Elk Grove City Council to Receive Mid-Year Econ Development, Ice Rink Reports

Among the several items to be covered at next Wednesday's regular meeting, the Elk Grove City Council will receive reports on the c...

Among the several items to be covered at next Wednesday's regular meeting, the Elk Grove City Council will receive reports on the city's first ever ice rink promotion and an update on economic development efforts.

City Manager Laura Gill will deliver results from the city's ice rink operation which ran from November until January. The ice rink was held on the Old Town Elk Grove Parcel the city recently purchased for over a $1 million from Union Pacific Railroad.

According to documents that accompany the report, the ice rink earned $57,380 in revenue and expenses were $133,900. When the council approved the ice rink estimated program revenues were $110,000.

The council will also hear a update from Randy Starbuck on the city's economic development efforts. Starbucks report notes that efforts "continues to be a 'work in progress' and will evolve over time to provide Council with the most complete picture possible of City economic development activities as well as the Elk Grove/regional economy."

Starbuck will also update the council on his department's wayfinding sign project. Wednesday's meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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Anonymous said...

Besides the financial loss to the city (i.e. us!), the shell game of EG Water donating free water still cost us water ratepayers. Wonder how much that was?

Oh well, it's just funny money with various government agencies playing three card monte. But our leaders will probably cite the increased foot traffic downtown as a benefit you can't measure.

Well, I hope all the nail salons, cash for gold, antique stores, and the palm reader saw increased business!

See ya next year!

Chazz Michael Michaels said...

Hey, it was nice ice rink. Besides, where else but Elk Grove and North Korea would let me do the "Iron Lotus".

Anonymous said...

Starbuck is a wackjob. This is Elk Grove, for God's sake! Ice rink's losses highlight the loss in common sense in the city manager's office. Bureacracy at its finest.

Vino said...

Starbuck=excuses=find another job

Anonymous said...

Starbuck....re-run because I've heard all that rhetoric before.

Tom said...

Wow! Too bad nobody saw that coming. Now let's get started building new softball diamonds and a soccer arena.

Angie said...

I would like to see the ice rink back this year. My kids loved it!

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Steve Detrick for pressing the city to provide a more detailed cost accounting of the rink, instead of them attempting to gloss over the entire subject. More credit to him for voting no in the first place!

In looking at the contract and the final numbers, it appears the skating operator bagged $140,000 in ticket sales and $85,000 in up-front city money. A cool quarter of a million bucks! On the other side of the ledger, the city taxpayers lost $76,000, PLUS whatever the trash hauler, EG water, and SMUD costs which will ultimately be passed on to their ratepayers.

It's kinda funny, but two of the paid sponsors were the law firm the city contracts with, and the firm the city contracts with for public works--both of which also charged for direct labor costs for work on the project. Give with one hand, but take back with another!

The big unknown is how much additional foot traffic and revenue did the Old Town businesses experience with this taxpayer subsidy? Of the businesses that remained open during the evening skating hours, I saw very few customers and virtually no strollers on the sidewalks. The skaters drove their cars to the recently purchased one million dollar parking lot in the rear and left the same way they arrived.

I wish that psychic palm reader in Old Town could have advised us against this experiment!

"I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
And I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again"

Anonymous said...

Maybe we could have downhill skiing next year.

Billy Bats said...

The big problem with the ice rink was that it was thrown together very piece-meal at the last minute, much like the land planning in our city.

Perhaps if our city had put a bit more thought in this it could have at least broken even. Why such a rush - could it not waited a year?

Having said that, we tried, we failed and again chalk up another failure from our vast list of civic mistakes paid with taxpayers dollars.

Connie said...

We have yet to hear anything substantial from Randy Starbuck. He has been in the job for over a year now and his only accomplishment is the skating rink.

Short-term projects such as the skating rink, though a nice amenity, have been proven to be problematic. That is very reason Rancho Cordova didn’t contract with this same company this past year.

However, in going forward, when we talk about the waste of taxpayers’ money, let’s not forget the $750,000 for first Economic Development Corporation which garnered us nothing! I take that back, yes it did: It garnered a nice five-year salary and retirement for that employee.

It is time Mr. Starbuck delivers, and not just I met with this company and I met with that company. We have already heard that in the past. Any remember Alldata?

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

In fairness to Mr. Starbuck, by all accounts he was a redevelopment guy in Pittsburg. Not long after the city formed their redevelopment agency for the area near the Elk Grove Promenade, Starbuck was hired. At about the same time Gov. Brown pulled the plug on state redevelopment money, so it would appear Ms. Gill had no other choice but to create this position and save face.

Having said this, Ms. Connie is correct in her analysis. He is probably the wrong guy in the wrong position. Time to cut our losses - yet again - and say goodbye to Mr. Starbuck.

Anonymous said...

Now I'm not a big fan of Mr. Starbucks but it seems that the link in real failure to lead ties back to Laura Gill. She's been here a while now and seems to be sitting back coasting and not delivering anything. She controls everything that happens there and is not one to take responsibility for actions, just blames staff for her poor leadership. Maybe what we need is new mgmt at City Hall.

DAVID said...

Yes. That would be a great move in the right direction. From what I hear out of city hall she is a tyrant in the Stalin / Hitler mode. She is hated and her minions are scared to death of her.

She takes credit for everything good that comes from staff, yet blames staff for all that goes wrong. Seems she is a poor leader, to say the least.

Let's see if we can't find someone with smarts, vision, charisma, and leadership skills.

Lynn said...

Anonymous and David,
I don't work for Laura Gill so I can't comment directly to her style as a leader or boss...However, I will say when Ms. Gill decided to hire someone who was familiar with redevelopment and could help in economic development I supported that decision as being fiscally responsible. Mr. Starbuck can not be a miracle worker when you look at this entire region...it is not a magnet for economic development. Plus, Policy direction comes from our Council members and they are the bosses. We lost a city manager with smarts, vision, charisma, and leadership skills; Jinkens.


Anonymous said...

A must read for everyone..article is from 2001 and seems not much has changed in the last 11 years.

Lucy's mom (formerly anonymous) said...

What a telling article! Great insight to where this city has been and why it is like it is today. This explains a lot.

Hope our current councilmen read it. Perhaps it will open their eyes a bit. Maybe they already know and realize all this and it's just news to us newbies in EG.

Either way, a great article that all EG residents should read.

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