Instant Runoff Voting
The video above explains how instant runoff voting works. During the charter process, it was noted that many times in Pomona, seats are won by individuals who are only able to garner as few as 20+% of the vote, meaning that nearly 80% of the electorate may have voted against the winner. The way that this was resolved in the past was with a runoff system where the top two vote getters would face a runoff election to determine the winner. However, due to low voter turnout in runoff elections and the high cost of having a second election, we looked at other possible means of creating a fair way to choose our elected officials that would ensure that the person with the most support was the one elected.
Instant Runoff Voting, with has successfully used in many US cities and around the world (see http://www.instantrunoff.com/ for more information), is a method which allows a runoff election at the same time as the main election by "ranking" your votes, as explained in the video. The charter amendment calls for such a system once LA County Registrar of Voters has capabilities to conduct such elections. As of now, the county does not have such a capability nor are they planning at present to add such capability. However, if the city should decided to run its own elections in the past, this would also kick in as the method of election.
This will ensure that we don't have the kind of elections that we have had in the past.
The Charter has had a section (406 under the current charter) that laid out the duties of the Mayor but there was previously no such section that laid out the duties of the council. The commission decided to rectify that by creating such a section so that council members were clear about their duties to the electorate. This includes the line Conduct business in a manner to benefit the entire City of Pomona, not strictly individual districts, areas or constituencies. This was an attempt to codify that council members, while elected to represent a district, are responsible for the well being of the entire city. It also calls for them to manage their discretionary budgets in such a manner, to report to the citizens on issues of importance to the city, to report on organizations and commissions to which the councilperson is a member, to set city goals at least once a year, and to communicate with their commissioners and board members at least once a year.
While many of these are things that the councilmembers already do, this codifies these activities and will allow future charter review commissions a place to work on improvements as they are identified.