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COUNCIL MULLS CHANGES IN JOINT CHARTER PROPOSAL.

Byline: Rick Orlov Daily News Staff Writer

Some City Council members said Tuesday that they will push for changes in the joint City Charter proposal agreed to by both reform commissions, and the head of the independent elected commission left open the possibility of leaving the council size at 15 members.

On the day after the elected Charter Reform Commission agreed to a compromise plan, most City Council members said they expect to have little say about reform although they can change the proposal made by the appointed commission they created before it goes on the June ballot.

Erwin Chemerinsky, the elected commission chairman who helped put together the compromise and sell it to his commissioners, said he already is working with George Kieffer, chairman of the appointed commission, on changing the measure to provide for 15 council members. The joint agreement left it to voters to decide on whether to expand the council to 21 or 25 members.

``We will deal with (changes) if and when they come,'' Chemerinsky said. ``The real issue is if the council, the elected commission and the appointed commission can all come together and support this one proposal. That is the important thing.''

Chief Legislative Analyst Ron Deaton, widely regarded as the most powerful official at City Hall, said he was uncertain how the council would proceed and whether changes would be made.

``The council should not - and I don't believe will - put anything on the ballot that is irresponsible,'' Deaton said.

Council President John Ferraro said he doesn't expect to see many changes.

``There's not much we can do,'' Ferraro said. ``If we do something that upsets the elected commission, they can put their own proposal on the ballot.''

Among Valley-area council members, Cindy Miscikowski said she supported the consensus proposal and would not want to see it changed. Laura Chick said no changes should be made without the elected commission's agreement. Hal Bernson and Michael Feuer said they had some minor disagreements but want only one proposal on the ballot.

Council members Jackie Goldberg, Mike Hernandez and Richard Alatorre supported placing the measure before voters without change.

Some council members were frustrated at the pressure to not make changes.

``Saying we're hemmed in is putting it mildly,'' said Councilwoman Rita Walters. ``It's more like a Catch-22. Anything we do, the elected commission can just submit its own plan.''

She and Councilman Nate Holden expressed dismay over increased authority proposed for the Mayor's Office, but Walters said she would support the consensus, while Holden wants to review it.

``I'm not sure about so much power going to the mayor. We are the people's representatives. They elected us to make sure no one had too much authority,'' Holden said.

Council members Rudy Svorinich Jr. and Ruth Galanter said council review is important.

``I want to see what's in there,'' Galanter said. ``Then, I'll decide if I want to tell people to vote for it.''

Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas said he was impressed with the proposal, particularly as it dealt with appointed advisory neighborhood councils.

``Mark my words, that in the future this will have been the most significant part of this whole charter reform process,'' he said.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 27, 1999
Words:532
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