Elk Grove Charter Commission To Discuss Alternate Charter Proposal At Special Year End Meeting

UPDATED 12:20 PM Taking no break for the holidays, the Elk Grove City Charter Commission will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, Decemb...


Taking no break for the holidays, the Elk Grove City Charter Commission will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, December 30 at 6:00 pm.

Charged with presenting its final draft charter to the Elk Grove City Council by their first meeting of the new year on January 13, the commission has placed two different versions of the charter on the agenda.

Two drafts vary from council’s vision

During the last charter commission hearing on December 15, commissioners decided to include language in their proposed charter that the city council knowingly was opposed to.

In both draft charters the commissioner will discuss and likely submit to the city council includes a proposal to elect six council members on “by” district basis. In this scenario, council members will be from a specific geographic district and election by only voter from that district.

During last weeks charter commission deliberations, only commissioners Jimmie Johnson and Juanita Sendejas Lopez supported elections on a “from” district basis.

The city council has been on record as supporting the current “from” district council elections. Under this, council members are from a specific geographic but voted for by the entire city.

In both cases, the proposed charters include a mayor to be elected on a city wide basis. The Mayor's primary duties would be to preside over council meetings and other ceremonial roles. The position would other wise be one of seven votes on council matters.

The other significant change to both documents is the elimination of the public works section. In the "markup" version the wording remains but is marked up showing its deletion. In the "alternate" version the wording is completely removed.

The public works section has been a contentious issue that has pitted local labor organizations against several pro-business commissioners. Labor organizations, several of whom have financially supported current council members, want language included in the public works sections that would oblige the city to pay prevailing wages in any public work projects valued over $5,000. Pro-business commissioners favor a $50,000 minimum.

Another item discussed at last weeks meeting that did not make its way to either proposed tax language proposed by commissioner Jake Rambo. Rambo wanted the following included in a proposed charter that read as follows:
“The City shall not create, assess, or impose any fines, fees, or taxes other than in a manner consistent with the general law.”
At last weeks meeting, city attorney Susan Cochrane questioned the constitutionality of such wording. The item was tabled.

In an e-mail, Rambo said it may be discussed at the December 30 meeting depending on Cochran's findings.

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