Residents File Petition Against Elk Grove City Council Over Wilton Casino Project Meetings

ELK GROVE --  “This is a family oriented city that the casino does not fit in,” said Joe Teixeira. “They’ve stonewalled us at every turn.”

Teixeria is one of five Elk Grove residents named in a Superior Court petition. It orders the city of Elk Grove to comply with both the California Records Act and the Brown Act, which protect people's rights to attend local government meetings.

Teixeira believes the city council made backdoor dealings with the developers of the Wilton Rancheria Indian Casino proposed at 99 and Grant Line Road.

And he's made seven requests to see more documents.

"We’re basically getting to the point that we’re suing them," Teixeira said.

“You know, as the mayor, I respect their right to pursue that venue," said Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly.

Ly said the petition did come as a surprise, but that the city attorney has already provided this group with 10,000 pages of documents. He says any closed session city meetings are always guided by the city attorney.

Wilton Rancheria responded to the petition in writing, calling it a desperate media stunt by a front group for a card room that's trying to stifle the competition.

Teixeira says he doesn't speak for anyone but himself. As a man with a family in Elk Grove, the casino represents something that can tear that apart.

“Alcoholism, problem gambling,” he said.

But Ly says the casino represents opportunities for families -- for 2,000 full-time jobs and 2,000 construction jobs.

“That’s important, and it would benefit the community in a positive way,” Ly said.

One thing both men agree on is that Elk Grove is a young and rapidly expanding city, and right now, we're seeing the growing pains.