Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson trade high-fives following a ESPN interview at the Sacramento Kings rally on Thursday night, May 23, 2013 at Cesar Chavez Plaza in Downtown Sacramento. José Luis Villegas Sacramento Bee file
Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson trade high-fives following a ESPN interview at the Sacramento Kings rally on Thursday night, May 23, 2013 at Cesar Chavez Plaza in Downtown Sacramento. José Luis Villegas Sacramento Bee file

City Beat

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City Beat

Mayor Kevin Johnson rescinds request to delay City Council meeting for ESPN film

By Ryan Lillis

rlillis@sacbee.com

October 07, 2015 05:48 PM

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson withdrew a request late Wednesday to postpone a City Council meeting later this month to accommodate the premiere of a documentary about the city’s fight to save the Kings.

Johnson’s office had asked that the Oct. 20 council meeting be moved to Oct. 22 because ESPN is scheduled to premiere its “Down in the Valley” film that night. The city is planning a series of public viewing events that night.

But after the plan was criticized by Councilman Steve Hansen, the mayor changed his mind.

“From the beginning, the mayor was absolutely clear that this was an all-for-one decision, meaning all of the council members needed to be in agreement in order to move the council meeting,” said Ben Sosenko, the mayor’s spokesman. “Since that’s not the case, the council meeting will stay as scheduled.”

Hansen called the idea to postpone the meeting “silly” and said it was “reflective of the priorities of some on the City Council.”

The move also would have affected the City Council’s looming vote on whether to raise the city’s minimum wage. That vote had tentatively been scheduled for Oct. 20.

It was unclear late Wednesday whether that vote will take place Oct. 20 or the following week. The Oct. 22 council date was considered problematic for the closely watched minimum wage vote because it would come during a less common Thursday night session.

The minimum wage vote had initially been set for next week. But that vote got pushed back a week, to Oct. 20, when the council didn’t have enough members to hold Tuesday’s meeting and take a preliminary step necessary to place the matter on the discussion calendar.

Meanwhile, behind-the-scenes maneuvering surrounding the issue continues.

A Sacramento business group wrote in a letter Tuesday to Johnson and the City Council that it wants the city to specifically exempt sit-down restaurants from the proposed minimum-wage increase if the council eliminates a broader service industry exemption.

Representatives of Region Restaurants, a newly formed business advocacy group, wrote in a letter that it supports a “total compensation” provision. Under that section, businesses such as restaurants and nail salons would be exempt from paying their employees the new citywide minimum wage if they can prove those employees take home at least $15 an hour with tips.

The provision is part of a broader plan released last month by a mayoral task force proposing to gradually increase the city’s minimum wage to $12.50 an hour by 2020. The task force was made up of business and labor leaders.

But labor groups have been critical of the total compensation provision and have indicated they could challenge the provision in court if the City Council approves the minimum-wage plan. Those groups may also explore a ballot initiative next year seeking a higher minimum wage.

The letter is signed by Joshua Wood as executive director of Region Restaurants. Wood is also head of Region Business, a business advocacy group that pre-emptively called last week for Johnson to pursue a third mayoral term.

Ryan Lillis: 916-321-1085, @Ryan_Lillis