Bargaining stage of grief - 'Darrenmandering' district maps for Suen and public objection

If we are to believe the words spoken by Elk Grove's city attorney Jonathan Hobbs and members of the Elk Grove City Council during their Wednesday, October 9 meeting, voters will be allowed to select council members in 2020 on a by-dsitrict basis.

Using Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's well-regarded stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance - city council observers agree we have been watching four city councilmembers - Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, Stephanie Nguyen, and Darren Suen go through the stages on the change to by-district voting.

Even though the four council members have shown and continue to show textbook examples of denial and anger, they are crossing over to the third state - bargaining. This stage presented itself in the last couple of public hearings. 

That bargaining was evident at the October 9 meeting with the presentation of district maps presented by the National Demographics Corporation that are attempting to shield Elk Grove Councilmember Darren Suen. As the District 1 representative, with each passing day, Suen's popularity is diminishing because of his support of the controversial California Northstate University hospital project in his district.  

Even though Suen council colleague Hume is still trying to tweak one proposed map to save Suen's political butt, the public was not having any of that. During public comments, 11 speakers discussed the matter (see video below).

Of those 11 speakers, 10 people, two of which opposed the change to by-district, said the city council should maintain the current maps for the 2020 election. The 11th speaker only said they continued to support the at-large system and did not comment on the maps. 

So as the four councilmembers go through the bargaining stage, will they consider public comments, or will they ignore them in favor of the Darrenmandered maps to help their colleague? If they do, at least one person has promised a lawsuit, but from their point of view, they are not paying for the litigation, so why not. 

One thing is for sure - it is unlikely the four will enter the acceptance stage on by-dsitrict voting. 

Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2019. All right reserved.


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