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City Structure and Function

Terms in this set (97)

City clerk are appointed and removed by the mayor, subject in both cases to the approval of a majority of the city council
Clerk of the city council and
Maintains a record of all council proceedings;
Maintains the official city records and archives;
Keeps a record of the ownership of all real estate in the city;
Administers all city elections,
Provides special presentations for the council and the public;

Clerk's Council and Public Services Division
prepares legally required publication notices (including ordinances, documents and indexes and maintains all council files)

Calendar Sections schedules and prepares the council agenda and processes all files for council consideration

Professional staff members prepare council committee agendas, attend all committee meetings and prepare the final committee reports for full council consideration

Creative Services Division designs most of the ornamental documents presented by the mayor, city council and other elected officials

Records Management Division
Administers a comprehensive citywide records management program and provides storage and reference service for city records and historical documents
All docs affectings the city, including ordinances, contracts, leases, deeds and the official city seal, are in custody of city clerk
Maintains a city archive for the preservation and management of historical records that date back to 1827.

Election Division
Responsible for the conduct of municipal and other elections, Conducts elections for the boards of the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Community College District
Conducts initiative, referendum, recall and other special elections, City is reimbursed for election conducted on behalf of outside agencies

Land Records Divisions
Maintains records of the owners of all property within the city limits in Los Angeles, As part of the city's Construction Services Center, uses records to help process building permits

Admin Services Division
Provides fiscal and personnel administration for city clerk's office, the mayor and the city council
Coordinates citywide Business Improvement District program (partnership b/n the city and citywide business communities)
Administers other special assessments for the city
Much of the work of the city government is under the authority of city departments, managed by appointed officials, and staffed almost entirely by employees covered by the civil service system

Departments are either created in the charter or by ordinance

Charter Section 514 - authorizes the city council and the mayor to transfer powers, duties or functions from one department to another (Except in certain cases including elective offices, proprietary departments, pension and retirement boards, disciplinary functions of the Fire and Police Departments, the City Ethics Commission, and the Fire and Police Departments themselves
• Under charter, it is more difficult for the mayor and council to reorg a charter-created department then one created by ordinance
• Ordinance-created dept may be reorg by and ordinance (by majority of council and mayor's signature, or 2/3 council vote to override a mayoral veto)
• Charter-Dept may be reorg by the mayor w/ the approval of 2/3 of the council, by council itself w/ 2/3 vote or a 3/4 vote to override the mayor's veto, voters may directly reorg charter dept through the passage of an amendment to the charter at the ballot box
• Five types of charter Dept
○ Dept managed by part-time citizen commissions (Fire, Police)
○ Dept managed by a full-time citizen commission (Public Works)
○ Dept w/ non-managing, advisory comissions (Personnel, Planning, Neighborhood Empowerment)
○ Independent depart managed by citizen commissions (Library, Rec and Par, City Employee's Retirement Syst, Fire and Police Pension)
○ Independent proprietary dept managed by citizen commissions (Harbor, Airport, Water and Power)
• 2000 Charter
○ increased the mayor's authority by removing the requirement for a majority vote of council to ratify the firing of dept head and substituted an appeal process that requires a 2/3 vote of the council to reinstate the GM
○ Mayor reviews and authorizes salary for GM appointed by mayor, Commission reviews and authorizes salary for GM appointed by Commission
○ Gave Council the authority to set the overall guidelines for compensation for GM, within which the mayor or commission could set the actual compensation
Managed by part-time citizen commissions
○ Governed by five-member Police Commission, with members serving for a maximum of two five-year terms
§ Commissioners are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the council
□ If removed by mayor, has opportunity to appeal to the city council (2/3 majority may overturn dismissal)
§ Commissioners "issue instruction" to the chief of police, except in the area of discipline (chief's prerogative)
§ Appoint and remove an executive director of the commission and an Inspector General (IG) (oversee investigations of police misconduct)
○ 1992 ordinance established a Police Permit Review Panel upon delegation by the Police Commission
§ Authorizes permits for official police garages for towing, massage parlors, pool halls, junkyards and security guards
○ 2003, Homeland Security Bureau built within LAPD
○ Chief of Police
§ No civil service protection
§ Two five year terms
□ Second term requires appointment by Police Commission
® Chief must apply to commission for second term
◊ May grant or refuse the request
◊ City council may intervene under Section 245 (allows council to review and overturn decisions by city commissions)
§ Mayor appoints the chief from a list of six names supplied by the commission
□ Must be confirmed by a majority vote of the council
§ Removal of the chief is in the hands of the commission
□ Subject to the power of the mayor or the council to reverse the commission's action
□ City council can remove the chief by a two-thirds vote
□ Mayor cannot directly remove the chief
○ Inspector General (IG) designated to oversee departmental investigations of police misconduct, reports directly the commission, not to the chief
§ Guaranteed access to the same information about the department that the commission had and was freed of the necessity to report to the commission through the commission's executive director
Dept w/ non-managing, advisory commissions
○ Planning system of LA involves five key players: the mayor, City Planning Commission, Area Planning Commissions, the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee of the city council and the Planning Dept
○ Director of Planning is head of Planning Dept
§ Must be selected "on the basis of admin and tech qualifications, w/ special reference to actual experience in and knowledge of accepted practice in the field of city planning (Charter)
§ Give great flexibility to the mayor or to commissions in the selection of general managers of depts
○ City Planning Commission
§ Makes decisions on individual planning matters and makes recommendations regarding such broad rules as the general plan
§ Does not manage the dept
§ Expanded from 5 members to 9 members
§ Render advice on the general plan and other planning matters
○ Area Planning Commissions (APCs) are quasi-judicial bodies, have responsibility to hear appeals on local land use matters and may exercise other powers granted to them by ordinance
○ Planning process defined in charter
○ Most important task is the creation of the general plan, which guides development throughout the city
○ 1977, State mandated City of LA to bring its zoning and land use element into conformity
○ 1980, General Plan-Zone Consistency Program
§ Massive rezoning to reduce and restructure city growth consistent w/ the adopted plan
○ General Plan
§ Amending plan involves the commission, the direct of planning, the mayor and the council
§ Public hearings must be held and the mayor and council must have the opportunity to be heard.
§ If both the commission and the mayor approve an amendment, the council may adopt the amendment by a majority vote
□ If either the commission or the mayor opposes the amendment, a two-thirds vote of the council is required to adopt it
□ If both the mayor and commission oppose it, enacting it requires a 3/4 vote of the council
□ Council (by ordinance) establish rules for granting variances
○ Office of Zoning administration (quasi-judicial agency)
§ Made up of civil servants
§ Recommend approval or rejection of applications for variances from zoning regulations
§ Variances that have been granted may be appealed to the Area Planning Commission and from they may be appealed to either the City Planning Commission or the city council (not both)
§ No appeal is possible if a variance is denied by the Are Planning Commission
§ All planning decisions made by the city commissions are subject to review and amendment by the city council under Charter Section 245
□ 2000 Charter - City council not limited to vetoing planning decisions
□ After voting to bring a matter before it, the city council has the same authority to act on a matter as that held by the City Planning Commission or the Area Planning Commission
§ 2000 charter eliminated the Board of Zoning Appeals
○ Cultural Heritage Commission (2004) was moved to Planning dept
§ Made up of five members
§ Identify historical and cultural sites and prevent them from being demolished.
Independent proprietary dept managed by citizen commissions
• State law mandated that the city could not acquire the harbor with out a contiguous land connection to the city
• 1907 harbor commission was created
○ Five member commission appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council
• Areas that the harbor covered known as tidelands were protected by the state and would be granted to local governments to develop only for the benefit of the state
• 1911, state of California issued a grant-in-trust to the city of Los Angeles for the tidelands that defined the Harbor District
• State Land Commission is empowered to enforce the provisions of the tideland trust grant to Los Angeles
• LA Harbor is completely self-supporting
○ Receives no public funds
○ Can issue bonds
○ Receives revenue from grants, fees for shipping services (docking, wharfing, piloting, and crane rentals), rent for use of port land and buildings, and royalties and interest
§ All revenues must be placed in the Harbor Revenue Fund
§ None can be transferred to the city government to pay for fire and police protection outside the harbor
§ A separate harbor police force is enshrined in the charter
○ Pays for various city services
§ Mainly fire and emergency medical services (EMS)

• Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, LAPD and Port police share responsibility for port security
• Alameda Corridor project
○ LA and Long Beach joined forces to support the construction using federal grants and issuances of bonds
○ Jointly used by all major railroads from downtown LA to the harbor
○ Runs North/South between downtown LA and Wilmington
§ At Wilmington, branches towards Port and to Wilmington

• Port does not generate goods and services
• Acts as Landlords and developers of the Harbor District
• Leases locations at the port of shipping companies that pay fees to berth, unload, and store cargo
○ Charges railroads to utilize the Alameda Corridor to move goods
Independent proprietary dept managed by citizen commissions

• Owns and operates four airports (LAX, Van Nuys, Palmdale, Ontario)
• Created by ordinance in 1940, 1947 charter amendment gave it independent status, 1963 charter amendment gave right to issue revenue bonds
• Members of the Board of Airport Commissioners are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council
○ Can be removed unilaterally by the mayor w/o council approval
○ 7 members (1 must reside in the area surrounding LAX and other surrounding Van Nuys airport)
○ Set landing fees

• Federal gov has a role in regulating airpact
§ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is federal agency who regulates airports
• Setting the standards for airport development, assessing and approving the fitness of LAWA, ensuring that the public's interest in interstate commerce is protected
§ Ultimate authority for the passenger capacity of airports
• The state of California has a regulatory role in land use near all public-use airports
○ Involved in environmental and noise issues
• County of LA has comparable role in land-use decisions in airports w/ in its boundaries
○ Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) generates a comprehensive land use plan (CLUP)
○ Land use adjacent to airports, as well as airport expansion, must be consistent with this plan
○ Utilize the ALUC process to challenge expansion
• Los Angeles owns and operates the airport land and controls all development and improvements to it
• Airlines have clout in Washington
○ Can exert pressure at the federal level to keep these fees down
• Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) federal agency
• City employees involved in supporting airline security, with their salaries paid either bye federal grants or revenues generated by airline charges that are ultimately paid by passengers departing/arriving at LAX
• Airport police independent of LAPD patrol airport grounds (2000 Charter)
○ LAWA has a MOU w/ LAPD and in an emergency (such as a bomb threat), the LAPD from a nearby substation would also respond
• Federal law and regulations mandate that LAWA can use airport revenue only for airport-related expenses
○ Prevents the Airport Commission from transferring funds from its budget into the city's general fund, city may obtain reimbursement for services that directly benefit the airport

Billing is carefully monitored by the federal government and if city overcharges for services, it must reimburse the airport or risk being hit w/ triple damages
Independent proprietary dept managed by citizen commissions
○ Water comes from:
§ LA River
§ Eastern Sierra water
□ 1963 constructed second aqueduct parallelt to original LA Owens River Aqueduct, terminate 137 miles northeast of LA, south of Owens Lake bed, completed in 1970
§ Owens Vally 2233 mile gravity flow aqueduct system from the Eastern Sierra mountains to LA completed in Nov. 5, 1913
§ Colorado River
§ State Water Project
§ Local ground water wells
§ Recycled water
§ Mono Basin
□ L.A. Aqueduct was extended 105 miles to Mono Basin
○ LA joined with other cities in 1928 to form Metro Water District of Southern California (MWD)
§ Largest water suppliers
§ Draws water from Colorado River

• Power
○ 1908, city's first power plant was build in Owens Valley to generate power used in the construction of aqueduct
○ 1916, DWP was distributing electric power and a year later began generating its own power from a hydropower plant on the aqueduct near Saugus
○ DWP became the city's sole electric power distributor
○ 1940's-1960s, DWP built four large natural gas and oil-fueled electric power generating stations in the LA Basin
○ 1986s, DWP began receiving energy from a large coals-fueled power station in Utah and a nuclear power generating station in Arizona
§ Coal is an important source of electric power for the city

• DWP is the nation's largest municipally-owned utility

• Charter allows the city to sell water to other municipalities
○ If department sells water/power outside the city, charges to non-city customers may not be lower than those charged to city customers
• May also exchange water w/ any public agency and supply/distribute surplus water outside the city
○ Contract to supply surplus water outside the city must be approved by a majority of the voters ata regular or special election
• DWP board may arrange to supply and distribute or exchange surplus electric energy w/o a vote of the people
• Board of Water and Power Commissioners has five members, appointed and removed in the manner of most city commissions
• Does not receive any funds from the city government
• Revenues derive from customer fees for water and power
• Can issue its own revenue bonds
• Negotiates wages and benefits with its employees in a process that is separate from that conducted for other city employees
○ City council must approve wage agreements
• Board sets water and power rates subject to approval by an ordinace passed by the city council
• Board determines on an annual basis the transfer of revenue from the DWP budget to the general city budget
○ Approx 5% of DWP revenue
• Has the power to determine whether or not there would be an election to decide the question of secession
• Strengthened in 2000 by the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Act which directed LAFCOs to discourage sprawl and encourage orderly government
○ Delegated the legislature's power to draw boundaries to LAFCOs
○ Have impact on growth and development
○ Approves the creation of a special water district, induce growth in a new area
• Power to regulate the boundaries of cities and special districts
• Do not have authority over school district boundaries
○ Process to make a boundary change begins w/ a petition by registered voters, landowners or a local government body
○ Petition might be for an annexation or for a municipal incorp
• Reviews the proposal, conducts public hearing and makes recommendations
○ If there is sufficient protest, LAFCO will call an election
○ Can initiate the process of boundary change should it desire to reduce the number of special districts
• 9 members of LAFCO are called commissioners
○ Made up of the mayors of each city w/in the county appoints two members and an alternate
○ County supervisors appoints two members and one alternate
○ President of the LA City Council appoints one member and an alternate
○ An Independent Special District Committee selects two members and two alternates
○ County supervisors also select one member and one alternate to represent the San Fernando Valley
○ These 8 commissioners select 1 member of the public
• School district's budget comes from state and federal revenues as well as other sources
○ Highly sensitive to state funding
○ City and school district are both allies and competitors for state financial support
○ City gov has been called upon by state gov to sacrifice revenue to help fund the schools when the state runs into budget shortfalls
• LA City Charter has authority over school district governance
○ Power can be exercised only by all voters who live within the boundaries of the district
§ 80% of the LAUSD electorate falls w/in the borders of LA City
○ Choice is between governance by district voters through the charter of governance by the state legislature through state law
○ Day to day operations of the school system are in all cases subject directly to the state Education Code
§ City (general law or charter) has no power to interfere in these matters
• Consists of seven part time members elected by district
○ Elected from school districts
§ Advisory redistricting commission established by the 2000 city charter helps the city council to draw school district lines
○ Elections for the board of education are conducted by the LA City Clerk
○ State law sets board pay
• Per Charter, "the board of education shall have the power to control and manage the public schools of LAUSD in accordance w/ the Constitution and laws of the State
• Board of education hires/fires the superintendent and sets school policy
• Daily operations of the schools are under the control of the superintendent and the professional staff
• A district breakup cannot be accomplished through the city charter
○ Permission must first be received from the state board of education
• California government has tended to insulate school districts from mayors and councils
• In 2006, state legislators passed a law to provide partial mayoral control of the school district
Certified neighborhood councils can submit community impact statements
• Electronically or via letter, indicating their positions on pending legislative matters for inclusion on the agenda itself
- 2000 charter specified that "neighborhood council membership will be open to everyone who lives, works or owns property in the area"
○ Participation not limited to those living w/in the boundaries of the neighborhood councils or those who are registered voters, non-citizens and other non-resident stakeholders
- Funding for the neighborhood councils must be provided at least one year in advance
- Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) established by charter
○ Advised by a seven-member Board of Neighborhood Commissioners (BONC)
§ Charged w/ designing and running the system
○ Charter includes a prohibition against shifting powers from the DONE for five years
○ Charter mandates that the city appoint a commission to review the neighborhood governance system seven years after its adoption
○ Adopt a plan and regulations to implement the system of neighborhood councils w/in one year of establishment of DONE and the BONC
○ An ordinance was adopted, and placed in Admin Code which set forth the duties of the DONE and the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners
- Ordinance clarified the role of the commission, specifying that the general manager is the head of the department
○ Commission has seven members
○ Board has policy authority but no management responsibility
○ Ordinance delegated to the dept the development of a formal plan, a detailed early notification system and the linkage of that system w/ ITA
○ Self-selection
§ Neighborhoods generate their own proposals for neighborhood council certification that specify their process of selecting officers and making other decisions
□ This proposal is presented to the department and then to the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners for certification
○ Neighborhood councils are required to prepare an application for certification, proposing to represent an area no smaller than 20,000 stakeholders
§ Free to propose their own boundaries as long as they do not overlap w/ other councils
□ Applicants are required to gather between 200 and 500 signatures from local stakeholders
○ Each council proposes a method of selecting officers, w/ the limitation that no single community stakeholder group can comprise a majority of certified neighborhood council's governing body
§ No person may serve more than eight consecutive years
- Application for certification go to DONE staff for a recommendation, then to the commission
- Rejection at that level may be appealed to the city council, which must place the item on the council agenda and by 2/3 vote be overturned
- DONE can recommend to decertify a neighborhood council to the commission
○ A neighborhood council may also ask to be decertified
- Once certified, neighborhood council has access to early warning system to receive notification of upcoming decisions by governmental bodies, including the city council and city boards and commissions
○ Developed by DONE and ITA built around the city's website
- Formal opportunities for input are to be created before decisions made or mayor's budget is submitted
- Conducts seminars for newly elected officials, commissioners, lobbyists and potential candidates and develops reports and manuals on laws regarding city campaigns, ethics and lobbying
- Recommends to the mayor
- Charged w/ administering the city's campaign laws
○ Article VII of charter is devoted to Ethics Commission and to the Office of the Special Prosecutor
- Five members
○ Appointed by majority, city attorney, the controller, the president of the council and the president pro tempore of the city council
§ Each appointment must be confirmed by a majority of the city council
- Harder to remove an ethics commissioners than any other city commissioner
○ Mayor can only remove w/ a majority vote of the council
§ Removal of an ethics commissioner must be for "substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office, inability to discharge the powers and duties of office or violation of this Article, after written notice of the grounds on which removal is sough and an opportunity for a reply
○ Council w/ 2/3 vote may remove commissioner
- Replacement of a commissioner is preformed by the original appointing authority
- Ethics commissioner may not run for an office
- Commission hires and may remove an executive director, whose position is exempt from civil service
○ Can be removed at commission's will
○ Executive director in turn hires and may remove a professional staff also exempt from civil service
- Enforcing all city laws concerning campaign finance, lobbying, conflict of interest and governmental ethics
- Receive and audits disclosure statements and campaign filling statements by the city officials and candidates
- Mandated to maintain a whistle-blower hotline
- Cannot criminally prosecute violations but can refer those cases to the city attorney or the district attorney
- Can hold administrative hearings and fine violators
- Plays an education role about ethics laws within the city government
○ Each department develops conflict of interest codes, Ethics Commission expected to assist
- Conducts seminars for newly elected officials, commissioners, lobbyists and potential candidates and develops reports and manuals on laws regarding city campaigns, ethics and lobbying
- Recommends to the mayor and council new laws regarding campaigns, ethics and lobbying
- Can draw on the "good government" org of the community
- Investigative body that can subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance, take evidence, and demand the production of documents
- Charter mandates that its investigations be conducted confidentially
- If the city attorney determines that he or she has a conflict of interest, cannot prosecute or investigate a specific alleged violation
○ The commission may by 4/5th vote appoint a Special Prosecutor
§ Named by a panel of three retired judges previously selected by the commission for this task
□ Charter requires appropriation of $250,000 every year for a Special Prosecutor
§ Commission alone my remove a Special Prosecutor, but only for serious cause
- Council must appropriate funds at least one year in advance of each fiscal year
○ Council cannot punish the ethics commission by withholding its expected budget
Representative Democracy
Even numbered years where state and federal races on the ballot normally increase turnout
Odd numbered years have lower voter turnout

Candidates for city offices run on a nonpartisan primary ballot
• If no candidate receives a majority (>50%), a runoff is held b/n the top two candidates

Any registered voter is eligible to run for office if he/she lives in the city
- For council, lived for at least 30 days prior to filing a Declaration of Intention of Candidacy w/ the city clerk
- City attorney must have been qualified to practice law in CA for the prior five years
- A candidate is disqualified from running for office if he/she has been convicted of a felony or under certain circumstances, convicted of a conflict of interest or gov ethics charge w/in the preceding five years
- To run for a regularly scheduled municipal election, resident must file a Declaration of Intention to become a candidate no earlier than 120 days, no later than 115 days prior to the primary nominating election
- Filing period for special elections held to fill a vacancy is set by the ordinance ordering the special election
○ Nominating petition must be signed by 500 registered voters
§ From the city as a whole for at-large elections
§ From the council/school board district w/in the election will be held
○ Candidate must pay a filing fee
§ In lieu of filing fee, candidate may submit a petition signed by 1000 registered voters
§ Certified write-in candidates are allowed in both primary and general elections

State law allows absentee-only elections, but only in very limited circumstances

Vacancies in elective offices can be filled
- Appointment by the city council
○ Council cannot appoint someone to fill a vacancy if more than half of the four year term remains
§ In this case, council may appoint someone to fill the vacancy until June 30 of the next odd-numbered year
§ Special election must be held to fill the remaining two-year portion of the term

- By special election instead of appointing a replacement office holder
○ If vacancy in city council, council president will appoint a "caretaker" to ensure that constituent services are provided and to work w/ other council members to process legislation related to the district until a new office holder is seated
§ CLA traditionally act a the caretaker, however, the council president may appoint another person to fulfill that task

- Two term limits of 4 years
○ Time served by someone appointed/elected to serve out less than the two years of an unexpired term does not count toward the term limit requirement

- Candidates for city offices are subject to the city's campaign finance laws and may participate in the system of public financing of campaigns
○ No person may donate to the campaign of candidate who has not filed a Declaration of Intent to Solicit and Receive Contributions
○ No person may donate more than $500 to any city council candidate or committee controlled by that candidate in a single election, or more than $1000 to any citywide candidate
○ Charter cannot limit the amount a candidate may contribute from his or her own personal funds to his or her own campaign
○ Person may give a contribution of no more than $500 to a campaign committee not controlled by a candidate if it supports or opposes a city candidate
○ Council can by ordinance adjust charter contribution limits to take into account changes in the cost of living
○ No city council campaign can accept in a single election more than $150000 from "persons, other than individuals";
§ Limits for controller and city attorney are $400,000 and for mayor $900,000
§ Limits will not apply to any candidate if one candidate in the race decides to forgo public financing and either accepts contributions, or makes expenditures, in excess of the applicable spending limits
○ Charter also limits loans to candidates because if loans paid back after campaign, public will have little idea who supported the candidate until after the election is over

- Charter requires the city council to create, by ordinance, a system of public financing of some of the costs of city campaigns w/ concurrent limits on campaign expenditures for those who agree to participate in that system
- Wealthy candidates always have the option of going around the system

Direct Democracy
Initiative
- Charter allows voters to write a law
○ To submit an initiative, must submit a draft of the petition to the city clerk
§ City attorney must then give the measure a title and provide a summary of its provisions, which becomes part of the petition to be circulated to the voters
□ Petition must be signed by registered voters equal to 15% of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for mayor in the most recent mayoral election
® Signatures must be gathered w/in a 120 day period
◊ Once petition is filed, city clerk will examine it and issue a certificate of sufficiency/insufficiency
○ City elections code allows the city clerk to utilize a random sampling method to assess signatures
§ If random sampling show fewer than 90% of signatures are valid, petition can be declared insufficient
§ If more than 100% of the required signatures are valid, petition can be declared sufficient
§ If between 90% and 110%, signature must be examined individually to determine the sufficiency/insufficiency
○ If clerk certifies the sufficiency of signatures on the petition, the council has 20 days to act
§ Council must adopt the measure as an ordinance and present to the mayor for signature/veto or place on ballot either by a special election or at the next scheduled city electing
§ If petition is designed to overturn an ordinance previously adopted by the voters, city council must place it on the ballot
□ Cannot simply adopt the proposed ordinance
○ If initiative measure is passed by a majority of the voters, it becomes law
§ Cannot be overturned by council, only voter-directed effort
Referendum
- May take place under two circumstances
○ City council itself may place before voters an ordinance that the council is considering
§ Wants to obtain voter approval before enacting an ordinance
○ Group of citizens uses the referendum process in an effort to prevent an ordinance from going into effect

- Signature requirements and time frame for submission make referenda exceptionally difficult to accomplish
○ Number of signatures must be equal to 10% of all votes cast in the preceding mayoral election
○ All signatures must be obtained w/in 30 days after publication of the ordinance
§ If signatures met, the council can repeal the ordinance eliminating the need for the election
§ Or council can call a special election or schedule the measure for the next city election (if its more than 110 day away)
Recall
- All officials elected or appointed can be recalled from office per Charter
○ Includes city commissioners and general managers and executive directors

- For elected officials
○ Begins w/ a petition signed by at least 15% of registered voters
○ Cannot be recalled if served for less than 3 months
§ 6 months before the next election at which his/her term expires
§ 6 months after successfully defeating a recall election

- For appointed officials
○ Requires 20% of entire voter cast in the race for mayor in last preceding election

- For elected school board members
○ Requires 15% of the registered voters of the district from which the individual member was elected

- Before circulating a recall petition, proponents must publish a notice of intention and a statement of reasons

- Officer who is subject of recall may submit an Answer to the Statement prepared by those who organized the recall
○ Only after the target of the recall has had a chance to prepare an answer may the petition be circulated
§ Petition must include the statement and answer
§ 120 days to get required signatures
○ If city clerk certifies petitions as valid, council must call a special election or place on ballot

- Ballot has two parts
○ Whether or not to remove the incumbent and set of replacement candidates if the voters wish to remove the officeholder
§ City voters passed a charter amendment to guarantee that voters would be able to vote for a replacement candidate even if they did not cast a vote on the recall itself

- State vs city recall rules
○ State system - replacement candidate w/ the most votes is declared elected
§ A replacement governor could win w/ fewer votes than the incumbent
In this voting system the single winner is the person with the most votes (plurality); there is no requirement that the winner gain an absolute majority of votes, but rather only a plurality,

○ LA - replacement election requires a majority vote
§ If no replacement candidate receives a majority, a runoff election will be held b/n the top two candidates
• Duties of the Personnel Dept outlined in Volume II of the charter, entitled "Employment Provisions"
○ Charter sections 540-542 establish the Personnel Dept to carry out the rules/regulations set by the Civil Service Commission
§ Administers a number of other employment programs, such as position classification, employment opportunity and training, safety, worker's comp, medical services and employee benefits
§ Formerly Civil Service Dept, renamed to Personnel Dept in 1967
§ In 1971 city's Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action program was assumed by the dept
• Purpose of civil service is to prevent political patronage from dominating decisions on city employment
○ People selected based on a system of examinations and other measures of sill and experience
○ Employees are to be protected from arbitrary suspension or firing
• Exempt positions
○ Reserved for the top positions of city government
○ 1995, 2000 charter made the following exempt:
§ Department heads
§ Assist dept heads
§ Staff of elected officials
§ All positions in the office of the city attorney (most employees of this office are covered by their own civil service provisions except city attorney and some deputies)
§ Executive Director of Board of Police Commissioners and Inspector General
§ Executive Officer and non-clerical personnel of the City' Ethics Commission
§ Assistant directors in the CAO's office
§ Traffic manager and Port Warden of the Harbor Dept
§ Crossing guards
§ Physicians and psychologists
§ Election officers
§ Election-day workers employed by the city clerk
○ Allows city to exempt individuals with management, professional, scientific or expert skills under a procedure that involves approval by mayor and council
§ Mayor sends letter requesting exempt position
□ Council 2/3rd votes may reject
□ Council can increase position by up to 1% of cities workforce
○ 15 DQP, and 10 b/n Airport and Harbor exempt
○ Certain unskilled laborers, part-time employees and limited-term grant funded positions
• January 1971, LA City Council adopted the Employee Relations Ordinace (ERO), in accordance toe Meyers-Milias-Brown Act
○ Established policies and procedures for the administration of employer-employee relations in city government and created the Employee Relations Board to oversee its provisions
§ ERB has five part-time members, must be qualified neutrals with expertise in the field of labor-management relations
§ Nominated jointly by city management and employee organizations, appointed by the mayor and confirmed by city council
§ Serve 5 years
§ Board's staff headed by an executive director

○ Provided for the formal recognition of employee organizations that represent city employees and for meeting-and-conferring with these organizations over wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment
§ Agreement is known as memoranda of understanding (MOUs)
§ Established procedures for the resolution of disputes arising out of meeting-and-conferring or interpretation of the labor agreements
□ Meeting and conferring is the mutual obligation of reps of city management and employee orgs to personally meet within a reasonable time period to exchange info and proposal to reach agreement on matters within the scope of representation
□ Difference w/ M&C and private sector negotiations is that the agreements reached by reps must be approved by the "determining body" (most cases the city council)

○ Features of the city's employee relations include
• Executive Employee Relations Committee (EERC)
□ Provides bargaining instructions to the city's negotiator and makes recommendations to city council
□ Five member committee consists of mayor, president of city council, president pro tempore of city council, and chairs of the council's Finance and Personnel Committees
§ Council Ratification
□ All MOUs negotiated between the city's management rep (the CAO) and the unions must be approved by city council
□ Compensation is implemented solely by MOUs adopted by a majority vote of the council (For non-rep employees an ordinance adopted by a majority vote is still required)
§ Impasse Procedures
□ Two options if parties cannot reach agreement during the meet-and-confer process
® Mediation, conducted by a neutral party from the State Mediation Service
® Fact finding, hearing process conducted by a neutral third party selected jointly by the union and the city's negotiator through a process of eliminating names
◊ Report of fact finder is not binding on the parties
§ Strikes
□ Most city employees have a right to strike
□ May be blocked if city demonstrates in court that the strike would result in imminent threat to the public health and safety, leading a judge to grant a temporary restraining order
□ State law forbids firefighters from striking
□ Court generally rule that strikes by police officers are illegal
§ Grievance Procedure
□ ERO requires all MOUs to have a grievance procedure to resolve disputes over interpretation of the MOUs or other working rules
□ Final step is arbitration by a neutral third party
□ Report of the arbitrator is binding for all council-controlled departments
□ For proprietary departments, report is advisory unless their commissions agree to binding arbitration
§ Agency Shop
□ Requires represented employees, even if they are not union members, to pay a fee to the union if they are members of the bargaining unit


○ CAO is city's management rep on all matter within scope of rep of council and mayor
§ Negotiates MOUs
□ Multi-year MOUs with each bargaining unit
□ Conducts special negotiations on issues such as changes in retirement benefits, separation pay plans, payroll system modifications, work schedule changes or impact of reorg and new programs
§ Leads/Participates in joint labor-management committees on flex benefits, employee parking, and worker's comp and safety
§ Advised departments on handling grievances and unfair labor practice hearings
§ Monitors the implementation of Fair Labor Standards Act requirements
§ Issues Employee Relations Bulletins to assist departments in understanding employee relations issues
§ Conducts surveys of salary and benefit practices
§ Recommends salaries for new classifications, and establishes and approves pay grade requests