Video - In First Battle of The 'Cool Cucumber Award,' Elk Grove Mayor Ices City Council Colleague

April 14, 2018 |  

In the next several months, things could become very interesting, if not tense on the Elk Grove City Council. While the division was apparent ever since Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly took his oath in December 2014, events in the last week have thoroughly exposed the conflicts.

With the Thursday, April 5 announcement by Elk Grove Vice Mayor Darren Suen that he would be challenging Ly for the mayoral position, the city council fissure became fully exposed. While Suen's announcement, which had been anticipated for months, was not unexpected, his supporters on hand foretold coming events.

Accompanying Suen at the event and offering their endorsements were city Council Members Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, and Stephanie Nguyen which showed what several observers had noted for some time - Ly has no allies on the city council in spite of his happy talk about how well they all worked together. In an act that signaled that he would not be intimidated, and instead would try to be the intimidator, Ly sent one of his paid political adviser and city-paid interns, Mr. Ty Sorci, to the event where he was, so to speak, "taking names" and providing real-time reports.

In this game of tit-for-tat, Hume struck back at Ly via a comment he made to Elk Grove Citizen reporter Lance Armstrong. In Armstrong's story on the announcement, Hume made unflattering comments on his mayor.

From the Citizen story:

Hume also said that Ly at times conducts himself in a manner that is embarrassing to the City Council.

“Steve, for better or worse, has done a lot of what I think are self-serving things that have brought some embarrassment to the City Council, and he’s done so unapologetically,” Hume said. “And so, it’s like he really doesn’t take the city’s image into account when he does some of the things that are good for Steve Ly’s image.”

It was in this environment that Ly and Hume entered the Wednesday, April 11 city council meeting. In this round of tit-for-tat, which followed a lengthy presentation by City Clerk Jason Lindgren on the city's election history, Ly prevailed.  

Following Lindgren's presentation, which was being conducted in the context of an ongoing discussion of a likely lawsuit for alleged civil rights violations by the City of Elk Grove over its at-large voting system, Ly and Hume had their showdown. Even though it has been known for months that Detrick, Hume, Nguyen, and Suen were unwilling to consider a council discussion of by-district representation, Ly clung to the issue like a dog to a bone.

During their deliberations, Ly spoke for about ten non-consecutive minutes on the virtues of by-district voting. During his comments, Ly also took jabs at Nguyen and Suen, who were both appointed to the city council, saying appointments are a subterfuge to democracy.

When Ly spoke for the second time, Hume had enough and erupted as the viewers will see in the video.  Neglecting the fact that several people spoke at the March 28 city council meeting (see video here) pleading with the city council to change to by-district, an exasperated Hume proclaimed the people of Elk Grove do not support this idea. 

On a side note, aside from a developer representative and Randy Bekker who spoke at the meeting, our records indicate there have been two other people, one current, and former Sheldon area residents, who have spoken at city council meetings defending the at-large system.  

Viewers will also note after Hume's explosion Ly can be seen with a Cheshire cat grin on his face as he cooly responded to his colleague. It is almost as if Ly had a plan, threw out the bait and Hume bit. 

In this round, Ly was undoubtedly the cooler cucumber, and even though it will not change the trajectory of the by-district issue with the city council, he did score a victory in what surely is going to be an ongoing battle of wits and words between now and the November elections.  

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Eye on Elk Grove said...

Pat Hume talks about these so-called “people?” Who are they? Developers? The BIA? The Elk Grove Democratic Club unanimously supports by-district voting. We are residents and voters of Elk Grove and are “people” as well.

Or has Hume taken the lead from his fellow Republican Donald Trump when we constantly hear Trump say “Everybody says.”

The only thing Hume didn’t add at the end of his outburst is, a la the leader of his party is, “Trust me.”

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Having watched the meeting on Wednesday night, and this truncated replay, I am sure Mr. Hume will say that he did not lose his cool. Instead, he would argue, he was leaning into the microphone, got to close and it over-amplified his voice.

If Mr. Hume were to argue this, which I suspect he would not do in public, there is a skosh of truth. However, the body language would suggest otherwise. The act of leaning into the microphone, and not being aware of the physical presence indicates he was aroused by Mr. Ly provocation.

Furthermore, the exaggerated and flailing hand gestures suggest that Mr. Hume was angry and a physical expression of his unleashed emotions. If we were to score this like a boxing match, yes, Mr. Ly got the better of Mr. Hume in this round.

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Not to take away from Mr. Cool Cat's performance against Red Face Hume, but it is easy for Cool Cat to be opposed to appointees and push for District elections. But isn't it true Cool Cat was appointed at one time himself, and the District elections would not affect the Mayoral position? Let's call it what it is-self interests.

Randy Bekker said...

A lot of “I”s in Ly’s rant of comments! Since the Mayor is voted in at large you have to ask yourself why is Ly pushing this issue now. Is it that Mr Ly needs his friends in the Democratic Party to assist him to move up the ladder into a higher political position. By District is being pushed by Mr. Shergill as a Democratic Party operative as a Board member in the Sacramento region. Mr Shergill seems to have a following as they are all connected no matter what group they represent they all are in this together. Mr. Ly just happens to be there voice on the Dias as everyone knows. This is becoming an epidemic across California cities being forced, boxed into a have to or else we will Sue you into summission. My argument in general is why push the issue without a full discussion since it will not affect this years elections, it would be 2020 before it would actually affect change! So why the push from Ly now? Again he is interested in moving up the ladder so this is his way to help himself and he will not care how it effects the citizens of Elk Grove! We need to wait until 2020 census is over so we can add 2 districts, go through redistricting an then go to by District! So once again Why is Ly pushing by District voting?

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