Last night, the Charter Review Committee approved three proposals: to increase the number of City Council seats, strengthen the mayor’s veto, and make the strong-mayor form of government permanent.

The recommendations include:

  • Expanding the number of council members from eight to 11. The current proposal would add three more council districts throughout San Diego instead of creating at-large seats. This proposal passed unanimously.
  • Requiring a two-thirds vote of the council to override the mayoral veto. Currently, the eight-member council can override a veto with the same five votes it takes to approve a proposal. Under an 11 member council, eight votes would be needed to override the mayor’s veto. This proposal passed 8-6.

(Currently, it requires five votes to override the veto — the same number it takes to approve a measure to begin with.)

  • Making permanent the strong-mayor form of government if voters do not repeal it by 2014. Currently, the strong-mayor structure is set to expire after 2010. Under strong-mayor structure, Mayor’s Office is separated from the council and has the authority to manage the day-to-day operations of the city. This proposal passed, 13-1.

The three ideas will be passed onto the City Council, which will ultimately decide whether voters can weigh in on these proposals in the June 2008 election.

Other charter issues, such as the creation of an Audit Committee, are expected to be taken up at the next meeting of the full panel, scheduled for Aug. 24.


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