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Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday Briefs

Mayor Sue Greenwald's response to Davis Enterprise Article
The university is about to break ground on a new housing development for faculty, staff and students on campus land adjacent to our city. I would like to make some clarifications concerning annexation of that project, West Village, an issue I brought to the City Council last week. My motion was: "It shall be the position of the city of Davis that annexation of the university's West Davis neighborhood is a goal that we strongly support in concept."

In concept, of course — and as I made clear in the discussion — meant subject to fiscal analysis, university approval and a city-county tax-sharing agreement, among other considerations. This motion was seconded by Councilmember Lamar Heystek, but the council majority successfully blocked a vote on it by substituting a somewhat more ambiguous motion.

I asked to bring this item forward, as an item submitted by a council member, for an important reason. The current council had never had a serious discussion of the issue of the West Village annexation. I had made several requests of the city manager to place such a discussion on the long-range calendar, to no avail.

For years, the discussion of annexation had been relegated to a council subcommittee. I became concerned when our city manager and city attorney told me they believed the council's stance toward annexation was "neutral to negative," and that the staff analysis of the fiscal implications had assumed that the city would provide police and fire services. This fiscal assumption would kill the hope of annexation, since the council had voted that the project would have to be fiscally neutral to qualify for annexation.

This fiscal assumption was unwarranted. Since the university will provide police and fire services if the West Village neighborhood stays in the unincorporated county, the university could provide all or part of these, or other, services under annexation. For example, the university supplies police service to Aggie Village, which was built by the university and annexed by the city.

I feel strongly that the faculty, staff and student residents of this new neighborhood, which will be built adjacent to our city, be full participants in our community and its civic life, rather than an enclave in the unincorporated county. I am hopeful that future fiscal analysis will include various service provision options, and that the university will support annexation in concept.

And I hope the council majority will ultimately signal our staff that we are in support of annexation, in concept, because I believe annexation will never occur if we don't.

Sue Greenwald
Mayor of Davis

Rexroad Readers Think I Ought to be in Jail

Matt Rexroad has occasional oddball polls on his site. This one I found amusing. Can't say I'm really surprised by the result, I would think his readers share some company here in Davis. Must be doing something right.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting