10 Years After - Budget Battles City of Elk Grove May 13, 2009

Former Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill discussing
budget cuts on May 13, 2009. | 

Although Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly made news during April 24, 2019 city council meeting - for reasons most politician would like to avoid - he was not the first mayor in the city's history to angrily confront a constituent from the dais.

Ten years ago, then-Mayor Pat Hume had a similar confrontation with a member of the public. It was during a hearing on possible budget cuts during the Great Recession.

In a nutshell, the city was considering laying off a former employee by the name of Jim Miller who had a youth services coordinator position. The job was deemed to be discretionary and therefore expendable in light of declining tax revenue.

Miller's supporters jammed the city council chamber demanding his job be spared and spoke to the council in sometimes point ways. One person, Bob Felts, who ran for city council in 2008, in particular, got under Hume's skin by highlighting a reporting error.

After the public spoke, Hume unleased what was nothing short of a fury of comments on the budget difficulties. He also spoke directly to Felt.

"And Mr. Felts if you repeat that $36,000 figure again, I swear to god I'm going to come out of this chair and lose my mind," Hume exclaimed.

While Hume did single out one person, much like Ly recently did, he departed company from the further mayor. Unlike Ly who shouted down a person who was making a Robert's Rule point of order, Hume allowed one person in the audience upset with proceeding utter their comment uninterrupted.

Hume summed up comments by complaining "If you want to be attacked on a daily basis, because of what a terrible job you are doing, go into public service." 


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