Opinion - Connecting the dots on the $750 million hospital proposed in Elk Grove

By D.J. Blutarsky |  Guest Contributor

Last night the Elk Grove City Council chambers at the city hall were packed at the beginning of the council's regular meeting. Region Business' Joshua Woods was there, as was Channel 13 TV news. 

I think I've connected the dots....

* Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly travels to China last year in an un-publicized trip. Trip is discovered on YouTube with Ly giving speech promoting a hospital in Elk Grove.

* Fellow Elk Grove City Council members mum about trip.

* Northstate California University College of Medicine announces new hospital to be built as expansion of its Elk Grove education facility. Elk Grove leaders are warm to project and the city's economic development director quotes the creation of 24,000 jobs. Ly gives interview stating a city of our size deserves a hospital. 

* Site of hospital requires city rezone, environmental analysis, and partial relocation of retail businesses, including a craft brewery with $1 million invested.

* Owners of brewery go to press and say they are not going down without a fight.

* Stone Lake residents pack chambers and angrily denounce hospital project as being inconsistent with their planning area and will destroy shopping center that was intended to be the highest end of centers in town. Channel 13 is at meeting to report opposition that will be expressed during public comment, but long closed session delays start of meeting and Channel 13 leaves.

* Joshua Wood attends meeting to observe. 

* My only question to the college is, what insurance plans will you be affiliated with?

I am sure Ly traveled to China at urging of, and was escorted by North State officials. In China, any mayor or government official endorsing a new hospital is as good as gold for securing investors money. the city council's dilemma is they embraced hospital before realizing public controversy. Elk Grove Council Member Darren Suen is up for re-election in 2020-this is his district! 

Residents who bought into a high-end retail center and ousted brewery may have sufficient collective resources to not only use media in fight, but funds to pose risk of legal challenge when rezone/EIR are pursued by city.

Ly, with the tacit approval of the rest of council to solicit hospital in China may have gotten too far ahead of themselves and the whole mess may end up being the 2019 Boondoggle of the Year! 

Region Builders better not count their nails yet!

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