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Discussion of Salinas City Charter Amendments

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On September 15, 2015, the City Attorney and the City Manager will begin a discussion with the City Council regarding a review of the City Charter and amendments to the City Charter. The City Attorney and the City Manager have noted that the City Charter is out of date, contains obsolete language, and is confusingly organized, as a result of the many amendments to and repeals of particular Charter sections over many years. Under state law, amendments to the City Charter must be approved by Salinas’s voters in order to be effective. Proposed amendments to the City Charter would be presented to the voters, in two phases, for approval at the statewide June 2016 primary election and the November 2016 general municipal election. The Charter revision is envisioned as primarily a technical update and reorganization of the Charter to make it less confusing. Some substantive changes, including extending the Mayoral term from two years to four years, may result from this process. The process will include community meetings with interested residents and stakeholders and will involve a Subcommittee of the City Council which will be appointed by the Mayor. Regular updates on the Charter revision process will be available here. Questions may be directed to the City Attorney or to the City Clerk.

 

On Monday October 5, 2015, from 6:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M. the City of Salinas will hold a Community Meeting in the Council Chambers located at 200 Lincoln Avenue for the purpose of providing the community with background information on the City Charter and to discuss the process for the review and the update of the City Charter.

 

The process began on September 15, 2015 at a public hearing before the City Council where a presentation was given that explained how the Charter was out of date, contains obsolete language, and is confusingly organized. The Charter review and update process is, therefore, primarily a technical update with some policy matters to be presented to the voters for their consideration. The Charter review and update will be broken down into two phases. Since Charter amendments require voter approval, if the City Council determines to update the Charter, the first update items would be presented for voter consideration at the June 2016 election and the remaining update items would be presented for voter consideration at the November 2016 election. The first item which may be considered at the June 2016 election is an extension of the Mayoral term from two years to four years. The additional items, which are primarily technical, may be considered at the November 2016 election. It is important to note that the update to the Charter will not affect the City Council districts and will not affect how the Council members are elected by the districts. Mayor Joe Gunter will open the meeting and has invited anyone from the community who is interested to attend and to learn about the Charter review and process and to provide their input into the process and the scope of the update.

 

Questions may be directed to the City Clerk at 831.758.7381 or the City Attorney at 831.758.7256.