Will Elk Grove City Councilmember Spease's 'starfish appeal' be swamped by Mayor Singh-Allen's zoo zealotry budget?

During last week's budget discussion at the Elk Grove City Council meeting, one council member made what we will call the starfish appeal.

We reference the tale of a young girl who diligently throws starfish back into the ocean after thousands washed ashore. An adult approaches the youngster, saying, given there were so many,  what difference would her efforts make? 

As she threw another starfish back into the ocean, the young girl wisely responded, saying, "I made a difference for that one."

Such were comments made by Elk Grove City Councilmember Kevin Spease during last week's budget discussion. Acknowledging the city cannot make wide-ranging policies to help people in need, especially senior citizens in Elk Grove, in their way, the five-member city council could create policies to make a difference for our neighbors.

"Are there services that we provide that could help ease the pain a little?" Spease asked in his remarks. 

See Spease's entire commentary in the video below.

Elk Grove's 2025 fiscal budget, which will be effective July 1, is set and will be approved during the June 26 city council meeting. Spease's appeal was for fiscal year 2026, which commences on July 1, 2025. 

Responding to Spease, city manager Jason Behrmann said city staff would provide a date-uncertain report for the city council's consideration, presumably sometime before work starts on the 2026 budget. However, ideas for social services for at-need residents might disappear for various reasons. 

First, even though he has no declared opponents in the November election, Spease could be defeated or decide to drop out of the race. Either of these cases would kill his plea to help at-need citizens and be a convenient reason to make his concerns dissipate like a poodle of water on a hot Elk Grove midsummer afternoon.

Or maybe, given Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen's zealotry from the $300 million Sacramento Zoo could so overwhelm social services programs, even a modest one, that it swamps everything in its wake, including Spease's starfish appeal.   

As politicians of all stripes say, a budget is a statement of priorities. In about a year, we will see if Mayor Singh-Allen's zoo zealotry budget has some room for our less fortunate senior citizens.

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