Friday, August 29, 2014

‘Sorry, neighbors, our joy just exploded’


From page A2 | June 14, 2012 |

PARTY HARDY … Brett Lee, last Tuesday’s surprise City Council winner, may have unintentionally been part of a gross violation of Davis’ strictest-in-the-nation noise ordinance even before he has taken the oath of office … as political junkies in this town know, the election results arrived sporadically, but in big gulps … shortly after the polls closed, Brett found himself in second place, needing only to finish in the top three to earn a seat on the council … after a wait of more than two hours, the next batch of results dropped Brett to third, with a precarious lead over both Sue Greenwald and Stephen Souza … another couple of hours passed before the final results were announced just past 1 a.m. Wednesday, confirming that Brett had finished third and will indeed be part of the next Davis City Council …

As the final results flashed on the TV screen at Brett’s campaign headquarters in West Davis (not his home), all hell broke loose … remember, this is a respectable neighborhood where people go to bed at sundown, walk the dog at sunup, visit the dentist regularly and pay their fair share of taxes … they do not party past midnight on your average Tuesday evening … the scene was raucous, to be sure, but understandable given the long wait for results and the pent-up anxiety experienced by Brett and his most ardent supporters …

Things were so loud that the party host sent out an apologetic email to his neighbors the next day, a group that includes a Hall of Fame football coach, a Yolo County supervisor, the pre-eminent beer expert in the world, a prominent psychiatrist and various and assorted other individuals of great importance both to Davis and to the world … trust me, this was not East Davis, where student parties late into a Tuesday night regularly exceed decibel limits of decency …

Wrote the host to his neighbors, who seem to be a forgiving lot: “We did not expect such a crowd, and we did not expect the election results to be so slow. At 1 a.m. we were suddenly surprised to find that Brett Lee had actually won the election. The pent-up reaction was emotional and, unfortunately, very loud. This is a very unusual event at our house and I doubt it will be repeated.” …

What, Brett is not planning to run for re-election in 2016? … book ‘em, Danno …

LAST-MINUTE QUESTIONS … my friend Randy had a whole list of election eve questions, none of which he managed to have answered before the election results were finalized … seems that’s always the way … first and foremost, he asked “Do you know which of the candidates are most opposed to the bag ban? To heck with river water fights, plumbers unions, etc. The real determining factor for me is the ability for any of the lot to escape from a shopping bag without legislation. I want to know who thinks a bag ban will bring more commerce, jobs or anything else we need.” …

Great questions, Randy, but the bag ban is one of those things candidates never talk about, then spring on us after they’ve raised their right hand and sworn to uphold the constitution of the City of Davis … remember Zipcar? … did any of the folks running in the election immediately prior to that debacle ever mention that they planned to give away the store to an out-of-state corporation and sign the most lopsided agreement in the history of contract law? … of course not … these folks always play it close to the vest until they’re safely in office …

The same for post-election proposals to ban firewood, spend $91,650 to paint a water tower or resolutions to ban the transport of nuclear weapons on Davis streets … these things are never discussed during the course of an election … in no time at all, however, our current batch of electees will dream up a piece of legislation none of us ever considered when they were asking for our votes … trust me on this …

RED LIGHT DISTRICT … a chap named Steve, who lives in Woodland, apparently was driving in our fair city one recent day when he ran afoul of the law … writes Steve, on the back of a good old-fashioned penny postcard: “Dear Bob — Do you believe in truth in advertising?” … I do, except when it comes to political candidates, who are expected to fudge the facts every now and then … “The ‘Red Light Violation’ signs throughout Davis indicate a fine of $370. I wish! I was cited for this at Sycamore/Russell, and Yolo Superior Court sent me a courtesy notice saying my fine was $479. Please correct the court’s error.” …

Steve, my friend, the 370 bucks is for a Davis scofflaw … as a non-resident (or non-affiliate, as UC Davis likes to call you), you are driving on streets paved and maintained by the hard-working taxpayers of Davis … consider the extra $109 money well spent to help Davis become the destination city it longs to be … and come back soon … we need the cash …

— Reach Bob Dunning at





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