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Pasadena City Council Scheduled to Decide on Charter Task Force Topics and Directives

Published on Monday, September 18, 2023 | 6:05 am

The Pasadena City Council is set to decide on Monday the proposed topics for a City Charter Task Force to consider. The Task Force review could result in amendments to the document that serves as Pasadena’s constitution.

The Council will also consider setting limits to the Task Force’s scope and issuing a set of instructions for the study.

The Pasadena City Charter is a legal document that outlines the organization, powers, functions, and essential procedures of the city’s government. It serves as the city’s constitution and defines the relationship between the city government and its residents.

Pasadena’s first City Charter was passed by Pasadena voters in 1901. Amendments to the Charter must be approved by a vote of the city’s residents.

On September 11, the City Council considered a recommendation from city staff regarding the formation of a Charter Study Task Force to review possible Charter Amendments related to city governance issues.

The Council directed staff to return at the next meeting with an updated list of topics for potential study by a Charter Study Task Force, incorporating the Council’s comments from the September 11th meeting.

The following topics received consensus for possible Charter study: 

The City Council vacancy appointment process and the ability to call a special election to fill an unanticipated Council vacancy; City Council term limits; the Vice Mayor appointment timing and term; and the timing of Mayoral elections in relation to Council District elections.

In addition, the City Council discussed and appeared, City staff said in a memo, to reach consensus to add the following topics to the list of possible Charter study topics by a Task Force: City Council compensation, and specifically, adding a dedicated childcare allowance for Councilmembers Campaign contribution limits for Mayor and City Council elections.

City staff proposes the following timeline for the Task Force to study and recommend changes to the City Charter for City Council consideration: 

  • October 16, 2023 – Charter Task Force appointments; 
  • November 2023 through May 2024 – Task Force to Review Issues and Approve Recommendations for City Council Consideration; 
  • May/June 2024 – Final Report on Recommended Charter Amendments Submitted to City Council; 
  • June/July 2024 -Council’s decision

The City Council also discussed the issue of the Council-Manager form of government and possibly reviewing increased authority for the Mayor and City Council. However, there did not appear to be a consensus to authorize a Task Force to study this topic, City staff reported.

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