Trigg 'Lectures' Fellow Council Members as They Punt on Elk Grove Road Maintenance Funding

April 10, 2014 | As the Elk Grove City Council once again delayed making a decision on how to fund the city's long-term road mainte...

April 10, 2014 |

As the Elk Grove City Council once again delayed making a decision on how to fund the city's long-term road maintenance needs, Council Member Bob Trigg chided his four fellow council members for their indecision. 

Trigg's comments were made following a presentation by the city's director of public works Richard Shepard whose report outlined long-term funding needs for road maintenance in the city. The report noted that although roads are in good condition now, they will deteriorate in the future given there is an annual funding deficit of $8 million to maintain road in their current state.
Bob Trigg (second from left) chided fellow council member for indecision. 
Shepard first brought the report to the council last October, but was instructed to bring the item back at this time. In October, council members noted the Sacramento Transit Authority (STA) was exploring placing a county-wide sales tax measure on the November, 2014 general election ballot.

Subsequent to that, STA polling found scant support for the county-wide sales tax measure and decided against putting it on this November's ballot. In his report, Shepard suggested the city could pursue a ½ cent sales tax increase on the November ballot.  

After hearing Shepard's report, Mayor Gary Davis, Vice Mayor Jim Cooper and council members Steve Detrick and Pat Hume decided not to act on the ballot recommendations citing a variety of reasons.

Citing the STA’s finding’s that showed little public support, Hume said it would be better to approach the road funding sales taxes from a regional basis.

“I would be afraid that we would be confusing, and or fatiguing the voters if we come out with a tax in 2014 and if STA decides to go forward with a tax on 2016,” Hume said.

Citing the fledgling economic recovery, Cooper said now is not the right time to take this to the voters.

“People are still trying to get their heads above water,” he said. “I’m for waiting a couple of years.’

Davis said seeking a local measure “would throw a monkey-wrench in the county-wide plans” and agreed with Hume that they should wait to see what STA does.

Noting the city’s withdrawal from the Habitat Conservation Plan that was discussed earlier in last night’s meeting, Detrick suggested that money could be redirected to road maintenance. He also suggested as the city's revenue neutrality payments to Sacramento County are reduced over the next ten years, that money could be redirected.  

After not being acknowledged in the council’s deliberations by Davis, Trigg chimed in and proceeded to chide his fellow council members. 

Acknowledging the politically sensitive nature of the issue, Trigg nonetheless said it is a problem that eventually has to be addressed.

“It is easy for me to say this of course, because I’ll be leaving in December, I get that,” Trigg said. “When do we begin to take care of this?”

Trigg also noted the council regularly takes up “new and exciting things, because they are here every week and I commend you for it.”

“It’s what makes this place special,” he added. “But when the roads are falling apart, they are not so special.”

“End of old man’s lecture,” we wryly concluded.   


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Anonymous said...

I've noticed that many times Mayor Davis does not acknowledge Council member Trigg in the council’s deliberations.

Also heard his little "dig" at Ms. Wheat after she spoke on one of the agenda items. He needs to rise above that, very unprofessional!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Trigg...
It's a shame you weren't the voice of reason earlier in your term. You had nothing to lose by holding the line earlier.
And so, the can gets kicked down the road. Sure, let's take this up next year when elections are over for 3 of the council. By then, Cooper hopes to be in the Assembly and Davis and Hume will likely be on their last term on council as they are likely to pursue other political aspirations at the end of their next term.
Nice one. What else can you push off?

Bob L said...

That a boy, Robert. The council ignores you because you generally have little to add. I am glad you took time to speak your mind. You could teach them all a lot with your experience.

You have a few months left, make a difference.

Michael M. said...

The city council, just like the STA, can spend millions on roads, but then next to nothing on pedestrian amenities.
That's where the shame should be laid upon these policymakers.
The staff have even less imagination to remedy the poor pedestrian/bicyclist conditions. They toe the line to keep their jobs, following the dull city manager and these political hobos.
As has been noted, most of them won't be here when the foecal matter of lousy transportation deficits hits the rotating blades in a few years.
Meanwhile, the council scratches its head and asks for more direction from the trails committee (which the council has dutifully ignored since its inception.)

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

I applaud for Mr. Trigg for speaking up on this matter. Finally, all those years of public sector experience and wisdom that comes with age are finally on display.

As for the council and the whole road maintenance issue, this is very similar to Katsina debacle. There was not one question asked about alternative funding within the city budget, now or in the future, that could be directed toward road maintenance. For all the talk about attracting business, nothing is more fundamental to attracting business than having a great infrastructure, which obviously includes roads and their maintenance.

All four of the elected gentlemen are like Nero playing the violin while Rome burned, or more aptly, sipping Grace's Coffee while Elk Grove roads rot away.

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

I do stand corrected; Mr. Detrick did ask about revenue neutrality payments to the county. But that was it.

Enjoy your coffee!

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus said...

Since when does this Council care about being a regional partner! No, it's all about kicking the can down the road until after the elections, and to tiptoe away from an examination on their poor spending decisions in the past on road funds. Cowardly leadership and spending like drunk sailors!

Anonymous said...

Since when does this council care about being a regional partner? When it is politically convenient.
No, it is obvious these fellow don't get it.
Building a city isn't about soccer stadiums, splash parks, food trucks and international diplomacy. It's about the boring stuff: Infrastructure and public safety.
It isn't about parading soccer kids into council chambers to announce some soccer stadium scheme; it is about budgeting for and executing on road improvements. It isn't about hosting some foreign dignitary; it is about keeping citizens safe. It isn't about food-truck-a-paloozas; it is about making sure we have the necessary infrastructure in place that attracts jobs.
Guys, stop with the fancy dancing and get to work. Solve problems, don't delay them. It has become very obvious that it is all about your political careers and not what is best for the city. Get it together.

Anonymous said...

I think the real point is to spend within your means and not to propose a new tax. I would suspect that there will be enough money to be redirected to essential services like police and street maintenance when all the non-essential service are cut.

Anonymous said...

What do these lay people know about building a community. How many times have you ever seen them ask a city staff person for their professional advice? Isn't that what the staff are trained for and paid for? Instead it seems like the staff are paid to nod yes on cue.

Anonymous said...


Election year - no new taxes.

Beware any bs coming from one of these guys this year - or any year.

All took the Grover Norquist pledge, one way or the other.

But, damn the habitat commitment and Elk Grove's contract with the rest of the region to build a good, safe, potable water supply into the future.

Gazzilions of dollars on 'studies' for this and that, lip service to the trails committee last night - bs about riding their bike through Old Town on the weekend and promoting biking, bike racks and bike month.

All the while, virtually no rideable bike lanes in the city. You call two feet a bike lane?!

No sane person rides a bike lane which requires them to straddle the 'lip' between the bike lane and the gutter - a real recipe for slippage and falling.

See many people biking in Elk Grove? Nope - virtually none.
I know, I am out there nearly daily.

So councilman Hume, are you aware that your oh so pleasant bike ride through Old Town, such a lovely weekend excursion, riding on the sidewalks, remains the ONLY way for seniors and non-drivers from the Williamson Bel Air area to walk and ride to the Waterman Bel Air?

I question whether you really did that - or made it up just to sound 'bike friendly' at the council meeting. Hmmmmm.

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