Letters: ‘Strong mayor,’ drug treatment, SMUD

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Another KJ?

Re: “‘Strong mayor,’ plus” by Foon Rhee (Editor’s note, July 23):

While I am one of the people who think [Darrell] Steinberg has done a reasonable, if not great, job as mayor, I ask you to think back to our previous mayor, Kevin Johnson. Under the KJ regime, this was a totally pay-to-play city in which a sufficiently large behest (bribe) could get you anything you wanted. He had large number of city staff working on his personal projects, and often against the interests of the city. And his alleged child molestation history made Sacramento the laughingstock of the nation.

What if we had another KJ, but with strong mayor powers?

Dan Allison, via sacramento.newsreview.com

Grow up, Sac

It is time for Sacramento to grow up and become a real city. The weak mayor system with its “professional city manager” is designed for small communities that can’t afford good professional politicians to run their cities.

All the different department heads, police, fire, public works, parks, etc., report to the city manager and then the city manager only reports to the council, not the electorate. Want to get rid of the police chief? We have to get a majority of the council and a weak mayor to persuade the city manager to fire that person.

Sacramento is completely capable of electing its own mayor/CEO. There are more than enough capable people willing and able to run this city who can pass the muster of being elected by the citizens of this city. At least if we don’t like what they are doing then we can vote them out.

Jeremiah Rohr, via sacramento.newsreview.com

Elect new council

There is no need to hold funding for lifting up our investment-deprived neighborhoods hostage to giving the mayor more power. It’s like looking for a white knight. The City Council can and should do what equity activists have been asking for all along, and especially with Measure U funding.

The council would be beholden to business and developer interests under the proposed charter amendments; how would that change anything? Allies in Sacramento want communities of color and poverty-trapped families to get their fair share of opportunity, public funding and investments. The real question is what is holding the council members back from doing what they already have the power to do? Maybe we need more changes on city council. Let’s let a new generation of council members weigh in on the charter, not the old guard.

Glenda Marsh, via sacramento.newsreview.com

A Trojan horse?

We do not need a strong mayor. Joe Serna had no trouble being a strong mayor without any charter revision, by means of community leadership. We should keep existing checks and balances.

This proposal contains far too many and diverse changes to be ethically presented to voters in one package. It looks like a Trojan horse. There is nothing stopping the council from offering these changes as individual proposals for voters, and it would be far more ethical.

And there is to my knowledge nothing stopping the council from enacting the various “Community Equity and Engagement” and “Ethics and Government Accountability” measures without asking voters or changing the charter. There are many changes in governance and operations that are more essential to the city’s successful evolution than the actual charter changes proposed.

Muriel Strand, via sacramento.newsreview.com

Standing side-by-side

Re: “A $1.2 million sobriety pit stop” by Joe Smith (Essay, July 28):

Loaves & Fishes and WellSpace Health are proud to stand side-by-side in support of the Substance Use Respite and Engagement (SURE) program.

As regional leaders serving our community’s most vulnerable people, we believe that a program like this has been needed for a long time. A moment of respite provides clients time to reflect and an opportunity to consider an alternate path. Engagement provides the means by which they can walk down that path. 

Understandably, there will be questions about SURE and we look forward to helping people understand how this program works and how it benefits everyone. Innovation in service never ends and it takes a collaborative effort to be successful. 

Noel Kammermann, executive director of Loaves & Fishes, and Jonathan Porteus, CEO of WellSpace Health, via email

Persistence pays

Re: “An environmental leader, again” by Chris Brown (Essay, July 22):

Encouraging report about SMUD’s renewed commitment to carbon neutrality ten years from now. I appreciate the persistence of the individuals and groups propelling this action, and for the concisely written article.

Karen Andus, via sacramento.newsreview.com

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