Bob Dunning

This candidate has his priorities straight

By February 19, 2011

I don’t know about you, but I’m still deciding which one of our 10 dedicated public servants I’m going to vote for to fill that vacant fifth seat on the Davis City Council.

I’m sorry. I keep forgetting we don’t get to actually vote on this one.

Nope, despite all the forums and candidate statements and endorsement letters to the editor and front-page profiles in this very newspaper, the only eyes and ears that matter here are those belonging to the four current members of the Davis City Council who will have to put up with whomever they pick for the next 16 months.

Already we’re hearing that county politician Max Rexroad is lobbying to become the first Woodland resident to serve on the Davis City Council, which actually makes a lot of sense when you stop to think about it. After all, the average resident of Woodland has as much say in this decision as does the average resident of Davis.

Heck, the council is always giving lip service to having a representative of an “underserved minority” on the council, and if there was ever an underserved minority on the Davis City Council, it’s the residents of Woodland.

Another thing we don’t know as we near decision day is what happens if the council decides it doesn’t like any of the 10 declared “candidates.” The council has claimed all along that it’s committed to the process it has published on the city website, but there’s nothing I can find in the law that would prevent the council from opening the process back up until they find their man. Or woman.

Or, they could interview all 10 and read their statements and watch their videos and then vote 4-0 to appoint Helen Thomson to the seat, even though Helen didn’t even fill out the application form. At least that’s the way I read the law.

Hey, Helen, you available?

So today I’m looking at the application statement of one Walter A. Bunter Jr., whose first two words of introduction to the residents of Davis are “Senior citizen.” So he’s a senior in fact, even if his name tells us he’s a “junior.” I wonder what that’s like.

He claims to be a “longtime Davis resident,” having lived in East Davis for the past 37 years. If that’s the sum total of his time in Davis, he’s still a newcomer, but speaking of underserved minorities, the residents of East Davis can’t remember the last time they had a friend on the council.

But here’s the part I like best. Turns out Walter is a “Member of the American Society of Agronomy.” And if there’s anything this world needs, it’s another agronomist in government. I mean, think about it. We’re always touting our connection to the land, but when’s the last time we had an agronomist on the council? (For you liberal arts majors, a farmer grows wheat; an agronomist studies a farmer growing wheat.)

Walter is also a former treasurer of the California-Nevada chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, which means he understands money and can probably tell us what crops other than sagebrush grow in Nevada.

Finally, and this is the clincher, Walter is “aware of community activities by being a faithful reader with a continuous subscription to The Davis Enterprise.”

Walter A. Bunter Jr., welcome to the Davis City Council.

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected] Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Bob Dunning

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