Background

The City Council established a Charter Review Committee to work with City staff to help develop a Charter that would include language that would give the City the power to adopt local rules in all matters of municipal affairs, require the City to follow California law regarding the payment of prevailing wages for public works projects and collective bargaining with represented employee groups, authorize the City Council to consider the use of all available tools for generating revenue, including but not limited to a Real Property Transfer Tax, and that does not alter the current City Municipal Code. The Committee recommended the draft Charter to the City Council in March 2018. The City Council held an initial public hearing on the Charter in May and will hold a second on June 18. At its July 17 meeting, it will consider putting the Charter on the ballot at the November 2018 election.

In past surveys, residents have told us that they want:

• To continue the responsiveness and quality of our 9-1-1, fire protection, and emergency medical services
• To maintain our parks and playfields
• To preserve our library programs for all ages in a safe and energy-efficient library
• To offer after-school programs for children and teens
• To provide for seniors in our own senior center

What we know:


• Funding is well below what is necessary for facilities, parks and playfields.
• Current budget will likely maintain police vacancies.
• The City has no emergency reserves for natural disaster preparedness.
• El Cerrito, like most cities, has long term significant unfunded pension liabilities.
• Another source of revenue is necessary to meet community needs.