Purged - Three City of Elk Grove Planning Commissioners ousted, three get appointments

In the largest change of membership on the Elk Grove Planning Commission in the city's history, three commissioners were removed at tonight's Elk Grove City Council meeting.

The three commissioners removed, listed in chronological order of their length of service were Mackenize Weiser, Andrew Schuck, and Tony Lin. They were replaced by Sandra Poole, Suman Singha, and Juan Fernandez.

Two current commissioners, George Murphey and Sergio Robles were unanimously retained by the five city councilmembers. Interestingly, Murphey is the longest-serving, having been appointed in 2007, and Robles is the most recent commissioner following his October 2020 appointment.   

The change came about as a result of Singh-Allen's request at her first meeting as Mayor in December to review the commission. 

In the deliberations, Singh-Allen noted the three members who were dropped from the commission all live within a mile of each other on the city's westside. Lin and Weiser reside in District 4, while Schuck resides in District 1. 

"It is important to have district geographic representation," Singh-Allen noted.

Although three members, all of whom were nominated for appointment by former Mayor Steve Ly, were dropped, Singh-Allen nominated Weiser for reappointment but did not nominate Lin or Schuck. None of the city councilmembers seconded Weiser after Singh Allen placed her name in nomination. 

Weiser was an active supporter of Singh-Allen during her mayoral campaign last year, while Lin and Schuck recused themselves from last week's hearing on the controversial California Northstate University hospital project vote. Schuck recused himself from the vote, saying he had relatives living near the proposed project, while Lin said his work with the Asian Pacific Island American Public Affairs, who supports the hospital project, could have presented a conflict of interest. 

The new members, Poole, Fernandez, and Singha, reside in Districts 1, 2, and 4, respectively. Robles lives in District 3, while Murphey lives in the far east rural portion of District 2. 

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John R. Hull said...

I was one of the 16 who applied to be appointed to the Planning Commission. This was my first time applying to a City Commission. I would have thought I would have been contacted ahead of time by the Mayor and the Council members to get to know me and find out why I was interested in serving. I emailed the Mayor twice and left a voicemail at her city office and did not get a return phone call nor email. I sent an email to the Council members individually. Only Suen and Spease responded. Spease phoned me and we have two good discussions. Didn't hear a word from the other two Councilors.

It seems as though the Mayor had her people pre-selected. I was a bit shocked that Mackenzie Wieser - after the Mayor made a motion to appoint her - had no response from the Council members, thus eliminating her from consideration. There must be something political to this that we on the outside aren't seeing.

For as important a Commission as Planning, you would think all applicants would be vetted and/or interviewed individually. How else can you make a good objective, informed decision? If you want more participation in city governance, you need to offer avenues for new people to be involved.

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Mr. Hull, thank you for your interest in public service. Welcome to the rigged game called Elk Grove! Throw in a few dice and Milton Bradley could have a new board game on their hands!

The abrupt departure of Frank Maita from the Planning Commission is starting to make a little more sense now. All I can say is I hope Granite Bay cleared this list first, or BSA might be joining CNU in the hunt for "political capital". Hey, The Hunt For Political Capital. That has a nice ring to it--could be a new reality show filmed in Elk Grove!

Steve L said...

If Mr. Hull's statements are true, that no one on the council cared enough to return his inquiries and there's no reason to assume they did, it shows a lack of taking their council job seriously. The PC serves a vital need. All these candidates deserved a chance to meet and be properly vetted by the council. Three minutes to plead their case?

This smells a lot like a staged event where everyone agreed ahead of time, who would fill these chairs.

Elk Grove can do better, should do better. We citizens deserve better from our electeds who freely chose to serve the community. If you're tired of the job, step down, don't bring all of us down with you.

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