City Government

City Government

Support of measures that would sustain a balance of power between the Mayor and the City Council, strengthen direct lines of authority, and fix responsibility in City administration.
Position In Brief: 

Support of measures that would sustain a balance of power between the Mayor and the City Council. Support of measures to strengthen direct lines of authority and to fix responsibility in the administration of Los Angeles City Government.


The mayor should be accountable to the residents for the management and coordination of City Departments.

The Mayor should be able to hire and fire the General Managers of the Departments, and Council approval to hire managers should be required.

The Mayor’s present Charter-derived powers should be retained.

The Charter should not be changed to allow the Mayor to put amendments on the ballot.

General Managers should be removed from Civil Service protection; they should have control over their own budgets and personnel once their budgets have been approved by the council and should have the authority to hire and fire their opt deputies; and the City Council should not micro-manage the Departments. Proposition 5 approved by the voters (June 4, 1991 Municipal election) which provides City Council with the opportunity to review actions taken by Boards and Commissions, should be repealed.

City Council

Legislative policy should be set by the Council. Administrative duties should be removed from the authority of the Council and given to appropriate departments.

Council approval should be required for the appointment of Commissioners and the appointment and removal of the Chief Administrative Officer.

There should be limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as Council President.


Commissions, whether advisory or policy-making, promote citizen participation in city government and therefore the Commission system should be retained.

Commissions should hold meetings in varying locations throughout the city and should vary their meeting times to include evening meetings in order to increase their accessibility to the public.

Commissions should be evaluated individually in determining whether functions should be policy-making or advisory.

The Charter should not be changed to permit the Mayor to appoint all new Commissioners at the start of the Mayoral term.


Support of measures that would lead to increased citizen participation in government through Citizens Advisory Committees.

Committees should have clearly defined goals, preferably short term. Varying points of view should be represented on each Committee. Appointments to Committees should be for a specified term.

Staff assistance should be provided. Committees should have access to all pertinent information.

The Agency that initiates the Committee should be required to respond to the Committee’s report. Committees’ efforts should be evaluated periodically.

Committees should have flexible meeting times in order to encourage broad citizen participation. A central directory of citizen participants should be maintained at City Hall.

City Charter

The Charter should

  • Provide a clear statement of powers and responsibilities;
  • Permit flexibility which will encourage efficiency and responsiveness, but with checks and balances to protect the public interest;
  • Require conflict of interest legislation; and
  • Protect the rights of citizens through suffrage and the power to direct legislation.

Administrative and procedural detail should be removed from the Charter and placed in ordinances.

The City Charter should be periodically reviewed every ten years with the review funded by the City. Participating in the review should be people experienced in government, scholars, community representatives of civic associations and should represent the ethnic make-up of the community. The League of Women Voters should take an active role in Charter Reform.

Position History: 

2004-2005 Positions (1964, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1994-1999)

League to which this content belongs: 
Los Angeles