SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Mayor Kevin Johnson was fired up in an interview with CBS13, saying the state is partly to blame for losing the Campbell plant and the 700 jobs that come with it.
Now, the mayor’s comments are coming in direct conflict with the words from his democratic colleagues and friends in the legislature.
Johnson made a bold statement Friday, directly pitting him against California State Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.
“Everyone would say the business climate is poor, and anyone who wouldn’t say it is not being truthful,” said Johnson.
In his first on-camera comments addressing Campbell’s move out of Sacramento County, Johnson is clearly frustrated.
“There’s high cost of doing business in California. There’s regulations and tons of additional challenges here in California,” said Johnson.
The state and county has worked since the 1990s to keep Campbell’s in the region, offering at least $15 million in incentives.
Assemblyman Roger Dickinson was on the county board of supervisors during the negotiations.
“We were actually just making sure that what they were paying in taxes for the growth of their property value they were getting back,” said Dickinson.
Neither the city, the county, nor the state was notified prior to Campbell’s decision to leave.
“In light of that history, people here are very disappointed that Campbell’s didn’t say ‘we are looking at restructuring,’ ” said Dickinson.
The mayor says he will continue working to keep businesses in the region, but says it’s not an easy job with businesses hamstrung by state regulations.
“We are impacted adversely as a city because of how challenging it is to do business in California,” said Johnson.