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Taxpayers Association Approves Oceanside Charter City Ballot Measure

A June ballot measure that would convert Oceanside into a charter city was endorsed today by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, which said it would allow the city to bypass union-friendly laws.

Oceanside is currently a general law municipality that is closely bound to state statutes.

Becoming a charter city would give Oceanside officials more flexibility to make local decisions and remove the state from the equation, said SDCTA Executive Director Lani Lutar.

She said that if Oceanside became a charter city, it would not have to require private developers to use union workers for public projects.

The city also would be exempt from state public contracting and prevailing wage requirements, and city employees would have to opt in before union dues could be spent for political purposes, she said.

"Historically, SDCTA has supported municipalities becoming charter cities," Lutar said. "Doing so allows citizens to hold government to a higher standard of accountability."

The motivation for becoming a charter city, however, should be good governance and not economics, Lutar said. The city has a deficit of about $8 million.

A vote on the proposition is scheduled for June 8.

Opponents claim the measure has not been vetted by the public, favors developers and doesn't protect taxpayers.

Seven of the 18 incorporated cities in San Diego County are charter cities.

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