$268,500 Question - Should Elk Grove Mayor, City Council Members Have Personal Full-Time Assistants?

May 8, 2015 | At their regular meeting next Wednesday night, Elk Grove City Council members will decide whether or not they should h...

May 8, 2015 |

At their regular meeting next Wednesday night, Elk Grove City Council members will decide whether or not they should hire their own full-time personal assistants.

According to the staff report, the idea was floated at the city council's special off-site retreat meeting held on March 4. At that meeting, Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis and Council Member Steve Ly both said they wanted full-time assistants while Vice Mayor Pat Hume stated he had trouble finding enough work for his intern when he utilized their services in the past. 

"When I had an intern, it was a struggle for me to find enough work for her to do," Hume said at that meeting. 

In her report to the council, City Manager Laura Gill wrote that only three of 12 comparable sized nearby cities have positions dedicated to city council. One of them, Modesto, with a population of over 200,000 and seven council members, has one executive assistant for the entire council with a pay range of $52,690 - $64,104.

Gill listed numerous alternatives for the city council members to consider to meet their administrative needs including increasing intern hours to 20 hours per week, reclassify each intern to a full time assistant, adding one full time assistant to the city manager's staff for all council members, or adding one full time assistant for each council member in addition to their existing intern. 

Depending on what the council decides to do, the annual fiscal impact could be up to $268,500. The report did not say if each assistant was upgraded to full time status if the position would be a political appointment or through regular civil service methods.

Wednesday night's meeting starts at 6 p.m.         

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Anonymous said...

The city council voted down their own raise. And now they want to add full time assistants at possibly $53,700 plus benefits? For a part time city council, what is a full time assistant going to do for 40 hours a week?

What a crock? Empire building!

Doc Bricker said...

It's payoff for loyalty of the current part-timers on the taxpayer's dime.

Anonymous said...

I find it rather interesting that our city would even consider this when they didn't think it would be in the cities best interest... financially, to have an election for the empty council seat last year.

It seems pretty naive of them and shows a lack of experience or judgment to have not known this would take considerable time to honor this obligation to their city when they entered this political arena. Sooo..suck it up and do the work or step aside and let someone else do it.

Anonymous said...

Geez, why can't anyone do their jobs anymore and stop trying to nickle and dime us to death.

They do realize we have roads needing work...weeds needing to be mowed...kids needing some summer work...Food Bank needing help...plus much more. Eliminate some of those social functions instead & do your homework.

Anonymous said...

^^ Nailed it.
Davis and Ly consider their positions a "part time" job. Yet, they want full-time assistants?
Seriously guys?

Anonymous said...

Ly hasn't been seated at the dias but 4 months and he's wanting help. Typical...couldn't finish his tenure with the EGUSD either until he wanted to make a move. Pressure gettin' to you Ly? Thought Davis already had a Chief of Staff...

Maybe we need to just get rid of a City Council and rotate volunteer citizens each month to handle our affairs.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Doc Bricker's comment above. Our city leaders are trying to buy their assistants' loyalty with our tax dollars. There's no transparency in this city government, widespread corruption. We are paying higher taxes when our leaders are in public office to serve themselves.

Anonymous said...

What has happened with people wanting to serve because they have a passion for their community and want to do what's best for the community? In my world I was always under the impression you were rewarded for a job "well done." So far that seems to be a major problem for some of our City Council.

Does this mean that the appointed Planning Commission members, the ones who do the grunt work, will be wanting an assistant in the future?

Anonymous said...

I have the following suggestions for our city leaders:
Next meeting, rather than trying to get yourselves full time assistants, you all should consider taking actions to lift community spirits and to build public trusts. If nothing else you all can do to make us feel better and gain our trusts because you all have proven yourselves again and again that non of you is man of integrity, then step aside. Let us help ourselves out of THE PIT that you put us in.

Anonymous said...

Are you frickin” kidding me? Has Gill been taking “It’s Grow Time” literally? Comparing Elk Grove with Sacramento is ridiculous. What she should have done is emphasized that Roseville’s, Folsom’s and Rancho Cordova’s City Councils don’t have full time assistants. That is a more accurate comparison.

For the sake of argument, maybe a case could be made that the elected Mayor could have a full time assistant if Davis can justify the assistant would be kept busy 40 hours a week.

As far as the others, Hume should know. He is the senior councilman now. Let’s hope Hume is a thunderous voice of reason here.

Ly is a joke. It appears all he really cares about is campaigning and the limelight. When it comes to the real work, Ly hardly has anything to contribute, especially on planning issues and worst, he nods off at the dais. Has anyone else noticed it?

Suen, on the other hand, was just appointed to the council. If he now says he needs a full time assistant, and the job is too much for him, he needs to give up his appointment and let someone else who understood the commitment step in.

And finally, their election promises: The four elected members all said they are responsible to the voters, are accessible and hands on. What now? Residents would have to go through an assistant. Talk about another layer of government that is a waste of taxpayers’ money!

Anonymous said...

A bit of a history lesson. When the City first incorporated, there was one full time administrative assistant for all five council members. That position was eliminated sometime around 2004, and has not been filled since.

Anonymous said...

What a crock of BS. They can do nothing but think up some grandiose idea for some more Feasibility Studies and in the end we see nothing more about them. Produce and then come back around in a few years and maybe then the taxpayers will be in your ballpark.

I agree with Anon 10:25, what in the heck is with this Sacramento comparison anyway? Mayor Davis trying to play kickball with Mayor Johnson again?

Anonymous said...

There have not been a need for a full time assistant since 2004. What has changed? Should we pay Davis' "chief of staff" full time to hand deliver Davis' instructions to city employees? Allowing Davis to customize his policies daily depending on what kind of crimes Davis is committing. Elk Grove became "the joke" of the region because Davis have been deviated from the constitutional laws. Why should we give him more resources to continue humiliating us?

Anonymous said...

Of late as a concrete reminder, several councilman have shown us exactly who they are. Untrustworthy. Deceitful. No integrity. Dishonest. Believe them!

Anonymous said...

Too many leaders get caught up in thinking about power rather than their responsibility to those they lead. Respect is crucial and you have to be willing to invite open criticism. If two or three people refer to a similar problem, you can pretty much be sure it was a problem.

Our council needs to explain why they need full time assistants with specifics rather than buzzwords or what some other city does. This is Elk Grove and what some other city does should have no bearing whatsoever.

Again...Earning trust and respect is crucial.

Anonymous said...


"It's High Time to visit Elk Grove whose 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?

Might not have as many of these knuckleheads growing weed if there were jobs with a true living wage.

Until then, it will be the Elk Grove same old, same old.

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 pay retail and food service jobs.

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

Elk Grove Thriving!

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