Scherman implies Davis taking credit for work by publisher of Elk Grove Citizen
During yesterday's Elk Grove mayoral debate Elk Grove City Council Member and mayoral candidate Sophia Scherman blasted her council colleague and electoral opponent Gary Davis saying the original idea for seeking the California State Prison Health Authority to locate in Elk Grove was someone other than Davis.
The debate was held at the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors chambers in downtown Sacramento and was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County. Five of the six candidates participated with Jerry Braxmeyer not in attendance.
Scherman, an original member of the city council whose district has been drawn out of existence following reapportionment and the establishment of the city's directly elected mayor hammered Davis implying he is taking credit for attracting the 1,500 jobs when she states it was Roy Herburger of Herburger Publications who originally sought the authority to locate in Elk Grove. Herburger publishes the Elk Grove Citizen and one of the panelist on this debate was their reporter, Bryan Gold.
"Regarding the cold call to get the state agency to come to Elk Grove, that cold call was made by our publisher of the Elk Grove Citizen longer than four years ago," Scherman said without specifically naming Roy Herburger. "He put it into the newspaper that he was talking to to the corrections department. So it not something that just came up all of a sudden."
Scherman went on to say that "He [Herburger] was working on it very diligently because I know because I was part of that plan and so was Mr. Pappas."
The comment came following a question regarding the city's budget where Davis cited the city's balanced budget and proceeded cite his recent sole dissenting vote that approved a pay raise for council members and claimed that he started working four years ago to bring the prison health jobs to Elk Grove.
"When I cold called the director of that department I began a long term relationship with him in order to urge them to consider Elk Grove as a location," Davis said. Davis did not have an opportunity to respond to Scherman's assertion during the debate.
Scherman along with candidate Lynn Wheat both questioned the wisdom of using city funds to offer $3.2 million in incentives to the prison health authority and developer Louie Pappas.
Not long after the city formally announced the location of the prison authority jobs to Elk Grove, Scherman noted Herburger's importance in the bringing the department to Elk Grove during a city council meeting. (See video of Scherman's comments here.)
Davis, the presumed front runner who has amassed over $100,000 in contributions as of June 30, primarily from residential building interests and labor unions, has been targeted by both Scherman and Wheat on a variety of issues including their collective opposition to Davis' stance on the sphere of influence (SOI) application that seeks to annex 8,000 acres of farmland.
Wheat, a longtime smart growth advocate has repeatedly criticized Davis and the city council's position on the city's SOI application and his contributions from residential real estate developers. Davis has continually asserted that the 8,000-acres are needed to attract employers to correct the city's widely acknowledged homes to job imbalance.
Following Wheat's entrance into the race, Davis recently told the Sacramento Bee editorial board that he is now willing to scale back the SOI. Davis received the Bee's endorsement characterizing Davis the best of a "so-so" field and has been recently criticized as a flip-flopper.