Elk Grove City Council to consider 6 appointive candidates

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 - 8:10 am

Members of the Elk Grove City Council tonight are set to interview a half-dozen candidates seeking appointment to the District 4 vacancy and could, before the night is over, make their selection.

The question on tap at the regularly scheduled council meeting: Who should serve the last half of the four-year post vacated last month after Councilman Gary Davis became the city's first directly elected mayor?

Two women and four men are vying for the post. One is a city planning commissioner. One is a county prosecutor. Four are leaders in business.

If the council fails to act tonight, it must make a decision no later than its Jan. 23 meeting. It can either fill the vacancy by appointment or call for a special election that could cost as much as $545,000.

The candidates are:

• Edward J. Busuttil, a San Joaquin County assistant district attorney.

• Nancy De Anda Chaires, an Elk Grove planning commissioner and special programs consultant on migrant education for the state Department of Education.

• David Glenn Conner, the chief executive officer for RECON Networking Inc. of Elk Grove.

• LaWanna Montgomery, a teacher and president/CEO of Reach Learning Center.

• Oscar Portillo O'con, who operates a marketing and public relations business in Elk Grove.

• Jeffrey Sherwood Owen, vice president of operations for School Innovations & Advocacy of El Dorado Hills.

Here's a brief look at each, based on interviews and, in some cases, information submitted to the city.

Busuttil has been a prosecutor for more than 23 years.

As an assistant district attorney, Busuttil oversees units focused on child abuse, sexual assault, elder abuse and domestic violence and assists in decisions on budget, personnel and policy.

He's ready for the challenge of broader public service, he said.

"As we come out of this recession slowly, I think we need to have smart managed growth and make sure public safety remains a priority," Busuttil said, "because everything flows from our being a safe community."

Chaires has been a city planning commissioner since 2008.

Now, she said, she's ready to be part of the "full range of decisions" that affect city residents.

"I want to make sure that the residents of the 4th District and those across the city are represented with integrity, accountability and respect," she said. "I feel compelled to put what I have learned through my work on the Planning Commission and in my career … into the service of the city and the broad array of issues that come before the council."

Conner, in introductory remarks at a recent League of Women Voters forum, described RECON as a non-profit, philanthropically minded trade association linked to commercial real estate and construction.

"With my experience as a local business leader, I believe strongly that I can build on our efforts to attract jobs and promote economic development in our community," Conner wrote in the biography he filed with the city.

Conner also cited the need to enhance public safety resources and ensure the city's quality of life.

Montgomery's business is devoted to helping children make academic progress, according to its website.

"I will work hard with the constituents in my area asking questions (about) how we can work together to make it better," Montgomery wrote in her application.

"I believe that jobs, attracting businesses while retaining current businesses, building the (Elk Grove Promenade) mall, infrastructure, affordable housing, sports and education are top priorities," she added.

O'con, who has a background in the military and law enforcement, is president of the Elk Grove Rotary. He founded and chairs the planned Elk Grove Regional Veterans Memorial, which he described as one of the few nationally that will honor living as well as deceased veterans.

"As a veteran, I have unconditional love for this country and this town," O'con told The Bee. "My kids have grown up here, and I hope to see my grandkids grow up in Elk Grove."

He said he seeks to promote small and large business development for the city.

Owen describes himself as a longtime Elk Grove resident ready to embrace public service.

"This is a city that has had extremely accelerated growth and an economic downturn. Now we're shifting gears to recovery mode," Owen said. "We're at a critical point in our history.

"Now we have a chance to take a breath, to regroup as a city, and to think about … what kind of a city do we want to be."

MEETING TONIGHT

What: City Council

Where: Council chambers, 8400 Laguna Palms Way, Elk Grove.

When: 6 p.m.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Loretta Kalb



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