Local News

Measure P boosters lead big in money race

By From page A11 | May 25, 2014

In campaign filings turned in this week, Measure P boosters reported raising roughly 7.5 times that of a campaign committee that is seeking to defeat the initiative.

If passed, Measure P would revert the water rates to those in effect before May 1, 2013. What happens if that occurs is one of the points of debate in this election.

Measure P booster and former mayor Sue Greenwald — at a public debate forum on Measure P — said the city would have to rely on a reserve in the water budget while it configures fairer rates that could pay for the surface water project.

Herb Niederberger, the city’s general manager of utilities, said the reserve is far too small to support that, and the city would likely have to go to the secondary loan market — charging more than twice the interest it would get charged in the primary market, if it could get financing at all.

Regardless, Measure P boosters have a clear financial edge, as they’ve reported raising $14,417 for the calendar year to date — ending on May 17 — for the committee “Citizens for Clean, Reliable, Affordable Water, Yes on Measure P.” That number includes $5,730 in loans made from Jan. 1 to May 17. It has an ending cash balance of $3,392.

An opposing committee, “Friends of the City of Davis” started fundraising in earnest in late April and reported $1,910 by May 17. It has an ending cash balance of $190. Stephen Souza, treasurer for the committee, said the committee is focused on defeating Measure P. He said a separate committee run by Allan Pryor is promoting the city’s half-percent sales tax measure.

Souza said the “Friends of the City of Davis” committee was formed shortly after the April 10 groundbreaking ceremony for the surface water project.

Major donors for “Friends of the City of Davis” include: Davis Chamber of Commerce PAC at $500 — the political arm of the local Chamber of Commerce; Souza gave $200; Wolk for Senate 2012 gave $200.

Notable donors include Chamber of Commerce CEO Kemble Pope (at $100), former legislator Helen Thomson (at $100) and Mayor Joe Krovoza (at $150).

Major donors for the year for “Citizens for Clean, Reliable, Affordable Water” include: F. Paul Brady gave $2,700; Pamela Nieberg gave $1,600; Norma Turner gave $500; Noreen Mazelis gave $325.

Notable donors not listed already include Michael Harrington, the attorney at the heart of the lawsuit against the city water rates. He gave $200.

Nancy Price, Pam Nieberg and F. Paul Brady gave loans this year totaling $5,730 when taken together. According to the campaign finance statement, no loans have been paid back or forgiven.

— Reach Dave Ryan at [email protected] or call 530-747-8057.

Dave Ryan

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