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Home / News / Politics / Pasadena voters to consider charter amendments in March election

Pasadena voters to consider charter amendments in March election

by Staff
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Three city charter amendments will be on the March 5 ballot in Pasadena, officials reminded voters on Monday.

The City Council voted unanimously Dec. 4 to put Measures R, S and T on the ballot, enabling Pasadena residents to decide on the proposed amendments.  

If approved by the majority of voters, the amendments “will enable the City to update outdated codes and language, adapt to changes, eliminate burdensome processes, set limits, and ensure that resources are used effectively, ultimately saving money and benefiting the community,” according to a city statement.  

Officials noted the historical significance of charter amendments in Pasadena. In 1886, the city was officially incorporated and by 1901, Pasadena had become a chartered municipality with an elected mayor determined by popular vote. 

“In the ensuing years, the city saw significant improvements with the installation of amenities such as sewers, paved streets, and electric street lighting,” officials said. “Over the decades, amendments to the Charter helped modernize and improve city governance as times changed and advancements were made.”

The measures up for voter consideration do not impose new or increased taxes, according to the city. 

The measures also do not increase costs for utility ratepayers, officials said, noting that Measure R reduces by 4% the “utility transfer” that voters approved in 2020, officials said. To facilitate “financial transparency and public accountability,” Measure R if enacted will align the Pasadena accounting method to with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. GAAP is federal regulators’ accounting standard of choice and is the standard for U.S.-based companies.  

“The proposed update to the accounting method will lead to improved financial management and the ability to allocate resources to essential services such as 911 response, fire, paramedic, public health, street repairs, and senior and homeless services,” officials said.

Supporters of the amendment listed on the city’s website were Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo, former Mayors Bill Bogaard and Terry Tornek, former City Manager Cynthia Kurtz and Pasadena Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Paul Little. No opponents were listed.

Measure S would mandate that the City Council set limits by ordinance for contracts, purchases and claim approvals. 

“It will maintain oversight, improve City response, and enhance efficiency in executing contracts,” according to the city. “Measure S streamlines the procurement process and eliminates a burdensome process for a contractor/business owner and the City, allowing for more efficient handling of contracts to save time and money. The amendments will help identify inefficiencies, unnecessary expenses, and potential waste, ensuring that public funds are used wisely and projects are executed within budget.”

Measure T seeks to create alternative methods for choosing contractors that are “more efficient, transparent, and accountable for bidding and delivering public improvements,” officials said. The amendment’s goal is to “attract a broader range of vendors and contractors, fostering increased competition, leading to better-quality services and innovative solutions, and ensuring the best value for its investments.”

Measure T’s “alternative project delivery method” aims to speed up project completion times, allowing the city “to adapt to industry best practices that lead to practical and modern approaches to project management and contract selection while complying with … regulations,” officials said. “Additionally, allowing for additional contract selection methods, particularly those that improve the chances of hiring local businesses, contributing to the community’s economic development, creating job opportunities, and stimulating our local economy.”

Supporters for Measures S and T were Gordo, Bogaard, local business owner Gale Kohl, Kurtz and Little. No opponents were listed.

The proposed measures each have accountability provisions that include public disclosure of all spending and annual financial audits while updating outdated language and codes, according to the city. 

More information on the measures is available at cityofpasadena.net/charter-amendments/#.

For information about the 2024 primary elections, visit cityofpasadena.net/city-clerk/primary-elections-2024/.

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