Measure E for Elk Grove - Did You Also Know? Segments 3 & 4

By Lynn Wheat | Guest Contributor | 

Ed. note. This is the second part of a three-part series that questions the need for Elk Grove's Measure E, which, if approved by Elk Grove voters, will increase sales taxes by one percent in the city. 

Segment 3

Did you also know? 

The city of Elk Grove has been addressing issues of homelessness by purchasing and renovating houses in our neighborhoods, contributing to the funding of several non-profits, and funding an outreach program through our police department.

Elk Grove has three transitional homes for families with a length of stay between 12-18 months. One home for single adults with a length of stay of six to 12 months. One permanent shared home, one home is under renovation and to be opened in the future.

The city distributes monies to serve the needs of the community through community block grants. Many of our local non-profits serving our homeless community receive funding through grants. Again, the Community block grants are funded by our federal taxes collected.

The city has monies through state taxpayer-funded homeless grants.

Our tax dollars support a full-time homeless navigator to assist our homeless population in obtaining permanent housing.  Hotel/motel vouchers are given to provide overnight and short-term housing.

Also, our monies are given for the support of two transitional and one emergency shelter for pregnant youth and another shelter My Sister’s House, which provides help to individuals of domestic violence. 

Elk Grove Hart, a non-profit volunteer program in the city offers and supports homeless individuals through educational programs as well as opportunities for long-term housing and employment. 

Elk Grove OWL organizes and opens overnight warming centers during the winter months.

Many individuals within our faith-based community recognized the need of our homeless population and organized to bring solutions. We need to thank the organizations that have been proactive in finding and advocating for solutions. Our volunteers are the visionaries in addressing our homeless population.

Did you also know the mayor and city council members just recently passed an ordinance they found as a solution for the homeless? I think of it as the “out of sight, out of mind” ordinance, as it simply keeps our homeless individuals moving around and not developing campsites.

Did you also know because of the pressures of neighbors and an unwillingness to adapt the zoning (which has been done ad nauseous for other special developers), the 67-unit Oak Rose supportive housing community was denied? This supportive housing offered housing and services, a long-term solution, and a permanent place to live.

Segment 4

Did you also know?

On our property tax bills are Mello Roos (special tax assessments) that pay for our street maintenance, repair, and replacement and the 2006-1 Special tax collected for road medians and public landscape projects.

Did you also know in October 2013, the city’s Public Works Director (see video below) presented to our mayor and city council a detailed report on the quality of our roadways? He alerted the mayor and city council that an annual funding gap of $8 million dollars existed, and this would only increase over time as the cost of utilities and repairs would increase. 

Again, this report was repeated in April 2014, and the mayor and city council voted to kick the can down the road and not address the need. Instead of funding our roads as a priority, the mayor and city council voted for their own wish lists instead of addressing our quality of life with road improvements.  

Ask Councilmember Hume, who was on the city council at the time. It was only Councilmember Trigg who wanted a full discussion and solution, while the others passed on a discussion and solution.

Here are a few examples of mayor and council policies and spending; the funding of a sewer lift station into the undeveloped parts of Elk Grove supporting their developer friends. The purchase of many properties; two examples are the $4.4 million above market rate land purchase for a multipurpose Soccer Stadium that will not happen. The 100-acre property for a possible zoo was $9.5 million. Then there was the $16 million investment in Old Town redevelopment. 

Please do park in the public parking lot in Old Town: We paid for the land!

Did you also know our road conditions and traffic congestion have not been funding priorities of our elected mayor and city council members? 

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Atticus Finch said...

Lynn - Someone needs to get you a megaphone so more people can hear the cold, hard truth you are speaking. But sadly, I am afraid voters are apathetic and indifferent, unless it slaps them in the face, maybe then people will pay attention! You know more about city government and public administration than the hacks we have in office now. If you ever choose to run for elected office, I will support you 100%! BTW, kicking the can down the road is what our fearless "leaders" learn on Day 1 in A Day in the Life of an Ekl Grove council member.

It all makes sense now seeing how Congress is so dysfunctional if many of the members originate from local politics. They are pros at kicking the can down the proverbial road...

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Atticus, point of fact, Lynn Wheat DID run for office, twice...once for Council, and once for Mayor.

Of course she did not receive the required land developer money or have the minimum $100,000 to personally loan to her campaign and then grovel at the feet of developers to pay her loan back, as has been the practice for the last 20 years.

What we are left with has been 20 years of groupthink, 5-0 votes on everything, and no opportunity for opposing opinions--except 180 seconds to speak at the podium--and not a second more!

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