SACRAMENTO -- He was a kid from Oak Park, who became an NBA star -- turned mayor of Sacramento. For eight years, Kevin Johnson sat at the head of city council chambers, a seat he'll occupy for the last time Tuesday night.
"Well he changed the way we do business, and that was a good thing,” said Sacramento City Councilman Jay Schenirer.
For many who worked with Johnson, he’ll be remembered for his larger than life vision and for being a tireless champion for the city.
"We will miss him here, I think he's done great things for the city,” said Schenirer.
Undoubtedly, the high point of KJ’s legacy is the shining $560 million Golden 1 Center in the heart of downtown Sacramento, a deal that kept the Kings in the city. It was an effort that wasn’t lost on fans.
"It's like we are the Kings. We. We have the Kings,” said Jacob Floyd, an avid Kings fan.
"He built a downtown Sacramento that's something to be proud of,” said Jill Norgaard, who works in Sacramento.
But the Kevin Johnson story is far from scandal free. He was accused several times of sexual misconduct, dating all the way back to 1995 and as recently as last year. Johnson’s categorically denied all of these allegations.
"We also have seen a dramatic increase in city debt, from about $1.5 billion to today about $2.5 billion,” said Craig Powell with the watchdog group Eye on Sacramento.
Powell has been critical of Johnson's spending as mayor. While downtown development has seen a major boost under Johnson, Powell fears a recession now could cripple the capital city.
"These things that have happened in his mayoralty are going to play out over the course of years,” said Powell.
Despite the scandals and the challenges, Councilman Allen Warren hopes Johnson's legacy will be the difference he made in Sacramento.
"I just think the way he championed the city -- he was a Sacramento first guy,” said Warren.
Warren says he'll remain a Sacramento-first guy as he leaves his office.