Part II April - June: EGN's 2023 Year in Review

During his discussion of this drunk driving incident, Councilmember Sergio Robles insisted on saying he was cited, not arrested. | 


The second quarter of 2023 was politically tenuous for the Elk Grove City Council and the Elk Grove Unified School District Board of Trustees. The city council was targeted by California Attorney General Rob Bonta and Gov. Gavin Newsom, while criticism directed at the school board was reaching a zenith.

Also, during this period, a seated city council member was arrested and taken into custody for the first time in Elk Grove's history. 

April 

Elk Grove's public works director channels City Councilmember Suen

One city official filing an economic disclosure statement was public works director Jeff Werner. Like City Councilmember Darren Suen, Werner gladly accepted gifts. Though not as prolific as Suen, Werner, who makes over $220,000 in salary from taxpayers, nonetheless took gifts from businesses, some of whom do business with the city. 

Meanwhile, the city's innovation manager accepted a European Vacation


There may be a competition at Elk Grove City Hall over who can get the best gifts. While Jeff Werner took some, he was nothing compared to Elk Grove's innovation czar, Christopher "CJ" Jordan. According to his economic disclosure, in 2022, Jordan accepted a European vacation!

Self-described Christian claims discrimination at Elk Grove Schools

During an early April board meeting, Elk Grove trustees heard complaints about pornography in school libraries, drag shows and that the district has an anti-Christian bias. 



Republican Elk Grove Vice Mayor Kevin Spease pounds the table, blames Democrats 

A quote attributed to poet Carl Sandberg and widely used by litigators says, "If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell."

Rueing the loss of local land zoning control during an April city council meeting, Spease pounded the table!




City official admits the event signs are underwhelming

In April, the Elk Grove City Council considered another sign program. This one was for welcome entry signs to the city. 

During public testimony, one city official admitted the city's two events' signs were underwhelming and a pain to manage. Today, with push notifications and widespread use of social media platforms, who looks at the two signs placed along roadways anyhow? 



 Parents claim Elk Grove Schools are 'grooming' their children

During the second April school board meeting, several parents complained about the sex education curriculum. One parent said it was a way to groom children, while others wanted books banned from school libraries.

While the EGUSD Trustees were barraged with these and other claims, there were some who supported them. They claimed the district critics were tied with the Florida-based Moms For Liberty, whom they characterized as an extremist group.   

Attorney General Rob Bonta calls out Elk Grove in lead-up to litigation - no selfies for the mayor!


After Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen received a letter threatening a lawsuit from fellow Democrat Attorney General Rob Bonta, the state continued its pressure campaign on the city. 

In a press release supporting a housing initiative by President Joe Biden, Mr. Bonta specifically mentioned Elk Grove. In the statement, Bonta said, "Last month, Attorney General Bonta sent a letter to the City of Elk Grove, warning that its denial of the Oak Rose supportive housing project violates state housing laws, including fair housing law."

So much for the Singh-Allen cozying up to Bonta for a selfie!

Elk Grove  Civil War reenactment draws criticism, Councilmember Brewer takes a stance

A planned Civil War reenactment drew extensive criticism during a late April Elk Grove City Council meeting. Several people criticized the events, noting their racial overtones. 

In a rare display of courage by any Elk Grove City Council member, District 1 representative Rod Brewer took a stance on an issue outside the purview of city matters. 



While on his lobbying trip, Councilmember Rod Brewer discussed 'regulatory relief'

During a May city council meeting, Councilmember Rod Brewer discussed his activities during the annual Cap to Cap lobbying trip. We're not sure if the council member understood what is meant by regulatory relief, but given the trip is sponsored by a business group, the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, it means loosening things like air quality standards.

So much for Elk Grove being a green city! 


Speaking of Cap to Cap...

While City Councilmember Rod Brewer was seeking regulatory relief from environmental and worker protections, one of his colleagues discussed his experiences. We are so glad City Councilmember had Super Fun on the taxpayers dollar! 




May

Elk Grove starts May with a smack in the face

It wasn't exactly a gobsmack, but on May 1, California Attorney General Rob Bonta followed through on his threatened lawsuit against Elk Grove. The fair housing lawsuit against Elk Grove over denying the Oak Rose supportive housing project in July 2022 was filed in Sacramento Superior Court. 

As a further embarrassment for Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen's pursuit of selfies with prominent politicians, Governor Gavin Newsom joined the lawsuit. 

Mayor Singh-Allen continues to draw the ire of Sacramento's Hmong Community

After dissing the Hmong community during her 2020 campaign against former Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly, who is of Hmong descent, that community continues to have animous towards the mayor. For all the mayor's talk about Elk Grove's embrace of diversity, at least one group continues to believe Singh-Allen keeps them out of her circle.  



Elk Grove decides to fight Bonta, Newsom 

In a terse statement at the start of Wednesday, May 10, 2023, Elk Grove City Council meeting, the city announced it would defend itself against a lawsuit filed by the State of California and California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen announced the decision as the council reconvened their meeting after a closed session. Singh-Allen said the five-member body unanimously directed city attorney Jonathan Hobbs to defend the lawsuit alleging the city violated fair housing laws with discriminatory intent with their July 2022 denial of the Oak Rose affordable housing project. 

As so began the long, embarrassing and expensive litigation over the city's kowtowing to fear expressed by a vocal minority of Elk Grove residents. 

After she pushed Measure E, Elk Grove Mayor Singh-Allen now wants a multi-billion dollar tax hike




City Councilmember Sergio Robles arrested for drunk driving after a night of partying

The Elk Grove City Council's most embarrassing event in 2023 was the arrest of City Councilmember Sergio Robles on suspicion of drunk driving. In the days after reportedly being arrested by Elk Grove Police after allegedly finding Robles passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle parked in a grocery store parking lot, several videos were posted on social media of the first-term councilmember drinking heavily.

Even though the arrest was embarrassing for the city and Robles became a poor role model for Elk Grove's youth, his colleague only mildly scolded him. 

Below are some of the more dubious videos of Robles' drunken behavior unabashedly posted on social media. Among those telling Robles to get some help was the owner of Elk Grove's favorite dive bar, Bob's Bar. 







Protecting their own

Following City Councilmember Sergio Robles' arrest for drunk driving, not surprisingly, Elk Grove city attorney Jonathan Hobss protected the first-term city council member and refused to release the body camera video of the arrests. Is anyone surprised Elk Grove would protect one of their own? 


As long as Hobbs has that fat annual paycheck and whatever else he might receive, he'll take care of his five bosses on the city council. It's too bad Hobbs represents the interest of the city council and not taxpayers. 


Feline advocates highlight Elk Grove's frivolous spending


In their quest to increase funding at Elk Grove Animal Shelter, feline advocates highlighted some of the more frivolous spending of taxpayers' money. While the advocates were clever in their approach, it did not move the city council to give the funding they sought for another veterinarian at the animal shelter. 




Speaking of frivolous spending, more taxpayer junkets to Las Vegas! 

As revealed by information posted on social media, Elk Grove District 1 City Councilmember Darren Suen enjoyed a taxpayer-paid junket to Las Vegas. Suen was accompanied by the city's innovation czar Christopher "CJ" Jordan, and economic development director Darrell "Bojangles" Doan.

Was there a legitimate reason for Suen, Doan, and Jordan to travel to Las Vegas? Maybe there was, and as we'll learn, it was another failure to launch in Elk Grove. 

Party on dudes! 



Indignation Now!

To say Elk Grove city council members say one thing and do another is not an understatement. City Councilmember Kevin Spease proved this point during a May city council meeting.

Spease admonished a developer for what he said was a failure in their application processing. Not surprisingly, though, Spease approved the project. 

How typical!



June 

Police advisory committee calls for Robles' resignation - Ouch! 


Even though Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and the Elk Grove City Council refused to censure their colleague Sergio Robles for his admitted drunk driving, one member of the Elk Grove police chief's advisory committee was not as forgiving.

On social media, the committee member said "Do you know the names of your neighbors? Do you know the names of our streets, the schools, our teachers? Now you live here driving around drunk and could kill anyone of us YOUR constituents????"

In addition to condemning Robles, they also noted how Robles moved to District 4 to run for the city council. The entire commentary can be viewed here

The commentary concluded by saying, "This is so embarrassing! You need to resign! GTFOH!!!!"

Ouch! 

Robles close the curtains on his social media accounts


Not long after being arrested for drunk driving, Councilmember Sergio Robles went dark on social media. Before that arrest, even as he served as an elected official, the frat boy city council member gleefully posted his drunken exploits for all to see.

Of course, now that he isn't advertising his drunken exploits, how do we know if Robles has refrained from the frat house behavior that landed him in hot water?


One department at city hall gets fatter while Elk Grove's population shrank!

What department was given a bigger budget for the current year? By golly, it was the city's legal department. 

The budget for the J.Edgar Hobbs' department grew from $1,927,856 to $2,226,439, an increase of 18 percent. Staffing in the city's attorney's office grew to seven employees, even as the city continues to pay hundreds of thousands - or millions now? - to outside law firms. 

Given Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen's cowardly behavior and inability to stand up for what is right, especially regarding her discriminatory behavior, the legal bills taxpayers will be paying are a growth area for outside counsel!

City manager scratches back at feline advocates

Through several meetings, feline advocates pressed the Elk Grove City Council to increase funding for the city's animal shelter. As the city finalized its 2024 budget, city manager Jason Behrmann splashed cold water on the feline advocates.

While Behrmann delivered the bad news, the feline advocates managed to work in some more ridicule. Even though the cat advocates have backed off, we expect their demands will not go away. 






City Councilmember Robles displays ineptness...again 

In a further display of his lack of interest in governing, or maybe it is just garden variety incompetence, Councilmember Sergio Robles struck again during a June budget meeting. 

Someone, anyone, needs to talk with Robles about municipal finance. 


Mayor Singh-Allen says Old Town can become the next Gaslamp Quarter

Some might call it wishful thinking; others might say it is delusional, while others will straight-up call it lying. Whichever way you classify it, Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen made a whopper of a claim during a June city council meeting.

After hearing a presentation on Elk Grove's Old Town, cum-Historic Downtown Elk Grove, the mayor said the district could develop into something like San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter! 

Hell, we would be satisfied if it could compete with downtown Lodi, which itself is a stretch. 


Brewer, Singh-Allen offer differing information on the proposed zoo

Councilmember Rod Brewer reported on his subcommittee meeting on the relocation of the Sacramento Zoo during a June meeting. Following Brewer's more detailed report, the other subcommittee member, Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen, offered her interpretation of the same meeting.

This is one of the rare times when one of Singh-Allen's councilmen spoke in a way that did not conform to her obedience standard. 




Singh-Allen lauded, presented with a gift during a city council meeting

Never let it be said that Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen's leadership of Elk Grove has gone unrecognized. The mayor was presented with this gift as the city approached the halfway mark of 2023.

We wonder if she will report it on this year's economic disclosure report?



'God is not mocked,' school board members told

As part of the ongoing culture wars where some people are urging book bans, the Elk Grove Unified School District Trustees were issued an apocalyptic warning - 'God is not mocked.'

During a June meeting, the trustees were also criticized by several other people who said the school district allowed books in school libraries they characterized as pornography, several of which covered LGBTQ+ topics.




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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Besides the Robles DUI and the obligatory minor slap on the wrist he received from his City Council colleagues, it was interesting that not a peep was heard from his employer at the time, House Rep. Ami Bera. But come to think of it, you only hear from Bera during election time, oh, and the grand opening of El Pollo Loco!

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