Pulling CNU from the Ashes and Scoring Political Points Along the Way - How the Mayor could be getting ready to pull a rabbit from the hat

Photo credit Neighbors Ensuring Stonelake Transparency. | 


By D.J. Blutarsky | Guest Opinion | 

Like a hurricane that has just passed overhead, the CNU political scene appears to be calm, like being in the eye of the storm. But behind the scenes, my guess is that the final touches are being whipped up to plot a political coup for Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen. No, I don't have a weather satellite, but the political weathervane sure seems to be pointing in that direction!

At last night's Elk Grove Planning Commission meeting, CNU was shot down for just about every reason I expected. Environmental, flooding, neighborhood impact, retail impact, etc. 

Did this signal the beginning of the end of Dr. Alvin Cheung's dream? Did years of intense lobbying, campaign contributing, mass mailings, and press coverage all go poof? 

Nope. 

His dream actually may have taken one more step towards reality. You might ask, how can this be -  how can a unanimous Planning Commission defeat spell success?

In the world of politics, if a defeat can be turned into a victory, then the bragging rights that go along with that can propel you right into higher office! Okay, let me get down to brass tacks. 

We know the Stonelakes residents are opposed to the project; the environmentalists are opposed to the project and have been known to sue; the affected business owners are obviously livid - is anyone happy with the project? Absolutely. The economic development proponents and the other more distant residents see no reason to deny it.

The Mayor is not going to let herself be trapped in a political tug-of-war where there are winners and losers. The best outcome is to seek a win-win. 

Of significance, the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project painted an unusually flattering analysis for the former mall site at Kammerer/99. If CNU were to build at the mall site, the EIR essentially states that all the problems go away. If you're CNU and hellbent on building at Stonelakes, well, the Planning Commission hearing probably was a dose of reality.

So, if you are an enterprising young politician with an eye on the State Assembly, wouldn't you want to pull CNU from the ashes and suggest they build at the mall site? The Mayor could proudly proclaim that she saved the project from defeat and found a win-win solution for bringing a teaching-hospital to Elk Grove! 

My hunch is this is not a new idea I just came up with. It has probably has been tossed about for quite a while, even before the EIR was prepared. 

If I'm correct, CNU probably needed to be convinced that it wouldn't fly at Stonelakes and last night's meeting might have been that lesson. Come to think of it, didn't Howard Hughes just sell that property? 

Just think of the economic development grants the City, County, and even the State are toying around with.  Hail to the Chief who saved this project!

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2 comments

Randy Bekker said...

Lol, you had me til you mentioned the mall site. If you would have done just a little digging in the dirt you would know the 66 acres are not available. The property was never available like some citizens an the city wants you to believe. To help enhance the Casino project once HHC pulled out of their idea of a mall the wheels turned to control the property next to the Casino. Boyd Gaming purchased the 66 mall acreage to ensure a better project an control what might be built next to the Casino. I do believe that at the other end of Kammerer rd close to I-5 a deal could be made. I do believe our Mayor, the CNU consultants could sway Alvin Cheung to let go of his only vision of an address that only guarantees more nails in a project coffin. The Mayor having a business commission could breathe new life in Stonelake Landing as a win win.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

One look at the Grantline Interchange and one can see there is a lot of vacant land that could be purchased and or rezoned for CNU's use. Just saying look at "the mall property" is not one option.

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