Raincross Group’s opinion of the City Attorney recommendation to seek voter approval to add authority through the City Charter to prosecute misdemeanors, including prostitution.
Raincross group recommends that the City Charter section 1403 be used to fully evaluate the issue and project that the issue be on the November 2016 ballot.
- Section 1403 of the City Charter provides a mechanism to review and potentially amend the Charter. The Charter requires that it be reviewed every 8 years or sooner if the council deems it appropriate. In either case, the review is done by a citizen panel appointed by the city council. This process has worked well over the years and should be adhered too.
- The City Attorney’s recommendation completely bypasses this historically effective process. Since there is no dire emergency that would justify not using the prescribed charter review process, the council can appoint a citizen review panel now and target the Nov. 2016 election for the issue to be considered by voters. There is also the option of waiting for the next charter review scheduled for Feb. 2019.
- See section 1403 below for reference:
Sec. 1403. Charter Review Committee. In February 2019, and in February every eight years thereafter, the City Council shall appoint and appropriate adequate funds for a Charter Review Committee. The Charter Review Committee shall have the power and duty to: (a) Recommend to the City Council which, if any, Charter amendments should be placed on the ballot at the next regular municipal election for Mayor. (b) Hold public meetings to receive input on proposed Charter amendments. (c) Present a final report with its recommendations to the City Council by the last Tuesday in May preceding the next regular municipal election for Mayor. It may, in its discretion, make interim reports to the City Council. The City Council shall act upon the recommendations of the Charter Review Committee prior to the last day to place measures on the ballot for the next regular municipal election for Mayor. The City Council may appoint Charter Review Committees more often if it desires. (Effective 10/23/2012 and 12/27/1995)