Did they finally get the memo? For now Elk Grove City Council Members tone down self-serving 'congeniality' reports

During the Wednesday, June 12 Elk Grove City Council meeting words spoken during public comment that for those familiar with the city council habits, were pure satire.

The comments were entered by Elk Grove resident Lynn Wheat. In her remarks, Wheat gave an update on her social activities and laced them with phrases and words used repeatedly by the five-member city council.

Among the numerous phrases and cliche' words that many council members repeatedly use that was satirized was that being the case and phenomenal. These practices, which have been happening for years became a punchline in earnest when former Mayor Gary Davis ramped-up the cliche' practice and repeatedly used phrases like I Love Elk Grove, laser-focused, and this is your house (see bonus video at the bottom of this post) to the point of making them meaningless.

Wheat's comments were not made in a vacuum. As part of the regular city council proceedings, the five members are to provide reports on their activities on the various governmental boards they serve on behalf of the people of Elk Grove.

For more information on this, listen to this podcast which traces the history of these required reports. Suffice it to say, instead the reports on their activities on the governmental boards became secondary to updates on their extensive social activities that are now dubbed the congeniality report.

As the name suggests, the reports have devolved into a council members' self-serving pontification on their social activities. Instead of discussing what happened at the board meeting they attended on behalf of the city, council members regale tales of their good friends, attendance at exclusive members-only functions that have not one thing to do with governance and how many crab or spaghetti feeds they attended.

The five members have come to resemble more of a middle school student government body interested in the social aspects of being elected than conducting the business of the people. The only difference between the middle schoolers and the city council is the students are dictated by school administrators, and the Elk Grove City Council is a puppet whose strings are controlled by developers, big-monied building trade unions, and California Northstate University and its CEO, Alvin Cheung.

At times it even seems the council members are being led around by Elk Grove's economic devlopment director Darrell Doan and the big kahuna of economic development, Barry Broome. If you want an indication of how our elected officials are led around like puppies on a leash by BCD - Broome, Cheung & Doan - think about the December, 2018 announcement by the Calfornia Northstate University and their controversial hospital project, but that is another story.

Below are Wheat's comments.

So what happened after Wheat entered her comments? If the behaviors displayed are indicative, it seems to have at least partially sunk in that the practice of providing the congeniality reports is juvenile.

For instance, after hearing Wheat, Council Member Stephanie Nguyen said: "I won't go through all of the community events." Although Nguyen, Mayor Steve Ly, and Council Member Darren Suen  briefly discussed city-sponsored open-to-the-public events they attended in an official capacity; they made no mention of social activities that have been wanting.

While three of the council members seem to have gotten the memo on the immaturity of their congeniality reports, Council Member Steve Detrick and Vice Mayor Pat Hume could not resist middle school student body social temptation. Both men reported on the Bounty on the Boulevard party with Detrick also talking about "the [by invitation only] VIP reception" at the city's recently opened aquatic center.

Below are some of the city council comments following Wheat's presentation.

While the city council members toned-down their congeniality reports during this meeting, they are creatures of habit, and one has to suspect it will not be long until they slip back into their congeniality reports. Too bad we have council members more interested in attending social events and self-glorification and not sincerely governing for the people of Elk Grove.  

BONUS - Fomer Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis reminds people 
"This is your house!" 


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1 comment

Spoons and Forks said...

Comparing the mayor and city council to a junior high student body is an insult to teenagers.

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