Local News in Brief : Charter Change Gains

Two key Los Angeles City Council committees gave preliminary approval Wednesday to City Charter amendments that could empower the council to fire department heads without the mayor's concurrence.

Presently, a department head may be fired only if the mayor agrees and initiates the removal. Current general managers would not be affected by the proposed amendments.

Supporters hope to place them on the June 7 ballot, which would be the fourth time that similar proposals have gone to a vote. Voters turned down the earlier attempts, in 1980, 1983 and 1984. But backers feel that in the wake of recent messy efforts to rid city government of two controversial general managers--Sylvia Cunliffe of General Services and Fred Croton of Cultural Affairs--voters will be more receptive.

The measure next goes to the full City Council, where approval is required in order to qualify for the ballot.

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