an increase and extension to Davis’ sales tax to raise many millions extra for the city’s general fund. We’ve been told that without the increased sales tax, the only way for the city to make ends meet will be through severe cuts to services and significant cuts of staff.

We’ve also been told that the sales tax increase won’t come close to covering our infrastructure needs and delayed maintenance. Our streets are crumbling from years of being ignored (mostly not in the downtown business district), and the repair costs are skyrocketing with each day’s delay in getting the repairs done. For that, we will be seeing a new parcel tax on the November ballot (in addition to the pending sales tax measure).

Our city staff don’t seem concerned. Nor our city commissions. According to a front-page article in The Enterprise on Friday, city staff have proposed purchasing very attractive steel garbage cans for downtown Davis at a cost of more than $1,000 for each can. The city’s Natural Resources Commission is enthusiastic about these garbage cans, a number of which are already in place in Mace Ranch Park.

And it sounds like this is a done deal. The article indicates that, according to city conservation coordinator Jennifer Gilbert, the city will be installing more of these bins in the next fiscal year.

The public-private partnership including Davis Downtown, the Davis Chamber of Commerce, the city of Davis and the Yolo Visitors Bureau didn’t sound very concerned about the fiscal crisis on Saturday either, when, according to an article in Sunday’s Enterprise, they took a tour of the Richards underpass and talked about their grandiose dreams for revamping this entrance to Davis.

Really? What’s wrong with this picture?

Robin Wiener

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