Sacramento strong mayor campaign gets backing of former city manager

A former Sacramento City Manager has said his successors should have their power curtailed, lending his support to a strong mayor initiative backed by Mayor Kevin Johnson.

Former Sacramento City Manager Ray Kerridge, now the top executive in the city of Roseville, said in a statement, “Now is the time for the mayor to have the resources needed to take (Sacramento) to the next level.” Kerridge was city manager in Sacramento from 2006 to 2010.

The Sacramento Bee reports Fresno City Manager Bruce Rudd also announced his support for Measure L. Rudd has worked in Fresno for 38 years and was there when the city adopted a strong-mayor government in the 1990s. He said the transformation “has made a world of difference in ensuring that we deliver city services efficiently and effectively.”

The ramifications of the outcome of Measure L is profound, and not just for Sacramento. A success in November could spur further efforts to implement strong mayor forms of government throughout the state.

As the fifth city in California to consider a move in this direction, some might write this off as a 'big city' phenomenon. 

But considering that Sacramento is the smallest city to consider such a move - and the first in the post-Bell era, this is not something that should be taken lightly. The campaign theme for Measure L is 'accountability', essentially suggesting that voters have far less now in their current form of government. How they decide may tell us a lot about how they feel about the accountability of the city manager's office. And while city managers organizations began efforts  to educate the public on what they do shortly after the Bell scandal, they have done nothing of note in the past few years - that may come back and bite them.


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