Elk Grove Key to the City Program - Great Idea or Enough Already?

July 25, 2017 |  

One thing certain about people who observe and carefully follow Elk Grove politics is they have a keen sense of humor, and more importantly, an appreciation of the absurdity that sometimes flows out of City Hall.

Such was the case today when an Elk Grove News reader submitted the above meme of Oprah Winfrey's now famous show where every audience member got a new car. For those who are unfamiliar with that now famous 2004, on-the-air gifting can watch the video here.

Of course, this reader did not create this meme in a vacuum. The meme was created and submitted in response to an item on tomorrow night's where the Elk Grove City Council will discuss the Key to the City program.

From our reader's point of view, the Key to the City program is wandering into the arena of the absurd. All of this begs the question - if this is a great program, or are the Keys about to be given out to on such a regular, you could say clockwise, basis as to make them meaningless?

To be sure, there are hundreds of people in Elk Grove who volunteer hours of time to any number of worthy civic causes that deserved to be recognized for the betterment of the community. But given that there are so many people deserving, how does one distinguish one more deserving person over another? 

Perhaps the city can offer the Mayor's award or some other honor to the myriad of worthy individuals in the community. From our view, a standard that city should look to in awarding a key to is Capt. Chesley Sullengberger. 

You may recall Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger's heroic landing of a crippled passenger airplane on the Hudson River.  To paraphrase Elaine Benes, that was key worthy!

We suppose handing out the Key to the City willy nilly is harmless and as long as it does not adversely affect taxpayers, why not. Still, giving the Key to the City in such volumes will turn the honor into nothing more than something similar to the participation trophies handed out every year to the tens-of-thousands of kids playing soccer in The Grove.

Orange slices and a Capri Sun anyone? 

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Eye on Elk Grove said...

What is missing here is that most of the Key to the City recipients are known to the members of the Elk Grove City Council. How many times have we heard from the dais, “So and so is a good friend of mine” as if that is a prerequisite to be awarded the Key to the City.

Or worse, have City Manager Laura Gill veto the decision the previous Key to the City Committee, who were not council members, when they failed to award a Key to the City to a sitting council member’s offspring. Laura Gill reversed the committee’s decision and wanted the key awarded. However, three council members, even at the brusque objections of the offspring’s father, denied Gill’s request.

It is with actions like the above that taint the Key to the City Program

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