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Old Posted Sep 30, 2007, 5:28 PM
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Arden Arcade given $15,000 by Elk Grove
Council OKs gift to help cityhood bid after protests staged.
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, September 28, 2007

Advocates of Arden Arcade cityhood got a boost Wednesday night from the Elk Grove City Council with its 4-1 approval of a $15,000 gift to the effort.

The action, with Councilwoman Sophia Scherman opposed, followed protests from the Stay Sacramento! Stop Arden Arcade Cityhood committee.

The committee, whose chairman resides in Arden Arcade, met with reporters outside Elk Grove City Hall and later urged the council not to fund the effort, a video of the meeting shows.

"We do not see how the city ... can justifiably take taxpayer dollars from your city's general fund and make a gift" to a committee hoping to establish another city, Mike Duveneck, chairman of the anti-cityhood committee, told the council.

State law prohibits government entities from making gifts of public funds without some benefit to the contributing entity.

But some suburban city leaders have said that there is a benefit, noting that new cities strengthen the clout of existing municipalities.

Cityhood advocates had sought $30,000 from Elk Grove.

While all council members were willing to help, they proposed varying amounts.

Scherman was willing to give $5,000 to supplement the $5,000 the city gave to the Arden Arcade cityhood effort in 2004.

Councilman Michael Leary suggested giving another $20,000 or $25,000.

But Councilman Gary Davis' $15,000 "middle ground" proposal won council votes.

"Every community deserves their day at the ballot," Davis said. "They want what we've got.

"We stood on the backs of others. They need to stand on our backs. It's no different than (donating to) the League of California Cities every year."

This wasn't the first time Elk Grove supported a city's incorporation.

The council gave $35,000 in January 2002 to successful efforts to turn Rancho Cordova into a city.

Arden Arcade cityhood advocates also have found support from other cities. Rancho Cordova has given $35,000 to the cityhood committee, according to a report by Kara Myers, assistant to the Elk Grove city manager.

Citrus Heights and Folsom each gave $15,000 to the effort, according to the report.
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