The current push to charter Costa Mesa is not the first time the issue has come up in the city. However, it is the first attempt to charter since the Nixon Administration.
In 1971, the city asked 15 people to serve on a commission to study a potential chartering. While records from the Commission no longer exist, there is but spotty information to be gleaned from anecdotal evidence and a few reports in city council meeting minutes. It appears that there was no compelling case, at the time, driving the city forward.
This time, the chartering is being driven forward by an active city council and under the pressure of rising costs. The argument proponents are using this time is that inactivity costs money, and the ability to control contracting and local affairs will help protect Costa Mesa in the future.
The issue will come to voters on the June Ballot.
From the Los Angeles Daily Pilot:
Citing a need to ease public financing for projects and increase local control, the Costa Mesa City Council appointed a citizens committee to study whether the city should adopt a charter.
The city manager and city attorney were directed to oversee a 20-person Charter Study Committee tasked with looking at whether council representation should be broken up into separate districts and whether the city should directly elect its mayor rather than continue to rotate the post among council members.
Read the full article here.