March 31, 2011
Issue 1A: Passing
The charter change increases the number of district representatives on the nine-member City Council from four to six. The other three seats will be at-large positions.
The ballot issue was championed by Mayor Lionel Rivera, who said most cities with a strong-mayor form of government have councils made up entirely or mostly of district representatives.
Under the ballot issue, the two at-large council candidates with the fewest number of votes among the five who won election Tuesday will serve a two-year term instead of a four-year term. That provision has generated threats of litigation.
Issue 1B: Passing
The ballot issue, also a charter change, expressly states that the city’s next mayor can participate in the council’s executive sessions.
The council is allowed to meet behind closed doors to discuss personnel issues, property acquisitions and matters that may be subject to negotiations, among other topics covered under the law.
While the mayor has always been allowed to participate in executive sessions, City Attorney Patricia Kelly suggested the ballot issue because she said the voter-approved switch to a strong-mayor form of government allowed the mayor to attend only open sessions.
The group that pushed the strong-mayor form of government in November said it didn’t believe the charter change was necessary, but it didn’t oppose the ballot issue.