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A city charter is a unique document that,in <br />many ways,acts like a constitution for the city. <br />It can only be adopted,amended or repealed by <br />a majority vote of a city's voters. <br />A charter transfers the power to adopt legisla- <br />tion affecting municipal affairs from the state <br />legislature to the city.A city operating under a <br />charter can acquire full control over its munici- <br />pal affairs. <br />Areas of statewide concern,which cannot be <br />superseded by a city charter,include traffic <br />laws,affordable housing obligations,the Califor- <br />nia Environmental Quality Act,and the Ralph M. <br />Brown Act,which is the State open meeting law. <br />A city charter gives residents more control over <br />their local government and the municipal affairs <br />of the city.Examples of municipal affairs are: <br />9 Methods and procedures for awarding and <br />constructing public projects. <br />411 Procedures for enacting local ordinances. <br /><Ill Municipal election matters. <br />It land use and zoning decisions. <br /><If>In most cases,how the city spends its tax <br />dollars. <br />IIlI Eliminates requirements to award public <br />works contracts to the lowest bidder.Con- <br />tracts can be awarded to the most qualified <br />bidder. <br /><If>May use City employees to construct public <br />improvements. <br /><II Eliminates prevailing wage requirement for <br />projects that do not receive federal or state <br />funding. <br /><II Ordinances and city codes may be adopted <br />in a shorter time frame. <br />9 May establish its own election procedures <br />such as the option of voting by mall on cer- <br />tain matters. <br />1&Costs of conducting Charter election. <br />It The transition period of moving from a <br />General law City to a Charter City. <br />&!There is some uncertainty regarding which <br />municipal affairs wi!!continue to be gov- <br />erned by a city's charter.Municipal affairs <br />may erode over time due to state legisla- <br />tion and subsequent judicial decisions. <br />!III Because amendments to a charter require <br />a majority vote of the City's voters at an <br />election,changes to the Charter will take <br />longer than amendments to the City's Mu- <br />nicipal Code,and they will be more costly.