Elk Grove Mayoral Candidate Kevin Spease Discusses Community Feedback at Event

July 27, 2016 |

As the first challenger to enter the 2016 Elk Grove Mayoral race, Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Kevin Spease said an early part of his campaign would be what he called a listening tour. At a fundraising event held last night at the McConnell Family Estates Winery in Elk Grove, Spease shared some of the concerns he's heard over the last several months of campaigning.

Spease, who is one of three formally declared candidates to seek the office being vacated by Gary Davis, told the group of supporters last night that during his listening campaign phase, he has heard an array of concerns from community members. 

Spease said the most common concern he has heard is about crime. Noting that while crime rates are decreasing, Spease said people have told him that they hear more about local crimes. 

"The reality is that violent crime is in fact decreasing, and it has been for a while," he said. "The challenge is that property crime has not been decreasing; it is a challenge." 

Spease emphasized the Elk Grove Police Department "has done really well in spite of decreasing budgets from state legislatures" and the mandated early release of inmates from the state prison system.

Spease said the Police Department would need the continual support of the Mayor to help retain experienced officers, and help recruit candidates who reflect the City's diversity.

Among the other concerns Spease said he has heard were regarding completion of the unfinished Outlet Collection at Elk Grove shopping center, economic development, and infrastructure matters.

In reference to economic development, Spease took a jab at Davis, who until two weeks ago, was seeking reelection and was the presumed favorite. In 2014 Davis famously placed an advertisement on behalf of Elk Grove in a Houston business publication. That advertisement, which has become something of a punchline, riffed on Texas' longstanding anti-litter campaign and said "Don't mess with Elk Grove."
Among the supporters at Spease's campaign event were
(l-r) Monica Patel, Sue Sawyer, Bob Lent and Anitra Koski.

"We need to add additional resources to our economic development team," he said, " We can make sure our budget is large enough to do more than having a little bumper sticker on a car that says 'don't mess with Elk Grove' in a Houston magazine. We've got to do better than that."

Among the 50-plus supporters on hand were former Elk Grove City Council Member Sophia Scherman, former Cosumnes Community Services Director Elaine Wright, and current Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Frank Maita. Among several locally-based business owners on hand included Bob Lent of Elk Grove Milling, Gil Moore of Gil Moore Oil Company, local McDonald's franchisee Steve Ramirez, Mariel Black of Sinful Treats, Cecilia Li and Jason Kline of  School of Rock, and Josh Hughes of Emerald Tattoo.

Along with Spease, there are two other candidates who have formally entered the race - Elk Grove Vice Mayor Steve Ly and Joel Broussard. The Elk Grove Citizen reported yesterday on social media that a fourth candidate, Garrett Smith, has entered the race although he has not formally submitted papers to the Elk Grove City Clerk's office as of this posting.

Spease ended his presentation with another question he said he has frequently heard, and that is "are you going to win."

"I tell them, absolutely, unequivocally, yes I am going to win because I am here for Elk Grove," he said.

Photo compliments of DAVE SOTO PRODUCTIONS

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