How Elk Grove City Council Placeholder Appointment Backfires on Davis, Aided Wal Mart

July 21, 2013 | Call him the Anthony Kennedy of the Elk Grove City Council. Or at least the council's version of the Supreme Cour...

July 21, 2013 |

Call him the Anthony Kennedy of the Elk Grove City Council. Or at least the council's version of the Supreme Court's Justice whose swing on one recent crucial decision where he provided a 3-2 majority.

We are speaking of course of Council Member Bob Trigg who cast the decisive vote granting Wal Mart an alcohol license for their grocery store in an area determined to be over saturated with liquor sales according to California's Alcohol Beverage Control Board. 

In that controversial vote, Trigg sided with Vice Mayor Steve Detrick and Council Member Pat Hume giving Wal Mart the three votes they needed. Descending votes were cast by Mayor Gary Davis and Council Member Jim Cooper.

Since his appointment last February, Trigg presence has barely been felt as most of the council's votes have been unanimous or near unanimous decisions. That changed earlier this month. 
Bob Trigg.

Cooper and Davis opposed the Wal Mart liquor application; Davis has long and rightfully voiced concern on the ill-effects of an over-abundance of liquor license in the community and has frequently voted against the granting of more licenses. For his part, as a law enforcement professional Cooper strongly expressed concern the granting of the applications would further increase crime.

Things could have been different for Davis and liquor sales in Elk Grove though had Trigg not been appointed.

In the time leading up to Trigg's appointment to fill the vacancy created by his election as Mayor, Davis along with Cooper both pushed for the appointment of Planning Commissioner Nancy Chaires. Conversely, Detrick and Hume pursued an anyone-but-Chaires stance. 

Although Cooper wanted to appoint citing the cost of a special election to fill the vacancy, after the council reached endless deadlock votes, he supported a special election. Rather than call for the special election, Davis split with Cooper and agreed on Hume's dark horse last minute nomination of Trigg who was appointed by a 3-1 vote. 

Had that special election been held, Chaires would have been an odds-on favorite to win given the increasingly "blueness" of Elk Grove and the large political apparatus at her disposal. Chaires, a  Democrat and by extension, friendly to labor, would have likely been inclined to vote against the Wal Mart application. 

Instead of a 3-2 vote granting Wal Mart's liquor application, it could have been a 3-2 vote denying the application.

Last February Davis seemed to made his political calculation and decided it was in his interest to abandon Chaires, abandon the special election and go along with Hume.

In this case, Davis made the wrong calculation.   

Post a Comment Default Comments


Anonymous said...

Was somewhat interesting that someone who spent his career working with children would vote for more liquor in an area that is already saturated with liquor sales. Makes me wonder if the city really did save $500,000. on a special election or is it going to end up costing us a few million by the time Ms. Gill gets through advising/educating Mr. Trigg about the issues he's voting on.

SteveB6509 said...

Or maybe Davis realized that spending the City's $500K was not a good idea and decided that the Trigg appointment made sense (which I agree with). I commend him for that decision. While I don't always agree with Davis, in this case, he decided the good of the City was more important than politics.

Billy Bats said...

SteveB, I commend you for having the intellectual honesty for saying you don't usually agree with the mayor but do this time as it relates to the special election.

As a matter or rebuttal, I suspect the mayors justification using the the cost of a special election was something of a fig leaf meant more to cover his back when one of his fellow mid-term council members challenges him in 2014. (As a side note I don't suspect that candidate will resign either.) It is a very convenient cover given the fact that the Mayor should have resigned his council seat when he ran. Mayor Davis in large part created that mess.

The Dog Trainer said...

Billy Bats,

Reading between the lines here, you seem to be inferring that Steve Detrick is going to run for Mayor in 2014. Though other candidates have officially or unofficially announced, Gary Davis is the incumbent to beat.

"Let me be perfectly clearly clear" as I proceed to talk about the two Republicans on the Elk Grove City Council. I hope Steve Detrick runs for Mayor because it will finally show a man who is guided solely by arrogance, proving it by his own actions when he nominated himself for Mayor, bragging from the dais that he was the best Mayor this city has seen.

Detrick is the most uneducated council member up there and it shows. The man doesn’t even know the meaning of the Brown Act, and recently asked the council to violate the law on the Key to the City Agenda item.

However, Detrick now being guided, and ever so skillfully manipulated, by Pat Hume. Hume can’t run for Mayor; he could never win and he is smart enough to know that. But Hume wants Davis out as Mayor in the worst way; and so he is using his cunning manipulation on Detrick. And the best part, Detrick doesn’t even know it – he probably thinks he is now in the same intelligential prowess class as Hume.

However, Hume has proven that he is extremely adept in manipulating Detrick. Watching council meetings and how Hume deliberates these days, looking down the dais at Detrick when speaking. And right on cue like a Pavlov dog, Detrick sits up and does exactly what Hume wants him to do. (The Walmart alcohol permit agenda item for example.)

Hume probably even tosses Detrick down a piece of candy when he performs for the Master and mouths, “Good boy Stevie, good boy!”

Anonymous said...

We need to send more money to EGPD to eliminate grow houses in EG. Either that or someone just passed their creative writing class!

Lynn said...

I enjoyed reading the above posts, and believe until more residents attend council meetings and really begin to see the interaction, and actions of our council members things will continue on the same path and the decisions and behaviors of our leaders will be the same. I have spoken to two of our council members directly telling them how disappointed I have been and their actions continue to be disappointing. I have my three minutes of democracy and will continue to use it. And as I have said before I have yet to find something on tv that is more entertaining than the Elk Grove City Council meetings....maybe just maybe it can become a reality show and our leaders will donate their pay from the show to the tax payers who deserve the parks and trails they were promised when purchasing their homes and investing in the community....

Anonymous said...

Speaking of I was driving from Bruceville, east on Del Webb Blvd. I was amazed to end up facing an empty field of tall weeds surrounded by new homes. some under construction. This is the area the city called "the Jewel of Elk Grove." What is now an empty field and was to have been Storybook Woods Park has still not been completed due to our city changing the rules midsteam for the builder Pulte/Del Webb. This item is on the Wed. City Council Agenda for approval, but there is a little problem. not quiet enough money to build as originally designed unless the city contributes. In other words the builder got a break and now the city, which means you & me, may have to pay the piper. It's only 4-5 years late in being built at this point. The big question...what will our city fathers do about this eyesore? Huuum......

Tom said...

People that think that one more store selling hard liquor is going to have ANY effect on who or how much anyone drinks are really confused or trying to kid themselves.

Follow Us



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