Monday, July 4, 2016

Protesting Davisites Reverse a City Ban On Yard Refuse Piles on Streets: July, 1974 Council Drama (255)

In the Spring of 1974, City of Davis staff quietly developed and the City Council adopted a policy to “no longer pick up yard refuse placed in the street,” thus planning to end a popular practice of many years standing.

Bottom half, City "door hanger," back side
As this ban was about to go into effect on July 1, residents became aware of it and vigorously protested the onerous new requirements to containerize, to “bundle,” or to make arrangements for extra-cost pick-ups of yard refuse.


The City Council met Monday evenings and over the course of the three meetings of July 1, 8, and 15 assertive citizen crowds backed down and then reversed the Council.

As reported below in the Enterprise of July 17, at the Monday, January 15 meeting, the Council unanimously adopted a yard refuse collection system that was “exactly the same as the old one.”

July 2 Enterprise photo

I think it is of interest to know that the heavy-footed and out-of-touch City Council behavior we see in this episode emanated from the second cohort of the famous “revolution of ‘72” City Council. The historic trio of Joan Poulos, Bob Black and Richard Holdstock were in their third years on the Council and Jim Stevens and Tom Tomasi had just joined them. I guess it goes to show that Davis-style “progressives” can govern as ineptly as anyone else.










Equally as curious, the City Council was meeting weekly and doing a range of business in that month of July. (Governing in the sense of diligence--among other senses-- is now less important than it used to be in Davis?)

From this point, this post consists of yard refuge relevant excerpts from the Davis Enterprise over the first three weeks of July, 1974. The red lines and boxes in the excerpts are placed there by me and are intended as commentary.

[Note: The 1974 door hanger is from the Estate of MIriam Hummel, courtesy of Elizabeth Sherwin. Many thanks again to Davis Enterprise Editor Debbie Davis, who in 2001 gave me 79 bound volumes of original copies the Davis Enterprise from which the excerpts seen here are photographed.]


City "door hanger," front side

July 2-1

July 2-2


July 3



July 8


July 9-1


July 9-2


July 15



July 17