Elk Grove City Council Members Comment On Danielson Compensation Controversy

Ed. note: Last weekend the report on former Elk Grove city manager John Danielson's $4.8 million compensation package made it's way ...

Ed. note: Last weekend the report on former Elk Grove city manager John Danielson's $4.8 million compensation package made it's way quickly through the community.

One of the first people to comment on the matter to EGN was council member Steve Detrick. As a follow up, we solicited comments from the four other council members and only heard back from Gary Davis.

We had planned to post the comments on Tuesday but because of scheduling conflict, we were unable to meet our goal. Our apologies to council members Davis and Detrick.

Below please read their comments.

Detrick forwarded us an e-mail he sent to the media on behalf of EGCAPP:
-- On Mon, 11/13/06, Steve Detrick wrote:

From: Steve Detrick
Subject: City Manager and Attorney Retirement System benefits for life
Date: Monday, November 13, 2006, 9:45 AM

Elk Grove was incorporated with a "strong City Manager, weak City
Council" form of governance. This form of government has resulted
in such a high level of dissatisfaction on the part of the residents
of late that both council members on the ballot got tossed in this

Those two council members were part of a 4-1 majority vote AFTER
the election to provide Public Employee Retirement System benefits
to the City Manager and City Attorney for life.

Both of the council members involved and the City Manager/Attorney
are strong advocates of using consultants and contractors to
provide professional services to the city. This operating method
has created a lack of accountability and the resulting high level
of dissatisfaction on the part of city residents regarding city

Traditionally, public employees accept a take-home wage that is
significantly discounted from market wages paid to similarly skilled
consultants in exchange for long-term retirement benefits and
stability of employment. The difference in wage is used to fund
those retirement benefits.

So what is it about Mr. Danielson and Mr. Manzanetti that
justifies paying them a premium wage relative to the local market
AND P.E.R.S. retirement benefits?

Steve Detrick
EGCAPP Spokesperson

In a separate e-mail Detrick said "This is not right and something needs to be done with this!"

Council member Davis sent EGN the following statement:
“This is an embarrassment to the City of Elk Grove. It is exactly the type of behavior voters rejected when they voted out two incumbents in 2006 and one more last year. And, it is a behavior Elk Grove will NOT tolerate under my watch on the City Council. We have a new Council, new City Manager, and most high level staff are new. In many respects, this is a new city government. Unfortunately, black eyes hang around for a while – even though this incident is years behind us.

There is, however, at least one inaccuracy in this report. The day after the election in 2006 when Pat Hume and I were elected, the defeated incumbents voted to give lifetime health benefits to the City Manager and City Attorney. However, I challenged that action legally. Then, once Pat and I were sworn into office, we rescinded the action. As a result, these two did not receive special privilege and lifetime benefits resulting from this last minute attempt to cheat the residents of Elk Grove.”

We did not hear back from council members Cooper, Hume and Scherman. Hume and Scherman also did not respond to request from The Elk Grove Citizen. Cooper did respond to the Citizen.

In that story Cooper said:
Council Member Jim Cooper said he was never a fan of Danielson. Cooper said he was the only council member to vote against lifetime medical benefits for Danielson and his family, but later, the council rescinded the vote.

“Nobody should be entitled to that,” Cooper said. “My relationship with him was very contentious.”

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Anonymous said...

The citizens of Elk Grove are "JUST NOW" figuring out that the city and city council have issues? This is very comical. The wool has been over their eyes for quite sometime.

Anonymous said...

I only wish when the wool was finally lifted they would also realize what bumbling fools they've elected into their precious city council. John Danielson was the best thing that ever happened to Elk Grove. The city council made certain anyone who would actually stand up to them and try to change things wouldn't reach the decade mark. The real weasels are right in front of everyone's faces.

Anonymous said...

Come on John, don't you have more important things to be doing in Wildomar than defending your honor for your dirty dealings here in here Elk Grove? Or is this you, Tony Manzanetti, trying to protect your meal ticket?

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