When they conduct their regular meeting tomorrow night, the Elk Grove City Council will not only determine whether there will be an appointment or a special election to fill the District 4 council vacancy, a fundamental economic principle will be demonstrated - determining a price point.
The exercise will be on display as part of the council deliberations as they consider changing the city's highway sign ordinance. The proposed sign ordinance came about because a solitary gas station and fast food restaurant developer badly wants a highway billboard sign to attract a McDonald's restaurant to his proposed non-freeway adjacent development.
After pouring substantial funds into each of the current four council members campaign war chests and pet projects for one former council member, the developer will find out whether or not his investment gets the returns he paid for.
This will be a real life case study for others who may come in front of the council seeking to change a hard-fought citizen initiated ordinance.
Will the donations have been enough to persuade three of the council members to vote for the change citing a reason such as the economy has changed or some other economic development justification? Or will the donations have been insufficient so as to not weigh out the concerns that some of the council members most ardent supporters have voiced with the proposed change?
Not only will this be a demonstration of the legal influence of money in our representative democracy, it will be a real life example of how a price point is determined. Those seeking to change an ordinance or get a project approved will take note of the results and budget accordingly.