“Strong Mayor” campaign brings signatures to City Hall
Friday, the group organizing the campaign to provide Sacramento’s mayor with more power delivered to City Hall signatures of residents who favor a “strong mayor” city government. The paperwork that contained the signatures filled 13 boxes, said acting city spokeswoman Wendy Klock-Johnson.
The idea of changing Sacramento’s current “council-manager” system to a “strong mayor” format continues to be controversial. The group, Sacramentans for Accountable Government, brought signatures to City Hall to meet requirements to put the “strong mayor” proposal on an upcoming ballot. Mayor Kevin Johnson supports the "strong mayor" campaign.
At the same time, the city’s Charter Review Committee is examining the “strong mayor” idea.
The total number of signatures must be 15 percent of the city’s registered voters. Staffers at the City Clerk’s office will now count the signatures. After that, the signatures will be verified by the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters. The City Council will then decide when the proposal will go before voters.
Thomas Hiltachk, an attorney with the group, was not immediately available to return phone calls Friday afternoon.
The campaign said it had gathered more than over 45,000 signatures, according to The Sacramento Bee.
City Attorney Eileen Teichert explored the issues raised by the "strong mayor" campaign in February reports to the City Council.
Teichert noted that the proposal would give Johnson numerous powers. “A true strong mayor system grants its mayor budgetary powers, appointment and removal powers, management of day-to-day city affairs, power to propose legislation and veto power,” Teichert wrote. “The Strong Mayor Initiative includes each of these powers and more.”
Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.