Catsup v. Ketchup - Does it really make a difference who serves on the Elk Grove City Council?

One of the many funny episodes on The Simpsons highlights what happens when the town's villain, C. Montgomery Burns, the owner of the en...

One of the many funny episodes on The Simpsons highlights what happens when the town's villain, C. Montgomery Burns, the owner of the environmentally hazardous nuclear power plant, has to fend for himself. 

Temporarily broke, Mr. Burns takes residence with his sniveling assistant Waylon Smithers. Wanting to contribute to the household, he sees the shopping list, goes to the grocery store, and one of the items on the list is catsup.  

It is then that Mr. Burns is confounded. Should he select catsup or ketchup? 

It is a fair question - what's the difference? In a word, nothing. 

Such is what residents face with whoever wins a seat in city government elections but not school boards nationally based on ginned-up issues like critical race theory. This is especially true for the Elk Grove City Council.

History has shown almost every vote cast by the Elk Grove City Council is unanimous. This year there was only one instance when an Elk Grove City Councilmember was not part of a unanimous vote. 

The Elk Grove mayor and city council members can be classified as catsup or ketchup. They are all the same with only slight labeling variations, and there is no substantial difference when it comes to governing. 

The reason is simple - money.

To win a competitive city council race, you need, even in a by-district election, at least $100,000. Candidates get money from patrons with specific demands.  

Once elected, Elk Grove City Council members happily abide by patrons' wishes. One of the most egregious examples in recent years was when the Elk Grove City Council gave multi-millionaire developer Pappas Investments a multi-year multi-million dollar kickback to develop a Costco store. 

Not surprisingly, Pappas Investments has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Elk Grove City Council members, who gladly rewarded them with millions of taxpayer dollars. An excellent ROI for Pappas, but not so for taxpayers.

You have to go back to 2008 to see a candidate elected on the promise of being something other than catsup or ketchup. That candidate was former District 3 Elk Grove City Councilmember Steve Detrick, who self-financed most of his $100,000-plus campaign. 

Not surprisingly, once elected, Detrick pivoted away from his campaign promise and adopted en masse standard city council practices. Detrick understandably wanted to repay his family the $100,000 he borrowed, and the solution was simple.

Be like Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue, and Take the Money and Run. 

While Detrick was stylistically catsup to the ketchup on the city council, he was still a thick, tomatoey red sauce that goes well with French fries. Promises that Detrick made that he even thought were genuine were corrupted in short order by reality.  

This year there are three candidates for Elk Grove City Council District 2, two for District 4, and two for mayor. So far, most of the non-incumbent candidates appear to be catsup or ketchup, but could there be something different for voters? 

Elk Grove history predicts a couple of new bottles of catsup and ketchup will be elected to fulfill patrons' desires. Their victory will be greased by the cabal - real estate developers, construction companies, corporate interests, and labor unions - who will pull out all the stops to ensure victory for their bottle of catsup or ketchup. 

Wouldn't it be nice if we had mustard elected to the Elk Grove City Council instead? 

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1 comment

Atticus Finch said...

I agree with the premise of this article. it really does not matter who sits on the council because they all behave as a group and are incapable of individual thought, analysis, creativity, and most importantly, leadership! (Sounds like the GOP!) Mustard? I prefer grey poupon or dijon but that will never happen!

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