Elk Grove to Test Neighborhood Advisory Council Concept

May 29, 2014 | At last night's meeting, the Elk Grove City Council agreed to give a trial run on neighborhood advisory councils. ...


May 29, 2014 |

At last night's meeting, the Elk Grove City Council agreed to give a trial run on neighborhood advisory councils.

The idea, which has long been called for by a number of Elk Grove residents at council meetings, came to fruition as a result of the volume of applications for a recent vacancy on the Elk Grove Planning Commission. According to comments made last night by Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis, there were over 20 applications for the post that was filled by Kevin Speace.

The so-called Neighborhood Leaders Committee as proposed would, among other things, provide a forum where neighborhood leaders could formally meet and share best practices and provide the city an opportunity to solicit and gather neighborhood ideas and concerns.

During council deliberation, Davis noted that the high number of applicants for the recent planning commission vacancy indicated many people in the city were interested in service to the community. 

"We had all these people who expressed interest," Davis said. "This is not an original idea, its been brought up a few times in the community." 

Council members Steve Detrick and Pat Hume both questioned if there was an actual need for the committee, while Bob Trigg said he was concerned if it would conflict with existing committees and commissions.

"I see this as a solution in search of a problem," Hume said.

Davis responded saying establishment of the committees was "a way of moving from being reactive to proactive." 

Vice Mayor Jim Cooper said he supports anything that will benefit neighborhoods and increase civic participation. He also said they would be successful  if they are properly organized.

"I see a need for that," Cooper said. "It's just figuring out where they fit."

The staff report proposed the committees meet quarterly, with the final meeting being a neighborhood summit meeting similar to ones previously conducted by the city. As a compromise, the council decided to first hold a summit meeting to gauge interest in forming committees. 

"I think we will discover needs in our neighborhood that we had no idea that exist," Davis added. 

   

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11 comments

Anonymous said...

No surprise here about Hume not in favor of more community input in their government. He has never been one to elicit public participation in our local government. Hume is more of a monarch-like elected official in that given his elitist view of people, he would rather no one ever show up at council meetings and contribute; let alone speak with a dissenting opinion. Bob Felts is a classic example of one who stood up to Hume only to have Hume’s wrath unleashed upon him.

Detrick, on the other hand, has forgotten his roots. He was all about public participation when he was on the citizen side. Or maybe it was all a façade in that Detrick aligned himself with people who were all about public participation in order for them to do all the work to ensure that a Walmart Supercenter wasn’t built right across the street from his gated exclusive property; and for them work their butts of getting him elected to the city council.

Did we really know the real Detrick back then anyway? After all, every word he spoke at council meetings were speeches written for him. However, as we have come to see from the dais, Detrick is just obnoxious and only speaks, when he does, with breath-taking arrogance.

Maybe that is why of late the only two words Detrick can say is “Ditto Hume!”

Anonymous said...

None of the councils discussions centered around the topic, just missing the point entirely. The only one who did seem to be somewhat in favor was Cooper. As you can see they're playing to an empty house and most likely that is the way they want it. Holding a summit meeting to gauge interest in forming committees? Council has lost their way...few neighbors will want to waste their time. Been there...done that!

Anonymous said...

I did get a chuckle out of Mr. Hume's comment, "I see this as a solution in search of a problem." Typical political statement meaning, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Thinkin' that's pretty much their process in working out what we taxpayers might erroneously think is a problem.

Connie said...

Back in 2006, the Elk Grove Community Connection held the first community-wide meeting because many of us realized we didn't know much about other areas of Elk Grove.

So we reached out to our city’s community leaders, asking for a leader of each group to come and speak so that we could all learn about each other at one time in one room. It was a huge success and we had a list of topics that community wide we wanted the city to work on. Over 200 people attended the first meeting.

As part of the grand rules when the invitations were sent out, listening on the sidelines, but not allowed to participate in any manner, were elected officials and candidates of the both the Cosumnes CSD and the city of Elk Grove.

Here is a partial list of the representation. I won’t list the names of individual leaders as I didn’t ask their permission.

• Sheldon Community Association
• Quail Ranch Estates Association
• Fallbrook Neighborhood Association
• Fallbrook Neighborhood Association
• South County Citizens for Responsible Growth
• Laguna West Association
• The Camden Neighborhood Association
• Franklin Reserve Neighborhood Association
• Elk Grove Coalition Advocating Proper Planning
• Greater Sheldon Road Estates Homeowners Association
• Old Town Elk Grove Foundation Information
• Silvergate Homeowners Association
• Elk Grove Community Garden
• Community Organization Structures
• Elk Grove Historical Society
• Elk Grove Matters

Several of the concerns were put forth to the Elk Grove City Council as ordinances and were ultimately passed. So I do agree that we can be proactive here because we have proven, as a whole, we can be effective.

Anonymous said...

.


Might be a huge waste of time in a town by the developers, of the developers and FOR the developers.

.

Bob L said...

Gary Davis plants this concept as if it will be useful to the city.

Fact is, it's all about Davis being able to list all the great things he's done for our city at the time of his next election cycle. It has absolutely NOTHING to do about how much he cares for the citizens and their views. He doesn't care about anyone but himself. He's totally narcisistic.

All of those councilmen are having a great time knowing they've run off every caring citizen that ever took the time to attend meetings and share their views. - They have built their house of Marxist rule as line their pockets with the money of developers.

History confirms that any such committee would be totally ignored by the council. It would be a useless endeavor on all fronts with the exception of Davis using it as a campaign bullet point.

I dare anyone to challenge these statements.

Lynn said...

Bob L,

This just maybe a way of bringing all the neighborhoods together; we could meet in a room we all are already paying for...however this time instead of believing the "city" will carry a torch forward and really get something done it just may be a means of getting people together. Maybe what will come of this; getting people or representatives of neighborhoods at every city council meeting and getting the word spread about what is truly going on in our city. Yes way to many caring individuals have been run off. This needs to change! I use to say I went to council meetings because it is free live entertainment and allows me an opportunity to practice public speaking. However it is not free; we all paid for the building and we all pay for the decisions the leaders are making. Democracy is not free and it is more costly when taxpayers do not participate and allow "developer delight" and "MND alright" to continue. Maybe...just maybe the neighborhood committee would be a method we can get the word out and spread the word! I asked for information about the Sphere of Influence to be in the newsletter....hmmm.....Do you know how many residents did not know about this during the mayoral election? Way to many! Do you know who is paying for this??????WE ARE. Do you know who pays for the developing blight as raw land is paved over ???? WE DO..... Maybe just maybe this committee won't just be about a Davis sound bite...Maybe it could be about more.
This concept won't be useful to the city...It will be useful to US!!! Do you think some would want everyone who lives here to really know what goes on???? Land use decisions, assessment increases etc.......

Anonymous said...

After watching the council meeting and reading the staff report, it look like the city has been doing quite a bit already to keep this lines of communication open with the residents and business of Elk Grove.

Link to the staff report-

http://www.elkgrovecity.org/documents/agendas/attachments/attachments/2014/05-28-14_10.4.pdf

IMO - The council made the right decision to move slowly and have another summit to test the water if there really is a desire and need for this committee.

There seems always be very negative comments on the council as a whole and personal attacks on a couple of the council members. IMO - the folks doing the attack have an axe to grind. Very sad.

I have watched most of the council meeting over the last decade and even though I do not always agree with all the decisions, I believe the Council and and City as a whole are doing a good job. Most of the folks that I talk with are happy with the city and the level of services.

Michael Monasky said...

Bob L, I agree with your conclusions about the council members' loyalties to the builders/developers; but I don't think Karl Marx would endorse the council's decisions to live beyond our means, destroy our environment, etc.
Marx would not ignore the findings of the Multicultural and Trails committees and would look at restoration of the commons through such endeavors.
The reason why 23 of us applied for the one planning commission vacancy is because we understand that land planning is where it's at.
I've been asking the council to reassign community planning advisory councils for each of the four council districts. Twenty-three divided by four is nearly six members per district.
The city could have already had another public advisory resource like that, but Hume calls it another layer of bureaucracy.
There are two reasons for Davis' proposal: to give $36,000 worth of staff time and trinkets to some community neighborhood association leaders, and to enhance the Neighborhood Watch program.
The first is superfluous, and the second interferes with Cooper's concept of cops.

Anonymous said...

We probably should do a Feasibility Study......

Gweneth said...

I have to agree with Bob, above. Our city leaders have made it pretty clear they don't listen to community input. Rather they do what they want for their reasons, nothing to do with the actual betterment of our city.

It's sad but true.

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