'Yes, Yes, No, No' - Elk Grove City Council Deadlocks on Appointment
Written By EGN on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 | 23:44
After hearing presentations from all six candidates seeking appointment to the Elk Grove City Council, testimony from their various supporters and their own lengthy deliberation, the Elk Grove City Council failed to achieve a majority vote on any of the four candidate names' who were placed into nomination at Wednesday night's regular meeting.
The vacancy was created when Gary Davis was elected Elk Grove mayor in November and vacated the District Four seat. Rather than hold a special election that is estimated to cost up to $500,000, the council decided to see if a consensus appointment could be made.
After hearing from candidates Edward Busuttil, Nancy Chaires, David Conner, LaWanna Montgomery, Oscar O'con and Jeffrey Owen, it became apparent after placing four of their names in nomination, nor another motion to try a ranking-type ballot, that a majority of the four council members could agree on an appointee.
Council Member Jim Cooper, who appointed Chaires to the Elk Grove Planning Commission in 2007, placed her name in nomination and got another yes vote from Davis, but was rejected by council members Steve Detrick and Pat Hume. Conversely, when Conner, O'con and Owen were nominated and seconded by the Detrick-Hume team, Cooper and Davis voted no.
At the center of the deadlock votes was Chaires who had a large contingent of supporters at the meeting including recently elected Elk Grove Unified School District Trustees Steve Ly and Tony Perez. Well before Davis' election as mayor, Chaires, who also received early support from Assembly Member Roger Dickinson, had openly declared her interest in seeking appointment to Davis' seat should he win the mayoral race.
Hume, who like Chaires served as a planning commissioner, noted her outstanding record and credentials and said his no vote was not reflective of her qualifications, rather the process the council had decided to follow to fill the vacancy. Hume went on to say that he favored a vote of the people to determine who fills the vacancy.
"The process got tainted," he noted.
The council also considered a ranking-type voting method with support from Detrick and Hume but rejected by Cooper and Davis. Noting that the method was recently tried in Yuba City and it too failed to reach a consensus agreement on a vacancy on their city council, Davis voiced skepticism
"I am not for it," he said.
At one point, the Cooper-Davis and Detrick-Hume blocs had three motions and counter motions on the floor.
Notwithstanding the deadlock votes and jockeying competing motions, Cooper urged the council to make an immediate decision on scheduling the special election noting that neither side was likely to change positions. Like every other motion, that too failed to reach a consensus.
The council demurred a final decision until their January 23 meeting, when if a consensus appointment cannot be made, statute requires that a special election be scheduled to fill the vacancy.
"So we are going to pull off the band-aid slowly and go through this all again in two weeks," Hume wryly noted.
Posted by EGN at 23:44