Will Elk Grove Mayor Davis Seize on Council Member Detrick’s Political Woes?

May 24, 2015 | Say what you will about politicians, but a crafty one will recognize an opportunity when he sees one. Locally, Elk Grove...

May 24, 2015 |

Say what you will about politicians, but a crafty one will recognize an opportunity when he sees one.
Locally, Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis is nothing if not opportunistic. This has been true from the time he vacated his position as a trustee of the Natomas Unified School District and went shopping for his next opportunity that landed him in Elk Grove.
Davis saw in former Elk Grove Council Member Dan Briggs an unpopular and vulnerable incumbent he could defeat. After rallying disenfranchised voters, and raising a few hundred thousand dollars, Davis’ calculation was correct – he was elected to the Elk Grove City Council.
Will Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis use his
position to blunt fellow Council Member
Steve Detrick?
More interesting were his actions following his 2012 election as the city’s first directly elected mayor. During the course of the two-year place-holding term of former Council Member Bob Trigg, Davis and former California Assembly Member Roger Dickinson went from supporting then Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Nancy Chaires to their full-throated support of then Elk Grove Unified School Board Trustee Steve Ly.
While Ly beat Chaires in a four-way race for the seat in a campaign managed by Capitol Campaigns, Dickinson, and his closely aligned Capitol Campaigns lost his election to the California Senate to Dr. Richard Pan. Nonetheless, Davis, Dickinson and Capitol Campaigns were able to get Ly elected to the Elk Grove City Council and get Davis a much-needed minion.
This brings us to Detrick and his current bout of political woes.
It can be rightfully argued Detrick, who was reelected unopposed in 2014, could brush off these woes and continue on his way. Indeed, there are 17 months between now and the 2016 elections – an eternity in politics – and given the amount of money needed to run a winning campaign, Detrick could face only token opposition or even again be unopposed.
This is where Davis, who sniffs a political opportunity with the best of them, comes into play. What would stop Davis, who has had fractious relations with Detrick for the last few years – think Detrick’s “load of crap comment” to Davis’ protege Ly – from recruiting someone to run against him?
Even though he doesn’t have anything more than largely ceremonial power than council members, the title of Mayor does hold cache with donors from the developer class. Developer donors are nothing if not pragmatic, and while they will never say it publicly, they have to be taking note of how Detrick has used his campaign funds and could view him as an albatross around their necks.
The benefit of having a second protégé on the council for Davis and the developers is obvious. The real benefit for Davis is if he harbors higher political ambitions.
It is worth noting because of his role in the charter school movement, Davis has not ingratiated himself with Sacramento Democratic Central Committee. If Davis can slide another Democrat on the Elk Grove City Council, and say an opportunity on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors arises, perhaps the Committee will support him, or at least be neutral if he seeks that office.
Davis is undoubtedly aware of what happened to West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, another Democrat who worked and advocated for charter schools, when he lost his 2008 primary Assembly race.
As the 2016 election season approaches, it will be worth watching the interactions between Detrick, Davis, and Ly from the dais. Don’t be surprised if Davis seizes on Detrick’s woes for his political gains.
That’s how the game is played.

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Anonymous said...

Who ever wrote this article clearly does not know the relationship of all the console members have with one another. There are more qualified locals that should run for a seat but they won't because there's no money in it. That's why we have theses clowns in office for Elk Grove. You get what you pay for.

Laguna Pete said...

Please clarify your statement re: the relationships these members have with one another.

I believe these comments are right on point. I'm willing to be enlightened, so please do so.

I agree there are much more qualified candidates that are reluctant due to the money involved in running a successful campaign.

I for one say there should be open dialog among all persons willing to serve, much like we had when Davis's district spot opened when he was sworn in as mayor. We had wonderful, educated, well-spoken, weel-meaning candidates.
We could choose five from those who come forward and get back to making EG a viable and vibrant place to live.

Anonymous said...

Davis is morally unfit to be in public office. He is self serving and is a liability to Elk Grove. Do we pay our mayor and city councilmen competitive salaries compare to other cities? Other cities have leaders, who serve their city well. For the sake of our city and our future, we all are owning it to ourselves to have wise men leading us rather then clowns.

Anonymous said...


This place is becoming a big joke.

Why don't they pitch this to the producers of a reality TV show?

You could call the show "Low Times in the High Times".

"It's High Time to visit Elk Grove.

Our city's motto is "It's Grow Time".

How about bringing light industrial and office jobs to Elk Grove instead of more houses, low income housing projects and strip centers?

Miles and miles of houses thrown up during the start of a historically severe drought.

Thousands of low income housing projects to serve residents who have low paying retail and food service jobs.

Garish billboard signs to further glamorize this steaming dumpster fire of a city.


Anonymous said...

Of course our Mayor Davis will seize upon any opportunity he can. If it doesn't present itself he'll make up one....we're a dirty little city.

Anonymous said...

Davis will have enough work protecting his own backside. He will not be unopposed next time.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 15:08...I think you're right. Can hear the Mayors stuttering and stammering now.....what the h--- did I do?

Anonymous said...

Anon. 15:08...I think you're right. Can hear the Mayors stuttering and stammering now.....what the h--- did I do?

Anonymous said...

My hope is that whatever candidate decides to run against Davis will keep the punches "above the belt." I'd like to see a discussion of proven values (economic and political) with fresh ideas. Elk Grove has been around a long time but, as a city, we're hardly teenagers. It's time to stop acting like children and buckle down for serious discussion about our future... It is coming...

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