Huntington Beach City Council To Vote on New City Charter

The Huntington Beach City Council will decide tonight whether to put a slate of changes to the city charter on the November ballot.

As evidenced by a straw vote it took last month, the council is divided over some of the proposed changes, including a provision that gives the city manager the power to fire appointed department heads and would change his title from city administrator to city manager.

Another of the proposed changes is a requirement to maintain infrastructure spending at 15 percent of the general fund.

If the council approves the changes, the city attorney will prepare an impartial analysis for the ballot and the council may choose to authorize council members to write ballot arguments.

The council preliminarily decided against chopping up the vote because of the additional ballot costs involved. If this decision holds, voters will not get the opportunity to vote on the changes one by one.

Also this afternoon at city hall will be a study session on the impacts of the city’s possible annexing of Sunset Beach. A study released by the city showed that annexing the community could bring Huntington Beach up to $624,000 in revenue.

But Sunset Beach has shown little desire to become part of the bigger city. In fact, a poll of community association members was overwhelming in favor of Sunset Beach becoming its own city. Should the application be successful, Sunset Beach, at 1,200 residents, would be the smallest city in Orange County.