At this past week’s Elk Grove City Council meeting, during the public comment portion at the start of the meeting, a resident commented on the proposed plan for a hospital in the Stonelake area of Elk Grove. When Mayor Steve Ly called her up to speak, he asked for Cathy Yang and then as she approached the podium, he called her Dr. Yang.
Dr. Yang said she was speaking as a private citizen, and commented that she moved to Elk Grove 3 years ago. She said recently she and her neighbors heard there would be a hospital built and in her words, “they were all very excited.” She then discussed the benefits of the hospital and talked about where she lived previously and how living close to the hospital was a benefit.
What Dr. Yang didn’t mention is that she works for California Northstate University, the entity that is planning to build the hospital. This was found by doing a search of the faculty directory.
Did she know of the plans for the hospital? Was she speaking as a private citizen or someone that works for the university? Did Mayor Ly and the council know she worked for the university? Apparently City Councilman Darren Suen didn’t know. After Yang concluded her remarks, Suen asked her to leave her contact info so that the hospital could contact her as part of their outreach to the community.
The proposed plan for the hospital has come under fire from nearby residents and businesses that will be forced to relocate due to make room for the hospital. Residents are upset at the potential for more traffic and noise, citing the possibility for helicopters to take off and land at the hospital. Residents have also complained that they were blindsided by the announcement shortly before Christmas. The university has since brought in former mayor Gary Davis to help with the community outreach. Davis himself recently moved to the Stonelake area.
The proposed hospital faces an uphill battle as residents have vowed to fight the plan. They have cited the lack of research done by the university prior to making the announcement and the need for traffic and environmental studies to be completed first.