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San Mateo County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Measure F
Charter Revision
City of San Mateo

Charter Amendment - Majority Voter Approval Required

11,511 / 69.1% Yes votes ...... 5,155 / 30.9% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Dec 6 2:34am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (70/70 0/4 Absentee)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall a revised Charter be enacted for the City of San Mateo?

Impartial Analysis
In accordance with the California Constitution voters may enact a City Charter to govern their city government. San Mateo voters first enacted a City Charter in 1922 and the current Charter was adopted in 1970. There have been five amendments to the Charter of individual sections but no overall revision for the thirty years since 1970.

In California a city is either a general law or a charter city. A charter city is regulated by State law in matters of statewide significance and acts under its Charter authority with respect to matters that are municipal affairs. A general law city is regulated by State law and is more limited than a Charter city with respect to municipal affairs. The vast majority of cities in California are general law cities.

The revised Charter before the voters at this November 5, 2002 election modernizes and updates the current Charter. Since the adoption of the current Charter over 30 years ago, there have been court decisions and California Constitutional enactments that impact the current Charter and make several provisions unenforceable. The proposed revision conforms the San Mateo Charter to current law, makes its language gender neutral, clarifies ambiguities, and makes some substantive modifications.

The revision does not change the structure of the San Mateo government. It remains a council-manager form of government with five elected council members, a city manager and city attorney appointed by the city council, department employees appointed by the city manager and department heads, and citizen boards advising the city council. The proposed revision includes the following:

  • Strengthens the Charter language to empower the city to regulate municipal affairs wherever possible

  • Charter language is made gender neutral, deleting the many solely masculine references

  • San Mateo residency requirement to run for city council is reduced from three years to thirty days in order to conform to Federal and State court cases

  • City Council salary is increased to mirror the State law regulating and authorizing increases in council salaries in other cities of the same population [salary is set at $600 per month from current $300 per month with a potential increase of up to 5% annually]

  • Regular council meeting time is changed from 8pm to an evening time not earlier than 6:30 pm

  • Authorizes summary of an adopted ordinance to be published in the newspaper and the full ordinance posted at the city clerk's office and on the city website or alternately requires newspaper publication of the full ordinance

  • Deletes requirement that certain City employees reside within San Mateo in order to conform to the California Constitution's prohibition of an in-city residency requirement

  • Deletes references to elected city clerk and city treasurer as those positions are not elected

  • Recognizes that the setting of ad valorem property taxes is governed by the provisions of California Constitution Proposition 13

  • Requires compliance with State-wide conflict of interest regulations

This Charter revision is enacted if passed by a majority of those persons voting.

/s/ Roy C. Abrams
City Attorney

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure F. If you desire a copy of the Charter, please call the City Clerk's Office at 650-522-7040 and a copy will be mailed to you at no cost to you.

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Arguments For Measure F Arguments Against Measure F
Vote yes on Measure F for a modern and effective city government.

The Charter of the City of San Mateo establishes the organization, authority and rules for our city government. The City's first Charter was approved in 1894 when the City incorporated. The most recent comprehensive update of the Charter was in 1970. Over the past 32 years, a number of changes in State law and court decisions have made many sections of our charter obsolete and inconsistent with the law.

Approval of Measure F will provide the City of San Mateo with a contemporary, legal set of rules for the conduct of city government. The revised Charter makes no structural change in the organization or general authority of the City government. It makes the Charter consistent with State Law for cities by eliminating now illegal residency requirements for City employees, authorizes the publication of summaries of ordinances, provides for establishing Council salaries in a manner consistent with state law and ensures consistency with Proposition 13 limits to the City's property taxing authority. The revised charter also allows the Council to better serve the community by having regular meetings start earlier than 8 PM and makes the harter "gender neutral" in language.

A Charter Committee comprised of a former Mayor and representatives from San Mateo United Homeowners and the Chamber of Commerce recommended the revised Charter to the City Council and the Council voted unanimously to place the Charter on the ballot.

Approval of Measure F will provide current, legal rules for the conduct of city government.

We urge a "Yes" vote on Measure F.

/s/ Sue Lempert
Mayor, City of San Mateo

/s/ Jane Baker
Charter Committee Member, Past Mayor

/s/ Richard W Hedges
Charter Committee Member, San Mateo United Homeowners

/s/ Larry Atkinson
Charter Committee Member, San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce


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Created: December 6, 2002 03:15 PST
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