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West U Voters Reject Relaxation of Term Limits in Unusually High Turnout

November 6, 2013 By:George Boehme

Local News

Almost 2,000 West University Place voters trekked to their polling place to adopt five of the six proposed changes to the West University Place City Charter. A city charter is a local version of the national constitution; it contains a framework of rules and regulations that cannot be modified by lawmakers.  In West University Place, the city charter can only be modified through an election.

Narrowly rejected by the voters was a proposal that would have extended term-limits and allowed for an additional term of contiguous service.

PROPOSITION 1 – FAILED (For: 962 and Against: 981)

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 – PASSED (For: 959 and Against: 958)

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 INIATIVE PETITIONS SUBMITTED TO COUNCIL FROM THREE PERCENT (3%) TO FIVE PERCENT (5%) OF ALL QUALIFIED VOTERS OF THE CITY.

PROPOSITION 3 – PASSED (For: 942 and Against: 940)

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 – PASSED (For: 1,007 and Against: 780)

AUTHORIZE AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE IV, SECTION 4.06 OF THE CHARTER RELATING TO RESULTS OF ELECTION, TO LIMIT THE FOUR-FIFTH (4/5) 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 – PASSED (For: 1,123 and Against: 719)

AUTHORIZE AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE VI, SECTION 6.02 OF THE CHARTER RELATING TO THE CITY MANAGER, TO REQUIRE THE CITY MANAGER, WITH THE APPROVAL OF CITY COUNCIL, TO APPOINT THE CITY SECRETARY.

PROPOSITION 6 – PASSED  (For: 1,101 and Against: 699)

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.

 

13 Responses to “West U Voters Reject Relaxation of Term Limits in Unusually High Turnout”

  1. LHG Says:

    The following is on the Houston Chronicle website tonight 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. 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.

  3. vanderbilt resident Says:

    Agreed, but please do not think that all original city charters are perfect and therefore never need amendment. West U has had many constructive amendments over time, including some this time around, contrary to some beliefs.

  4. LHG Says:

    I was wondering about the classifications of petitions. A recount would be asked on the two propositions concerning petitions. Would the old rules involving petitions apply or the new petition rules voted on yesterday and on which a recount is based.

  5. Alex D. Says:

    We don’t create a system for our current leaders, we create a system for our leaders 100 years from now.

  6. Brokelyn Says:

    I agree about their (mostly) good work. However, I voted against the proposal because it changes the City Charter — this is something that will impact all future Councils as well. In any case, putting this proposal on the ballot at this time is self-serving and represents poor governance.

  7. vanderbilt resident Says:

    Too bad Kelly and his ilk did not come out stronger against Props 1, 2 & 3 because they would have then also passed by a huge margin like 4 & 5 did. Thankfully this also truly shows the vocal minority still does not phase the silent majority and nobody reads the news rags thrown in their front yards. Increasing term limits is doomed to fail just about anywhere in America right now.

  8. Brokelyn Says:

    Thanks Chris. 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. Chris, please tell me if I’m wrong about this.

    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

  9. Brokelyn Says:

    Congratulations, West U, on nearly doubling our turnout from the last election, but 19% is still sad. If you are so jaded that you think that your little vote can’t influence how cities are governed, then take a look at this election; differences of 1 ,2, and 19 for really important issues!

    This is for the 19% — congratulations on being a part of the solution. Simply voting, though, may not be enough. If you cared enough to vote, then you probably care more than the average person about our democratic (small “d”) ideals. When it comes time to vote again, I hope that all of us will do two things — 1) Vote, and 2) Actively encourage others to vote.

    I would LOVE to see the City endorse a target turnout — something that would be easy to get into articles, print ads, flyers, posters, etc. Wouldn’t it be gratifying if West U could make the national news as having the most involved electorate in the country? What would it take — 50% turnout? Just a thought.

  10. Bink 79 Says:

    We won’t get a recount most likely. The provision
    allowing the City Manager to appoint the Secretsry
    passed handily and it was the worst proposal.

  11. Chris Says:

    We need to raise money for a recount ASAP. Props 2 and 3 only passed by 1 and 2 votes!

    • Brokelyn Says:

      Hopefully common sense will dictate a recount of those close votes.

      • Chris Says:

        Unfortunately, the law doesn’t care much about common sense. We only get a recount if there is a tie. To get a recount for all 5 precincts, we need to get 25 signatures on a petition and $500. We get the money back if the outcome of the election changes.

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