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The City of San Ramon was incorporated as a general law city in 1983 by residents seeking the right to manage local affairs. The authority of general law cities has diminished as a result of increasing State mandates and involvement in local matters. In order to reclaim the local autonomy sought through incorporation and to preserve the right of the people to present grievances to the most responsive level of government, we, the citizens of San Ramon, enact this Charter.

Acceptance of Home Rule

Except as restricted by this Charter, the City shall have all powers allowable under the Constitution of the State of California to adopt ordinances, establish rules, grant franchises, structure City government, and in every way to govern the municipal affairs of the City. Municipal affairs encompass all matters of local concern as determined by the City Council consistent with the meaning of "municipal affairs" under the constitutional, statutory, and judicially defined law of the State of California.

Nothing in this Charter is intended to restrict the City in exercising any right, power or authority granted under the general laws of the State of California. However, the provisions of this Charter shall prevail in the event of any conflict with general law.

Structure of City Government

The City shall continue to be governed by a council of five members, four Councilmembers and a Mayor, elected at large. The City Council shall appoint a City Manager and a City Attorney. The City Manager, as the chief administrative officer of the City, shall appoint all department heads other than the City Attorney. Involvement in administrative matters by the Council or by any individual Councilmember shall occur only by direction of the City Manager.

Selection of Mayor

The Mayor shall be elected by plurality at an election to be held every two years. The term of the Mayor elected in 2013 shall be lengthened by one year to accommodate changing the date of the general municipal election from odd-numbered to even-numbered years. No elected Mayor shall serve for more than four two year terms except that a cumulative total of nine years may be served if one of those terms was lengthened as the result of change the date of the general municipal election. Duties of the elected Mayor shall remain the same as the duties of the Mayor as of January 1, 2001. Compensation for the elected Mayor of San Ramon shall be one hundred dollars per month more that a Councilmember. This Charter amendment shall not be effective unless the measure on the November 5, 2013 ballot changing the date of the general municipal election to even-numbered years is approved by the voters.

Public Contracting

The City Council, by ordinance, shall establish the procedures, including any competitive bidding requirements, to be followed by the City in awarding public contracts of any nature, including those for construction of public works.

Continuation of Existing Law

All ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations of the City in effect as of the effective date of this Charter shall continue in effect until repealed or amended.


The provisions of this Charter shall be interpreted broadly to favor the exercise of home rule. If any provision is found by a court to be invalid, the remaining provisions of the Charter shall remain in full force and effect.

Dated: November 4, 1997
Amended: November 6, 2001
Amended: November 5, 2013