Elk Grove Mayor Reluctantly Signs Letter, Hume Swipes SOI Opponent

September 26, 2013 | In an unusual set of events at last night's Elk Grove City Council meeting, the Mayor of Elk Grove succu...

September 26, 2013 |

In an unusual set of events at last night's Elk Grove City Council meeting, the Mayor of Elk Grove succumbed to pressure from his fellow city council members and agreed to sign a letter indicating their support of the city's planned expansion while a council member took a swipe at a person who has consistently voicing opposition to the city's annexation scheme.

The letter in question was a correspondence Elk Grove City Council Member Pat Hume asked to be drafted addressed to the Sacramento Local Agency Commission (LAFCO) confirming the city's desire to expand the city by up to 8,000-acres through the so-called sphere of influence application (SOI). The Sacramento LAFCo is the government body that will ultimately decide if Elk Grove will be able to annex the area on the city's current southern border.

At issue for Mayor Gary Davis were two items - whether the letter was actually needed given the lengthy process the city has already gone through and the size in acres of the SOI. The latter was complicated by an editorial published in Wednesday's Sacramento Bee that indicated Davis was willing to bow to environmentalists concerns and reduce the size of the SOI to about 4,800-acres. 

The editorial also said Davis has been working behind the scenes to reduce the size but did not say whether or not the other council members were aware of his actions.

"The city has an application on file and I am not sure I see the validity in a letter that just restates it," Davis said.

Hume acknowledged he asked for the letter and said it was based on comments he received from the Sacramento LAFCo.

"I was told we needed to behave more like an applicant," Hume said. "I felt we need to, as we are getting closer to our actual hearing, to reestablish what we are asking for."

Prior to the council deliberation three people spoke in opposition to the letter, noting among other things the condescending tone it took in how it characterized opponents of  the SOI.

"Is it really good to characterize a difference of opinion as 'accusations,'" Elk Grove resident Suzanne Peschi said. "It seems quite thin-skinned." 

The letter said there "has been a small but vocal opposition to the City’s application who have addressed the Commission on several occasions to make numerous accusations and raise concerns."
"small but vocal opposition" to the City of Elk Grove's planned expansion.
- See more at: http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2013/09/sac-bee-part-of-small-but-vocal.html#sthash.vtISeqsL.dpuf
"small but vocal opposition" to the City of Elk Grove's planned expansion.
- See more at: http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2013/09/sac-bee-part-of-small-but-vocal.html#sthash.vtISeqsL.dpuf

Elk Grove resident Nikki Carpenter pointed to the irony of sending another letter to LAFCo particularly in the week where the Sacramento region is promoting its importance in the burgeoning Farm to Fork movement.

"We all know that this is not good for the city, but you continue to pursue this," Carpenter said. "You talk about the Farm to Fork, you are trying to destroy the farm with the SOI."

During council deliberations, Hume took a swipe at Elk Grove resident and former mayoral candidate Lynn Wheat. A regular at city council and planning commission meetings, Wheat has consistently voiced concerns about negative environmental and economic effects the SOI could have on the city.

In her comments Wheat noted the the biggest stakeholders, Elk Grove residents and homeowners, have been largely left out of the process.

"This application is not about need, it is all about greed," she said.

"Let me explain for the Lynn Wheat's of the world why I think this is important," Hume said. "We are continuing to increase our population by births, migration and immigration and all these other things, so we need to be looking at long-term planning."

Hume also stressed he requested the letter so it would emphasize that the application in its current form is what the city wants to pursue.

As the council continued its deliberation, Council Member Jim Cooper also expressed frustration that a group Wheat helped establish, Elk Grove GRASP, has been given an opportunity to make a presentation at next week's LAFCo meeting in opposition to the SOI.

"The meeting next week is highly unusual, LAFCo has never done this before," Cooper said. "Why is Elk Grove being treated differently."

After several pointed words directed towards Davis from Cooper, Detrick and Hume, the Mayor agreed to sign the letter along with the other four members but was the sole vote in opposition to sending the letter. The council also agreed to remove the accusation phrase in the characterization of SOI opponents.    

"I would like to thank my colleagues for the collegial way we handled these difficualt items," Davis said as he adjourned the meeting.

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Paul Lanning said...

Is there a housing shortage in Elk Grove that necessitates more land? Judging by the availability of homes for sale and rent, and the vacancy rate in the city's ubiquitous strip malls, more land isn't the answer. Better use of existing land would be a start. Demand is not outstripping supply, now or anytime soon. Didn't we already go through this a decade ago, only to see the housing market collapse and tracts of homes sit vacant and unfinished?

Anonymous said...

There was nothing collegial about the jabs Detrick took at Davis basically telling him his mayor's position is meaningless. Last I looked the voters put Davis in that seat by a large majority and with the mayoral office comes some respect.

Detrick needs to take a course from Miss Manners!

Paul Harris said...

So much for building goodwill and better friendships.

Anonymous said...

Another remark by a council member to degrade a citizen. Shame on Hume and the others. This is getting ridiculous. Is it no wonder the citizens have stopped coming to council meetings? Professional integrity is lacking on this council. Ms. Wheat is nothing by respectful albeit adament in her position. You don't have to agree with her, but to demean her shows your lack of leadership. HUME, you need to apologize. You'll get your damn land to develop, but at what cost?
Detrick, you again showed your lack of education and common sense. Perhaps you should go back to school and get the degree you never got. Maybe then you'll appreciate all points of view, not just those you agree with.

Someone who used to care said...

This council continues to degrade those who put them in power and they continue to show that they are out of control and totally unprofessional.
Hume and Detrick were both way out of line.
- They should both be recalled.
They both owe the citizens of this community apologies.
- No integrity, no professionalism.

It's all about Me! Me! Me!- Egos are out of control.

Thomas A. Anderson said...

There area few things obvious about this crew.

1. Trigg is brainwashed by staff and he is firmly under the control of Hume.

2. Cooper's blather about living here for 23 years because is repetitive and just plain old. Actually missing his 'Rosevelle and Folsom had a 100-year head start on us' routine. You better come up with some better talking points or Darrell Fong will make mincemeat of you.

3. Detrick is falling into the "we didn't do it, the county did" routine that we have heard for years. I guess that explains the unfinished mall, the incoherent SEPA plan and the un built civic center, oops i forgot, we will get a water park! Might as well add the SOI to this list of clusterF#*ks by this crew.

4. By trying to please everyone, Davis will please no one. He is weak and ineffective. Stand for something for once in your life. Man up Mr. Mayor.
5. Hume's talk about population growth is nothing but a bunch of cliches and spin he got from either listening to Fox News, happy hour bar chatter or more likely the BIA!

We all know all four of you, sorry Trigg, just have a blood lust for the money needed to either feed your political aspirations or your over-inflated-self-important egos, which are usually tied together. Just admit you have been bought and sold and are errand boys for the developers. We all know it so just at least admit it. Quit hiding behind your lame excuses! Alas, that is too much to ask from this crew.

Anonymous said...

"Mayor Reluctantly Signs Letter!" What in the heck is that all about...you signed the letter. Did you have a gun held to your head, why did you compromise? Why couldn't you do the right thing? It’s about drawing lines in the sand, knowing yourself, knowing your values, and being uncompromising in your willingness to do whatever it takes to stand up for them. Yes, I agree...he is weak and ineffective. Actually nothing new I guess.

Yes, Mr. Hume and Mr. Cooper both own Ms. Wheat a public apology and Mr. Detrick.....well, I've run out of time. Mr. Trigg will have to wait until I can meet with staff for advice.

Regina Hawkins said...

Badge of Honor Ms. Wheat! You've gotten under the boy's skin. Petulance is not at all attractive Mr. Hume. Untwist your shorts and man up, if you can, and apologize to Ms. Wheat.

Detrick proved himself to be a bully, a boor and a buffoon. Mr. Detrick, many citizens do not buy into your pipe dream that you were the greatest mayor Elk Grove has ever seen. Davis is mayor. If you want his seat so bad then run. Just don't forget to resign your current seat as you demanded of Davis.

Just because something hasn't been done before Mr.Cooper doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. Quit your whining.

Mr. Davis,grow a set. If you disagreed with the letter then you shouldn't have signed it. It's been done before. Your weakness is apparent to all and your fellow council members exploit it at every opportunity. Trying to be "the nice guy" only makes you the weakling.

WAKE UP TRIGG!!! Just because you are a place holder does not mean that your vote doesn't count. What are you getting out of being sucked up tight to Hume? Your votes are haviing a profound impact on Elk Grove and not for the betterment of Elk Grove.

Someone mentioned a recall. How about recalling all five? I'll sign that petition.

Michael Monasky said...

I purposely avoided this city council meeting because I knew that its members would spout priggish attacks against anyone in opposition to the application to expand the city's sphere of influence.
These clowns are in for a freakin' surprise at the LAFCO meeting next Wednesday, and they know it.
I'll see you all at the Local Agency Formation Commission meeting, because that one counts.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why the audio/visual of the meeting is not on the city's website. I'd like to look at this behavior you speak of myself and determine if our council members acted inappropriately. Isn't the video up the next day? Curious?

Sarah Johnson said...

I sent an email to the City Clerk asking the same question. He is out until Monday.

Silent Dogood said...

I think this issue brings up a different issue than just the SOI. I understand the SOI has passionate people on both sides but this is something bigger.

When we voted for creating the position of elected Mayor, it was for a ceremonial position, not a strong mayor or CEO type position.

Gary Davis does not have the right to decide what documents he will or will not sign on behalf of the Council. Once a majority of the Council takes a position that position is now the official position of the City and while Davis may disagree with it he is required to uphold and enforce it.

Fido said...

The tails (developers under contract to buy SOI land) are wagging the dogs (Council) here. Plain and simple. The tails are getting impatient and a little annoyed at Grasp, and how long this process is taking. The housing market is rebounding and heaven forbid if the tails have to buy land in other, more expensive dirt elsewhere in the region. After all, EG is the bottom feeder of Sac County. One dog wants to cut a deal so he can try to come out smelling like a rose, but we all know that putrid dog smell don't we?

Anonymous said...

We're doomed I tell you, we're doomed!

billy bob and my other brother billy bob said...

How are they being "transpaerent" when they refuse to post the video or audio feed from the meeting?

I don't get it?

Vocal Citizens Unite said...

Hume stating he is running for a third term to see the SOI and the Connector through speaks volumes as to why he insisted on this letter being sent before the LAFCo hearing. Hume will probably make an appearance, maybe with his new protégé bully in tow, Steve Detrick, at the LAFCo meeting and will cliché the Board ad nauseam because he likens himself the master orator.

Hume and Detrick need to work on their good cop/bad cop routine. Detrick is too quick to say, “I agree,” every time Hume speaks.

And Hume’s loathing of Chris Tooker is on record so that should be interesting. Maybe Detrick’s role will be to get up and insult Tooker and/or the LAFCo staff!

Hume is too fired up about all of this; most probably because his extended family will benefit. Land in the transition zone for one example!

And good for Lynn Wheat, her statement, “Not need, but greed” hit a huge nerve. Why? Because she is right and Hume couldn’t control himself; hence his comments regarding the Lynn Wheat’s of the world. Well, my money is on the Lynn Wheat’s, the Mike Monasky's and the Nikki Carpenter’s of Elk Grove who aren’t about to back down!

They are making Margaret Mead proud as they have a GRASP on what's really going on here!!

Jim White said...

@ Thomas
Agree...Davis does need to man up and make a decision. We voted him in and now is the time to listen to those that voted. Stop the SOI, we do not need it, fix what we have by filling empty lots and vacant buildings.

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