Measure O – Fiscal Matters & Council Compensation

On June 21, 2016, the Stockton City Council approved placing City Charter Amendments on the November 8, 2016, General Election ballot by a vote of 7 – 0, adopting Resolution 2016-06-21-1501-02.  Measure O passed with 56.18 percent of the voters approving these changes to the City's Charter.


Measure O - Approved by Voters

  • Changes the year the Council Salary Setting Commission meets and recommends changes to the Mayor’s and Council’s compensation from odd-numbered years to even-numbered years and the date their salaries are changed to January 1, and
  • Provides for annual funding of at least three positions in the Mayor’s Office, including a Mayoral appointment of a Public Information Officer;
  • Requires the Council to adopt a reserve policy, adopt a Proposed Annual Budget by May 15 each year;
  • Provides City Manager with authority to implement and administer the annual budget and Capital Improvement Program adopted by the Council;
  • Requires City Manager to submit a five year economic forecast to the Council each year;
  • Updates annual financial statement and annual audit sections, including requirements for audit by independent CPA using Audit Committee recommendations and auditor access to information; and
  • Updates the requirements for the lease or sale of City real property to require a street address.


This ballot measure seeks voter approval of amendments to the Charter of the City of Stockton, Articles IV, V, XI, and XIX. The proposed changes were reviewed and evaluated by the citizen Charter Review Advisory Commission and approved by the Stockton City Council.


Ballot Question 

The following ballot question will be submitted to the voters at the municipal election called for on Tuesday, November 8, 2016:


"Shall the Stockton City Charter be revised to alter the process for adjusting compensation of the Mayor and Council, amend the required notice for sale or lease of City property, provide for annual funding of three positions in the Mayor’s Office, require adoption of a fiscal reserve policy and amend procedures applicable to the adoption, administration and auditing of the City budget?"


Impartial Analysis

The following impartial analysis of the proposed ballot measure has been prepared by the City Attorney and will appear in the Voter Information Guide for City of Stockton voters:


The measure would amend Articles IV, V, XI and XIX of the City of Stockton Charter. The measure would delete current section 409, and label that section "RESERVED" and

amend section 410 to require convening of the Council Salary Setting Commission each even-numbered year. In the first year after passage of the measure the commission would set the Mayor's salary for the entirety of the term commencing January 1, 2017. Subsequently, the commission would set the Mayor's salary each mayoral election year for the entire succeeding term. The measure would require that the Mayor's salary exceed the salary of Council members.


The measure would allow notice of city real property transactions to identify the relevant property by street address.


Section 1102 would be amended to state that all members of the Council, including the Mayor, may be appointed to advisory boards and committees; and would require the annual budget include funding for no less than three positions in the Mayor's office.


Existing sections 1903 and 1904 would be deleted and replaced with a single section requiring the Council to adopt a budget reserve policy.


The measure would require the City Manager to at least annually provide the Council with a five-year economic forecast of expenditures and revenues for the general fund, enterprise funds and significant operating funds.


The City Manager would be required to submit a proposed budget to the Council by May 15 of the prior fiscal year. The proposed budget must include all projected revenues; expenditures and transfers for each fund; a capital improvement plan; fee schedule; and projected current year annualized financial activity for comparability. The total of proposed expenditures in the proposed budget shall not exceed the total of estimated revenues, unencumbered balances of carryover funds and available reserves.


The proposed budget would be available for public inspection at least ten days before the public hearing where the Council considers adopting the budget together with any revisions. Appropriations for capital and grant funded projects wouldn't expire each fiscal year, rather they would continue through project completion. At any subsequent meeting the Council could increase or decrease any operating budget by resolution approved by majority vote of its members.


The measure gives the City Manager responsibility and authority to carry out the budget and Capital Improvement Plan, while keeping the Council advised on the fiscal condition and needs of the city.


The city's annual financial statement, prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and the annual audit, prepared by a firm of independent certified public accountants recommended by the Audit Committee and approved by the Council, would each be prepared as soon as practical following the close of each fiscal year.


Ballot Arguments


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Measure O?

Measure O is a ballot measure to amend the City of Stockton Charter.  It proposes updates and changes to fiscal matters and Council compensation sections of the Stockton Charter:


What is a Charter? How long have we had a City of Stockton Charter?

A City Charter is a set of governing laws that allows the city to adopt ordinances and codes which are laws that specifically address the needs of the city.  The City of Stockton was founded in 1849 and was granted a City Charter by the State Legislature in 1851.  The first Stockton Charter was approved by voters was in 1888, and a new Charter was approved by voters in 1922.  Changes to the Charter require voter approval.  Throughout the years, voters have approved numerous updates and amendments to the Stockton Charter.


Why have these changes been proposed and who is proposing them?

These Charter amendments have been proposed to update, modernize, and adapt to changing conditions; make changes to budget, audit, and fiscal requirements and processes; and make changes to Mayor’s and Council’s compensation process; and set annual budget and requirements for Mayor’s staff. These changes were proposed by a Charter Review Advisory Commission comprised of citizens.


What amendments are included in Measure O?

Measure O makes changes to the Charter regarding: fiscal matters and Council compensation.


Fiscal Matters

The following provides a summary of the changes proposed.  A link to a full copy of the text changes is provided at the bottom of this page.


Budget and Financials

Currently, the City Manager is required to prepare and present a Proposed Budget to Council at least forty-five (45) days prior to the fiscal year and provide it to the public at least ten (10) days prior to a hearing. The Council is not required to adopt a reserve policy.


Measure O proposes changes to the budget and financial process:

  • Requires the City Manager to prepare and present a Proposed Annual Budget to the Council, for the next fiscal year, no later than May 15;
  • Requires the Proposed Annual Budget to be posted to the City’s website at least ten (10) days prior to the budget public hearing;
  • Allows the Council to take action to increase or decrease the operating budget by resolution with affirmative votes by a majority of the Council;
  • Provides the City Manager the responsibility and authority to implement and administer the Annual Budget and Capital Improvement Plan, as approved by Council;
  • Requires the Council to adopt a reserve policy to protect the fiscal solvency of the City;
  • Clarifies text to require an annual financial statement as soon as practical after fiscal year close;
  • Adds annual audit conducted by “independent” certified public accountants recommended by the Audit Committee and approved by Council; and
  • Requires the auditor to have access to all financial records, with the final audit posted to the City’s website and available through the City Clerk for inspection by the public.


Capital Improvement Program

Currently, City staff is required to prepare a five (5) year Capital Improvement Program that is submitted to both the Planning Commission and Council for adoption each year. 


Measure O proposes changes requiring the Capital Improvement Program

  • To be updated and proposed annually to Council, concurrent with the Proposed Annual Budget and Proposed Fee Schedule, no later than May 15 of the prior fiscal year.


Lease or Sale of City Real Property

Currently, the lease or sale of the City’s real property requires a general description of the property to be published in the newspaper 10 days prior to Council action related to the transaction.


Measure O proposes changes to Section 510. Lease or Sale of Real Property

  • Requiring the address of the property location to be published.


Mayor and Council Compensation

Currently, the Council Salary Session Commission, which is comprised of citizens appointed by the Civil Service Commission, meets between March 1 and April 30 of every odd-numbered year to determine compensation levels for the Mayor and Councilmembers and any changes to Mayor and Council salaries take place in July.


Measure O proposes that the Council Salary Setting Commission, under Section 410. Compensation:

  • Meet between March 1 and April 30 of every even-numbered year;
  • Make salary recommendations for Councilmembers for a two-year period that become effective January 1;
  • Make salary for Mayor for a full-term (four years) that become effective, at the beginning of the Mayor’s term of office, January 1.


Powers and Duties of the Mayor

Currently, the Charter does not expressly permit the Mayor to serve on advisory boards, commissions and ad hoc committees, which are comprised of community member appointees. This section also allows the Mayor to appoint unclassified staff to serve at the pleasure of the Mayor, but does not guaranty funding for positions.


Measure O proposes changes to Section 1102. Powers and Duties.

  • Allows the Mayor to serve as a member of advisory boards, commissions and ad hoc committees to the same extent as other members of the City Council.
  • Requires Council to provide funding for no less than three (3) positions in the office of the Mayor, appointed by the Mayor, including the Public Information Officer.


Are there any other proposed changes to the City Charter?

The sections of the Charter that support the changes proposed under Measure O, include:

  •  Section 409. Statement of Policy
    • Section text removed
    • Section renamed “Reserved” for future updates or changes to the Charter.
  • Section 1102. Powers and Duties
    • Adds text to allow all members of the Council to be appointed to advisory boards, commissions and ad hoc committees.
  • Section 1904. Action on Capital Improvement Program
    • Original section text eliminated as obsolete
    • Renumbering of Section 1905. "Economic Forecasts and Mayor’s Budget Message" to become Section 1904.
  • Section 1906. Draft Budget.
    • Renumbered from Section 1906 to Section 1905
    • Section renamed to “Proposed Budget”
  • Section 1907. Mayor’s Final Budget Modifications and Adoption of Budget
    • Renumbered from Section 1907 to Section 1906
    • Section renamed to “Budget Modifications and Adoption of Budget.”
  • Section 1908. Appropriations
    • Renumbered from Section 1908 to Section 1907
  • Section 1909. Control of Expenditures by City Manager.
    • Renumbered from Section 1909 to Section 1908
  • Section 1910. Annual Financial Statement.
    • Renumbered from Section 1910 to Section 1909
  • Section 1911. Annual Audit.
    • Renumbered from Section 1911 to Section 1910
  • Section 1912. Council Salary Setting Commission.
    • Renumbered from Section 1912 to Section 1911


Is there more information available?

A complete copy of the proposed changes is available as part of the June 21, 2016, City Council Meeting Agenda Item 15.1. Following are inks to the Council Resolution and a copy of the proposed changes:

 Please also see Measure N, City Charter Amendments Elections and Redistricting.


External Links

California Secretary of State - Ballot Initiative Guide

San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters

This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 11/15/2016