Mayor Davis Implies Elk Grove Restaurateur Sought Economic Incentive

During last Wednesday's Elk Grove City Council meeting, Mayor Gary Davis questioned a local restaurateur regarding the city's eco...

During last Wednesday's Elk Grove City Council meeting, Mayor Gary Davis questioned a local restaurateur regarding the city's economic incentive program and her supposed pursuit of a subsidy.

The discussion between Davis and Marie Mertz took place as the council deliberated whether or not to grant a $175,000 request Working Class Heroes (WCH), LLC of West Sacramento who is in talks to open a restaurant in a vacated building in Old Town Elk Grove that was formerly occupied by the Elk Grove Brewery. During her comments Mertz said she did not support the city extending such a large incentive to one restaurant.

Following her comments Davis said he was confused by Mertz comments noting that when he saw her name as a speaker that he thought she would be advocating for WCH. In response Mertz said that while she had expressed some interest in the building that has twice been vacated in the last five years, she said she never sought any incentive nor was she was aware the city has financial incentives available. 

"At the time, you said you would need a subsidy in order to make it work," Davis said to Mertz.

"I never asked for a subsidy and I never talked to you about subsidy," Mertz replied. "I didn't even know it existed." 

"I never talked to you about that Mr. Mayor, I'm so sorry to say that," Mertz added

Watch the video below.

So whose version is more credible?





Post a Comment Default Comments

15 comments

Anonymous said...

Everyone looks to the mayor for leadership and he should never become rude, confrontational, or argumentative with the audience or speakers. This is not the first time I have heard our Mayor do that with a speaker and sometimes with his fellow council members, sometimes thinking he's going to fall on the floor and have a temper tantrum because he didn't get his way. This was very embarrassing for some of us in the audience and especially for Ms. Mertz who is such a lovely person and gives much to our community.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I'm more than a little embarrassed myself - but the disrespect isn't limited to Mayor Davis' interaction with M. Mertz. Councilman Hume took a very disrespectful and needless shot on L. Montgomery during a session to fill the District 4 vacancy and Councilman Cooper was needlessly argumentative with the Owner of O.C. Communications. I can't say there were other instances and I know everyone gets a little testy from time to time. I understand tension between councilmembers but the disrespect shown to speakers - who also happen to be citizens and local business owners- is simply unacceptable.

Capt. Benajamin L. Willard said...

In fairness to Mayor Davis we don't know if he and Ms. Mertz had the conversation the mayor referenced or not and if they did, what was said.

Nevertheless, if the Mayor is going to make assertions such as this, he ought to have all his ducks in a row. Obviously the Mayor misjudged not only Ms. Mertz' position, but the lack of support for this incentive. Better luck tomorrow Mayor Davis.

Columbo said...

When Ms. Mertz wanted to offer an opinion on the restaurant request, Davis didn't need to try to turn the tables on her to make her look like a hippo-crate. Didn't matter what happened in the past. The current agenda item is what they were there to decide on. Shoulda gave her her 3 minutes of democracy she is entitled to and moved on the next speaker. Guess they didn't teach that at Sac State Poli Sci 101 or in Steinberg's chambers.

Tom said...

I believe the lady.
Obviously Mr Davis is recalling a conversation that he had with a different lady that spoke with an accent. Easy mistake to make.

Gregory Jones said...

I have no doubt that the conversation occurred -- with a different dictionary regarding "support". It is very easy to imagine anyone with half a brain checking in with the local-powers-that-be regarding possible hassles/ gotcha's in making a business move.

"Support" does *not* necessarily mean "gimme $$" in this context.

Anonymous said...

Public comment is a chance for a speaker to voice his or her opinion, state supporting facts or figures, and/or direct questions or ask for clarifications to be made by members of the council or staff. If council has questions or would like to have a give and take, then wait till the speaker is done or when time is up.
It's a slippery slope and clarification should be made on the process, is this time for debate or make general statements. If the public is going to be interupted and sometimes badgered, then at the least stop the clock when staff or council speak and be willing to let both sides speak their peace and come to a conclusion before moving on to the next speaker. This council is showing they don't like to be disagreed with and are willing to bully the pulpit and that's unprofessional and unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous (14:15)...
M. Mertz had completed her three minute comment. Mayor Davis did not interrupt her during those three minutes. I'm not saying his tone was appropriate but he didn't interrupt her.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the clarification, I only had audio to the clip above and could not tell. Regardless, at previous meetings I have witnessed speakers interrupted, not always but enough to question what the standing protocol is.
I have also gone up to speak and try and be concise and respectful of the three minutes but if we can openly engage the council in back and forth discussion then let me know and how much time do I get because I'd prefer a healthy discussion next time the civic center or south east planning items are on the agenda.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous (14:35)...
Understood... Just in fairness to all, I felt that should be clarified. But, yes... the disrespect I have seen from more than one of the council is cause for concern. I think we can all understand that sometimes, as humans, comments can "get under our skin." But, some of the behavior I've seen isn't helpful to anyone involved. (Clean it up, guys!)

Anonymous said...

Ever wonder who the elected officals represent ?

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 14:36 re "Clean it up guys!" Here is lies the problem!

We need a strong capable woman on the city council who wouldn't tolerate this good ole boys childish, I can out man you behavior.

Nancy Chaires we need you!

we need helpp said...

Why is it when you ask who voted for Mr Davis everyone tells me they Didn't.. How did he ever get into office. I think that our council as a whole has gone downhill.

Anonymous said...

Nancy's another Gary, choices made primarily for political gain. Who we need are civic minded council members focused on making well informed decisions that are in the best interest of the city both short and long term. The council needs to do a better job of engaging their constituents and listening to our viewpoints.

Anonymous said...

No offense but Nancy is not the answer, she's another Gary Davis who would make decisions based on political aspirations not because its right for the city.

What we need are council members, regardless of ethnicity or sex, who are plugged into the community and have no other political agenda other than making the right decisions for the short and long term success of our city.

Follow Us

Popular

Archives

Elk Grove News Minute






All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast




item