Elected Officials Claim No Knowledge or Endorsement of Elk Grove Sister City Visit, Proposal

February 28, 2014 | Four regional elected officials cited as supporting a proposed city sponsored visit by the Emir of Katsina, Nigeria t...

February 28, 2014 |

Four regional elected officials cited as supporting a proposed city sponsored visit by the Emir of Katsina, Nigeria to the Elk Grove claimed today to have no knowledge of their reported support.

The reported official support came in a presentation to the Elk Grove City Council Wednesday night by the city's Sister City Committee. Two members of that committee, Major Ty Sorci (USAF) and Davies Ononiwu told the council that Congressman Dr. Ami Bera, California State Senator Darrell Steinberg, California Assembly Members Roger Dickinson and Dr. Richard Pan and Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli supported the visit.

When contacted, four of the officials said through staff members that the representative nor their staff had any knowledge of the upcoming visit. As of this posting, Pan has not responded to request to comment but a staff member said they were not aware of being contacted regarding the matter.

The problem could be particularly troublesome as four of the five are Democratic officials have strong support from the LGBT community and the province of Katsina recently passed laws criminalizing same sex relationships. Nottoli, who is officially non-partisan, has been associated with Democrats.
Katsina, Nigeria.

Steinberg communication director Mark Hedlund stressed the senator was not aware of the visit, adding "the senator was not asked, nor does he endorse it."

When contacted regarding the matter, Sorci said he was not surprised the officials did not acknowledge the endorsements as he and fellow Ononiwu had not formally communicated the proposals. Sorci said he mentioned the sister city proposal to Bera and other officials during Elk Grove's most recent Veterans Day Parade and received positive feedback.

"They were all very excited about it," he said.

Ononiwu did not respond to requests to comment for this story.

Elk Grove City Public Information Officer Christine Brainerd said the sister city committee is not sanctioned in the same manner as other entities such as the Multicultural Committee. Formation of the committee was discussed at the December 14, 2011 city council meeting. 

Brainerd said the city is exploring several options to help finance the Emir's visit should Sorci and Ononiwu's fundraising efforts fall short of the estimated $15,000 price tag. One of those options includes conducting a special meeting of the Multicultural Committee this Thursday to see if that committee would consider using a portion of their budget to finance the Emir's visit.

According to Brainerd none of the city staff had knowledge of the reported endorsements, nor did they contact the five officials regarding the visit and sister city agreement. She said she was not aware if any of the council members had contacted the officials.  

The only council member responding to requests to comment on the story was Vice Mayor Jim Cooper who said he received several comments from constituents on the matter and will ask staff to look into the matter. 

"I will be reviewing the tape from the hearing and plan on discussing this issue at our next council meeting," he added.    


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Anonymous said...

Good gravy... What a mess. Pull the plug.

Anonymous said...

and now we're pulling the Multicultural Committee into what I will call, "this scam."

The next city council meeting is March 12th and will discuss a visit that is planned for the 17th. Where in the heck were your heads Wednesday evening when this was brought up and even questioned by a resident? This may be cause for an EMERGENCY MEETING! Time to stop this before it goes any further. Don't lay it on the Multiculture Committee next week....step up to the plate and nip it in the bud and disband this so called "Sister City Council."

Anonymous said...

In searching for what other cities suggest and require in chosing a Sister City I found Elk Grove lacking in most every suggestion. One being what I would think should be very important and first on every committee members list would be....Gather and secure strong community support. Don’t forget to involve other groups, such as
your Rotary club, churches, hospitals, schools, or your local government, for example.

Do we live in some sort of bubble that we think it is ok to not involve the people you will be asking for donations and help from?

Exactly who is in control here in Elk Grove... some committee? Where was our city manager in all this...it got on the Agenda. How did that happen without anyones knowledge? Our council denies any prior knowlege, don't they even read their own agenda?

Anonymous said...

BTW....something I forgot. Where can I find the Agenda and Minutes of the EGSCC?

Ty Sorci said...


I can give you any documentation you would like.

Just let me know.

Give me an email at EGSCC@hotmail.com or even a phone call. 9169966862

We keep records of all the activities and discussion s.

I think all this dialog is great! Real democracy!

Anonymous said...

You are losing all creditability. First, it appears your "suggested" wording at the council meeting implying the local political powers supported this idea is coming home to roost. If EGN is to be believed, NONE of the area political leaders are on board...yet you show a power point slide indicating otherwise. Also, you continue to provide documentation asked for by simply saying "contact me and I will provide". Why don't you share your documentation with us? We all want to see your agendas; you’re meeting notes; your committee member’s names and titles. If this is a city sponsored group, there are rules to follow and governmental actions required. Do you follow the Ralph M Brown act requirements? I'm beginning to this is a sham from start to finish. Davies O has also lost his shine in my book. He is as much involved in this sham as you are....together you tried to pull the wool over the city's eyes. Well those clowns can be swindled; but these pesky citizens are tired of our tax dollars being wasted. Tax dollars aside; this sister city garbage has gone on long enough. I hope the national press picks this up and it turns into an ugly nightmare for our city. The negative publicity might get this mayor off his "destination city" mantra and shaken back into reality. Stay home; stay the course; improve EG by investing in our streets; parks; local events that make EG a better place to live. Forget about the rest. Concentrate on the home front.

Anonymous said...

From Anon 8:04:

With all due respect this information should be accessible to all the community. I find it somewhat troubling that we each have to ask for what should be public disclosure and I do not call this " Real democracy." When things are done behind closed doors with no transparency, a red flag goes up! We have enough of that going on now and it's high time it is stopped.

Perhaps rather than me contacting you in regards to obtaining the Agenda & Minutes you could provide them to EGN (this web site) and they could post them for all to see. I'm guessing they really don't exist in that form. I'll be waiting....

Hot of the Press said...

The trip has been cancelled due to the outrage from the community.

Margaret Mead would be proud and thank you to Dan and Elk Grove News for bringing off this important human rights issue to light!

And thank you to everyone who posted, anonymous or not, because your voice was heard.

And to the poster who called people on this site crazy, yep we are crazy as foxes who stand up for what is right in our community.

Transparency and accountability are not just words to some of us who hold this government accountable!

Anonymous said...

I am shocked that the local TV stations have not yet jumped on this one.

Anonymous said...

Oh, have no fear, it's a weekend and I can assure you word is getting around to the media. Mayor Davis is going through his wardrobe now trying to figure out what to wear and his speech writer is working on a way to deflect what actually happened. Filming will most likely be at the mall site as soon as he can get some workers with shovels to dig in the background and round up his few followers for applause effect. Mr. Ly will be standing by his side smiling, with a thumbs up.

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