Elk Grove Mayor Discusses Neighborhood Engagement, New Employer in State of City Address

March 26, 2016 |

While yesterday's announcement that a Silicon Valley high-tech manufacturer would be opening a production facility was the talk of the town in Elk Grove, in the 16th annual State of the City address Mayor Gary Davis' main focus was on neighborhood engagement.

The Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce luncheon event held at the Falls Event Center came just hours after the city announced plans by Fremont, Calif-based NRC Manufacturing to open a production facility in the city's Southeast Policy area (SEPA). As the last developed area within current city limits, the SEPA has been designated as an employment and mixed-use area.

Notwithstanding that announcement, Davis' address was focused on the theme of Building Stronger Neighborhoods. Among other items covered was results from a recent poll, public safety and the need to engage more people in organizing neighborhood associations.

"Even though we have a small town feel, we are not a small community," Davis said. "With more than 160,000 residents, we are the second largest city in the greater Sacramento region." 

Peppering his presentation with video clips featuring several residents, Davis stressed the importance of neighborhood associations in maintaining public safety and addressing quality of life type issues. The mayor also acknowledged some high profile crimes that happened earlier this year in the East Franklin area but noted the city's overall crime rate is on a steady decrease.

"Have there been a few negative headlines in the last couple of months; yes," he said. "But overall Elk Grove is one of the safest cities in the United States." 

Regarding engagement, Davis noted he and Vice Mayor Steve Ly facilitated the organization of a neighborhood association in the East Franklin neighborhood to address issues and build a sense of community. Davis said soon there will be an announcement of the Franklin Community Association (www.facebook.com/eastfranklincommunity). 

Noting that the group already has several active members, Davis also acknowledged Sandra Aboufares for her leadership role in preparing the launch of the new association. 

"I am so grateful that you are here. It takes people and follow-through to assure that these things get done," Davis said. "Thank you for your leadership."  

Davis also introduced NRC Manufacturing Founder and CEO Ratha Chea to the audience and said that when their production facility is is built-out, they will employ 2,500 workers,  which will be about 10-percent of the employment goals established for the SEPA.

"That's huge," Davis noted. 

In an unusual move, the Mayor also acknowledged his appreciation of community activists and critics of the city and himself, many of whose words regularly appear on this site. Davis specifically commended Connie Conley, founder of Elk Grove Community Connection.

"A city is full of opposing viewpoints, and that's what makes us a great community, it's healthy," Davis said. "Two individuals who push us, I would say outside of our comfort zone, often, but at the core you are advocating for a better Elk Grove...we all want what is best for our city." 


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Connie said...

Gary Davis mentioned quite a few active community members and neighborhood leaders in his speech who were also his guests at the State of the City Address. All of these people, along with city staff and all elected/appointed officials, were also recognized were not included in the original speech which is posted on the city of Elk Grove’s website. This tells me that Gary personally worked on the speech this year, editing it himself to personalize it to include a wide swath of people.

The video clips were also a great addition this year and were very well done.

Among Davis’ guests was the owner of this website who, on many occasions, has exercised his right to “public dissent which is the highest form of patriotism.”

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then." -- Thomas Jefferson

Proud to be led, Warren Buffett, taxpayer and resident, ice rink said...

Some of his noteworthy "community activists" are active from their behinds on a computer monitor. BUt what about the community activist who gets off her butt and attends practically every Council meeting in person, only to be ridiculed--but ultimately sees some of her best ideas stolen for political gain. I don't need to mention her name because you all know who she is. Shame on you and shame on this hick town.

A Grown A$$ Woman said...

How ever an individual chooses to participate should not be held up for ridicule. Quite obviously we all know of the 2 women you speak. One has been active since this hick town became a city and continues to be active, researching, coming up with ideas, organizing community forums of interest to the public and much more. And yes, she has had some of her best ideas stolen by the council as well. She continually faces ridicule and disrespect throughout the community regardless of what she does or does not do. So the other goes to every meeting and is ridiculed in person. This makes her a better activist? A better person? Funny, I think if you talk to either one of your unnamed community activist you'll find they have a mutual respect. Each is strong in their own way. Each participates in their own. Each gives and has given their very best for this community.

The shame here is yours trying to pit two intelligent, passionate and committed women against each other and trying to get others to do the same. And you wonder why people don't give a damn...it's this kind of middle school behavior that causes people to roll their eyes and walk away.

I too am a Grown A$$ Woman said...

I'm with Grown A$$ Woman! Who are you, or anyone for that matter, to tell someone they are less than because they do not engage in a manner you deem acceptable? There are many community activists in Elk Grove and I don't agree with many of them. I admire the two woman you cattily refer to, but I don't always agree with them. They and the other activists in this community are warriors. They fight for their beliefs and always get back up when they are knocked down. All the while maintaining their dignity and respect for others.

One can't help but wonder if this is all just a small picture view of what is going on in politics at the national level.

Proud to be led, Warren Buffett, taxpayer and resident, ice rink. said...

This isn't about the activists. It's about the Big Man who co-opted two of them to attend his Big Man speech, puts them on a pedestal, and then continues to use them for his political gain and says he is not worried about opposing viewpoints. Well, I would have bought a ticket to have the other one there just to see the Big Man go into his uncontrollable eye twitching.

Signing off...

Detrick the Coward said...

I sort of feel sorry for Spease. He is the only falling for Detrick's tricks. Detrick isn't brave enough to challenge Davis himself, so he put Spease up to it. Think about this. If Detrick really thought Davis could be beat, would his ego allow Spease to run?

Not a chance. Detrick is afraid to do it himself because he knows he will lose - and out of an elected job.

Anonymous said...

As mentioned a few weeks ago, Davis is ramping up the community activity politics. He goes about his business during the year and when it is election time, he trots out his "working with the community" events. I'm not saying that's a bad thing but why do those activities only take place in the months before an election?

He also says he has not declared to be running for Mayor because he doesn't want to have a 10 month campaign. Do people think these activities are all about getting elected?

Anonymous said...

Of course it's all about getting elected....neighborhood listening seems to be his slogan this year.

Just heard through the grapevine that the Del Webb Community has invited Mayor Davis to their community for a neighborhood-by-neighborhood tour to get some feedback on issues. That was very interesting since they have never been open to politicians visits before. Seems they have now opened the door so will likely see others wanting community feedback from the Del Webb Community too.

Anonymous said...

I see the meeting mentioned has been posted on Facebook so it appears the Del Webb Glenbrooke Community has now opened their doors to the public. Might be a great time to ask about the CFD's being placed on Laguna Ridge while they're having this casual conversation with the Mayor. NOTICE POSTED............

Public · Hosted by Mayor Gary Davis


Wednesday, April 20 at 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Show Map
Community Ctr Glenbrooke
Elk Grove, California 95757
With the goal of ensuring every neighborhood in Elk Grove is strong and safe, Mayor Gary Davis is embarking on a listening tour to each neighborhood.

Please come to this casual conversation with Mayor Davis to discuss the unique needs of the Glenbrooke community.

Stop the Clock said...

Dan is it time for you to stop your countdown clock, the Mayor has brought a major employee to Elk Grove

Anonymous said...

@Stop the Clock ~ You appear correct but I'm not sure about the "quality" of these jobs. If this is the best we can get then the mall better be looking for some low end tenants because that's all these workers can afford. Additionally, the ink isn't dry and the employees aren't here yet. We've seen plenty of times how projects have fallen through. I can think of one large one near 99 and Kammerer Road. 8 years and counting.

Anonymous said...

The development is promising but I don't think the clock should stop just yet. If you read the fine print, you'll notice this is only an agreement to exclusively negotiate. The terms and conditions have yet to be seen and the taxpayer subsidy required may be too large. Despite Barry Broome's statement that "Elk Grove has a reputation for getting things done," the reality is quite different. Again, promising but far from a done-deal.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to get excited with our track record in getting things done...sorry Mr. Broome I'll have to disagree with your comment. EG's just good at the "spinning" game with the taxpayers.

When you start playing with Silicon Valley you've entered a whole new ballgame. IMO, Mayor Davis just couldn't help himself. He had to make this the high point of his speech and in doing so EG is placed in that spot you shouldn't want to be in....you've got to meet their demands or go down looking like a failure. We no longer hold the cards and as my Dad used to say...they've got you by the y... y... with the downhill pull. Word on the street is that Mr.Chea is one tough cookie...will be interesting to watch this play out. My money is on Mr. Chea.

Someone who used to care said...

So many astute comments here. I agree with most.

The mayor's new mantra of "strong communities" is nothing but his 2016 campaign slogan to convince the uninformed that the mayor deserves another term. Truth is, where has he been the past two years? Selling coffee and lobbying for a charter school for privileged kids. Only because it's time to ramp up for the next election is he seen promoting neighborhoods and public safety. Who's not for strong neighborhoods and safe streets? Way to go out on a limb.

Hypocritically, he lauds community activists in public with tv cameras rolling, but he's quick to ignore or ridicule those who speak up at council meetings. He has stolen their ideas and taken credit for them and he's been caught on more than one occasion doing so.

He's self-centered and not particularly adept in the business world. Case in point: The NRC Manufacturing comments at the SOC briefing. As stated above, his comments effectively castrated any leverage the city had in negotiations, opening the door to NRC to make any demands they reasonably or unreasonably need to finalize their expansion plans. By the mayor's lauding the "exclusivity agreement" everyone now knows that Elk Grove will soon be getting 2,500 jobs. NRC is now in position to demand free infrastructure, free building and maintenance costs, tax assistance, and other incentives to make their commitment completely to their benefit...or, they simply walk away leaving egg on the mayor's face with no new jobs as promised.

I want to play poker with Gary Davis.

Gary Davis has again shown that he's one self-centered rube who's in way over his head. Keep that job clock running, there are no assurances of any good paying jobs, at least not yet.

It really is time for new leadership.

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