- City Charter Amendments Nos. 1-10
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 11-20
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 21-30
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 31-40
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 41-50
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 51-60
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 61-70
- City Charter Amendments Nos. 71-83
There are 83 propositions for amending the Richardson City Charter on the November ballot. I'm here with a voter's guide to tell you how to vote. You're welcome.
- Proposition No. 51: Shall Section 4.05 of the Charter be amended to provide that the biennial general election for city council be held on the uniform election date in May or other date prescribed by state law.
- Proposition No. 52: Shall Article V of the Charter relating to the procedures for the recall of a member of the city council be amended to add a new Section 5.04 to limit the time period for a resident to file a petition to cause an election to be held to recall the mayor or a council member from office by prohibiting such petition within (i) six (6) months after such person's election, or appointment to the city council if such person was appointed; (ii) within three (3) months after an election for such person's recall, if such person had been the subject of a prior recall election, was not removed from office as result of such recall election and did not resign; and (iii) within three (3) months prior to the expiration of such person's current term of office.
NOYES. Substantive change. Sometimes the wrong persons get elected. Sometimes voters don't realize their mistake until the person takes office. Forcing the city to live with a potentially ruinous mistake any longer than absolutely necessary is bad public policy. The calendar already poses enough problems scheduling special elections in a timely fashion. Don't add to the difficulty with this arbitrary delay in the removal of a bad public official. [Update: After receiving more information, I change my recommendation to "YES".]
- Proposition No. 53: Shall Section 6.02 of the Charter be amended to provide that the city manager shall be a resident of the city within six (6) months after appointment by the city council.
YES. Cleanup. The current charter fails to specify a time limit required for a non-resident appointed city manager to move to the city. This amendment corrects that.
- Proposition No. 54: Shall Section 7.09 of the Charter be repealed to eliminate a redundancy with state law regarding the jurisdiction of the municipal court.
YES. Cleanup. As I read it, Section 7.09 says the city will follow state law. Section 7.02 already says as much. Why the city charter even has to say the city will follow state law is an enduring mystery.
- Proposition No. 55: Shall Section 9.01 of the Charter be amended to clarify that under the existing charter provision no person may serve more than four (4) consecutive two (2) year terms on any single city board or commission.
YES. Cleanup. The current charter imposes a term limit. Assuming that term limit applies to "any single board or commission," this change merely eliminates a potential confusion.
- Proposition No. 56: Shall Section 9.02 of the Charter be amended to clarify that under the existing charter provision a person appointed to a city board or commission must be a resident of the city for at least six (6) months prior to the date of such appointment.
YES. Cleanup. Curiously, this section of the charter also requires board and commission members not be "in arrears in taxes." Proposition 50 removes that same requirement for candidates for city council. Why? I don't know.
- Proposition No. 57: Shall Section 9.03 of the Charter be amended to clarify that under the existing charter provision the removal of a person from a board or commission by the city council is subject to applicable state law and city ordinances.
YES. Cleanup. This amendment adds that the city has to follow state law. It shouldn't have to be said, but it doesn't hurt to be explicit.
- Proposition No. 58: Shall Section 9.05 of the Charter be amended to clarify that under the existing charter provisions that a majority of a board or commission members constitutes a quorum of such board or commission except as otherwise provided by state law or city ordinance.
YES. Cleanup. This amendment adds that the requirements for a quorum have to conform to state law. It shouldn't have to be said, but it doesn't hurt to be explicit.
- Proposition No. 59: Shall Section 9.06 of the Charter be amended to eliminate redundant language regarding when a member of a board or commission may be excused by law from voting on a matter.
YES. Minor change. The cleanup eliminates a prohibition on board and commission members voting on matters in which they have a financial interest. It replaces it with a requirement to follow the law. The city has an ordinance, its code of ethics, that prohibits officials from voting on matters in which they have a financial interest, so deleting this clause in the charter doesn't delete the prohibition. That's why I recommend a "YES" vote. But, had I been on the charter review commission, I would have argued that it would have been better to enshrine that code of ethics into the charter rather than remove the pieces the charter already had. It's a moot point as long as the ordinance with the code of ethics isn't overturned, but that can be done by majority vote of the city council. If this prohibition had been left in the charter, it would have taken a vote of the citizens to overturn it. If state law also prohibits this, then it doesn't matter whether it's in the city charter or the city ordinance defining its code of ethics. But I don't know that and the charter review commission didn't bother to tell us.
- Proposition No. 60: Shall Section 9.11 (d) of the Charter relating to the procedures of the city civil service board be amended to eliminate the requirement to provide an annual report.
YES. Minor change. The annual report that's being eliminated is "a complete itemized statement of all expenditures" and "recommendations for improving the efficiency of the civil service." I assume the city keeps its own account of expenditures by all boards and commissions, so this board's own report would be redundant.
Recommendations for the rest of the amendments will be coming in due time.