Elk Grove Council Member Suen Hears Concerns, Ideas at Meet and Greet Sessions

February 19, 2015 | As part of his outreach effort, Elk Grove City Council Member Daren Suen conducted two meet and greet meetings  thi...

February 19, 2015 |

As part of his outreach effort, Elk Grove City Council Member Daren Suen conducted two meet and greet meetings  this week.

Suen, who was appointed to the District 1 vacancy created when Jim Cooper was elected to California Assembly, held two sessions this week and has another scheduled for next week.
Elk Grove City Council Member Daren Suen (left) and 
Congressman Dr. Ami Bera. 

At last night's meeting in the Pavilion Building at the Elk Grove Regional Park, Suen held a discussion with a lively audience who peppered him with questions and numerous concerns. Suen heard concerns about the escalating costs of the city's various projects, road maintenance, the proposed sports facility and plans for the city's geographic expansion.

When Suen was asked what his three priorities for the city are, he said getting the long-delayed Outlet Collection at Elk Grove open, creating jobs and transforming the city into a destination.

"One of the visions of the city is to make it a destination place," he said. "To that end, as a sort of entertainment venue. The latest thing on the books is the aquatics center, and some sort of sports complex."

One person in attendance expressed concern that the city was spending too much money to make it a destination for others, but neglecting the needs of current residents.  

"Where is all the money going to come from," Suen was asked.

As the discussion proceeded, another participant was unabashed in their criticism of the city council's more recent priorities. 

"We have all these balls in the air, we don't have enough money to do the basics," the participant said. "We don't have enough money for drainage, we don't have enough money for roads, but these idiots are talking about a sports complex, buying land outside the city, doing a Veterans hall. All those things are fabulous, but we are not made of money."

At Wednesday night's meeting at the Wackford Center many of the same topic were covered.

In addition to Suen, Elk Grove Council member Steve Detrick was in attendance and participated in what was essentially a group discussion of the city's future challenges.  

Also making an appearance during Tuesday's session was Congressman Dr. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove). Back in the district for a one week Congressional recess, Bera discussed water policy and transit funding. 

Suen will conclude his series of meetings when he holds a session at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 26, at the Laguna Town Hall.    

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Anonymous said...

"transforming the city into a destination".

I keep hearing that word "destination" over and over...bring in tourists. Who in the heck is going to come to EG for a vacation? How about instead of DESTINATION, we ask and focus on, "how can we make Elk Grove a model community of great diversity, harmony and economic opportunities for residents and citizens"?

Having said that, it's great that we had a councilperson who was willing to spend his time listening to the people. Perhaps this will open the door to city hall where we all feel welcome to speak again.

Warren Buffett said...

"Suen held a discussion with a lively audience who peppered him with questions and numerous concerns".

Now I know why the other Councilmembers haven't had these type of meetings before. Poor Suen, he's a newbie still. Give a couple a months and it will be business as usual.

Connie said...

From where I sat, Darren didn't seem the least bit unnerved by the so-called “peppered questions.” In fact, he was asked questions that are on the minds of a lot of folks, most assuredly, “Where are we going to get the money?”

Also addressed were police services. Among cities of our same population, Elk Grove is second from the bottom in ratio of officers to population: .8% per 1,000. While most would agree, Elk Grove is a very safe city in which to live, crime is on the increase and the need for more officers will be in the future to keep our city safe.

Safe streets doesn't just encompass police services, but also public works in that well maintained streets attract new residents and businesses alike; not to mention those of us who live here want our streets to be routinely maintained. The price tag for road improvements over the next five years is 10 million dollars. We already know there is no money.

The projected drought and water issues were also discussed. However, public works projects, public safety, drought, drainage, and planning aren't “sexy” and don’t garner the media coverage, headlines, photo ops, or loud applause from council chambers; but they are integral components to ensure our quality of life.

It was stressed that the Council has all of these gigantic plans, but we have yet to finish one project. Stressing, in a “peppered manner,” that one multi-million dollar project should be finished before taking on all the rest, is sound fiscal management, as it will be the residents of Elk Grove who will be footing the bills here.

Darren is very smart, extremely articulate, has both the education and practical experience needed. Only one other council member, Pat Hume, has direct planning experience, and on several agenda items with complex planning issues involved, he has already shown his stuff.

Warren Buffett said...

To Connie above, just like the college professor says on the first day of class, "everyone starts out with an "A", and it's up to you to keep it. I agree, let's give Darren the benefit of the doubt, as 'time' is the true test. I hope you are right and he withstands the temptation to sell-out like so many others who preceded him.

We need a local Jimmy the Greek to keep posting odds as we go along...oops, Greek was probably not the best word!

Lynn said...

Elk Grove: Developers Delight, MND is alright.

What will get the dead mall done? More homes!

I agree with you Connie both Hume and Suen are very smart and articulate. Both will get the SOI through along with the JPA connector(and I would disagree with it being an expressway or moving traffic more efficiently with its 35 signals....it is all about more homes and growth)

Both men are all about home developers.
Am I against growth? NO....I am against how it is being done...this sprawl benefits NO ONE but those who build it and leave!

Am I expecting any change with this new councilmember....No....

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a little off topic, but what in the heck is with all the trees being removed in that Senior Community? I did a shortcut through there this past weekend and in looking down a side street saw that many trees in front of the homes had been taken out. It looked horrible...is it because of the drought and they died? Maybe I can ask Mr. Suen at the meeting Thursday...City Council must know about this or I would think they should. If we don't have water available for front lawns then we better change our "Destination" outlook.

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