Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bob Dunning: Keeping track of the council, so you don’t have to


From page A2 | September 15, 2013 | 2 Comments

So many things happened at last Tuesday’s Davis City Council meeting that you may have missed some of them. As a public service, the most significant decisions are listed below, in no particular order.

CONCEALED BAG PERMITS: By a 5-0 vote, the council authorizes a limited Concealed Bag Permit program whereby certain individuals who can demonstrate compelling necessity will be allowed to carry plastic bags unseen by the public. Those seeking a permit will need to undergo a background check, fingerprinting, DNA swab and a 10-day waiting period and must promise never to show the bag in public except in case of emergency.

DOGGY STAY HOME: By a 3-2 vote, the council bans allowing one’s dog to poop on a neighbor’s lawn, even if “cleaned up” afterward. From now on, all dogs must poop on owner’s lawn. Cats over 20 pounds are included in the ordinance.

COUNCIL PERKS: In addition to nearly doubling their annual salaries, councilmembers vote 4-1 to purchase a home in College Park next to the Chancellor’s as the official Mayor’s Mansion. “The Davis mayor increasingly has to entertain out of town dignitaries in proper fashion,” said the statement accompanying the legislation.

HERE COMES THE POPE: After six hours of debate over whether the Vatican is a “city” or a “country,” the council votes 3-2 to establish a sister city relationship with the Holy See. The resolution passes after Councilman Dan Wolk declares “you can’t be a country if you don’t have an Olympic bobsled team.” That bit of logic wins the day.

BOOK EM, DANNO: With a plastic bag ban in the bag, the council adopts enabling legislation to punish those scofflaws who insist on violating the ban. Anyone caught with a plastic bag for personal use is guilty of a misdemeanor. Those dealing in plastic bags will be guilty of a felony. Dealing within 500 feet of a public school results in lifetime banishment to Woodland without possibility of return.

MAN CAN’T LIVE BY BREAD ALONE: Council unanimously bans grocery stores packing baguettes in paper bags or a six-pack of bagels in plastic bags with “twisties”. City staff reports that $34,000 is spent annually to hire someone to pick up carelessly discarded twisties that have the potential to choke song birds who mistake them for earthworms.

SPEAKING OF LITTER: By a 5-0 vote, the council bans outdoor couches in response to photos from the Natural Resources Commission showing 42 abandoned, beer-stained couches littering Davis sidewalks and gutters, many of them near the UC Davis campus.

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE: After a contentious debate that includes public comment from a 5-year-old up past her bedtime, council votes to ban any mention of “Santa Claus” and “chimneys” in the same sentence in any book distributed, loaned or sold within the Davis city limits. “We don’t want anyone associating chimneys with something that will make them feel warm and fuzzy,” explains NRC memo urging council action.

ICE CREAM TO THE RESCUE: City partners with Baskin-Robbins to provide a novel plastic bag amnesty program. For every 100 plastic bags a Davis citizen or retailer voluntary turns in to a toxic waste center, a certificate for a pint of hand-packed ice cream will be issued. Ice cream must not be transported home in a plastic bag.

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION: concerned that their message is not being properly understood by a skeptical public, council hires Vladimir Putin as new city of Davis Director of Information, Communication and Indoctrination.

PRICKLY PEAR PATROL: At the urging of the city Succulent Commission, council votes 5-0 to cut down all water-guzzling city trees are replace them with cactus and rocks.

GOOD-BYE MR. TOOTH DECAY: Responding to criticism that its proposed program to fluoridate the entire Davis water supply might end up missing its target audience of people who refuse to take care of their teeth, Council goes straight to the source by ordering all Slurpees, Big Gulps and chocolate milk to be fluoridated and further requires all retailers selling such products to have a staff dentist on hand during regular business hours.

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: In the most controversial decision of Tuesday’s meeting, council votes 3-2 to charge Davis homeowners for all rainwater that falls on their property. “That water rightfully belongs to all the citizens of the 4th Assembly District – I mean, of Davis,” declares Mayor Joe Krovoza.

A BITTER DIVORCE: Council votes 4-1 to join with Siskiyou County and secede from California to form the 51st state of Jefferson. “We’re so tired of other people calling us ‘The People’s Republic of Davis’ that we’re going to actually become the People’s Republic of Davis,” states unanimous council resolution.

— Reach Bob Dunning at


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