City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

January 31, 2012
League of Women Voters supports November vote on strong mayor proposal

One of the region's most respected political groups is supporting placing Mayor Kevin Johnson's revamped strong mayor plan on the November ballot.

The League of Women Voters' board voted to support placing the proposal on the ballot. The board has not decided whether it supports the measure.

The City Council is scheduled to debate whether to place the measure on the ballot next week. However, there appears to be more City Council support for a ballot measure seeking to create a charter review commission to explore changing how the city is governed.

"Changing the city charter is one of the most important decisions a community can make," said League of Women Voters President Lola Acosta. "But our Board believes that this decision ultimately belongs to the voters of this city. "

Meanwhile, Johnson has released a tweaked version of the plan in response to comments and concerns made by his City Council colleagues earlier this month.

The mayor now supports placing the proposal on the November ballot, after originally asking it be placed before voters in June. He has also added term limits for the mayor (two) and City Council (three).

The centerpiece of the plan remains a strong mayor plan in which the mayor would have the authority to fire and appoint the city manager, propose the city budget and veto some City Council actions. That part of the measure was changed slightly; new language in the plan would require the mayor to notify the council in writing 10 days prior to removing the city manager.

The new plan removes the creation of an independent redistricting commission from the measure. It also creates a ninth City Council district to be served at-large until the next redistricting process.

In addition to added powers for the mayor, the plan would give the City Council final approval over the mayor's city manager appointment and budget, plus some mayoral veto override authority. The council would also be in charge of the city attorney, clerk, treasurer, auditor and independent budget analyst.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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