Costa Mesa continues to fight serious battles, taking on some of the most sensitive topics headfirst. Councilman Jim Righeimer has become no stranger to controversy and backlash for positions he’s taken and policies he’s advocated.

But in the Daily Pilot, Righeimer lays out the case for making even greater structural changes to his city: becoming a charter city.

Giving Costa Mesa greater control of its own affairs through the constitutional provision of “home rule” could allow for greater spending and contracting discretion. It could allow the city to exempt itself from many prevailing wage laws, saving an estimated 20 to 30 percent on public works projects. And, as Righeimer points out, it isn’t a new concept. California already has more than 120 charter cities, or roughly one quarter of all cities.

From the Daily Pilot:

On Tuesday, I will put forward a proposal that our City Council ask our citizens whether we should become a charter city. After my first year on the council, it has become clear to me that in order for our town to thrive in the 21st century, we must free ourselves from the way union-backed politicians in Sacramento want our city to run and bring more local control — and common sense — to Costa Mesa.

But you do not have to take my word for it. Just look at what the non-partisan California League of Cities has to say in its excellent analysis for those wanting to know more about a “special form of local control” known as charter cities. It begins:

“Did you know that … voters can exercise a greater degree of local control than that provided by the California Legislature? Becoming a charter city allows voters to determine how their city government is organized and, with respect to municipal affairs, enact legislation different than that adopted by the state.”

Read the full article here.