Thursday, July 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Why should I vote for Measure O?

By
From page A12 | May 04, 2014 |

For the first time in my life, I’m considering voting against the proposed sales tax increase, Measure O. I know that the city desperately needs more funds; however, the past City Councils have had their priorities all wrong.

For example, the choice of $800,000 to make Fifth Street better for bikers, while basic street repairs are in great need, and the $400,000 already spent for a municipal electric utility and $600,000 more already authorized. These show the council members have their priorities all wrong.

They have given away the store on pensions for police, pay raises for firefighters (36 percent from 2005 to 2009) and retiree medical benefits for employees, when Davis did not have the money for them. Finally, the council decided that we need new yard waste containers and that will save money. These containers will have to be gigantic to serve that purpose, and guess who will pay for these containers? Yes, we will … as if our DWR bills aren’t already high enough.

It frightens me to hear the council thinking of redoing the entryway to the city. Just think what that would cost. Given the history of past council priorities, why should we trust them with more tax money? I applaud The Enterprise contributors — columnists Rich Rifkin and Bob Dunning and staff writer Dave Ryan — for keeping the public well-informed about how our money is spent.

On the other hand, I will vote for Measure P. The council has really made a huge mess of the new water rate structure. It would make so much more sense to pay for only the water we use.

Ann Denvir
Davis

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Discussion | 11 comments

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  • Jim LeonardMay 04, 2014 - 7:00 am

    Ann, I agree with you. I have never voted against any request from the City for more money but now I will. By the way, did you know the City charges the Bike Museum only $1.00 per year for the lease of the City building it uses instead of the $96,000.00 it could be using? Another point: I, like you, are voting for Measure P; however, I don't know who you are voting for to be on the City Council; I'm voting for John Munn since he is the only one of the lot that is supporting Measure P and the "No on P" campaign is based on obfuscation and is, thus, both deceptive and disrespectful to Davis voters.

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  • May 04, 2014 - 10:45 am

    Feel free to vote "no" on Measure O. If Measure O fails, one of two things will happen: 1) across the board 12% cut in city personnel/services; or 2) across the board 25% cut in city personnel/services leaving public safety positions as is. Feel free to vote "yes" on Measure P. It will not stop the surface water project from being built, and will cost ratepayers more because the city will not be able to obtain favorable financing. Your choice.

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  • Napoleon Pig IVMay 04, 2014 - 1:58 pm

    Good job young aspirant to the premises of the porcine privileged! Continue your noble efforts to put an end to this rousing of the rabble and perhaps one day, you too, will become more equal! Let our Dear Leaders do the hard thinking, and let the sheep graze contentedly with untainted confidence that black is white and higher taxes are a fundamental feature of the fabric of the universe. Remember: Power to the Pigs!

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  • May 05, 2014 - 7:27 am

    The "Pig" analogy is getting old.

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  • Davis G'maMay 04, 2014 - 11:57 am

    You are 100% correct, Ann Denvir ! Good for you for speaking up and supporting your opinion with facts.

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  • Michelle MilletMay 04, 2014 - 1:06 pm

    Some facts to consider: The city council has nothing to do with the plan redo the entrance way to the city, this is a privately funded project. The Fifth Street project was largely funded by grant money. Our current council has just gotten finished renegotiating labor contracts with all the employee unions, and none of our current council member were part of the council that gave raises to firefighters in 2005-2009.

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  • Rich RifkinMay 04, 2014 - 3:57 pm

    "Our current council has just ... finished renegotiating labor contracts with all the employee unions, and none of our current council members was a part of the council that gave raises to firefighters in 2005-2009." ............ You are a little mixed up, Michelle. First, the current contracts were not "just finished." The five in place were agreed to nearly 2 years ago. The other two were imposed later with similar components. But the bigger problem is that the 2012 contracts don't expire until the end of 2015, and these contracts are really terrible deals for the City of Davis. They did not properly control for the extremely high growth in employee compensation costs. And that is the reason the City's general fund reserve is nearly out of money and thus the reason the current Council is asking for yet another tax increase. You are not alone in damning previous Councils for the mistakes they made with earlier labor deals. Welcome to the party. I have been discussing this issue of burdensome costs of labor--especially the huge liabilities built up for pensions and OPEB--for more than a decade. But don't tell me that this present Council is so different. They are still calling shots from the same playbook. Unfortunately, they have not yet accepted their own responsibility in our present fiscal crisis.

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  • Rich RifkinMay 04, 2014 - 4:04 pm

    I should add one more thing about this current Council. While Mayor Joe Krovoza has stuck his neck out time and time again to improve matters, the other four have shown little or no leadership. It's true that Brett Lee and Rochelle Swanson--and a little less often Dan Wolk--have voted with the mayor. But in watching all the DCC meetings (mostly on TV in my case), the others have either not led, or, in the case of Lucas Frerichs and occasionally Dan Wolk, they have, it appears to me, worked to frustrate reforms in order to further their own political careers. It was not just the pull of Incline Village which caused Steve Pinkerton to leave Davis. It was the campaign of Frerichs and Wolk (who seemed to be acting at the behest of certain city employees that did not want reform) which pushed Pinkerton away.

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  • May 05, 2014 - 7:26 am

    "I should add one more thing about this current Council. While Mayor Joe Krovoza has stuck his neck out time and time again to improve matters, the other four have shown little or no leadership. It's true that Brett Lee and Rochelle Swanson--and a little less often Dan Wolk--have voted with the mayor." If they have voted with the mayor, who, has as you put it, "stuck his neck out", then how has the City Council "worked to frustrate reforms"? You cannot have it both ways.

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  • KimMay 05, 2014 - 11:00 pm

    What about the public utility and the $1k trash cans? It's just hard to believe they are using our very limited resources wisely. Maybe they need to spin it better, because it just leaves a bad taste for me. The fact that they couldn't distinguish between half-cent and half percent also makes me nervous about their judgement.

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  • Matt WilliamsMay 07, 2014 - 8:41 am

    Kim, our water utility and our wastewater utility were the sources of the money used to look at ways to reduce our electric costs. Why? Because in 2018 those two utilities will spend approximately $6 million per year on electricity in order to run the water and wastewater pumps. If they could save just 10% on that electric bill then the savings would be $600,000 per year. How would you feel if they didn't look into ways to save $600,000 of the citizens' money each year? _____________ When we attempted to merge with SMUD in 2006 the projected savings published as part of the election analysis documents was 25%. If we could achieve that level, it would mean a $1.5 million per year savings on our water and wastewater bills each year. ___________________ I for one feel it was good management to look into the possibility of saving between $600,000 and $1.5 million per year.

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