The next City Council will lead Davis through a time of great transition.
Council members will be asked to hire a new city manager, negotiate contracts with employees, reduce expenditures while not gutting city services and to find new revenue sources. How well they do as a group will depend on having the right mix of experience and values among members.
On June 3, voters will be asked to pick two people out of five candidates to serve on the council during this crucial time. The Bee’s editorial board recommends Rochelle Swanson and Sheila Allen.
Swanson, a 23-year-resident of Davis and downtown business owner with her husband, has been a professional, thoughtful voice on the council since she was elected four years ago. She’s had valuable on-the-job training as the council struggled with sharp budget reductions, controversial policy shifts and growth pressures, while balancing the needs of businesses and the local economy with the needs of residents. That explains why she’s endorsed for a second term by the Metro Chamber and Davis Chamber political action committees as well as the Sierra Club.
She is eager to continue the momentum begun in her first term, and residents would be lucky to have her wisdom for four more years.
We support Allen for the second seat, which was left open when Councilman Joe Krovoza decided not to run for a second term and jumped into the race for state Assembly District 4. A public health nurse and the executive director of the Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance, Allen has served as a Davis school trustee for nine years, guiding the district through the worst economic downturn in recent history.
She has experience coping with budget constraints while maintaining core services, which will be invaluable when the council deals with an estimated $1.5 million shortfall next fiscal year. She supports smart infill growth that would include affordable housing in the downtown core.
Allen has support from a long list of local and state political leaders, which shows that she understands that an effective legislator must be willing to collaborate with others to get things done.
Three other smart people who are passionate about the city’s future are also running for the seats. Robb Davis, a public health professional, has been integrally involved in shaping city policy on on the Bicycling Advisory Commission. John Munn, a former school board member and retired California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection scientist, is one of the people behind the Measure P campaign to repeal higher water rates. Daniel Parrella, a native son and a solar panel salesman, is running because he wants to give younger people a voice in city government.
Any one of the candidates would no doubt work hard if elected. But we think Swanson and Allen would add the right mix to the council to lead the city into the future.