Elk Grove City Council to Revisit Assistant Staffing, Mayor's Full-Time Assistant



January 9, 2017 |   

At their Wednesday night meeting, the Elk Grove City Council will revisit the staffing needs of council members and the Mayor. The matter was placed on the agenda at the request of Councilman Darren Suen who asked for it at the December 8 meeting.

Currently, each council member is allocated the use of a part-time, 19-hours per week assistant paying $12,500 annually and the mayor has a full-time $76,000 per year plus benefits assistant. At this time Councilmen Suen, Steve Detrick, and Pat Hume are not utilizing an assistant.

When Suen was appointed to the council, he temporarily employed an assistant, but as he became more acquainted with his duties, he discontinued use of the position. Detrick on occasion has used the position through his eight years on the council but has not used one in recent years.

Like Detrick and Suen, Hume temporarily used an assistant but commented it was of difficult to find meaningful work even when the position was limited to 12 hours per week. Because of this, he discontinued use of the program.

Before his ascension to the Mayor's seat, Steve Ly split his 19-hour allocation between two people. When the City Council approved a full-time Mayor's assistant, which Ly inherited, he also pushed for full-time assistants for council members.

During the May 12, 2015, city council meeting where a full-time assistant for the Mayor was approved, Ly also said that council members should have the same. At that same meeting, the hours of council members assistants were increased from 12 to 19 hours per week. 

At that meeting, Detrick and Ly had a contentious exchange over the need for a full-time assistant. Ly said he needed a full-time assistant to fulfill constituent service, while Detrick contended requests are usually completed by city employees.

During their exchange Detrick asserted Ly's claim that he needed a full-time assistant to fulfill his duties was "a load of crap," and Hume agreed.

"I don't want to get down in the weeds on this," Hume said to Ly. "But your assertion was that if they [constituents] want or expect a responsive council member, that council member has to have an assistant, I disagree with that premise." 
   
Wednesday night's meeting starts at 6 p.m.
    




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