Wasco considers switching to charter city status

WASCO, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) The city of Wasco is trying to find a better way of governing itself and save money at the same time.

A special committee is exploring the possibility of having Wasco become a charter city. Proponents of the idea say it would give the city more flexibility in managing its affairs and save Wasco millions of dollars on publicly funded projects.

The first of a series of 12 town hall meetings was held Thursday evening at Wasco Veterans Hall to get public input on the idea.

The California constitution gives cities the power to become charter cities. Under this arrangement, the benefit of becoming a charter city is that charter cities have supreme authority over "municipal affairs.".

"A charter city gets its authority from the state constitution but it does not have to follow state statutes when it comes to municipal affairs," said attorney Shiri Klima, who is legal adviser to the Charter Advisory Committee.

City leaders will hold the town hall meetings throughout next year and then will hold a vote on the matter in November 2014.