City of Escondido Adoption of a City Charter, Measure P (November 2012)

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A Proposed City Charter for the City of Escondido, Measure P ballot question was on the November 6, 2012, ballot for voters in the City of Escondido in San Diego County, where it was defeated.

If Measure P had been approved, the City of Escondido would have become a charter city. Measure P also set forth a proposed city charter, which would have been adopted if Measure P was approved.

The City of Escondido paid $20,000 to send a mailer to voters in the city with information about Measure P and Measure N.[1]

Election results

Measure P
Defeatedd No19,78552.97%
Yes 17,568 47.03%
Final official results from the San Diego County elections office.


The editorial board of the North County Times endorsed Measure P, writing, "Escondido's voters have a tremendous opportunity to help solidify their city's future opportunities. Proposition P would establish Escondido as a charter city ---- freeing it of much of the bureaucratic overreach from Sacramento. By returning significant control of local issues facing the city to local officials and voters, we believe Prop. P offers the sort of flexibility needed to address the numerous fiscal challenges facing public agencies of all types."[2]



Measure P was opposed by the Escondido Citizens Charter Watch coalition.

Members of this coalition include:

  • The Coalition of Escondido Mobile/Manufactured Home Voters
  • The Escondido Mobile/Manufactured Home Positive Action Committee
  • Escondido’s Future
  • The Escondido Chamber of Citizens
  • The Escondido Democratic Club.[3]

Arguments against

The arguments submitted for the official voter guide in opposition to Measure P included:

  • "A few politicians – not the citizens -- have decided that Escondido needs to change from a General Law City to a Charter City form of government claiming that the change will save money. Escondido has operated successfully for more than 125 years as a General Law City with the checks and balances of state law and the consent of its citizens."
  • "This proposed Charter is bad for Escondido because it would:
  • Give broad and additional powers to a few politicians.
  • Allow new taxes and fees without a vote of the citizens.
  • Make deficit spending possible.
  • Empower the City Council to increase its pay and perks (Government Code Section 36516).
  • Encourage backroom secret deals and favoritism by giving contracts without competitive bidding or assuring competence of contractors.
  • Require frequent costly elections to change the charter -- $50,000 to $75,000 per election – and could lead to expensive litigation.
  • Allow the City Council to change zoning in violation of the General Plan, invalidating the vote of the citizens.
  • Permit arbitrary election criteria that might not be consistent with time-honored standards.
  • Divide the city into electoral districts and allow longstanding politicians to design their own districts -- with no term limits!"
  • "Becoming a Charter City is a dangerous and uncertain change for Escondido. Charter cities like Bell, Maywood, and Vernon, California have found themselves embroiled in embarrassing corruption, scandals, and costly litigation. Four charter cities of Escondido’s size (San Bernardino, Stockton, Compton and Vallejo) have recently filed for bankruptcy because of the lack of checks and balances required of general law cities. Becoming a Charter City will shift the power from the people of Escondido into the hands of a powerful few for now and far into the future."[4]

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Measure P: "Shall the City of Escondido be changed from a general law city to a charter city through the adoption of the charter proposed by Resolution 2012-99(R) of the Escondido City Council?"[5]

See also

External links

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