Our View

Cheers and Jeers: Stay out of our carts

By From page A6 | January 17, 2014

We offer our cheers and jeers for local newsmakers as we look back over the previous week:

CHEERS to the Davis City Council for unanimously approving an ordinance prohibiting the practice of scavenging recyclables from recycle carts on city streets.

The new rule targets organized scavengers, who pull up in front of Davis homes in flatbed trucks and go from cart to cart scavenging for recycling, often going through trash in the process.

The scavenging hurts Davis Waste Removal ratepayers, because the recycling program is paid for in part by money DWR recoups from recyclables.

City staff also said Tuesday that many of the scavengers contacted by police also had records as identity thieves, meaning they’re sorting through our trash as well.

JEERS to the lack of applicants interested in three positions open for officers at the Davis Police Department. The police had expected 25 to 30 applicants for the three openings at their agility testing last Saturday, but only 11 people showed up. And that number was expected to dwindle by the time the written test was administered later that day.

That compares to the estimated 400 applicants who showed up in December for the chance for future employment with the Davis Fire Department.

Davis needs smart, enthusiastic and fit young police officers just as much as it needs the same in its applicants for firefighter positions. But our city’s contracts for those two public safety jobs are way out of whack — with the firefighters having negotiated a much sweeter deal than the police officers over the past decade or so.

Surely, we can even the playing field for these two important positions, and we don’t mean by increasing benefits for police. Davis cannot afford that.

CHEERS to the Davis Historical Resources Commission’s effort to persuade developers of The Cannery to name streets in the new housing development after historically important Davis residents. And we agree that it’s best if the list be restricted to deceased residents. You never can tell what shenanigans our living luminaries could get involved in that might tarnish their reputations!

JEERS to the Century 21 office in the 500 block of G Street, which overwaters its front lawn seemingly every day, creating a huge puddle on the sidewalk and wasting this precious resource. With a drought declaration coming soon for California and cities throughout the region imposing conservation restrictions, we must be even more vigilant.

CHEERS to the Davis Sunrise Rotary Club for creating the Jay Gerber Young Community Leader Award, a fitting tribute to the longtime local businessman who died last April.

The award has been established to recognize and honor a young leader — under age 40 — who demonstrates the characteristics that Gerber exemplified to build community: enthusiasm, a positive attitude toward others and participation in activities beneficial to the Davis community.

Nominations will be accepted through Feb. 28 and the recipient will be honored at a community dinner on April 11. For a nomination form, visit www.davisrotary.org.

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