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Mayor and Council Not Seeing Eye to Eye

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The mayor was more than happy with recommendations from the citizens redistricting commission on realigning city council seats.  But he was less than thrilled when council members Steve Cohn and Sandy Sheedy presented their own maps as alternatives.  Johnson says elected officials cannot be trusted to choose their own voters. 

JOHNSON: "I definitely feel like when we say the word transparency, and then we magically pull out a map or two, that to me more than taints the process.  I feel like you're railroading the process."

The Cohn and Sheedy maps are similar to each other, but are quite different from three of the four maps recommended by the citizens' commission.  Cohn says his district will change the most no matter whose map you use.

COHN: "I would hardly call the map I presented self-serving.  I would have liked to keep Midtown.  I've served Midtown for 17 years and would have liked to definitely keep that area as well as parts of North Sacramento that are in my district."

Cohn says it's the city council's job to draw districts.  And, if the mayor doesn't like it, he should try to change the city charter. 

The council and the mayor also are at odds over the city managers job.  The mayor has long said his office should handle the day to day duties of running the city, but the council has voted down his strong mayor proposal. 

This week, the council is expected to offer the city manager's job to former Cincinatti City Manager John Shirey (SHY ree).

Mayor Johnson says his disagreements with the council may have kept some qualified people from applying.  .

JOHNSON: "They know probably that the mayor has a different vision.  Not probably. The mayor has a different vision than a lot of members on council.  That's not exciting for most people to consider.   I certainly understand that.  I think something has to give at some point.  I think there's a way that we can create  a vision that's shared for Sacramento."

Only 30 people applied. In Davis, 80 people applied for that city manager job.

The council is expected to announce a hiring decision tomorrow (Thursday.)  A redistricting vote is expected in September



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