Steve Ly was sworn in as the new mayor of Elk Grove on Wednesday evening. Ly replaces outgoing mayor Gary Davis. Ly was elected by Elk Grove voters in the November election. Ly defeated Elk Grove City Planning Commissioner Kevin Spease.
The election of Ly as Mayor created a vacancy on the city council due to the fact that Ly was a council member. In a decision that was decided late in the evening the council decided to appoint a replacement. This is the third time in 4 years that the council has decided to appoint to fill a vacancy instead of holding a special election. The cost of a special election, according to the city clerk would be between $10-20 per registered voter in Elk Grove. Elk Grove has 90,000 registered voters. That would put the cost of between $900,000 to $1.8 million. A special election could have taken place in June 2017. Council members Suen, Hume, Detrick and new Mayor Ly voted in favor of making an appointment.
Another option would have been for the city council to change the how council members are elected. Currently the council members are elected by the whole city. They must reside in one of the four council districts. The city council could change that and have the council members elected by district. That would make a special election much cheaper, roughly 1/4 of the cost. Ly did suggest that the city council look at changing it in the future, but the other council members did not go along with it.
City staff will be taking applications for those who are interested in taking over the vacancy. The deadline will be January 18, with January 25 being the meeting for council to go over the applicants. Applicants must live in District 4. The map of the district is below. More information on the application process will be released by the city. It is expected that after the deadline the city council will hold a meeting to review the applications and have the applicants speak at the meeting.
We mentioned this issue just over a month ago. http://elkgrovelagunanews.com/2016/11/12/how-should-the-city-of-elk-grove-fill-the-city-council-vacancy/