EGN's 2014 Elk Grove Year in Review - Part I

December 30, 2014 | Below is our annual best of, worst of and other assorted awards list for the City of Elk Grove. While this list in by...

December 30, 2014 |

Below is our annual best of, worst of and other assorted awards list for the City of Elk Grove. While this list in by no means inclusive, it is a fair representation of what happened in our fair city over the last 12 months. 

The “We’re getting really, really close” or, the check is in the mail award

This one goes to Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis, who made these comments on KCRA regarding the city’s prospects of landing a Major League Soccer team. As for resumption of construction of the long-stalled Elk Grove Promenade, err, Outlet Collection at Elk Grove on the city’s south side, and the Major League Soccer’s imminent move to Elk Grove,it is unlikely to open anytime in 2015 as the Mayor hopes. 

Master of his domain award

To use the words of former CIA chief George Tenet, this was a slam dunk! It goes to the city’s hired-
Regardless of outcomes,
Jonathan Hobbs will cash-in!
gun-of-an-attorney, Jonathon Hobbs. In spite of numerous public declarations from M&H Realty's attorneys that they would litigate the city’s decision to allow Howard Hughes Corporation out of a development agreement, Hobbs advised the Elk Grove City Council it was OK to proceed. After the city council had released HHC from the development agreement, sure as the day is long, M&H filed suit. Regardless of who prevails in the matter two things are for certain – any glimmer of resuming construction on the Outlet Collection at Elk Grove has stopped because of the lawsuit, and Hobbs, and his high-priced white shoe Sacramento law firm of Dewey, Cheatem & Howe, check, make that Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard will still collect his billable hours from the city. Now that is a master of his domain!

This could make Elk Grove a tourist destination after all 

We didn’t have Kobayashi or Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, but Joey Chestnut showed up at Elk Grove’s Pumpkin Festival and demolished more pumpkin pie than we care to imagine. Even though Chestnut was upset by up-and-comer competitive eater Matt Stonie, with any luck the pie eating contest will become an annual fixture, and given the abundance, and our fondness for fast food and chain restaurants, Elk Grove could become the epicenter of the competitive eating world.

Bonehead of the Year Award

Emir of Katsina
Mayor Davis rescinds invitation. Click to 
Like the master of their domain category, this one was a no-brainer. This year’s honor goes to the Elk Grove City Council, with an honorable mention to the city’s executive staff. Really fellas, what were you thinking when you approved the expenditure for the Nigerian Emir? Be thankful the public outcry over this stunt forced the cancellation of the Emir and his entourage’s Elk Grove taxpayer-subsidized visit. Can you imagine if this visit had actually happened? Elk Grove would have been a laughingstock.  Memo to city staff – aren’t you and your six-figure incomes supposed to save council members from making such stunningly stupid decisions? This is a case study in the failure of leadership, or at least curiosity.

April Fools' day story that wasn’t actually an April Fools' day story 

What can we say? We posted a story on April’s Fool's that seemed like one of our typical April Fool’s day stories. The story was not an April Fool’s day story, it just seemed that way. Any Rickey’s Escort sightings?  

Lie of the year 

We hate to beat a dead horse, well maybe not, but what do Congressman Dr. Ami Bera, former State Senator Darrell Steinberg, State Senator Dr. Richard Pan, former California Assembly Member Roger Dickinson and Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli have in common. All vehemently denied they had endorsed the Emir of Katsina's visit to Elk Grove. This is the what had been reported to the Elk Grove City Council just prior to their approving payment for hosting the Emir. Really, council member and city staff, couldn't you have dropped an email or picked-up the phone and made a few calls to these elected officials? Where is the curiosity

Best use of the media to pimp your business  

Hands down, this one goes to Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis. How many times have we seen the Mayor go on TV and tell his exaggerated story of selling his Starbucks stock to fund his Grace Coffee Roasters venture? 


BONUS!! -  Exaggeration of the year 

Legally mandated statements of economic interest requires Davis' disclosure of ownership of any publicly traded company doing business in the city limits valued at over $2,000. An examination of all of Mayor Davis' economic interest statements since taking office in 2006 never listed ownership in Starbucks! 

As for the Mayor's 2013 business venture, Civic Innovations Public Affairs, the link to that website is no long active. A search on the county's website shows the business name is still active though.

Political stunt of the year that worked

This one goes to newly elected city council member, Steve Ly. Putting a new spin on Elk Grove City Council Member Pat Hume’s now mythical 2006 potholder distribution, Ly sought to appeal to women voters by giving out a flowering plant. Sure, it might be viewed as misogynous, but he won.

Conspiracy of the year award

If you are prone to embrace a good conspiracy theory, and hey, we like one as much as the next guy, then this year’s award has to go to the City and Elk Grove and the Howard Hughes Company. In the words of an attorney who spoke to the Elk Grove City Planning Commission and City Council, HHC and the city are knee deep in it.

The cultural high point art of the year award

 See the “This might make Elk Grove a tourist destination after all.”

What will be Elk Grove's newest slogan 
Perhaps Draper can help Elk Grove
develop a coherent marketing strategy.

Is it Elk Grove Thriving or #InElkGrove? Perhaps it is Live, Work, Play or was it Think, Shop, Live? How about Grow Elk Grove? Or is it now Elk Grove – Destination City. We really can’t keep  up with the muddled marketing messages emanating from city hall. Perhaps the City Council can have a séance and resurrect Don Draper, or even Darren Stephens for that matter, and develop a coherent message.

Best example of why it pays to cooperate with your neighbors

This honor to the Placer Valley Tourism cooperative that is moving forward on a 40-plus acre competitive soccer field facility. While Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis continues his misguided, some say delusional, pursuit of a Major League Soccer team, the cities of Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville are pushing through on their plans. When they are hosting soccer tournaments, collecting usurious transient room taxes and gaining a superior competitive edge in the race to attract regional tournaments, Elk Grove will be frozen by Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Gerber’s decision on what city will be granted an expansion franchise. Which by the way, will not be for Elk Grove. Time to drop the MLS nightmare and get those fields going before we lose out - again. Regardless, Elk Grove might learn a lesson about regional cooperation from our South Placer County competitors.


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