Governance Element (Public Hearing Draft, 5/1/13)
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System for Governance and Management

The City of San Clemente is incorporated as a general law city with a Council-Manager form of government. General law cities follow governmental structures and powers specifically granted by state law. Publicly-elected City Council members and an appointed Mayor make decisions and set policy for implementation by a professional administrator, the City Manager. The City Manager hires staff, advises the Council and Mayor and is responsible for the City’s daily operations. The City Manager and administrative staff address key issues affecting the City—as identified by the City Council with input from staff, City commissions and committees and citizens—through the annual Budget. The Budget allocates funds to implement projects and programs. The Budget is, in turn, guided by the Long Term Financial Plan. The Long Term Financial Plan has proven effective in keeping the City fiscally strong and responsive to changing needs and circumstances. The Long Term Financial Plan and the resulting budget are in turn, shaped by policies in the General Plan and Master Plans.


Achieve an easily understood, transparent system of governance to guide the City, in a manner consistent with its Mission Statement, the City of San Clemente Vision and Strategic Plan, General Plan and other adopted plans.


G-1.01. Effective Governance. We practice effective governance by adhering to a planning, budgeting, and implementation process which is publicly accessible, understandable, predictable and timely.
G-1.02. Consistency. We achieve and maintain consistency between policies in short- and long-term planning documents, the municipal code and implementation projects and programs.
G-1.03. Role of the Mission Statement and Vision. City decision-making shall be guided by the City’s Mission Statement and Vision.
G-1.04. Role of the Centennial General Plan. City decisions shall follow the Centennial General Plan as the foundation of matters related to land use, circulation, environmental quality, and other aspects of the City’s excellent quality of life.
G-1.05. Role of Master Plans and Design Guidelines. We are guided by Master Plans and Design Guidelines, as these are more detailed policy and implementation documents than the General Plan. Hence, they serve as the foundation for informed decision making regarding development, specific infrastructure, services, and other public investments. Master Plans and Design Guidelines should be consistent with the Vision and Mission Statements, and shall be consistent with the Centennial General Plan and specific plans. If recommended decisions regarding Master Plans or Design Guidelines are deemed inconsistent with the Centennial General Plan, then a General Plan Amendment must be adopted by City Council to eliminate the inconsistency.
G-1.06. Role of Long Term Financial Plan. In the preparation of an annual budget, we follow the Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP), a document that connects Council, staff and citizen priorities to available resources.
G-1.07. Role of Public Comments. We actively seek public comment to ensure public accountability and to help the City Council, commissions, committees and staff make better, more informed decisions.
G-1.08. Consistency in Staff Recommendations. We require that staff recommendations be consistent with adopted City policies and plans and state and federal law.
G-1.09. Budget and Long-Term Financial Plan (LTFP) Process. We use the Budget and LTFP processes to implement General Plan policies and priorities and communicate this relationship to City leaders, staff and the public.
G-1.10. Mayor, City Council and appointed Bodies. We require the Mayor, City Council and appointed bodies to consider the overall community’s long-term best interests.
G-1.11. Keeping the General Plan and Specific Plans Current. From time to time, the City may amend the General Plan to reflect new information, changing conditions, needs and community preferences. This may require updating one or more specific plans and other regulatory documents to maintain consistency.
G-1.12. Changes to Our Vision and Mission. If the City Council changes the City’s Vision Plan or Mission Statement, the General Plan and Zoning Ordinance must be updated, accordingly.


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City of San Clemente
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