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Ontario council seeks power to hire department heads

Mayor Riley Hill of Ontario. (Angelina Katsanis/The Enterprise)

ONTARIO – The Ontario City Council wants the power to hire key city employees, upending a long-standing practice of leaving such decisions to the city manager.

Voters in the city will get the final say on that as the council last week supported a number of changes to the city charter. The charter governs how the city runs.

The recommended change, approved 4-2 on Tuesday, June 15, will be on the May 2022 ballot.

Another change will allow councilors to take away the title of council president.

But it was the change to city hiring that engendered the most vigorous debate among councilors.The majority of the council – including Mayor Riley Hill and Councilors Ken Hart, Freddy Rodriguez and Sam Baker – want to . . .