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Los Angeles | Community News File

Commission to Rewrite City Charter Gets Funding

September 24, 1997

Ending its political stalemate with the mayor, the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday appropriated $350,000 in public funds and approved receipt of $100,000 in private money to provide initial funding for a commission elected to rewrite the city's charter.

The commission had been penniless since it was constituted July 1. The council, which must decide whether to approve substantial private donations for public business, also approved Wells Fargo Bank's gift of office space for the commission.

The council has already appropriated $1.6 million for another charter commission that it appointed and whose recommendations it must approve before they can be submitted to voters.

Convinced that the council would never dilute its own powers, Mayor Richard Riordan raised $2 million in support of the ballot initiative that created a separate elected commission, whose proposals will go directly to voters.

A foundation tied to Riordan raised the $100,000, and Riordan has pledged to raise an additional $200,000. The council voted to accept the money as long as individual donors to the foundation are disclosed to the satisfaction of the city Ethics Commission.

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