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City Council Committee To Consider Ballot Measures Submitted By Public

KPBS Staff
The seal for the City of San Diego is pictured above in this undated photo.

The City Council's Rules Committee Wednesday will consider three potential 2016 ballot measures that were submitted by the public.

The suggestions will be vetted by the committee, which can recommend to the full City Council whether they should go before voters.

The proposals include:

reform of the Citizens' Review Board on Police Practices, from Women Occupy San Diego.

• a 5 percent increase of the hotel room tax with the proceeds going to the general fund, from civic activist Katheryn Rhodes.

• a requirement that public business conducted on personal electronic devices be controlled by the city for purposes of disclosure and subject to the state's Public Records Act, from former Councilwoman Donna Frye.

Frye wrote in her proposal that such communications reasonably falls within the definition of a record to be retained by the city.

"In other words, city officials should not be able to use their private cell phones or computers as a means of preventing disclosure of the public's business," Frye said.

In her proposal, Rhodes said raising the hotel room tax — officially known as the Transient Occupancy Tax — to 15.5 percent would result in nearly $360 million in annual revenue, an almost $165 million boost to city coffers. The money would go to the general fund, which pays for basic services like police and fire protection, and libraries.

The measure from Women Occupy San Diego seeks to make the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices more independent by, among other things, having each council member appoint three representatives to the board, for a total of 27. The 23-person board is currently made up of mayoral appointees.

The mayor would still be allowed to appoint the executive director, with the consent of both the City Council and the board.

Other provisions would remove the City Attorney as the board's legal counsel, since the office also represents the San Diego Police Department, and bar anyone from the department from being present when cases are reviewed.

What questions do you have about the Statewide General Election coming up on Nov. 8? Submit your questions here, and we'll try to answer them in our reporting.