Two visions

As we’ve said before in this space, we were disappointed when Mayor Kevin Johnson pushed for a vote on his strong-mayor initiative in June of 2010.

Oh well. It’s going to the ballot now anyway.

So what happens next?

Well, after Johnson rescinded his first strong-mayor bid, the city set up a charter review committee to look into how to best overhaul City Hall. It needs it. Just look at the city’s inability to make headway on issues like K Street development, rising crime and flood control.

We believe that group now needs to expedite its work and, hopefully, spark a second ballot initiative. We’re not necessarily against a strong-mayor system—but the one now headed for the ballot would make Johnson one of the most powerful executives in any California city, with the ability to write the city budget, veto council decisions, and hire and fire all department heads, including the city manager, city treasurer and city attorney. Why put all that power in the hands of one person?

If we must move forward with two different visions for how Sacramento should govern itself, it makes sense, at least, to consider them together. Here’s hoping we face competing initiatives in June 2010.