The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

December 15, 2008
City debates whether K.J. "hid the ball" on city charter revision
Not surprisingly, Kevin Johnson's plan to change the Sacramento city charter is generating both heat and smoke.

Several city council members, bloggers and on-line commentators are calling the mayor's bid a "power play," which it is. But are some are going farther by claiming that Johnson deliberately misled voters about his intentions prior to taking office.

Let's look at the record.

As JoeSacramento has pointed out, candidate Kevin Johnson said on page six of his Day One action plan that he would:

"Explore a change to the city charter moving toward a strong mayor structure....We should engage in a dialogue to determine if we can improve our city through a different governance structure."
Some might argue that, by having his allies file a petition to change the city charter, Johnson is starting that "dialogue." Others say he's trying to avoid it.

Interestingly, Johnson made no mention of the city charter change in his inaugural speech. That long address mentioned a city audit, a gang summit, new office hours, meeting with school superintendents and other "things you can expect to see with the first 100 days of my administration." But no mention of a strong-mayor change.

During the campaign, however, Johnson made clear, as early as July, that enhancing the mayor's powers was one of his priorities. Here's what he said in response to questions from The Bee on July 30:

I think the time may have come to consider modernizing governance of Sacramento, perhaps changing the rule of the mayor from being one of nine city councilmembers, to being a standalone and accountable executive. San Diego and Oakland have taken similar steps in recent years.

Personally, I'm a bit surprised that Johnson is pushing this reform so soon, but it's a stretch to say he "lied" about his intentions, as some are doing. The bigger question is whether the charter revision is a well-crafted proposal, one that will stand the test of time.

You can read the proposal here.

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Stuart Leavenworth on Twitter

Follow "SacBeeEditBoard" on Twitter