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C1TVOF <br />Proposed Charter City Measure:Frequently Asked Questions <br />The City ofRancho Palos Verdes is currently a general law city.The Rancho Palos Verdes City <br />Council voted to hold a special election on March 8,2011 to ask voters whether it should <br />become a charter city.Below are several frequently asked questions in this regard.For more <br />information,please call the City Manager's Office at (310)544-5204. <br />Q:What is the difference between a general law city and a charter city? <br />A:There are two types of cities in California -charter and general law .Charter cities <br />follow the laws set forth in the State's Constitution along with their own "charter"document <br />regarding municipal affairs.General law cities follow the State Constitution and the laws passed <br />by the Legislature. <br />The essential difference between the two types of cities is that having a charter gives cities more <br />local authority over municipal affairs.Charter cities are able to customize operations to meet the <br />unique needs of their community,while general law cities are dependent on the State Legislature <br />for their power. <br />Q:What is a city charter,and how is one adopted? <br />A:A city charter is a unique document that acts like a constitution for the city adopting it.It <br />can only be adopted,amended or repealed by a majority vote of a city's voters.This puts more <br />control in the hands of the residents instead of State legislators and gives a community greater <br />independence to determine its own destiny. <br />Q:Why is Rancho Palos Verdes considering becoming a charter city? <br />A:The Rancho Palos Verdes City Council unanimously voted to hold a special election on <br />March 8,2011,to ask voters whether it should become a charter city.The Council believes that <br />becoming a charter city is the best way to gain the maximum amount of local control for the <br />City.The Council also believes the City could save millions of dollars on upcoming capital <br />improvement projects if it becomes a charter city. <br />Q:How have other cities benefitted from becoming charter cities? <br />A:Charter cities have more control over their use of funds because they do not have to <br />follow many State-required procedures that are costly,such as procedures for bidding on public <br />works projects,and thus they have saved large amounts of local funds.Additionally,charter <br />cities are able to pass ordinances that work better for their communities,such as streamlined <br />elections procedures,and thus they are able to better tailor their procedures and ordinances to <br />their particular needs.