Diversity Ad Hoc Committee to Recommend Independent Audit of City of Elk Grove’s Hiring Practices

Elk Grove City Council Members Pat Hume (left) and Stephanie Nguyen listen to  comments and suggestions from participants at the diversit...

Elk Grove City Council Members Pat Hume (left) and Stephanie Nguyen listen
to  comments and suggestions from participants at the diversity ad hoc committee
meeting. | 

UPDATED June 8 12:50 p.m.

June 7, 2017 |  

An ad hoc committee formed to discuss workforce diversity issues with the City of Elk Grove will recommend an independent audit be conducted. That was the finding of the Diversity Committee which met last night at the Wackford Center.

The meeting and ad hoc committee, organized by Elk Grove City Council Member Stephanie Nguyen, came as a result of a report on the City’s workforce diversity. That report, which showed a lack of racial diversity with City Hall employees, was requested by several residents and the Sacramento Branch of the NAACP.

Although the diversity of the Elk Grove Police was not addressed in the requested report, the ad hoc committee participants also discussed police force diversity. The police department's annual report issued on February 22, 2017 showed the majority of sworn personnel are overwhelming male with about 54-percent white male.   

The findings of the report generated by the City’s human resources manager were discussed at the May 24 Elk Grove City Council meeting. It was at that meeting that Nguyen volunteered to facilitate the committee.

At last night’s meeting, Nguyen, along with Council Member Pat Hume and more than two dozen residents and stakeholders participated in an extensive discussion on how to best approach the issue. During the discussion, several aspects of the report were discussed as well as how the process should proceed.

One common observation was that report provided a snapshot of the city’s workforce but offered no recommendations to rectify the problem. Additionally, it was suggested any examination of the city workforce in that the audit should also include the police department.

“We need one report that says ‘what do the numbers look like,’” Elk Grove resident Don Jefferies said. “We do not need bifurcated reports.” 

Toward the end of the session following a discussion of whether the committee should be ad hoc or standing, and the expertise level of the committee participants, Elk Grove resident Tracy Stafford suggested that the study by conducted by an independent party.

“This is why we need an independent audit by an expert outside of Elk Grove that looks at all of this,” Stafford said. 

The participants, including Hume and Nguyen, reached a consensus that an independent audit should be pursued. As a lead-up to the formal request for the audit, another meeting of the diversity ad hoc committee would be scheduled with the expressed idea that parameters for what should be included in an audit be outlined.

Although Nguyen and Hume expressed support, administratively the entire city council may need to approve the audit expenditure. There was no discussion regarding the process to select an auditor.  

On expenditures of less than $50,000 Elk Grove city manager Laura Gill can approve purchases without council approval. Given the audit will be conducted on departments under the auspices of Gill, it is not known if she will be excluded from the selection process of the auditor.

June 8: Updated to reflect that the report issued by the City of Elk Grove addressed non-police force personnel. The EGPD issued their annual report in February, 2017 that included data on their workforce diversity.   

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