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How the Charter Revision Will Increase Taxes 

The charter revisions will result in increased taxes because:

 

  • The Board of Representatives (BOR) would have unlimited power to hire inside and outside legal counsel with unlimited spending powers. The charter also expands the reasons for which outside counsel may be hired to include essentially any purpose at all.  With these dramatically expanded powers to hire outside lawyers, the Board of Finance would potentially be required to set aside a significant reserve fund for this purpose. 

 

  • The revision will create five new commissions, each of which will require additional city administrative and support staff. 

  • Additional reporting requirements for the Board of Education, Corporate Counsel, and Director of Administration will require additional staff.

  • The charter revisions will choke off the housing supply which will raise housing costs, making the city less affordable.

How the Charter Will Upset the Balance of Power 

The charter revision would upend our existing system of checks and balances, in which the executive branch makes nominations, and the legislative branch confirms or denies those nominations.

This would impact how candidates are appointed for seats on the city's appointed boards and commissions. 

Under the current charter, the mayor has 120 days to send a nomination for a person to serve on a board or commission to the Board of Representatives for confirmation. If BOR rejects the nomination, the 120-day clock restarts and the mayor can then send another nomination. This process continues until someone chosen by the mayor is confirmed.

 

Under the proposed revision, the mayor would have 120 days to send a nomination to the Board of Representatives.  However, once that first 120-day clock runs out, the power to nominate would shift to the president of the Board of Representatives. 

 

The revision allows the BOR to run out the clock until they can both nominate and approve their chosen candidates, taking appointment power away from the mayor and giving it to the BOR.

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