Elk Grove City Council Has Big Decision to Make

Mayor Elect Davis should be sworn in Dec. 12; Who, or how, will Davis' vacated chair be filled? Now that Elk Grove Council Member...

Mayor Elect Davis should be sworn in Dec. 12; Who, or how, will Davis' vacated chair be filled?



Now that Elk Grove Council Member Gary Davis has won the Elk Grove mayoral race, what will happen to his vacated seat?

According to Elk Grove City Clerk Jason Lindgren, it is expected that once the county has certified election results, Mayor-elect Davis is expected to be sworn-in at the city council's Dec. 12 regular meeting.

Lindgren said that he is preparing a report for the Dec. 12 meeting advising the council how they can proceed to fill the vacancy. The procedure is covered by the state's Government Code Section 36512.

Politically, Davis supporter and State Assembly Member Roger Dickinson promoted Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Nancy Chaires as the person best suited to fill the vacancy at Davis' August campaign kick off event. "She is waiting to be in the full spotlight of the city council," Dickinson said at the time.

Politically, filling this vacancy can be tricky for all the city council members. If Chaires is indeed nominated for the vacancy, will it be done on a unanimous basis or will the four council members split their votes? Will Republicans Steve Detrick and Pat Hume agree to appoint a Democrat in a city that has decidedly turned blue?

What happens if the four council members are deadlocked on who to appoint? Will they be compelled to hold a special election that has been estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars?

This process could be perilous for all the council members or alternatively expensive for taxpayers.

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6 comments

Anonymous said...

If truly "She is waiting to be in the full spotlight of the city council,"...well let her spend her hard earned money and time discussing her platform with the voters and let them decide if she is worthy of being their representative. Two years is an awfully long time to serve as an "interim appointment". But I supposed the Democratic machine started spinning that wheel many months ago.

Anonymous said...

The Encyclopædia Britannica defines "political machine" as, "in U.S. politics, a party organization, headed by a single boss or small autocratic group, that commands enough votes to maintain political and administrative control of a city, county, or state."[5] William Safire, in his Safire's Political Dictionary, defines "machine politics" as "the election of officials and the passage of legislation through the power of an organization created for political action."

Hierarchy and discipline are hallmarks of political machines. "It generally means strict organization", according to Safire. Quoting Edward Flynn, a Bronx County Democratic leader who ran the borough from 1922 until his death in 1953,[6] he wrote "[...] the so-called 'independent' voter is foolish to assume that a political machine is run solely on good will, or patronage. For it is not only a machine; it is an army. And in any organization as in any army, there must be discipline."[3]

Political patronage, while often associated with political machines, is not essential to the definition for either Safire or Britannica.[3]

The phrase is considered derogatory "because it suggests that the interest of the organization are placed before those of the general public", according to Safire. Machines are criticized as undemocratic and inevitably encouraging corruption.[3]

Anonymous said...

And a "political machine" can apply to any political party.......God save us from Googlites!

Ron said...

If this council is really interested in new and fresh ideas to move this city forward, approach Ms. Wheat to see if she is interested in a council seat. She would make a wonderful addition.

Anonymous said...

Ron, you may be right about that, but unfortunately, Ms. Wheat lives in Pat Hume's district, not the district vacated by Gary Davis. - She legally doesn't qualify as she doesn't live in the proper district. - Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Ron,
are you smoking pot? you're kidding right? This council has no stomach for fresh ideas only the tired old good boy network. Ms Wheat would upset the apple cart. But thanks for the forward thinking, rational thought. Our council already has that seat filled with one of their own. Don't worry...all taking care of! Wink...wink

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