Using a different tact, first of 4 Elk Grove 'Pizzeria' town hall meetings being held tonight for California Northstate University

Tonight the first of four pizzeria town hall meetings are being held in Elk Grove on Califonia Northstate University's proposed $900 million hospital project in the city's Stonelake neighborhood.

According to Joshua Wood of Region Business, who is assisting in the organization of the town halls, the meetings will give residents in each of the city's four city council districts an opportunity to learn about the project. Since its December 2018 unveiling, the project has generated considerable controversy with residents, especially in the Stonelake, Laguna West, and Lakeside neighborhoods on the city's westside.

Tonight's meeting will be held between 6 and 8 p.m. at Fat Mike's Pizza at 8970 Grant Line Road. The meeting is in District 2 and is being conducted by Pat Hume, who represents the district on the Elk Grove City Council. 

According to Joshua Wood of Region Business, who assisted in organizing the meetings, the architect for the project, spokesperson Brian Holloway, and CNU's president and chief executive officer Alvin Cheung are scheduled to attend the session. 

The three other meetings are being held by councilmembers Steve Detrick, Darren Suen, and Stephanie Nguyen. Detrick's meeting is on February 18 at Steve's Pizza on West Stockton Boulevard, and Nguyen's is set for March 2 at the Round Table pizzeria on Bruceville Road. 

Wood said District 1 councilmember Suen will also hold a pizzeria town hall, but details of that meeting are not available. Suen hosted a community meeting in District 1 on November 19 at Dreaming Dog Brewery that was not well received by participants, most of whom opposed the project.

The pizzeria town hall meetings represent a shift in strategy for CNU and Cheung. During a city council meeting last summer, Hume warned Cheung CNUs community outreach efforts were failing,  and they were quickly spending their political capital with the city council members. 

Although Detrick, Hume, and Nguyen are assisting CNU in their outreach efforts, none of them have formally staked out positions on the project. Conversely, Suen and Mayor Steve Ly have voiced support for the project. 

Additionally, CNU has used the services of Stonelake resident and former Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis as an emissary of goodwill. Instead of building goodwill, Davis' aggressiveness in his advocacy of the project, especially on social media, and was poorly received and widely criticized. 

The social media postings on the three town halls did not disclose if they are no-host or not.      

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Spoons and Forks said...

It sure sounds like these other three council members are in Cheung's pocket. At least CNU should cough up some cash - Cheung can say, "Let them eat pizza!"

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