Sacramento Zoo to Elk Grove? Where is the local control by 'We the people?'

By Connie Conley, Guest Contributor |

Recently posted on Elk Grove News was an excerpt from Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen passionately expounding on the importance of local control. I totally agree which is why, back in 2000, voters decided Elk Grove must become a city so that “We the people” control our city’s destiny.

What is at the heart of local control? Empower Missouri states, “The heart of the principle of local control is that the people who are closest to an issue should make the decisions related to that issue because they generally have the most information about the topic.”

That is never truer today regarding the possible relocation of the Sacramento Zoo to Elk Grove. While an admirable goal, one question remains, “What do, ‘We the people’ want”?

The only way to get the definitive answer to that important question is to put the question up to a vote of the people of Elk Grove.

Given the enormous cost factor – over $300 million for the first phase – shouldn’t the people of Elk Grove decide if we want to take on such a debt. Yes, it is nice the city is holding public meetings.

However, in reality, how many people actually attend those town hall meetings? If the question is staring back at you on a ballot, would you pencil in, “Yes” or “No?”

Every member of the Elk Grove City Council has been entrusted with our vote. We must insist on political integrity and we must speak out against our city council acting in their own self-interest at the expense of the people they serve.

Is that happening here?

So, what would be the cost for “The Question?” According to the city of Elk Grove Clerk’s office, it would only be $13,000. Given how the council spends money, it is petty cash.

That amount equates to 12 cents per voter based on 115,000 registered voters. Shouldn’t the city spend 12 cents per voter before taking on $400,000, and probably more? 

Like Missouri, the Show Me State, the city council should “Empower Elk Grove.”

In closing, regarding the potential zoo, here are five words for the five Elk Grove City Council members, “Let, WE THE PEOPLE, decide.” That would be ultimate local control.

Either the city council truly believes in local control, or they don’t.

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Deejay Blutarsky said...

Ms Conley is absolutely correct, but let's take it one step further. Not only place the zoo on the ballot, but unlike the Measure E sales tax sleight of hand by the City, let's also require that the ballot language include the pros and cons to the issue.

For Measure E, the City enjoyed the deep-pocketed independent PAC spending to further their cause to accompany their constant barrage of propagandized selling by the City electeds and their official newsletter.

For the zoo, how about no more shenanigans and include objective pro and con analysis as part of the ballot language? And please do not reference some past unscientific survey which failed to include the long term cost analysis as your justification to shove the project along. And while you are at it, how about hiring an independent consultant to peer review the dated economic feasibility assumptions being used to justify the project?

Juan Trippe said...

The contributor's points are all reasonable and sound. Unfortunately, Mayor Singh-Allen and the city council are the antithesis of sensible and sound governance.

Much like Trump said he wants to be a dictator for a day, the mayor and city council are dictating what they think is suitable for the people regardless of financial prudence. Mayor Singh-Allen and the city council have fully embraced Donald Trump's worst anti-democracy traits.

On the plus side, this anti-democratic move by Mayor Singh-Allen will be music to the ear for those Old Town MAGAs who listen to Justine Aldean, wave their confederate flags, and display images of President Biden tied up on their trucks.

Sid Vicious said...

Hey Juan, I think you mean Jason, not Justine! God knows we can't misgender the beloved Small Town singer lest all of the mayor's Old Town lackeys burn a cross in your front yard!

Randy Bekker said...

May 8th I’ll buy the 1st round at Bob’s. I gave ya’lll an idea taking up a poll at all the local grocery stores on a Saturday but instead you continue to wine over nothing. Elk Grove no longer being a small town as the pick up trucks use to have the music blaring country music with the beds dressed in flags waving in the wind as they drove down the Blvd. Given our diverse community currently full of families that can’t wait for our zoo to arrive. These families are excited and look forward to filling up the parking lots. Now for those of us headed towards are elder years there is no need to frit at things like costs, tax increases by the time that comes it may be a few decades down the road and really it won’t be a worry at all. Maybe a few might turn over in their graves or rise in I told you so but really it won’t matter as the Zoo is for families that await its arrival. Celebrating is better so let’s raise our glass to toast to the Zoo coming to Elk Grove!

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Very happy to see Ms. Conley's voice again on these pages. With deep institutional knowledge of our city and the people elected to run things, her voice carries gravitas.

Although Ms. Conley doesn't say it directly, between the lines, she highlights Mayor Singh-Allen's hypocrisy. When something does not go her way, and the state government presses her, she cries for local control as she did during the Oak Rose debacle.

Conversely, she expresses a robust, federal-like solid supremacy authority when it suits her needs. One day, she is Orval Eugene Faubus, and the next day, she is Dwight David Eisenhower.

To put it in terms that others may understand, recall the Republican Congress members who voted against President Biden's infrastructure bill. Of course, once that money made it to their home districts, they were all over the groundbreaking ceremonies, praising "their" work to bring home the bacon.

This type of hypocrisy is the modus operandi of Madame Mayor Singh-Allen.

As for putting the matter to a vote, if Ms. Singh-Allen were so confident of the support, putting it on the ballot would be a slam dunk. The mayor's avoidance of the subject suggests it is less popular than she leads her sycophants to believe.

Golden Skillet said...

As much as I appreciate the offer for the first round of drinks on Randy, the whole idea of the article is if you and the city council are so adamant that this will pass unwaveringly, why does the city not put it on the ballot for true transparency? Let the public know exactly the cost, the risk, liabilities and any other potential issues that may arise. I'm glad to hear Randy isn't worried about the cost of living or the rise of taxes, but speak for yourself on that. I would prefer to have my tax dollars go to improving the quality of life and infrastructure for myself and those after me.

Sid Vicious said...

Maybe we can bump into the Mayor Bobbie and Councilman Robles and they'll buy a round for the house!

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