Town Square

Post a New Topic

Atherton - Charter City?

Original post made by Bell Rizzo on May 12, 2012

Atherton's Council will consider whether to become a Charter City this Wednesday.

From Wikipedia:

For example, in California, cities which have not adopted a charter are organized by state law. Such a city is called a General Law City, which will be managed by a 5-member city council.

A city organized under a charter may choose different systems, including the "strong mayor" or "city manager" forms of government.

One example of abuse of the charter system was in Bell, California. The charter was created after a lit≠tle-no≠ticed spe≠cial elec≠tion, where few voters understood what becoming a charter city meant. After a charter was approved, state laws limiting city salary no longer applied and City Manager Robert Rizzo gave himself a salary of $1.5 million for managing a city of about 36,000 people.

As of June 2008, 112 of California's 478 cities are charter cities. A few examples include Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and Irvine.

Web Link

Comments (3)

Posted by farmville, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm

What could possibly go wrong?


Posted by Between the lines, a resident of Atherton: other
on May 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Unions hate charter cities since they have more flexibility in dealing with fiscal union issues. In a charter city, voters can determine benefits for union workers such as police and fire.

Smart move by Atherton to try to get its fiscal house in order. Expect unions to lobby strenuously to prevent it.


Posted by Questions, a resident of Atherton: other
on May 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Since the council eliminated one union last year, this is about more than union. Would a charter city allow the council to tax real estate transactions?


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Palo Alto quietly gets new evening food truck market
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 3,196 views

On Tour - The Highly Selective Liberal Arts Colleges: Occidental, Pitzer, and Scripps
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,925 views

See Me. Hear Me. Donít Fix Me.
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,640 views

Questions for Council Candidates--Housing
By Steve Levy | 24 comments | 1,351 views

Anglo Menlo Park
By Paul Bendix | 0 comments | 305 views