Elk Grove City Council, Mayor Take Oath of Office; Vacancy Process Talks to Start Tonight

December 14, 2016 | 

At this evening's Elk Grove City Council meeting, two Councilmen and the Mayor took their oath of offices.

Being sworn in were District 1 and 3 Councilmen Darren Suen and Steve Detrick respectively. Both men had their oaths administered by their wives and were elected to four-year terms.

Also being sworn-in as Mayor was Steve Ly, who had served as the City's District 4 seat and most currently as Vice Mayor. Ly's oath was administered by outgoing Mayo,r and Ly's mentor, Gary Davis. Unlike City Council representatives, the Mayor is elected to a two-year term.

With Ly vacating the District 4 seat, the Council will need to decide if it will fill the vacancy by appointment or by calling for a special election. This vacancy is the third since 2012 the City Council has had to fill.

When Davis was elected to Mayor in 2012, he vacated the District 4 seat. Following an acrimonious appointment process, former Elk Grove Unified School District Superintendent Bob Trigg was appointed in early 2013 to complete the two years left on the term with the promise he would not seek reelection in 2014.

In 2014 upon Jim Cooper's election to the California State Assembly, the Council appointed Darren Suen to fill the two years left in the term for District 1. Unlike the process that led to Trigg's appointment, Suen received the unanimous support of the Council. 

Although the City Council has used the appointment to fill vacancies rather than calling for a special election citing the high cost, this year circumstance could be different. The Elk Grove Grove City Clerk's Office is in the process of verifying a petition submitted seeking a special election to reverse a recent decision by the City Council

Should that petition be verified and survive expected legal challenges, the City would be compelled to call for a special election on the petition. If that is the case, the City Council could have the vacancy filled by a vote of the people without any additional costs.

Additionally, there has been speculation if the special election is called, the City Council could place a sales tax increase on the ballot. Following the failure of Sacramento Transportation Authority's sales tax increase, Measure B, the City is looking for new sources to finance a variety of needs, most notably deferred road maintenance. 

The City Council will hold an initial discussion on the District 4's vacancy at tonight's meeting.  

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