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Oceanside To Vote On Charter

Audio

Aired 12/16/09

Oceanside city council tackles a contentious issue this evening: whether to become a charter city. The vote comes one week after one councilmember survived a bitter recall campaign and another councilman is due to leave the city for a job in Sacramento.

Oceanside city council tackles a contentious issue this evening: whether to become a charter city. The vote comes one week after one councilmember survived a bitter recall campaign and another councilman is due to leave the city for a job in Sacramento.

Seven of the 18 cities in San Diego County are charter cities. That means they are governed by their own local constitutions rather than general state law.

Charter cities have the freedom to contract out public works projects without being bound by project labor agreements or prevailing wages.

Oceanside Councilman Jerry Kern, who handily survived a recall attempt last week, wants the council to vote to put a City Charter Initiative on the June Ballot.

The recall campaign against Kern was funded predominantly by labor interests, while real estate interests and developers footed much of the bill for Kern’s defense.

Critics say creating a city charter is not a vote to be rushed through with just a week’s notice. But Kern wants the council to act before a voting colleague, councilman Rocky Chavez, leaves for an appointment in Sacramento.

Residents of Oceanside have voted on whether to adopt a local charter three times in the past two decades, but rejected the idea each time.

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