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San Diego City Council Unanimously Approves Committee System Overhaul

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A major overhaul of the San Diego City Council's committee system was passed unanimously Wednesday by members of the panel's Rules Committee.

The proposal calls for six standing committees on various topics. If the reorganization is eventually approved by the full City Council, the new committee structure would take effect in December.

The committees would be Budget and Government Efficiency, Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations, Environment, Infrastructure, Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods, and Smart Growth.

According to a draft ordinance, some of the tasks assigned to each committee would be as follows:

-- Budget and Government Efficiency: the city's annual budget, fees, information technology, purchasing and contracting, managed competition, equal opportunity contracting, the San Diego City Employees Retirement System, personnel, and the Tourism Marketing District;

-- Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations: relations with the airport and Port of San Diego, citywide Economic Development, arts and culture, city permits and regulations, the San Diego Convention Center Corp., Civic San Diego, and living and prevailing wage issues;

-- Environment: water and energy management, solid waste disposal and recycling, public utilities and climate mitigation;

-- Infrastructure: the capital improvement program, along with its financing and streamlining;

-- Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods: the San Diego police and fire departments, lifeguards, services to veterans, code enforcement, parks, recreation programs and Community Development Block Grants; and

-- Smart Growth: planning and land use, affordable housing, transportation and public transit, community plan updates, and biking and walking programs.

Rules Committee functions, such as revisions to the City Charter or City Council policies, elections, and boards and commissions, would be folded into whichever committee is chaired by the council president, according to the proposal.

The council's Audit Committee is a creation of the City Charter and is unaffected by the proposed overhaul.

The reorganization was one of the top priorities of Todd Gloria when he became council president last December. Gloria, now the interim mayor, immediately assigned Councilwoman Sherri Lightner with the task.

The Independent Budget Analyst assisted by providing a study of the committee systems in other major cities in the western U.S.

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