Voices of Elk Grove

EGN is pleased to introduce a new weekly feature -- Voices of Elk Grove. Our first contributor is Lynn Wheat who delivered the following sta...

EGN is pleased to introduce a new weekly feature -- Voices of Elk Grove. Our first contributor is Lynn Wheat who delivered the following statement at Wednesday's city council meeting.

The intent of VOEG is to provide our readers a format to communicate their thoughts about most anything to our audience. Based on the many thoughtful and well written comments posted recently, we are hopeful that many regular readers will contribute.

If you are interested in contributing a fully attributed story, please contact us at elkgrovenews@yahoo.


By Lynn Wheat

I have had no intentions of attending any more council meetings however two situations prompted me.

It was through the social adventures with my daughter I met young men from Elk Grove who when asked the question “What do you think of Elk Grove” freely expressed their opinions. A sampling of the responses to the “They said they would not be accepted or feel comfortable attending a meeting here. I moved from the city because my life style was not accepted and there are no jobs. The infrastructure sucks; what were they thinking. I would not move back. Extend the city limits-that is not going to make things better.”

The second situation occurred at my milestone birthday party. My uncle said I know you wanted no gifts however I think you may find meaning from this: a book entitled “An Unreasonable Woman”. This book is about a woman who led the fight for environmental justice. Just as another book, the Bible, continually renews my faith and hope I believe this was a right on time book and will add to the hope that sustains me. I just will not go away when decisions made within these chambers will have impacts that go well beyond my lifetime. Short sighted decisions made around financial gains are just not acceptable.

This older generation needs to think beyond the financial gains and envision an environmentally healthy community. Providing housing is important however if clean air and water is not available along with sustainable jobs the houses will not be beneficial to any but the short sighted decision makers and home developers who walk away with their money.

I have attended HCP meetings and I leave those meetings with grave concerns as the word “assume” is so freely used. Decades ago I learned from my math teacher that this particular word divided into fractions of 1/3 adds a meaning that ought not to be ignored.

I discovered the terminology I needed “environmental justice”. That is what I am about as an activist. In Elk Grove I may stand alone however I will speak loudly in what I believe; it is my right within this democracy.

I found money most certainly has influential power over decisions and outcomes. However this last city election demonstrated votes can have an impact and change is possible. The power and the legacy of the decisions are left with you. I know the legacy I will leave behind; do you know yours? I pose a question for everyone here “How do you ethically and morally feel about your decisions and your legacy?”

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Anonymous said...

I sympathize with your comments Lynn but unfortunately you will not find a more deadened ear to your comments than the current Mayor of the City of Elk Grove. He is a complete captive of real estate spectators and developer interests and does not give a damn about the long term consequences of his actions. With no children and no legacy he is what Donald Rumsfeld would refer to as a "dead ender" and he intends to take the rest of us with him...

Malleus Codex said...

My experience (or total lack thereof) with my City Councilman Mayor Pat Hume is that he has never replied to any of the several emails that I have sent to him. Councilman Detrick has ALWAYS responded. I hope that Steve decides to run for Mayor in 2010.

Anonymous said...

The EG "leaders" are in EG politics to further their own personal pocketbooks. That is the bottom line.

They thought they could ride the wave EG expansion and make a few bucks doing it, but it crashed into a solid brick wall and now, it's taking EG down the sewer with them.

Anonymous said...

We would all be better for reflecting upon and having the courage to answer your question… “How do you ethically and morally feel about your decisions and your legacy?”

One correction is necessary, however, to your comments Lynn… You do NOT stand alone. Thank you for being the voice for environmental justice.

Here’s another statement to reflect upon for all of us who complain, but don’t stand up as Ms. Wheat will continue to do:
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” -- Mahatma Gandhi

Anonymous said...

I am Completely refreshed and encouraged by Ms. Wheats' comments and to learn of her personal stand for environmental justice. You are not alone, and the rural communities are your allies. Reach out to us and we will reach back. I am so pleased that I have been told by my friends and associates in Wilton about this media outlet and to learn of your commitment to a voice against short-sighted actions and monetary gains that will leave our world in a sad and desperate state of affairs. Thank You Ms Wheat.

Anonymous said...

If Mayor Hume is a dead ear to the people, why did the people elect him? Impeach him for poor leadership, misleading the people, and degrading the quality of life of citizens of the area. To my knowledge City Planner Gill and Council member Gary Davis have their heads on straight. The others don't.
Admittedly I am not from Elk Grove; I live in Wilton, and I am part of the Wilton Action Group. I walk the Cosumnes River every morning with my dad in the summers between school semesters and work, for exercise and peace of mind, but that peace of mind is slowly slipping away. I look into the riverbed and see pools of stagnant water, Catfish and Salmon fry slowly dying or dead in the airless water, the only creatures profiting from it being the raccoons, skunks and occasional White Egret that comes to capitalize. The river becomes a monument to the affects of man’s greed, as when my father was a child, there was always water in the river. Since I could walk, I have known the river to run dry every summer by late July, while there never seems to be a shortage of water upriver in Rancho Murieta and places else. The same exact fate awaits our area with Elk Grove’s ill-conceived Sphere of Influence, which promises to leave the East Elk Grove/Sheldon area drier than a good martini. And if the expansion encroaches on the floodplain, the watershed will be constricted, increasing flooding in Elk Grove’s East side and washing out prime farmland and the main arteries of the area, endangering the homes of those who moved to the newly minted areas who were errantly promised a pleasant enjoyable life by the very people responsible for the over-extension of the city’s reach.
The proposed expansion of Elk Grove's Boundaries is NOT the fix, it is the folly. It will only intensify what is already wrong and deficient with the city's infrastructure; can you say water shortage, increase in crime and decrease in police/fire dept coverage per square mile, not to mention increased maintenance costs for streets and parks that don‘t need to be built, and therefore HIGHER TAXES for WORSE public service in an over-stretched services network?? Adding that to the expenses literal, moral and environmental of encroaching on vital agricultural land to the south (Eschinger Road, etc) and priceless natural spaces to the east (Deer Creek/Cosumnes River area). What the City Council is doing for *developer* moneys is criminal. Surely, who else would have the motive to bulldoze 10 thousand acres, when Elk Grove ALREADY has around 8 thousand untouched acres in its south-central area? I'm not talking about the part of the Sphere of Influence section that includes the block of land stretching to Eschinger Road.
Why not build in the area that ISN'T being contested by anyone, the part west of the Auto mall and south of Elk Grove Blvd, and the other pockets of emptiness that are sitting there? Area that isn't as environmentally sensitive as the FLOOD PLAIN to the east of the city, the flood plain which holds the priceless habitat for the birds and animals and trees that help make our area more than just the run-of the mill suburban satellite of Sacramento? What can we do to keep that area and the sensitive area near Franklin from dying the way Laguna Creek has died? And since WHEN does Elk Grove really need to grow that much more anyway? Why not grow UP (figuratively and literally) instead of OUT? Elk Grove’s City leaders can’t even complete the build of a Shopping mall, let alone put it in a logical place such as the center of the city, where there is PLENTY OF LAND to build it? Instead they build it opposite of the two largest propane depositories in the entire county? Wise suburban sprawl should be vertical or at least planned with nature and the nature-conscious lifestyle of unplanned unpaved, non “man-scaped” vistas in mind, not horizontally, with nature and the sanity that goes along with it buried under pavement., torn out of the ground and pushed out by developer-corrupted politicians.

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