Six Months Hence - Where are Elk Grove's High Paying Jobs?

June 10, 2015 | Six months ago today, the Elk Grove City Council swore-in four of its current members; two new and two existing. ...

June 10, 2015 |

Six months ago today, the Elk Grove City Council swore-in four of its current members; two new and two existing.

Taking their oath were incumbents Mayor Gary Davis and Vice Mayor Pat Hume. Both men, who were first elected in the seminal 2006 election, were unopposed for their respective seats in 2014.

Also sworn-in that night last December were Steve Ly and Darren Suen. Ly won a four-year term and Suen was appointed to a two-year term to fill the vacancy created by former Council Member Jim Cooper's election to the California Assembly.

As readers may recall, Davis and Ly campaigned to correct the city's well-documented jobs to houses imbalance and that together, our dynamic duo promised they would work diligently to bring high-paying jobs to Elk Grove. As a reminder of the Davis-Ly promise, a running-clock was placed on this site to monitor how long it will take for the duo to make good on their high-paying jobs promise.

In the six months, there's nothing to report on Davis and Ly's promised efforts. 

Since then, several retailers either announced plans or opened facilities in the city. That list includes today's grand opening of the Smart & Final in the old Bel Air space on Elk Grove Boulevard, the approval of a new structure for a 99 Cents Only store on Elk Grove-Florin Road, and across the street from them, the location of a Wines & More.

The largest employer announcing plans to locate here was by Nina's Mexican Foods in the former Bimbo Bakers space. While the tortilla bakery will add much-needed diversity to Elk Grove's overwhelming number of low-paying retail and fast food jobs, it came here not because of anything Mayor Davis or Council Member Ly did, most of the credit goes to an enterprising leasing agent who lured them. 
"Throughout his sixteen years in Elk Grove, Steve Ly has 
proven he is the type of partner I need at City Hall. Steve
will work hard to help me recruit new businesses to
Elk Grove," - Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis.

The truth of the matter is there is not a whole lot that individually the City of Elk Grove, its economic development director, much less Davis or Ly, can do on their own to land the Moby Dick of economic development - high paying jobs - to the city. We are not only competing with other California cities and states, Elk Grove is in a global competition for the high-skill jobs that everyone wants.  

It is no wonder that almost immediately after taking oath last December Davis pivoted  from his job creation mantra and called 2015 as "the year of the infrastructure." Two months earlier on KVIE's Studio Sacramento, Davis told host Scott Syphax that "We are really, truly laser focused on growing our jobs base." (see video posted below).

Obviously the Mayor, who backpedaled off the well-paying job-promises line immediately after the election of his protege Ly, realizes their individual promise is unattainable. As Sacramento's economic development director and self-described gunslinger Barry Broome noted, the regions 17 regional economic development officials need to cooperate and refrain from cannibalizing each other, ala Elk Grove's Prison Health Authority deal, so the entire region can prosper. 

Given Elk Grove's spotty history of regional cooperation, it is hard to gauge if Elk Grove will continue its go-it-alone philosophy or work as part of a team engaged in a global competition. Let's hope our council members take a realistic approach, work as part of a team, and put their parochial interests aside.   

Finally, we would be remiss if we did not give Mayor Davis credit for the creation of at least one well-paying job in the last six months. When the Elk Grove City Council approves the 2016 budget at tonight's meeting, it will include one new full-time assistant sought by, and approved for Mayor Davis.   




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Anonymous said...

Many of us who keep up with the workings at City Hall knew this was just political talk and most likely would never happen. LY is still hooked up on the EGUSD conversation and Suen thinks he needs to support the Mayor in his plans. Was hoping he would be a free thinker.

It's very difficult to compete with Sacramento in bringing higher paying jobs to EG especially when your focus is on ONE priority...Soccer or maybe now, on some kind of Entertainment venue. Sacramento has beat us to that, need to change focus and get that new EDD out beating the bushes for some commercial businesses. Throwing those big attendance numbers out there and money spent shopping or eating at restaurants is nothing but trash talk...h@@L I have to go to Sacramento for many of my needs. What world do they live in anyway? EG is not and will never be a "Sports City" and I have my doubts this Outlet Mall will be able to compete with Delta Shores... I-5 traffic won't be making a stopover and Hwy. 99 just gets EG and Galt shoppers. I live here and might go occasionally, but if Delta Shores has better choices that's where I'll be. one high-payin' job? That's paid out of my wallet though...doesn't count! I PROTEST!

Laguna Pete said...

Councilman Ly, how's that laser focus on jobs coming? Mayor Davis has well established that he is man of hollow promises and what he believes are catchy sound-bites. Truth is neither of these gentlemen have done anything to bring new quality jobs to the city with the exception of the Mayor's new full-time assistant paid for by yours truly and the rest of the taxpayers.

Not exactly an auspicious beginning for Mr. Ly. He better get his head out of his keester and do some homework. It's been blatantly obvious he's a lost soul on the dais. Even my 14-year old daughter commented on how stupid his comments are.

Let's hope the next election cycle brings out some candidates who actually care and are willing to do the work necessary to keep us solvent while making this a better community.

Anonymous said...

I know this is off topic, but a thought occurred to me. I would not be one bit surprised if Davis somehow gets Ly wrapped up in the whole charter school movement. Even though he preaches about the value of a public schools, with his unlimited ambition, it would be the perfect move for Ly. He can tap into the vast network of donors like the Walton's and Bill and Melinda Gates. Look what it has done for Kevin Johnson and Michelle Rhee. When Bera gets run from office in 2016, Ly will make his bid with the backing of all that charter school money in 2018.

Pegasus said...

Interesting that the ONLY high paying job that has been brought to EG since Ly and his mentor Davis based Ly's entire campaign on the concept of bringing new quality jobs to the city is a full time assistants job for the mayor himself.

How self serving.

When will people wake up and see this mayor and his ding-a-lings for what they are; self serving egomaniacs who show no foresight and practical reasonable vision for our city's future. We're headed towards bankruptcy and everyone is ignoring the signs.

If it was 1912, I could draw a parallel to a large ship and an iceberg, with all those around enjoying the evening ignoring the listing of the ship until it was too late.

Davis needs to be voted out, as does Mr. Ly. They are crippling our future.

Prepare to man the lifeboats!!

Anonymous said...

Steaming dumpster fire of a sprawling suburban blob.

Anonymous said...

Honest Politicians.

Anonymous said...

As one comment said, "We always foolishly vote for this man at all levels of government."

More to my amazement though is how many taxpaying residents/voters in our city even know how our electeds are throwing their money in the wind with half-baked ideas and with a smile on their faces while they're doing it.

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