California law gives charter cities greater power than general-law cities over municipal affairs. The Los Angeles County civil grand jury was concerned about the potential for abuse of this power considering the scandals and problems discovered in the cities of Bell and Vernon, where financial mismanagement and lack of transparent government were alleged. As a result, the grand jury investigated the governance, financial management, procurement and contracting practices of charter cities.
Of the 10 or more recommendations for financial and internal audits, policies and procedures for reporting fraud and for defining competitive bidding and compliance with procurement requirements, none of them were included in the proposed city charter for Costa Mesa.
Even though these recommendations were made in an attempt to avoid disasters like the cities of Bell and Vernon, Councilmen Steve Mensinger and Gary Monahan did not include these commonsense grand jury recommendations in the proposed charter.
The only responsible thing to do now is to oppose the proposed city charter for Costa Mesa by voting No on Measure V.
This letter appeared in the Letters to the Editor section of the Orange County Register.