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San Diego County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Proposition G
City Charter Adoption
City of Escondido

Majority Approval Required

Fail: 9629 / 37.24% Yes votes ...... 16229 / 62.76% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Information shown below: Summary | Yes/No Meaning | Arguments |

Shall the City of Escondido be changed from a general law city to a charter city through the adoption of the charter proposed by Resolution 2014-70 of the Escondido City Council?

Summary Prepared by City Attorney:
All California cities are either general law cities or charter cities. Measure G proposes the adoption of a charter for the City of Escondido. Measure G was placed on the ballot by the City Council, the governing body of the City.

Escondido is presently a general law city, subject to all applicable provisions of state law. If Measure G passes, Escondido will become a charter city and will be able to exercise greater control over matters of local concern. The charter would serve as the City's constitution and would provide the City with the authority permitted by law to control its municipal affairs. A city charter is subject only to conflicting provisions in the state or federal constitutions and preemptive state laws.

The full text of the charter is included in the ballot pamphlet. The following summarizes the key provisions of the proposed charter: The City is granted all powers that may be lawfully exercised by a charter city over its municipal affairs. All local laws not in conflict with the charter remain in effect unless repealed, amended, changed or superseded.

The existing Council-Manager form of government and the elective officers of the City will not change. The City Council will set duties and compensation of the City Treasurer by ordinance. The charter will repeal Proposition N which formerly established the City Treasurer's duties and salary.

The composition of the City Council and the terms of the elected officers will not change. The salaries of the Mayor and Councilmembers will continue to be set by state law which does not require voter approval. The City Council can fill vacant elective offices within sixty days by appointment or by calling for an election. The proposed charter states the City will promote fair and open competition for all City construction projects. The charter prohibits the City from deducting political contributions from the wages of City employees. The charter requires the City to continue to follow state law in land use, planning and zoning matters.

In the future, the charter may be adopted, amended or repealed by majority vote of the electorate.

City Attorney

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A "yes" vote will be in favor of adopting the charter.

A NO vote on this measure means:
A "no" vote will be opposed to adopting the charter.

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Arguments For Proposition G Arguments Against Proposition G
Voting YES to make Escondido a Charter city, empowers our citizens to take control of our city, protect taxpayers, and prevent Sacramento from wasting our tax dollars.

After careful study, the City Council voted to ask our residents to choose to become a charter city subject to our state Constitution's "home rule" provisions. These provisions are based on the concept that residents of a city, rather than state legislators, best know their city's needs. As a charter city, power over city matters is transferred from the state to our residents through their elected representatives.

Sacramento politicians have confiscated city resources to pay for the billion-dollar deficits they've created, while creating unfunded mandates on our local government. State lawmakers have imposed numerous statutes governing uncharted cities which reflect the values of a majority in the legislature, not necessarily a majority in Escondido, which is the reason that more than onehalf of the state's population has chosen to adopt charters for their cities.

The charter:

    • Transfers power away from Sacramento, into the hands of Escondido residents-where it belongs.

    • Saves millions in tax dollars, requiring competitive bidding for services and ensure fair and open competition for all public projects.

    • Prohibits City councilmembers from unilaterally raising their own salaries.

    • Keeps your tax dollars local, by protecting city revenues from diversion by the state.

    • Preserves all existing anti-corruption laws, ensuring open, honest government.

Voters in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, Del Mar, Santee, and San Diego have chosen to become Charter cities. Now it's our turn. By joining these cities and the majority of California's citizens, Escondido's voters will claim their right to self-government through home-rule. Vote YES to put Escondido's priorities ahead of Sacramento's.

YES to local control. YES to taxpayer protection. YES to the Escondido Charter.

Mayor of Escondido
President, Escondido Chamber of Commerce
Escondido Business Owner
Founder, Escondido Charter High School
Council Member, City of Escondido

Rebuttal to Arguments For

Rebuttal to argument in favor of Proposition G + Charter City


For taxpayer protection VOTE NO on Prop. G

    • Proponents claim Prop. G will give `home rule' protection to Escondido. NOT TRUE! Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood, a Republican, says charter status has not helped his city escape state mandates.

    • Those in favor claim charter status will transfer power to local residents. NOT TRUE! The charter puts power in the hands of a very few powerful politicians. And, it eliminates taxpayer protections and accountability provided by General Law.

    • Read the argument in favor carefully! It admits that charter power goes to three Council members, NOT to Escondido taxpayers.

    • Claims that millions of dollars will be saved under charter status have not been proven.

    • Escondido taxpayers should not be fooled by the clever language that says the Council cannot raise its salary. NOT TRUE! It limits only salary, not total compensation. Car allowances, pay for service on boards and commissions, health plans and excessive retirement benefits ARE NOT LIMITED.

    • Escondido, as a general law city, is required to balance its budget. The charter removes this important taxpayer protection.

    • Voters in many cities now regret their decision to become charter cities. The three charter cities of San Bernardino, Stockton, and Vallejo have gone bankrupt.

    VOTE NO, AGAIN, on a new constitution.

    VOTE NO, AGAIN, on removing taxpayer protections.

    VOTE NO, AGAIN, on the politician power grab.

    Vote NO on Proposition G -- it's risky, unnecessary and misleading.

    Learn more at

    Deputy Mayor
    Former Mayor
    Retired Banker
    Mayor of Oceanside

There is no public demand for charter status - the City Council majority put it on the ballot. Not one resident spoke in favor of the change at five public comment opportunities. In 2012, Escondido voters rejected a charter city proposal. So why is it back on the ballot?

Proposition G is a power grab, an unnecessary and dangerous change. Like 75% of California cities, Escondido operates under General Law, which protects the taxpayer and has worked well since 1888. But a few bad decisions under a charter can result in a bankrupt Escondido. Ask San Bernardino, Vallejo, or Stockton -- charter cities that went broke.

Proposition G contains serious loopholes and weaknesses. There is no reason to rewrite our city's constitution and grant broad and unrestrained new powers to the City Council.

Charter status:

    • Gives unchecked power to as few as three Council members.
    • Despite its claims of local control, charter status does not exempt Escondido from Sacramento's state mandates.
    • Removes the General Law requirement for a balanced city budget.
    • Encourages back-room secret deals and favoritism by allowing contracts without competitive bidding or assuring competence of contractors.
    • Allows the Council to give taxpayer funds to special interests with no conditions attached.
    • Empowers the City Council to increase its own pay and compensation package.
    • Allows the City Council to override zoning by granting conditional use permits, ignoring the will of the citizens who passed the General Plan.
    • Requires frequent costly elections + $50,000 to $75,000 each time + to change.
    • Could lead to expensive litigation because charter law is unsettled.

Becoming a charter city will shift power from the people of Escondido into the hands of a few powerful politicians.

Escondido does not need a new constitution!

Vote "NO" - again -- on Charter City.

Learn more:

Former Mayor, 72-YR Resident
Professor, Palomar College
Deputy Mayor of Escondido
Chair, Escondido Taxpayers Association

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Contrary to claims made by Charter opponents, backed by big labor, the only "Power grab," the Charter represents is Escondido voters standing up to take power back from the hands of Sacramento bureaucrats and big labor. The Charter is about local control and local values, plain and simple.

Sacramento is a mess because of big government, Escondido doesn't have to be.

Escondido is the 37th largest of the 478 incorporated cities in California and we continue to grow, building new homes, new schools and new businesses that create jobs for our citizens. Escondido is finally on the right track to prosperous growth and a vibrant economy and we need the power to shape our government locally.

FICTION: Charter grants unchecked authority to council members

FACT: Council authority is still limited by state laws and by voters

FICTION: Charter allows "back room deals"

FACT: California's open government law, "The Brown Act" still applies fully under the charter

FICTION: Charter allows council to "give" taxpayer funds to special interests with no conditions

FACT: This claim is totally false, State law will still prohibit "give-aways"

FICTION: Charter will not allow for competitive bidding or assure competence of contractors

FACT: Charter status will NOT end competitive bidding
FACT: Big Labor opposes the Charter initiative almost exclusively on the grounds that it will allow our City to negotiate free-market prices paid for work done with city funds.

Vote YES on the Charter City, yes for Escondido Taxpayers and Yes to local control.

Vice-President San Diego Taxpayers Association
CA State Assembly
Former Escondido Mayor GEORGE WEIR
Business Owner
Escondido Resident

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Created: July 23, 2015 14:58 PDT
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