The City of San Buenaventura is one of the oldest settlements on the Pacific Coast. It is the site of the San Buenaventura Mission founded in 1782, and incorporated as a town by the California Legislature on March 10, 1866.The first Charter of the City was prepared and proposed by a Board of Freeholders elected October 13, 1931. The Charter was approved by the voters on January 7, 1932, certified by the City Council on January 11, 1932, and approved by the State Legislature on January 22, 1932.
Since approval of the original Charter, the voters approved amendments which were certified by the City Council on April 19, 1937; December 27, 1938; April 16, 1945; April 14, 1947; April 16, 1951; April 21, 1959; April 20, 1961; April 15, 1963; April 19, 1965; April 17, 1967; and June 17, 1968.
Early in 1970, a Charter Review Committee was formed to evaluate the Charter as it existed at that time. A new Charter was prepared and subsequently approved by the electorate on November 3, 1970, certified by the City Council on November 23, 1970, and approved by the California Legislature on January 26, 1971. Then, on November 4, 1973, the voters approved and the City Council certified amendments to the Charter on December 3, 1973. Those amendments were approved by the California Legislature on January 21,1974.
Early in 1986, a Charter Review Committee was formed to again review the Charter as it existed at that time. A new Charter was prepared and subsequently approved by the voters on November 4, 1986, certified by the City Council on November 24, 1986, and accepted by the Secretary of State on December 4, 1986, the formal effective date of the CHARTER OF THE CITY OF SAN BUENAVENTURA. The voters approved an amendment to the Charter on November 7, 1995, and it was certified by the City Council on November 27, 1995. On November 4, 2014, the voters approved an amendment to the Charter and it was certified by the City Council on December 15, 2014.
The City is governed by a Charter that constitutes the organic law of the City under the Constitution of the State of California. Under the Charter the City of San Buenaventura has the power to make and enforce all laws and regulations with respect to municipal affairs, subject only to such restrictions and limitations as may be provided in this Charter and in the Constitution of the State of California. The Charter shall also have the power to exercise any and all rights, powers and privileges heretofore and hereafter established, granted or prescribed by any law of the State, by this Charter, or by other lawful authority, or which a municipal corporation may exercise under the Constitution of the State of California. The enumeration in this Charter of any particular powers is not to be held to be exclusive of or any limitation upon this general grant of power.
Form of Government
The City is under the City Council/City Manager form of government. The City Council hires two of the principal officials of the City, the City Manager and the City Attorney. The City Manager is the administrative head of the City government chosen by the Council without regard to political consideration and solely with reference to his/her executive and administrative qualification, with the special reference to his/her actual experience in, and his/her knowledge of, accepted practice in respect to the duties of the office as herein set forth. He/she need not be a resident of the State of California at the same time of his/her appointment, but promptly thereafter, shall become and thereafter remain during his/her incumbency an actual resident of the City.
The City Attorney is the legal advisor of the Council and all other City officials, boards and departments and, when requested in writing for legal opinion by any City official or head of any department concerning City business, his/her opinion must be given in writing. He/she prosecutes all violations of the provisions of this Charter, City ordinances and such state misdemeanors as the City may elect to prosecute.