Contact: Marsha Whalen, 760-839-4560

The Escondido City Council is considering putting a charter city proposal to the voters in 2012 to change the governing system from a general law city to a charter city.  A special workshop will be held on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. in the Mitchell Room at City Hall to discuss this idea and to receive input from the public.

In California, there are two kinds of cities: charter cities and general law cities. Of the 477 cities in the state, 105 are chartered. Both kinds of cities have broad powers and enjoy considerable freedom in the form of government which may be established, and the types of activities in which they may engage.

A general law city operates within the parameters of California municipal law. The advantage of a general law city is that general state laws have been subjected to judicial scrutiny and tested over the years, so there is relatively little confusion about their application. A charter city is defined by the city's own charter document rather than by state, regional or national laws. An advantage of a charter city is that its powers are not restricted to only those outlined in the general state municipal law, so a city can tailor its organization to provide for unique local conditions and needs.