Newport Beach Charter Amendments and Ordinance Repeals, Measure V (November 2010)

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Several Newport Beach Charter Amendments and Ordinance Repeals, Measure V were on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in the City of Newport Beach in Orange County. They were approved.

The proposed Measure V charter amendments changed 14 different parts of the Newport Beach city charter. The Newport Beach city charter was originally adopted in 1955 and was updated in 1974.

The changes covered a wide variety of different subjects, but all of the varying changes were required to be approved in an up-or-down vote. Oil drilling, taxation policies, the repeal of a cap on public funding to the Chamber of Commerce, and elimination of the current requirement to publish city ordinances in the newspaper were some of the subjects covered in the proposed changes.[1]

City representatives said that the city council voted to roll all the changes into one ballot measure, rather than 14 distinct ballot measures, in order to save printing costs. The Orange County Registrar of Voters said that printing one ballot measure costs up to $105,162 while printing 14 separate ballot questions would cost up to $133,000.[1]

Election results

Measure V
Approveda Yes 19,777 61.5%
These final, certified results are from the Orange County elections office.

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure V: Shall the Charter be amended and ordinances repealed to: close Charter loopholes that circumvent Proposition 13; restrict oil operations; amend legal document publication requirements; simplify franchise processes; increase formal bidding thresholds; adjust misdemeanor penalties; require redistricting appointments every ten years; amend Civil Service System; repeal Chamber of Commerce contribution limit; remove City contract term limitations; require vote for the sale of City owned waterfront property; make administrative changes to comply with state and federal law? [YES/NO][2]

Specific changes

Newport Beach

The changes to the city charter that go into effect with the approval of Measure V were:

  • Summaries, rather than the full text of new ordinances, could be published to meet the city's publication requirements.
  • Sales of city-owned waterfront land would no longer have to be listed in the city's charter and would continue to be subject to a public vote.
  • A committee to consider whether the city's voting districts needed to be redrawn would meet every 10 years, rather than every 4 years.
  • The current city charter says that the city must solicit bids every year for contracts to publish its legal notices. If Measure V is approved, the city clerk would instead have the liberty to decide how often the city would have to solicit such bids.
  • The current city charter's requirement that the city manager live in the city would be deleted.
  • The current level at which the city must formally solicit competitive bids for projects is $30,000. If Measure V is approved, that level will go to $120,000.
  • The current city charter says that there must be a 25-year limit on contracts and leases entered into by the city. Measure V would repeal that provision.
  • Rules governing the process that solid waste haulers must go through to apply for permits to work in the city would be streamlined.
  • The Civil Service Board would no longer approve job specifications and advertising.
  • Oil drilling would be restricted and wells at Banning Ranch would be consolidated.
  • The city's rules governing how tax increases are handled would be brought into conformity with California Proposition 13 (1978).
  • The new provisions define when city charter violations should be considered misdemeanors, infractions, administrative actions or civil actions.
  • The language of the city charter is made gender-neutral via Measure V.[3]
  • The current limit of $2,400 on the city's contributions to the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce would be eliminated.[4]



Measure V was supported by:

  • Marian Bergeson, Chair, Newport Beach Charter Update Commission
  • Keith D. Curry, Mayor, City of Newport Beach
  • Michael F. Henn, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Newport Beach
  • Nancy Gardner, Councilmember, City of Newport Beach
  • Dennis D. O'Neil, Former Mayor and member, Charter Update Commission

Arguments in favor

In a ballot argument submitted by supporters, they said, "The City Charter dates to 1955 and has not had a comprehensive update since 1974. A citizen’s commission chaired by former Senator Marian Bergeson conducted a careful review of the entire Charter and has recommended updates to bring our City Charter into the 21st century...The new Charter preserves important taxpayer protections by closing the tax loopholes and guaranteeing the full protections of Propositions 13 and 218. It preserves your right to vote on the sale of city owned waterfront property and it makes our city government more efficient and our Charter legally compliant. Flexibility to use modern business practices to save money is authorized by this Measure."


Measure V was opposed by Mark Tabbert, who said, "Voters have a right to understand what they are being asked to vote on. This is not possible when 15 separate and distinct proposals are rolled into a single yes/no vote."[5]

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