The final results of the Charter Amendment Election have been posted. Approximately 2,750 voters cast a ballot either by mail, in early voting, or on election day — a turnout of approximately 18% of registered city voters (compared with approximately 20% turnout for the May citywide election).
Of the 18 amendments offered on the ballot, 16 were passed, and 2 failed. The two proposed amendments that failed were:
- Proposition P – Authorizing the Mayor, on his or her own initiative and without Council action, to create and make appointments to ad hoc committees.
- Proposition R – Deleting the requirement that the Director of Finance and other various officers of the City give a bond to the City.
Failed by a margin of 60% to 40%.
Arguments IN FAVOR: Current practice has been that Mayors may appoint ad hoc committees on specific issues to provide the Mayor with expertise and insight without formal action by the Council. This addition to the Charter confirms and clarifies this process. These ad hoc committees are strictly advisory, have no authority, and do not affect the budget. Appointees serve without compensation and have no authority over staff members.
Arguments AGAINST: Proposition P adds a section to the City Charter which allows the Mayor to have sole authority to set up any number of ad hoc committees and appoint citizens without input or approval from the City Council. All decisions regarding committees for the City of Kerrville must be made by a vote of the City Council, not by one elected official. Any type of unilateral authority, such as in this proposal, creates a serious precedent for the City of Kerrville and its citizens.
Failed by a margin of 52%-48%.
Arguments IN FAVOR: Modern policies and practices greatly lessen the likelihood that such bonds, which can be expensive, are necessary. The city will continue to bond officers and those who handle cash, but specifying the officers in the Charter is unnecessary. Guidelines of state law, public accounting requirements and audits are a better way to make sure we are following best practices.
Arguments AGAINST: This deletes the section, Official Bonds, which requires bonds for officers and employees of the City of Kerrville in an amount and surety set by the City Council. Deleting this section also eliminates the statement that “premiums on such bond may be paid by the City”. Because there is an insurance liability for the City of Kerrville, the City Council must be responsible for reviewing and approving the adequacy of bonds for city staff positions.