Elk Grove Spending $47k With Democratic Consultant To Poll Voters Appetite For Sales Tax Increase

October 28, 2015 | The City of Elk Grove will spend over $47,000 to see if local voters are ready to swallow a possible sales tax incr...

October 28, 2015 |

The City of Elk Grove will spend over $47,000 to see if local voters are ready to swallow a possible sales tax increase. The contract to conduct the poll and other media services with The Lew Edwards Group was approved by City Manager Laura Gill.

The possibility of a ballot measure to increase sales taxes to help fund various public works projects surfaced during September 23, 2015 Elk Grove City Council meeting. It was at that meeting when Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis, who was rebuffed by all four of his colleagues, floated the idea of a sales tax increase. 

According to the agreement, the contractor will provide a host of services including examination of media clips about "the City and its service and revenue challenges;" review of past opinion research; and oversee development of opinion research that could include polling of up to 500 respondents. The work is scheduled to be completed within eight weeks of the contract's execution which was on October 20. 

Under his leadership, Davis has pushed the city to pursue several major public works projects including an aquatics center featuring an Olympic-sized pool and 10-meter diving platform, a world-class soccer facility and stadium, a new senior center, a Veterans hall, and an animal shelter. 

While Davis has touted the projects as engines of economic development, with the exception of the aquatics center, no specific funding sources for the projects have been identified. Although the aquatics center has $14 million in fees collected from a Mello Roos fees in the Laguna Ridge area already earmarked, the project is already $6 million over budget based on current design desires.  

An Oakland-based communications, government affairs, and political consulting firm, The Lew Edwards Group has represented several municipalities. They have also represented numerous Democratic candidates, the California Democratic Party, and several unions.  

 


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9 comments

Anonymous said...

Our City Manager and Electeds never cease to amaze me. The city set up a Go Fund Me account to raise $10,000.00 for the Animal Shelter and they then turn around and spend $47K to poll 500 voters. Why would the voters want to throw more money into the hands of the city when they have been such terrible stewards of our taxpayers funds to date.

Is this all this city does, gather around the table weekly and figure out another way to fleece the taxpayers of their hard earned cash? Also Mayor Davis...why was this not put to a vote at a City Council meeting and allow for public input? Instead it was hidden under Consent Items. Hopefully you'll get your ears full tonight at the City Council Meeting. Here's the Agenda for tonight....Consent Calendar item 8.3:

http://www.elkgrovecity.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_109585/File/cityclerk/citycouncil/2015/attachments/10-28-15_8.3.pdf

Anonymous said...

Nothing will happen. It will be the same 'ol...
Lynn will give an impassioned plea.
Mike Monasky might rail on the council for four minutes.
A motion, a second, 5 yeas and call the next item.

Connie said...

The idea was buried in the Consent Calendar. Try and find it if you didn't know the agenda item number. Two weeks ago it was just a suggestion and now we have already hired a consultant, spending $47K.

When did the Council even openly deliberate this issue?

Anonymous said...

Transparency is not high on the list for our city. Items placed on a consent calendar are a way to hide serious and often expensive decisions from the public. At the last council meeting there was an item where the city dispensed with the bidding process and awarded a hugh contract to Elk Grove Ford. Money means nothing to this city council...easy come, easy go!

http://www.elkgrovecity.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_109585/File/cityclerk/citycouncil/2015/attachments/10-14-15_8.11.pdf

Gallup said...

This has the makings of a push poll given what is stated here. 500 residents will be taking a 20 minute question poll.

So here goes:

• Do you enjoy living in Elk Grove?
• Do you support youth sports?
• Would you support a youth sports complex?
• Do you shop in Elk Grove?
• Do you think Elk Grove should have more amenities?
• Will you shop at the mall when it is completed?
• Do you believe the youth sports complex should be built in Elk Grove?

And 20 more questions just like that, and then to the final question. . . Given what you have answered: ”Would you be in favor of a sales tax increase?

And with that all 500 said, “Yes!”

We have just saved the taxpayers $47,000!

Anonymous said...

Mayor Davis et all, stick with being the Food Truck Capital of the World.

Connie said...

Agenda Item 8.3 was pulled. In my opinion, City Manager Laura Gill was very tight lipped when questioned about the poll.

Council member Darren Suen asked her about the questions – I am sure I am not the only one who emailed the Council – and was told that the Council would not see the questions ahead of time. When she was asked again about the specific questions to ensure they would not be in anyway considered a “push poll,” Gill responded that she would let them know.

I don’t know much about polls, but doesn’t the client have a right to see the questions ahead of time if they ask? One question Vice Mayor Pat Hume wants included is that the Elk Grove Unified School District is planning a bond measure for the ballot. Would the voters support both a school bond measure and a sales tax increase at the same time on the same ballot. What are the odds of the voters passing both of them? Hi Slim, I am None!

Lastly, what does that say about the polling company, not to mention the poll itself, if the client has to tell the polling company NOT to do a push poll?

Anonymous said...

First..I think there are much cheaper ways to take a poll than spending $47,000. The cities already using Go Fund Me for a project...kitty must be empty and they forgot to tell us. The city has wasted enough money on Feasibility Studies to have paid for the Animal Shelter and have it open and operational.

Since higher sales taxes are a factor in residents making larger purchases, will this really be the money maker for the city. Will residents take their dollars outside the community when purchasing an auto or other large household items? It's also a well known fact that higher sales taxes hit the low-income families the hardest.

Anonymous said...

Why should I pay more in taxes?

Quit building harebrained projects and throwing money away on wasteful feasibility studies and use the savings to pay for what ever the increased sales taxes are to cover.

Elk Grove is becoming a huge dumpster fire!

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