It was a chila dilla on H street last night . With the central themes being Power to the People and a Supercharged Mayor.
Power to the people is a proposed ballot measures was authored by outgoing Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy. It would allow the citizens of Sacramento to decide if they want to lease public parking spaces belonging to the city to help finance a new downtown arena in June.
The proposal is to lease the cities parking garages. City leaders believe the leases could generate as much as 200 million dollars toward the proposed downtown arena. It is a critical piece of the financing plan. The city has a deadline of March 1 to come up with a financing plan important to keep the National Basketball Association “Sacramento Kings”
The garages generate nine million dollars a year. Revenue which goes into the city’s General fund. Last year the cities deficit was over 40 millions dollar,resulting in public safety layoffs and reduced city services.
It was a squeaker, by the gong the vote was 5-4 vote against placing the measure on the June Ballot.
What wasn’t a squeaker was Mayor Kevin Johnson‘s third or fourth attempt to become a Supercharged or (Strong Mayor) Mayor Johnson wants to join an élite group of mayors who have the authority to hire fire and make unilateral appointments to city goverment. In this latest proposal, the mayor would have the authority to appoint and remove the city manager, pending City Council approval. The mayor also would have the power to propose the city budget and veto some council actions.
In the City of Sacramento and many other cities. Hiring,firing of staff positions (city manager, city attorney and other is key positions) is approved by Mayor and the members of the city council. Changes, amendments to the city charter has to be approve by their council or by referendum.
The mayor asked the council to place his strong mayor plan on the November ballot. Johnson also agreed to include term limits for the council and mayor, and add a ninth City Council seat.No one on the council said they supported the mayor’s plan – but many said they just wanted to move on. “It’s time to quit spending council time debating this issue,” Steve Cohn said. “It’s exhausting.”
In warp speed, the council presented and approved (7-2)an alternative plan which will ask voters if they want to form an elected charter review commission that would look at changing the way the city is governed. If that proposal passes, 15 city residents would be elected to serve on that body.
Nearly two years ago, a very controlled and angry Mayor Kevin Johnson went off of the council for rejecting his second bid for Strong Mayor.
Hours before this rant, a confident Kevin Johnson believed he had support from the council and was soundly rejected. People forgive, but they rarely forget and many of those people were on the council last night.