City of Elk Grove Immediately Hypes Aid Package to State Agency; Pre-wired For Approval?

January 27, 2016 |

At their regular meeting tonight, the Elk Grove City Council approved a relatively small economic incentive for a state agency located in the city.

While it was expected to handily pass - it wouldn't be on the agenda if failure was likely - there were two surprises. The first was that the proposal to grant $81,000 to the California Correctional Health Care Services did not pass unanimously.

In a 4-1 vote, City Councilman Pat Hume voted against approving the grant. Hume noted the continued grants were setting a bad precedent. 

The more surprising development was the speed at which the City of Elk Grove took to email and social media to hype this development. Let's face it, whether you support the incentive or not, the $81,000 is a relatively minor expenditure when compared to the city's entire budget.

Within minutes of the decision, Elk Grove Public Information Officer (PIO) Kristyn Nelson blasted an email touting the approval. The email was obviously completed before the meeting, with a quick quote from Mayor Gary Davis inserted in for good measure once the deal was sealed. 

Obviously, the fix was in, the email was ready to go and once the vote was final, in goes the quote and out goes the email.

And just to put an exclamation point on the matter, Elk Grove Development Director Darrell Doan and the City, presumably through Nelson, took to Twitter to get word out on the vote. See the tweet above.  

These are very curious reactions.

First, is the city that desperate for some sort of economic development news as to hype a relatively small $81,000 incentive? Are they trying to make it in tomorrow morning's Sacramento Bee, or the local morning TV talk shows?

We can't say for certain, but we don't recall the $500,000 incentive given to Elk Grove Ford a few years back, which was mentioned during tonight's deliberations, hitting email, social media and the inboxes of the media with the same speed. 

Second, it seems like the PIO had the press release ready to go out immediately. Was the fix in on this before the matter was even heard in public? Were there serial meetings, which are a violation of The Brown Act, conducted between Mayor Davis, Vice Mayor Steve Ly, and Councilmen Steve Detrick and Darren Suen?

Undoubtedly Nelson will say she was instructed to have the email blast ready "just in case" the incentive passes so the good news can be spread quickly.  

Regardless, this is not a good look for the city and the four councilmen who approved it. As Donald Trump might say, it makes the city council look pathetic and low energy.

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Ice rink said...

The jobs were going to come anyway. The city taxpayers just got played for a fool (once again). But whatever it takes for bragging rights during the next election right?

SteveB6509 said...

Sorry but obviously EGN does not know how the world works. Press releases and speeches are often written in advance in anticipation of an event. Here's a news fact for you: many politicians have two speeches pre-written on election if they win and one if they lose. There's no conspiracy at work here, just good PR work.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that most of us do not know how the world works and it was nice of you to remind us of that. However, I believe we are speaking of how a small surburb city in-your-face blast to the taxpayers of this city. Reminding us who exactly is in charge. This small incentive was hardly worthy of a media blast or even a mention. Does make me wonder why the city thought it was.....

Warren Buffett said...

The City Council spent $81,000 so they could claim ownership of "creating 64 new jobs" for their campaign bragging. We all know Prison Health needed to add those jobs with or without the City's "incentive". But this way, the Council can claim they did it.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how those Laguna Ridge seniors feel about this in your face statement by the city? Sure didn't hear any sympathy from the council members when they voted to place a hugh CFD on the rah-rah on 64 new jobs coming.

That being said...Doan got his first big project through the hurdle. Now maybe he can go to work on another big project that will put EG on the Map. Might suggest the Casino just north of the proposed Outlet Mall. Can you imagine what EG could become if we had the Outlet Mall, Casino and World Class Soccer all within close proximity of each other? We're on a roll...don't slow down now.

Connie said...

Many of us think that the 3.3 million dollars the California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCC) got from the city of Elk Grove was enough of taxpayers' money. This new incentive is to “bring 64 new jobs to Elk Grove.” The $81K equates to $1,265 per employee.

I am of the opinion this sets a precedent. Can Sutter Health, Dignity Health, Frontier and even better, our small Mom and Pop businesses, now ask the city for the same $1,265 for every new job they also bring to Elk Grove?

Aren't those jobs equally important or does the city of Elk Grove only hand out millions in incentives to the State of California? Talk about trickle up economics!

Anonymous said...

Hume proves once again he's the only one with the stones to call it like he sees it. interesting how Hume is the only one to have grown up here - the only one with Elk Grove sensibilities. We need more Pat Humes.

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