Council member Nguyen pushes back on Ly's Costco claims in Elk Grove Citizen story

The Elk Grove City Council left to right, Stephanie Nguyen, Pat Hume, Steve Ly,
Steve Detrick, and Darren Suen. | 

August 22, 2018 | 

In an email sent this morning to area media outlets including Elk Grove News, Elk Grove Council Member Stephanie Nguyen pushed back on claims made by Mayor Steve Ly in a story published on Friday, August 17 in the Elk Grove Citizen.

In the story titled "A look at Elk Grove's upcoming Costco" by Citizen reporter Lance Armstrong, Ly made statements that give the impression that he played a crucial role in securing the new store currently under construction on Elk Grove Boulevard and Bruceville Road.

In the story Armstrong wrote:

"Mayor Steve Ly told the Citizen that the road to Costco’s ultimate decision to open a store in Elk Grove began with talks about a decade ago.

The mayor also mentioned that during that time, Elk Grove nearly lost the project to south Sacramento’s Delta Shores shopping center.

“When I was elected mayor, I checked with the developer and Costco and asked, ‘So, what’s going on with this (project)?’” he said. “The response was ‘This is a dead deal.’

“That actually alarmed me and it forced me to pull the developer, the Costco folks, the broker together. We had an emergency meeting, and that’s what kind of rejuvenated this project. And the information I got was Costco was talking with the Delta Shores people.”"

In her email, Nguyen offered a counter-narrative to how the Costo deal played out. Nguyen, noting she has seen the ugly side of politics, seemingly countered Ly's assertion that Costco officials where thinking of locating to the nearby Delta Shores shopping center in Sacramento and that Ly was alone responsible for keeping them in the city. 

In her email Nguyen wrote in part:

"In reference to the "A Look at Elk Grove's Upcoming Costco," Mayor Ly made false statements about his involvement in the issue. I may have been new on the council when the topic of Costco was discussed, but I took the time to meet with Costco representative and staff to be fully briefed. Costco felt strongly that the current location best met their operational needs given the anticipated population growth of the area and its stores along highway 99 in Sacramento and Lodi. Furthermore, the city manager and finance officer were the negotiators on the economics. Council members Detrick and Hume also played significant roles in the discussions with Costco and the city leadership team. The negotiations were spirited indeed, but successful in the end because of a team effort from many, not from any single individual. These kinds of inflationary and self-promoting statements are another example of why Mayor Ly does not have the trust of the current city council."

Nguyen, who represents the city's 4th district and was appointed to the vacancy created when Ly vacated the seat upon his 2016 election as mayor. Nguyen is being challenged by Orlando Fuentes, who appears to have the support of Ly, and she is supporting Vice Mayor Darren Suen who is challenging Ly. 

In an opinion piece posted on this site on Monday, Elk Grove resident Steven M. Lee also took Mayor Ly to task for his comments in the Elk Grove Citizen story. 


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Renegade said...

Councilperson Nguyen's comments here are no surprise and should be of no surprise to anyone that follows our local political scene.
Mayor Ly has taken pages out of President Trump's playbook on self-promotion, self-adulation, and an confounding lack of accountability and veracity. Don't look now, but the walls to the Oval Office are closing in on Mr. Trump. We can only hope the public wakes up in time to see this man for what he really is. He cares about himself above anything else, including our city.

My hat is off to Ms. Nguyen for finally exposing him. It seems the rest of the council is afraid to expose him to the public. That will likely mean defeat for Councilman Suen in his bid to unseat Ly. Mr. Suen lacks the nerve to challenge Ly's missteps and malfeasance. In Elk Grove we'll all lose when that happens.

D.J. Blutarsky said...

To all the haters out there, Mayor Ly is a master negotiator! Last year he offered to step in and save the Siskiyou County marijuana industry, so of course he could save Costco in Elk Grove! We're small potatoes compared to that big money operation!

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