Upon election as Elk Grove Mayor, Steve Ly sought to 'have the city pay' for personalized trinkets, pamphlets

August 27, 2018 |

In the days just before he was sworn in as Mayor, Steve Ly requested that the city of Elk Grove pay for personalized marketing material and pamphlets. That information was revealed after the city released emails that were part of a public document request.

The idea to have the city pay for trinkets, initially rubber jar openers, was initiated by Ly's then assistant Teresa Rodriguez. In her initial email, Rodriguez emailed then city manager Laura Gill to make the request.

In her email dated December 1, 2016, Rodriguez wrote to Gill:

Hi Laura;
I am just following up on the jar openers for Mayor Elect Steve Ly.
I believe when we spoke you wanted to talk to Kara. [Deputy City Messenger Kara Reddig]
As a refresher, Steve wanted a jar opener with his name on it, phone number, and city website.
Thank you,

Responding to Rodriguez less than an hour later at 6:50 p.m., Gill told Rodriguez, with a copy to city attorney Jonathan Hobbs and Ly at a personal email address, that such a request is not permissible under California Fair Political Practices Commission rules. 

Click image to enlarge. 

Although Gill denied the request, Rodriguez was undeterred. After she apparently forwarded Gill's response to Ly, the mayor-elect responded the next day by saying:

How about a pamphlet that talks about the "Mayor at Your Service?"

Following Ly's request, Rodriguez again contacts Gill saying:

Hi Laura,
Is this something we can get Lupe to create?
Steve wants a few on hand when he is out and about.

Responding to Rodriguez's request was Reddig who later on December 2 wrote:

Hi Teresa - on behalf of Laura [Gill] I just want you to know we are looking into this. I'll be in touch early next week. 

On December 5, Reddig responds to Rodriquez with a copy to Ly. As Gill had done days earlier, Reddig provides a lengthy highlighted explanation of why the city cannot provide the requested pamphlets or trinkets and noted that Ly could use his own funds for such materials.

Click to enlarge. 

In one last effort, it appears Rodriguez forwarded the string of messages to the office of Assemblymember Jim Cooper. In her email to Cooper field representative Mikey Hothi, Rodriguez said:

Fyi....We want to produce a let's talk brochure like Jim did and have the city pay for it.

Hothi did not appear to respond to the email.

For Ly, it was not the first time he blurred the line between his elected duties as a city council member and a politician. On his own, Ly developed unofficial seals as Vice Mayor and Mayor.

When Ly created the Vice Mayor seal shortly after he announced his 2016 mayoral candidacy, one citizen urged the city council (see video below) to admonish the action as a violation of the city's code of ethics. The city council did not take the advice of the citizen, and when he was elected Mayor, Ly developed a new seal for the office of the mayor.

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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

That's life....

That's life (that's life) that's what people say
You're riding high in April
Shot down in May
But I know I'm gonna change that tune
When I'm back on top, back on top in June

I said, that's life (that's life) and as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks
Stompin' on a dream
But I don't let it, let it get me down
'Cause this fine old world it keeps spinnin' around

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate
A poet, a pawn and a king
I've been up and down and over and out
And I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race

That's life (that's life) I tell ya, I can't deny it
I thought of quitting, baby
But my heart just ain't gonna buy it
And if I didn't think it was worth one single try
I'd jump right on a big bird and then I'd fly

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