City Beat

Realtors, construction workers support Sacramento ‘strong mayor’ measure

The campaign over Mayor Kevin Johnson’s strong-mayor measure appearing on the November ballot is already heating up though the election is months away.

It’s early August, normally a quiet season in local politics, and yet two more groups have weighed in on the measure.

This time it is the Sacramento Association of Realtors and Laborers Local 185, both of which announced through the pro-strong-mayor campaign that they were supporting the measure.

The endorsements are not surprising, given Johnson’s pro-business attitude. The downtown arena championed by Johnson will also be built by unionized construction workers, many of whom will likely be members of Local 185.

Last week, the League of Women Voters announced it was opposing the strong-mayor plan, called the Checks and Balances Act of 2014. The proposal will appear as Measure L on the November ballot.

If passed, the measure would transfer many of the daily powers held by an unelected city manager to the mayor, including the authority to propose the annual city budget. The mayor could also appoint a city manager, with City Council approval, and dismiss the city manager unilaterally.

Supporters argue that the measure would create a more efficient form of government and create more accountability for the mayor by placing many of the daily duties of the city into the mayor’s hands. Opponents counter that it places too much power with one official.

In a statement released by Sacramento Tomorrow, the group that proposed the measure, Doyle Radford Jr., business representative with Local 185, said the measure would “make our city more responsive with less red tape.”

“With a more streamlined government, we believe that we will see more jobs in Sacramento,” Radford said.

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