Council Recommendation to Amend
the City Charter
The council of any city having a home rule charter may propose charter amendments to the voters by ordinance.
- City Attorney: At a Council Member’s or staff member’s request, the Attorney’s office drafts a proposal in proper legal form.
- Intergovernmental Relations Committee: The IGR Committee considers the proposal and makes recommendations to the Council for transmittal to the Charter Commission.
- City Council: The Council transmits the proposal to the Charter Commission.
- Charter Commission: The Commission reviews the proposed amendment within 60 days or may request a 90-day extension in writing to the City Clerk. The Commission approves or rejects the proposed amendment or offers a substitute amendment and notifies the Council of the action taken. If the Charter Commission rejects the proposed amendment, the proposer may use the petition process. Regardless of the action taken by the Charter Commission, the Council is not bound to revise the amendment.
- Intergovernmental Relations Committee: The IGR Committee reviews the Charter Commission recommendation and discusses the proposed ballot language drafted by the City Attorney and forwards ballot language to the Council.
- City Council: The Council approves the original or substitute amendment and approves or changes the ballot language.
- Election: The amendment must be submitted to the voters at a general election if one is to be held within six months after Commission approval. Otherwise, a special election must be held within 90 days.
- Public Notice: The Elections Department publishes the full text of the amendment and the actual ballot language once each week in the two weeks before the election. It publishes the sample ballot one week before the election and publishes a notice of times and polling places two weeks before the election.
- Passage: Approval of the amendment requires 51% of those voting on the amendment.
- Effective Date: Within seven days after the general election, the Elections Committee of the City Council canvasses the election results and submits a report to the Council stating the results of the election and whether amendments passed or failed.
Last updated Sep. 27, 2011