In recent years, the Davis City Council has made major strides on long-delayed projects from roads and surface water to smart development and fiscal stability. Compared to the acrimonious Davis councils of yore, this is real progress. We’d hope the productivity continues.
Four good candidates are running for three seats on the June ballot. All know Davis and its issues. But because the next few years could bring significant development – and change – to the city, whoever is elected must keep up the good work, seamlessly.
Incumbents Lucas Frerichs and Brett Lee don’t always agree, but both have stressed collegiality in their pursuit of affordable housing, improved infrastructure and a more diverse economy. Both deserve another term.
Retiree Matt Williams has deployed valuable fiscal and technical expertise for many years on local commissions, and would be a thoughtful and diligent council presence. But he has lived in Davis proper for little more than a year, having moved from the unincorporated community of El Macero, and his detailed policy approach – he was deeply involved the city’s long, complex debate over water rates, for instance – seems better suited to advisory positions.
A clearer choice for the third seat is Will Arnold, who carries the authority of Davis roots that go back generations and whose political work, volunteerism and job as a district representative for Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, have given him the connections and nuts-and-bolts knowledge of governance needed to hit the ground running.
Also on the ballot will be a modest hotel tax increase; a 10 percent business license tax on gross sales of recreational marijuana, if voters legalize it; and a general plan amendment clearing the way for a 46-acre infill project just south of UC Davis that will add research and development space for businesses and 650 units of desperately needed housing. All would generate crucial revenue, and voters should approve them all.