Time for Elk Grove Councilmembers, city attorney Jonathan Hobbs to sever ties with California Apt. Assn?

The red markups were inserted in the interest of landlords with the California Apartment Association. |  

When examining a political contributions report, often linking the interests to a politician is self-explanatory. Sometimes the motivation for a contributor might not be obvious, but over time the motivation for the contribution becomes apparent.

In the case of the California Apartment Association, the reason contributions were given to current Elk Grove City Councilmembers Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, Stephanie Nguyen, and Darren Suen was to suppress any talk of rent control measures in Elk Grove. To the degree there has never been a suggestion of rent controls in Elk Grove, the rather modest $8,500 investment by the CAA has been money well spent.

What happens though when there is a suggestion that the Elk Grove City Council take action, even a modest one, that might help renters facing a difficult situation? If last week's successful effort to reject a proposal to allow for a two-month moratorium on the collection of rent - not a discharge of the debt - led by Councilmembers Pat Hume and Steve Detrick, is a gauge, when the CAA says jump, the councilmembers say how high. 

Such was the action last week led by Hume and Detrick and supported by their council colleagues, Stephanie Nguyen, and Darren Suen.

While we don't expect Republicans Detrick and Hume to relent when the matter is once again heard tomorrow night, as members of the Democratic Party, Nguyen and Suen must make amends.

First, as much as it may discomfort you, align yourself with fellow Democratic Party member Mayor Steve Ly. What sort of Democratic party members are you if you can't put aside personalities and align to support those constituents who will be most affected by the coming economic woes?

If you can't bring yourself to do that, switch parties and become Hume and Detrick Herbert Hoover-style Republican. You know, the type of Republican who stuck their head in the sand during the start of the Great Depression while people lost shelter and starved. Do you want to be part of rebranding Elk Grove into a 21st century "Humeville." 

Second, why not return the cash you received from the California Apartment Association? It is a modest amount, but it does send the message you care about renters more so than landlords in the coming difficult times.

And if you can't do that, when this matter comes back to the city council, work with Mayor Ly (nevermind Hebert Hoover Republican's Hume and Detrick - they are all in for their interests as slumlords) and put together a robust plan. Let constituents know you care more about them than the wealthy landlords at the California Apartment Association and your two fellow city councilmembers.

While your at it Councilmembers Nguyen and Suen, why not suggest Hume and Detrick recuse themselves from proceedings. Is it right that these two slumlords are voting on this matter - just how do you define conflict of interests? 

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn't mention Elk Grove city attorney Jonathan Hobbs and give him a hearty thank you for finally admitting what everyone knows - lobbyist, campaign contributors, and wealthy special interest groups control how ordinances and various policies are made in Elk Grove.

In case you missed it, during the Wednesday night meeting, Hobbs freely admitted that attorneys from the California Apartment Association instructed him how to modify the ordinance, no doubt, for their benefit. See the image posted above, and the markup in red are the CAAs marching orders for Hobbs and his staff.  

We're not sure if highly-paid Hobbs and his expensive staff of attorneys are more incompetent than they appear, or so beholden to special interests they allow them to make policy. Either way, taxpayers are getting cheated in the process. 

Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2020. All right reserved.



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Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Each city in California already has their own version of a "Humeville" in their respective communities. If Elk Grove is led through this crisis with the philosophy of heartless, soul-deficient men like Mr. Hume and Mr. Detrick, we will have families struggling like nothing we have seen since the days of Herbert Hoover. Mayor Ly and councilmembers Nguyen and Suen must take a stance. If not many families may well be living in a "Humeville" or a "Detricksburg".

D.J. Blutarsky said...

I've come to the conclusion that Elk Grove is no better, nor worse than any other town in the Central Valley. From Redding to Bakersfield, I know of no town that is a destination unto itself or known for its outstanding quality of life. It also follows that small-town politics dominates each of those cities too.

From the 'grapes of wrath' have sprung faceless suburbs along the I-5 and Hwy 99 corridors. As the last vestiges of affordable housing and living the American dream slowly disappear in California, Elk Grove and these valley towns serve their purpose--Builder's riches, Investor's paradise, oh and let's not forget commuter's homebase.

Public apathy and city government insecurity of being left behind, creates the vacuum that special interests are eager to fill. For ridiculously small contribution amounts, these special interests can buy the votes that decide whether their investments pan out or not. Pseudo-leaders run for local office without the slightest vision or blueprint, but fear not, their agendas are provided for them by their handlers.

Today the issue is tenant hardships. Tomorrow it may be why is our air so dirty or our cracked-sealed roadways so clogged with traffic. But fear not, a few press releases, scripted soundbites, and promises and promises of economic development, and our troubles will all disappear!

“In the evening a strange thing happened: the twenty families became one family, the children were the children of all. The loss of home became one loss, and the golden time in the West was one dream.”

-John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath-

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