City Manager Vacancy to Be Discussed in Elk Grove City Council Closed Session Meeting

Interim Elk Grove City Manager Jason Behrmann. |  
June 9, 2018

As part of their regular business, the Elk Grove City Council will conduct a closed-door session during their Wednesday, June 13 meeting. During the closed session there is one item of interest. 

The matter is listed as a Public Employee Appointment under California Code 54957, title, city manager. A review of the law would appear to point to paragraph b.

That paragraph reads:

...this chapter shall not be construed to prevent the legislative body of a local agency from holding closed sessions during a regular or special meeting to consider the appointment, employment, evaluation of performance, discipline, or dismissal of a public employee or to hear complaints or charges brought against the employee by another person or employee unless the employee requests a public session. 

The closed session agenda provides no further information other than to note city manager. Following last month's termination of Laura Gill, her deputy, Jason Behrman was appointed as interim city manager. 

Gill's termination exposed the riff between Mayor Steve Ly, who did not support the action, and the four other council members. Not long after Gill's dismissal, Ly took to social media condemning the action of city council colleagues Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, Stephanie Nguyen, and Darren Suen, who is seeking to become mayor in the November general election. 

Also, earlier this week when Andres Ramos entered the race challenging Hume for the District 2 seat he noted his disapproval of Gill's dismissal. Ramos took note of the financial cost of the termination and by implication, set it up to be a possible campaign issue.

Last year Elk Grove, under Gill's management of the city's operations, was broadly criticized for the lack of diversity in the workforce, particularly in the executive ranks. The city council promised to create a diverse workforce. 

Since the termination, the city council has not formally announced how they will pursue filling the vacancy.     


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An Elk Grove Voter said...

This little “plan” has been in play for a while now. Years ago, Elk Grove City Council members were saying that former City Manager Laura Gill “couldn’t take the city to the next level.” The roadblock in the big plan was when Asst. City Manager, a shining star, Pat Blacklock was scooped up by Yolo County to be their top administrator.

The new heir apparent wasn’t the perfect fit. The next Asst. City Manager, Becky Craig, seemed to be the fall “gal” for everything that went wrong, leaves a high paying job at the city for a much lower one. This left council watchers to believe the council didn’t believe she didn't have “the right stuff” to fill Gill’s shoes. To be sure, the very astute Craig saw the writing on the wall and got the hell out of Dodge.

Now what do we do, asks the great puppet master? Lo and behold, former Galt City Manager Jason Behrmann gets Craig’s job as Elk Grove’s next Asst. City Manager right after being very involved in the Wilton Rancheria Casino going into Galt. Then “behind the scenes” everything changes and the number one location is now Elk Grove. Never mind that most of Council member Pat Hume’s business is done before the Galt City Council and staff; so bets are there was already a well-established relationship between Behrmann and Hume, and a new plan was put into play.

Let a little time pass, get that new appointment, Stephanie Nguyen, to fall in line with the boys and Gill is gone. However, not before Gill plays hardball with the city council giving them no choice but to give Gill a $330,000 parting gift courtesy of the taxpayers.

So, let’s see if the next part of the plan is to have a sham of nationwide search for the next city manager, wasting another $50K of taxpayers’ money, only to in the end. . . you got it. . .Jason Behrmann is hired as Elk Grove new city manager after “an extensive and exhaustive search.”

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