One Appointee Candidate Promises Limited Term, Gives EGCC Opportunity to Break Impasse

Ed Busutill When the Elk Grove City Council meets next Wednesday night, they will be dealing with a thorny issue dividing the coun...

Ed Busutill

When the Elk Grove City Council meets next Wednesday night, they will be dealing with a thorny issue dividing the council – how, or for that matter who, should fill the District 4 council seat that was vacated when Gary Davis was elected mayor.

At their last meeting Davis and Council Member Jim Cooper were said the vacancy should be filled by appointment and they nominated only one person to fill the seat - Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Nancy Chaires.

On the other side were Council Members Steve Detrick and Pat Hume. While Hume strongly advocated for scheduling a special election, both he and Dettick nonetheless placed three of the six appointee candidates into nomination.

In all four cases the vote was tied 2-2. Although Cooper noted the deadlock and urged a council vote on scheduling a special election, Davis, who also rejected an idea for a weighted voting for the candidates, said the matter should be re-addressed.

At Wednesday’s meeting, one of the six candidates who was not placed into nomination said the council should consider making a compromise by appointing him to help break the impasse.

That candidate, San Joaquin County Assistant District Attorney Ed Busuttil believes that his commitment to serving only the remainder of the District 4 term could help break the Cooper-Davis vs. Detrick-Hume standoff.

Since Busuttil entered the appointment process, the 20-year Elk Grove resident has repeatedly promised that he would not seek reelection in 2014. By not seeking reelection, Busuttil believes that a middle-ground can be established.

Busuttil noted that by the time the special election is held in early June, the winner will be seated for only a year and a half and the cost of the election will be very high. “That will be financially irresponsible,” he said referencing the costs of the special election.

For Cooper, who has repeatedly urged the appointment process as a means of saving the city the $5000,000 special election cost, appointing Busuttil would meet his goal of sparing the city that expense.

While Davis and Cooper did not discuss party politics in their deliberations, Chaires is a Democrat with deep ties to the state party. Coincidentally Busuttil is a registered Democrat.

For his part Busuttil says since he will serve a limited time and has no need to build a campaign war chest, he will be unencumbered by the influence of various special interests.

“I have no allegiances to any particular group or developer, environmentalist or anti-development group” he said.

For Hume, while voters will not get a special election, the appointment of Busuttil, who embraces the role of a place holder, the people will ultimately get to vote for the candidate of their choice free of an appointed incumbent in 2014.

The underlying current during recent council deliberations seemed to be whoever was appointed would have incumbency advantages of name recognition and campaign financing when they run in 2014. Two of the more visible appointee candidates, Chaires and Oscar O’con, indicating they would run in 2014 if appointed.

Aside from being impartial, Busuttil said his experience in helping develop budgets for the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office could benefit the council as they go through the annual budget process.

While acknowledging that if appointed his term and influence might be limited, Busuttil nevertheless said he would act with a long-term vision for the city. Busuttil noted that he plans on staying in Elk Grove through retirement and wants to see the city flourish.

“I am not going anywhere,” he added.

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r we corrupt? said...

Sounds like a win-win for everyone. Davis can save face and avoid the cost of a special election (as he's solely to blame for ths dilema), Chairs can finish her term on the Planning Commission while beginning to build her $100,000 + war chest for the 2014 election (to ward off potential competition) and Mr Busitil can police our city council and the shenanegans that many believe goes on behind closed doors.

If the council doesn't fall into place on this, it really shows that they don't have the city's best interests in mind, but rather their own agendas.

I guess we;ll see how it all shakes out next Wednesday.

Charlie Marlow said...

While this sounds like a perfectly acceptable short term solution, it ain't happening.

We all know Ms. Chaires is being groomed for one of the big jobs in the company, and you can bet her downtown political mentors will not allow Mr. Cooper or Mr. Davis to support such a reasonable compromise even if they wanted to. Mr. Charlie McCarthy said it correctly that all the strings are being pulled.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully we don't have to sit through another rehash like two weeks ago. I too agree Mr. Busuttil would be a great selection, someone who has no prior agenda.

At the very least try the point system that was mentioned and end this deadlock. I know Mayor Davis said something about it not working in Yuba City, but it did after a few votes. Better than our record so far.

Anonymous said...

Reasonable solution. If this council doesn't embrace this alternative to a 500,000 special election, then this council all needs to resign. They do not have the city's best interest in mind. Play politics with this decision and it will be too obvious. Come on guys, compromise and save us the cash.

EG Lover said...

This guy sounds great. This solution is exactly what Mayor Davis needs to get us out of this predicament.

PC Chaires hopefully sees the writing on the wall and will withdraw her name for consideration in the best interests of the City. If she does, it will go a long way in establishing "good will" when the 2014 election comes around. She'll likely reap great rewards for her unselfishness.

Anonymous said...

From Jill, this is a fair compromise.

Jill said...

This is a fair compromise.

David Webb said...

This does seem like a very reasonable and palatable solution. Ms. Chaires hopefully, will see that her candicacy is the sticking point that divides the Council and may lead to the need/cost of a special election.
Her stepping aside now would be a great show of "good will" and a great camapaign tool come the 2014 election.

Dorthea said...

Well, I must say, this gentleman seems like just a wonderful person and quite qualified. I believe he would be an outstanding choice for our city council.

He's also a democrat, which should sway the votes of the two democratic councilmen. I'm not sure I understand the politics here that others speak of. Perhaps I'm a bit out of touch with local politics. However, I do know a strong candidate when I see one.

It would be a shame to have to resort to the cost of a special election when the economy is just beginning to rebound and money is so precious.

I hope that councilmen Davis and Cooper read this and see that Mr. Busutill would be an exelent solution.

Good luck, Mr. Busutill. You are to be lauded for stepping forward and offering to better your community. Public service is a wonderful endeavor.

Steve said...

Dear Ed:

Be glad you avoided joining such a pathetic band of malcontents and self-serving egomaniacs.

Thanks for your interest in serving your community. Fact is, you're probably too good for us.

Pray for us, Ed!

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