Elk Grove Ain't No Mayberry - It is a Big City and as it Grows, So Will The Problems

Nothing, in reality, compares to it, yet in many people's hearts, they like to view their community as having a Mayberry-type past. ...

Nothing, in reality, compares to it, yet in many people's hearts, they like to view their community as having a Mayberry-type past. A community where everyone knew each other and the biggest law enforcement challenge coming from an occasional out-of-town grifter or more usually letting Otis sleep of a bender.

Obviously, that fictional North Carolina town existed only on some Hollywood sound stage and in reality no community, not matter how nice, could compare to that. While Elk Grove's heritage is that of a Central Valley agricultural community, as our City Council members like to crow, we are the second largest city population-wise in Sacramento County with a bright future.

However, just what is in that bright future? Our manifest destiny seemingly dictates tens-of-thousand of more rooftops.

As the second largest city in the county, the problems facing the residents of Elk Grove will continually grow as the population grow. As we saw last week, Elk Grove Police arrested four juveniles in two separate incidents for attempted daytime residential burglaries.

To be sure no community is immune from kids skipping school and getting in trouble, much less last weekend's crime-wave, Elk Grove Police were able to respond quickly and catch them red-handed. Yet simple arithmetic tells us that as the population grows, there will be more truants and more stunts like these kids tried.

At our current size, law enforcement is adequately funded, but what happens when the population grows? Is their a tipping point with public finances that the ratio of police to population starts to lag? At what point does a city need to start addressing social issues with their limited financial resources?

Will police staffing be such that officers can quickly respond to in-progress burglaries or will more resources be dedicated to the myriad of problems that accompany more population, neglected infrastructure maintenance and rooftops? You cannot help but think of a larger permanent homeless population as our population grows.

If the city councilmen think they have their hands full with Elk Grove pet advocates who are demanding an animal shelter, what happens when the homeless population inevitably grows? No matter how they respond, it is going to cost money.

Even though dealing with homelessness usually falls to the county government, it is one of the big campaign issues in this year's Sacramento Mayoral race (see video below). Regardless of what your perspective of dealing with a homeless population is, the fact is that as we grow our population, this along with general increased criminal activity is a problem that we as taxpayers and residents will continually have to deal with from not only a humanitarian point of view but also a fiscal one.

Yes, Its Grow Time in Elk Grove and with it will be more people, more problems and a crummier quality of life. You can count on that.

So when you hear our Elk Grove City Councilmen talking about expanding the city's boundaries, keep all theses festering problems that we are currently dealing with in mind as well as other unknown other challenges and ask the five wise men exactly how they will deal with the problems because just as Donald J. Trump has a weird orange hairdo, these problems are coming.

Mayberry, we ain't!


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