Urgency eviction moratorium to be considered tonight by Elk Grove City Council; Prepare for suspension of bus transit

Following Monday night's special meeting of the Elk Grove City Council convened by Mayor Steve Ly, an urgency eviction moratorium ordinance will be considered tonight by the third special meeting in the last week.

The special meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. and will start with a closed session. The previously scheduled regular meeting will follow the special meeting.

The agenda item of most interest will be the ordinance to allow at-risk families and commercial renters a moratorium on eviction proceedings. To qualify, residential and commercial renters must show at least a 20-percent decline in family or business income compared to the period between December 2019 and February 2020.

Other possible events that could qualify for an eviction moratorium would be medical expenses. To qualify, medical expenses of greater than 20-percent of family income for the December through February period.

As part of the urgency ordinance, the city staff has recommended that the moratorium not imposed late fees or service interruption for non-payment of garbage collection or drainage fees. The city's contracted garbage collector, Republic Services, a large campaign contributor to city council members, said it would be logistically difficult for them to not impose late fees or service disconnects.  

Interestingly, city staff did not follow City Councilmember Pat Hume's recommendation to, in his words to bifurcate or split residential and commercial into two ordinances. Hume, who at last Wednesday's special meeting successfully led fellow councilmembers Steve Detrick, Stephanie Nguyen, and Darren Suen in his effort to kill that proposed moratorium and choose to protect landlords, has been widely criticized for their actions.

If the city council chooses to adopt this an urgency ordinance, it would become effective immediately but requires a supermajority of four votes. Not only during the recent Cornonavirus crisis but throughout their tenures on the city council, Detrick and Hume have philosophically opposed what they call government interference in private business transactions, although both have supported multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded incentives for real estate interests who have contributed to their campaigns. 

Should Detrick and Hume reject this as an urgency ordinance, it could be adopted as a regular ordinance by a simple majority. Nguyen and Suen appeared ready to side with Mayor Steve Ly and adopt the moratorium, so if Detrick and Hume oppose the intervention, it could be a regular ordinance, but it would take effect in about five to six weeks.

Also on the special meeting agenda is a hearing on preparations to suspend the city's eTran bus transit service should the need arise. According to the report, ridership had significantly declined, and the city's contracted transit provider, Sacramento Regional Transit, has experienced a shortage of drivers after their recommended self-isolation to employees to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.  
Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2020. All right reserved.



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