Editorial - Region Builder's Tom Waltman Rants at Elk Grove City Council Meeting, Loathes Citizen Participation

Tom Waltman Region Builder Executive Director blow hard
Region Builder's Executive Director Tom Waltman | 

October 28, 2016 |

Mr. Tom Waltman's latest rant at the October 26 Elk Grove City Council meeting revealed his shallowness and loyalty to his "bread and butter" - construction, any construction, all construction at any cost, public input be damned. 

As Executive Director of Region Builder, Waltman essentially stated that Elk Grove residents who dare speak against projects before the city are just feeding their egos by wanting to hear themselves talk. Waltman admitted he does not have the time to devote to these issues like an assortment of civic-minded people do, and he cannot comprehend how they do it. 

Some of those very civic-minded people who Waltman was dismissive off happened to be in the chambers. He acted as if they had nothing better to do with their time. 

Having followed and interacted with several of these people for the last several years, I can attest it is not done out of ego, rather a real and unabiding love of their community. Love of community comes in many forms in case you were not aware Mr. Waltman.

Let me tell you how these dedicated individuals do it – they sacrifice most of their free time to study the issues and follow a sound moral compass with the hope that someday the city will pay more than lip service to public participation and transparency. Unlike you Mr. Waltman, those present on Wednesday night and a host of others are not there to make a quick buck off unbridled development, and so is arguably in a better position than you to speak objectively to the issues.

Your latest senseless rant at the City Council the meeting makes the point exactly - just get it built, right?

The dwindling number of citizen activists sitting in the "peanut gallery" of the City Council chambers is sad. Sad, not because more are not interested in how their city develops, but sad because the bullying tactics and snide comments by building lobbyists and pro-development council members turn off most people. These people you speak of Mr. Waltman is not buying into your discrediting propaganda.

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