SBCO Seal

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 10/13/13, 5:20 PM PDT |

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is preparing to host a series of community meetings to get input on whether the county’s 100-year-old charter should be revised.

Last month at a special meeting, the board agreed to a set of general principles that should encompass a model county charter, including having a Board of Supervisors serving as the representative policy-making body and an executive head — county executive officer — who appoints staff and reports to the board.

Since being filed with the California Secretary of State’s Office on April 7, 1913, the county’s charter has been amended 27 times. The most recent amendment came last year, when voters approved an ordinance that adjusts supervisors’ salary and benefits to be in line with counties of comparable size.

“The charter is definitely in need of updating or modernizing. Clearly, it’s past time to look at updating it,” said county Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux.

Supervisors are pushing to have a draft of an updated charter ready for a vote in January, but some supervisors are skeptical there would be enough time to get citizen input and prepare the draft, especially for such an important document.

Board Chairwoman Janice Rutherford proposed the charter makeover. Shortly after she was elected to the board in 2010, she perused the 26-page document and realized much of the language was outdated, confusing and obsolete.

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