FOX HILLS: YOUR INPUT IS IMPORTANT!!!
Items to be presented at the City Council Meeting July 11, 2016
Under Action Item A-2 for the July 11, 2016 City Council meeting there are 2 of 4 proposed amendments to the City Charter of particular importance that impact us all. These measures would be placed on the ballot November 8, 2016 unless City Council decides by a majority vote of the Council not to place them there.
Briefly they are as follows:
- That the appointing, suspension and removal authority of the Fire and Police Chiefs be changed from the City Council to the City Manager.
- That the term limits for holding office on the City Council be changed from 2 terms to 3 with such change effective for City Council members assuming office after November 8, 2016. Presently, for Council members who want to run again, there is a 2 year waiting period after they have served 2 terms. ( 8 years) That regulation would remain unchanged.
Summary of Pros/Cons:
The appointing authority amendment would leave the decision for these 2 key positions of Police and Fire Chiefs in the hands of one individual instead of five City Council members. This amendment was proposed because some members of City Council felt that since they do not directly work with these chiefs they wanted the City Manager, who works more directly with them, to make these decisions. Most cities have this arrangement and it works well as there is a hiring process where City Council input is obtained regarding potential candidates and in the case of firing a chief, it would be very rare if at all, that a City Manager would independently proceed with firing without input from City Council. Although City Manager decision to hire/fire works well in many cities, the fact remains that it would one person doing this function, however competent and qualified. Even though we are fortunate to have a police force that is high quality and is consistently striving to be responsive and sensitive to the community, having the final authority remain with our elected officials, especially since the Council can easily obtain input from the City Manager and especially in this era of so many challenges nationwide related to policing, seems more appropriate regarding these key chief positions.
Two term limits have been in place for 22 years. Some on the City Council feel that since speed of government moves much slower than anticipated, that 8 years is not adequate time to see projects through and not enough time to play key roles ( such as president) in important regional organizations, of which they are members, that have an important impact on Culver City. To increase term limits to 3 terms (12 years) would decrease change/diversity of the City Council by limiting election opportunities for new people to serve. In addition, Culver City Charter already states that former City Council members who have been termed out are able to run again after a 2 year break.
You are encouraged to weigh in on these two important issues, so please email the City Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment (in person or in writing) for the July 11th, 2016 City Council meeting. If unable to attend meeting you can submit BY 4PM ON MONDAY, a comment to be read at the meeting by emailing it to email@example.com. Remember to include your name and the agenda item of A-2.