Elk Grove Citizens Seek Info on Using Old Town Parcel, Agendas

May 10, 2013 | During Wednesday night's Elk Grove City Council meeting two citizens sought information on procedures for obtain...

May 10, 2013 |

During Wednesday night's Elk Grove City Council meeting two citizens sought information on procedures for obtaining use of the city's recently purchased lot in Old Town and how one can get an item placed on the city council agenda for consideration. The two inquires were made during the public comment section of the meeting.

Elk Grove resident Lynn Wheat inquired on how an item might be placed on the agenda for council consideration. Wheat, who noted she regularly attends council meetings, said she was asked by an acquaintance on how an item might get placed on the agenda.

"They were just wondering how a resident or a citizen would be able to request an item to be agendized," Wheat said. "And I wasn't able to answer that question."

Wheat went on to say she was not aware of how a resident could request to have an item placed on the agenda for council consideration.  

"So if that could be put on the website or spoken to tonight, so we can all be aware of how our house works I would appreciate it," she added. 

"I think that is a good suggestion," Mayor Gary Davis said. "The answer is you simply can come to a council meeting and ask us all. You can shoot an Email to one of us and ask us."

Davis went on to say that is was probably a good idea to put that information on the city's website.

Mark Forster of Elk Grove also inquired how an individual or group could get permission to use the vacant city-owned lot in Old Town. Since the city purchased the parcel last fall, the site has been used for a city-sponsored seasonal ice rink and most recently as a monthly food truck event co-sponsored by Mayor Gary Davis. 

"What is the availability to get that land," Forster asked. "Is it available to rent, or for any business owner to use."

Forster went on to say that he is a local business owner and is trying to find out the availability to use the parcel. 

Addressing the inquiry city manager Laura Gill said interested parties need "to get hold of somebody in my office to see if the land is available for your event and all that we ask is that you don't have anything on there that would incur a cost to the city."

Gill also said at the next council meeting there will be a use policy put forward.

"We frankly want that property to be used in order to bring events and to bring folks down to Old Town Elk Grove," Gill said. "To the extent that we can make that happen, that is what we like."

Forster also asked if monthly food truck event co-sponsored by Davis is a city sponsored.

"That event is put on SactoMoFo, which is the food truck organizer and myself " Davis said.   

Forster went to say he thought there was some confusion to whose event that belonged to and asked Davis if he wanted to set up a booth at the event, how could he participate.

"I can tell you right now, just show up," Davis said. "We've allowed anybody who has asked to a have a booth there." 

The next SactoMoFo and Mayor Davis food truck event in Old Town Elk Grove is scheduled for Wednesday, June 5 from 5 - 8 p.m.  

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Warren Buffett said...

Old Town merchants appear to be disconnected from the events that would potentially benefit them. For example, the web page for the Old Town Elk Grove Foundation (http://www.oldtownelkgrovefoundation.org/#!__spring-festival/sponsors) has a page for the upcoming chili festival. The only paid sponsors are Bell Bros., Niello VW, Verizon Wireless, and CSD and the City. On the other hand, who will feel like getting a haircut, day spa makeover, fortune told, or law office visit with a belly full of chili??? Come to think of it, the ice rink was the same way. A lot of tax money has been pouring into Old Town over the years--when will we see the payoff? Lease rates and sales tax revenue are probably dismal. Just sayin...

Jill said...

After watching the exchange between Mr. Forster, Ms. Gill and Mayor Davis it seems His Honor has been, at a minimum, some advance preferential treatment. If the city were to follow proper protocol, it seems they would have developed and communicated some guidelines prior to this inquiry.

I supposed it would be interesting to see Mr. Davis' and the food truck operators certificate of insurance for the events, if it even exist.

One other note, I wonder if Mr. Davis would welcome a booth from local GOP's or say the Sacramento Soccer team. His honor did say no one has yet to be denied.

Anonymous said...

Wow! How informative our city manager is...REALLY.."call someone in my office?" Who might that someone be? She couldn't provide a more professional reply? How about a phone number & contact name? And our council members accepted such a flimsy answer. This group once again has shown their lack of "connection" to this community. Davis should have known better than to tell the citizen to "just show up". What happens if that guy shows up with a table full of cigarettes for sale...a lawful product for sure; but clearly not a product intended for a "family style" night out. What about a "naughty ladies" table. Oh, that would go over like gangbusters.

And the answer to Ms. Wheat's question about how a citizen goes about getting an item placed on the agenda. It was very evident that the system doesn't allow a citizen such a luxury....but all we need to do is "contact one of us". Great! I'd like to see an outspoken member of the citizenry get ANYTHING on the agenda. This council is not interested in what the citizens think. Unfortunately, they all have fallen so far beneath what I thought was possible. It is such a shame they have all put their personal agendas on a pedestal as to push the citizen down into a hole.

Someone who used to care said...

related to Anon above;

Mr. Hume, Mr. Davis, Mr. Detrick, I know you all read this blog. This is not one disgruntled citizen with nothing better than do than complain, his/her comments are the thoughts of MANY of us who formerly attended council meetings and tried to contribute to our community by showing up and offering our thoughts for the future of our city. - We have all been ran off by callous statements from you or from staff (not once, but many times). Some have been threatened, yet you open every meeting with the statement that the city "welcomes" citizens to attend and bring their concerns to the council. #@!*(!&

Anon is right. It's all about personal agendas of the council as directed by staff and developers. Your actions are totally transparent. At least you've done that right.

Anonymous said...

"Someone who used to care said"

How true and it is such a shame that the people who cared so much about this community and spoke up at meetings with suggestions or questions have had their lip zipped by threats or embarrassing remarks by staff & council.

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