In The Mayor's Words - 'This is Your House'

March 5, 2014 | Since taking over as Elk Grove's first directly elected Mayor in December 2012, Gary Davis has opened nearly ever...

March 5, 2014 |

Since taking over as Elk Grove's first directly elected Mayor in December 2012, Gary Davis has opened nearly every city council meeting the same way. The Mayor says to the audience "this is your house," or something to that effect.

At the February 26, 2014 meeting, the Mayor seemed to hedge on those words.

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Anonymous said...

This item was on the agenda, not for public discussion since it was all done behind closed doors without community input and with major misquotes presented. As we now know because the people have rallied, there was much dishonesty behind the presentation. This was not only Mayor Davis' role in welcoming the people, but also the other councilmembers duty to see that the People's House has an open door. But all were silent.

THE BROWN ACT...The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.

Anonymous said...

Just playing devil's advocate here but I can't help wondering if this would have unfolded the same way if the sister city had been a city with no controversy associated with it. Italy? Switzerland? Would anyone have commented publicly at the meeting or would we have watched the presentation, yawned and moved on to the next item? Just wondering. And please don't misconstrue that this has anything at all to do with race because it doesn't. I'm referring to the treatment of human beings in Nigeria.

Jughead said...

I think the expenditure to spend the $15,000 is the first thing that caused outrage, then the human rights aspect kicked in. After that it seems as we all gave it more thought, the process, or lack of public process, is what has gotten people angry. The mayor always says he is about process, this is your house, blah, blah, blah. The Mayor has clearly shown this to be nothing but an empty proclamation to make him look like he cares. When Michael Monasky stood up and refused to be denied his word, the Mayor tried to push back and it failed.

But to your point, if it had been for a city in someplace like Italy or Switzerland, you are probably right, it would have gotten by. Then again I don't know that we would have been paying for their accommodations to visit Elk Grove either.

Anonymous said...

First, until you played the race card just now I and am sure most on here hadn't given that any thought. Also if you haven't gotten what the problem is after 200 comments and a SacBee article then it's most likly that won't happen with a follow-up here.

Connie said...

When the Mayor of Ataco came for a visit, unless it was slipped in on the consent calendar, and no one picked up on it, we did not pay his way.

Since then, it has been a good partnership. One of the main reasons for that is Bob Lent and Oscar O'con and their constant philanthropic work. We citizens even got involved with a toy drive that brought joy to Ataco's children; and for some of whom, it was their only Christmas present.

Another is that we found a use for our old buses that we spent 10 of millions on that aren't allowed on our streets. Don't know if I much like sending our pollution to El Salvador though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dan for the hearty laugh this morning. Mayor Davis is looking less and less a leader and more like an empty shell of a politician. One would hope he reads this column and realizes how snarky his comments to residents are perceived.

Anonymous said...

It will be really interesting come November.

Will the council be cleaned out?

Or will the sheep just vote for the incumbent to get it over with?

California is in deep trouble due to the one party rule. There are no checks and balances.

Anonymous said...

In answer to the thread...we were all played by the city council including the EGSCC and even the Sister City Intl. who states this is a partnership between the city, businesses and community. Had this been presented by the city council as it should have been, for open discussion, we would all have been better for it and saved this hugh embarrassment that it has become. Had any of you listened to what MM said...that should have even rang a bell. Business as usual...speakers are nothing but a nuisance, by law, that we have to contend with. Stand behind your word Mr. Mayor and OPEN THE PEOPLES HOUSE. If that can't be done, then step down and let someone else take the reins.

Anonymous said...

ALL council members are responsible for standing up for the citizens and their comments, whether they area with them or not. ALL council members have been observed reacting disdainfully toward speakers. Hold all of them accountable for openness, civility and respect.
Election year sure does make 'quiet' council members hoping none of this curfuffle rubs off on them. The others know they are complicit in all of this. They were elected to be leaders, as well.

Show me a filter cigarette that delivers the taste, and I'll eat my hat! said...

Re: Anon 10:00 - As much as many of us dislike the shenanigans of this current council, I don't see Gary Davis or Patrick Hume losing their seats.

The reason? Money.

Don't forget Cooper and Detrick ran unopposed in 2012. The reason was not that these are two really great people doing great things for the city, rather no reasonably minded person would be willing to throw away their personal fortune, remember we are Elk Grove and not Granite Bay, to get a seat on the council.

Detrick was the last new candidate to win a seat when he financed his campaign against a very unpopular Leary in 2008. Had Detrick not financed it, chances are Leary would have been reelected.

So what has happened to Detrick since then? He sold his soul to pay off his "debt". Does the name Gil Moore ring a bell?

Until local campaign finance laws are changed, it will be like Roger Daltrey sang years ago when he said "meet the new boss, same as the old boss!"

Anonymous said...

The borrowed money Detrick financed his campaign with did not solely win him the election. It was through very hard work, walking the streets and not letting the word "lose" enter the game and Leary also thinking he had a win and not working the campaign trail. Of course he also had a group who worked very hard in that effort too. He didn't sell his soul to pay off his debt...that was through many community functions that followed and before Gil Moore came onto the scene. Now...does he need a wake-up call? Most likely and not unlike most of the other council who have a short memory of who exactly put them there early on. Do we need change? Yes, but not likely to happen because they have sold their souls to the developers and their money. Mr. Ly and Ms. Chaires...a Republican entering the race might upset that one. But time is flying by quickly........

No Elk Grove Citizen Coverage said...

I just looked at the Elk Grove Citizen website to read today’s edition. There is nothing about this current issue regarding the Emir of Katsina and what has occurred. Very interesting?

But the news from the last council meeting that the Citizen found far more important and newsworthy was the closing of Rubia Road.

Why? Because the Mayor now lives on that street. Big whoop!

Anonymous said...

Have the TV stations gotten in on this?

Anonymous said...

The Citizen does a very poor job of actually reporting news. The Herbergers fancy themselves as the "filter" for the community. The Citizen also failed to write about the Silverado project (formerly Vintara Park) that was heard by Planning Commission and was "continued" to a date certain once the developer realized the plan was going down to defeat by a 5-0 vote. The chambers were pretty nearly packed; the commission listened and the project is now back with the developers and perhaps a re-worked plan could come forward again. The Citizen did not utter one word either in print or on line. But, back to this issue...Detrick has lost his way; it may have taken two+ years, but he is now on equal footing as Davis and Hume. Detrick is famous for his snide remarks or endless "look at me" comments. His ego has taken hold. It really is a shame as he started out as a citizen advocate only to end up being a citizen opponent.

Sarah Johnson said...

Mayor Davis is taking a ton of heat on this, as he should be, but make no mistake, the rest of the Council is equally guilty and we want to see each of them step up and take some responsibility for this fiasco. After all, this "plan/scheme" was apparently brought about over a period of time which gave all of them opportunities to question it.

Show me a filter cigarette that delivers the taste, and I'll eat my hat! said...

To Sarah's point, she is correct. The silence from the other council member is deafening. They too need to be held to account. Maybe they will do some soul searching and come clean at the next council meeting, or not.

Anonymous said...

Are the other suburban cities in the Sacramento region like Elk Grove in terms of governance?

Sarah Johnson said...

Most of them are "managed" by Phil Carter and Pacific Municipal Consultants, and could have the same problems, but it has been my observation that others have been more fortunate in hiring city managers than Elk Grove has been. PMC has such a wide range of influence that when a problem arises, they just ship the offending employee off to some other municipality, as far away as possible, and move on.

Builder Bob said...

To poster above...yes! The Region Builders and Building Industry Association run the whole game in this valley. However, the Mayor of West Sac was quoted a few months ago as telling the Region Builders in effect, to not bother trying to get in to his city, because they don't need them and they are not welcome. Might point out that KCRA news did a piece last night how West Sac is having an economic boom and construction is going to town.

Anonymous said...

On Wednesday's council meeting, I wonder who among the council members is sick or out of town.

Bainc said...

@ Anon 12:36. NO...I often watch the Rancho Cordova and Folsom City Council Meetings on Metro Cable. They are much different. The Folsom Council in particular doesn't seem to be owned by the developers. Yes, there is development but they require a higher quality product.

It's not about pushing no growth but quality smart growth that will age well. IMO a huge part of Laguna and some of the Franklin area are not aging well. Our time horizon looking at projects needs to be 20+ years not 3 years at build out.

Jughead said...

Considering where West Sacramento has come from, they have done a really good job of turning that city around over the last 20 years or so. They still have a ways to go, but they are on track.

Could it be of any coincidence WS has self-imposed campaign finance laws in place that, according to Builder Bob above, allowed them to tell Region Builders, thanks, but no thanks?

Anonymous said...

Here is an interesting article I just dug up, published in the Citizen in 2012, regarding the city's desire to seek more sister cities.

City officials seek more sister cities

Invitations sent to Asian, European cities

By Bryan M. Gold - Citizen Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 4:08 PM PDT

After becoming a sister city to Concepción de Ataco in El Salvador last year, Elk Grove city officials are moving to connect with cities in China, Italy, and the Philippines.

When the Elk Grove City Council formalized its agreement with the coffee-producing city in El Salvador last summer, city officials also agreed to link with Danglas, Philippines; HaiLin, China; and Montichiari, Italy.

They decided then to temporarily hold off a sister city relationship with a Canadian city.

Elk Grove joined Sister Cities International (SCI) a few years ago to formally attempt to establish a relationship with Concepción de Ataco.

SCI is a nonprofit organization that seeks to create and strengthen partnerships between U.S. and international cities. They foster the relationships to promote cultural understanding and economic development.

Elk Grove resident Ty Sorci, who has been leading the push for Montichiari, where he was stationed while on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, told council members last month that the process of adding the other cities was taking more time and is more formal than with the El Salvadoran city.

“Why it’s taken so long is we have been working with Washington, D.C., and SCI to make sure this is vetted up and down the chain so there will be no hiccups at all,” Sorci said while holding up the letters signed by Elk Grove Mayor Jim Cooper that were also sent to SCI to assist with delivery.

Sorci, who heads the Elk Grove Sister City Council, said at his council’s July meeting that all three cities received the formal invitations.

SCI hand-delivered HaiLin’s invitation to the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., to help shorten the process from more than a year to a few months, Sorci said.

“The next step will be to develop a covenant and goals with the partner city,” Sorci said.

Council Member Gary Davis said Elk Grove and the sister city should include an economic development component.

“I would just challenge you, as we look at sister cities, that we continue to focus on opportunities for economic partnerships,” he said. “They may have businesses that are looking to expand. They can come here.”

Davis added, “There might be the benefit of folks from our city visiting there to learn skills and ideas. Certainly, the cultural piece is important, but I hope we can keep the focus on the economic part where it makes sense.”

Sorci said Montichiari exports large amounts of cheese to the United States but pays high tariffs in places including San Francisco and San Jose.

Council Member Steve Detrick said he saw an economic opportunity when he visited Concepción de Ataco last November to see the damage caused by heavy rains and floods.

Detrick said he and Concepción de Ataco Mayor Oscar Gomez Duarte want to find a coffee broker who could sell a large volume of Ataco-grown coffee in the Sacramento area to generate more revenue for the sister city.

Elk Grove is also looking at establishing sister city relationships with U.S. cities such as Portland, ORE.

Lynn said...

Sarah, I agree with your post. The other council members by their responses were all on board. Probably Mayor Davis is receiving the most heat because he is our first elected mayor and so many people had big hopes for a directly elected mayor.
All of the comments above need to be in a public forum where residents gather together and have some true open dialog; let's get together at our house!! Residents need to be able to envision their city and have support of leaders that will carry forth the vision of residents....So many of us were disappointed with the new sign ordinance and how that evolved. It dismissed so much of what hard working, volunteer residents did. Proud Heritage...Bright Future. Let us all take it back! It can happen! I know it can and I believe it can! Someone once asked me is our city worth saving. I remain ever hopeful...Now I invite all to "our house" March 12. "They" count on us being apathetic or defeated. We can and must prove them wrong. I believe in all situations something good can come out of something bad. Let this be the spark that ignites the fire within people to again participate in our democracy; at the local level....we became a city to have the local control...the challenge now is to get it back! Not impossible!

Coffee Bean said...

"Detrick said he and Concepción de Ataco Mayor Oscar Gomez Duarte want to find a coffee broker who could sell a large volume of Ataco-grown coffee in the Sacramento area to generate more revenue for the sister city."


Ghost of Hot Dog Guy said...

Back in 2006 when we “believers” bought in to change, we were told a fable about our city government using the “three-legged stool analogy;” those legs being John Danielson, Anthony Manzanetti and Phil Carter. They were the three who took over our government and the city council was just a bunch of silly puppets.

Elect “The Change,” and we were promised the legs would be kicked out one by one. Leg one and two were kicked out almost immediately, but leg three, meaning Phil Carter, is still standing, without the others, proving he can defy gravity.

And when PMC’s contract was up for renewal, the comments from the dais were, “We need to stay with the devil we know,” and the contract was renewed.

But we need to get back to the three-legged stool view of a sustainable community; meaning we need to balance our economy (jobs/housing/businesses), our citizenry, and the environment.

We need to assert our political will from the bottom up. We have proven it can work in the last week!

Anonymous said...

Is this the firm that is running Elk Grove?

Sounds like disgruntled employees or former employees of Pacific Municipal Consultants lashing out.

How does this affect Elk Grove's future direction?

Anonymous said...

Anon 14:22....LMBO, figured PMC would get in on the action with some brilliant comment such as this. If that should be the case, they sure have a lot of disgruntled employees and that alone should raise a red flag for EG.

Anonymous said...

This story is getting funnier by the day.

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