Open letter to mayor, council

To the Editor:

I read in the paper that the mayor has tasked the Planning Commission to look into the idea of Ridgecrest becoming a charter city. I question the authority the mayor used to task the manager and planning commissioners to do this.

Individually the mayor and council have no authority to task the staff to do anything. They can only task at a duly formed council meeting and then by a concurrence of at least a simple majority to task staff to do anything.

Other than the mayor talking about this when he first got elected, I do not remember any council meeting where this was brought as an agenda item for discussion. And I do not remember any council vote on the issue either.

I would like them to state for the public the date this topic was agendized and then discussed with public input and then an action taken by the council to task the Planning Commission to do this.

Further, the idea of becoming a charter city is not in the best interest of Ridgecrest. I am not in favor of this at all. And I don’t believe we should be assigning this very time-consuming task to city staff or the Planning Commission unless there was at least a public airing of the concept at a council meeting.

Reasons against it:

1. Will make Ridgecrest a taxing authority.

2. Will abolish term limits for the mayor and council.

3. Will make the mayor position very powerful and high-paid.

4. Will be very costly to establish. Typical cost to become a charter city is at least $100,000 in just legal and consultant fees.

Come on, council. Let’s have a public discussion before wasting staff and Planning Commission time.

Thomas Wiknich

Story First Published: 2013-09-04