Public Eye: Mayor Johnson's campaign owes a bundle -- to Johnson

Published: Friday, Sep. 16, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012 - 11:12 pm

THE MONEY TRAIL

Johnson campaign owes a bundle – to Johnson

When it comes to his re-election bank account, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson owes more than he has.

Then again, he owes most of the money to himself.

The mayor raised roughly $25,000 through the first six months of this year, the most recent campaign finance records show. That cash went into his 2012 campaign fund.

In the account created for his 2008 campaign, however, Johnson has $578,000 in unpaid debt.

About $521,000 is in the form of loans Johnson granted to his campaign and an additional $56,000 is in campaign-related charges.

As for his contributions so far this year, he got $3,000 checks from, among others, PG&E and the CEO of Envision Pharmaceutical Holdings Inc. Giving $2,500 were developers Mark Friedman and Frank Ramos, steel company executive Steve Ayers, Niello Acura and the Chevron Policy, Government and Public Affairs office.

Johnson's campaign account also made a $25,000 contribution to OPEN Sacramento, the committee that led Johnson's "strong mayor" campaign.

An opponent from the political establishment has yet to emerge, meaning Johnson likely won't need the same bankroll he accumulated in 2008, when his race against then-Mayor Heather Fargo became the most expensive in City Hall history.

– Ryan Lillis

FIX THIS

Park signs were victims of elements, not vandals

The problem: Signs at two Sacramento parks looked like somebody took a chain saw to them.

The solution: It turns out the lovely wooden signs fell apart simply because of age – too many boiling Sacramento summers and soaking winters.

The signs that stood in front of Fremont Park, 1515 Q St., and University Park, 1900 University Ave., will be replaced. The replacements will be more durable.

"The signs were not damaged by vandalism or chain saws," said Shannon Brown, park maintenance manager.

"They are old wood signs that are kind of glued together in pieces. Over time they have been worn and fell apart."

The Fremont Park sign will be replaced in the next couple of months. Funding to replace the University Park sign still needs to be found.

The city has the pieces of the University Park sign and could probably glue it together, Brown said.

"But it would fall apart again because of the sun and the elements," Brown said.

"We are going to have to find out how to get funding. Our new standard is a more concrete-durable sign that lasts a lot longer."

The new signs also make it easier to clean away graffiti.

– Bill Lindelof

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