On March 3, in the Sacramento Bee, there was an article that caught my eye. It was titled "City meeting seeks public input on housing policies." Elk Grove is asking residents to weigh in on crafting the city's housing policies for the next eight years. The city is in the process of updating the housing element of its general plan.
How refreshing is this? I think the city council and the city manager of Elk Grove should be commended for having the foresight to include the citizens as part of the process. This means that the city council, special groups, developers and the planning commissioners who do the bidding for these groups will not be the only ones deciding the direction in which the city should be headed!
I don't know how it is in other cities, but here in Galt, embracing the public's input to be part of the process is a foreign concept that will never see the light of day! At our council meeting, one has to ask if they can have an input to any proposal they might be ready to vote on. It is a rare thing when they open things up for public comment. And if you do get up and say what you think, they don't ever take one seriously. Most of them keep looking at the clock and can't wait for your three measly minutes to be up.
Choose any night to go to a council meeting here and you will quickly notice that there might be eight to 10 citizens attending. They are usually outnumbered by high school students who are there because of school assignments. Embracing the public is not a new concept, but it is not something self-serving officials subscribe to!