The group looking to force a referendum vote on the proposed Elk Grove casino, has turned in the signatures they gathered in Elk Grove to the city. The group turned in 14,800 signatures. They will need 9000 valid signatures to force the vote, which would likely result in a special election.
The group has faced controversy in the Elk Grove area due to their tactics and unknown backers. The petition gatherers were the source of numerous complaints on social media about their aggressive and sometimes harassing behavior. A counter group formed by Region Business, had supporters holding signs telling people not to sign it. Also outgoing Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis and City Councilman Steve Detrick were the voices on robo calls to Elk Grove residents that also brought criticism from local residents who had just come off the 2016 election cycle. Residents complained that they were receiving 3-4 for calls from the group in support of the mall and the casino. Casino and mall supporters fear that a delay in the casino could adversely affect the unfinished mall.
Just who backed the petition drive is not yet known. The group hired a petition gathering service to collect the signatures which were turned in by a Sacramento law firm. The petition seeks to force a referendum on the recent decision by the Elk Grove City Council to remove the portion of the mall property from the development agreement, paving the way for the property to be taken into a trust by the Federal Government on behalf of the Wilton Rancheria Tribe. The tribe is currently waiting for the Burerau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to make their decision on the proposed location. It is unclear what will happen if the BIA makes their decision prior to a referendum.