The first opportunity for public input on a proposed Escondido charter occurred March 19 during a “workshop” before the City Council. There were four public comments. (Escondido Democrats can be proud that all of the speakers were members!) All of those speaking repeated requests, heard earlier, that any charter document be written by an elected citizens commission, not by city staff at Council/Mayor direction.
While Mayor Sam Abed seemed receptive to public comment, he made it clear he felt it was not necessary. “We’ve have had enough input,” he declared. “It’s the same charter minus the prevailing wages — it’s not a process we’re starting all over again.” (Prevailing wage language was removed from the earlier charter after passage of SB 7, which penalizes charter cities that avoid prevailing wages for construction contracts. SB 7 is being challenged in the courts.) However the Mayor feels, state law requires at least two public hearings, and they are scheduled April 9 and May 21. This “workshop” was extra.
Read another view of the meeting from Escondido Democrat Margaret Liles at her “A Blue View Escondido” blog.