Osby Davis Set to make Mad Power Grab next Tuesday

By Marc Garman


We all know Mayor Osby Davis is in favor of playing the role of a strong and patriarchal figure. He has also been an advocate of changing our city charter to a  strong mayor form of government.

Now, Davis has placed a call for city council (July 22 meeting) to consider putting a measure on the November 2014 ballot to modify term limits and allow him to stay in office, get full time pay as mayor and act as lord, master, king and DICTATOR of Vallejo. Funny how these things pop up from below the radar at the last minute with the deadline for placement on the ballot looming. Add sneaky to power hungry.

The measure would give him more control over the municipal budget, broader discretionary powers, more staff and the ability to take on many of the duties of the City Manager. Speaking of our current City Manager Dan Keen, it is safe to say it is very unlikely that he would stay on as essentially an adjunct clerk to Dictator Davis.

With Vallejo making great strides in its recovery under the steady hand of City Manager Keen and a divided yet operational council, this is exactly the sort of reckless and disruptive policy upheaval Vallejo does not need. The cost of placing this on the ballot and the tumult to follow should it succeed will cause an immeasurable amount of damage. Imagine the meltdown for Vallejo with Strong Mayor Hermie (I don’t have enough information) Sunga…

The strong mayor form of government has been disastrous in larger nearby cities such as Oakland, which have a considerably greater pool of talent to draw from. Considering the bunker mentality divisiveness and relative incestuous nature of Vallejo politics, this is sure to spell disaster of epic proportions. Don’t forget Davis’ track record of poor judgment…such as his advocacy for the plan of bringing disgraced and indicted former Bond King of Miami Calvin Grigsby in to take on Vallejo’s debt prior to bankruptcy. That was just one birdbrain scheme among many.

Regardless of which side of the political windmill you sit on as a citizen, this is a bad idea for Vallejo. It is a great idea however, if you are one of the well monied special interests who benefits from buying local elections. With only one candidate to buy, the special interest return on investment will be multiplied considerably.

This isn’t really about politics. This is about one man’s quest to destroy any hope Vallejo has of fair and representative governance to satisfy some great and unbalanced egotistical mania for power.


From Agenda for July 22 City Council meeting:


'Osby Davis Set to make Mad Power Grab next Tuesday' have 43 comments

  1. July 17, 2014 @ 8:15 pm Junior

    And so it begins. This man’s ego is his biggest problem and far outweighs any intelligence he may have. This would take away any checks and balances built into our system. Things are working with a good city manager. Why upset the apple cart now? Oh yeah, the egomaniac just can’t resist. He’s proven himself to be a piss poor leader, why the hell would we give him more power and let him stay in office longer? I for one was counting the days until he terms out.


  2. July 17, 2014 @ 8:51 pm wharf rat

    Osby’s delusions of adequacy are beyond belief , the conductor of our bankruptcy , wants to continue to conduct the Choir !!! the flat and off key notes will resonate Bay Area wide , and continue to de-value Our once vibrant REAL ESTATE MARKET …. This Cat is a deal killer , we would be in better shape if he stayed in Tanzania , or Timbuktu for that matter …. Our local economy is circular and coupled to the broader Bay Area resurgence and economic evolution that other Communities are experiencing … Why do Vallejo leadership want to kill this evolution ? is it because of the political PIMPS or is it a STAFF driven scenario ??… This year will yield a major (take back our city) movement , the time has come to re-forge the plowshares into swords …………….It is done !!……


    • July 17, 2014 @ 9:50 pm Salty Dog

      Plato once said that the best form of government is through a “philosopher king” or a benign dictator, if you will. Since we now have something akin shaping up in D.C., Osby should be forgiven for thinking that he could emulate the same at a local level. Unfortunately, at both levels of governance, incompetency and an unrealistic sense of self-importance seems to be the hallmark. I am still waiting ,to no avail, to see Davis running a Council meeting with a degree of competency.

      So we are stuck with that far inferior form of governance (according to Plato) ,deemockracee to muddle us through. I would rather go with the ignorant voting masses than entrust my welfare to any one entity, regardless of how wise and competent and beneficent none of which the current incumbent has demonstrated with any degree of certainty. And, since fame is fleeting and Mayors come and go, I cringe at the thought of future philosopher kings.

      A really,really bad idea, Mr Davis. Be content to be one of seven on the stage.


      • July 22, 2014 @ 6:41 am Salty Dog

        A very, very bad idea for various legitimate reasons, Mr Mayor.

        But, of course, as an elected rep to Council, there is no conflict of interest for you in bringing forward the concept for discussion.

        Let’s also discuss representation by zones as opposed to “at large”.


  3. July 17, 2014 @ 9:31 pm Bong Hit

    Sorry dude, we’ve already got an incompetent President of the United States. Why in the world would we choose to have an incompetent mayor as well? You’re dreaming. Once your term is up, get lost.


  4. July 18, 2014 @ 12:47 am Special Interests Meet Oz-the-Ego

    This is a perfect marriage of Special Interests Running Amuck, matched with the Monstrous Ego of someone who is so egotistical and self-serving he is toxic for Vallejo.

    There’s a reason that very few cities have Strong Mayor governments, and even fewer than that do it well. It’s a bad idea on so many levels, where to start… Well, how about Vallejo’s own Charter Review Commission, that nixed the idea? You could point to Vallejo’s lack of a talent pool; the fact that you’d be trading the voices of 7 people for the voice of 1; the fact that Special Interests would then only need to control 1 person vs 7, so our city would fall prey to very narrow, powerful interests; the fact that running a city is an actual professional job, closer to a private sector CEO job than that of a Council member…

    Dan Keen, our City Manager is doing a good job, truly a great job considering the shape we were in when he got here. He won’t stay under a Strong Mayor government, and that would be a huge loss for Vallejo.

    In short, this would be a mistake of catastrophic proportions. I also hate that Davis wants a *special* meeting of the Council to raise it — i.e., a meeting not as well publicized nor well attended. Then there’s his pitch that he ought to have his term limits suspended, because the new position would be different. My God, we already can’t stand you now and are counting the days ’til this term ends.

    It’s an absolute outrage.


    • July 18, 2014 @ 7:49 am Joan

      We’ve already had him for one more year than we should have or wanted. My God, get rid of this leech. He needs to go off into the sunset and leave us the hell alone already.


  5. July 18, 2014 @ 7:53 am The People

    I think his desire to sneak it in a meeting that won’t be well attended just blew up in his face. Come on Vallejoans, your city is under attack. Cme to the meeting on Tuesday. Call the other council members and tell them not to waste our money putting this on the ballot.

    We all know what Osby will say, “Put it on the ballot, let The People decide.” NO, Osby. The People already decided. We elected council members to make decisions. This is a decision they need to make. Save us from wasting money. Save us from dividing the city and creating a nasty public battle. Save us from the egomaniac. It’s a stupid idea of epic proportions. Kill it on Tuesday and get back to work fixing our city. Don’t let this divisive distraction happen.


    • July 18, 2014 @ 9:39 am Billy Goat

      EXCELLENT Post, “The People,” — owrht repeating & emphasizing:

      “Come on Vallejoans, your city is under attack. Cme to the meeting on Tuesday. Call the other council members and tell them not to waste our money putting this on the ballot.” YES!

      “We all know what Osby will say, “Put it on the ballot, let The People decide.” NO, Osby. The People already decided. We elected council members to make decisions.” Absolutely — and beyond having other Council people, the City already studied this issue via the Charter Review Commission — and decided it was a bad idea for Vallejo. A change of this scope should be preceded by a LOT of public study and a LOT of debate — not just a sneaky last-minute attempt to get it on the ballet.

      “It’s a stupid idea of epic proportions.” YES.


  6. July 18, 2014 @ 10:02 am Billy Goat

    What Osby has been unable to do via leadership, he wants to do by force.

    If he was truly representative, and if he had good ideas to begin with, he would find it easier to get approval for his ideas. Instead, he tries sneaky last-minute attempts to get things approved, like the vote on the Tanzania junket — supposedly a last-minute invitation, but then it turns out, Osby himself had ORGANIZED the trip, the planning was in place for months!

    Now we have a last-minute attempt to push through a MASSIVE and fundamental change in Vallejo’s Charter. Something like this should have been surfaced during the Council’s goal-setting at the beginning of the year. Did it? If so, obviously it was not approved by the rest of the Council. Something like this should be studied & discussed by a lot of people before brining it to the ballot. Oh yeah, it has ALREADY been studied and dismissed as a bad idea by the Charter Review folks. So — if Oz wants to resurrect it, he needs to show justification for why he’s proposing it, CONFIRMED by public input and discussion. This kind of change deserves the input of a citizen commission, and public hearings.

    Right out of the gate, just by the very way he’s handling this, Davis is showing poor time management, and contempt of the public process. If a Strong Mayor government is a good idea for Vallejo, let’s look into it with due time and process, not just try to sneak it on to the ballot at the last-minute. Also, for a measure that he has wanted for years, why the last-minute special meeting? Why not manage your time to get it on a regularly-scheduled meeting? How about the impact on staff? They already have full plates, yet he’s now requesting a fire drill to pull together the info for a MASSIVE change in Vallejo’s style of government — in one week. I would say that this is an absolute joke, but it isn’t funny.

    We should not be rewriting the City’s Charter for the egomania and tyrannical drive of one person. By his very effort to get this done, Davis shows we he is not a good candidate for the job, and why it’s a bad idea.


  7. July 18, 2014 @ 10:44 am krissi

    Is this April? Is this a VIB April Fool’s joke? Has to be…..


    • July 18, 2014 @ 10:56 am MG

      I wish it was.



      • July 18, 2014 @ 1:56 pm wharf rat

        Timing iseverything I wonder if there is some specific ellement involved like vacations or something or just a naive assumption that folks will be busy with summer vacations and will not
        notice attempted coup …Guess who will be funding this measure if it makes the ballot ???


  8. July 18, 2014 @ 2:40 pm OjaiFireAgni

    This is a ba….ba…..ba….Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad IDEA Mr. Mayor !
    You had 2-terms: you have done some good, and some are in process and some not so good.

    We don’t need MORE money for our Mayor or Council (it is public service, for God’s sake).
    We need to allow other younger, creative and conscientious minds/hearts/spirits to get a chance and serve!!

    We sincerely say, after your term, join PB and serve as budget delegate, facilitator and be a life-long genuine friend and servant of the People of Vallejo — this is your chance to show your extended care for Vallejo.

    Let’s all go and tell him that on this day and let’s all hope our Council does not blindly and meekly say YES.


    • July 18, 2014 @ 3:19 pm Bong Hit

      Wow! Very well said. +1


    • July 23, 2014 @ 11:04 am OjaiFireAgni

      ….AND WE, THE PEOPLE DID !! …………………..

      Thank you Vice-mayor Sampayan, Councilmembers Miessner, Dew-costa, McConnel, Malgapo for saying NO on behalf of all of us who elected you! Pippin & Jess, there is no need to be torn or confused about this = THE FACTS WERE PRESENTED TO YOU BY 50 PEOPLE….the people spoke.

      Now, as far as Councilmember Rosanna, we don’t understand her kiss-the-mayor approach ?? What’s wrong with you? Did you not understand what the people said yesterday? Did you not see the overwhelming NO by all the people who waited for 5+ hours patiently and you vote YES?? How dare you disrespect the people who voted for you ??

      Finally, Mayor Davis — here is the window of your opportunity: please use this rejection and NO by the Vallejoans to DO GOOD ANYWAY as you intended, without extra power, extra money — Please serve the people’s agenda and regain their affection and respect — you still have 2-years to do it !!!


  9. Vallejo Voter

    July 18, 2014 @ 5:34 pm Vallejo Voter

    What a BAD idea. And Davis will be mayor for 9 years, not 8. What does he want to do? Sit as Mayor for another 10?
    The Charter Commission REJECTED the idea of a strong mayor for Vallejo. Where does he think the City is going to get the money he wants for a full time salary as mayor, along with paying a city administrator, etc., etc., etc. We can’t afford what we have now. Remember, while he was in the minority, he was willing to follow those smarter than him and make sure that Measure B money was used for 1 time expenditures, not salaries. Now, back in the majority, encircled by bought and sold fiscal idiots, he is willing to spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, spend, WITHOUT having brought in any revenue into the city. DAVIS is the reason the city sued TRIAD. Davis argued it was a slam dunk and the city could win on a motion before trial. BAD DECISION. Triad would have won at trial. That is why the City after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, settled with Triad and gave them $$$ and parcels. WE LOST because of DAVIS. While in Bankruptcy, Davis voted to give 2 employee groups RAISES. Is this the type of person we want leading our city? Keen would walk turn in his resignation by November 12th if a strong mayor government ordinance won and we would be left with DAVIS making ALL decisions. (Can you see him managing the Police Chief????????) BAD, BAD, BAD, IDEA.


  10. July 18, 2014 @ 6:49 pm John_K

    The Ozz running a new campaign for Strong Mayor?

    Marc, aka Batman — thanks for alerting Gotham City to heed this dire new threat from The Joker. Unfortunately, it seems you were presented with an Excellent Occasion to revive that Most Appropriate graphic representation of Col. Ozz Gawdoffal. He blundered by giving employee raises whilst under the protection of bankruptcy, thus keeping our City on the edge of deficit. He cannot control a simple Council Meeting, and had to publicly apologize to Sam Kurshan. How could he possibly control a whole fookin’ City Staff and Budget? In front of everybody, The Ozz told the Whole Civilized World that our Gay Citizenry is destined to go to Hell. And there’s more…

    Other than his religious cronies, who could possibly support this man in his Mad Power Grab?


    • July 18, 2014 @ 11:40 pm Bong Hit

      He surrendered to bankruptcy. No thanks, this is a failed individual when it comes to personal business. I sure don’t want a person like this making decisions at the community level.

      Get lost you failure. Let the young blood have a shot.


  11. July 18, 2014 @ 8:02 pm cranky pants


    If imitation is flattery than this is the ultimate homage to Dysfunction Junction I have yet to see. So I can already predict who on the bench is going to go for this one. I mean after all we have all experienced great results from major legislation that only took less than a month to write to qualify for the ballot….in an off cycle year.

    The fact he is doing this in an off cycle year only tells me he will be using the pulpit to get this pushed through…and when he alienates the gay community into leaving town so he can have his own pure state like the ones in South Africa he will replace them with more clients, err I mean low income housing….and more meth dealers for the police to ignore.

    Awesome….just freaking awesome.


  12. July 19, 2014 @ 1:18 am wharf rat

    Osby Davis you are no Ron Delums , I knew Ron and you are no Ron Delums , give it up . If Maudel were still alive She would give you a whipping ….


  13. July 19, 2014 @ 7:30 am Anne

    Learn the Facts About Council-Manager Government”
    From a free, downloadable PDF, highlights:
    — Council Manager governments are more representative of a diversity of interests and voices.
    “Under the “strong mayor” form, however, it’s easier for special interests to use money and political power to influence a single elected official, rather than having to secure a majority of the city council’s support for their agenda.”
    Council-Manager governments are less likely to hire and fire based on partisan politics, and more likely to have City employees who are qualified for their jobs, vs political patronage.
    “By 2000, as reported by the Executive Director of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the council-manager form had become the dominant one operating in 63 per cent of cities with populations of 25,000 or more; in 57 per cent of cities with populations of 10,000 or more; and in 53 per cent of cities with populations of 5,000 or more. This included an average of 63 US local units per year that had adopted the council-manager form of government between 1984 and 2000.” http://www.citymayors.com/government/council_managers.html
    “Strong Mayor” governments became disgraced during the days of machine politics, like Tammany Hall, Boss Tweed & Boss Reuf. The widespread corruption in strong mayor cities led to sweeping efforts to root them out in the 20’s and 30’s.

    Article from the California City Management Foundation and ICMA, the International City/County Management Association (Revised 2009)


    • July 19, 2014 @ 8:00 am wharf rat

      Great post Anne , in a nutshell legal tyranny , this whole nightmare smacks of Bell Ca many of the conspirators are currently in prison … Wonder what this would do to our bond rating etc : who is in the wings with the $$$ to fund this ill thought measure ????


  14. July 19, 2014 @ 7:43 am Rate the Mayor in Natn'l Survey

    From an online pub, “City Mayors,” the “Mayor Monitor” — a chance to rate and give feedback on the mayor of your choice. Maybe Davis needs a reality check…

    Mayor Monitor
    City Mayors invites its readers to evaluate the perofmance of mayors from across the world. Please comment on their achievements while in office and/or describe their failures. You may also rate their overall performance by awarding him or her marks out of ten. ‘1’ signifies an extremely poor performance, while ’10’ would rate his or her performance as outstanding. Evaluation form


  15. July 19, 2014 @ 12:20 pm wharf rat

    exactly why we do not want a strong mayor government “they can’t get rid of him”


  16. July 20, 2014 @ 1:31 am Dorothy

    Osby Davis needs to learn how to be a strong person first, his incompetence precludes him from becoming any sort of “strong mayor”.

    Every time I think of him, I am reminded of a Jane Austen title, “Pride and Prejudice”.


  17. July 20, 2014 @ 8:58 am Mousy

    Where is the text supporting the term limit change? Strong mayor yes, but no proposal text for him wanting to extend his term in the same swoop.


  18. July 20, 2014 @ 12:30 pm Rick Mariani

    I think we need to get a ruling from the City Attorney whether Osby can vote on this proposal. He should be recused from voting as he could personally benefit by the decision!


  19. July 20, 2014 @ 12:35 pm Anonymous

    Hahahaha, what a setup. A “strong mayor” ballot measure, if approved by Council and backed by the Voters, opens the door for Vallejo Fil-Am godfather Sunga and the Filipino power bloc to take full control as Sunga becomes Vallejo Mayor. Remember, last election showed up the Fil-Am ethnic power bloc as strong and Vallejo black community as weak (no blacks elected), so how is Osby going to overcome the Fil-Am power bloc in Vallejo, especially with the California Fil-Am PAC coming online soon? As they say, be careful what you wish for, you may get it.


    • July 21, 2014 @ 2:31 pm Iñigo

      Sadly, Malgapo and Verder-Aliga might support this move, as they are potential “strong mayor” prospects. They, and their buddy Hermie Sunga, who may be biding his time for a mayoral run.

      Let’s remind the Filipino community that their home country was under a dictatorship for more than 20 years. The Marcos regime didn’t work out that great for their country. Wanna dabble in dictatorship over here in Vallejo?


  20. July 20, 2014 @ 2:23 pm wharf rat

    Osby only needs to be in the new “strong Mayor” seat for just lung enough to spike his retirement then he cleans up big time !


    • July 21, 2014 @ 8:15 pm John_K

      Thanks. I’ve taken your pension spiking idea an run with it. Here’s what I’m posting elsewhere:

      I think some of us may be mistaken about Osby’s goal. He doesn’t want to take over the duties of the City Manager. He knows that he lacks the skills, knowledge, and abilities to do that job. What Osby really wants (in my opinion) is to be the spokesperson who tells us the State Of The City, and he wants to personally speak to us about Summary Of The City Budget. These things are already done rather well by our City Manager and Staff. But if Osby becomes the Official Speaker, then it’s really simple: he gets FULL TIME job status, FULL TIME PAY (anywhere from $90K to $150K, without voter approval) and he spikes his own retirement pension at Taxpayer’s expense, thus causing us to further tighten our belts and receive fewer City services for our tax money. And we still have a FULL PAY City Manager. Looks to me like a major ripoff.

      Simply put: the Mayor is attempting to spike his own pension at taxpayer expense.


  21. July 20, 2014 @ 2:29 pm wharf rat

    Surly this will require much study and discussion before a change this profound could even be considered
    anything of this magnatude should have at least six months before the community and under the sunshine ……


    • July 20, 2014 @ 5:33 pm cranky pants

      I agree..but..Since when did the sunshine act prevent Osby from ignoring it? unfortunately I see a 4 to 3 coming down the pipe. the bought and paid for have to give back to mamon what is due at some point……


  22. July 20, 2014 @ 9:54 pm Junior

    If you think Osby Davis won’t try and slip term limits into his “proposal” at the last minute, then I have a bridge to sell you. He wants his CalPERS pension spiked. That’s what this is all about. He has some years as County Supervisor, some as mayor, but not enough to make it a big PERS check every month. He puts a few years in as a mayor at whatever His Highness is thinking of paying himself ($150,000 is my bet) and he’ll round up his PERS payout for him and his wife for the rest of their lives. All at the City of Vallejo taxpayers’ expense. Hello, Bell City Manager? Oh yeah, he’s in prison now.


    • July 21, 2014 @ 8:17 pm John_K

      Thanks… I’ve taken your $150K figure as a possibility… and posted elsewhere:

      I think some of us may be mistaken about Osby’s goal. He doesn’t want to take over the duties of the City Manager. He knows that he lacks the skills, knowledge, and abilities to do that job. What Osby really wants (in my opinion) is to be the spokesperson who tells us the State Of The City, and he wants to personally speak to us about Summary Of The City Budget. These things are already done rather well by our City Manager and Staff. But if Osby becomes the Official Speaker, then it’s really simple: he gets FULL TIME job status, FULL TIME PAY (anywhere from $90K to $150K, without voter approval) and he spikes his own retirement pension at Taxpayer’s expense, thus causing us to further tighten our belts and receive fewer City services for our tax money. And we still have a FULL PAY City Manager. Looks to me like a major ripoff.

      Simply put: the Mayor is attempting to spike his own pension at taxpayer expense.


  23. July 20, 2014 @ 9:56 pm Hope

    I don’t know about the 4-3. Don’t count Ms. Dew-Costa out yet. This will be her litmus test. I’m hoping she proves to be ethical and strong-willed. We’ll see.


    • July 21, 2014 @ 8:20 pm John_K

      Thanks. I sent an email to Councilmember Dew-Costa asking her to not approve Osby’s meeting.
      We shall see.


  24. July 21, 2014 @ 3:18 am In The Know

    Dear Mr. Mayor

    First came your hat, then your failed attempt at trying to appease some of the public employee unions during the negotiations. Now this POWER GRAB for what-so you can act like you are the second coming of Willie Brown!

    From what the Times Herald has reported about the new duties: like a yearly State of the City address and suggestions for budget problems-you can do that now anytime you want but we will let you do these things without a big pay increase. Just think Mr. Mayor how it would feel do get to do these things with no increase in pay. That alone should be enough to make you feel real warm and fuzzy.

    Do you really believe I or anyone else wants you doing these wonderful things for us for more money going into your pockets. Nah-Mr. Keen is doing fine as it is.

    Have a good day.


    • July 21, 2014 @ 10:06 am Only Bob?

      Why is this addressed only to Bob Sampayan and not other councilmembers?


      • July 21, 2014 @ 3:12 pm wharf rat

        It was a computer glitch for real no bs


  25. July 22, 2014 @ 7:09 am Bong Hit

    Middle class jump-start

    While we’re on the subject of a box of rocks, take a look at this collection of democrats back in Washington DC. Their making their 100 day action plan for when they retake the house this fall. It takes lots of rocks between the ears to follow this group but we’re all in agreement on that axiom.

    Notice the name they’ve given their newest Cash for Clunkers scheme: “Middle Class Jump-start”. How far fetched is it to speculate that Osby was encouraged by fellow rock between the ears comrades to make this strong mayor push? Perhaps Vallejo is being studied, watched and coordinated by powerful interests back in DC.

    Hey democrats, you’re at war – with yourselves and the rest of the nation.

    watch video here, you only have to watch 1 minute to get the jump-start reference.



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