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City committee tasked with considering a mayor’s authority

New leaders have taken over Riverside’s Charter Review Committee who will guide the group’s discussion on the future of the mayor’s powers.

Ben Clymer Jr. stepped down from his role as chair as did Malissa Mckieth from her role as vice chair during their August 18 meeting. The pair lead the Charter Review Committee (CRC) as they deliberated for months on how to word amendment language regarding the city’s General Fund Transfer (GFT). Once the group voted on their replacements, a robust discussion followed on the issue of a potential mayoral veto, something that is not outlined in the city charter now.

The committee was tasked with coming up with the wording that would outline such a veto, which would eventually be voted on by Riversiders when they are asked if they want to give their mayor that authority. Their final recommendation is due to Riverside City Council by December this year.

Former Mayor Rusty Bailey and the city council appointed a 15-person committee in December 2018 to prepare recommendations for this amendment to the city’s charter.

The item was sent back and put on the plate of a new ad hoc CRC, the current committee.

In early 2021, the council also needed the CRC to consider the language used for a ballot measure regarding the GFT, which took a majority of the committee’s time up until earlier this month. Litigation against the city prompted an urgent request that the committee produce their recommendation before it could be approved as a ballot measure by its summer deadline.

The CRC has only three monthly meetings left before they must submit their recommended amendment language regarding the mayoral veto to the city council.