Once again, Colton discussing possibility of reducing size of Council

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Colton Council-file-photo
Photo/Anthony Victoria: Mayor Richard De La Rosa with several council members during a City Council meeting in January 2017.
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The Colton City Council discussed possibly restructuring its election code–a year after several community members and city officials first entertained the idea of reducing the size of the governing body.

Mayor Richard DeLaRosa and the Council directed City Manager Bill Smith and his staff to bring a formal proposal forward to them in a few months.

Several residents discussed the idea of circulating a petition citywide to call for the reduction of the size of City Council to reduce costs and save money.

As he did last year, Councilman Dr. Luis Gonzalez provided his colleagues with a presentation of his personal findings, citing cost savings and efficiency as his motive.

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Members of the public spoke in support of the idea–citing their concerns with the eventual sunsetting of Measure D, the five year General Fund Transfer that alleviates the city’s budgetary strains.

“Follow our leadership,” said Rivas. “It makes sense.”

Councilman Isaac Suchil agrees that the Council should lead the way in their reductions. He proposed cutting medical benefits and stipends for Councilmembers, which would lead to greater savings.

Financial Director Stacey Dabbs confirmed that the city would generate an annual savings $46,000 in salary and benefits and $6,000 for office and telecommunications expenses by eliminating the two positions.

Should the Council decide to reduce their personal perks, they would be saving $56,000 in Fiscal Year 2018-2019 and $120,000 in Fiscal Year 2019-2020. And that would be without reducing the size of the Council, Dabbs explained.

Taking a measure to the voters to reduce the Council size would require hiring a demographer and take time to restructure the city’s election code, said Suchil.

“To me it’s like you’re doing everything in a rush,” he said. “To me that’s concerning because we want to do things right. We don’t want to convolute and bombard staff with multiple ordinances that we’re going to have to get on the ballot.”

Gary-and-Company
Photo/Anthony Victoria: Colton Commissioners Mike Razo, Mark Garcia, Larry Rivas, and Gary Grossich, seen here in 2017, support the effort to reduce the City Council from seven members to five.
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