Former mayor proclaims 'Elk Grove is my city' in car dealer commercial

In a commercial recently posted on social media, Elk Grove's former mayor proclaimed that "Elk Grove is my city!" T...

In a commercial recently posted on social media, Elk Grove's former mayor proclaimed that "Elk Grove is my city!"

That proclamation was made by former Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis. First elected to the city council in 2006, Davis served as the city's first directly elected mayor for two two-year terms starting in 2012.

Davis was running for a third term in 2016, when he inexplicably dropped out of the race paving the way for his former ally and protege Steve Ly to run, and win the mayoral position and hence becoming the first Hmong-American mayor. Even though Davis had mentored Ly, he turned his back on him in the 2018 mayoral election and supported challenger and current Elk Grove City Council member Darren Suen.

Even though Davis left political office under murky circumstances, it is rumored in political circles he is seeking a comeback. The most frequently mentioned position associated with Davis is the Sacramento County Supervisor seat currently occupied by Don Nottoli.

Interestingly Davis and his former Elk Grove City Council colleague Pat Hume are reportedly interested in running for the county supervisor seat. Nottoli has served on the board of supervisor since 1994 and has not indicated if he will leave in 2022. 

Along with his reported interest in the county seat, Davis has for over one year been a paid community outreach consultant for California Northstate University and its chief executive officer, Alvin Cheung. CNU is proposing a $750 million for-profit teaching hospital in Elk Grove's Stonelake neighborhood.

The proposed hospital has become a lightning rod of controversy. Nearby residents have organized a group called NEST - Neighbors Ensuring Sincere Transparency -  opposing CNU's plans to demolish a shopping center in their neighborhood to make way for the 12-story hospital. 

This week the prominent Sacramento-based environmental group - ECOS - Environmental Council of Sacramento - has come out in opposition to the project. ECOS has expressed concerned that the location of a large facility near the environmentally sensitive Stonelake National Wildlife Refuge would harm the area.  

For his part, Davis has noted he is a resident of the Stonelake neighborhood and welcomes its presence. Not surprisingly, when the Wilton Rancheria proposed its controversial and still unsettled casino resort near the now demolished Outlet at Elk Grove shopping mall, Davis, who was mayor at the time, noted he lived nearby and was happy being a neighbor of the proposed $450 million gaming and entertainment facility.

After those comments, Davis relocated to the Stonelake neighborhood.

While Davis' appearance in the Elk Grove Honda is as much of a promotion for car sales as civic service, the former Mayor has stumbled in his public relations outreach for CNU and Cheung.

Last month Davis criticized NEST and other residents of Elk Grove opposing CNU's project characterizing them as childish and immature. After those comments were widely criticized on social media, Davis deleted his character assassination.

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Unknown said...

Gary Davis is a joke. The majority of Stonelake residents despise him and yet he remains a legend in his own mind.

D.J. Blutarsky said...

For once, I am speechless (well, not quite)!

I guess the charter school business must be dead in the water, time to sell the fine china, silverware, and possibly your soul!

Sorry Gary, Kia is just down the street and is offering a 20-year warranty on their cars.

Unknown said...

Does HONDA stand for Head Of Not Doing Anything? In that case, Gary (I never met a project that I couldn't turn into a failure) Davis would be the logical choice.

Steven Masone said...

Oh...come on! He's just not there yet giving speeches for hundreds of thousands of dollars as a professional politician. At least he hasn't jumped in the Democratic primary race with all those taking a shot at the Brass Ring!

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Aside from the bold claim that Elk Grove is his city, Mr. Davis made a more opaque reference that in some corners is considered a coded message to some of the less well-enlightened community members.

Mr. Davis says, "Elk Grove city has big city ideas with small-town values."

Terms like small town values as used by many politicians is another form of code-switching or dog-whistle politics that excludes the very people who live in Elk Grove. Intentional or not, this is a poor use of words in a city as diverse as Elk Grove.

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