Councilmember Sergio Robles unimpressive in deliberations; Just a potted plant on the Elk Grove City Council?

Mayor Bobbie Singh Allen points her finger at Elk Grove City Councilmember Sergio Robles during the January 25 meeting. |  By D.A. Gough...

Mayor Bobbie Singh Allen points her finger at Elk Grove City Councilmember Sergio Robles during the January 25 meeting. | 

By D.A. Gougherty | 

In the November 2022 Elk Grove City Council District 4 race, Sergio Robles scored an impressive victory. However, his performance as a council member has been anything but since taking office. 

As Robles campaigned for what became a landslide victory, there were whispers about his two-year tenure as an Elk Grove Planning Commissioner. Specifically, he attended meetings unprepared and generally only commented after hearing from planning commission colleagues. 

His actions during the Wednesday, January 25 meeting confirm that pattern. It was displayed during a hearing on allocating $800,000 from the city's general fund for continued studies on the possible zoo in Elk Grove.

For reference, city council members have the opportunity to have a staff briefing on agenda items before the meeting, so they have a better understanding of what is before them. This particular hearing matter was simple - the city council members were asked to allocate $800,000 from city reserves to be spent on studies for the possible Sacramento Zoo relocation.  

After hearing a staff presentation and public comment, Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen started council deliberation. The first council member she asked to comment was Robles.

As you can see in the video, Robles said in a soft voice [amplified in the video], "So no comments right now, just kind of want to hear what my colleagues have to say."

Following that, council members Rod Brewer, Darren Suen, and Kevin Spease offered their commentary. Brewer, the other new city council member, made comments indicating he had consulted with city staff. 

Also, as you can see in the freeze frame at the 48-second mark in the video, as Spease finishes his comments, Singh-Allen looks and points to Robles. We have no way of knowing what the mayor's finger-pointing at Robles intended to convey other than it was unusual.  

Robles provided an unoriginal and meaningless comment.  

"Kind of echoing what my fellow colleagues are saying too, I think it's very imperative that we need to focus on this and kind of see in what will result after we spend this, and I agree with also Councilmember Spease as well."

Meaningless babble coming from an elected official is not unusual. However, having watched hundreds of Elk Grove City Council and other government meetings over several decades, Robles' action indicates one of two things.

It shows that he is either unprepared, uninterested or both in understanding matters brought before the city council, which is a dereliction of duty. Waiting to hear what other colleagues say displays laziness in all forms and is an explicit confirmation of such behavior.

Mr. Robles is just starting his four-year term, and he can quickly correct his course if he chooses. It's time for Mr. Robles to study his material and represent the residents of District 4 in a manner to which they are entitled.

If Robles continues down this path, he will be nothing more than a potted plant on the Elk Grove City Council. Do better. 


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Josie said...

Perhaps his use of a "DITTO' flash card would save time.

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

If I am not mistaken, Mr. Robles is under the age of 30, and given he may be the youngest person elected to the City Council he has an extraordinary opportunity to represent younger voices in Elk Grove. If he sits there as suggested like a potted plant, he will be wasting a golden opportunity to make his mark.

Golden Skillet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D.J. Blutarsky said...

When evaluating political leadership, I always begin by examining how those individuals attained their position in the first place. In this case, it seems like Councilmember Robles got bit by the public limelight bug while working as a field rep for Ami Bera and then hopped onto the coattails of Mayor Bobbie, who always seems to be clamoring for high ranking coattails herself! 

I'm reasonably sure that Mayor Bobbie laid out a path for Robles that has been tread by others before him--build your political resume by first running for School Board like she did; run for CSD Board; or join the city Planning Commission, which he did.   

When evaluating political leadership, I also try to figure out what their ultimate motivation or goal is in seeking the position they have chosen. In the case of Robles, hopping onto Mayor Bobbie's coattails (as well worn as they are), can garner name recognition and that all-too-important nourishment for the ego. I suppose being able to traverse around the lofty social circles of Elk Grove is also an added benefit of office!

To me, Councilmember Robles is just another in a long list of political newbies who have helped keep the leather chairs at the dais warm, and who in the long run, is unlikely to leave a lasting mark on the evolution of Elk Grove as a city.

If you view our political leadership with very low expectations, then we will not be disappointed and Elk Grove will continue to shine and lead the state in progressive ideas and innovation! 

EGN, we have a winner here!

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Just what we need, another empty suit sans the tie!

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