Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sacramento’s 1% line up behind strong-mayor proposal - Our Region - The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento’s power players line up behind strong-mayor proposal - Our Region - The Sacramento Bee:

Sacramento’s power players line up behind strong-mayor proposal

Published: Friday, Sep. 5, 2014 - 8:29 pm
Last Modified: Saturday, Sep. 6, 2014 - 12:28 am

Kevin Johnson strode into a midtown loft building Wednesday evening, an entourage of handlers by his side.
Inside the sparsely decorated room, the Sacramento mayor hugged and chatted with the 50 or so supporters who had come to celebrate the unofficial launch of the biggest political campaign this city has seen in years: Johnson’s proposal to boost the authority of the mayor’s office through a November strong-mayor ballot measure.
The president of the firefighters union stood in one corner, not far from a high-ranking officer in the police union. A handful of developers were there, along with the head of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce.
They snacked on small sandwiches as they mingled in a building on 16th Street owned by developer and Sacramento Kings minority owner Mark Friedman, who has contributed more than $14,000 to the strong-mayor campaign. The party was funded out of the $240,000 the campaign has already raised, including $100,000 from Angelo K. Tsakopoulos, the region’s leading land developer.
Sacramento’s power players are lining up to support Johnson’s proposal to consolidate more clout in the mayor’s office. In doing so, they’re seeking a cleaner, easier path to getting things done at City Hall.
“Most of the people that get involved in these things are players, they’re not just average people, and they are doing business with the city and are in tune with what’s going on at City Hall,” said Sacramento political consultant Andrew Acosta. “For a lot of these people, they want to have the ability to know exactly who they need to talk to to get something done. And they’d rather have one conversation (with the mayor) than eight (with the City Council).”
Opponents of Johnson’s plan, including City Councilman Steve Hansen, worry that the system would favor “the privileged and the wealthy.” Their campaign is likely to be outspent by a wide margin.
For years, the city’s business interests, developers and some unions have complained about having to maneuver through what they describe as a sluggish bureaucracy where a city manager appointed by the City Council calls most of the shots. To get something done, they often have to convince at least five City Council members, which can take a lot of time and money.
A strong-mayor government, such as the one Johnson is proposing, makes City Hall more of a one-stop shop. The mayor contends the new structure would give voters and interest groups alike aSacramento’s power players line up behind strong-mayor proposal - Our Region - The Sacramento Bee:

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