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Don’t Mess With Elk Grove: City Sends Strong Message To Texas In Ad

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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ELK GROVE (CBS13) — The city of Elk Grove is taking a shot at Texas and Gov. Rick Perry with an ad luring business from Texas.

The city says it wants to become the most jobs-aggressive and business-friendly city in the state. The ad is meant to send a message.

“Don’t mess with Elk Grove,” Mayor Gary Davis said.

You’ve heard everything’s bigger in Texas, but try this sales pitch on for size: Everything’s better in Elk Grove.

“Do you want to live in Texas, or do you want to live in California?” Davis said. “To me, it’s a no-brainer.”

The city took out an ad in the Houston Business Journal taking a jab at the state Davis says has made a habit of poaching California jobs.

“It’s a little tongue-in-cheek, but we’re ready to fight back if they come after our jobs,” he said.

It’s a direct response to a Houston developer’s 10 ads in the Sacramento Business Journal, and a not-so-subtle dig at Perry.

During a recruiting trip last February, and in radio ads, he urged California companies to pack up and head to the Lone Star State.

Davis knows he can’t compete with fewer regulations or lower taxes in Texas, but the city is offering cash incentives and reduced fees to lure new business.

“I’m sure Texas is fine if you like heat and big bugs, and you don’t like to sit on your patio at night,” Davis joked.

All jokes aside, he’s very serious, pointing out his city has a population of 160,000 compared to just 30,000 jobs.

“We are working hard to literally bend over backwards to get jobs in this community,” he said.

The mayor touts recent success on the local level—a pharmacy college came in to replace the old AAA call center, and a state building relocated from Sacramento to Elk Grove.

That means Cynthia Bowens can now work where she lives.

“It’s really convenient. I don’t have to go downtown anymore,” she said.

It’s a far cry from filling all of its empty storefronts, but the city hopes the ad is a start.

The ad is slated to run on the newspaper’s website Thursday night and in its print edition on Friday.

The mayor says the ad cost about $6,000, and there are no immediate plans to run more ads or expand to additional markets.

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