The City Council appointed a Charter Committee for the purposes of reviewing the City's existing charter and recommending appropriate changes, if any, to be placed on the November 2016 ballot. The Committee sought and encouraged public input and participation at public meetings and neighborhood forums. The Committee proposed a new City Charter during the summer of 2016 which was then placed on the November ballot. Measure L was approved by City of San Bernardino voters in 2016.
Reports to Council
Charter Review Committee Final Report, Charter, Timeline to Council (50 pages) - May 16, 2016
Progress Report to Common Council 02/29/16 (25 pages)
Charter Review Progress Report to Mayor and Common Council 9/21/15 (22 pages)
Please contact the City Clerk's Office for a copy of meeting agendas. 909-384-5002
Current City Charter
Annotated Charter of the City of San Bernardino
Community Engagement Forums
The committee would like to thank the residents and stakeholders who attended a community engagement forum. In each forum, a Charter Committee representative, walked attendees through proposed changes to the existing City Charter. The Committee has reviewed, compared and analyzed other city charters to gather industry best practices and develop a Charter that will make San Bernardino better.
Summary of November 2015 Public Forums (4 pages)
November 2015 and February 2016 Forum Materials
Community Forum Presentation (pdf - 27 pages)
Handout - Mayor Council Changes (pdf - 2 pages)
Handout - Elected v Appointed (pdf - 2 pages)
For those who were unable to attend, below is a video of the February 25 forum.
Charter Review Committee Community Forum Videos
Past Forum Meetings
March 3, 2016, 6:30 p.m. (3rd Ward) - Urbita Elementary School
February 25, 2016, 6:30 p.m. (7th Ward) - San Gorgonio High School
February 24, 2016, 6:30 p.m. (2nd Ward) - San Bernardino High School
February 22, 2016, 6:30 p.m. (5th Ward) - Chavez Middle School
February 10, 2016, 6:30 p.m. (3rd Ward) - Middle College High School (rescheduled to March 3)
November 4, 2015, 6:30 p.m. (4th Ward) - Golden Valley Middle School
November 5, 2015, 6:30 p.m. (6th Ward) - Arroyo Valley High School
November 9, 2015, 6:30 p.m. (1st Ward) - Indian Springs High School
- Civil Service Systems and Boards (8 pages) - Summarizes results of interviews with the City's Civil Service Commission and discusses whether other cities include specific language about a personnel or civil service system and Board in their charters
- Consolidated Election Impacts: contains research documenting the impacts of holding municipal elections in even-numbered years on voter turnout and election consolidation, and provides information on new legislation that is likely to require San Bernardino to hold its elections in November of even-numbered years beginning in 2018. For a certified copy of the chaptered State Legislation Election PDF, click here.
- Election vs. Appointment of City Attorney, Clerk and Treasurer (5 pages) - Discusses whether other cities elect their city attorney, city clerk and/or city treasurer
- Establishment or Modification of Voting Districts (7 pages) - Describes the process and best practices for changing the number wards or voting districts
- Mayor-Council Full-Time vs. Part-Time (4 pages - updated 12/08/15) - Discusses whether the Mayors and Council members tend to be full-time or part-time in other cities and compares elected official compensation
- Mayor-Council Input to Charter Reform (4 pages) - Summarizes the results of interviews with San Bernardino's elected officials regarding efforts to improve the Charter
- Mayor Terms, Term Limits, Election Consolidation (2 pages) contains information on the length of mayoral terms, the enactment of term limits for elected officials, and election processes for comparable charter cities in California
- Mayor Voting Powers (2 pages) - Discusses the voting powers for mayors of cities similar to San Bernardino
- Operating Practices for Good Government (3 pages) - Discusses the practices for good government that are relevant to include in San Bernardino's charter
- Police, Fire & Library Depts (6 pages) - Summarizes interview results with the Police Chief, Fire Chief and Library Director; discusses whether other cities include specific language about these departments in their charters
- Preservation of Rights Over Natural Resources (2 pages) - Discusses language alternatives for ensuring the San Bernardino charter preserves the City's rights or control over natural resources such as water.
- Typical Powers and Roles for Elected and Appointed Officials (2 pages) - Describes the interrelationship between Mayor, City Council and City Manager based on best practices for an effective government
- Water and Wastewater Utility Functions and Boards (10 pages) - Summarizes the results of interviews regarding the City's Water Department, discusses whether other cities include reference to a water department or Water Board of Commissioners in their charters and the typical powers of municipal water commissions.
Links & Resources
Charter Committee Members Resumes
To learn more about the forms of municipal governments visit the National League of Cities website.