Was the Elk Grove Mayor, City Council's Consigliere correct, albeit in slightly different way, about Old Town's future?

One of Elk Grove's most recent controversies is the Old Town supportive housing project. The Oak Rose project, which was denied by the Elk Grove City Council last July, has caught the attention of the California Attorney General. 

The city is accused of violating fair housing laws with the July 2022 denial of the Oak Rose supportive housing project. Attorney Rob Bonta has threatened a lawsuit unless the city course corrects. 

Opposing Bonta, several residents are vigorously defending Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and her four councilmen's pro-Old Town stance. 

Their most influential defender across social media platforms and this site is longtime Elk Grove resident Randy Bekker, who has forcefully argued for Mayor Singh-Allen and her councilmen. Bekker has evolved into a consigliere, or perhaps the sixth council member for the mayor and her city council over the last several years.

During their meetings, particularly pre-COVID, city council members sought Mr. Bekker's counsel from the dais after he offered comments. Additionally, in a sign of his close relations with council members, Bekker is a fixture in Elk Grove candidates' videos, literature, and campaign events. 

At one of these pre-COVID meetings almost exactly five years ago, Bekker predicted Old Town could have a disastrous future (see video below). Bekker said Old Town would be adversely affected and become a skid row if the city adopted a by-district election of city council members. 

Although Bekker was slightly off target, was he on to something? Will forces outside Elk Grove's control harm the still struggling neighborhood and make it the city's skid row? 

Much like this situation, by-district voting was forced on the city council under the threat of violating California voting rights laws. If Elk Grove is forced to do something against its will and reluctantly accept the supportive housing project, will it be a death knell Bekker prophesized for the Old Town Special Planning Area?

What do you think? Short of some 11th-hour agreement between the city and the project proponents, if the project proceeds, will Oak Rose be the demise of Old Town? 

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Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Even though prominent and influential Elk Groveians like Mr. Bekker, Mr Alan Vito Jr., and Mr. Mike Guttridge support the city, even their spirited defense will not be enough to stop things. If the city does not settle before a lawsuit, thy are spitting into the wind if they think they can win in the courts.

Randy Bekker said...

As one that chewed tobacco when you spit you always know which way the wind is blowing. I am a firm believer if you are on solid ground stand for what you believe in and fight. Many battles have been won that way. This is not my 1st rodeo and Bonta is a smaller fish than some of taken on before. I think so much is put into this location that it must be built that there is more reasons why it shouldn’t be built. Not every city can make the same arguments but it is clear Elk Grove city has put itself in a position of making very documented reasons that they have no choice but to stand up to Bonta and his threatening tactics. Elk Grove must maintain their ability of planning and land management and still provide projects past, present and in the near future to uphold the spirit of the law. There are a number of identified properties that would make this a better project that I support.

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Who at City Hall was asleep at the wheel when the Oak Rose property came on the market in the first place? Right next to the new library too.

There's a fine line between being a visionary and a fortune teller. We already have one fortune teller business in Old Town!

Spoons and Forks said...

Randy, you crack me up! Rob Bonta is a small fish? What?

If Bonta is a small fish as the attorney general for the largest state in the union and one of the five largest economies in the world, what does that make Jon Hobbs?

Under your analysis, you should call Jon Hobbs the Captain of the S.S. Minnow, who went on a 3 hour cruise, got stranded on Gilligan's Island, and unable to get off the island despite multiple easy escapes!

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