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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Financial Officers and Responsibilities
City of San Diego
Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required
Pass: 122065 / 63.00% Yes votes ...... 71680 / 37.00% No votes
Index of all Propositions
|Results as of Jul 31 1:35pm|
|Information shown below: Fiscal Impact | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
Shall the voters approve amendments to the Charter to establish or modify the offices and responsibilities of a Chief Financial Officer, City Auditor, and Independent Budget Analyst; modify the City Treasurer appointment process; and create an Audit Committee to oversee the City Auditor?
During the 5-year trial period of the Mayor-Council form of government, the elected Mayor assumes the responsibilities of the Manager, including budgeting, and has the authority to appoint most City fiscal officers with Council confirmation (the Manager, the Auditor and Comptroller, and the City Treasurer). The Council has temporary authority to establish an Office of Independent Budget Analyst (IBA) to provide it with independent analysis on budget and policy issues it must decide. The Mayor's supervision of the Auditor and Comptroller's duty to audit fiscal departments under Mayoral control raised concerns about the independence of internal audits. An Audit Committee, comprised of three Councilmembers, was created by ordinance to provide legislative oversight for the City's internal and external audit work.
Proposal. Through this ballot measure, the Council seeks to amend the Charter to more clearly separate the City's internal auditing function from supervision of the Manager (Mayor) by creating the new office of City Auditor, which would be supervised by a restructured Audit Committee. These changes would remain even if the Mayor-Council form of government ends as scheduled on December 31, 2010. The Auditor would perform the City's internal audits and investigations and would be appointed for a 10-year term by the Manager, in consultation with the Audit Committee, with Council confirmation. The Audit Committee would oversee the City's internal auditing and control practices; direct the Auditor's work; and recommend the City's outside auditor, monitoring its work. The Audit Committee would consist of two Councilmembers, one of whom would chair the Committee, and three public members. The public members must have at least 10 years of professional financial experience, and would be appointed from candidates recommended by a screening committee comprised of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the IBA, a Councilmember, and two outside financial experts.
The measure also provides that the Manager (Mayor) would appoint, with Council confirmation, the new CFO, who would assume the City's accounting responsibilities and oversee the City Treasurer. Appointment of the Treasurer would no longer require Council confirmation.
The measure would make permanent the Office of the IBA, which otherwise would expire at the end of the trial period of the Mayor-Council form of government. The measure also would establish that certain subordinates of the IBA and Auditor are members of the unclassified service.
News and Analysis|
San Diego Union Tribune
|Arguments For Proposition C||Arguments Against Proposition C|
|LACK OF CHECKS AND BALANCES CREATED OUR PROBLEMS
The $1.2 Billion pension deficit that threatened San Diego's fiscal stability years ago was the result of a system that failed to provide adequate checks, balances and transparency.PROPOSITION "C" ESTABLISHES PROTECTIONS AND SAFEGUARDS
Proposition "C" puts needed checks and balances into the City Charter:
These changes are consistent with the recommendations of the Securities and Exchange Commission's independent financial monitor, the Independent Budget Analyst and the Charter Review Committee.
CITY'S FINANCIAL STABILITY DEPENDS ON IT
Restoration of San Diego's credit rating, reputation with investors, and ability to afford vital water, sewer, road and other public facility improvements all depend on establishing these safeguards.
OPPONENTS' REAL AGENDA: PROTECT THE STATUS QUO
Opponents' real agenda is to maintain the status quo where one branch of government has near total control over - and the ability to cover up - City finances. That's what put our City in jeopardy to begin with and now threatens our City's future progress.
Please join us in voting YES on "C" to safeguard your taxes and keep our city on the path to financial stability.
SUSAN A. CHANNICK
|KEEP THE FOX OUT OF THE HENHOUSE
Prop C allows the mayor to choose the person who audits all city management and all city departments. The mayor is the city manager in charge of all city departments; allowing any mayor to appoint the person who will audit the city departments is like having the fox guard the henhouse.
HONEST GOVERNMENT NEEDS AN INDEPENDENT CITY AUDITOR
Public confidence in the city's finances begins with the auditor. An independent auditor ensures trustworthy, timely and accurate financial reporting and increases taxpayer confidence in how tax dollars are spent.
SAN DIEGO LOST ITS CREDIT RATING BECAUSE OF MANAGEMENT INTERFERENCE
In 2004, the city auditor left in disgrace when it was found that false and misleading financial statements were issued under pressure from management. Prop C allows this behavior to continue.
PROP C PROTECTS POLITICAL INTERESTS, NOT THE TAXPAYERS
The auditor's job is to protect the taxpayers by being an objective and independent check on the city's financial controls and performance. The auditor must not be a political rubber stamp.
PROP C IS A SMOKESCREEN
Prop C bundles together a confusing mix of City Charter changes. Voters do not have a real choice about which items to support and which to reject.
PROTECT YOUR TAX DOLLARS
National auditing standards require auditors to be independent from the entity they examine. Prop C violates those requirements by having the fox guard the henhouse.
"Lack of independence negatively impacts the auditor's ability to be objective. The citizens of San Diego deserve better."
John Torell, San Diego City Auditor, 2005-2007VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION C
For more information: http://www.auditsandiego.com
Certified Public Accountant
|Full Text of Proposition C|
The portions of the charter to be added are underlined
Section 39.1: Audit Committee
The Audit Committee shall be an independent body consisting of five members. Notwithstanding any other Charter provision to the contrary, the Audit Committee shall be appointed as provided under this section. To ensure its independence, the Audit Committee shall be composed of two members of the City Council and three members of the public. The two Councilmembers shall be appointed by the Council, one of whom shall serve as Chair of the Audit Committee. The three public members of the Audit Committee shall be appointed by the City Council from a pool of at least two candidates for each vacant position, to be recommended by a majority vote of a screening committee comprised of a member of the City Council, the Chief Financial Officer, the Independent Budget Analyst and two outside financial experts appointed by the other three members of the screening committee and confirmed by the City Council. Public members of the Audit Committee shall possess the independence, experience and technical expertise necessary to carry out the duties of the Audit Committee. This expertise includes but is not limited to knowledge of accounting, auditing and financial reporting. The minimum professional standards for public members shall include at least 10 years of experience as a certified public accountant or as a certified internal auditor, or 10 years of other professional financial or legal experience in audit management. The public members of the Audit Committee shall serve for terms of four years and until their successors have been appointed and qualified. Public members of the Audit Committee are limited to two full consecutive terms, with one term intervening before they become eligible for reappointment. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, appointments shall be made so that not more than one term of office shall expire in any one year.
The Audit Committee shall have oversight responsibility regarding the City's auditing, internal controls and any other financial or business practices required of this Committee by this Charter. The Audit Committee shall be responsible for directing and reviewing the work of the City Auditor and the City Auditor shall report directly to the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee shall recommend the annual compensation of the City Auditor and annual budget of the Office of City Auditor to the Council and shall be responsible for an annual performance review of the City Auditor. The Audit Committee shall recommend to the Council the retention of the City's outside audit firm and, when appropriate, the removal of such firm. The Audit Committee shall monitor the engagement of the City's outside auditor and resolve all disputes between City management and the outside auditor with regard to the presentation of the City's annual financial reports. All such disputes shall be reported to the Council. The Council may specify additional responsibilities and duties of the Audit Committee by ordnance as necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this section.
Section 39.2: Office of City Auditor
The City Auditor shall be appointed by the City Manager, in consultation with the Audit Committee, and confirmed by the Council. The City Auditor shall be a certified public accountant or certified internal auditor. The City Auditor shall serve for a term of ten years. The City Auditor shall report to and be accountable to the Audit Committee. Upon the recommendation of the Audit Committee, the City Auditor may be removed for cause by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the Council. The City Auditor shall be the appointing authority of all City personnel authorized in the department through the normal annual budget and appropriation process of the City, and subject to the Civil Service provisions of this Charter.
The City Auditor shall prepare annually an Audit Plan and conduct audits in accordance therewith and perform such other duties as may be required by ordinance or as provided by the Constitution and general laws of the State. The City Auditor shall follow Government Auditing Standards. The City Auditor shall have access to, and authority to examine any and all records, documents, systems and files of the City and/or other property of any City department, office or agency, whether created by the Charter or otherwise. It is the duty of any officer, employee or agent of the City having control of such records to permit access to, and examination thereof, upon the request of the City Auditor or his or her authorized representative. It is also the duty of any such officer, employee or agent to fully cooperate with the City Auditor, and to make full disclosure of all pertinent information. The City Auditor may investigate any material claim of financial fraud, waste or impropriety within any City Department and for that purpose may summon any officer, agent or employee of the City, any claimant or other person, and examine him or her upon oath or affirmation relative thereto. All City contracts with consultants, vendors or agencies will be prepared with an adequate audit clause to allow the City Auditor access to the entity's records needed to verify compliance with the terms specified in the contract. Results of all audits and reports shall be made available to the public in accordance with the requirements of the California Public Records Act.
Section 39.3. Independent Budget Analyst.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter, the City Council shall have the right to establish by ordinance an Office of Independent Budget Analyst to be managed and controlled by the Independent Budget Analyst. The Office of the Independent Budget Analyst shall provide budgetary and policy analysis for the City Council. The Council shall appoint the Independent Budget Analyst, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Council and may be removed from office by the Council at any time. Any person serving as the Independent Budget Analyst shall have the professional qualifications of a college degree in finance, economics, business, or other relevant field of study or relevant professional certification. In addition, such appointee shall have experience in the area of municipal finance or substantially similar equivalent experience. The Independent Budget Analyst shall be the appointing authority of all City personnel authorized in the department through the normal annual budget and appropriation process of the City, and subject to the Civil Service provisions of this Charter.
Section 45: City Treasurer
The Manager shall appoint
The Treasurer shall receive, have the custody of, and disburse City moneys upon the warrant or check-warrant of the
The Treasurer shall determine pursuant to the general law of the state, the selection of depositories for City funds. All interest collected on City funds shall be accounted for monthly by the Treasurer.
Whenever any person is indebted to the City in any manner and the means of collection of such debt is not otherwise provided for by law or ordinance, the Treasurer shall be authorized to demand and receive the same. When any claim shall not be collectible by other methods, he or she shall report the same to the City Manager and the City Attorney for prosecution. When payment of a claim or any judgment thereon is made, he or she shall receive and receipt therefor in the name of the City.
The Treasurer shall issue notices for and collect special assessments previous to certification to the County Auditor, charges for permits for private use of public streets, and such other miscellaneous taxes, fees, assessments, licenses and privilege charges as may from time to time be assigned to him or her. He or she shall maintain a continuous inspection of the records and accounts of such taxes, licenses and privilege charges in order to effectuate their collection.
The Treasurer shall issue all permits and licenses except departmental permits and licenses which are by ordinance assigned to the particular Departments. Such permits and licenses shall be issued either directly by the Treasurer or upon specific authorization of the appropriate Department as may be required by ordinances, but all revenues derived therefrom shall be deposited with the Treasurer.
Section 111: Audit of Accounts of Officers
Each year the Council shall provide that an audit shall be made of all accounts and books of all the Departments of the City. Such audit shall be made by independent auditors who are in no way connected with the City. Upon the death, resignation or removal of any officer of the City, the City Auditor
Section 117: Unclassified and Classified Services
Employment in the City shall be divided into the Unclassified and Classified Service.
[subsections (1) through (6) no change in text]
Section 265: The Mayor
[subsection (a) no change in text]
(b) In addition to exercising the authority, power, and responsibilities formally conferred upon the City Manager as described in section 260(b), the Mayor shall have the following additional rights, powers, and duties:
[subsections (1) through (9) no change to text]
Section 270: The Council
[subsections (a) through (e) no change in text]
Section 280: Approval or Veto of Council Actions by Mayor
(a) The Mayor shall have veto power over all resolutions and ordinances passed by Council with the following exceptions:
(1) The Mayor's veto power shall not extend to matters that are
[subsections (b) - (c) no change in text]