City Charter Propositions 13-16

 This is a continuation of the article covering the propositions from the city’s charter committee, with Kristi Goetz as the chairwoman. The council voted to continue with the process and have the propositions voted on in the election in November. The underlined phrases are the changes proposed. They have not been altered from the original document provided to the newspaper by the charter committee other than to remove the word "commissioners".  

Explanation of Proposition No. 13:

This proposition deletes the ability of a person to be nominated for a position on the City Council, instead of filing an application.  It is the City’s understanding that this method has never been used, nor should it be.  If a person wants to run for Council they should do so by filing a required application in accordance with State law. 

Proposition No. 13:

Shall the City of Ballinger amend Article 4, “Nominations and Elections”, Sections 4.01(b), (c) and (d) of the City Charter of the City of Ballinger to delete the alternative method of obtaining a place on the ballot by nomination?

The proposed revisions to the Charter are as follows:

(a)       As an alternative method, any qualified person may be nominated for mayor or for commissioner one, two, three or four by a written petition signed by twenty-five qualified voters of the City of Ballinger, provided the candidate signs the petition, certifying his acceptance. One such petition shall be circulated and signed for each nominee or candidate, but such petition may

*     State law references–Applicability of Election Code, V.T.C.A., Election Code, sec. 1.002; authority to order election by political subdivision, V.T.C.A., Election Code, sec. 3.004. 

be in multiple copies or counterparts. When such petition is filed in multiple copies or counterparts, the same shall be construed as one petition. The circulator of each counterpart shall sign same as herein provided. With each signature the signer shall state his place of residence, giving the street and number or other description sufficient to identify it. Nominating petitions shall be filed with the city secretary not more than ninety nor fewer than thirty days before the election day, and shall be in substantially the following form:

We, the undersigned electors of the City of Ballinger, hereby nominate,                            , whose residence is in the City of Ballinger, as a candidate for                                               of the City of Ballinger, and request that his name be printed upon the official ballot for that office in the next general city election; and we individually certify that we are qualified to vote for a candidate for such office.

Name                                    Address                             Date of Signing 

(Spaces for twenty-five or more signatures)

Acceptance of Nomination

I  am  qualified  to  serve  in  such  office  of  the  City  of  Ballinger  with  respect  to  the qualifications set forth in the charter.

I hereby accept the nomination for such office and agree to serve if elected.

(Signature of Candidate)

Statement of Circulator

The undersigned is the circulator of the foregoing petition containing signatures. Each signature was appended thereto in my presence and is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be.

(Signature of Circulator)

The  foregoing  petition  was  filed  with  the  city  secretary  on  the             day  of

                      , 20     .

(City Secretary)

(b)       The city secretary shall immediately examine each such petition and notify the candidate and the person, or persons, who filed the petition, or multiple copies or counterparts of petitions, whether it is signed by the required number of qualified voters. If such a petition is found insufficient, the city secretary shall return it, or the multiple copies or counterparts, immediately to the person, or persons, who filed same with a statement certifying wherein the petition is found insufficient. Within the regular time for filing petitions a new petition or amended petition may be filed for the same candidate. The petition of each candidate nominated to be mayor, or to be

commissioner one, two, three or four shall be preserved by the city secretary until the expiration of the term of office for which he has been nominated.

(c)       In computing the said ninety days, the date of the election shall not be counted; and in computing the said thirty days, the date of filing and the date of the election shall not be counted.

Explanation of Proposition No. 14:

This proposition changes the City Charter to be in compliance with State and Federal law and removes outdated language from the Charter.  Elections must be conducted on uniform election dates, which are in November and May of each year.  

Proposition No. 14:

Shall the City of Ballinger amend Section 4.03, “Municipal Elections”, subsections (a) and (b) of the City Charter of the City of Ballinger to delete outdated language regarding the first city council elected following the adoption of the new charter in 1963; to provide that the general election for the mayor and city council members shall be held on the first Tuesday in November or such other date as required by the Texas Election Code; and that any elections shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Texas Election Code?

The proposed revisions to the Charter are as follows:

Section 4.03.       Municipal elections.

(a)          The general election for the choice of members of the city council as provided in article 3 shall be held each year on the first Tuesday in November or such other date as required by the Texas Election Code.  The city council may by resolution order special elections, which shall be held as nearly as practicable according to the provisions of a general election and the provisions of the charter.

The city council shall determine the hours and places for holding all city elections.

 (b)          The mayor and the commissioners one, two, three and four shall be elected on the first Tuesday in April, 1963. The mayor and the commissioners one and two shall serve for a term of two years and until their respective successors have been elected and qualified, and the commissioners three and four shall serve for a term of one year and until their respective successors have been elected and qualified, after such election. Thereafter, the mayor and the city council members numbers one and two shall be elected on the first Tuesday in November of each odd-numbered year, and the city council members numbers three and four shall be elected on the first Tuesday in November of each even-numbered year. If no candidate for the office of mayor or for the offices of either city council members one, two, three or four shall in any general election receive a majority vote of the total votes cast at such general election, the city council shall at a meeting after the general election order a special election to be held in accordance with the requirements of the Texas Election Code on the third Tuesday in April of the same year, at which only the names of the two candidates who received the highest number of votes shall be printed on the ballot; or if there be a tie requiring more than two names, then the appropriate number shall be printed on the ballot, and such additional elections shall be ordered until a candidate for such office shall have received a majority of the total votes cast at such election. Such additional elections, if any required, shall be ordered by the city council at intervals authorized by the Texas Election Code on Tuesday not exceeding two weeks between such elections.

Explanation of Proposition No. 15:

This proposition deletes the requirement to publish a financial report of the financial condition of the City.  It has apparently not been followed by the City in the past and, now, with all the requirements of State law regarding adoption of a budget, this provision is unnecessary and costly.

Proposition No. 15:

Shall the City of Ballinger amend Section 8.02, “Accounting, supervision and control”, of the City Charter of the City of Ballinger by deleting subsection (g), which provides that the City shall publish a financial report in the newspaper annually, in its entirety?

The proposed revisions to the Charter are as follows:

 (g) Publish a financial report of the financial condition of the city, including the status of the general and special accounts, and bonded and other indebtedness, of the city, in the official newspaper of the city in the form and as often as the city council may require but at least once each fiscal year.

Explanation of Proposition No. 16:

State law provides that a City must use competitive bidding for all purchases over $50,000.00.  The current provision in the Charter is too restrictive and causes an unnecessary expense and burden on the City.

Proposition No. 16:

Shall the City of Ballinger amend Section 8.03, “Purchase procedure” of the City Charter of the City of Ballinger by deleting the requirement that all expenditures over $1,000.00 must be submitted to competitive bidding and providing that all purchasing shall done in accordance with the requirements of applicable State procurement laws?

The proposed revisions to the Charter are as follows:

Section 8.03.       Purchase procedure.

The city council shall establish rules and regulations for the purchase of all budgeted supplies, materials and equipment required for any office, department or agency of the city government; provided, however, all contracts or purchases shall be purchased in accordance with the requirements of applicable State procurement laws involving an expenditure of more than one thousand dollars shall be let to the lowest and best bid by a responsible bidder after there has been an opportunity for competitive bidding, and providing further that the city council shall have the right to reject any and all bids.