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Elk Grove Citizen

City’s Mission ‘Possible,’ Mayor Says

Apr 04, 2024 10:07AM ● By Matthew Malone

Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen greets guests before beginning her State of the City address. In a reference to “Mission: Impossible,” she entered wearing dark sunglasses. Photo by Matthew Malone

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ELK GROVE, CA (MPG) - Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen laid out recent accomplishments and upcoming goals during her State of the City address on March 29. The event’s theme reversed a popular film franchise by declaring “Mission: Possible” for Elk Grove.
Singh-Allen said much has changed since she was elected mayor in 2020.
“The big dreams we have conceived for our future that seemed so impossible back then are coming to life today, thanks to the passion, commitment and collective pursuits of dreamers like you and me, who see the promise and the possibilities for Elk Grove’s future,” Singh-Allen said. “The work of our city is guided by a clear mission that comes from the need and priorities expressed by our community.”
She said that governing Elk Grove, like the missions in the action movie series, calls for leadership, adaptability and innovation to confront complex challenges.
“But really, these tongue-in-cheek comparisons are meant to highlight the complexity and the approaches to the work that we must do for our city,” Singh-Allen said. “Now, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to dream big and work hard with us to foster a city that provides a vibrant, sustainable economy; community safety and resiliency; a high-performing, financially stable local government; and infrastructure that meets our current and future needs. And I believe that mission is possible."
Sustainable Economy
Singh-Allen said Elk Grove is primed for “explosive” growth. In 2023, she noted, Elk Grove issued more than 400 business licenses to companies starting in the city.
The mayor pointed to two of the largest businesses to open in the city in recent years: a Kubota Tractor Corp. distribution center and Sky River Casino.
Kubota opened its distribution center in southern Elk Grove in December. At the grand opening, an executive said the facility “represents a key chapter in Kubota’s history” as it expands in the U.S.
“This $70 million state-of-the-art facility is serving dealers and customers throughout the West,” Singh-Allen said. “Kubota is sparking new jobs, innovations and opportunities for our region, not just at their facility but at hotels, restaurants and retailers here in Elk Grove and it will spur additional growth in the Grant Line business park.”
Since its opening in 2022, Sky River has opened new eateries at its location north of Kammerer Road, Singh-Allen noted. She also cited the purchase of 20 acres of land near Sky River by Wilton Rancheria, the tribe that owns the casino.
“This growth continues to enrich our community’s dining and nightlife options, and fosters self-reliance and success for Wilton Rancheria and its members,” Singh-Allen said, thanking the rancheria leaders for their commitment to Elk Grove.
The Elk Grove Library’s upcoming move to the former Rite Aid location on Elk Grove Boulevard and Elk Grove-Florin Road will “offer new ways to engage with education and to connect through spaces and resource that support learning at any age.”
Singh-Allen announced that State Sen. Angelique Ashby, D-Sacramento, had secured $1 million to support the library move.
Addressing the plans to have the Sacramento Zoo move to Elk Grove, Singh-Allen said the project could attract more than 1 million visitors per year, promote Elk Grove and provide “an amazing educational resource” for students.
Community Safety
The economy’s health depends on prioritizing public safety, Singh-Allen said, citing rising reports of shoplifting throughout the state.
Singh-Allen said Elk Grove Police Department conducted 13 covert operations in 2023 “to combat retail theft,” recovering more than $27,000 of merchandise and making 58 arrests. She noted that revenue from the Measure E sales tax funded the hiring of 19 police department staff and the launch of a youth services unit.
Singh-Allen cited the introduction of a community prosecutor, in partnership with the Sacramento County district attorney, saying it would “ensure that these offenses in Elk Grove come with consequences.”
“(Community Prosecutor Anthony Ortiz’s) new office at the police department literally puts him alongside our officers to combat crime,” Singh-Allen said. She added that Ortiz would help prosecute offenses such as burglaries, theft, substance abuse and vandalism.
The mayor said first responder response times to emergencies are another major aspect of public safety. She noted that Cosumnes Fire Department is training new personnel and implementing new software to improve its response times.
Singh-Allen also pointed to the Enhanced Winter Sanctuary as part of the city’s response to homelessness. She cited one sanctuary client who used the support to transition to an apartment.
“These are the results we want more of, and to provide more time for guests to make that transition, to sustainable housing, we are using savings from the program to extend the operation of the Enhanced Winter Sanctuary to the end of April,” Singh-Allen said. 
She cited the city’s participation in the Point In Time Count of homeless people in Sacramento County and the hiring of homeless navigators to help unhoused people find permanent dwellings.
Local Government
The mayor spoke about the city’s approach to governance.
“We’ve never been a city that conforms to the status quo. We strive to be leaders in innovation, pursuing ideas that improve the lives of our residents and streamline our operations,” Singh-Allen said.
The city is developing an “inclusive engagement toolkit,” she said, to encourage staff to engage the community early and often on projects. Singh-Allen noted that Franklin High School students are working with the city on an augmented-reality version of the planned zoo, and that staff are creating digital presentations on the progress of development projects.
In addition, Singh-Allen pointed to $2.2 million secured by Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, for a number of city projects: connecting local trails, hiring abuse-victim advocates, and converting the city fleet to zero-emissions vehicles.
“Having strong partnerships with the federal government ensures that we have a champion that is representing the needs of Elk Grove in Washington, D.C.,” Singh-Allen said.
She also highlighted the city’s efforts to increase diversity in its staff and the adoption of a land acknowledgment honoring Elk Grove’s indigenous people.
Singh-Allen said Elk Grove’s roads “are some of the best in the region.” She noted that roads in the Sacramento region receive a pavement condition index rating of 53 out of 100, indicating poor condition, while Elk Grove’s roads rate an 80, indicating satisfactory quality.
Traffic signal synchronization has reduced travel time by an average of 12% on Elk Grove and Laguna boulevards, with a 46% reduction in the number of stops crossing the city. Further enhancements will follow, she said.
Singh-Allen turned to the Capital SouthEast Connector, which includes extending Kammerer Road to Interstate 5. She said the city hopes to begin right-of-way acquisitions for the project later this year. The city is still seeking funding for the project through grants.
“The project will remain to provide much-needed additional east-west connection from Interstate 5 to Highway 99. This new roadway will not only provide access and a route for residents and businesses in the developing southern parts of our city, it will offer much-needed traffic relief on Elk Grove and Laguna boulevards,” she said.
Singh-Allen also expressed anticipation for the proposed train station in Elk Grove, which she said would access the city’s “untapped potential” by giving a closer connection to the Bay Area, shortening commutes and encouraging businesses to start in or move to the local area. Opening is expected in late 2026.
Singh-Allen concluded on an optimistic note. She acknowledged the women who represent the city on the state and national levels for Women’s History Month and thanked the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce for organizing the event.
“I am proud to say that the state of our city is strong. Our mission is possible,” Singh-Allen said.“My goal as your mayor is to be able to look back on the great work that we have done together and say, ‘Mission accomplished.’”