Our View

Our view: Elect Swanson and Davis to council

By From page A12 | May 04, 2014

A strong field of candidates for the Davis City Council gives voters an opportunity to return a hard-working veteran to the dais and welcome a political newcomer who has been called a “gifted thinker.” We are pleased to recommend that you give Rochelle Swanson and Robb Davis your votes.

SWANSON’S CAMPAIGN motto is “Finding Common Ground,” and we believe she’s put that philosophy into practice during her four years on the council. She is smart and analytical and has been a calm, steady voice of reason as the city has maneuvered through the choppy waters of budget cuts, shared fire services, a new housing development and a regional surface water project.

She has been a tireless advocate for economic development, almost single-handedly yanking our community into the regional conversation when it comes to attracting job-creating new businesses. Where Roseville once could pitch itself as “the home of UC Davis,” now Davis is rightfully linking itself to the fabulous knowledge that comes out of the world-class university in our own back yard.

Swanson knows our spiraling retiree pension and health care benefits could one day bankrupt our city if a strong council doesn’t rein them in. She’s been respectful of our hard-working city employees while making it clear that shared sacrifice is the only path to fiscal sustainability. And she was resolute in voting to impose terms on two recalcitrant employee groups.

She’s realistic, too, knowing the revenue stream that will flow from a well-planned innovation park is just what Davis needs to help balance its budget. We want to give her the opportunity to build on the groundwork she’s laid over the past four years.

Swanson prides herself on doing what’s best for Davis. Voters should give her four more years to finish the job.

SPEND ANY TIME with Robb Davis, and we guarantee you’ll come away impressed with his open-mindedness, intellect, thoughtfulness and understanding of the complex issues facing our city. We can think of no other first-time candidate who has been this fully prepared to serve.

While Davis may be best known for his volunteer efforts with Davis Bicycles! and the fledgling Neighborhood Court program — which seeks to apply restorative justice for first-time offenders — he has an impressive command of the fiscal challenges facing our city. He’s frustrated that, while the seriousness of the budget deficit was known as long ago as last summer, there’s been no real community conversation about solutions.

He’s ready to dive in to that conversation, however, saying City Hall needs a thorough staffing analysis and an up-to-date accounting of not only the necessary road repairs but the entire maintenance backlog for city facilities (fire stations, swimming pools, public buildings). Davis also knows the next council must continue on the path blazed by this council in holding firm on employee costs, proposing that conversations with employee groups start well before their contracts come due.

His community-building expertise, honed through years of work with maternal and children’s health programs around the world, would be a welcome addition to our council. And his abilities to listen carefully, ask pointed questions, assimilate mountains of information and help folks reach consensus are just what an effective council member needs.

CAST YOUR VOTE for Robb Davis. You won’t regret it.

Our View

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