Lawsuit against strong mayor initiative online

Sacramento residents can read the new lawsuit challenging the strong mayor initiative here.

Bill Camp, executive secretary of the Sacramento Central Labor Council, is the plaintiff who is suing the city government, the City Council and Thomas Hiltachk, the attorney who wrote the strong mayor initiative.

Mayor Kevin Johnson, who leads the initiative campaign, would have many new responsibilities if voters approve the initiative. In a strong mayor position, Johnson would attain the responsibilities of the city manager and create the city’s budget.

The city currently uses a council/manager system. City Manager Ray Kerridge’s many powers include the ability to draft recommendations for the city’s budget and hire department directors.

Camp’s lawsuit contends that the initiative violates state law because it would create changes to the city’s charter. While an initiative can be used to amend a city charter, it can’t be used to make sweeping changes, Camp argues.

Camp filed the lawsuit as a private citizen, not as a representative of the labor council.

The group SAVE Sacramento supports the lawsuit.

Kathleen Haley is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press.

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December 3, 2009 | 8:30 AM

Thanks for the lawsuit link. This will be interesting to say the least.

On another note-Regarding One’s ability to Follow-The-Money, what happened to the city’s campaign disclosure site? Someone has inadvertently or cleverly modified the Excel Export function using the advance search so that certain specific information is not available. Additionally that export function use to be easily available by individual documents without going to advance search…which now it is not.

The contributor’s city, state and zip code of origin along with their employer’s city, state and zip code are no longer part of the report!

Comparing exported Excel spreadsheets obtained prior to the Thanksgiving Weekend modification and additionally compared to ones that can be obtained on the Secretary of State’s site, which local candidates and committees do not submit their forms to…The new reports look as though someone doesn’t really want the pubic to know where a contributor’s city of origin is or that of their employer’s.

Remember, this has been a big issue with the funds that SAG is receiving! Mostly outside the city limits!

As a person who actually lives, works and votes here…I want to know where contributors live and work. In this age of the information highway…why are we suddenly receiving less transparency in these campaign contributions from an administration that touts transparency?

Was this simply an executive decision oversight???

December 3, 2009 | 11:12 AM

I believe one of the unions supporting Camp and his lawsuit is Local 39, the union that choose layoffs of its own members rather than renegotiate a pay raise with the city. I remember reading about this in the Bee and feeling sick. That’s as low as a union can go and certainly not a group I’d want associated with my lawsuit. These unions are only looking out for their own pocketbooks and certainly not the citizens of Sacramento. Beware.

December 4, 2009 | 10:46 AM

Hoffa would be proud.

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