City Beat

Five neighborhood groups vote to oppose Sacramento strong mayor

Members of five neighborhood associations, four in the central city, have voted to oppose Measure L, the November ballot measure seeking to increase the authority of the mayor’s office.

The Southside Park Neighborhood Association, the Marshall School/New Era Park Neighborhood Association, the Midtown Neighborhood Association and the Newton Booth Neighborhoods Association are opposing the measure, according to Stop the Power Grab, the campaign trying to defeat the plan. The Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association in Curtis Park also recently voted to oppose the proposal, the group said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, local watchdog group Eye on Sacramento will host a public forum on Thursday to discuss Measure L. The forum is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Clunie Community Center in McKinley Park, 601 Alhambra Blvd.

Julie Murphy, co-chair of the Marshall School/New Era Park group in midtown, criticized the ballot measure campaign for accepting much of its funding from developers and unions representing construction workers.

The Measure L campaign, led by Mayor Kevin Johnson, has raised more than $260,000, campaign finance records show. The largest donation was $100,000 from prominent land developer Angelo Tsakopoulos; other large donations have come from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a political committee representing Realtors and the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce.

“What are they expecting for their money?” Murphy said in a statement released by the Stop the Power Grab campaign. “Is Kevin Johnson just a really good guy that can separate money from contributors’ pockets or are these groups expecting a red carpet to be rolled out after the election?”

Mark Abrahams, former head of the Land Park Community Association, added, “The measure’s financial supporters will prosper, but not us.” The opposition campaign said it also had the support of two dozen members of neighborhood groups in Curtis Park, Tahoe Park and midtown.

Stop the Power Grab has raised nearly $125,000 of its own, according to the most recent campaign finance filings. The largest donor has been the local plumbers union, which has a long-standing feud with the mayor and gave Stop the Power Grab $45,000. The Democratic Party of Sacramento County and unions representing carpenters and local community college teachers also are among the campaign’s big donors.

Measure L would allow the mayor to appoint and remove the city manager, essentially transferring the day-to-day decision-making at City Hall from a city manager to the mayor.

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