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Charter City Information

At their meeting of August 10, 2016, the Cathedral City City Council unanimously voted to approve a Resolution ordering the submission to the qualified electors of the City a Measure proposing the adoption of a Charter for the City at the General Municipal Election to be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

The following is the question that will go before the voters on November 8, 2016:

ADOPTION OF CHARTER. To enhance local control over municipal affairs, shall the City of Cathedral City Charter be adopted to establish Cathedral City as a charter city, and giving the City the power to establish public works contracting procedures, set penalties for violations of ordinances and resolutions, and appoint a city clerk?





What Is a Charter City?

The State Constitution allows local government to be governed for its “municipal affairs” (land use and zoning, city expenditures, contractual rights) either as a General Law city (controlled by the State Legislature) or as a Charter city (controlled by a “mini constitution” – a Charter – established and controlled by local voters and their City Council.

Download the Final Proposed City Charter HERE.

Descargar en Español: AQUÍ

Frequently Asked Questions about Measure HH

Q: What is Measure HH?

A: Measure HH was placed unanimously on the November 8, 2016 ballot by the Cathedral City Council. If approved by voters, Measure HH would allow Cathedral City to expand its local decision-making powers tailored to the unique needs of our local community, while limiting the authority of the state to do so.

Q: Why was Measure HH placed on the ballot?

A: The City of Cathedral City wishes to provide citizens a greater voice in their local government. If approved by voters, Measure HH would allow Cathedral City to enact a local charter, or constitution –giving residents a greater voice in our local government and an opportunity to reform how government works, on issues such as:

  • Land use and zoning decisions
  • Municipal elections procedures
  • Contracts with vendors
  • Enhanced accountability and transparency in local government

Q: Are Charter Cities Common?

A: The majority of local cities are charter cities, including La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs and Indian Wells here in the Coachella Valley.

Q: Will Measure HH change the taxes I currently pay?

A: No. Measure HH does not give the Council the power to raise our taxes. Any new tax measure would have to be approved by voters, the same way it has been until now.

Q. What priorities would Measure HH help address?

A: If approved by voters, Measure HH will allow our City’s voters to have greater control over local laws, on priorities that Cathedral City residents have stated are important.

Q: Does Measure HH give the City any additional eminent domain powers or raise Council salaries?

A: No. It does not increase any eminent domain authority nor does it allow the City Council to increase their salaries. In fact, if enacted, Measure HH requires an automatic decrease in Council salaries to correspond with decreases experienced by any employee bargaining group.

Q: How will public contracting work under the Charter?

A: The City will be empowered to procure its own contracts through our established local regulations, instead of being bound by state bureaucracies—allowing us to spend taxpayer dollars as efficiently as possible and avoiding wasted time and money.

Q: Can the City Council amend the Charter directly?

A. No. The charter is a voter-approved document and can only be repealed or amended by a vote of the people.

Q: Are any other measures on the Local 2016 Cathedral City Ballot?

A: Yes. Measure P was also placed on the 2016 ballot. It expands the existing voter-approved tax on medical cannabis-related businesses to specifically include non-dispensary cannabis businesses. Measure P simply updates the previously approved ordinance to include businesses that did not exist when voters first approved the measure, and factors in other cannabis industry changes anticipated as a result of a State measure on the November ballot.

Q: When is the election?

A: Election Day is November 8, 2016. The last day to register to vote is October 24, 2016.

Q. Does the Charter change how the mayor is selected?

A: Yes, the City Council unanimously adopted language in the Charter that requires voters to directly elect five city council members. Of the voter-elected city council members, the council will appoint, each year on a rotating basis, a member of the council to serve as mayor and another member of the city council to serve as mayor pro tem. If passed, Cathedral City would join 19 out of the 28 cities in Riverside County that currently select their mayor in this manner. Cities in the Coachella Valley that select their mayor by rotation are Indian Wells, Indio, Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage.

Q. How can I get more information?

A: To learn more about Measure HH or to request a factual community presentation, visit our website, or contact Chris Parman at 760-770-0396 or via email at

Last updated: 10/13/2016 11:27:56 AM