October 8, 2015 |
Today's tweets by Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis reminds us of a scene from an episode of The Bob Newhart Show - the one in 80's where Newhart played the straight Vermont innkeeper to a bunch of goofballs, not the 70's version where he played the straight man physiologist surrounded by a cast of funny, if not neurotic characters.
|Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis -|
Too cute by half?
In this episode the kindhearted, but somewhat clueless innkeeper handyman George Utley tells Newhart he was tired from staying up late after seeing repeated news teases exclaiming "President dead - news at 11!"
Staying up to watch the important news, Utley explains the news finally came at the end of the 11 o'clock news only to learn that is was the 150th anniversary of the death of some long forgotten American President.
We were reminded of this type of news-tease stunt today after seeing a couple of tweets by Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis, a story in the Sacramento Business Journal, and the announcement that the Elk Grove Promenade, now called the Outlet Collection at Elk Grove had landed its first signed lease.
Earlier this week Davis posted, among many, the following messages below on his Twitter feed:
For those unfamiliar with Twitter, Davis appears to be calling out Outlet Collection owner, the Howard Hughes Company - @HowardHughes, as well as HHC Chief Executive Officer David Weinreb - #davidweinreb, and billionaire investor, Bill Ackman - #billackman.
While somewhat cryptic, the Mayor's tweets were not done in a vacuum as we learned this afternoon. In a story broken by the Sacramento Business Journal and reported by Brian van der Meer, "A multi-screen movie theater appears [our emphasis] to the first tenant for the outlet mall planned in Elk Grove."[sic]
van der Meer goes on to write "Mayor Gary Davis said Regal Cinemas submitted plans this week for a theater within the Outlet Collection at Elk Grove under the Edwards designation."
First off - a tip of the hat to van der Meer for getting the scoop.
Beyond that, the city of Elk Grove's handling of what is arguably a huge story is curious. First, why did the city and its public information office not issue a press release regarding this important information?
Even if van der Meer did scoop it, why not a follow-up press release? This is certainly a significant enough event for city staff to stay a little past quitting time to get the good news out to the entire community.
Readers may have also have noticed the italicization of the word appears throughout this story. Appears in this context is passive - perhaps there is more to the Regal lease than meets the eye.
Certainly, most every Elk Grove resident looks forward to the day the unfinished mess of buildings greeting out-of-town visitors on our southern border is cleaned up and a functioning member of the city's economy. Still, van der Meer's use of appears, seems, well, squishy.
And finally there are the Mayor's tweets.
As we can suffice from the SBJ story, the city appears to have learned early this week that the Regal application had been submitted, and the Mayor most likely knew this too.
Was Mayor Davis posting these tweets to make it appear that he alone lit the fire under the butts HHC, Bill Ackman and David Weinreb to get the mothballed shopping center moving so he could take all the glory for what appears to be a team effort of the entire city council and city staff?
Or was Davis simply playing a news tease hoping to build up interest in the same way the President Dead! news tease ensnared Utley?
We will never know for sure what the Mayor's exact intentions were. Nonetheless, his tweets also remind us of a saying once used by nationally syndicated political columnist Mark Shields who aptly described a politician who was trying to pull a fast one as being too cute by half.
That certainly was the case with Mayor Davis this week.
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