Elk Grove City Council Appoints Stephanie Nguyen to Fill District 4 Vacancy

February 2, 2017 |

In what was a lengthy and at times contentious meeting, tonight the Elk Grove City Council appointed Stephanie Nguyen  to fill the District 4 vacancy. The vote was 4 - 0.  

The vacancy was created when Steve Ly vacated the District 4 seat upon his election to Mayor in the November 2016 general election. The term for the seat expires in 2018.

The council reach its consensus following over four hours of presentations from most of the 20 applicants and extensive public comment. It was during public comment that the four council members heard several complaints that the vacancy should have been filled by a special election rather than appointment.

"I think there should be an election," Elk Grove resident Joe Debbs said. "This is the only fair way."

One of the organizers of the large turnout demanding a special election was Fabrizio Sasso, Executive Director of the Sacramento Central Labor Council who called the process a "good old boys system" and that it violates the civil rights of Elk Grove voters.

"This is not good governance or democracy," Sasso said. "You are rejecting the basic principles of this country."

After Sasso delivered his impassioned comments many members of the audience loudly chanted "let us vote."

Amar Shergill advised the City Council that by appointing to fill the vacancy and refusing to go to a by-district system they were exposing themselves to civil rights litigation.

"Here in Elk Grove we are doing democracy wrong," he said.

One of the people speaking in support of Nguyen was former Sacramento Kings player and new Elk Grove resident LaSalle Thompson. While Thompson told the City Council he agreed that the vacancy should be put to a vote, if they decided to pursue an appointment, it should be Nguyen.

"I think it should be voted on," Thompson said. "I'm here to endorse my friend Stephanie."

Kicking off deliberations was Councilman Pat Hume who did not address the by-district voting but rather dove into a discussion of the candidates. After praising then, Hume decided not to make a nomination.

Councilman Darren Suen addressed the comments on by-district voting and conjectured that the city would someday go to by-district voting but added "the city is better served" by maintaining the status quo.

Suen then placed Nguyen's name in nomination with Councilman Steve Detrick offering a second. The council did not place any other name into nomination and unanimously approved her appointment.

When she is sworn in, Nguyen will be only the second female member of the City Council since the City's 2000 incorporation. Nguyen is expected to take her oath at the next council meeting on Wednesday, February 8 at the Elk Grove City Hall.

After the meeting Nguyen was surrounded by well-wishers and was taken aback by the speed of the council's decision.

"I am deeply honored and very excited," Nguyen said. "I look forward to bringing my skill set and working with the entire council."

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