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I4. Charter Measure

From: domainremoved <Pamela>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2018 17:27:52 -0700

Good Evening Mayor Ohtaki, Mayor Pro Tem Mueller, Council members Carlton,
Cline and Keith, and staff,

I appreciate the work of the sub-committee and the unknown attendees who
created the final draft Charter for the City of Menlo Park. It appears to
be thoughtful and include the concerns of some residents, desires of the
staff and the council’s intention. Thank-you.

*I have the following concerns:*

*Article 1.* *Section 101 *appears to still give broad powers to the staff
and council. It states “The City shall have full power and authority to
adopt, make, exercise and enforce all legislation, laws and regulations and
to take all actions relating to the municipal affairs set forth in this
Charter, without limitation, which may be lawfully adopted, made,
exercised, taken or enforced under the Constitution of the State of
California.” The words “without limitation,” expands current power beyond
unidentified need of the staff for city operation and into unknown
territory.

It appears this means the Council’s ability to pass an ordinance on any
municipal affair that the staff recommends at the request of the Council or
staff. This process requires two public hearings prior to passing prior to
voting. The Council may or may not make changes that reflect the will of
the residents. Once an ordinance is passed and enacted, it will take a
ballot measure implemented by citizens to reverse the ordinance.

The last statement “In the event of any conflict between the provisions of
this Charter and the provisions of the general laws of the State of
California, the provisions of this charter shall control.” Appears to put
our Charter above the laws of the State of California and maybe an
invitation to expensive and time-consuming litigation.

*Please delete Article 1 in toto.*

*Article 2. Section 204* states “The City shall have the power to adopt
ordinances establishing procedures, rules or regulations concerning the
City of Menlo Park elections and public officials, including but not
limited to, the qualifications and compensation of elected officials, the
method, time and requirements to hold elections, to fill vacant offices and
for voting by mail.

Again, broad powers. In the event you choose to adopt this section, it
should state that the voting method in the City of Menlo Park will be in
accord with the Voter’s Choice Act as implemented by the County of San
Mateo, rather than “voting by mail”

Recommendations are to delete all of *Article 1*. *Delete Section 204.
Delete Section 205* unless you choose a two consecutive term limit. If
council membership is the desire to serve the City, residents and
businesses, then logically a total of eight years should be ample time to
make an impact. If an additional four years is required to personally
oversee projects, policies and procedures, then it is person rather than
process driven.

I support a two-article charter only and the establishment of an Advisory
Charter Committee after the November 2018 election. An advisory committee
will be committed to a transparent process utilizing input from a broad
representation of Menlo Park residents and business.

The following language is recommended:

*Article 1. Elections*. The City Council shall be elected by district, with
three members elected at the same time as the statewide general election in
2020 and every four (4) years thereafter, and two (2) members elected at
the same time as the statewide general election in 2022 and every four (4)
years thereafter.

*Article 2. Municipal Affairs*. All other matters pertaining to Municipal
Affairs will remain as outlined in General Law.

It is important to place on the November 2018 ballot, a charter measure
that will be embraced by residents and passed on November 6, 2018.

Respectfully, Pamela D. Jones


-- 
*The impossible dissipates when **I* *becomes **WE**.*
Received on Tue Jun 19 2018 - 17:29:05 PDT

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