Leaving the City Council this month will mean blissful deliverance for Larry Carr. He will savor the sounds of silence.
Since replacing the late Bonnie Pannell in a 2014 special election, Carr has represented District 8, the city’s southeastern suburb that includes Meadowview, Parkway and North Laguna. The district is home to some of the city’s more challenged neighborhoods and underserved residents.
Carr led the City Council to adopt a progressive police use-of-force policy, banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and requiring officers to intervene if fellow cops use excessive force. “I’m really proud of what the city has accomplished,” Carr says.
People are finding many reasons to vote against Measure A, the strong mayor proposal devised by Mayor Darrell Steinberg. Accountability, neighborhood influence and transparency will dwindle under strong mayor. But there’s something less obvious that makes strong mayor a bad bet.
In August, Steinberg proposed strong mayor as a way to direct extra dollars into historically underserved communities, such as Meadowview, Oak Park and Del Paso Heights. But evidence indicates if Steinberg becomes strong mayor, those communities shouldn’t expect much.
The counter-intuitive correlation between money and homelessness continues to confuse Mayor Darrell Steinberg and city leaders. The correlation goes like this: The city raises money to house homeless people, yet the number of people living on the streets grows larger. More money equals more homelessness.
Steinberg recently said Sacramento would receive about $28 million in state funds to combat homelessness. The dollars would become part of a $62 million campaign to convert old motels, manufactured homes and other sites into supportive units for unsheltered people.
Misjudgment is scattered across Darrell Steinberg’s campaign for strong mayor. His strategic mistakes would be alarming if committed by a rookie politician. Coming from Steinberg, whose political career stretches back three decades, the breakdowns are astonishing.
It’s as if the mayor wants his Nov. 3 power grab to fail.
Susan Peters has represented District 3 on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors since 2004. Stepping down this year, she helped recruit a Highway Patrol chief, Rich Desmond, to run for her seat. On the Nov. 3 ballot, Desmond and SMUD board member Gregg Fishman are in a runoff.
While the campaign has become a largely virtual affair in the pandemic, Desmond and Fishman have worked hard to distinguish their views, many of which are similar.
There’s a big company in Sacramento that provides services everyone needs but tries to avoid. The pandemic wrecked the company’s business plans but made it more essential than ever. And the company is in trouble with the state attorney general.