City Charter Review Commission met Monday, August 14 at City Hall. It was made clear that the Charter Amendment Proposals would not make a November 2017 election. At the earliest, the Special Election won’t be until May of 2018.
Charter Review Commission Meeting Minutes form Monday, July 10th were approved at the August 14th meeting.
Not all of the Sub-Committees were ready to make their final report or recommendations. Former Councilman Art Hall’s sub-committee recommended no change to the number of Council Districts or the Sunset Provisions. This Sub-Committee also recommended no change to the Charter wording of the Boards, Commissions and Committees yet that City Code Chapter 2, Article IX would be the appropriate place to modify who can serve on those entities. Former Councilman Mike Gallagher reiterated his encouragement to increase the number of Councilman due to the growing district population. Note that as Texas grows in population, there is no call to increase the number of State Senators from 31 or the number of State Reps from 150. Now that Councilmen are paid and the staff budgets have been increased, they should be able to better represent the a larger number of citizens better today than prior to May 2015.
The Charter Proposal to change the Planning Commissioners from at-large to single member districts was also not recommended. New Assistant City Manager, Rod Sanchez stated that the Planning Commission was appropriately named. And, Committeeman Francine Romero boldly stated that “people who think that the Planning Commission is like the Zoning Commission and needs to be by districts their logic is completely backwards”. That’s pretty rough and potentially insensitive.
Of great concern was another Sub-Committees recommendation that the words “public works” would be replaced with “public purposes” within the Charter to allow for the City to get involved in public housing. An alarming comment made by one of the Committeemen in regards to public housing was that they hadn’t yet met with SAHA but that they had met with COPS/Metro.
City Charter Election History: