In its second try to appoint a new council member, the Elk Grove City Council decided Wednesday night it would rather choose someone who hadn't applied than fail to agree on one of the five candidates who did and force a special election.
The council voted 3-1 to appoint former Elk Grove Unified School District Superintendent Robert L. Trigg to the city council. He'll represent District 4, vacated when Gary Davis was elected mayor.
Davis said at first, he hadn't thought much of an Elk Grove Citizen opinion column's suggestion to appoint Trigg, but then he called the former school official after a growing concern that the four council members wouldn't be able to agree on an appointee.
"The first thing out of his mouth was, 'Eh, you guys will be able to figure this out,'" Davis said. "I said if we can't, would you be willing to do this? The answer is he really doesn't want to do this, but he would."
Council Member Pat Hume, who nominated Trigg, said he would be "proud to have him answer the call to public service" and sit on the council.
Vice Mayor Steve Detrick said Trigg was "a great alternative" to the pricey special election that would have resulted from a deadlock.
and was unable to choose a citizen to represent District 4.
Council Member Jim Cooper railed against the decision to appoint Trigg, who was not in attendance at the meeting.
"The public never had input in this process before the name was brought up after public comment was closed," Cooper said. "That is not transparency when a name is brought up at the last minute. You want transparency, you want public input. The public was excluded and that's poor policy."
Cooper was the sole no vote Wednesday night.
The candidates who did apply for the seat were:
- Edward Busuttil, a San Joaquin County Assistant District Attorney.
- Nancy D. Chaires, an Elk Grove Planning Commissioner who said she works hard to protect the best interests of local residents and wants to ensure they have the best representation possible.
- David Conner, the CEO of RECON Networking, Inc.
- LaWanna Montgomery, a recent mayoral candidate who has run for council two other times.
- Oscar O'con, a business consultant who is involved in several Elk Grove organizations.
Jeffrey Owen, a youth soccer coach and Vice President of Operations at School Innovations & Advocacy, removed himself from the running at the Jan. 9 meeting.
The council also voted to nominate Busuttil during Wednesday's meeting, deadlocking 2-2.