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Friday, January 21, 2022

Huntington Beach begins charter revision

The City of Huntington Beach has officially begun the charter revision process after a panel convened for the first time on December 1 to study how the city’s charter could be changed.

A city charter is essentially a municipality’s own constitution, which sets out the basic governance structure and other principles on which the city functions, allowing them to have broader local authority. If a city does not have a charter, it must comply with general California law.

The Huntington Beach charter states that the city must revise the charter every 10 years. The city is overdue by about two years on this matter.

This charter review was convened by Huntington Beach Councilor Mike Posey, who said the city should reconsider its process for replacing councilors after the council voted to appoint councilor Ronda Bolton following the resignation of former mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz. Bolton’s appointment came in lieu of a snap election or the appointment of Gracie Van Der Mark, runner-up in the 2020 election.

However, many Huntington Beach residents are worried about the charter revision, and some are wondering if the council will try to change its city attorney from elected to appointed because current City Attorney Michael Gates publicly disagrees with the advice on a number of legal issues. issues such as fighting the state over mandates to build high-density housing.

“Gates was obviously pushing for a fight against the state because of what we see as bad mandates for 13,000 units in the city,” Mike Hoskinson, a former city planning commissioner, told The Epoch Times. “When [the council] they had enough strength to stop Michael Gates from fighting in a fight that we think he would most likely win because he has an amazing track record.

“[The council] doesn’t want the city attorney to ever defend himself against what is done to him. Gates doesn’t bother anyone. He’s a guy who I think cares deeply about Huntington Beach, and he’s also a winner, and he’s opposed to what they want to do with this city. “

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Posey disagreed, stating that he did not intend to change the procedure for electing the city attorney.

“The city attorney election isn’t even on my radar,” Posey told The Epoch Times. “I don’t care if an attorney is elected or not. I can tell you that we are the only city in Orange County that has an elected attorney. The remaining 33 cities do not have an elected attorney. But that’s not my motivation. I don’t care if he is elected or not. ”

He noted that when he tried to revise the bylaws two years ago, his two main changes were that early elections are held in the city when a councilor resigns, and that stricter limits on the term of office of councilors should be imposed.

“I convened a committee to revise the bylaws, because the bylaws prescribe this. And the two things I wanted to do didn’t happen, and if they happened the way I wanted two years ago, you wouldn’t have Rhonda Bolton for three and a half years, ”he said.

Ultimately, the board must approve any changes that the board recommends. If approved, all changes will be made to the residents’ decision bulletin.

To follow

Drew Van Voorhees is a daily news reporter for The Epoch Times from California. He has been a journalist for four years, during which time he has published several viral national news stories and has been interviewed about his work on radio and internet shows.

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