Editor’s note: For this edition of 10 questions, The Aggie interviewed Davis City Councilmember Don Saylor. Councilmember Saylor was recently elected to his second term on the council and was named Mayor Pro Tempore on Tuesday. Look for him as he holds his office hours next week on July 8, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the tables by the Memorial Union patio.
1) How does it feel to be re-elected?
This was my fifth election in Davis. I ran unsuccessfully for the School Board in 1993, was elected to the School Board in 1995 and 1999, and now twice to the City Council. I take my work as a representative of our community very seriously. I feel affirmed and am honored and humbled by the confidence of the voters.
2) What projects is the city council working on for the summer?
One important part of our work this summer will be to organize for the next two years. The council will be conducting a goal setting workshop on Saturday, July 12 to discuss goals and projects for 2008-10. In addition, we will be bringing several major items forward over the next weeks, including updates on the work of the Climate Action Team, a review of our planning efforts to upgrade the water and waste water treatment systems and consideration of placing a city charter vote on the November ballot. Finally, a really cool thing we are all doing is planning for the UCD Centennial. I am very excited about the upcoming exhibits of the Bicycle Museum collection.
3) What are you doing for the 4th of July?
This is one of my favorite days in Davis. I will eat pancakes with the Little League sometime between 7 and 9 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Center on 14th Street. I will swing by the kid parade a little after that and probably try to get downtown to watch a part of the bicycle race and stop by the temporary display of part of the historical bike collection at the Bistro 33 building. Later in the day, I will help set up a booth at Community Park for a local nonprofit group and spend about three hours working at two separate booths. There are a couple of backyard parties I hope to visit and then back to Community Park to listen to some of my favorite local musicians – Duval Speck, Music Matt and the Whole Nine Yards, and Custom Neon. Then watch the fireworks from the park.
4) What‘s your favorite way to relax in the summer?
We like taking short trips to hike in cool places, read and listen to live music whenever we can. This summer we have some yard projects to tackle, because we filled in our backyard swimming pool this year and have some empty space to work with.
5) What’s something that most people don’t know about the city council?
In addition to the Tuesday night council meetings, members of the council are active participants in a variety of inter-jurisdictional bodies, including the Sacramento Area Council of Governments and regional bodies dealing with air quality, water and transportation.
6) What’s a typical day as a City Councilmember like?
I often start my day answering e-mails or following up on some issue. A typical day includes a couple of meetings with individual community members to chat about a concern. I conduct office hours about once a week to give people a chance to access local government in an informal way. Most days there is a joint meeting, or meeting of a group to which I am assigned as liaison, such as the City/Student Liaison Commission. On a council meeting week, I will be reading our agenda packet and making calls to try to answer any questions that emerge. I try to attend as many community events as I can, so most days include a trip somewhere in the city electric GEM car.
7) If you could change any one thing about the city of Davis, what would it be?
Improve the balance of economic development and housing availability so our community can support the services we demand, reduce our overall carbon footprint and support the mission of the UCD.
8) This is looking pretty far ahead, but what do you see yourself doing after this term on the city council?
Right now I am looking forward to this term on the council.
9) Do you have any book that you‘re reading at the moment?
Actually, I am about a third through the Tracy Kidder book Mountains Beyond Mountains, this year‘s community book. I like to read the community book each year and so far they have all been great. It is fun then to attend the author‘s talk and join in the various activities that bring the book to life. Mountains Beyond Mountains inspires us all to action and brings us some pretty heavy reflections on the purposes we choose to live for. Another book I am reading now is Stephen Carter‘s Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy.
10) You’re a Wyoming native. What drew you to Davis?
My wife and I moved to Davis so our two children could grow up in a town that values education and supports kids. We found a home for ourselves and enjoy the opportunity to participate in making this a great place to grow up, live, work and study.
RICHARD PROCTER conducted the interview and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.