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Rewers to run against Johnson for mayor seat

Municipal finance manager Jonathan Rewers said he has what it takes to be an effective mayor for the city of Sacramento – and he’s running in the June race for the seat to prove it.

“I believe I am the most qualified to be the mayor,” Rewers said Friday. “My 13 years in city government, experience working with all neighborhoods, education and background make me the best person for the job.”

Rewers, 33, said his qualifications for the position include working with the city Parks and Recreation department, experience in resource management and delivering projects that stay within scope, schedule and budget.

“It’s all about maximizing our resources in the best ways we can,” Rewers said.

As a municipal finance manager for the Municipal Transportation Agency in San Francisco, Rewers added transportation planning and management to his repertoire.

Rewers has lived in Sacramento for more than 20 years and earned three bachelor’s degrees simultaneously from U.C. Davis in history, English and political science. He is in his last semester at San Jose State University completing a master’s degree in urban planning.

“I’m a city builder by trade,” Rewers said. “I’m well-rounded.”

Currently, Rewers is also the chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Although Rewers will talk at length about any issue Sacramentans want to discuss, he said every question is an opportunity to turn ideas for solutions into plans of action.

“We need to be honest with people and say, ‘Here’s what you want to do, and here is how much resources we have to get it done. Now let’s make some hard choices and get to work,’ ” Rewers said.

Rewers said he believes the priorities for the city include rebuilding our sales tax base and following through with plans for economic development.

Rewers said finding ways to make Sacramento a “world-class city” is not as important as enhancing and taking advantage of what makes Sacramento unique – such as its urban forest, its open spaces and having government and health care as the top two employers in the region.

“Sacramento is an outstanding place to live,” Rewers said. “People who come here come here to stay. Why do they come here? Good schools, safe neighborhoods, clean streets, good parks, great libraries – all of these things that make us uniquely Sacramento.”

Rewers said Mayor Kevin Johnson has done some things right as mayor – but Johnson has done a few things wrong, too.

Most notably, Rewers said, Johnson has been a good spokesman but lacking in follow-through.

“He’s had a lot of initiatives, but (he’s) not so great at implementing,” Rewers said.

“I want to be on the (City Council) dais talking about how to reduce government waste, how to be more efficient in delivering city services, how to set a policy framework and have frank discussions with the public about where we are and what we really need to do to make things better,” Rewers said.

“It’s just a difference (between us) in philosophy of what makes an effective mayor,” he said.

Johnson and Rewers are joined in the race for the mayor’s seat by four-time mayoral candidate and local bounty hunter Leonard Padilla and insurance broker Richard Jones.

Melissa Corker is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaCorker.

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