Resident Comes to Defense of Elk Grove City Council, Urges Maintenance of 'From-District' Representation

Resident Randy Bekker supports city council
Elk Grove resident defends Elk Grove's from-district form of representation. 
March 16, 2016 |

Although several people urged the Elk Grove City Council to change to a by-district form of representation during the Wednesday, March 14 meeting, there was at least one person who rose to their defense of maintaining the current system.

Interspersed with several speakers who urged the city council to change to a by-district system, was Elk Grove resident Randy Bekker. In his comments which ran for almost five minutes, well past the established three-minute limit, Bekker used one of the council's arguments to defend the system that has been in place since the city was incorporated in 2000. (Bekker's entire commentary can be viewed below).

In the current from-district system, sometimes referred to as at-large, council members live in one defined geographic area but are elected on a citywide basis. A by-district system has council members live in one defined area and elected by voters in that area, not the entire city.

On several occasions over the last few years, residents have asked the city council to consider changing to the by-district system. Those requests included an incomplete effort initiated last fall to qualify a ballot initiative.

While that effort did not build the momentum needed to gather enough signatures, recently a new attempt appeared. That effort came in the threat of a lawsuit from on behalf of a civil rights group. 

It was that lawsuit and how the city responds that generated the comments requesting the city to make the switch. Bekker was the sole person speaking in defense of the current system and the city council.

In the past, Bekker has also come to the aid of issues supported by the city council. Most notably during hearings in early 2017 on the Wilton Rancheria's proposed casino, Bekker said it would be discriminatory to block the project.   

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