As we all know, Mayor Kevin Johnson blew a gasket at the Sacramento City Council meeting last week after it looked clear that his push to get a new-and-improved “strong mayor” initiative on the November ballot was going down in flames.
We weren’t too hot on Johnson’s reasoning around this initiative to begin with. This new version of the strong-mayor push was better than the original one, but it still seemed essentially a power grab. If Johnson had set it up so the charter change wouldn’t take place until after his term in office, the proposal surely would have gotten more serious consideration by council members, the public, and SN&R.
Still, we were surprised by the 7-2 vote that killed it off. And honestly dismayed at the mayor’s rash outburst at the meeting—he basically spent 30 minutes before the vote verbally berating his fellow council members for not agreeing with him. How did things get so dysfunctional in city government? Why on Earth did the mayor put so much intensity these past 18 months behind a strong-mayor push when there are so many other worthy projects on his agenda?
Here’s hoping the entrance of a few newly elected council members can change the dynamic, refocus the mayor, and make functional this ineffective governing body.