City Beat

Firefighters, black business group support Sacramento strong mayor plan

The city’s firefighters union has endorsed a November ballot measure seeking to increase the authorities of the mayor’s office.

Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522 announced Thursday that it was supporting Measure L. That endorsement follows announcements in recent days that the city police officer union, the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Sacramento-Sierra Building Trades & Construction Council – which represents more than two dozen unions – are also supporting the plan.

Also Thursday, the campaign behind the measure announced that the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce had announced its support.

Backed by Mayor Kevin Johnson, the measure would transfer many of the duties held by the city manager to the mayor. The city manager is now appointed by the City Council as a whole and serves as the city’s chief executive.

Supporters argue the plan would allow voters to hold accountable the person making many important decisions at City Hall. Opponents argue that it would place too much power with one official.

“As firefighters, we support Yes on Measure L because we believe our elected leaders need to embody the same spirit of accountability that our members do,” Brian Rice, head of the firefighters union, said in a statement released by the strong-mayor campaign. “Every single day we face dangerous situations that demand us to be accountable to the people we serve and to each other. City Hall should be held to the same standard, and Measure L creates the accountability that our citizens deserve.”

Azizza Goines, president of the Black Chamber, said “businesses need clarity and certainty from city government and Measure L will promote stronger transparency and efficiency that will enable us to create more jobs and economic progress for our community.”

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