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Irvine : Council to Get Smoking, Direct-Election Proposals

The City Council tonight is expected to consider a pair of proposals, one asking the city staff to draft a no-smoking ordinance and the other seeking an amendment to the city charter for direct election of the mayor.

The request to put a no-smoking ordinance on the agenda was made jointly by Mayor David Sills and Councilmen Larry Agran and Dave Baker. If the resolution is approved, Irvine would examine other cities’ no-smoking ordinances, including Laguna Beach’s recently enacted regulations, to test their adaptability to Irvine, Agran said.

Also to be considered is a proposal by Agran asking the city attorney to draft an amendment to Irvine’s charter to allow residents to choose their mayor through a direct vote. Under the present system, used in most Orange County cities, the mayor is chosen by members of the council on a rotating basis to fill a largely ceremonial post.

Agran said direct election would provide “greater accountability” and is “far more democratic and sensible” than the current system.

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If the proposal is approved tonight, the council would still have to vote to approve the wording of the amendment before it could go to the voters next November. Agran said such a vote would probably take place no later than midsummer.

Under Agran’s plan, mayors would serve four-year terms as members of the City Council and two-year terms as mayor. Anyone could run for mayor, but incumbent council members who would still be in the middle of their terms of office could not compete, he said.


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