Monday, May 14, 2012

Charter Review: Maybe Not So Dead After All

The last time we talked about a city charter review for Richardson was in February, when the city council voted 6-1 (Amir Omar dissenting) to reject a proposal to place before the voters a charter amendment to allow for the direct election of the mayor. The council then voted 5-2 (Omar and Steve Mitchell dissenting) to reject a proposal to appoint a commission to review the charter as a whole. At the time, I was shocked with how cavalierly the council dismissed what I had considered to be a campaign promise.

Did you think that was the end of it? Think again. After the jump, an effort to make an end run around the council.

Alan North, losing candidate for city council in 2011 (the word "candidate" is used loosely) has announced a petition drive to force a charter review and election. I can think of several cliches -- hell hath no fury like a candidate scorned; the council made their bed, now they have to lie in it; chickens coming home to roost -- but time will tell whether any of them prove to be apt.

The announcement of the petition drive follows:

The Texas Constitution, Article 1, Section 2 says: All political power is in herent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit.

The Texas Constitution, Article 6, Section 3 says: All qualified voters of the State, as herein described, who reside within the limits of any city or corporate town, shall have the right to vote for Mayor and all other elective officers.

Yet in Richardson, the Mayor is elected behind closed doors. It is time that Richardson finally gives the voters an opportunity to do what every City in the DFW area allows because it is the law. Recently, many watched in frustration as the City Council chose in a 6-1 vote to deny us the ability to change OUR CHARTER on this issue. For years, the pleas for a charter review committee are disregarded. Their decision doesn't make sense and I can't continue to stand by and watch without doing something. There are other Charter points needing a dedicated and comprehensive review, but this is one issue we can address right NOW.

There are two ways to create an opportunity for all voters to choose if we want this change in the charter. One way is the Council can call a charter review and election, yet we lost that plea. We are left ONLY with the second option. A petition signed by fellow residents.

Beginning Monday, there will be a petition started offering the voters a chance to do just that. Individuals with petitions will be at City Hall greeting early voters with the opportunity to sign and make this one change to correct the variances in law. We have a short window of time to get this on the November ballot.

If you feel as compelled by this issue as I do, come out during early voting and sign this petition. I grew up in Richardson and love this City as I am sure many of you do also. I hope you will join me in helping to get the word out on this very important issue.

Want to help even more? Sign up to volunteer to gather signatures in your neighborhood when you sign the petition. Or you can email me at

With Highest Regards,

Alan C. North
Source: Alan C. North.

1 comment:

Sassy Texan said...

Now this could be interesting.