Wednesday, May 6, 2015
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

    With collective’s help, you can fix it yourself at Bike Forth

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    New chemistry building in the works at UCD

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    Kids get a peek at the great outdoors

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Heidrick Ag History Center rebranded as California Agriculture Museum

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    BeerFest expands to include cider

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    May 11 talk focuses on clean water

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    ‘From Age-ing to Sage-ing’ guides library group

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Crossing lines, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    ’12 Angry Men’ will screen Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pet Food Express organizes Save a Kitten fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Retirees to hear about Woodland’s shade tree campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Round up at the registers for Davis schools

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

    Origami lovers will meet at library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Earth-centered author comes to Avid Reader

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Breast cancer treatment update offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    MIND Institute lecture will focus on prenatal exposure to insecticide

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Pence Gallery: We’re overflowing with gratitude

    By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Health care documentary will screen at meeting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Who is Ralph Hexter? Chancellor’s No. 2 fills us in

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    New book flows with good news about water

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Injection wells endanger our aquifers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    .

    Sports

    Aggies go flat in 7-1 Sacramento State win at Raley

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils crush Edison to earn McClatchy rematch

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devils grind out a victory over Oak Ridge

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Davis boys dominate first playoff match

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Alliance/Legacy roundup: Local squads fare well over the weekend

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    AYSO roundup: Davis teams capture Fog Classic crowns

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

     
    High school artists exhibited at Pence Gallery

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    See Christian Quintin’s paintings at Hattie Weber Museum

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble returns

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Sac Ballet presents Modern Masters on May 8-9

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

     
    Davis Youth Flute Choir tunes up for China tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5