Did Fomer Elk Grove City Manager John Danielson Game City, Public For Huge Financial Gain?

New publication makes splash with expose' on former Elk Grove City Manager The premier edition of Public CEO Newsletter , publishe...

New publication makes splash with expose' on former Elk Grove City Manager

The premier edition of Public CEO Newsletter, published by The Public Pay Institute, tells the peculiar relationship between charter members of the Elk Grove City Council and former Elk Grove City Manager John Danielson.

The story illustrates how Danielson, who was the city manager of Incline Village, NV before being hired by Elk Grove in 2001, was able to amass over $4.8 million in compensation, leave buybacks, lifetime health insurance and pension before being fired in late 2006.

Understandability, the story has quickly reverberated throughout the community since it's recent release.

Community activist Contance Conley, who notified EGN and others in Elk Grove of the story referenced her public comment on a raise Danielson was granted in August, 2005:
"I guess congratulations are now in order for this council. You have successfully gone from being the first leaders of Elk Grove, with promises and ideals to do right by the citizens above all else, and have crossed the line to being just politicians. And the man who has lead you down that path, is your leader John Danielson.

Promises have been made only to be broken, lies and deceptions, and abuse of power with one goal in mind — the obstruction of active citizenry because you put your power above all else and the rights of citizens continue to be withheld and ignored. And worse, you have given omnipotent power to John Danielson.

As Tip O'Neal famously said, "All politics are local." Certainly, the closer that politics are to you, the more they affect your daily life.

Politics has now become a dirty, dirty affair. Politicians have long depended on an uninformed electorate to hide their shenanigans. But that is not true with this city’s active electorate.

Mr. Danielson does not deserve this raise. He has failed the city and citizens of Elk Grove. I cite just one serious example. The grand jury report states, “The city manager knew that conflict of interest problems relative to law enforcement services occurred repeatedly. He was aware that conflict of interest requirements were not being observed. He could have, but did not, establish a process to ensure that conflict of interest issues were dealt with explicitly and in accordance with the law."

The above statement proves that Mr. Danielson was derelict in his duties to the detriment of the citizens of Elk Grove. We shouldn’t be talking raises here, we should be talking resignations. And Mr. Manzanetti should be looking to save his bar card.

Mr. Cooper and Mr. Leary, themselves, have blamed both Mr. Danielson and Mr. Manzanetti for their felony violations. You both could have been put on trial for these violations. And now you want to reward these men? Why is that? Has a 3-2 deal been struck with Cooper and Leary voting no because of the recall and Soares and Briggs hoping voters will forget by November 2006. Yet another Brown Act Violation?

Now I am sure all of you will go in the back room and who is going to be the first to say, “Those expletive deleteds cannot tell us what to do.” I know. Those words have been said many times in the past.

But the truth is, we can and we should. It is our democratic right. If you give Mr. Danielson this raise, you have proven once and for all, what brave citizens have been saying for years now, Mr. Danielson runs you, runs this city and you are just proxy council members. So, you might as well just take seats in the back of room with rest of us so we can begin the coronation of King John."

Conley notes that particular meeting was held at 3:30 pm with only a 24 hour notice - legal, but certainly not in the spirit of good public policy.

Since the release of the story, we have received commentary from council member Steve Detrick.

Earlier this evening we solicited comments from the other four council members, and in the name of fairness, we will wait until tomorrow to see if they choose to issue statements on the story. We will continue to monitor this story.

Not coincidentally, a colleague sent me a story titled "Suburbia R.I.P." that specifically mentions Elk Grove:
The downturn has accomplished what a generation of designers and planners could not: it has turned back the tide of suburban sprawl. In the wake of the foreclosure crisis many new subdivisions are left half built and more established suburbs face abandonment. Cul-de-sac neighborhoods once filled with the sound of backyard barbecues and playing children are falling silent. Communities like Elk Grove, Calif., and Windy Ridge, N.C., are slowly turning into ghost towns with overgrown lawns, vacant strip malls and squatters camping in empty homes.
Sad to think that between Danielson, the charter city council and Pacific Municipal Consultants, what might had been a grand vision has become a B movie.

More to follow.

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