Johnson to Delay Strong Mayor Measure
KXJZ file photo/Ben Adler
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says the city’s in such poor financial shape that he’s putting off his strong mayor initiative. The move comes as city officials prepare to brief the mayor and council on the budget at a special workshop tonight.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Sacramento’s budget situation is so bad that two city officials say the goal of tonight’s workshop is to “scare” the council into taking action. And Johnson says his push to give the mayor more executive powers has become a distraction. So he’s asking the grassroots group that collected signatures for the measure to hold off on turning them in.
Johnson: “Right now, our budget is a real issue for us all, and we need to focus on that. And any distraction or anything that creates politics or process or excuses to focus on that is not good leadership on my part.”
Councilman Kevin McCarty says he appreciates the mayor’s pause to regroup – but suggests a different motive.
McCarty: “I would think they got the message from the residents of Sacramento that they want to hold back on this and really have a more thoughtful dialogue on how you go about changing our constitution for the city of Sacramento, which is our charter.”
Johnson says the measure could still go before voters as soon as November. Meanwhile, he’ll take his other initiative, which would create an independent budget analyst, to the city council immediately.