Mayor Kevin Johnson is blaming dysfunction on the city council for driving Kerridge out the door. The mayor’s three staunchest opponents on the council aren’t commenting – and for that matter, neither is Kerridge.
Mayor Johnson is usually Sacramento’s biggest cheerleader. Not yesterday. At an afternoon press conference, the mayor’s voice dripped with sarcasm when talking about the environment at City Hall.
Johnson: “I don’t think it’s conducive, where people say, oh, I’d love to be the city manager of Sacramento. The way the council and the mayor operate is great for the city. And this is a city on the move, and we can’t wait to take it to the next level.”
The mayor pointed to what he called the council’s petty politics and personalities; and buzz that some council members were trying to push Kerridge out.
But Councilman Ray Trethaway, who supports Kerridge, says the city manager has survived a lot of challenges in his three-plus years at the helm – and this wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Trethaway: “I don’t think that was a driving force at all – whatever dysfunctionality is at the council. And to that end, I believe there’s a lot of people out there highly qualified that would love to lead this great city.”
Kerridge himself was not available yesterday. In his only public comment about his resignation, he told the Sacramento Bee that it’s been difficult working with a council that often isn’t moving in the same direction, but, quote: “that is political life.”
Also declining or not available for comment yesterday – the three council members who have been the mayor’s most forceful critics: Sandy Sheedy, Rob Fong and Kevin McCarty.
Political analyst Doug Elmets says the city’s dysfunction mirrors that of the state and federal governments right now – and the voters have had it.
Elmets: “Really, everyone in city government – the elected officials in particular – need to grow up. They need to realize they’ve been elected to represent the people – not their own personal political ambitions or positions.”
Elmets: “There are many people who are running for office this year – running for many positions on the city council – who see what’s going on and realize they can do better. And probably can.”