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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

City council candidates square up for June 2012 election

The upcoming election on June 5 will decide who will occupy the three seats up for grabs on the Davis City Council. The three incumbent city council members – Sue Greenwald, Stephen Souza and Dan Wolk – will be up against not only each other, but also against two new council hopefuls, Lucas Frerichs and Brett Lee. The California Aggie interviewed the candidates about their backgrounds and their plans for the city if elected.

Lucas Frerichs

Lucas Frerichs is the current chair of the Davis Planning Commission, a position he’s held since 2008. In the past he’s held the position of chair of the Davis Social Services Commission from 2004 to 2008. In addition, he is a volunteer for a host of other services including the Innovation Park Task Force and the Yolo Basin Foundation.

He has worked for the California State Assembly for the past seven years and presently serves as the Legislative Director for Assemblyman Rich Gordon of Silicon Valley.

Frerichs grew up in upstate New York and Anchorage, Alaska before finally settling down in Davis in 1996, his senior year of high school. From there he went on to attend Sacramento State University, earning a degree in government and obtaining a certificate in environmental planning and land use from UC Davis.

“I will focus on the stewardship of Davis’ money and environment,” Frerichs said in a statement on his campaign website. “And I will collaborate in forging increased partnerships with UC Davis, the school district, nonprofits and Yolo County to build a stronger community.”

His main priorities if elected will be focused on restoring and fixing the budget, and stabilizing and developing Davis’ economy.

“My absolute top priority is ensuring that we develop a fiscally sustainable budget for the city,” Frerichs said in an interview with the Davis Patch. “Much like numerous other local governments throughout California, Davis faces long-term budgetary challenges.”

Sue Greenwald

Sue Greenwald has been a councilmember for the last 12 years and served as mayor from 2006 to 2008. She has served on various boards and commissions during the past 12 years including the Yolo County Transportation District and the Yolo County Water Resources Association. Additionally, she is an active resident of the City of Davis. She lives in one of Davis’ oldest neighborhoods near the campus.

“I feel that I make a difference; I feel that I bring a point of view to the council that is usually shared by the majority of Davis citizens and underrepresented on the council,” Greenwald said. “I have a passion for city planning, for enhancing our downtown, for improving the architectural aesthetics in town which is an area that has been neglected and for understanding the fiscal implications of our decisions.”

One of her main concerns is fostering the arts and entertainment scene in Downtown Davis in order to foster the relationship between UC Davis and the City of Davis. She also focuses on creating environmentally friendly transportation and housing.

“My base of support has always been strongly weighted towards faculty and students. I’m extremely concerned with keeping the town a place that really fosters a great environment for the University,” Greenwald said.

Stephen Souza
Stephen Souza has been a resident of Davis since 1979 and has served as a city council member for the last eight years. He has been involved with activism, civic participation and public service for much longer.
“As councilmember over the last eight years, I have tried to do many things that are important to this community,” Souza said. “I see that there are specific areas that I would love to continue to work upon to improve the quality of life we have in our community.”
There are three specific areas that he addresses in his campaign. First is to improve the long-term economic viability and sustainability of the community by creating jobs. Second is to address the unfunded liabilities and needs of the community. The third is to bring a green alternative energy source to this town so the power needed for the community is environmentally sustainable.
“We need to capture the technology that is being invented in Davis at the University and we need to implement that in Davis,” Souza said. “That’s something we are committed to as a council and as a community.”
His campaign slogan, “Green, Safe, Smart,” reflects these views.

Brett Lee

A project engineer for FedEx who doubles as a financial advisor at Mutual of Omaha part-time, Lee looks to add the title of city councilmember to his repertoire. He has been a homeowner in Davis since 2000, but has lived in the city on and off since 1967.

Lee graduated from UC Berkeley in 1987 with a degree in industrial engineering and operations research. The following year he enrolled at the London School of Economics, graduating with a master’s degree in industrial relations by 1989.

Lee has no prior experience running for any office, but he believes that his 20 years of knowledge in the private sector will prove to be of value to the community. He was the first to announce his candidacy.

One of the central issues Lee emphasizes is the encouragement of community growth over developer growth.

“The city’s growth should be community-driven, not developer-driven,” Lee said on his campaign site. “Growth should pay for itself, benefit the community and not add to the city’s cost burden.”

A couple of other areas that Lee also wishes to focus on are to protect the amenities of the community, improve the water management system and provide economic growth opportunities for the city.

“I support having a Tenants Bill of Rights for renters in Davis,” Lee said in an e-mail. “I am opposed to the proposed Alcohol Preclusion Ordinance. I support keeping Picnic Day fun. I have not forgotten what it is like to be a university student.”

Dan Wolk

Dan Wolk is currently one of the three city council incumbents, as well as the Deputy County Counsel for Solano County. He was elected to the council in March 1, 2011 to finish up the term of Don Saylor, who had been elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

Having graduated from Davis Senior High school in 1995, Wolk went on to receive an economics degree with honors from Stanford and a law degree from UC Berkeley. Though he was born in Washington, D.C., growing up, he attended Davis primary, elementary and intermediate schools.

Wolk has two young daughters and places an emphasis on bettering Davis for future generations.

“Davis is my hometown; I grew up here and I want my daughters to enjoy growing up here as much as I did,” Wolk said on his campaign website. “If I am elected to continue my service on the city council, I will do everything I can to make a stronger, better Davis for the next generation.”

Issues that Wolk plans to tackle include: addressing long-term structural issues with the budget, prioritizing economic development, focusing on environmental stability and pursuing affordable housing for both seniors and young families.

“While I’ve done a lot in my short tenure to address these issues, there is much left to do,” Wolk said. “I hope to continue serving, and make a better Davis for all of us.”

ANDREW POH and PAAYAL ZAVERI can be reached at city@theaggie.org.


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