SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Next Thursday, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will miss his seventh City Council meeting this year when he attends the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
The mayor has certainly racked up the frequent flier miles during those missed meetings.
He has been in the Bay Area, New York, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Tampa, and Hawaii; and whether those are excused absences depends on who you talk to.
He’s both the head of the city and a member of the City Council, but critics say the mayor isn’t following his mayoral duties.
“It’s almost like he’s getting blaise about the council meetings. So, I think I see a pattern that concerns me,” said Patrick Kennedy, a member of the Sacramento Unified School Board.
So far the mayor has missed six meetings this year.
His spokesperson says outside of the mayor taking his first vacation in years, Johnson has been busy selling Sacramento to influential people.
“We’re hearing the opposite; people are excited that the mayor has the opportunity to represent Sacramento on a national stage, in the national spotlight,” said Joaquin McPeek, a spokesperson for the mayor.
The mayor missed his first meeting of the year on March 13, when he was inducted into the Bay Area Hall of Fame.
On April 10, he was in New York trying to salvage the downtown arena deal.
On July 19, he was in Philadelphia for a U.S. Conference of Mayor’s meeting.
On August 9 and August 14, he was vacationing in Hawaii.
On Tuesday, Johnson was in Tampa for the Republican National Convention, and next Thursday he’ll attend the DNC in Charlotte as a delegate.
“I think that the opportunity the mayor has had has just been unprecedented,” said McPeek.
But, not everyone agrees.
Kennedy says the mayor’s first responsibility is to attend council meetings.
“If he wants to do something that has a higher calling, he should have done that and he should be here in Sacramento minding the store,” said Kennedy.
Even Sacramentans are split on whether the mayor is better served on the road or in his City Council seat.
“I think attendance is saying a lot,” said resident Rachel Reese. “If you can’t be on time and you can’t be present, how are you gonna represent us?”
Resident Joseph Placencia disagreed, saying, “If it’s important for him to attend those conventions, then he probably should if it’s going to benefit the city.”
The mayor will be vice president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors next year, and then he’ll take over the presidency. So, it’s likely he’ll continue to miss meetings for the next several years.