Elk Grove City Council Issues Split Decision on 'Key to the City' For Local Jocks

June 25, 2015 | After a lengthy deliberation at their regular meeting last night, the Elk Grove City Council issued a split decisi...

June 25, 2015 |

After a lengthy deliberation at their regular meeting last night, the Elk Grove City Council issued a split decision on two professional athletes nominated to receive the city's coveted "Key to the City" honor. 

The council voted 4-1 to honor NFL All Pro linebacker Lance Briggs with the award and deadlocked 2-2 on the nomination of professional water skier Brian Detrick. Council Member Steve Detrick recused himself from the vote but participated in the deliberations advocating for his son. 

The nominations for the two Elk Grove High School alumnus were considered by a committee of three local residents at a May 7 meeting. That committee decided that only Briggs was worthy of the award based on his accomplishments during his 12-year career with the Chicago Bears and his community service.  

During her report to the council on the matter, Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill said that unspecified city staff members decided notwithstanding the committee's decision denying Brian Detrick's nomination based on his lack of community service, the city council should still consider him for the award.  

"However, staff felt that the community service portion was not a criterion that was included in the key to the city award," Gill said. "So the city staff recommended that you consider awarding keys to both."  

Leading the charge opposing how the program is being administered was Vice Mayor Pat Hume who went on the record two years ago expressing concern (see video below). While he praised Brian Detrick's ability to gain a world ranking in water skiing, he questioned the appropriateness of awarding it to a sitting council member's relative.

"For me, it doesn't pass the smell test to give the key to a relative of a sitting council member," Hume said.

Hume also said the award should be used in such a way to promote Elk Grove, awarded on a case-by-case basis and be used judiciously with respect to public relations. As an example, Hume said the Key to the City for Briggs could have been awarded when he opened his Elk Grove restaurant last summer.

"These are the type of things where you get more mileage from the program than giving it to him off-season, in a year where he is an unassigned free agent at a private VIP party where there is no promotion and public relations capture," he added.  

While generally supportive of the program, Mayor Gary Davis opposed honoring Brian Detrick with the award noting that it would make for bad optics. The Mayor also noted that council members family members were prohibited from serving on any of the city various committees or commissions. 

Voting for Brian Detrick were Council Members Steve Ly and Darren Suen while Davis and Hume voted against the nomination; Hume was the sole vote against the nomination for Briggs. No date has been determined when Briggs will be awarded the Key to the City. 


Post a Comment Default Comments


Anonymous said...

Since when does City Manager Laura Gill, or her staff designates, have the authority to overturn a committee vote at an official public held meeting? I wonder if that was part of the “smell test” of which Pat Hume spoke.

Also, now we know why the minutes of the May 7th meeting were not available on the city's website.

Anonymous said...

This was painful to watch last night. Detrick didn't recuse himself as he fully participated in the discussion. He simply abstained when it came to the vote. How odd for the other councilmen to discuss a sitting council member's son.

As I predicted there was zero public comment on the topic. Apathy wins the day.

When I grow up I wanna be a "Stakeholder" said...

The laughable thing about all this is how the "leaders" are using the Key To The City program to try to establish Elk Grove as some kind of sports powerhouse or something! They'll do anything to try to land an Olympic high-dive swim trial or pro soccer team.

And if my memory serves me correct, didn't AEG sports management company hire Junior as an intern a couple years ago when they were courting Nunez and the City to manage the MLS team of Elk Grove if we were selected? Now Junior's nomination comes from another sports company out of LA--what are they up to? Trying to promote some future pro skiing events at our local lake that is hidden from public access?

Thomas A. Anderson said...

I'm glad to read that the Mayor and Vice Mayor exercised some common sense on this matter. To award the key to the city to a council members child would have stunk like a pile of dung sitting in front of city hall on a hot sunny day. I could only image another council member would have tried to get one for his brother-in-law or some other member of his extended family.

Laguna Pete said...

I also applaud the mayor and vice-mayor for their decision to put off the Brian Detrick nomination until his daddy is off the council. To do otherwise would denigrate the award itself into a hick town promotional stunt that would lack any integrity or honor.

Brian Detrick is deserving of the honor, but not while dad sits on the council. He is young, his time will come.

By the same rationale used to defeat young Detrick's application, I heard the council talking out of both sides of their mouths. After stating that young Detrick shouldn't be considered for such an honor while his daddy sits on the council, I heard arguments that the youth commission guidelines should be rewritten to allow sitting council members kids to sit on the commission.That's blatant nepotism. It's the actual reason the restriction was placed on the application in the first place.

Guess who would serve as committee chair of the commission if it were allowed? Maybe the mayor's child? Ya think?

P-L-E-A-S-E!!! - Pay attention to what you say and apply it to yourselves.

Your kids should not be eligible to serve due to your standing on the city council. Make a decision: which is more important to you, your public service to the community or your child's eligibility for the youth council?

We need to get new families involved in our future, not inundate our city with generations of the same leadership. We need to spread the honor out to as many young people as we can. That's how stronger communities are built.

Wilton's finest said...

I have to agree with a poster above regarding Councilmember Detrick's actions last night. It seems he skirts on ethics every chance he gets. Yes, he recused himself from voting on his son's nomination for a "Key to the City" which is a given, but he fully participated and staunchly defended his son's nomination during council deliberation. That is tantamount to exercise of undue influence and improper peer pressure. How uncomfortable it must have been for the remaining council members to discuss the worthiness of a co-members child in front of his father. Very unprofessional. I felt uneasy just watching on my tablet.

He should have recused himself from the discussion altogether and left the dais and the room until the matter had been discussed, voted on and resolved.

Thankfully, two councilmen kept their wits about them and acted prudently overcoming any issues of nepotism.

When it became apparent how the vote was going I was waiting for Mr. Detrick to withdraw his recusal and vote for his son. Nothing he does surprises me anymore.

Policies and procedures need to be established, followed and enforced so this type of situation never arises again. I'm sure you'll get four votes on that proposal after last night.

And I agree with Pete, council members kids should not be allowed to serve on the Youth Commission for many of the same reasons. We need to spread the civic involvement and leadership to as many families as possible.

C. Duarte said...

Why didn't the City Attorney put a stop to Detrick's deliberation? Why didn't he tell Detrick he had to leave the room while the item was being discussed? Davis certainly doesn't have to the cojones to do it...dancing around the issue with all his "optics" references.

I suspect a Brown Act Violation occurred last night. Somebody needs to file a complaint with the Sacramento County Grand Jury. Unfortunately for the City of Elk Grove and its council there are plenty of examples to work from. Due to Detrick's actions, the council's inaction and the City Attorney's inaction they are all guilty. How many more people is Detrick going to take down with him? If I were his son I would have been cringing in a corner, or texting Daddy telling his to shut the heck up!

And to Anon 9:10, it was blatantly obvious to all that no one needed to get up and speak to the issue. Detrick's behavior is predictable. We knew he would speak, and speak and speak trying to get his boy that Key. In my opinion, it is always preferable to allow someone to be the master of their own demise and that of their family. The word pathetic has been used to characterize Detrick's actions. This is more than pathetic and I can even drum up enough feeling to bring myself to pity him.

Thomas A. Anderson said...

The biggest lesson here is the least obvious. While we take our shots at the city council for their sophomoric behavior on this and other matters, and that is being nice, the reality is that even though they continually embarrass themselves and The City of Elk Grove, it will not change things one bit. The developers could care less if they act like buffoons or wear gorilla suits on the dais as long as they approve those projects, rezones, lower the fees and pass infrastructure costs on to the taxpayers. These incidents just prove a majority of the council members lack the intellectual capacity to do anything more than respond to their strings being pulled by their puppet masters.

Anonymous said...

Steve Ly and Darren Suen - Calculating but SPINELESS. After being hammered by Dietrick in various other issues. They are giving these two worthless votes to Dietrick of hoping to get on his good side. Again, calculating but SPINELESS!!!!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Barry Broome, the Sacramento Area Economic Council leader was in attendance for this little display by some of our esteemed leaders.

Anon. 18:55 Agree and will remember that too.

Anonymous said...

Elk Grove is a hick city full of jock sniffers.

Very rarely do you see much in the form of recognition for achievement in academics, the arts, business, etc.

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast