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An Open Letter to District 8 Councilmember Bonnie Pannell

Councilmember Pannell

I received a phone voice message from Open Sacramento. I don’t know how they received my phone number nor do I know how they received my email address. I never signed any attendance sheets for an event held by Open Sacramento that would contain my personal contact information.

When I sign in to speak at city council sessions I provide both my email and phone number. I hope that information is not shared with others.  I do not like feeling strong armed into a Strong Mayor plan which I believe still has minimum community input.

The voice message states, " Hi, This message is for Rhonda. My name is Eli and I’m calling on behalf of Open Sacramento. If you’re in support of the Strong Mayor Initiative we ask that you contact your councilmember Pannell and urge her to place the accountability plan of 2010 on the November ballot. We have emailed you contact information and we hope that you have the ability to do so."

Council member Pannell I also received the below email:

"Dear Supporter:

My name is Eli and I’m emailing on behalf of Open Sacramento.
Did you read today’s Sacramento Bee article, Johnson hasn’t given up on Sacramento strong-mayor proposal?
There is still a chance to qualify the Accountability Plan of 2010 for the November ballot. We just need five votes.
Please send an email to Council Member Bonnie Pannell. Here are some talking points:
– You have denied my right to vote
– Since government cannot reform itself, voters should have the right to vote on the Accountability Plan of 2010
– We need more accountability, efficiency and transparency at City Hall
– We have been discussing the issue for 18 months; we cannot afford to wait any longer
– You supported putting the plan on the ballot once; we need you to do it again
Email addresses are listed below.
Bonnie Pannel
[email protected]

Thank you for your support,
Eli Rymland-Kelly
Open Sacramento


Council member Pannell, I am not a supporter of the SMI so I have no idea why I received an email beginning, "Dear Supporter…."

Councilmember Pannell you have not denied my right to vote. I appreciate you for protecting my right to transparency. I do not feel our Mayor is transparent in his reasoning for the Strong Mayor Plan. I also fail to see how it holds our Mayor Accountable when it appears our Mayor is not currently held accountable for overlooking the pain and struggles many city residents currently face as he strives for more power.

Councilmember Pannell,  "we" (the community) have not discussed this issue for 18 months, as the email suggests, with those who constructed or designed the cleverly evasive plan. It is evasive since it fails to inform us what the Mayor can do with the new and improved power under a new form of government that he can’t do under the current system. It fails to specifically inform us on how we can hold him accountable. 

Council member Pannell the community should know exactly how the new plan will hold our Mayor accountable and how it will prevent him from skating through misconduct as he has in the past. Council member Pannell our mayor can and has afforded attorneys to not hold him accountable,  appears to have difficulty in transparency and hasn’t proven to be worthy of additional powers.

Our Mayor spent little time preparing for this devastating budget, which unfortuantely included many program cuts, as he sought out more power. Why would you vote to give him the power to develop a budget ?

I appreciate your vote against placing the plan on a ballot until their is comprehensive community discussion.

I am pleased with your outreach and hard work within the community I reside. Council member Pannell I read in the Sacramento Press, "Johnson said he is still encouraged and sees "a window of opportunity that three council members can change their perspectives."  I hope that you are not one of the three council members our Mayor feels will change their perspectives.

I also hope we can close this window of power for our mayor and open a door for a better quality of life for residents with a council looking beyond strong power  for our mayor to finally look at the people crying out for genuine change and not the status quo practiced by our Mayor of overlooking the cries, pleas and concerns of many city residents.

Council member Pannell you did not deny my right to vote as the email suggests. You protected my right for truth and transparency and I appreciate your sincere efforts.

It is my hope that you stand firm and true to your past decision to vote No on placing this agenda on the November ballot. I appreciate your hard work for District 8 and your ability to look, listen and hear the people. 

It is unfortunate that our Mayor is so focused on more power as city families continue to bury their youth.

Today I passed a car wash, held in your District, where friends of family members of yet another Sacramento homicide victim were attempting to raise money to bury their loved one. Recently I was a victim of a crime.  I do not appreciate the fact our Mayor is preoccupied with more power when youth are losing their lives.

I am impressed with the fact, that while our mayor ignores all else that matters towards the quality of life of many city residents, you are working overtime towards providing life and freedom opportunities for city residents. 

Councilmember Pannell if necessary I will provide a list of homicide victims since our Mayor has taken office. I will provide a list of crimes occuring within the city of Sacramento since our mayor has taken office. I will provide a list of programs cut since our Mayor has taken office. I will show a need for the city of Sacramento to focus on more pressing issues than more power for our Mayor. 

 I can’t see how our mayor having more power would have prevented the death of our youth nor the recent attack on myself. Thank you for your time on this matter and I hope you will Vote NO once again so that the City of Sacramento can move on to address issues which affect the residents of Sacramento.

I hope you will take a firm stand and allow city residents to get off the strong mayor treadmill our mayor has placed the city on as many of our youth are in crisis;  fighting to live and living to die.

I am pleased to know that while our Mayor has not the time or energy to address our concerns that the councilmember we vote into office has the ability to look beyond the Mayor’s quest for power and listen to our questions, see our needs and concerns.

It is my hope and prayers that you continue to look at the residents of your district and not the strong arm tactics of special interests and our politics as usual- status quo- nothing has changed-Mayor.

I ask that you again Vote NO and please forward this letter to our Mayor and fellow council members.

Thank  you

Rhonda Erwin

Resident of District 8 watching our Mayor as our Mayor turns a blind eye and deaf ear to our concerns as he looks for more power.

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