New Charter Committee's first meeting scheduled

The Costa Mesa charter debate is set to begin again later this month with the inaugural meeting of a group whose goal is to create the constitution-like document.

The 13-member Charter Committee is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. June 26 in the Emergency Operations Center, 99 Fair Drive. The room is part of the Police Department headquarters adjacent to City Hall.

The committee is slated to meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

Estancia High School Principal Kirk Bauermeister and Palm Harvest Church senior pastor Mike Decker, both Costa Mesa residents, are the paid facilitators of the group.

After the committee is finished with its charter, it will be presented to the City Council, which can then make changes to the document during public deliberations and potentially bring it up for voter approval during a June primary or November general election, according to city staff.

The upcoming charter effort will be Costa Mesa's third in a 60-year cityhood history. The first, in the early 1970s, had a 20-person committee who ultimately decided against a charter.

The second was a concerted effort throughout the 2012 election season. Led by then-Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer and his supporters, the charter was dubbed Measure V on the November ballot.

In the end, however, it failed when nearly 60% of voters turned it down. The loss came after a heated campaign marked by record amounts of contributions against the measure from organized labor — approximately $500,000 — and months-long efforts by some community activists who protested it.

—Bradley Zint

Twitter: @bradleyzint

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