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Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007 | I am very pleased to read that Mayor Sanders will push to have some of the recommendations of the City Charter Review Committee scaled back. As both a citizen and a City Council candidate, I have advocated for all of the “rollbacks” he is now endorsing: Increasing the size of the City Council by only one member, not three; giving the citizens and taxpayers of the city the full five years, until 2010, to review and reflect upon the effect of the strong mayor form of government as it now exists; and allowing reasonable Council input into the workings and tenure of a City Auditor.
During these very tight financial times, for reasons of fiscal responsibility, I believe that the addition of just one new council seat is both prudent and sufficient. Adding one new member will help to avoid tie votes, and will allow for a true two-thirds majority should the council seek to override a mayoral veto. Nothing more is needed.
Next, the original public vote for a full, five-year time period for San Diegans to judge the effectiveness and desirability of a strong mayor form of government must be respected. That’s why we have votes of the citizenry — it is the citizens and taxpayers who are supposed to be the real “bosses,” not self-serving officeholders or “insider” stakeholders who would seek to circumvent our very sacred electoral process.
Finally, the City Council is a “co-equal” branch of city government, even under a strong mayor form of governance. Given that the council shares great responsibility for the fiscal and budgetary affairs of city government (just ask those councilmembers who were — and perhaps, still are — investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission how responsible they are), it should play a critical role when it comes to overseeing a City Auditor.
Mr. Mayor, I think you have made a wise, reasonable and commendable decision to limit some of the recommendations coming from the Charter Review Committee. Thank you.