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Voters to Decide on West U City Charter Amendments

November 4, 2013 By:George Boehme

Local News

Tomorrow is election day in West University Place.  Voters will decide the outcome of six proposed changes to the West U charter.

The precincts and locations for West U residents are as follows:
Precinct 15: St. Andrews, 5308 Buffalo Speedway
Precinct 87: West U Elementary, 3757 University Boulevard
Precinct 133: Colonial Parks Pool, 4130 Byron
Precinct 183: West U Community Building, 6104 Auden
Precinct 906: West U Elementary, 3757 University Boulevard

The polls will be open from 7am-7pm.

Photo identification will be required. For more information about required identification for voting, visit www.votetexas.gov.

Residents will be voting for or against the following propositions:

Proposition 1

Authorize an amendment to Article II Section 2.03 of the charter relating to the limit on successive terms for mayor and council, to increase the number of successive terms from two(2) to three (3).

Proposition 2

Authorize an amendment to Article IV, Section 4.01 of the charter relating to the power of initiative, to increase the number of signatures required on Initiative petitions submitted to council from three percent (3%) to five percent (5%) of all qualified voters of the city.

Proposition 3

Authorize an amendment to Article IV, Section 4.02 of the charter relating to the power of referendum, to increase the number of signatures required on referendum petitions from three percent (3%) to five percent (5%) of all qualified voters of the city.

Proposition 4

Authorize an amendment to Article IV, Section 4.06 of the charter relating to results of election, to limit the four-fifth (⅘) vote requirement of council to repeal or amend an ordinance to a six (6) year period and allow a simple majority of council to repeal or amend an ordinance eight (8) years after adoption.

Proposition 5

Authorize an amendment to Article VI, Section 6.02 of the charter relating to the city manager, to authorize the city manager, with the approval of city council, to appoint the city secretary.

Proposition 6

Authorize an amendment to Article VI, Section 6.03 of the charter relating to the city secretary, to delete the provision regarding city council appointment of the city secretary and include a provision setting forth the powers and duties of the city secretary.

To view a sample of the West U ballot, click on the link below:

http://www.harrisvotes.com/SampleBallot/VoterBallot/E/0087-13.pdf

18 Responses to “Voters to Decide on West U City Charter Amendments”

  1. LHG Says:

    The following is on the Houston Chronicle website tonight posted about 30 minutes ago.

    “Two West University Place propositions on the Nov. 5 ballot that passed by just one and two votes now have failed, following the acceptance of a few hundred provisional ballots.”

  2. miltonwatchdog Says:

    Can someone please tell me what the “serious problems” with the former City Secretary was? I heard Channel 13’s Wayne Dolchifino was investigating our City Manager and some of the powers that be were afraid she would talk. Council voted to fire her and that was it. Can someone enlighten me?

  3. Brokelyn Says:

    Thanks to everyone who responded to the recount inquiry. I received many fewer expressions of interest than the 25 required to request a recount of the vote so I am not moving forward.

  4. Brokelyn Says:

    Update — I have received three expressions of interest in a recall thus far. I’ll monitor the WestURecount@hotmail.com account for another 24 hours to see if there’s enough interest in pursuing a recount.

  5. Brokelyn Says:

    Under our current system, you can indeed vote for any of these Council members if they take a couple years off and then put their hat back in the ring. Dick Yehle, for example, was a former Council member who got back in again.

    You may like the current Council (I mostly do too), but keep in mind that this is not a referendum on just this particular Council, but it is a change to our City Charter. It will apply to all future Councils and, frankly, in a nod to your namesake, I’m surprised that you would be in favor of irresolution and inaction. :-)

    I am eager to see who runs for the next Council. More talent will bubble up from within our City and that ultimately creates a stronger bench from which West U can draw when looking for leadership.

  6. Brokelyn Says:

    For those who would like to read the rules regarding a recount, here it is:
    http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/laws/recounts.shtml

    It looks like it would cost $160 per polling station (5) plus $160 because we had an early voting option for a total deposit of $960.

    There isn’t a lot of time to request a recount, but if there’s interest in doing it (and paying the $38.40 maximum per person if only 25 people sign a petition), then please drop me an email at WestURecount@hotmail.com. If there’s real interest in doing this, then I’ll get the paperwork/petition/deposit together. I’ll post an update on this thread, or elsewhere on this site if necessary, to let you know how things look. I’ll look for indications of interest for two days then make a call on whether there’s enough to move forward.

    WestURecount@hotmail.com

  7. Donaldo Says:

    Wondering why prop 1 failed… The only organized group that was against it was West U for Progress- and they were just high-school kids.

    • Brokelyn Says:

      I hope Prop 1 lost out because it was viewed as self-serving. Every member of Council is on their second consecutive term. Good governance is in fact as well as in appearance and this one didn’t pass that basic sniff test.

  8. LHG Says:

    Why does West U have such a low voter turnout?

  9. David Francis Says:

    I can’t believe that Props 2 and 3 passed so narrowly. We NEED to get a recount.

  10. Colonial Colonel Says:

    The reason these were proposed is because a Charter Review Commission heard public testimony and after that unanimously recommended them. I don’t have strong feeling about them. But I do know there was a very serious problem with the prior city secretary that had been a frustration for many former city councils. The current city secretary is not a problem, but there was a real problem in the past. It is always better to adopt policies prospectively to head off a problem before it happens again.

  11. Vote Yes for all amendments Says:

    All 6 propositions make sense – and we don’t need any more tyranny by the minority! Plus City Council has not the time or knowledge of how the City Secretary is performing to manage that position.
    Yes, Dorothy, things do change over 75 years, and life just can’t stay the same!

    • Brokelyn Says:

      This is not intended to be a loaded question, but I am truly interested in understanding the underlying premise of your comment. Have West U citizens abused their power to call for elections based on the (now) previous 3% standard?

      Tyranny by the minority may be a bit bombastic, but if this is happening here with frequency and without merit, then your statement is clearly well-taken.

  12. Les Albin Says:

    Vote NO on ALL of the proposed amendments. There is not a single one that benefits the City. The people who proposed these revisions should be ashamed of themselves. Not only are the revisions self serving with regard to this council they make it much more difficult for residents to reverse any legislation passed by any Council that the Citizens find objectionable. Makes one wonder why these revisions have been proposed.

  13. miltonwatchdog Says:

    Agree with Brokelyn. The number of West U residents that turn out to vote does not represent but a very small portion of the population of our city. Not likely that most of them have ever attended a Council meeting, or know anyone at City Hall. None of the community newspapers report much City Hall news anymore.

  14. Brokelyn Says:

    Vote NO on Proposition 1. All members of the current Council are on their second consecutive term. This proposition is, at the very least, self-serving and no evidence has been produced to show that an additional consecutive term would improve governance.

    Sadly, I think that the VAST majority of West U citizens have no clue that there is a very important election under way. The friends of Council will get out and vote, but the rest of the City will snooze. :(

  15. miltonwatchdog Says:

    Vote No for Propositions 4 and 5. City Secretary’s position is secure as is. City Manager and City Secretary should report to City Council.

    City of West U Charter is just fine and has worked for the past 75 years or so and doesn’t need these changes.

    Someone wants more power at City Hall.

  16. Michael Says:

    Vote no for Proposition 2. What is council so afraid of? The threshold for signatures required on initiative petitions, they want to raise by 65%!
    There reasoning is,” that is what other small cities have done” BS.
    You want to snuff out any attempt by our citizens of this great city to try to challenge, initiate or amend by raising the threshold. I ask, how many challenges/initiatives brought by our citizens have there been in the last 10 years? Zero? The charter review committee seems to either have been looking for things to do or were advised to do it. Shame on you all. That is why we live here and what is great about this small city, the right to challenge if we want to..

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