Today: Public hearing for Charter Review

251

The City of Kerrville’s Charter Review Commission will hold a public hearing today (Tuesday) at 4:00 PM at City Hall. The public is invited to attend and to view a presentation on the proposed charter amendments. After the presentation, the public may comment and provide feedback on the proposals. Individual committee members and the commission as a whole invites the public to attend, listen, and take part in the discussion.

Agenda for today’s Charter Review Commission meeting.

What is the Charter?

Under Texas state law, any city with a population of 5,000 or more may elect to operate under a “charter,” which is a document that defines the methods and means of governance in a city. You can think of it as the city’s constitution, of sorts.

Beginning in 1913, Texas requires charter cities to maintain their governing document and amendments with the Secretary of State. You can see Kerrville’s and other city’s charters at the Texas State Library of Archives, or for Kerrville, on the city’s municode website.

Our charter includes lots of important provisions, such as the municipal city limits boundaries, the process for annexation, rules for electing and serving on city council, procedural rules, recall provisions, administrative rules, and much more. The charter is one of the most important documents that sets forth how our city works.

According to City Attorney Mike Hayes:

A guiding principle in the creation and continuing foundation of this great country is democracy, and local self-government is a key component of democracy

–Mike Hayes, January 2019, Kerrville Daily Times

Amending the Charter

Our charter has a provision to amend the charter every so often. Section 14.07 sets forth the requirement that our charter be reviewed every five years, or more. The council shall appoint a Charter Review Commission that includes seven residents of the city, and the group will propose recommendations and amendments, and then present those to the City Council.

Once the proposed amendments are approved by council, they go to the citizens for a vote. The last time we had a charter amendment vote was in 2014, when voters considered eight amendments. Those amendments passed with overwhelming margins. But council actually rejected three proposed amendments from the commission which would have lessened the requirements for a recall election initiative. Those three did not appear on the ballot.

Should the council approve any recommendations this year, the amendments would likely be on the ballot for the November 2019 election.

The Commission

This Charter Review Commission was established in November 2018, and includes the following members:

  • Brenda Craig
  • Stephen Fine
  • John Harrison, Chairman
  • Peggy McKay
  • Greg Richards
  • Michael Sigerman
  • Michelle Yanez

More information about the commission, including its agendas and minutes, can be found here: https://www.kerrvilletx.gov/1672/Charter-Review-Commission

The Meeting

Let us hear your voice through one or more of the opportunities mentioned above. The future of our city depends on it.

–City Manager Mark McDaniel, April 12, 2019, Kerrville Daily Times

Today’s meeting at 4 PM is open to the public and will be held in Council Chambers at City Hall. Kerrville United urges all interested citizens to take part. As the Kerrville 2050 Plan states, this is “Your Voice, Your City.”