Johnson hasn’t seen plan to give him more clout

10/07/2013 8:55 PM

10/08/2013 1:05 PM

Mayor Kevin Johnson is sure to like the latest proposal floating around Sacramento City Hall to greatly enhance his authority. That is, if he ever gets around to reading it.

Johnson said Monday he hadn’t “gotten my hands on” a plan released last week by a group of political and business big shots that would give the mayor’s office added authority over the city manager and budget. The measure was hand-delivered to the City Council at last week’s meeting, but Johnson was not in attendance.

The City Council is scheduled to debate whether to place the plan on the ballot at its Oct. 15 meeting.

Sacramento Tomorrow, the group that penned the proposal, said it sought community input on the idea of giving Johnson the same kind of powers enjoyed by mayors in many large cities. But the group also went out of its way to say it had not sought the influence of Johnson in crafting the plan.

For his part, Johnson thinks voters will get a chance to weigh in on the plan after three other “strong mayor” proposals failed to make the ballot. He said there’s “a good shot” the council will place this plan before the voters.

“I think it’s something that our community has been talking about for four-plus years,” he said.

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Johnson announced Monday that Sacramento would be the first city in California to conduct a day of public outreach to enroll residents in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

The outreach is scheduled for Nov. 16. Very few details have been finalized, but the effort will likely include neighborhood events and a central site to connect residents with health care options.

Johnson said that 300,000 people in the Sacramento region do not have health insurance.

“That’s far too many,” he said.

Johnson was joined in making the announcement at City Hall by Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California; Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento; Darcel Lee, president and CEO of the California Black Health Network; Alice Huffman, president and CEO of the California chapter of the NAACP; Lina Mendez, a project manager with the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities; and Pat Fong Kushida, president of the Sacramento Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce.

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Here’s a new one: Sacramento – a city that normally falls near the bottom of any business-related ranking – was named the happiest midsized city in America by online job site CareerBliss.

CareerBliss said the workplace happiness rankings were the result of surveys taken by thousands of workers around the country, measuring various factors including employees’ relationships with co-workers and bosses, work environment, job resources, pay and opportunities for growth.

Sacramento beat out Albuquerque, N.M. Four other California cities – Costa Mesa, San Jose, Irvine and Fremont – made the top 10.

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