I just watched the televised debate between Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo and challenger Kevin Johnson. Although fatigued by this contest and the choices that voters face, I was intrigued by the candidates' answers to a question about the current weak mayor system in Sacramento.
Fargo said the system works well with a "strong personality as mayor" and a strong personality as city manager. But then she added that "there have been some problems with past city managers and with the one we have now."
Problems with current manager Ray Kerridge? What are they? Fargo didn't say and the moderator didn't ask.
Johnson, by contrast, praised Kerridge by name, and said he would be able to work with the current structure by "using the bully pulpit." He then went on to say: " I do think the city needs to have a discussion to move from a weak mayor structure to an executive mayor structure." In other words, he'd like to change the city charter in a pretty dramatic way.
I'd love to know what Ray Kerridge thought of these two responses. One candidate dissed him without elaboration. The other suggested a change that would make the mayor the city manager. No matter who wins, it could be a tough four years for Mr. Kerridge.
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