"We have an historic opportunity to update our charter and our city as part of a natural growth, improvement and evolution," said Johnson.
The mayor's first bid to have powers more like an executive branch failed to make it past the council and onto the ballot last year.
Opponents told council members last night - the city should be taking care of more immediate problems. Kerri Asbury is chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County.
"We have failing sewer and water lines, community centers and pools that are closed, parks in disrepair. Yet here we are again discussing the latest version of a strong mayor initiative brought forth by the mayor."
The council voted to ask city staff to look at putting together an elected charter review commission that would explore changing the way the city is governed.
The issue will come back to the City Council in three weeks.