How Much Will RECALL Influence The Winner of The Elk Grove City Council District 4 Race?

September 12, 2014 | Not long ago, a person with long experience in planning and development offered up this historical analysis of the e...

September 12, 2014 |

Not long ago, a person with long experience in planning and development offered up this historical analysis of the engines that drive business in California's Central Valley. 

Paraphrasing President Calvin Coolidge’s famous saying about the business of American is business, this experienced pro mused that real estate development and construction is the business of the Central Valley. The history of Sacramento County, the region and most certainly Elk Grove is testimony to this.

Closer to home, most Elk Grove political observers know the groups providing the majority of funding to successful candidates are from Real Estate, Construction, And Local Labor – RECALL.  
What does President Coolidge's famous quote about
business have in common with Elk Grove? 

In the race for Elk Grove’s District 4 city council seat, two of the candidates are already beneficiaries of RECALL. 

In reports filed over the last couple weeks alone, candidates Nancy Chaires and Steve Ly have reported legally-mandate large contributions, exclusive of in-kind ones, of $3,500 and $5,250 respectively. Chaires’ contributions came from a law firm whose candidate is an influential real estate developer and a statewide real estate political action committee, while all but $1,000 of Ly’s came from a construction owner’s trade group and a Sacramento-based real estate political action committee. 

Although local labor did not make recent contributions that required immediate reporting, Chaires and Ly have received money from local labor groups as documented by reports filed in July for the six months ending June 30.

Chaires’ largest single contribution, $5,000, came from the local grocers union. Ly received a total of $2,600 from locally-based unions representing electricians, laborers, carpenters and college instructors.  

The connection of construction-based unions to RECALL efforts are obvious, and in a less subtle way, so are local grocers. Grocery union members interests are two-fold – keep Walmart and other non-union stores from further expansion, and if more residential units are constructed, more grocery stores with union workers will be built. 

There is one other major aspect to this, and it involves another acronym – SOI.

Last year when the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) indicated they would deny the Elk Grove’s sphere of influence – SOI – application, the city withdrew it before the formal vote and put it into hibernation. By doing so, the city can return to the Sacramento LAFCO with the same environmental impact report at such time there is a board seated who is more amenable to the proposed 8,000-acre expansion.   

With a slowly recovering economy, RECALL is undoubtedly aware that at the right time, the SOI can come out of hibernation and once again be pursued. Even though RECALL pretty much has across-the-board support off those council members who will be seated come November 5, they can never be too sure what winds of fate blow in politics. 

Call the “investment” in Chaires’ and Ly a pretty low-cost insurance policy for RECALL’s interests in the SOI. 

The business and politics of Elk Grove is, after all, real estate and construction. This lesson is not lost on current and future Elk Grove City Council Members. 

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2 comments

Anonymous said...

Elk Grove is destined to be just another Valley armpit. Sprawl with no character, no culture, no refinement, no fine dining, no class.

Just another "Joe Lunchbucket" type of town.

Strip centers, fast food joints, garish neon signs, low income housing projects, nail salons, gun stores, smoke shops, Big Box stores and miles and miles of sprawling oozing bland subdivisions.

Ly's lies said...

Steve Ly is a liar. He said he would serve his term on the EG School Board. But wait, two years in he's trying to move on up to city council. Keep your word and serve out your four year term.

And really, a collaboration between the City of Elk Grove and the EGUSD? Good God NO! The last thing education in EG needs is to have the city council's hand on education $$$.

Don't vote for Chaires because you don't like where her money is coming from. But don't vote for LY because he lied!

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