ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) — Come November, Steve Ly will have finished his second two-year term as Elk Grove’s mayor — a position he was elected to by voters.
“This seat is the people’s seat,” Ly told FOX40. “I want to make sure the residents have the ability to vote for their next mayor.”
However, Wednesday, Elk Grove’s City Council will begin discussions about making the mayor’s job an appointed role and not one voted on by citizens.
“The reason why I am deeply concerned about this is it then returns it back to city council and allows city council to circumvent the voters, to circumvent the democracy,” Ly said.
An appointed mayor is how the city operated until 2012.
“It’s really more effective and more balanced approach to have all the council members rotate through,” said Steven Detrick, Elk Grove’s vice mayor.
Detrick said all options are on the table when it comes to talks about how the mayor gets the job. For him, a council-appointed mayor that rotates between council members on an annual basis makes the most sense.
“Because they then have a first-hand understanding on being the lead of all the meetings, the voice of the council out in the community,” he told FOX40. “Every decision I make is based on the best decisions I can for the residents of Elk Grove.”
For Ly, an appointed mayor may have worked in the past. But he said with Elk Grove continually growing, the city needs an elected mayor — whether that’s him or someone else.
“I want to make sure that residents have the ability to vote for their next mayor,” he said. “I think that it’s an injustice to take the power away from the people.”
While no action on the topic is expected at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, if eventually approved at a later date, it would head to the November ballot.
At Wednesday’s meeting, city leaders will also discuss a term limit on the mayor’s position, which could possibly be capped at eight years. That would mean two terms of four years each. The term limit would only be needed if the council does not eventually decide to have an appointed mayor.