Voters this fall could decide whether to tweak the city’s charter with five proposed amendments that tackle areas including changes in term limits for city council members and redrawing council districts.

The City Council in a special meeting at 3 pm. on Tuesday is expected to consider whether to add the five charter amendments to the November ballot.

Here’s a closer look at the charter amendments and how they could impact Long Beach:

  1. Redistricting – The city wants to create an independent citizen commission to redraw the boundaries for Long Beach’s nine council districts every 10 years at the release of the U.S. census, with the goal of better representing diverse communities. The amendment has support from members the large Cambodian community, who hope to have more representation in city government.
  2. Term Limits – In one of the most contentious proposals, term limits would be adjusted to allow for a council person to run for a third, four-year term. Council members can currently only run for two terms and then can appear on the ballot as a write-in candidate (if the candidate is in the top two in the primary election, his or her name appears on the ballot in the general election). City officials have said the amendment closes a loophole allowing council members to run as a write-in candidate indefinitely. If passed, the amendment wouldn’t apply to council members, like Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews, who won as write-in candidate prior to November 2018. If he opts to run again, Andrews could be in office a total of 16 years.
  3. Consolidating utilities – The city has proposed consolidating its gas and water companies to reduce redundancies and improve efficiencies. Officials have said the consolidation would not impact prices for service. The plan has been criticized by a group of four residents who are concerned that the merger was proposed with no analysis of the possible impact. The group also challenged voter-passed Measure M, which allows the city to transfer up to 12 percent of annual revenue from water, sewer, and gas utilities to the general fund.
  4. Ethics commission – In an effort to boost public confidence, the city would establish an ethics commission to review areas such as campaign financing, lobbying and conflicts of interest. The members would be selected by the mayor and approved by the City Council.
  5. City Auditor authority – This allows the city auditor to conduct performance audits of all departments, boards, commissions and offices. City officials have said the current charter language is vague and that the measure would provide more clarity as to what the auditor oversees.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a clarification that under current law, if a write-in candidate gets enough votes in a primary election, his or her name appears on the ballot in the general election.