Minutes from September 20, 2016 Open Board Meeting-SB City Charter Reform

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Open Board of Directors Meeting

 San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408



Present: Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Mike Burrows, Ken Coate, Ashley Gaines, Scott Hofferber, Mark Kaenel, Al Karnig, Bill Lemann, John Mirau, Dan Murphy, Brian Reider, Kristine Scott and Steve von Rajcs.

Guests: Josh Candelaria, Karen Childers, Susan Longville, Boris Medzhibovsky and Todd Warden.

Announcements: 1) Gresham Savage Law firm has been proposed as a member.  The firm has a long history of involvement with Inland Action and would like to rejoin.  Michael Rivera would represent the firm.  This is the second announcement of their proposed membership.  Members will vote at the next meeting.  For more information about them click on the link http://greshamsavage.com/

M/S/P: Minutes from September 13, 2016.

Measure L which will be on the ballot in November, would repeal San Bernardino city’s existing charter and replace it with a new one created by a citizen committee. The new city charter was created after two years of study and numerous public meetings involving residents, the League of Women Voters, civic groups and Cal State San Bernardino government experts. The Committee looked at best practices and reviewed many other similar cities. The current City Council has reviewed the proposed Charter and after some amendments, approved it for the ballot.

Measure L would replace the 1905 City Charter that was written when the population was less than 10,000. Today, with more than 200,000 residents, San Bernardino needs a new charter for City Hall to do a better job of meeting the needs of their residents and the struggling business community.

City government needs to work more harmoniously and the new charter will streamline the city’s bureaucratic governing structure by providing clear lines of authority and accountability for the city council, the mayor and the city manager. It is modeled after successful charter cities.

If enacted, the new charter ensures that the City of San Bernardino will continue to have their own local police department. The Water Department will remain independent of the City Council and the Board of Water Commissioners will gain the authority to complete needed repairs in the sewer system. The city library will remain under the authority of the Library Board.


Measure L also contains strict requirements for a public, annual independent financial audit and a balanced city budget.

Passage of Measure L will also increase future voter turnout by combining city elections with those for state and federal offices. In the last presidential election (November 2012) turnout was 61%, but a few months later, turnout for the 2013 San Bernardino mayor’s election was 12-15%. This extremely small fraction of registered voters is making critical, quality-of-life decisions for the entire city. Combining elections will save San Bernardino taxpayers money that the city can spend on reducing crime, improving parks and libraries, and fixing roads.

Combined, these fiscal and management changes will lead to more accountability and transparency at City Hall, as is called for in the Bankruptcy Court’s Recovery Plan.

Funds for support for Measure L are being raised. Some $55,000 has been raised against a goal of $200,000.  Social media is being utilized but mass mailers to residents, costing approximately $15,000 per mailing, have the biggest impact on elections.  Supporters hope to send out 6 separate mailers.

A Q & A period followed.

Meeting adjourned at 8:34 a.m.