Swearing-in ceremonies for Elk Grove Mayor, Councilmembers likely curtailed; live video of oath possible

With the rapidly rising cases of COVID-19 nationally and the recent tightening of restrictions in Sacramento County, it is unlikely swearing-in ceremonies for Elk Grove's newly elected mayor and city councilmember will be open to the public.

The swearing-in ceremonies for Elk Grove City Councilmembers and the mayor typically occur during the lone December Elk Grove City Council meeting following certification of November elections. This year the swearing-in ceremonies for incumbent Councilmember Darren Suen, Mayor-elect Bobbie Singh-Allen, and Councilmember-elect Kevin Spease will be held during the Wednesday, December 9 meeting.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, by order of the Governor, government meetings since last Spring have been conducted virtually. While many government entities have conducted sessions via Zoom or YouTube live where representatives are viewed in real-time, Elk Grove City Council meetings have been done via teleconference video feeds with static graphics during the broadcast. 

In anticipation of installing two new members to the city council, Elk Grove City Clerk Jason Lindgren was contacted to see if a different format would be provided so the public could view the event. Lindgren said he would contact Singh-Allen and Spease for their input on how they would like to proceed. 

"I will be coordinating with the members-elect to see how they each would like to proceed, the teleconference environment has its own unique challenges but I think we will be able to offer a form of ceremony as we have done in the past," Lindgren said. "I would not anticipate broadcast events in the Chamber, but we’ll see what is feasible between now and the December 9 meeting date."

In the past, incoming councilmembers have handled the ceremony in vastly different manners. Former Elk Grove City Councilmember Jim Cooper typically was low key when he took his oath from the city clerk, while others had larger contingents of guest and, as was the case in 2018, all councilmember had someone other than the City Clerk administer the oath (see video below).

Immediately after the oath is taken, the next vice mayor for the coming year is selected, and there would be a recess for a reception before the resumption of the city council meeting. During the recess, the seats were rearranged on the dais to reflect the new vice mayor or newly elected councilmember [s]. 

This year the swearing-in ceremonies for officeholders in Elk Grove and beyond will be far different.  

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