Smart Voter
Stanislaus County, CA November 2, 1999 Election
Measure L
Charter Amendment/At-will positions
City of Modesto

7,519 / 42% Yes votes ...... 10,557 / 58% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Infomation shown below: Summary | Yes/No Meaning | Arguments | Full Text
Shall the Modesto City Charter be amended to allow the City Council to establish by resolution more at-will positions and clarify that all hourly employees are in the unclassified service?
Summary Prepared by the City Attorney:
Section 1201 of the Modesto City Charter provides that all officers and employees of the City are either in the unclassified or classified service. The City's classified service is functionally equivalent to what is traditionally known as a "civil service" system. Those employees in the classified service have a vested right in their employment, are subject to the City's personnel rules, and can only be disciplined or terminated for "cause". The unclassified service is made up of all elected officials, Council appointees, department heads, members of City boards and commissions, and part-time employees. Other than the elected officials, these positions are "at-will" in the sense that discipline or termination can be imposed without cause. This measure would clarify that all hourly employees are in the unclassified service. Secondly, it would allow the City Council to establish by resolution more "at-will" positions.

s/Michael D. Milich
City Attorney

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote of this measure means:
You should vote "YES" on this measure if you want to amend the Charter of the City of Modesto to clarify that all hourly employees are in the unclassified service and to provide that the City Council can establish more "at-will" positions.

A NO vote of this measure means:
You should vote "NO" on this measure if you want to reject these changes.

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Arguments For Measure L
Under the existing Charter, three positions are designated as at-will. These positions are the City Attorney, City Clerk and City Manager. The proposed amendment would give the City Council the ability to establish more at-will positions. The complexity of issues facing the city requires a management staff that is flexible and more accountable to supervisors and the public. Similar to the private sector it is necessary for Council to provide the three at-will appointments with the ability to develop or recruit a management team to move this city forward. This amendment would also clarify terminology. Presently, part-time employees paid on an hourly basis are designated as part of the unclassified service. Temporary employees working not more than 90 days are also designated as unclassified. (To be in the unclassified service means to have no right of appeal from termination.) In practice, the terms temporary and part-time are used interchangeably, to identify hourly employees. This amendment is intended to clarify that all hourly-based employees are in the unclassified service, irrespective of the terminology used.

s/Richard A. Lang

(No arguments against Measure L were submitted)

Text for Measure L


The administrative service of the City shall be divided into Unclassified and Classified Service.

(a)The Unclassified Service shall comprise the following officers and positions:

(1)All elected officers.

(2)City Manager, Deputy City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk, City Auditor, and all heads of departments.

(3)All members of boards and commissions.

(4)Persons employed as unskilled laborers.

(5)Positions in any class or grade created for a special or temporary purpose for a period of not longer than ninety (90) days in any one (1) fiscal year.

(65)Persons employed to render professional, scientific, technical, or expert services of any occasional or exceptional character.

(76)Temporary and part-time employees paid on an hourly or per diem basis.

(7)Positions designated by the City Council by resolution as at-will positions.

(b)The Classified Service shall comprise all positions not specifically included by this section in the Unclassified Service.

Note: Any wording stricken would be deleted by this measure.

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Created: November 18, 1999 15:00
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