Once The Ceremony Was Done, It Was a Rough First Night as Elk Grove Mayor For Steve Ly; Video

Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly now has to govern

December 16, 2016 |

On Wednesday, December 14, Steve Ly was installed as the second directly-elected Mayor of Elk Grove. Ly, who succeeds his mentor Gary Davis, will hold office for a two-year term.

Since winning the office last month, the time leading up to Ly's oath resembled a combination New Year’s Eve party and victory lap. Not only was the timeline marked with confetti on election night, but there were politicians remembrances waxing poetically about the old, in this case, Davis, with a hopeful look to the new  - Ly.

However, once the ball dropped, and after a brief post-inaugural party was held, the throng of people left the Elk Grove City Council chambers as quickly as revelers leave Times Square on New Year's Day morning. It was time to move beyond the hoopla and get down to the unglamorous business of governing.

In his first meeting as Mayor, things did not go smoothly for Ly.

After hearing all the accolades from his fellow elected officials, Ly had cold water immediately splashed on his face during public comment by an Elk Grove resident. This resident, who apparently read any one of several accounts of Ly’s background, openly criticized the Mayor for referencing his father's record.

Regardless of the merit of the gentlemen's claim, Ly would be well served to realize that not everyone, yesterday, today or tomorrow, will drink his Kool-Aid propaganda. Maybe Davis forgot to coach his protégé that there will be many days where cold water will be splashed on his face. 

The next rough patch Ly encountered was in the public hearing portion of the meeting. With the City Council breezing its way through item 9.1 on the agenda, Ly tried to ramrod item 9.2 only to be stopped by Councilman Darren Suen.

Instead of lasting for three or four minutes as item 9.1, item 9.2 lasted almost an hour and a quarter. Along with Suen, Councilmen Steve Detrick and Pat Hume discussed in great detail the matter before them.

During this time, the Mayor did not ask one question nor did he contribute one thought of consequence. It is as though Ly's colleagues purposefully held detailed deliberations to highlight that the Mayor probably had no clue to as to the nature of the item before them.

We have seen this pattern with the Mayor in his first two years on the City Council. Rarely does he ask a relevant, meaningful question and he never, ever been the first person to open a discussion and now that he is Mayor, he has perfect cover to not open deliberations.

The final insults to Ly came during the discussion on the appointment of his replacement for the District 4 seat. First, Ly, in a very tepid manner, failed in his efforts to sway his colleagues to examine filling that vacancy by conducting a special election on a by-district basis.

Furthermore, he could not even convince his trio of colleagues to schedule a future council meeting discussion on switching Elk Grove from its current from district system of elections to the more equitable and fair by-district voting. Again, it was as if the three Councilmen were deliberately kneecapping the Mayor on his first night.

When the three Councilmen again discussed the vacancy in some detail, there came a point when Detrick moved to close the discussion. The problem was Ly had not contributed anything.

"I'd like to put in my two cent [sic] as well," Ly meekly chimed in after Detrick's move.

It could have been deliberate on the part of Ly's trio of colleagues to close the vacancy discussion without hearing from him. Conversely, they could be so accustomed to him not saying anything that matters that they forgot he was even on the dais.

In any case, once the ceremonies concluded and the business of conducting a meeting and governing the City of Elk Grove, Ly failed. Better luck next time.       

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