Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly on Nov. 22 celebrated his 46th birthday at a fundraiser held at Sacramento’s historic Sutter Club. He is seeking his third term as the city’s mayor.

While wearing a tuxedo, Ly stood in front of a large group of his supporters and told them his desire to continue his work as the city’s mayor.

“My work is not done in Elk Grove,” he said. “By the time that I am done, I really want to leave a legacy.”

The mayor expressed his satisfaction with the city’s switch to the “by-district” election system for council elections.

Through the “by-district” election system, voters will only choose among candidates running in their local council districts. The system goes into effect in the November 2020 election.

The council’s 3-1 vote on Oct. 23 eliminated the “from-district” system, in which council members were elected by voters across the city, and each member represented a council district.

Voters across the city will still vote for mayoral candidates.

Ly, a longtime proponent of by-district voting, said that he has not been “shy” in his support for that voting system.

“I’ve never faltered on my position,” he said. “I’ve been true to it, and I’m just proud that it’s going to be happening next year. And for you Elk Grovians, you’re going to be able to vote for your representative from your City Council district, and that makes me so very proud.”

The mayor shared his belief that through by-district voting, council members will have stronger connections to neighborhoods.

“I think the effort now that you’re going to see with council members is they truly are going to be connected with constituents of (their districts),” he said. “By virtue of doing that, you’re going to have council members that are going to be strong advocates and have a full understanding of what the needs are for that district.”

Traffic congestion remains the city’s biggest issue, Ly said.

“We have measures that are put into place that will be addressing (traffic),” he said. “We certainly will be moving forward with some of these methods to mitigate the traffic.”

After recognizing that the city’s population is growing toward 200,000 residents, Ly told attendees that he believes Elk Grove will eventually become a “comprehensive, full-service city.”

Ly praised capital projects that have reached various stages in Elk Grove during his mayorship.

“Capital projects that we put so much money toward are coming to fruition,” he said. “We see the (completed) aquatics center, we see the (completed) animal shelter, (and) we see the veterans’ hall and community center and senior (center) are coming to fruition. “And we also have heard that the (Wilton Rancheria) tribe is successful in their lawsuits, so we’re going to have a casino coming soon, as well.”

Ly expressed pride in his support for the Costco Wholesale store, which opened last year.

‘When I got on as mayor, I was told that was a dead deal,” “And I told the land developer, and also Costco, I said, ‘Why is it a dead deal?’ (They said), ‘Because nobody wants to move on it.’ I said that doesn’t make any sense.”

The mayor noted that the store’s taxes are paying off for the city.

“We’re yet to find out how much we’re going to be getting this year, but I assure you it’s in the millions,” he said. “I would rather have millions than zero. That’s real dollars that go to the police force, real dollars that actually go to the city.”

Ly told the Citizen why he believes that voters should vote for him next November.

“I have the most experience,” he said. “After this term, I would be the longest serving mayor in the history of Elk Grove. I have the experience; I have the willingness to serve and to be a responsible mayor.”