Due to this perceived inequity, the Charter Review Commission looked at how to even the playing field. One option would have been to restrict council members from running for mayor, that is a councilmember would have to resign their seat to enter the mayorial race. This option was determined to not be legal and so was dismissed. The second option was to move the mayor's race off of the same cycle as the council races. One-half of the council is elected in each even numbered year. By moving the mayorial election to an even numbered year, no councilmember would ever lose their council seat in order to run for mayor.
Because the current charter is in effect until after the election, this would mean either waiting until the 2016 election to elect a one-time three-year term mayor, OR, adding a provision for the off-year elections to begin in 2017. This was the option that the commission decided to adopt. Should Measure U pass, whoever is elected mayor in 2012 will serve an additional year (or a 5 year term). Legally, the council must declare the mayor seat vacant after the 2016 election and then make an appointment. It is the desire of the commission that the council at that time shall appoint the sitting mayor for that additional term, although it was not able to be specified in the proposed charter amendment.