New County Charter on the Ballot in November

By on July 29, 2020

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved a revision to the County Charter and now it will go before the voters in November.

The County Charter was first adopted in 1913 and has not been replaced as a whole for 107 years. The changes according to 2nd District Supervisor Janice Rutherford, would replace outdated language, increase government transparency and provide more public involvement.

The Board of Supervisors passed the new charter on a 3-1 vote with 3rd District Supervisor Dawn Rowe absent.

One of the major changes would be limit the number of terms a Supervisor could serve and cap their salaries to 80% of that of Superior Court judge with benefits equal to county department heads. Public hearings would also be required to change their salaries or benefits.

Currently, supervisor salaries are automatically set every four years at the average salary of supervisors in Riverside, Orange and San Diego counties.

Additionally, the new Charter would:

  • Allow the Board of Supervisors to call for special elections to fill vacancies in County elected offices and to remove the Governor’s authority to make appointments to fill vacant Supervisor offices
  • Require the Board of Supervisors to create a redistricting commission to be involved in the redrawing of the boundaries of supervisorial districts every 10 years
  • Protect campaign finance rules and enforcement of those rules
  • Require the Board of Supervisors to publicly review County Health Officer orders
  • Require the Board to periodically and publicly review the County Code and the Charter for outdated or unnecessary provisions
  • Replace gender-specific references to reflect the gender diversity on the Board of Supervisors.
  • Require the Board of Supervisors to adopt rules of order for its meetings

To see the revised charter and other changes, visit https://newcharter.sbcounty.gov/.