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Davis

Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

City council hopefuls announce bids for election

Two more candidates have announced their bids for the upcoming Davis City Council election. Daniel Parrella and Rochelle Swanson will be running against a third candidate, Robb Davis, for the June 2014 election.

As of now, two City Council seats will become available in June, but if mayor Pro-Tem Dan Wolk wins the 4th Assembly District seat, a third seat in City Council will open up.

Rochelle Swanson has been a member of City Council for the past two years, and is seeking re-election in order to continue her work with the City of Davis.

“There is still work to be done on issues, specifically getting our fiscal situation truly sustainable for the long term so that we can preserve and enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Davis,” Swanson said.

On the other side is Daniel Parrella, who had to drop out of UC Santa Barbara because of rising tuition and cost of living, which is something that he said he sees happening in Davis and hopes to prevent.

“We are rapidly becoming a town of boomers and college students with nothing in between … we need to find ways of keeping young families and young professionals in Davis,” Parrella said in an email.

According to Parrella, this would also increase the city’s revenue and balance the budget.

Parrella would like to create a business park, which, he says, would generate hundreds of jobs for graduates, while also producing revenue to pay for the services that the city provides citizens.

“My biggest hope for the City Council moving forward is that we create a sustainable economy that produces high-paying jobs,” Parrella said in an email.

According to current City Council member Brett Lee, finances are the biggest issue that the City of Davis faces moving forward.

“City Council is struggling to pay for infrastructure costs. We haven’t been taking care of the roads, and it’s something that we’ve deferred for many years,” Lee said. “We also need to set more money aside for the future.”

While Swanson is aware of the financial problems that the city is facing, she said that the economic future of the city is bright.

“Even with all of the cuts that we’ve made, we’ve started looking at revenues,” Swanson said. “As we continue to move forward, we’re being efficient in our spending.”

To Swanson, economic expansion and city-university involvement go hand in hand.

“Leveraging taxes with the University, and adding more industry and manufacturing will help the city utilize the student resources we have,” Swanson said. “It also creates hands on experience for students.”

When asked about the relationship between the University and the City of Davis, Parrella said that each group needs to realize the importance of the other.

“The first step towards a positive relationship is having the students understand that local political decisions affect them just as much as federal or state decisions, if not more,” Parrella said in an email. “The City Council needs to understand that students are the reason we have such a thriving downtown.”

Lee stressed the importance of a strong relationship between the City of Davis and the University and its students. He believes that what sets UC Davis apart from many universities is that it is surrounded by such a great city to live in, something that he wants to preserve for future generations.

Lee would like to see an improved relationship between University students and elected officials.

“The city can do a better job of identifying what would make the town more university friendly,” Lee said.

Lee, a UC Berkeley graduate, stated the importance of having a quality living environment surrounding a university.

“I like Berkeley, but I had some colleagues that didn’t want to go to Berkeley because of the town or city environment,” Lee said. “[The City of] Davis [is] a place that parents want their kids to go to school,” Lee said.

Davis resident David Reid says that he has noticed more student involvement in the City of Davis recently.

“I see [students] at the farmer’s market and downtown more than I used to,” Reid said. “The University is bigger, and we need its students to fit into the city environment well, and to continue to support it.”

Reid added that because university students are exposed to such a wide variety of perspectives on a daily basis, they can often come up with creative solutions to problems, which is exactly what the city needs.

Swanson wants to work more with students and residents to create a more cohesive, receptive environment.

“People have great ideas, and I’ve found it rewarding to incorporate them,” Swanson said. “I want to support that creative environment.”

All voters registered in the City of Davis will be eligible to vote in the upcoming election.

Reid said that the June 2014 election will be one of City Council’s most unpredictable to date because of the wide range of candidates.

“You have an interesting combination of incumbent [Swanson], relatively unknown and young Parrella, and Robb Davis,” Reid said. “Should be interesting.”

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