• Our View

Our view: Three for City Council

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

The issue: These leaders have intellect, integrity and enthusiasm

It’s a new era in Davis politics. As if the coronavirus pandemic didn’t make things strange enough, we’re also voting for City Council by district for the first time. For two-fifths of the population, this means there will be no vote at all, and the rest of us get one candidate each. This is a marked change from the days when the whole city voted on multiple candidates and radically realigns the relationship between voters and candidates.

One thing has not changed, however; Davis is still fortunate to have a bevy of well-qualified, well-informed and enthusiastic office-seekers looking to serve.

IN DISTRICT 2, we recommend returning Will Arnold to the council. A Davis native and Davis High graduate, he had already been involved in local politics and volunteerism for years when he first ran in 2016. Arnold doesn’t do anything halfway; when he commits to an issue, he does so with enthusiasm and sees it through to completion.

A busy husband and father, he also has experience as a downtown merchant and has seen first-hand Davis’ challenges in that arena. In recent years, the once-dysfunctional City Council has been able to get down to business, and made serious progress on issues like the budget and housing. Arnold’s blend of sincerity, commitment to his own values and collaborative approach has been a key part of that evolution.

Housing was his priority in 2016 and, as he told The Enterprise in August, “We addressed that head-on. We approved a number of rental (market rate and affordable) housing projects and I’m very proud of that.” Now he has his eye on more diverse housing projects.

For his commitment to the community, for his level-headed approach to problem-solving, and for his compassion and enthusiasm, we are proud to back Will Arnold for District 2.

IN DISTRICT 3, we can’t help but be impressed by the work Lucas Frerichs has put in. Another DHS graduate, a truly involved community member, Frerichs has the best interests of this city at heart in every action he takes.

The impression one gets speaking to Frerichs is high energy and rapid-fire delivery of ideas. Like Arnold, he’s been a part of the council’s transition into a more businesslike and effective entity.

Looking back on his previous eight years, Frerichs cited as his proudest moments cofounding Valley Clean Energy, the locally governed clean energy provider for Davis, Woodland and unincorporated areas of the county; working with colleagues to approve and then build the Woodland-Davis Surface Water Project; and replacing the aging wastewater treatment plant.

He has been Davis’ representative on the Sacramento Area Council of Governments and was elected board chair in January of this year, taking an opportunity to give Davis a voice in regional issues. We hope Davis voters agree with us and return Frerichs to office.

IN DISTRICT 5, South Davis, attitudes are different on the matter of district elections. Where most Davis voters (and politicians) are, at best, ambivalent about the change, those south of Interstate 80 are embracing an opportunity to emerge from what they see as decades of neglect in local politics.

Enter Rochelle Swanson, who served two terms under the old system and then walked away to focus on family as her youngest approached graduation. Now energized by the possibility of bringing more attention to South Davis issues, she’s reapplying for her old job.

We think she deserves it. Her time on the council was marked by recovery from a recession and turmoil over policing. Davis, all of Davis, could use her experience on those matters.

“It’s a perfect storm of things that have come together that I’m uniquely qualified for,” Swanson told us in September. We agree, and hope to see her on the council after November.

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Clarification of Saturday’s Column

I actually thought Saturday’s column was pretty clearly written.  My analysis leads to the conclusion that Will Arnold, Lucas Frerichs and Rochelle Swanson are the favorites to win. I did hedge my bet

Letter: Proud to back Swanson

Rochelle Swanson is smart and experienced with a proven track record of community leadership in Davis for well over a decade. Rochelle hits high marks for what matters to me, including a strong record