These recommendations are the outcome of monthly meetings of the Charter Review Committee (CRC) as formed by the San Buenaventura City Council in October 2014. The CRC was formed for the purpose of reviewing the existing city charter and determining if changes were needed to address specific issues raised by the City Council and suggesting improvements for greater voter participation in local governance.
The following are summary recommendations for consideration by the City Council.
- Compensation should be increased to $1500 per month for the Mayor and $1200 per month for Council Members with an annual regional CPI adjustment.
- Terms for Council Members should not exceed three terms of four years for a total of 12 years.
- The Board of Education should be removed from the charter.
- No change should be made to the election of the Mayor from the Council.
- Council Members should be individually elected from districts.
- The City Charter should reflect gender neutrality.
- The title of Deputy Mayor should be changed to Mayor Pro Tem.
- Should the Mayor’s position be vacated before the end of a two year term, the Mayor Pro Tem should automatically assume the position. If the remaining term of office is more than 12 months and one (1) day, it shall be considered as a full term for the purposes of succession in the office.
- The residency requirement for running as a candidate for membership on the City Council should be 30 days.
- There should be no residency requirement for the position of City Manager.
With regard to the major issue of whether to move to district elections, it should be noted that the Council’s decision to not provide funding in order to retain outside consultant expertise limited the CRC’s scope and resources regarding discussion of the characteristics and details concerning district elections. Since the Council declined to provide funding for the Committee to have access to one or more experts, the analysis on districting was not as broad or in-depth as some committee members would have liked.
It was the consensus of the committee that specific language for charter changes is the purview of the City Council and the City Attorney and, therefore, this report does not recommend specific language for charter change.