Following Acrimony, EGCC Decides To Appoint For Davis Vacancy

After a sometimes acrimonious discussion, the Elk Grove City Council agreed in principle last night to make an appointment to a coming vacan...

After a sometimes acrimonious discussion, the Elk Grove City Council agreed in principle last night to make an appointment to a coming vacancy on the council.

That vacancy will come in December when current council member Gary Davis assumes the position of mayor following his electoral victory last week in the city's first ever directly elected mayor contest.

Because of this, City Clerk Jason Lindgren reported to the council on their options to fill the vacancy. In essence, the council can either make an appointment or hold a special election that could cost up to $500,000.

During public comment two Elk Grove residence offered differing views on how the vacancy be addressed.

First to speak was Andreas Ramos who urged the council to make an appointment. Ramos, who is an appointee to the city's Multi Cultural Committee by Davis, qualified his statement and urged the council to make the process open and to take input from the public.

On the other side of the argument was Michael Monasky who evoked the sacrifices of American war veterans who sacrificed to preserve our democracy.

"When you say it is too expensive," Monasky said, "I find that insulting."

During council deliberation Council Member Pat Hume, who is almost exclusively the polar opposite of Monasky, a frequent speaker at council meetings, said he agreed that an election should be held.

Hume went on to address the widely reported intention of appointing Planning Commissioner Nancy Chaires to fill the vacancy. Prior to Davis' election, Chaires said she would seek appointment if Davis were elected and at Davis' campaign kick off rally Assembly Member Roger Dicksinson implied Chaires would fill the vacancy should Davis win.

Without saying her name, Hume note that while she may be qualified, he found the idea troubling. He also said the appointment undermines democracy.

"The process has been tainted," Hume noted.

Mayor Jim Cooper strongly argued for an appointment saying the city cannot afford the cost of the election.

"The reality is we have to watch our money," Cooper said.

Davis scoffed at a suggestion by Hume that who ever is appointed take a pledge not to seek office after the two year term expires in 2014. "The pledge is just a trick," he said.

After an often acrimonious deliberation, the council agreed that it would initially seek to fill the vacancy by appointment rather than a special election. The council also promised to hold a public forum for screening of the qualified applicants.

The city set a deadline of January 2 for submission of applicants so they can be included on the city January 9 regular meeting agenda. No date for the public forum was mentioned.

"We could end up with an election," Council Member Steve Detrick noted.

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21 comments

no longer amused in fast food city said...

Kudos to Hume for wanting to stop the Democratic machine from completely steamrolling through and stacking the Council. Since when does the Council care about spending $500,000? They are already throwing our tax dollars around like drunken sailors on R&R!

No offense to Nancy Chaires who was patiently awaiting last night to see if by off-chance the votes had swung her way and she could leave as our next Councilmember, but democracy and representation should not be given away like candy to just another obedient Party machine foot soldier.

In this war, one must earn their stripes by registering for an election and facing the public scrutiny of the ballot box. If the cost of democracy is too much for this city to stomach, then they should have thought of that before they approved the Charter.

Anonymous said...

Does Michael Monasky happen to live in District 4....listening to him last evening was a pleasure and someone who seems to GET IT!

Anonymous said...

Kudo's to Pat and citizen Michael Monskey for understanding that "freedom" is "free". My father and brother are turning over in the graves right now because our government thinks spending 400,000 is "too" expensive to ensure our right to live in a democractic society. Detrick is a fool to go along with this. I thought his father was a veteran...what would he think? This turn of events is just another step towards socialism...laugh if you will...but our freedoms are being eroded; nipping at the corners of our constitition. What is this business about having a citizen forum to "vet" potential candidates? WHY?? The citizens will have NO vote..so explain why the need for a community forum? Whtat the citizens think will not enter into this at all. Just another "cheap trick" to get the residents to fall in line under the guiese they have some say in this matter. Poor judgement all around.

David W said...

First of all, thank you Pat Hume for understanding the cornerstone of any democracy is the people's voice in selecting their governmental representatives, not the government selectibg their cronies to fill vacancies on their own dais.

Yes, it will cost Elk Grove dearly, $500,000. That is a lot of money, but so was the $100,000 we paid to an architect from London to design your new city hall, the $3.5 million you paid to potentially get prison health here, or the $1 million for the property for the new ice rink. How about the $800,00 already spent on the SOI that the public has made abundtantly clear they are against.

I think democracy trumps skating in the big scheme of our lives. You'll find much of America feels the same way.

Anything else but a special election would be a slap in the face to any veteran that died protecting that right or put his life on the line to protect just that right.

Offering a public vetting of any candidates is a shallow gesture as we the public would have no say in the selection under the proposed "appointment" process. Do we really seem that stupid?

It may be time for all of the council to be replaced execept for Councilman Hume. He's the only one that get's it.

Thanks Gary Davis for nothing. Hope your ego can still fit through the door at the next council meeting.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Dave! I could not have said it any better...I will just agree wholeheartedly with your comments.

Is this council listening at all???

Disappointed with all of you (except for Hume)

Anonymous said...

The Machine is probably so angry that Dickinson accidentally spilled the beans and tipped us off about Nancy Chaires.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the reason Detrick is silent is because he is going to run for Mayor in 2014 and doesn't want to resign is safe seat. Odds are Detrick will run since loves the limelight so much!

Anonymous said...

Oh please! Before you put Pat Hume up for sainthood, he publicly boasted to a large group of big money donors at a fancy fundraiser that he was going to run for Elk Grove's first elected Mayor and he would win!

But Hume didn't count on the Old Guard no long supporting him and those same people preferred Davis.

And if you believe Hume would have resigned his safe seat to run for Mayor, I am sure he has some land in the transition zone he will sell you.

Anonymous said...

If I remember corrctly, Mr. Hume resigned his Planning Commissioner seat when he decided to run for city council.

Davis should have done the same. He was a shoe-in to win the mayoral seat. He should have stepped down prior to the election so that his District 4 replacement could have been voted for in the Nov election, saving the citizens $500,000 if the council can't approve a replacement by bypassing the most sacred of democratic principles.

Our gov't has gone to hell from the top all the way down to our little community.

Anonymous said...

The truth is Pat Hume resigned his seat on the planning commission only after Sophia Scherman told him to do so because he was running against Rick Soares. He actually had no intentions of resigning that seat until Sophia forced him.

And even though George Murphey ran against Pat Hume, Gary Davis did not ask George to step down from the Planning Commission and George didn't resign on his own.

And I for one am glad he didn't!

Anonymous said...

I don't think the issue is as much about what Hume would or wouldn't have done, as much as it is about what Davis did do, and more importantly, what the council is trying to do now.

Anonymous said...

The Great Carnac the Magnificent says...

Welcome once again, O Great Sage... I hold in my hand these envelopes. As a child of four can
plainly see, these envelopes have been hermetically sealed. They've been kept in a #2 mayonnaise
jar since noon today on Funk and Wagnell's porch...

Detrick waits until the next election cycle to run for Mayor so he will not lose his Council seat if he loses; Chaires slips onto the Council through the back door, builds up her war chest for two years, then runs next time as an experienced incumbent and hopes to intimidate any challengers with a huge war chest. Davis patiently waits for an Assembly seat to open up and commutes downtown after dropping his kids off at charter school ("I love Elk Grove and plan to raise my family here"), and by then, the machine has groomed Chaires for mayor to run against Mayor Detrick. Meanwhile, the skating rink is pictured on the city seal with the motto: "Come visit Elk Grove, the home of slippery slopes and slippery politicians".

Larry Tate said...

Carnac, that is so funny because it is so true. Lets not forget Davis entered the 2010 Democratic primary against Dr. Bera to run against Lungren. Davis is just looking to elevate his political standing.

Who is to say that he won't run against Bera in the primary in 2014. If he loses he will still have time to run for Mayor. WOTS is he wants to get to DC.

Aunt Clara said...

Boy that would be awful arrogant of Davis to think he could unseat an incumbent House Representative! On the other hand, the intoxicating nectar of politics has done stranger things to people's judgement!

Anonymous said...

When and where exactly do I pick up this "application?"

Anonymous said...

Try this..............

http://www.elkgrovecity.org/council/printables/fact-sheet-district-4.pdf

Anonymous said...

Found under another article...see if this works......

http://www.elkgrovecity.org/council/printables/fact-sheet-district-4.pdf

Anonymous said...

Let's not confuse any past issues regarding Hume..On this occassion he is the only council person who understand the importance of an elected council member. We need to "laser focus" on Davis and how we got into this mess. Remember, it was Davis's co-hort in Sacramento (Roger Dickinson) who let the cat out of the bag by saying Davis's replacement was going to be Nancy Chairs. Now that the dems are in charge, watch for more and more incidences of our civil liberties been compromised. The citizens NEED TO VOTE our next council member to the board...young men and women have given their lives for this privlidge. Don't let this council dismiss our rights so easily.

MalleusCodex said...

Let's not for get that Gary Davis was elected Mayof of Elk Grove by a HUGE majority. That said, something stinks when this band of politicians wants to deny THE PEOPLE the right to elect their representatives. How can we get a city measure on the ballot to permanently change the current process to deny the City Council the power to appoint their friends to represent us, THE PEOPLE!

Anonymous said...

Pat Hume was right when he said the appointment process "underrmines democracy...creates the appearance of collusion or a backroom deal."

This is especially evident when considering Ms. Chaires was at the council meeting (she is seldom, if ever at them), dressed for a photo op. Hopeful that she'd walk away that night as the newest council member.

Then, on the record, Mayor Cooper says w/ regard to Ms. Chaires, that "she is rock solid. Hopefully Nancy is going to run and be a great addition to our council. I'm looking forward to it."

Based on these statements, why would anyone else come forward to apply? The decision has been made.

Take this into consideration with the fact that Assemblyman Dickenson introduced Chaires at Davis' opening of his camapgn office as Gary's Dist 4 replacement and future council member.

Now tell me the fix isn't in and tell me that there isn't any backroom politics in place.

Anything but a special election circumvents democracy especially under these dubious circumstances.

No offense Ms Chaires, I think you may be a good edition to the CC, but let's let the people decide.

Anonymous said...

The real issue here is that if Chiares is selected for the seat it stacks the council and allows Davis to choose all of the appointments to the various commissions. Ip the appointment process is dangerous. It allows too much power to be concentrated in Davis with no accountability. If you truly believe a special election is the process pressure Hume and Detrick to insist on the special election. Show up to the council meeting and let the council know you vote and you are watching.

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