City Council members discussed a proposed increase to the sales tax of one-quarter to one-half percent on Thursday – but said the measure won’t make it to the ballot unless the city and labor unions come to some agreement about pension cuts first. “We need to demonstrate to our constituents that we have undergone pension reform,” City Councilman Rob Fong said. “It would not be responsible of us to go out and ask for more money from our citizens, if we’re not taking care of business on the cost side from a structural standpoint.” Councilman Kevin McCarty said he agrees with Fong. “Voters should go to the polls saying, ‘You’ve done everything on your end, Sacramento, before you asked me f
In separate interviews Monday, Mayor Kevin Johnson and mayoral candidate Jonathan Rewers responded to questions from Sacramento residents during chats with The Sacramento Press. Topics ranged from how the city should handle park maintenance to how the candidates would improve bike safety on city streets. Here are highlights of the interviews, edited to remove minor audio glitches. The candidates answer a question from Trisha Hedah, executive director of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, about what they will do to increase funding for biking and walking. The candidates respond to a question from a resident about how to protect the economic and cultural benefits of the Second Sat
The primary election is right around the corner, and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and Jonathan Rewers each agreed to sit with The Sacramento Press for interviews, and we are opening the floor to questions from our readers. This is your chance to ask the candidates about the issues that mean the most to you. Questions can be submitted via Twitter with the hashtag #SPchat or posted in the conversation below this article. Questions should be brief and direct – and, in the interest of covering new ground, no arena or strong mayor questions, please. Both interview will be conducted as live Google Hangouts: The mayor's interview occur on Monday from 11 - 11:30 a.m., followed by Rewers' inte
City Council members voiced support of a possible sales tax increase that could bring as much as $13.5 million to city coffers, but won’t act on it until after this year’s city budget is finalized. They mayor said he opposes the proposal, and his campaign manager called it "regressive." The tax increase was recommended by Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman and mayoral candidate Jonathan Rewers in response to the results of a poll commissioned by the city that showed 71 percent of city voters would favor a sales tax increase to support city services, especially if the money is used to offset cuts to city police, fire and youth services. “Despite what I think, a sales taxes seems to
The candidates in the race for mayor didn’t pull any punches at a candidate forum Saturday at the County Administration Building, despite Mayor Kevin Johnson’s notable absence. Leonard Padilla, Jonathan Rewers and write-in candidate Edgar Hilbert-Garcia took the stage Saturday to answer questions from a panel of political media experts, including Foon Rhee and Pia Lopez from The Sacramento Bee, and Cosmo Garvin from the Sacramento News & Review. Johnson’s campaign manager told media in numerous interviews leading up to the forum that Johnson would not attend because the mayor faces “no viable candidates” in the race. Padilla dismissed the comment as “ridiculous,” while Rewers suggested
The candidates from all of the City Council district races, the mayoral race and two Board of Supervisors races will face off Saturday at a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters. One notable exception: Mayor Kevin Johnson is not scheduled to appear. According to Johnson’s campaign manager, Steve Maviglio, Johnson has “no need” to attend. “Given the large number of events the mayor has attended over the past year, and since none of his opponents are waging a real campaign against him, he chose not to participate in this event,” Maviglio said Friday. The news of Johnson’s planned absence came as no surprise to mayoral candidate Jonathan Rewers. “He’s not even campaigning,” Rewers s
Municipal finance manager Jonathan Rewers said he has what it takes to be an effective mayor for the city of Sacramento – and he’s running in the June race for the seat to prove it. “I believe I am the most qualified to be the mayor,” Rewers said Friday. “My 13 years in city government, experience working with all neighborhoods, education and background make me the best person for the job.” Rewers, 33, said his qualifications for the position include working with the city Parks and Recreation department, experience in resource management and delivering projects that stay within scope, schedule and budget. “It’s all about maximizing our resources in the best ways we can,” Rewers said. A
Two Sacramento Parks and Recreation Commission members urged the City Council on Tuesday to consider asking property owners to pay for the maintenance costs of city parks. The City Council decided it would weigh the issue next week because Councilman Darrell Fong wanted more information on the idea. Council members still heard the appeals of the Parks and Recreation Commission members at the meeting. Commissioner Cynthia Cooke said that if the public pays an assessment, general fund money for public safety and fire protection could be freed up. “We want to help you get parks operations and maintenance off the general fund,” Cooke said. Setting an assessment would involve several steps.