Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly Suffers Another Loss, City Council Thwarts Efforts to Wrest Control of Council's Assistant
March 12, 2017 |
At the Wednesday, March 8 meeting of the Elk Grove City Council, Mayor Steve Ly tried to wrest control over the job duties of the personal assistant assigned to him and his colleagues.
Like other initiatives he has sought during his first three months as Mayor, especially in regards to the personal assistant position, Ly's efforts were blocked by his City Council colleagues. The discussion of the duties of the personal assistant for the five was initiated by Ly during an agenda item covering the norms and procedure for the City Council.
During their deliberations, Ly suggested that the procedures need more flexibility so that the assistant, which is the City employee reporting to Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill, could take direct instructions from Ly or any of the Council Members. Ly said the person might be needed to help him organize community events.
According to comments during the deliberations, the position is currently filled by former Mayor Gary Davis' assistant, whom it was implied is on disability. Deliberation comments also suggested that another person would soon be hired to fill the position.
When Davis won approval for his assistant in 2015, that employee reported directly to him who assigned and managed their job duties. Once Ly was elected, despite his complaints, that assistant position was changed to help all five Council Members, and be a City Employee under Gill's direction.
"I'm just trying to figure the resources so that I can be effective as a Mayor," Ly said.
Council Member Steve Detrick pointed out that each of them already has a personal assistant who can work up to 15 hours per week.
"That's what we did in our previous meeting," Detrick said. "You got your personal assistant, you got your shared assistant between the two that should be able to cover most of your needs."
In response, Ly said "he gets uneasy when we start restricting what they can do."
Among the duty changes outlined in the staff report for the assistant are "Unless directed otherwise, the Administrative Assistant to the City Council will open, date-stamp, and deliver to each office all mail received and specifically addressed to the Mayor or a Council member. All intergovernmental correspondence with a time-certain request will be handled directly by the City Manager’s staff."
For his part, Ly also noted his job as a juvenile hall teacher did not offer the type of flexibility he claimed his colleagues enjoyed, and that he wanted the position to have more "wiggle room" so the employee can accommodate his needs.
"I'll be honest with you, I just don't have the flexibility that many of you do on your day job," he said. "I'm just asking for help." See the second video posted below.
Although Ly failed to convince his colleagues, they said they would be willing to look at the matter again once the position was filled. Gill nor the City Council said during deliberations when the position would be filled.