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2014 Charter Measure

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Charter ballot measure for Nov. 4, 2014 General election

Charter Committee documents

General information on charters


The California Constitution gives cities the power to become charter cities. The benefit of becoming a charter city is that charter cities have supreme authority over “municipal affairs.” In other words, a charter city’s law concerning a municipal affair will trump a state law governing the same topic.

The charter city provision of the state Constitution, commonly referred to as the “home-rule” provision, is based on the principle that a city, rather than the state, is in the best position to know what it needs and how to satisfy those needs. The home-rule provision allows charter cities to conduct their own business and control their own affairs. A charter maximizes local control.

The preceding information was provided by the California League of Cities.

On May 7, 2013, the Costa Mesa City Council voted to create a Charter Committee to draft a proposed charter. The Committee, which was comprised of 13 appointed members, convened the first of its 16 meetings on June 26, 2013. On March 12, 2014, the Committee voted 10-1 to recommend this charter to the City Council. You can read the March 18, 2014 City Council staff report here that asks the City Council whether to schedule public hearings on the proposed charter.

The City Council held two public hearings on the proposed charter: April 22, 2014 (staff report here) and June 3, 2014 (staff report here).

On July 1, 2014, the City Council voted to place the proposed charter on the Nov. 4, 2014 General Election ballot (staff report here).