Tuesday, July 29, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Stop our slide into municipal bankruptcy

By Michael Bisch

Whether Davis’ slide into bankruptcy is impossible to stop or prevent is debatable. What’s indisputable is that the city is rapidly headed toward fiscal insolvency in the absence of a significant course correction.

In the June election, Davis voters have an opportunity to weigh in to prevent our fiscal demise. No, I’m not talking about Measure O, the proposed half-cent sales increase. Best-case scenario, Measure O is only a Band-Aid to address the projected $5.1 million structural budget deficit.

Indeed, the budget deficit the city has been projecting significantly understates the true state of the fiscal emergency. The deficit is far greater when one includes the annual maintenance expense on critical infrastructure and valuable amenities that the city inexplicably fails to fully disclose in the budget.
How can the voters in June weigh in to prevent our fiscal demise? They can do so by casting two informed votes in the City Council election. The 2014-16 council will be making decisions in two critical areas shortly after its members are sworn into office that will determine whether the city may yet avert municipal bankruptcy.
The first critical area is a decision on the permanent replacement for departing City Manager Steve Pinkerton. The person at the helm of the city’s affairs must have a firm understanding of our community, proven leadership and problem-solving skills, innovative thinking, a command of public relations and the will to practice transparent governance.

The city’s ability to avert bankruptcy in the absence of such a leader is exceedingly difficult to imagine. It is imperative that the new City Council get this decision right.
The second critical area is a series of forthcoming decisions regarding tax measures, cost containment and increased revenue from economic development projects and policies. Davis simply does not generate sufficient revenue to meet our expenses. Indeed, we fall far short.

This next City Council will either have to dramatically cut expenses, dramatically increase revenue or engage in a combination of the two. And it needs to get on it right away. There simply is no time for delay. The city’s cash reserves are projected to be entirely depleted in this next fiscal year. Meanwhile, the cost to address deferred infrastructure maintenance expense is skyrocketing with each passing month.
The first in a series of City Council candidate forums takes place Wednesday evening, providing Davis voters an opportunity to judge for ourselves which two candidates have the attributes and the knowledge necessary to make these critical decisions on behalf of the community.

The forum will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd. It is free and open to the public. I look forward to seeing you there.

— Michael Bisch is a Davis resident and a commercial property broker.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    That’s the ticket: Mondavi gets dynamic with pricing

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Tickets, sponsorships available for 10th annual Village Feast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Ramco launches innovation center outreach effort

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Bob Dunning: Just be glad we don’t want fingerprints

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    House to vote on slimmed-down bill for border

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Groundwater expert will speak in Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Fair entries due soon for veggie, flower exhibitors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Forum will explore injured veterans’ issues

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Humphrey Fellows share tales from their countries

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Hear Julie and the Jukes in the park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Square Tomatoes celebrates its anniversary

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Exchange program seeks host families

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    .

    Forum

    Our own policies do us harm

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Pat Oliphant cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

    It’s all the ecologists’ fault

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

     
    Refrain from generalization

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

     
    It hurts, but not as much as the truth

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Accusations tear family down

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Thorpe named UCD head softball coach

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Republic sets attendance record

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Cats let win slip away in Tacoma

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Houston continues to be a problem for A’s

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lawrence Okoye preparing for the NFL

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Pirates plunder S.F.

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7