Residents seek to change the charter

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By Ralph Damiani

Residents concerned about the decisions and accountability of the county government gathered last Sunday at Urban Park for a community information session.

Ellen Walton of the L.A. Governmental Review Initiative said the group was formed last August in response to what she called a lack of checks and balances in the council.

“We don’t see the county changing the way it does things,” Walton said. “And we want to see more citizen participation.”

She said that the group is comprised of people who are concerned that the local government is not working for the average resident. And their sole purpose is to increase participation.

To do this, the group is seeking to revise the charter via two petition initiatives.

Walton said that a sad lesson they learned from the 529 election was that the county works against those opposed to it.

“The petition process is all we have to be heard,” Walton said. “We should not be stopped from getting signatures.”

To that end, one initiative seeks to give residents the right to vote on any capital project more than $1 million and on any measure that would change the use of public land.

The second petition would reduce impediments to the petition process and insure the county be fair and neutral.

“Our goal is to have a better process and encourage citizen support,” Walton said.

Much of this revolves around the county charter, which Walton said needs revising.

The group holds regular meetings. To find out more about the organization, and their meetings, e-mail them at info@lagri.or and you will get a reply, Walton said.