The San Diego City Council today came to a final decision on a proposal to put before voters spelling out how the new independent auditor should be appointed after failing to find consensus in three separate hearings this year.

The proposal that will go before voters June 3 would have the mayor appoint the auditor in consultation with the Audit Committee; the City Council would confirm the appointment.

City Councilwoman Donna Frye had argued stridently that the mayor should not choose the person who would be in charge of inspecting the financial activities of the mayor’s staff.

However, a majority of council members agreed to give the mayor the power, should the voters ultimately approve the measure, saying that it struck a balance between the executive and legislative branches. The measure, which also includes a stipulation that the City Council can fire the auditor with a two-thirds vote, passed 5-3 with Frye and Councilmen Tony Young and Brian Maienschein dissenting.

The measure is part of a series of ballot initiatives that will go before voters this year and in 2010 primarily building off of — and eventually trying to make permanent — the new strong-mayor form of government.


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