Only Meserve Meets The Scrutinizer Challenge – October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No good Dave goes unpunished

Note: Last week the Arcata Eye Issue Scrutinizers asked the seven City Council candidates a number of questions ranging from serious to supercilious. Of the seven candidates, one man and one man alone had the courage to answer some of the questions and ignore the rest in time for pre-election print publication. That man is Dave Meserve. And what did it get him? Spiked – by the Monday advent of a column suddenly submitted by former District Attorney candidate Paul Hagen. Hagen, who had been out of town, wanted to respond to a political bid for his supporters which had appeared in the Oct. 20 edition. The last-minute change-out required retooling of three newspaper pages, and this piece by diligent Dave (as well as Beverly Hale’s weekly column) was thrown overboard for space. A separate opinion column by Meserve did get published in the Oct. 27 edition. It wasn’t fair, it wasn’t right, but it was a deadline decision. Other candidates submitted their more languidly-timed responses after deadline, and those appear in the Scrutinizer comment section. – Ed.

Dave’s Scrutinizer responses

What do you do to calm yourself when someone disagrees with you or attacks you at council meetings (if already a member) or in similar stressful situations?

I say to myself, over and over, “I shall not cherish hatred, anger or displeasure.”

Being on the Arcata City Council isn’t just reading your packet and attending the City Council meetings, do you really know what you are getting into?

Yes, I’ve been there and know that it requires at least 20 hours per week in order to do a good job. This involves not only a thorough reading of the packet, but also meeting with community members to address their concerns and working with council members and other elected officials to accomplish regional goals.

Are you committed to serving out the full term you want us to hire you for?

Yes, I am committed to serving out the full term.

Will you be vigilant to see that staff and outside consultant information provided in reports does not include unsupported opinion?

Staff reports are an important part of our decision making, but I would never rely entirely on the staff report, without also seeking independent analysis from other on-the-ground sources. It is important to make sure that staff reports are based on fact and not opinion.

One City Councilmember alone can do nothing. How do you see yourself working and collaborating with at least two or three councilmembers, not running for election, to form a majority?

I would partner with one other councilmember, choosing different ones on different issues. I look forward to working with Michael Winkler on energy issues, Susan Ornelas on regional self-sufficiency, Shane Brinton on living wage jobs and housing, and Alex Stillman on supporting local business and light industry.

What expenses in the City budget will you propose reducing or eliminating?

The answer to government deficits is not to cut programs, but to develop innovative sources of new income, especially from the very wealthy and corporate entities. We need to recognize the importance of the great people who staff our city departments and recognize the hard work that they do for our community.

Who is you favorite Beatle?


What three things things do you hope to accomplish in your first (or next) term?

Bike and pedestrian trail to Eureka, downtown restrooms, better cooperation with the North Coast Resource Center and other social action non-profits. Beyond those three, we also need to put effort into regional energy self-sufficiency as a long term goal, based on renewable generation like wind, solar and wave.

I’m very curious about the City Council candidates’ views on both the General Plan and on development in general.

I support County Sketch plan A and adhering to the Arcata General Plan. We need to focus on infill development and retain agricultural land for food production.

What is your plan for supporting the struggling middle class?

I support providing affordable housing for all income levels, from emergency through middle income. People who work in Arcata should be able to afford living here. Specifically I would raise the affordable housing Inclusionary Zoning from 15 percent to 20 percent and work on a Renters’ Bill of Rights.

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