Time for Action: Charter Amendments for the November 2016 ballot

On July 12, 2016 we sent the following alert to our members:

At Monday night’s City Council meeting, a vote will be taken to determine whether 2 important charter amendments are put on the ballot this November.

  • The first proposition would increase term limits for city council members from 8 years to 12 years.
  • The second proposition would take the power to hire, supervise, and fire the police chief away from the elected council members and instead give that power to the unelected city manager.

The Culver City Community Coalition strongly urges all of our members to support a NO VOTE on both items.  Further we ask for your help to convince the council to vote no.  Right now, the vote is likely to be 3-2 in one direction.  Therefore, YOUR WORK BETWEEN NOW AND MONDAY WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Please write up a few sentences describing your opposition to 1 or both of these items and send it to the council at city.council@culvercity.org.  In your e-mail, please make sure to include:
– Your name
– Your connection to Culver City (resident, business owner, parent, student, consumer, etc.)
– The fact that you are a member of the Culver City Community Coalition
– A short description of why you oppose the measures (find talking points included in this e-mail)

In addition, please communicate your thoughts to the council in person or in writing on Monday night.  You can either:
– Come to the council and speak for up to 3 minutes.  The meeting begins at 7:00 at City Hall (9770 Culver Blvd).  Note: This item may be taken far after 7:00.  There is no predicting the time frame.
– Send your comments in writing to be read into the record.  Send them via e-mail to city.clerk@culvercity.org by 4:00 pm on Monday.  Please make sure to include your name and that they relate to agenda item A2.

– Culver City has had a 2 term limit since 1994.  Although our current term limit law allows council members to run again as soon as 2 years after they are forced out of office, only 1 person has chosen to do so in 22 years.
– Term limits allow for new voices on the council.  Since 1992, Culver City has elected the first Latino council member, the first Asian-American council member, and 3 women to the council.  With less stringent term limits, it is easier for the same people to be re-elected, making it more difficult for diverse voices to gain a seat.

TALKING POINTS: Police Chief Supervision
– When Culver City changed to a City Manager form of government in 2006, we specifically kept 4 department heads under the direct control of the City Council, understanding that their work is extremely important to the lives of the residents (fire chief, police chief, city attorney, city manager).  We wanted our council to have direct control over these staffers to ensure that their work met the standards of our community.  By removing the police chief and fire chief from this category, you are taking away the ability for our political leaders to ensure that our police and fire department policies align with our community’s values.  Instead those policies will be supervised by a city manager that is unelected, unaccountable to the voters, and who may not even live in our city.
– We are lucky that we have not had police shootings or other issues that have caused increased strife in our community.  If that were to happen, we would want our council members reviewing the actions of the police chief and determining whether or not any policy changes need to occur.
– We have no police commission in Culver City.  Therefore, the only community officials overseeing our police department is the council oversight of the police chief.  We can’t have that taken away.

Thanks so much for your help.  Find the entire agenda at http://www.culvercity.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=3402.  If you have any questions or need further information please contact Karlo Silbiger at ksilbiger@juno.com.

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