DBID Report approved, public worried about issues affecting downtown night safety
On Nov. 17, the Davis City Council approved the Davis Downtown Business Association’s (Davis Downtown) annual Downtown Business Improvement District (DBID) Report for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
Davis Downtown is an organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of the downtown businesses, developing regional marketing opportunities, promoting diverse business and expanding relations with the city and UC Davis.
Downtown businesses are levied a fee by the City of Davis, which is transferred to Davis Downtown for marketing, advocacy and events.
The DBID Report is prepared by Davis Downtown and is used to inform the council and Davis residents of the activities, achievements, and ways in which funds were used to improve the downtown community. It also offers an overview of the goals and events expected to be accomplished in the upcoming year.
City Chief Innovation Officer Diane Parro, who presented the DBID report, discussed the numerous comments she received from business and property owners.
“Comments were largely about how the promotions drove traffic to downtown, how [business owners] felt that collaboration was very worthwhile and provided services they couldn’t afford on their own, and that they were very happy with events that were very successful in downtown,” Parro said.
People also expressed concerns to Parro about safety and cleanliness issues and the homeless in downtown.
Executive Director of Davis Downtown Stewart Savage, provided a summary of activities and achievements happening in downtown.
The upcoming fourth annual Davis Downtown Window Decorating Contest for downtown businesses, and the Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony are some of the events Davis Downtown help market.
Some of the big achievements this year for Davis Downtown include supporting Jumpstart Davis and F Street Screever Fest, promoting Yolo County in a San Francisco Chronicle advertisement, and joining the restaurant and bar committee to address safety issues in downtown.
“Davis is a downtown where people want to locate their businesses,” Savage said.
After a lengthy discussion between members of the council, councilmember Brett Lee introduced a motion to approve the DBID Report and it was unanimously approved.
While approval was not conditional, council members asked Davis Downtown to hold an open conversation with city staff and members of the public in order for people to address their concerns about a variety of issues and increase transparency.
“Our role is to oversee the collection of these funds and then to give them to an entity to carry out the city’s goals,” Lee said. “In that role, we would like to have the Davis Downtown participate with city staff in an open forum to discuss the general success of the organization and any concerns we have about the organization. This meeting would be open to all interested parties and supported with full appropriate city staff presence.”
During the meeting, concerned Davis resident and former councilmember Mike Harrington urged the City Council to strengthen public safety downtown by requiring bars and clubs to end business hours earlier.
“The downtown issues really have to be handled,” Harrington said. “I personally think that [1 to 2 a.m.] is way too late. I think midnight is just about right and I feel like a lot of people probably agree with me.”
Paul Frydendal, the uncle of one of the three boys who were attacked in Downtown Davis on Nov. 14 also addressed the council and asked them to find solutions to the crime and safety issues.
“Something needs to be done to significantly address the crime that is happening in your downtown,” Frydendal said.
After having spoke with Frydendal, Harrington once again addressed the council to emphasize his concerns.
“It’s nice hearing about holiday parties and all of that and the downtown is a lively place to be, but public safety is number one and what’s going on right now is completely intolerable,” Harrington said. “If you close the bars at midnight you will prevent a lot of problems.”
Bar safety in Davis has been an ongoing concern to residents. The issue was also discussed at the Nov. 3 City Council meeting and will likely continue to be brought up in the future.
Written By: CARLA ARANGO – firstname.lastname@example.org