Video - Councilmen Detrick, Suen Praise Elk Grove Resident's Idea Defending At-Large Voting - 'You Articulated it Very Well'

March 29, 2018 |  

Although several residents have repeatedly urged the Elk Grove City Council to consider a discussion switching to a more democratic form of representation, they have consistently dug in their heals and have refused even to acknowledge the idea. Four city council members - Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, Stephanie Nguyen, and Darren Suen - have resisted the idea of switching from the current at-large system to the more equitable by-district system of representation.    

Notwithstanding that the city is facing a credible threat of a lawsuit with the potential to expose taxpayers to a multi-million dollar settlement for alleged civil and voter rights infractions, there is at least one person in the community who is regularly coming to their defense. Based on the comments and the immediate response from the council on requests from that resident at the Wednesday, March 28 city council meeting, this individual appears to have become an influence peddler over council members, particularly Detrick and Suen. 

Following the comments of longtime Elk Grove resident Randy Bekker at the March 28 meeting, the council immediately sprang to action responding to his request. In a spatter of remarks and a prepared statement, Bekker urged the council to defend the at-large system and to educate the electorate on the benefits of Elk Grove's form of governance.  

As soon as Bekker finished his comment, Suen quickly endorsed the idea. "I actually think that is a pretty good idea," he said.

Then with the consent of his three colleagues in attendance (Mayor Steve Ly was absent), Suen instructed city attorney Jonathan Hobbs to put together a presentation on the merits of an at-large system.  

Interestingly, Bekker, who has quickly gained sway over the council and has come to their aid on other occasions, is not known to be a financial contributor to any of the council members.

Detrick, who along with with Suen are the the council's most aggressive defenders of the at-large system, heaped praise on Bekker's remarks. 

"You articulated it very well," Detrick told Bekker. 

See the video below.  

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Eye on Elk Grove said...

In John Maxwell’s book 'The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" he writes, “A leaders’ potential is determined by those closest to him.” Steve Detrick, when he first came on the Elk Grove political scene fighting a Walmart, had an unbeatable inner circle who worked determinedly to catapult him in three short years to the Elk Grove City Council. Sadly, Detrick alienated every single one of them.

But hey, by the looks of it, Detrick has a new confidant.

D.J. Blutarsky said...

wikipedia: A shill, also called a plant or a stooge, is a person who publicly helps or gives credibility to a person or organization without disclosing that they have a close relationship with the person or organization. Shills can carry out their operations in the areas of media, journalism, marketing, confidence games, or other business areas. A shill may also act to discredit opponents or critics of the person or organization in which they have a vested interest through character assassination or other means.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

D.J., great comment as usual. In the past, those inner circles made no secret when publicly supporting certain council members. They believed in transparency and did not hide those facts from the public when speaking at Elk Grove City Council meetings.

Is that happening here, as you appear to imply? Doesn't appear to be the case.

Josie said...

Just a thought.....could it be the reason the City had to hire two contractors to gauge public support for the Sales Tax Measure is in large part due to at-large voting? Could this have been eliminated had we been voting at a by-district system? In this case each Councilperson would have been providing input on how his/her District supported this. It would be practically impossible for that to be done with the current system, therefore needing to hire contractors at ??cost to the city unnecessarily. I just did a small survey in my neighborhood and found that most had no idea who their councilperson was for our district. Why is that????

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