YOLO SUN OPINION :
Before its summer recess, Woodland City Council decided to fill the two-year remains of former Council Member Bill Marble’s term, by means of suddenly appointing former two-term Council Member and Mayor Skip Davies.
At this same meeting, Tom Stallard was removed as Mayor, in favor of Council Member Jim Hilliard, for the rest of 2016, and Council Member Angel Barajas was assigned to be Mayor during 2017.
Oddly, an election for Woodland City Council is on the November General Election Ballot, in only a few months, where Marble’s “at-large” Council seat could have been contested, rather than being subject to (with this timing) an undemocratic incumbent appointment.
Woodland City Council (perhaps excepting Barajas) is slyly reinforcing what is termed the “good-ol’-boy” political system, for many decades the prevailing force within Woodland.
Woodland City Council easily could have chosen to place this quite key council vacancy upon City voters’ ballot, as being the last “at-large” Council seat in City history.
The City “good-ol’-boy” system — under thrall of instant civil-rights litigation — has now (2016) agreed to split the City into five (5) electoral districts and it will hold its Elections at regular General Elections — instead of Primary Elections, where — combined with an “at-large” venue — powers of this “good-ol’-boy” political system were best protected against assault from our City’s citizens, who usually focus on General Elections.
So, how and why was Davies appointed?
Process to fill Council Member Jeff Monroe’s (2010) vacancy included almost thirty (30) applications. Marble’s vacancy only brought six (6) applications, perhaps because the word was out in the local “good-ol’-boy” network, that Davies had already secured the votes of Council Members Hilliard, Stallard and Denny — locking-in his Council appointment.
Indeed, such a scene was on display at this City Council meeting (July 19), where Hilliard and Denny very strongly insisted that Skip Davies be immediately appointed and, to the seeming distress of Barajas, Stallard (although he had earlier requested more time and process) quickly conceded — ensuring Davies would be appointed (perhaps because anyone on the local political grapevine knew that this was the “good-ol’-boy” plan).
Civic corruption is at the center of this Council appointment. Lame excuse given, was that Davies being on the council is somehow essential for best adopting the new General Plan.
Davies is in Conaway’s (Conaway Preservation Group’s) ‘hip-pocket,’ when it comes to assuring its (perhaps unreasonable) commercial interests, for soon increasing various developments at the City’s eastern border (where it holds what it believes to be valuable interests) are advanced within the new City General Plan (2015-2035).
Also clearly in Conaway’s ‘hip-pocket’ are Council Members Hilliard and Denny: Thus, their joint and sudden (as if planned) insistence, during this key council meeting, that Davies be immediately appointed (while a local election option was earlier shunned).
So, what’s wrong with appointment of “good-ol’-boy” Davies?
This Woodland City Council 2-year vacancy clearly should have been filled with an obviously convenient, democratic election, coincident with its new election format.
Selection of an appointment process for this council seat vividly implies desperate and undemocratic influences within Woodland City Hall, determined to further entrench the local “good-ol’-boy” political apparatus, in hopes maintaining its control of city affairs.
So, what else is wrong with appointment of “good-ol’-boy” Davies?
Where does one begin?
(1) Davies was instrumental in the — essentially unlawful (a cooked city redevelopment report at the root) — collapse of the City’s opportunity to have developed a renovated and expanded State Theatre complex, five years ago, siding with Paul Petrovich, against very valuable and vastly resonant City interests;
(2) Davies was a very strong proponent and formidable instigator of the City’s greatly failed Gateway 2 Project (and often heard to say, “we have to get her done”), which has since established state legal history, with a half-dozen violations of state environmental law and ten reprimands of City legal counsel, by the state appellate court — within only 50 pages of this state appellate court opinion;
(3) Davies was exposed as conniving a “sweetheart deal” between the City and his crony, Bob Takhar (aka: Takhar Bharpur), for an unreasonable and fiscally unwarranted extension of city services to the AM-PM Mini-Mart And Gas Station at the West Street – I-5 Freeway Interchange, outside of the city limits; Takhar, after receiving only 3% interest and long-term installment payments for the expense of providing city services — failed for several years to even pay off this “sweetheart deal” — until Yolo Sun and Woodland Record exposed Takhar’s and Davies’ conduct, resulting in collection of ~ $150,000 of due city revenue;
(4) Davies was exposed as writing and submitting to the Yolo County Superior Court — on City letterhead and signed as Mayor of Woodland — a clemency plea for a convicted local pedophile, which he could have done on his own personal initiative; this abuse excused by the Daily Democrat as being his believable mistake of reaching for the wrong stationary.