Councilman, Elk Grove citizen debate wisdom of supporting Barry Broome - 'OK, so no jobs is good work'

Darren Suen informally debates with Elk Grove citizen on the merits of taxpayer money being sent to
Barry Broome. | 
As many have noticed in recent months, and for that matter over the years, members of the Elk Grove City Council practice contemptuous behavior towards members of the public from the dais. Whether it is the intentional mispronouncing of a common first name in the English language, admonishing an audience for light laughter during a public forum, mansplaining to women, or yawning while a constituent speaks during public comment, in recent months the behavior from the dais has worsened. 

On the rare occasion when a council member engages a constituent and for the most part does not speak down, the results are not always favorable for the elected official. Perhaps the fear of being outwitted or being unable to structure a coherent argument explains them slipping into the condescension.    

Regardless, during his most recent meeting, Councilman Darren Suen engaged with constituent Kathy Engle on whether or not taxpayer money is being wasted. The waste in question is Elk Grove taxpayers dollars that help fund Barry Broome, the executive director of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, a multi-jurisdictional quasi-governmental agency responsible for regional development.   

Engle's questions and arguments about the money expended on Broome were straightforward. Elk Grove taxpayers have been funding Broome's operation for several years yet tangible results, particularly for Elk Grove, have been scant.

What, she asked, is the city council doing to hold Broome to account? Engle, who is a resident of District 1, questioned her council representative Suen. 

It should be noted Engle is an early critic of the controversial California Northstate University for-profit hospital proposed in the District 1 Stonelake neighborhood that Suen, along with his project ally Mayor Steve Ly, have voiced support and received campaign contributions from the projects primary proponent, Alvin Cheung.  Additionally, Engle also inquired about Broome's role in another unpopular project proposed that is associated with CNU for the Stonelake neighborhood.  

Suen, who again reminded constituents he is an engineer by training and trade - perhaps a case of engineer-splaining - noted Broome's effectiveness should not be quantified. Instead, he said Broome performance is gauged in a qualitative way similar to judging a beauty contest or public artwork. 

Interestingly, when Broome appeared before the Elk Grove City Council in May, he said he has made hundreds of cold sales calls on companies in the Bay Area in hopes of luring them to the Sacramento regions. What was stunning was he acknowledged that during many of these cold calls he was talking to non-decision making people including temporary employees. 

As seen in the video below, the more Suen talked, the further he dug himself into a hole. Making matters worse for Suen, after being unable to make a plausible argument for the payments of taxpayers money to Broome for his admitted incompetent efforts to bring jobs to Elk Grove, Engle got the last word.

Perhaps it is this fear of being easily outwitted and embarrassed by logical arguments that explain Suen's colleagues' condescending behavior of those they are supposed to be representing. That being the case, don't expect an end to this behavior anytime in the future.  

Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2019. All right reserved.

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

I'm not an engineer either, but I can add numbers!

"The most recent Form 990 for the organization, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, shows Broome receiving annual compensation totaling $635,280 for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

By contrast, most city managers and county executives in the region make between $300,000 and $400,000. Leaders of other local nonprofits are generally lucky to draw a third as much as Broome.

Just since January, Broome told SN&R, he’s turned down three opportunities to leave.

“I’m the top guy in the country,” Broome said of his economic development prowess. “I get called all the time.”

For better or worse, though, GSEC seems to be Broome’s show. If his close associates have concerns, they aren’t voicing them publicly. Broome envisions a 10-year run in Sacramento.

“Right now, all these investors are re-upping their investment,” Broome said. “And they’re doing it on the condition I stay the CEO.”

Source: Sacramento News and Review, 9/13/18

Spoons and Forks said...

Another mansplaining came from councilman Suen and maybe it missed the attention of the writer of this story, but not mine. Does he really think Barry Broome is going to host some measly citizen making inquiries? That is what Darren suggested, and I find that offensive to me and other women.

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