The political struggle over how to make permanent the strong-mayor form of government and institute a broad range of constitutional reforms at the city of San Diego has blossomed in recent weeks, with a group of private residents meeting to discuss ideas and Mayor Jerry Sanders formulating his own committee.

Here’s a copy of the memo the mayor sent out last month to the City Council, which provides the first outline of how he plans to form his committee and what he wants it to address in time for the 2008 election.

Sanders wants the committee to mull measures “that may improve the functionality” of strong mayor, explore what modifications are needed to accommodate the Kroll reforms, and give a clear definition of the roles of the mayor and council. The first year of the government’s structure featured a number of power struggles between the mayor and council over authority in the budgeting and financial reporting process.

The memo says each topic will be dealt with by a subcommittee. The mayor says the committee will begin its work around March 1, meet twice a week and be held to the state’s open meeting laws.

He is asking each council member to nominate three possible committee members, and says he will select one nominee from each council member. He says he will also make an unspecified number of nominations to ensure a “representative balance.” There will also be reps from the offices of the mayor, the city attorney and the independent budget analyst. The memo continues:

We are looking for individuals who can be independent, possess scholarly and operational subject matter expertise, those who have experience with previous charter reform efforts and who are broadly representative of our talented citizenry.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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