Cathedral City Unanimously Approves City Charter Ballot Measure

Cathedral City Unanimously Approves City Charter Ballot Measure

Martín Di Felice

Cathedral City, CA

The Cathedral City Council unanimously approved placement of a November ballot measure that would allow voters to choose whether to switch from being a general-law city to a charter city.

If approved by voters, Cathedral City would be allowed to define its own rules for governance through the provisions outlined in its charter.

The final draft for a proposed city charter was discussed at the council’s Wednesday night meeting.

The charter would change the mayorship to a rotating appointed position rather than an elected one, and shift council member elections to district, rather than at-large elections if the city’s population exceeds 75,000.

Some residents expressed concern the charter preventing election of the city’s mayor.

Surveys conducted earlier this year indicated that a majority of residents preferred electing the mayor, while the same surveys indicated that residents were in favor of the city moving toward a charter.

Mayor Stan Henry tried to ease citizen concerns Wednesday by saying that the mayor’s role was “strictly ceremonial” and that having reduced mayoral
powers would prevent abuses of power.

According to city officials, the charter does not give council members the power to levy additional taxes, raise their own salaries, or spend tax dollars.

City officials say becoming a charter city “would allow Cathedral City to write its own ordinances tailored to the specific needs of the community rather than those made at the state level.”

Other charter cities in the Coachella Valley include Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells.

The measure will appear before voters as follows:

“To enhance local control over municipal affairs, shall the City of Cathedral City Charter be adopted to establish Cathedral City as a charter city, and giving the City the power to establish public works contracting procedures, set penalties for violations of ordinances and resolutions, and appoint a city clerk?’