Strong Mayor Debate
Voters in the city of Sacramento are weighing a November initiative to create a so-called “strong mayor” form of government. Measure L, the initiative backed by current Mayor Kevin Johnson and his wife, school reformer Michelle Rhee, has divided the labor community and has pitted members of the city council against each other. Council member Steve Hansen is leading the opposition campaign against Measure L. The initiative would restructure the city’s government from a system that gives the city council authority to hire a chief executive to serve as city manager to one in which the elected mayor is the chief executive. Supporters say it would give the mayor more authority to lay out a vision for Sacramento; opponents say it would give the mayor undue power over the elected council. The Sacramento Press Club thanks Michelle Rhee and Steve Hansen for the spirited Measure L debate at our October luncheon.