Campaign contributions and Elk Grove Planning Commission vacancy could make for showdown at next City Council meeting

While not as meaningful as the political fight over the appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court following the death of the beloved late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Elk Grove City Council on Wednesday, October 14 could provide high drama, Elk Grove-style, over the nomination for a vacancy on the Elk Grove Planning Commission. 

One of the items of interest will be the discussion of the appointment of the vacancy created on the commission with the resignation of Frank Maita. Following Maita's August 28 resignation, the city solicited and received 16 qualified applicants for the position.  

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Although Mayor Steve Ly nominates, the position is filled with the consensus of the four city council members. While he has been mayor, these appointments have become political battles with Ly on one side and Councilmembers Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, Stephanie Nguyen, and Darren Suen (DHNS) on the other side.

Like the RBG battle, there could be a battle on the city council with a few added wrinkles. One of the 16 applicants could have the support of the DHNS group based on that person's previous attempts to gain an appointment.

That applicant, Hollis Erb, has been praised for her experience and regular participation at planning commission meetings. Although highly regarded, Erb has not been nominated by Ly.

Given Ly is in a heated reelection battle with challenger Bobbie Singh-Allen, if he does not nominate Erb, will DHNS dig in their heels and block his choice? Furthermore, will DHNS avoid the confrontation and say the nomination be continued until the results of the election are certified so that a new mayor can make the selection?

Complicating matters further is Erb herself. According to financial documents filed with the Elk Grove City Clerk,  Erb has made two donations on September 21 and October 3, totaling $1,500 (see below) to Singh-Allen's campaign.

The permeations on how this plays out at next week's city council meeting are almost, but not quite countless. In one scenario, Ly could simply not appoint Erb and selected another applicant, which would probably result in an en passe. 

If Ly does not nominate Erb, DHNS may push hard for Erb, who has repeatedly sought a planning commission appointment. Should Ly give in and nominate her, which depending on your perspective, could be considered a sign of weakness or conciliation? 

The other monkey wrench in the matter will be the role of Erb's campaign contribution to Singh-Allen. Should Singh-Allen win the elections, take office, and eventually nominate Erb, will she be opening herself up to charges she sold the seat ala Rod Rod Blagojevich?   

It should be noted the Ly's most recent nomination Tony Lin, has during the current reporting periods contributed money to Ly's reelection campaign. Ly and DHNS could simply avoid any talk about selling seats given all five members are loath to talk about how campaign contribution influence their actions.  

Regardless of which path the vacancy nomination takes next week, the last item during the meeting could be a showdown worth watching.  

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Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

You can't help but wonder if Mr. Maita's resignation was a strategic move to set this up in the days before the election. A local October surprise perhaps?

D.J. Blutarsky said...

This is all gonna boil down to skin color. Anyone other than a Sikh or Middle Eastern variant, is gonna bring down the wrath of Shergill on them so fast, their heads are gonna spin.

On the other hand, the Developer Boys from Granite Bay (DBFGB) are probably vetting them as we speak, and Wednesday night will be like the NFL draft. Councilmembers, keep your cell phones on--texts will be flying 5G fast!

Randy Bekker said...

I like Hollis Erb she has a great resume of PC experience an community involvement. She does not live in District 3. If we are going to continue having at least one member from each district. Shergill may not be happy but we need to make sure that someone experienced, committed an knowledgeable that needs to be considered before gender an ethnicity.

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