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Johnson Concedes -Further Strong Mayor Push Unlikely

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio
 

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's "strong mayor" proposal has been defeated at the polls. Now, city leaders say they will continue  business as usual -with an eye toward some reforms.

For Johnson, it appears this is the end of the push for a "strong mayor" form of government.

"I think the issue's been resolved at the moment," the Mayor says. "I can't see a scenario at least right now where it's something that I'll be championing in the same way as I did in the past."

Sacramento City Manager John Shirey expressed relief. He would have served at the pleasure of Johnson had Measure L passed.

"It's been an issue on the table in the city the last four or five years. It's gone through several iterations," Shirey says. "This is the one that was most direct and most definitive in terms of how the charter would be changed. I think it's time to put that to rest."

Johnson says he will respect the will of the people who rejected a "strong mayor"- form of government.

"It's honestly hard to make this kind of change without a crisis," the Mayor says. "Obviously the outcome is not one that I had hoped for or one that I expected."

Shirey has been the City Manager since 2011.

"I think there's great relief," Shirey says, "not only by me, but by jittery members of city staff who have wondered for quite some time what the fate of this measure was going to be."

Shirey agreed in August to remain City Manager through June of next year regardless of whether Measure L passed.

Shirey and Johnson agree that the 48 city council meetings required every year by city charter are too many. They also agree -to an extent- that an independent redistricting commission would be an improvement over council members drawing their own districts.