Sydney Vergis currently attends UC Davis in the Transportation Technology and Policy Graduate Group. She used to work as a Senior Land Use Planner in the Sacramento Valley. Her areas of professional expertise include City and County General Plans, city financing, annexations and city boundary regulations, and environmental impact reporting. Past experience includes running a County Local Agency Formation Commission, and working as a Policy Analyst for the California Commission on Aging and the California State Assembly Committee on Agriculture.
She graduated from UC Davis in 2004 with a double major in Economics (B.A.) AND Environmental Policy, Analysis and Planning with a water quality emphasis (B.S).
- Tuleyomne’s 2008 “Green Summit- State of the Environment Conference”- Steering Committee Member
- International House 2008 Harlem Ambassadors annual fundraiser- Chair
- Former Chair, current member Yolo County Young Democrats
- Member: Rotary International — Davis Sunrise Chapter
- City of Davis — Business and Economic Development Commission
- City of Davis — Tree Commission
- Vice President and Board member: TREE Davis
- Philanthropy Chair: Chi Omega
- Recipient: Human Corps Community Service Award, presented by Chancellor Vanderhoef
2010 City Council Campaign
Sydney ran for a seat at the Davis City Council in 2010, but was defeated in the June 8, 2010 Election after coming in third place. 2008 Endorsements are noted below- 2010 nominators include Delaine Eastin, Helen Thomson, Betsy Marchand, Lea Rosenberg, Don Saylor, Judy Wydick, Richard Wydick, Teresa Kaneko, Jerry Kaneko, Herb Bauer, Arun Sen, Calvin Handy, Dick Dorf, Betty Weir, Cat Haskell, Cayce Wallace, Ben Lyberger, George Rooks, Hila Rooks, Alinia Asmundson, Anna Choudhuri, Marty West, Hillary Olson, Elisabeth Sherwin, Adam Bridge, Jan Bridge, Tim Tutt, Eileen Tutt, Susanne Rockwell and Brian Sway.
Supervisor Helen Thomson published a letter of support for Vergis on May 19th stating:
I have been honored to serve our community as an elected official for 36 years. I believe that City Council members who are receptive to collaboration, and who inspire community visioning and engagement, will help Davis continue to be the place we all love.
I am supporting Sydney Vergis for Davis City Council in the June election. I believe Sydney will bring a fresh perspective to the council, one that is informed by her professional experiences as a certified senior land use planner and municipal finance consultant, as well as her extensive community volunteerism, including service on the Tree Davis board of directors, City Business and Economic Development Commission, city Tree Commission, fundraising chair for the UCD International House and as a member of the Davis Sunrise Rotary Club.
She also has the energy, spirit and integrity necessary for the job.
Helen M. Thomson
Meet Sydney and her Mentors: In the ten years that Sydney has been in Davis, she have been mentored and nurtured by several outstanding Davis women. You can honor them, meet Sydney, and share your visions for Davis at one of more of these planned events:
|Sun, 6/6, 12-1pm|
|Judy Wydick and Helen Thomson|
|Nurturing the Future of Davis|
|Sat 6/5, 5-pm|
|California's Budget Crisis|
|Wed, 6/2, 6-7pm|
|Garden at Central Park|
|Tues, 6/1, 6-8pm|
|Mon, 5/31, 6:30-7:30pm|
|Ruth Asmundson and Marty West|
|Peet's Coffee at the Marketplace|
|City/School District Partnerships|
|Sun, 5/30, 2-3:30pm|
|926 Craig Place|
|Understanding Davis & the County|
Controversy Over Independent Expenditure Committee
School board member Marty West and Mayor Ruth Asmundson have filed the FPPC Form 410 to create an independent expenditure committee to support Sydney Vergis for City Council. The committee's title is, "Committee to Support Sydney Vergis for City Council 2010." According to the FPPC Manual, "An “independent expenditure” is a payment for a communication that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified California state or local candidate or the qualification, passage, or defeat of a clearly identified state or local ballot measure, and the communication is not coordinated with or “made at the behest” of the affected candidate or committee." FPPC regulation section 18225.7 defines "Made at the behest of" as "made under the control or at the direction of, in cooperation, consultation, coordination, or concert with, at the request or suggestion of, or with the express, prior consent of." Furthermore section (c)(2) of the same code writes, "an expenditure is presumed to be made at the behest of a candidate or committee if it is... (2) Made by or through any agent of the candidate or committee in the course of the agent's involvement in the current campaign..."
The Vanguard alleges, "Mayor Ruth Asmundson's involvement in the independent expenditure committee presents a clear problem in terms of the independence of this committee. The Mayor's daughter, Alinia Asmundson is the treasurer and key adviser to the Sydney Vergis campaign." The Vanguard has said it will file a formal complaint. It also asks, "The issue of the independence of this committee aside, one has to question the need to form an independent expenditure committee. Why wouldn't strong supporters of Sydney Vergis simply work through the candidate's campaign?" The Vanguard offers two speculations: "One is that despite Ms. Vergis' contention from two weeks ago that she would not be accepting money from the firefighters, there are plans to use this committee to collect independent expenditure money from the firefighters to support Ms. Vergis' campaign"; the second "is that Marty West intends to use this IE to continue attacking Rochelle Swanson as she and others associated with the Sydney Vergis campaign have done for the past week". See these Vanguard articles for further details.
Response to Controversy Over Independent Expenditure Committee
The fruition of the IE was to send a letter of support to Marty and Ruth's friends and associates at their own expense. The full letter is listed to the right—the accusations that the IE was utilized to raise money from other sources or to engage in a smear campaign has not played out. The IE committee is closed and financial documents are on record with the City Clerk's office.
That is all well and good, but what about these points raised by the Vanguard? There are several points that need to be addressed here. I am not sure what is contrived here, we have a clear cut violation of a city municipal code that she does not even address."
From the Davis Enterprise, May 30, 2010- West said Wednesday that she did not know about the requirement to notify candidates, but corrected the mistake as soon as she learned about it.West said she and Asmundson never intended to do more than notify their friends and acquaintances of their support for Vergis. She said they planned to terminate the committee as soon as they completed the task.
"Secondly, she suggests that she first learned about the letter when she was sent a copy of the letter. That may or may not be true, but that has little bearing on the complaint that alleges that perhaps Mayor Asmundson and her daughter had collaborated or discussed the independent expenditure in advance and therefore gave the campaign consent or otherwise involved herself in the IE. Sydney Vergis' statement fails to recognize that she is not the only actor in her own campaign."
From Bob Dunning column on May 28, 2010- Sydney Vergis' treasurer, Alinia Asmundson, checks into our mini-controversy with a fairly compelling alibi as to why there was no collusion between herself and her mother, the mayor, on the letter sent out by the mayor's independent expenditure committee - 'Most of our talking over the last week has consisted of discussions of my children/her grandchildren,' Alinia notes - 'This would be because I was due last Wednesday and gave birth on Friday to a daughter: Zhayne Lane Jo Asmundson-Wild, 7 lbs 5 oz, 20 inches.' - talk about a trump card - case dismissed - cigars all around
"Third, Ms. Vergis says, "any mailing more than 250 envelopes from Marty and Ruth, would require an independent expenditure committee to be formed." Actually there is no reason that the official campaign could not have sent out the letter. There was no reason that an independent expenditure campaign had to be formed at all."
Finally and probably most seriously she states, "There is no truth to the rumor that this IE is being utilized to engage in negative campaigning." Really, how would she know - after all the IE is supposed to be done completely independently of her campaign and her knowledge, therefore she cannot know of any future plans that they might have to utilize the IE or could she?
Furthermore, she never addressed the fact that Marty West has been going around town bad mouthing one of the other candidates on a continual basis. She never called for this to stop. KristinAdams notes that it's hearsay (although it's unclear if she is referring to the bad mouthing or the lack of a call to cease the bad mouthing).
The Vanguard points out that Vergis states, "As we enter into the final stretch of the campaign, I request that all we all continue our commitment to running a clean campaign, by continuing to treat the other candidates with the utmost respect, and focusing on the policies that we are pursuing to keep Davis great." This is ironic, since from all indication it is her campaign, or at least some people representing her campaign that have engaged in negative campaigning.
KristinAdams points out the letter above, and that negative campaigning does not seem to be part of this IE. According to the Davis Enterprise, the IE Committee closed after sending out the letter. But Daubert notes that the negative campaigning is a moral afterthought to the municipal code violations raised, and for one doesn't care much for the last sentence Greenwald wrote because it gives Vergis Fanboys a chance to distract from the real problems at hand.
2008 City Council Campaign
Sydney ran for Davis City Council in the June 2008 Election but was unsuccessful.
She held many events, including:
- Post-Picnic Day Bounce House Birthday Fundraiser. Family friendly fundraiser hosted by Tom and Tor Cross, held at 409 11th Street, Davis. This is a perfect event for parents of young children. The children will be supervised so that parents can meet Sydney and discuss their concerns for Davis. For more information email areggert AT gmail.com.
- Davis Democratic Club Potluck, General Membership meeting, and Candidate Forum. Candidate Forum will start approximately pm. The candidates for City Council, as well as Assembly candidates (8th District-Christopher Cabaldon and Mariko Yamada), and Senate (5th District-Lois Wolk) are invited to attend. Everyone is welcome to the Candidate Forum
- Sydney will host Outdoor Adventures rafting guide training party at her home. For more information, email sydney AT sydneyvergis DOT com.
- "Ride about Davis with Sydney." — Sydney and her friends will be biking around the Davis Bike Loop. We will be leaving from Farmer's Market at 11:30am and stopping at various hosted locations in different neighborhoods and discussing topics relevant to that community- Meet us at one of the stops or join us for the ride! See sydneyvergis.com for details. This is a family friendly event, with safety foremost. Helmets are required for riders under the age of 18.
- Open House and Post-ride Cool Down hosted by Janet, Charlotte, Lilian, and Joe Krovoza. Please RSVP and receive more information joe.krovoza AT comcast.net.
2008-02-18 22:27:34 I believe she's an alternate member of the BEDC Commission, not a full member. She also told people that she was independent when in fact she is backed by Saylor, Souza and Asmundson and the anti-student crowd. She was in the Enterprise on Friday having announced her candidacy. Except it was the Democrats Valentine's party. She gave a speech alright but she never told the group she was announcing. —JamesSchwab
2008-02-18 22:58:02 @JamesSchwab,
Does it matter that she is an alternate member of the BEDC? As long as she actually shows up at the meetings, she's definitely doing more than her fair share of civic duty. And if you do your homework, you'll notice when she was appointed to that position, she was voted for by Greenwald, Heystek, Souza, Saylor & Asmundson.
As for being backed by "the anti-student crowd"... can you please cite your sources? And are you also implying that Saylor, Souza, and Asmundson are "anti-student". If so, that is a completely baseless accusation.
It is comments like these that perpetuate our often acrimonious and uncivil community dialogue about public policy. —KemblePope
2008-05-01 01:07:40 hrmmn, As a 21 year old Davisite, I think my vote better goes to RobRoy, Cecilia, and Sue... Who manages her campaign? Why can't I shake the feeling that big money is somewhere somehow? —StevenDaubert
SarahP appears to be a sockpuppet for aeggert, Sydney Vergis' long-term boyfriend:
2008-05-04 22:20:26 Syd is a way better candidate for students- she just graduated from UCD '04, promotes biking, is a renter like most students, is interested in creating job opportunities for new graduates, and has a student campaign manager. And big money? can you cite your source? last time I checked, campaign contributions were capped at $100. —SarahP
"Syd is a way better candidate for students"
Her endorsements say otherwise
"she just graduated from UCD '04"
Meaningless ... 4 years is a lot ... and there are a lot of vindictive bitter people
- Generating city funds from citing thereof, true
- Bike Chuch, false
- Critical mass, don't think so
- long term parking, false
It really looks like she will be boxing in, with excruciatingly stringent standards, any new bicycle development. Effectively, this would make more people opt out entirely.
"a renter like most students"
If she owned a house in this town at her age, she'd be pretty scary.
"is interested in creating job opportunities for new graduates"
Well duh. Really, is someone uninterested in this? Really.
"has a student campaign manager"
Who else has that kind of time?
"And big money? can you cite your source?"
You need to wait a bit.
"last time I checked, campaign contributions were capped at $100"
- Yes, but you could say, hold a fund raiser where you organize and cater it for free, at a fee. People sometimes call this soft money ... do with it what you will. —ChristopherMckenzie
Rob Roy and Lamar Heystek are recent graduates of UCD who will cater better to the students, as far as big money, just look at the signs: enterprise, DPF / DPOA endorsements, there is an Asmundson name on her mailer as the treasurer of friends for vergis above, corbett who is a developer, puntillo who is pro developer, etc. Remember there is no cabal of developers trying to split the female & student vote! Vergis appears overqualified for being out of school only 4 years... How is being a land use planner in sac a city with 500,000 and 2 million around it relevant to a small 60,000 person town? —StevenDaubert
2008-06-02 18:39:11 aeggert, aka Anthony Eggert (aka Sydney's long time boyfriend) (simply google areggert from one of the above email addresses), has the same IP address as SarahP. Now, I don't know what Anthony's official involvement with the campaign is, other than as an active supporter and someone who commonly edits this webpage, but to use the SarahP identity as a throwaway sockpuppet is quite shady.
I'm sure that aeggert/SarahP know what bundling is, where you combine multiple $100 contributions, especially from people outside of Davis or those you've never even heard of. —M.
- Vergis and her boyfriend were pictured on the front of the Enterprise on Sunday, January 17, 2010; you can see the picture in the Vanguard article concerning the coverage of Vergis' announcement of her candidacy in 2010. However, the boyfriend is not named "due to a government job that prevents him from endorsing candidates for political office." The Vanguard, however, identifies him as Anthony Eggert. Interesting; in one campaign he's sockpuppeting for her, but in the next campaign he can't even be named? Bob Dunning lampoons the boyfriend as "he who must not be named" in his January 19, 2010 column. —CovertProfessor
2008-06-07 01:15:12 To continue the sockpuppeting suspiscions, it appears like aeggert and terah have very similar IPs. If you lok @ aeggert's first edits, they come from 18.104.22.168, and terah's edits are from 22.214.171.124. Which, quite easily, could be a business ip address, and so aeggert/terah are now trying to erase this information while at work. If 68.125.XXX.XXX were to be the blocks the business has, it would be possible to have two similar IPs over the course of several months.
Of course, it would very convenient for Vergis for this info to disappear, especially if she is considering a second run come 2010. But, once a public figure on Daviswiki, always a public figure. —M.
- They are both Pacbell DSL IPs for "scrm01", likely the Sacramento region.
2010-01-17 10:56:41 I've spent a little time doing some background research on Sydney Vergis, and it is clear that she is the developer-chosen successor to Ruth Asmundson. Her funding comes from the same places—heck, even her literature uses the same fonts and design. The Enterprise continues to give her all sorts of free advertising, as it has often done with pro-growth candidates. This Sunday's spread on her is completely lacking in any substantive policy positions—she's trying to skate (or should I say bike) by on the implication that her youth and her experience in land-use planning adds up to progressivism. I hope someone will take up her claims of experience and look into them. One of her employers, QuodKnopf, is a central valley engineering firm specializing in large infrastructure projects, including subdivisions. While she was senior planner in Sutter County, the County redesignated much of its southern, rural, flood-prone quarter to residential development. It would be interesting to know her involvement in these matters, not to mention how she became a senior planner in her early 20s. At any public venue, it would be nice to pin down her position on growth, which she has gone out of her way to obscure. Obviously, I'm predisposed to believe that she is a proxy of the tireless promoters of sprawl, but I'm open to being convinced otherwise. —MikeZiser
- Dunning called her a "breath of fresh air" during her 2008 run, her 2010 campaign kickoff was @ Agave on Friday, and to set the record straight, members of DCD were seeking to inform voters of the yes on p position, as opposed to seeking contributions from them. —M.
2010-01-18 01:00:45 Does anyone know if she commutes to Yuba City? —NickSchmalenberger
- She is no longer employed in Yuba— she recently returned to UCD for grad studies in policy, etc. However, she has lived in Davis since she was a student here, and graduated in 2004, so I presume she used to commute.
- Ok, because I don't think it makes any sense environmentally or otherwise for someone to be on the city council and commute to Yuba City. —NickSchmalenberger
2010-05-27 09:28:41 Sydney is a student and continues to work with and for students. She was an undergrad at UCD and is currently a graduate student. Sydney is also a renter, and may be the only renter on the slate. At the ASUCD City Council forum, Sydney stated her concerns with health insurance for students and campus safety, as well as safe entertainment options to bridge the city-campus gap. She spoke eloquently and sensibly at the forum, her credentials match her well to Davis, in my opinion. —AlyssaCauble
- Jon Li lives in a mobile home primarily rental community, I would bet dollars to dimes he rents. Please see Mike's comments above pertaining to her credentials matching well with Davis Daubert
- I betray no confidences by stating that I know Jon Li, and he is a renter. —DougWalter
2010-05-31 17:29:49 I don't know where this should be or whether this should simply be part of the comments, so I'm posting it here. First of all, there is nothing hearsay about the Palin attacks by Marty West. While I have not personally witnessed it, my wife did at a public function for the Democrat Party two weeks ago. I have also heard from several sources that Marty West linked Swanson to Palin at Farmer's Market at the booths of two different candidates. I have confirmed this with multiple people. That is not hearsay, that is a multisourced witness of actual events.
Second, it is difficult to discern what function Marty West is performing when she apparently is running an independent expenditure campaign at the same time she at the Vergis booth at Farmer's badmouthing Swanson. I'm glad she closed the IE, she shouldn't have taken it out to begin with. However, who knows what she would have done if it all had not been made public.
It's actually sad for Vergis that this has had happened, because Marty West appears to have some axe to grind and has sucked Vergis into a quagmire. At the same time, a lot of what I have heard in terms of Swanson's ties or support for Palin has simply no basis in reality. Had Marty simply not opened her mouth and not tried to get beyond the $100 contribution limit, none of this would have happened. It is all self-inflicted. —DavidGreenwald
- It's really not material to the discussion here, but there's a nit that needs picking: it is hearsay. If you're repeating something that was told to you (even from many sources), rather than something that you personally experienced, that's hearsay. —TomGarberson
2010-05-31 18:13:28 In legal proceedings, "the rule against hearsay is aimed at prohibiting the use of a person's assertion, as equivalent to testimony to the fact asserted, unless the assertor is brought to testify in court where he may be placed under oath and cross-examined." In this case hearsay would not apply, because the knowledge that we seek is not the truth about the statement, but rather the truth that she said it, and I have multiple witnesses who informed me that she did say it. Hearsay would apply to the veracity of her statement not the veracity of her saying it. In journalism, we generally rely on two and I prefer three sources before reporting something as fact. In this case, I have at least six sources, maybe more. We often do not witness things first hand, and have instead to rely on people who were witnesses testifying that they heard someone say something or saw them do something. —DavidGreenwald
2010-06-02 20:25:06 I find highly ironic that David Greenwald (and his wife) are suddenly so outraged at the Vergis-Asmundson political machine when they were so silent at the Mayor's dealing with Parlin development. Hmmmm...could it be because their best buddy Bill Ritter was hired by Parlin to help push the project through the political process???
David Greenwald has "banned" from me blogging at this "People's" site; so I am free to express my views here at the Wiki. I too support Swanson (and Krovoza), and feel Vergis would be more of the same for Davis. However, I think there is some MAJOR hypocrisy here now that the Greenwalds are questioning Asmundsons' political games!
I think Vergis' biggest liability among Davis voters is her close association to Ruth Asmundson (including her daughter who serves as her campaign treasurer). Many of us in town are simply just tired of Ruth's politics and are desperate for a change at City Hall! Take for perfect example, the Measure P election process which is only just six months past history! Ruth allowed the Parlin developers to essentially "pick" the election date way back at that late night (past 1am) CC meeting in July. —GregSokolov
2010-06-06 08:32:56 In a nutshell, a friend of Ruth Asmundson is an enemy of mine. —JimStewart
2010-06-09 18:11:54 $20 says that Vergis now tries to be Saylors replacement b/c she got 3rd in 2010 elections —StevenDaubert
- She will try, that's a no brainer, but there are not two votes there, let alone three. —DavidGreenwald
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