Letter to the Editor: Measure A is a Power Grab

Vice Mayor Jeff Harris

Measure A would be a fundamental change to our city government that would give the mayor more power, but would weaken the voice of our neighborhoods and our councilmembers. This means that citizens will have less involvement in decisions that directly affect their lives. “Strong Mayor” has been rejected three times in the last decade by the courts, the city council and the voters

Under this proposal the mayor would propose and control the city budget, be able to fire the city manager without cause, and have veto power over budget items and ordinances passed by the council. The mayor would no longer vote at city council meetings, nor be regularly accessible to the people. Although the title mentions accountability, it does the opposite — it will attract big money to mayoral races to buy influence and gain favor for special interests.

During this time of crisis, people of Sacramento are fighting for their lives, their homes, their jobs and businesses, and struggling to get education for their children. This proposal has been placed on the ballot in haste and robbed our citizens of their right to participate in healthy debate and an equitable democratic process. It is a power grab, plain and simple.

This charter change will not help us through this pandemic, or any crisis. it will not create or free up resources to advance city goals. Even worse, it would restrict the budget with a $40 million earmark that would necessitate a reduction in core service. This is a deeply flawed proposal.

Vice Mayor Jeff Harris

Vice Mayor Jeff Harris is currently serving his second term as the District 3 representative on the Sacramento City Council. His district encompasses South Natomas, Gardenland and Northgate as well as the East Sacramento, River Park, Sacramento State, Point West, Downtown Railyards, and River District neighborhoods.

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