Emir of Katsina Formally Invited to Elk Grove by Mayor

UPDATED  1745 March 3, 2014 | Updates in blue . In documents obtained from the City of Elk Grove, a letter with the signature of Ma...


March 3, 2014 |

Updates in blue.

In documents obtained from the City of Elk Grove, a letter with the signature of Mayor Gary Davis dated January 28, 2014 extends a formal invitation to the Emir of Katsina, HRH, (Dr.) Abdulmumini Usman, CFR, to visit and enter into a sister city agreement with the city.

The letter with the Mayor's signature says "We would love to invite you to come visit Elk Grove to formalize this sister city agreement. Per discussion, we would like to host this initial visit and exchange week during the week of March 20, 2014. We are very excited for you to visit. Please communicate how many people will travel with you so we can start planning events, meetings and an itinerary of things for you to do while here."

See the Mayor's letter and formal sister city agreement below.

Contacted by text message, Davis said he was in a meeting and could not respond to an offer to comment on the letter and proposed agreement until after 5 p.m today. Should the Mayor respond, this post will be immediately updated. 

Mayor Davis said the following via text message:

"The letter is consistent with my thoughts at the last Council Meeting. It is since then these serious matters have come to light and why I asked the City Manager to cancel it. Clearly this potenital relationship was not vetted thoroughly, if at all."

Click to enlarge.

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Bainc said...

This just keeps getting better and better. Stay tuned for fireworks at the March 12th Council Meeting...

Anonymous said...

I am very disappointed in Mayor Davis. I voted for him in 2006, 2010 and in 2012 for Mayor. I voted for him with some hesitation in 2012 and now i know why. I thought he represented something much different than this. It makes we wonder if he is using beans harvested by slave labor at his store. I am very disappointed and saddened by his actions.

Anonymous said...

I knew this didn't pass the SMELL test....I do not care to hear from Mayor Davis. Would not believe a word that came out of his mouth.

Our city leaders have betrayed this community and I'm not sure, but possibly the SCI in being dishonest and not upfront with businesses and the community. I will be reviewing their requirements & expectations to become a member. Seems this is a violation of what this organization stands for. This is behavior that should never be tolerated and is an embarrassment for us all.

Coffee Bean said...

Watch the man in the teflon suit try to weasel out of it. Wonder if the other council members knew about this? I'm wondering if he was also planning on parading "Your Highness" at his State of the Union speech later this month too.

Lynn said...

I would like to know how come he did not mention his letter at the council meeting when he was offering to help out anyway he could to bring the Royal Highness here including spending our tax dollars.
I am so tired of many decisions being made without resident input or discussion. Thank you Mike! We need more individuals like Mike at our city meetings!

Anonymous said...

Just another example of Mr. Haney running the city of Hooterville.

Oliva...Oliva... the Emir is coming!!

Capitol Connections said...

Ignoring Michael Monasky and underestimating EGN and their "crazies" has created the first political scandal of 2014. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Proud to be one of those CRaZIES!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mike! Has anyone spoken to the former Human Resources personnel at City Hall? May be a good place to start!

Anonymous said...

Well isn't that just great. Quote: "Clearly this potenital relationship was not vetted thoroughly, if at all." Can we assume from this statement that much has most likely not been vetted thoroughly at city hall when spending our monies like it's peanuts. Your minions sitting by your side don't get off scott free either, they were well aware of what was being done, but didn't open their mouths to question this process.

Shame on all of you...you violated our trust and most likely violated the SCI process in not involving the businesses & community in making this decision. This cannot be a success without community support...aaah I'm furious!

Anonymous said...

Is there a HR department anymore? Didn't Ms Brunston just leave? Another one bites the dust?

Anonymous said...

Wow! talk about the cat is out of the bag. This major is a joke and an embarrassment to the Elk Grove community. How can he even blame staff on what clearly is his doing! Laura Gill who works for the Council continues to drop the ball making them look even more foolish by not ensuring research and best practices are followed. Just another epic failure on her behalf and this pitiful city council. They all need to be voted out!!!

Anonymous said...

Can we bring back Ms Brunston?

Anonymous said...

We have no HR department anymore? Well, why am I not surprised...just leaves us open to fines and lawsuits because it's obvious no one is in control....wasn't vetted !

Anonymous said...

I am as unhappy about this as everyone else but just a little confused by this latest development. Can someone help me out? Gary Davis never claimed that he didn't know about this proposed relationship with Katsina, right? Isn't the issue that the rest of Elk Grove didn't know about it until the last council meeting? The postings here seem to imply that he was purposely denying or hiding something.

Anonymous said...

What did the mayor know and when did he know it?

Anonymous said...

What a total embarrassment on so many fronts. Let's just hope the Bee and heaven forbid Bill O'Rielly or Chris Matthews don't get wind of this. We'll be the laughing stock of the U.S.

- Someone has to be held accountable. Mr. Mayor, who fully endorsed this fiasco?
Laura Gill, City Manager, who is responsible for vetting, researching and agendizing this item?

Take your pick. Plenty of blame to go around.

Time for EG to come back down to earth and eat a little humble pie. It will be good for your souls.

Time to invite the public back into City Hall and embrace your neighbors (applies to those who live here).

Change, it is a comin'.

Anonymous said...

She left but there is still a fully staffed HR department.

Jughead said...

Anon 20:11, I think the point is we now know the mayor knew about this since at least since the date of the letter. The question is this - did this occur in secrecy? In the other public discussions on sister cities, which included suggestions in China, Philippines, Italy and if I am not mistaken, Canada, they were open to the public. As far as I can see, the proposed relationship with HRH was first brought to our attention last week. Exclusive of all the other sordid details surrounding this mess, the public was left out of the conversation. It seems the Mayor decided on his own to initiate the relationship and invite HRH. That alone is a breach of the public's interest.

Anonymous said...

How many sister cities does EG already have? Why the need to have multiples? I think it is the responsibility of Laura Gill to have researched this city before it even got to the City Council level. She has also been the City Manager during the time the Mall failed, the SOI expansion was proposed and failed, and now is not leading or giving good research on projects like the aquatics center and soccer stadium in order to focus the attentions and direction off this ADD council. Time for her to go! Her leadership failures and thus the City Council speaks volumes on the current state of the city.

Anonymous said...

Anon 20:11...No, Mayor Davis is GUILTY BY OMMISSION!

Mr. Davies O. said "A letter from the Sister City Council of invitation was sent for the Emir to visit Elk Grove for an official signing ceremony." Actually the letter was hand delivered by Mr. Davies O. as he stated in his presentation. Now I think we would all assume that if you state a letter is "from the Sister City Council," it was also written by them. Right? Now we must know that a Sister City Council cannot be the entity that does the invite...that has to be the City of Elk Grove. So that was a major misquote and should have been caught by the council. Mayor Davis or no one else made an effort to correct. In fact Hume, Cooper & Davis all had smiles on their faces and were happy to endorse this presentation. Nothing was ever mentioned about the city council being involved, just seemed to be a question about the date and funding for the trip. Was even going to be asking the Multicultural Committee for some financial help this week.

Seems we only have two people on this Sister City Council and as far as I know there was never an invitation for the community or businesses to participate at any of the meetings.

Bee said...

The Bee picked up on Elk Grove News as this was only news outlet to publicize what occurred since the council meeting.


And a few of the other elected officials aren't too happy their names were attached without their permission.

I guess they know how we citizens feel!

Michael said...

This is a tempest in a teapot.
Certainly, Nigeria has a troubled political and social system.
So does the USA.

Yes, we have a representative democracy, but it funds the largest military force in the history of mankind.
There are many folks who truly believe that the USA is the evil empire.

I spent some close-up time in the green room after a CBS show with William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, this last weekend.
He was at the taping of Real Time with Bill Maher. Kristol admitted to being a war-mongerer.
It was an astonishing experience.

The apple does not fall far from the tree.
And the US has some very cozy and questionable, at best, relationships with other nation-states.
We should be careful to avoid name-calling and understand that our complaints can readily, and most likely, reflect our own image.

There's been some discussion about EG city staff wages, how it's nice if you can get it.
The nicest way I can put it is this: some of these folks are six-figure wage slaves.
They are willing to feather the nests of those above them.
Honesty, integrity, hard work, and concern for the common person are not among their best traits.

As far as self-identification goes, so be it.
If most everyone else insists upon being known as "anonymous", then I just will have a harder time following the trail of ideas.
But, then again, isn't "anonymous" the force and form behind the Occupy Wall Street movement?

Michael Monasky

Lynn said...

First of all; really it is all Laura Gill's fault? Our city council sets policy. Ms. Gill receives her directions from them; they are the top bosses. Davis signed the letter. It is this council and previous councils that included the SOI in the General Plan and have been pushing it. She is following her orders. Fortunately residents of Elk Grove spoke out against this SOI along with regional residents to get it defeated at LAFCo. Most likely something Council was not expecting..So they are pushing it again... The Aquatics center and Soccer Stadium...her idea no. Again she is following the orders of "make it happen". Mall her fault? That had been in the plans for years; why Elk Grove became a city. How many times has the council instructed her to find the money for their ideas? How many times have they really asked for her "honest"opinion. I doubt anyone in management can give their honest opinion at council meetings. This would not make the policies or ideas of the elected officials look good.
Maybe a few don't remember a previous city manager who was going to lead that left...Why? couldn't be the leader the city needed.
Ms. Gill does what she is instructed to do by council...Replacing her alone will not solve Elk Grove's problems. Remember what I have said about the city before: "Developer's Delight"...
Ms. Gill might end up being the scapegoat on this...however releasing her won't make it all better. I know this may leave all readers thinking I am a fan of Ms. Gill....I know I am not in her fan club as she is not in mine. I want our very broke city system fixed....My opinion the entire house needs cleaning...again as I have posted there is enough blame to go around....let us see who steps up to take responsibility...and explain..this of course would be taking a risk...it would take courage....

Anonymous said...

Can I invite my friend Joffey Joffer, King of Zamunda?

Maybe the Colbert Report would like to have a featured story on "Elk Grove Thriving".

Stung by the Bee said...

I am very disappointed in Darrell Smith's reporting in The Sacramento Bee.

EGN was the only news source to pick on this important human rights issue after the council meeting. Do you think for one minute that the Council would have rescinded the letter on their own? No way!

Mr. Smith came on this website and then took it upon himself to give Gary Davis credit for pulling the plug.

It was Mike Monasky and the people who posted on this website who caused Davis to issue the statement cancelling the trip.

And for the Bee not to report out what a small group of concerned citizens here in Elk Grove did in a few short days, and a weekend to boot, is wrong!

Anonymous said...

What a podunk city!

What else is going to come up in Stockton north?

Anonymous said...

At least Mr. Ononiwu apologized, but he wasn't the one really at fault. Mr. Davis should take Ononiwu's lead and be a stand up leader. Is that too much to ask?

Anonymous said...

Please stop mentioning Bill O'Reilly, Chris Matthews or even major newspapers. They would have no interest in this story. We almost hosted someone that no one ever heard of, from a place that no one ever heard of, and it may have only sparked mild interest if the controversy about his country's human conditions was mentioned. And if they had any interest then, it would have been about parading the Emir around and not whether the mayor did something without consulting his constituents. This is a big story for us locally and it is fortunate that we citizens brought it to a halt for a number of reasons, but don't overestimate its importance to the rest of the world. There are more important things going on. Relatively speaking, we are a small city with a local issue.

Gweneth said...

I agree with one of the above comments that this city council, led by the Mayor Davis, owes our citizens an apology and as well as a "thank you" to Michael Monasky for bringing the ineptness forward on the record.


Anonymous said...

I agree, plus I think he owes Mike Monasky an apology for dismissing him with the usual "yuh, thanks for sharing" attitude rather than saying that he raised some important issues that should be looked into. It still blows my mind that not one person on the council had any questions after the presentation.

Anonymous said...

It has been obvious for some time that this city has no system of checks and balances. We have a rubber-stamp city council. Of course, the ultimate check on the city council is the voice of the people and taking that to the voting booth. We have three chances for change this year. But, come March 12th and it will be business as usual at city hall with perhaps Lynn & Michael speaking...just missing the people to back them up. The city council knows that and the reason why nothing will change. We're all bark and no bite!

Now, have I fired you up yet?

Fed Up on the East Side said...

Hopefully, the events of the past month will serve as a wakeup call for our citizens.

It's time for wholesale changes at City Hall. Three councilmen are up for re-election, including our bumbling mayor. Also, time to look for a new City Manager.

Tell your neighbors to vote:

Ly and Chaires will be more of the same, they are locked in to the political machines that removes citizens from issue consideration.

Let's take our city back with candidates who just want to make Elk Grove better for it's citizens.

No more Destination City crap.

Anonymous said...

It seems very important to widen the finger-pointing on this matter. Davis and Gill are called out by name. But, have you noticed that Hume, Detrick and Cooper have been suspiciously silent?

The ENTIRE council must be questioned and held accountable on this and all issues.

I am sure Hume, Detrick and Cooper are anxiously monitoring EGN and feeling very relieved that their names have not come up.

With elections for Hume and Cooper around the corner, they are distancing themselves from this whole thing with thundering silence.

A dismissive attitude toward citizens has been evident from all members of the council (I excuse Trigg as I don't consider him anything more than a temporary puppet and place holder.)

Hume, Detrick, Cooper, where were you?

Anonymous said...

Wonder how the grand tour would have worked out?

"Over here, Mr. Amir, is a residential neighborhood. There, a residential neighborhood. There? Yes a residential neighborhood. Now, to the south, we have our mall. Would you like some tips from our success? You like soccer, or futbol? Next to our mall will be our stadium. Say what? Oh no, we don't have a team, but apparently we have 100 million dollars! Let's head on down to Old Town! It's wonderful. You should see our new purchase! Oh, you want to see our Civic Center? No, we're actually not going to build the space ship. Didn't realize you had seen those plans. Yes, we can eat now. $7K can buy a lot of Applebees!

Anonymous said...

Detrick's out will be he wasn't present at the last meeting. Trigg will once again thank staff for their hard work. Hume, Cooper, and Davis will claim they've now fixed the problem by cancelling the event once the information was brought to light. The problem I see is Mike M. brought up these issues AT THE MEETING at the time. Ironically he almost wasn't given his 3 minutes. After speaking he was dismissed as usual with no discussion from the Council.

Like others I have a hard time beating up on Trigg. I feel like I'm picking on my grandpa who's way past his prime. I'll give him a pass out of respect but the others have no excuse.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of blame to go around for sure. I hold the Mayor accountable as he was elected to lead and serve. To date, I have seen little of either.
Re: Hume and Cooper; both are intelligent men; how they allowed the presentation to end without questioning the Sister City's political stance is beyond me. After Michael spoke up, again, you would have thought Hume and Cooper would have initiated at least a few questions or concerns. Nope, Pat just wants to know what date to rent his tux and Cooper praises the Sister City committee service to the community?!? Thankfully for Detrick, he has been out of town for this entire mess...his timing, this time, was impeccable!
Mayor Davis, where is the process you so earnestly speak of at council? Where is the open transparency of our city government? Where are the checks and balances needed to ensure democracy? Where is citizen involvement? Why has the Sister City website gone dark? Why can’t we see or review the policy associated with Sister City recommendations? Why haven’t you taken a leadership role in managing this local crisis? Why haven’t you accepted responsibility? Doesn’t the buck STOP with you? How in the world will you ever gain back your constituents faith? Can you tell me why I should ever trust you again? I’d like answers Mr. Mayor. NO, I DEMAND ANSWERS!

Anonymous said...

This item needs to be set up as a PUBLIC FORUM session for the people. Not an Agenda item where we ask the questions during Public Comment and council deliberates on what they choose to...ignoring the publics questions. Just putting a spin on it as usual.

too embarrassed to leave my name said...

Davis wanted to be mayor, wanted to lead. Ok, turkey, lead.

Lead by example, TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY for your action / non-actions. You were voted in to lead us, but all I ever see are rose colored visions of MLS and great water parks and malls.

None of which, we as citizens, want or asked for.

Quit embarrassing yourself and our city with your stupid comments.

All of the council and staff have really shown their ineptness thIS past month.

We need to demand wholesale changes in November if not sooner.

Davis, don't even think of running again. You're a laughing stock. Thanks for taking our city down with you.

Anonymous said...

That Bee reporter sure made Davis out to be the hero in all of this. What a distortion of the facts. If Davis had brought the letter to the city council and to the public, none of this would have occurred.

Davis is to blame here and only Davis.

Steve B said...

I agree with a poster above who said we no longer have a system of checks and balances.

Used to be the citizens spoke up when questionable proposals came forward and discussions led to a vetting of the issues.

Now, only two people have the courage to speak out at the meetings and they are routinely ignored.

Perhaps this city should start listening to these citizens who still care enough to show up and speak instead of ignoring them.

The citizens are your checks and balances. Without them, you guys are just paddling in a circle and looking foolish.

I'm reluctant to think of what you may do next.

Anonymous said...

"No more Destination City crap. "

What - No water amusements scream park in a residential neighborhood.

How about a skeltonized mall?

No $100 million soccer stadium?

A city work force where high school and associate degree grads can make more than a state employee with a master's degree or a nursing degree?

We will have a Beer Cave next to a freeway onramp!

Now that is a destination city!

Anonymous said...

Hick city becomes Podunk USA!

Elk Grove Thriving!

Connie said...

To Steve B,

Some of us are still actively involved. we just do so from our computers at home watching the council meetings. In years past, I could count on one hand how many council meetings I missed. But the truth is I can no longer sit in my usual seat in the back of the room with a guarantee that I would stay quiet and I would probably be hauled out for shouting at the dais. Look how Mike Monasky is treated on a consistent basis!

But we still watch the meetings, give input, and watch the process to keep the council from ignoring the law. Just one example: Recently, I sent one email at three thirty in the afternoon that caused one council member to recuse himself from an item. His voting on it would have been illegal. I was told that had I not done that, the council member was going to vote because unless a point of order is called before the next agenda item is called, nothing could be done.

Also, Jason is no longer attaches written public comment to the agenda items he receives before the council meeting so that the public can read what was submitted beforehand aka “A Green Sheet.” Might be a glitch in the system.

My point being,is that even with the simplest of items, we, the public cannot let our guard down for one minute, whether we do it from council chambers or from home.

And how sad is that?

Jughead said...

The above comment correctly noted that Mayor Davis was elected to lead the city and instead of providing real leadership he has pursued many boneheaded schemes including an amusement park in the middle of a residential neighborhood and paling around with Fabian Nunez.

Mr. Mayor, you may be old enough to remember a TV ad from the 80's featuring Lee Iaccoca who famously said "Lead, follow, or get out of the way." Time to take that to heart.

One more note, aside from your Mom, wife and kids, your television appearances are nothing but self-serving and pedantic. You are making Elk Grove look like something straight out of Deliverance.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Anon at 9:52. WE SHOULD ALL DEMAND ANSWERS...not accept the soft pedal we are going to hear. The council has a week to cover their asses; and we should not allow them to wiggle out of this. ANSWERS Mayor Davis...We want Answers!

Anonymous said...

I do believe we are beyond help..........


Anonymous said...

RE: http://www.egcitizen.com/articles/2014/03/04/news/doc5316206874e5f618501461.txt
Mayor Davis, YOU JUST DON'T GET IT!! It is high time we boot you from your chair; time to put this distination city BS to an end; time to QUIT SPENDING OUR TAX DOLLARS!! What world are you living in Davis??? When you have the Citizen critize you, you know you've screwed up.

Anonymous said...

"You are making Elk Grove look like something straight out of Deliverance."

Yup you got it right!

West Sac has hundreds of light industrial and distribution businesses.

Elk Grove has dreams of the amusement park, soccer stadium and mall.....

Anonymous said...

How about a Citizens' Commission with power of subpoena to review this whole affairs? Monansky for Chairman!

David W said...

Sounds good to me. Let's do it!

Robert said...

After all of the poor judgments and idiotic statements coming from our mayor, I can't believe he continues to put his foot in his mouth yet again with the article in Wednesday's Citizen about all the monies poorly spent being "investments in our city's future."

I'm finally convinced he's actually lost his mind.

$1.1 million dollars of our (my) tax money spent on a Sphere of Influence plan that was as poorly presented and planned as the rest of our city. Of course it was defeated soundly. Our city has yet to build ANYTHING of SUBSTANCE that we can be proud of. Our city is a connection of rooftops and strip malls, many half empty. Yet, our mayor says our $1.1 million was wisely spent because we now have an "environmental document."

I want to throw up!

He mentions the $1 million of our (my) tax dollars spent on the UPRR property in Old Town. It's seldom used and as far as I know has not created any income, except for what the mayor may have received in donations to his campaign(s) at the monthly "hot dog-o-rama's" he holds, evidently free from rental fees and associated costs. I don't see any money coming in from this "investment."

Let's not forget the $1.4 million on our new "occtopussian" civic center. We have absolutely NOTHING to show for that fiasco, but as Davis says, "As a good steward of resources, it's our job to prioritize what's important to the city."

Further, the mayor states that the $14 million or our (my) tax dollars to be spent on this new civic center "will present a return up to 500%."

I need an explanation for that one. How does a civic center create a return of 500%? Are we going to have women of ill-repute wandering the hallways creating city capital?

How about the $700,000 just approved for "feasibility study" for a swim center and water park. A week later it's discovered a swim center has already been approved just south of our borders, yet no discussion of this even though city staff said they were aware of it prior to advancing the $700,000 to a firm that has NO EXPERIENCE in planning or building such a facility.

Now we hear the only large undeveloped area within the city is being planned. According to the mayor the area will be master planned (like Madeira?)to create an influx of jobs to alleviate the commute of many residents. At the same time the city's planning director has stated that the area will be 70% new homes.

And let's not forget the $100 million of our (my) tax dollars planned to build a MLS soccer stadium to bring in residents from hundreds of miles to create income for BJ's, McDonald's and the Holiday Inn Express.

This man and his companions will bankrupt this city with such ill-fated plans.

This madness has to stop!

Elk Grove News said...

Robert, with your permission EGN would like to post your comment as a stand alone opinion piece. If you are interested, please contact us directly.

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