City Council Votes To Reject Proposal To Expand City Manager’s Purchasing Authority
Proposal Voted Down
In a unanimous vote on February 14 the Elk Grove City Council rejected a proposal to expand the City Manager’s purchasing authority. The authors of this proposal intended to help speed up the process of buying properties for City of Elk Grove use.
Last November the council voted on a plan to spend a $5 million grant to address homelessness in Elk Grove. The plan includes purchasing two single family homes for navigation hubs. One is intended for singles and one for families. There would also be be two single family homes for permanent shared housing. During the February 14 meeting, the council voted to move forward on the purchase of a home to use as a navigation hub for homeless families.
Housing and Public Services Manager Sarah Bontranger presented the rejected proposal. It would have allowed City Manager Laura Gill to make offers on up to three properties, up to $500,000 each. The escrow period on any offer would allow time for community outreach, and final approval would rest with the council.
In response to the proposal, Council Member Pat Hume stated “This process needs, obviously, more checks and balances, not fewer.” He was quick to point out that his concerns did not stem from mistrust of Gill. Hume stated “This is a burden that should be shouldered by those who can be removed from office, or stood for re-election.” Hume also proposed to postpone the vote until after workshops could be completed.
Hume mentioned he would prefer to have a proposal for tiny homes on the table. Tiny homes were brought up at a previous City Council Meeting. The idea was supported by Pat Hume and Stephanie Nguyen. Nguyen had signaled her support of the idea in a previous City Council Meeting. She was in favor of the idea based on her tour of a tiny home community in Austin, Texas.
Council Member Steve Detrick also voted no to the proposal to expand the City Manager’s purchasing authority. He stated a regional effort would yield better results. “We could get more bang for our buck in the long run, coupling up, using this towards a regional effort.”
In agreement with Hume, Council Member Stephanie Nguyen also called for more community outreach. She agreed with the general concept of pooling funds within the region. However, she stated that the funds would do more good if kept within the Elk Grove community.