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Santa Rosa charter review panel wraps up work Thursday

After six months of work, Santa Rosa's 21-member Charter Review Committee holds its final meeting Thursday to complete its report to the City Council.

The panel already has voted on the issues it thinks the City Council should put before voters this fall. Recommendations include: changing the charter to allow city council members to be elected from districts instead of city-wide; clarifying the rules to give the city more leverage in the binding arbitration process for police and firefighters; providing greater flexibility in the kinds of pension plans city workers receive; and allowing contractors to design and build a single project.

The panel rejected several other proposals, including directly electing the mayor, reforming the city's Community Advisory Board and repealing the binding arbitration requirement entirely.

Members will review the draft report, suggest changes and later offer individual comments to the council about the recommendations, City Attorney Caroline Fowler explained.

She expects the report to be on the June 12 council agenda. The council will decide what issues, if any, will be put before voters in November.

The panel meets from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Utilities Field Operations building at 35 Stony Point Road.

The process of reviewing the city's bylaws takes place once every 10 years. Each city council member appoints three committee members.

Contact Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com.


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