By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
We also rejected the mayor's desire to reorganize government departments on his own. What we said was, you can place a reorganization ordinance before the council, and the council is required to act on it. They can defeat it or amend it, but they have to act.
GOLDBERG: You know, there's something else that is a very fundamental problem. The council is governed by the Brown Act. Everything that we say and do is done in public. The mayor has no such thing, because he's just one person. He can act without debate or discussion. The next five mayors may be wonderful. The sixth may take advantage of that ability to do things in secret.
CHEMERINSKY: I don't see the substantial increase in the power of the mayor. I think it's modest. And I don't see the areas where we're increasing secret government. If either of you wish to go through any of the specifics, we can talk about it. But beyond that, I'd like to briefly talk about the other values which, I think, the new charter embraces.
One is with regard to efficiency. Although the current charter authorizes the city administrative officer to do performance and management audits, they're just not being done. No one is obligated to do performance audits. Yet we were told that regular performance audits of city departments could save a substantial amount of money for the city. The new charter would require the controller to do them.
[City Administrative Officer] Keith Comrie was certainly not an ally of the Elected Charter Reform Commission, but Keith Comrie has said to us that he thought the new charter would, overall, create cost savings to city government. His ballot statement says the new charter may produce cost savings. The CAO estimated one-time costs of around $2 million to implement charter changes. The other cost that he identified was the cost of neighborhood councils, which are a couple of million dollars, and any other costs occur only if the voters vote for a larger City Council. But he did say that he thought that the gains in efficiency would overall outweigh those costs and could result in savings. So when Ruth says it's going to cost more money through bureaucracy, the best neutral authority either of us can point to, the CAO, specifically said that he thinks we're more likely to save money than cost money.
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