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City of Sacramento Elected Charter Revision Committee, Measure M (November 2012)

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A City of Sacramento Elected Charter Revision Committee ballot question was on the November 6, 2012, ballot for voters in the City of Sacramento in Sacramento County, where it was defeated.[1]

The City of Sacramento is a charter city. Measure M would have authorized a "charter revision committee" to meet, to study the city's existing charter, and to develop a set of recommended changes to the charter. These recommended changes would have been placed before the city's voter on a ballot in 2014.

The members of this proposed charter revision committee were to be elected; a slate of names of people who wanted to be elected to the proposed commission appeared on the November 6, 2012, ballot along with this ballot measure. With the defeat of the ballot measure, the names chosen for the commission are a moot point.

Election results

Measure M
Defeatedd No91,23373.55%
Yes 32,813 26.45%
Final official results from the Sacramento County elections office.



The official voter guide arguments in favor of Measure M were signed by:

  • Rick Bettis, board member, Common Cause of Greater Sacramento
  • Anne Rudin, retired mayor, City of Sacramento
  • Bill Edgar, retired city manager, City of Sacramento
  • Eric Guerra, president, Tahoe Park Neighborhood Association

Arguments in favor

The argument in favor of Measure M in the official voter guide said:

"Voting Yes on Measure M will give Sacramentans the opportunity to study our City's Charter and potentially reshape and improve how our local government works. In recent years, there has been much debate around controversial proposals that would dramatically change how our city is governed. Instead of making important changes to Sacramento's City Charter behind closed doors-like the Strong Mayor Initiative was launched-Measure M would create an elected charter commission of local citizens working through a transparent process to review how our city government works. Too often we hear complaints about special interests controlling the process- Measure M would provide an open and formal process to study how our local government works and research potential changes that might improve our city. It will allow Sacramentans to have a voice in the process and an opportunity to vote on any suggested changes to the charter. The City of Los Angeles used a charter review commission to improve its governance by adding an ethics commission and empowering neighborhood councils, among other reforms. Sacramento may be ripe for similar reforms. The cost of the commission has been questioned. Let's be clear- Measure M would create a temporary commission comprised of unpaid citizen commissioners using current city resources. No new staff would be hired. No new bureaucracy would be created. Sacramento may not be clamoring for charter change, but voters must have a chance to decide, to say yes or no. Isn't the establishment of the charter commission an open method to answer these questions? Yes on M will allow fifteen unpaid commissioners to review the city charter and bring any proposed recommendations back to Sacramentans for a public vote. This is democracy at its best - transparent, responsive and holding public institutions accountable. Let Democracy work- Vote Yes on Measure M."

Funding for Support Campaign

No campaign report filed.



The official voter guide arguments opposing Measure M were signed by:

  • Angelique Ashby, vice-mayor, City of Sacramento
  • Mark Abrahams, community activist, Land Park resident
  • Jonathan Rewers, chair, Sacramento Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Roger Niello, president/CEO, Sacramento Metro Chamber
  • Brian Rice, president, Sacramento Area Fire Fighters Local 522

The editorial board of the Sacramento Bee recommended a "no" vote on Measure M.[2] The newspaper, however, did make endorsements of 15 candidates who are running for seats on the charter revision commission that will be formed if Measure M is approved.[3]

Arguments against

The arguments opposing Measure M in the official voter guide included:

  • "Due to record deficits, $15.7 million this fiscal year alone, and another projected $7.6 million deficit next year, the City of Sacramento has made severe cuts to services to balance its budget. As a result, three fire stations are browned out every day. More than 160 police officers have been laid off. Nine Community Centers that served seniors and youth are closed. The City Animal Shelter is open half days. The Parks Department’s budget has been slashed in half and all 12 city pools are slated for closure next summer. The Building Department has had service cuts, making it difficult for businesses and homeowners to pull permits and schedule inspections."
  • "Despite the fact that Sacramento has a budget shortfall, a few Councilmembers pushed Measure M to the ballot at a cost of over $200,000. If Measure M passes, it will cost a minimum of $600,000 to implement, and risks millions more. Why spend tax dollars to create a new bureaucracy with no accountability, no oversight, no transparency, and no requirement for an outcome?"
  • "This flawed measure is modeled after a 15-member commission that cost the City of Los Angeles more than $1.8 million dollars in the 1990’s (the equivalent of $2.5 million today). Measure M will likely cost Sacramento even more in legal fees. Similar measures have been rejected by courts as unconstitutional because Measure M does not guarantee equal representation for all neighborhoods, a violation of the Voter’s Rights act."

Funding for opposition campaign

According to the disclosure form filed with the City of Sacramento,[4] the only contributor to the "no" campaign was the Sacramento Police Officers Association who donated $10,000 on September 28, 2012.

Ballot text

The question on the ballot:

MEASURE M: "Shall a charter commission be elected to propose a new charter or to revise the charter?"[5]

Note: On the ballot, immediately after the above question, there will be a list of candidates for the office of charter commissioner. If Measure M receives a majority of votes, the fifteen (15) candidates for the office of charter commission receiving the highest number of votes will be elected. If, however, Measure M does not receive a majority of votes, the votes that voters cast for potential members of the commission will be moot.

Path to the ballot

The measure was placed on the ballot by a 6-3 vote of the Sacramento City Council.

The three "no" votes were from Kevin Johnson, Angelique Ashby and Jay Schenirer.[1]

Mayor Kevin Johnson voted against putting Measure M on the ballot because "I think it's a waste of time. I think it's a waste of resources."[1]

External links

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