Elk Grove Vice Mayor, Councilmember react strongly to letter on CNU land deal read into public record

During the Wednesday, May 22, 2019 meeting of the Elk Grove City Council, two Elk Grove residents read a letter into the public record that aroused and seemingly irritated two council members.

The letter, obtained through a public information request from the city of Elk Grove by NEST - Neighbors Ensuring Sincere Transparency, was a correspondence between Elk Grove's economic development director Darrell Doan to Barry Broome, president of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council. Reading the letter into the record were Sonia Strong and Kathy Engle respectively.

NEST, which opposes the 400 bed $750 million hospital proposed in Elk Grove's Stonelake Neighborhood, have appeared regularly at city council meetings advocating their position.  After Strong and Engle read the letter into the record, Engle used the balance of her three-minute allotment to pose questions about the implications of the correspondence.

In the video posted below, Engle expresses skepticism and questions a land deal suggesting collusion between California Northstate University principle, Dr. Alvin Cheung, and Doan, the city of Elk Grove and Broome. 

Councilmember Darren Suen and Vice Mayor Pat Hume reacted strongly to Engles comments. Hume told Engle he "would like to give you a nickel's worth of free advice" and said, "but to keep drugging up these ancillary things, that is what our economic director is paid to do."

In response, Engle asked Hume, "if certain people knew about this medi, and other people didn't?"

Interestingly, Councilmember Darren Suen, who along with the entire council received the memo, admitted he had not read the letter and defended the land deal Engle highlighted.

Hear the entire reading of the letter into the record and the exchange between Engle and Hume and Suen below.  


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Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

The long-term political ineptness of the Elk Grove City Council continues to be a never-ending source of amusement. What makes this incident more telling is that the supposed smartest and best-educated council member, Mr. Suen, and the alleged intelligent dean of the city council, Mr. Hume, were surly and were put on the defensive.

Ms. Engle seemingly set a trap for both men. These two men for all their supposed intelligence fell into it like two yokels who just rolled into town on the turnip truck.

They do not understand an essential axiom in politics – if you are explaining, you are losing. The fact the two men, especially Mr. Hume who seemed to be talking down to Ms. Engle were defending what looks on first glance to be a shady land deal implies they were caught with their proverbial pants, or in Mr. Hume case, other physical attributes, down.

Following up on the explaining is losing logic, they have no sense of history much less smart politics. The two men might well add the practice first attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, who said, “never complain, never explain.”

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