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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
Local

City of San Diego
Proposition F Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passing

218,384 votes yes (81.13%)

50,807 votes no (18.87%)

Charter Amendments Regarding the Budget Approval and Appropriation Process of the City of San Diego
— undefined

Shall the City Charter be amended to update the City's financial operations, including amendments regarding the certification of funds, the authorization and payment of claims, the management of funds, the disposition of proceeds of the sale of City-owned real property and the establishment of reserves?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Summary

San Diego County Registrar of Voters

This proposition would amend the San Diego Charter to update and clarify certain financial operations and practices of the City and to require the City to establish General Fund reserves. 

Impartial analysis / Proposal

City Attorney

The San Diego Charter sets forth, in several sections, requirements for how the City manages City funds. These sections include requirements for the certification of the availability of funds prior to the approval and execution of contracts, the use of proceeds from the sale of City-owned real property, the approval process for payment of claims against the City, the requirement that the City maintain certain cash reserves, and the way the City accounts for city-owned real property.

If approved, this proposition would amend the Charter to update and clarify these processes and requirements, as follows:

The proposition would revise and clarify the language setting forth the requirement that the availability of funds be certified prior to the approval and execution of City contracts. The amendments would not change substantive legal requirements.

The proposition would eliminate the City’s Capital Outlay Fund, which was previously used to fund City capital projects but no longer receiving sufficient tax revenues. The requirement that the sale proceeds of City-owned real property be used for capital projects would remain. The use of these proceeds would be expanded to allow the proceeds to be used for financing costs related to capital projects.

The proposition would clarify the process for approval of the payment of claims against the City and would allow for payments to be accepted by the City in any form authorized under state law. These amendments would not change substantive legal requirements.

The proposition would clarify provisions requiring the City to have sufficient General Fund cash on hand to pay obligations coming due in any fiscal year before major property tax revenues are received. This amendment removes contradictory language in the Charter but does not change substantive legal requirements.

The proposition would require the City to establish General Fund Stability and Emergency Reserves. It would provide that the Emergency Reserve may only be accessed by a two-thirds vote of the City Council. The Council is also required to establish policies for the use of the Stability Reserve.

The proposition would eliminate the Charter requirement that the City appraise and depreciate City-owned real property. Similar requirements already apply to the City through government accounting and auditing standards.

The City Council’s Charter Review Committee approved sending this measure to the ballot, and the City Council voted to place the measure on the ballot. If approved, the Charter amendments would become effective after they are chaptered by the California Secretary of State. 

Financial effect

San Diego County Registrar of Voters

This measure would update, repeal and consolidate outdated sections of the City Charter dealing with various financial operations of the City to more accurately describe current operations and authorizations.

There is no fiscal impact associated with these Charter amendments. 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

The Charter, the Constitution for the City of San Diego, was first written 85 years ago, and has not undergone a thorough review or update since then. Some Charter articles and many sections are simply unnecessary, outdated, confusing, or worse, contain misinformation. The Charter needs to be updated to reflect how the City operates in the 21st Century and to be more open, transparent, and easy for citizens to read.

The Charter Review Committee worked with the City's Chief Financial Officer, the Independent Budget Analyst, the City Attorney and the Mayor's office to develop these proposed Charter changes.

These recommended Charter changes regarding the City’s financial operations will:

  • Clarify that the proceeds from the sale of City-owned property can be used for financing permanent public improvements. 
  • Allow the City to approve contracts for bond-funded projects in a more timely manner.
  • Allow for the payment of claims against the City using electronic fund transfers.
  • Reaffirm that the City’s General Fund operates on a cash basis.
  • Require a majority vote of the Council to spend General Fund reserves and a 2/3 vote to spend Emergency Reserves.

Prop F has strong support from the City Council, League of Women Voters of San Diego, and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Sherri Lightner
City Council President

Chris Cate
City Councilmember

Jerry Sanders
President & CEO, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

Jeanne Brown
President, League of Women Voters of San Diego

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

 No argument against Proposition F was filed in the office of the City Clerk.

— San Diego County Registrar of Voters

More information

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