Charter Election, May 7, 2016
On May 7, 2016, a special election was held to allow voters to determine whether to amend the Fort Worth City Charter.
The Fort Worth City Charter defines the organization, powers, functions and essential procedures of city government. The city’s first home rule charter was adopted in 1924, establishing the city council/city manager form of government Fort Worth uses today. The charter has been amended 13 times since adoption, most recently in 2006.
An 11-member task force, appointed by the City Council, presented most of these recommended amendments to the City Council in December 2015. The City Council voted to call the special election in January 2016.
There are eleven propositions on the ballot. Voters must vote for each proposition separately.
Here are the propositions you will see on the May 7 ballot.
Shall Sections 1 and 2 of Chapter III and Section 2 of Chapter IV and other sections referencing the term of office for the City Council in the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to increase the current two (2) year terms for the City Council to three (3) year terms starting with the 2017 general election?
Impact: Increases the number of years from two years to three years that a council member serves after elected.
Shall Sections 1, 2 and 5 of Chapter III and Section 3 of Chapter IV and other sections referencing the number of council members in the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to increase the number of City Council members from nine (9) to eleven (11) members, one of which is the mayor, beginning with the first election following the 2020 census and adoption of the new redistricting map by the City Council and to maintain the quorum at two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the City Council?
Impact: Increases the number of council members from nine members to eleven beginning with the first election following the 2020 census.
Shall Section 3 of Chapter III of the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to increase the compensation of council members from the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) per year to forty-five thousand dollars ($45,000.00) per year and the compensation of the mayor from twenty-nine thousand dollars ($29,000.00) per year to sixty thousand dollars ($60,000.00) per year starting October 1, 2016?
Impact: Increases the salaries of the Mayor and Council Members in October of 2016.
If Proposition 1 is approved by the voters, shall Section 4 of Chapter III of the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to allow a majority of the City Council to appoint a qualified person from the district whose place has been vacated to serve the unexpired term if the vacancy occurs twelve (12) months or less prior to the end of an unexpired term?
Impact: If Proposition 1 passes, it would allow a council seat that is vacant to be filled by a majority of the City Council, provided the seat will be vacant 12 months or less prior to the next election
Shall the first paragraph of Section 5 of Chapter III of the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to provide that the newly-elected City Council members may be sworn in at the same meeting at which the election results are canvassed provided the meeting is held within the City limits of Fort Worth?
Impact: Will allow the mayor and councilmembers to be sworn in at the same time the votes are canvassed.
Shall Sections 1 and 3 of Chapter IV of the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to clarify that a person seeking election to the City Council must have resided in the district for which he or she seeks election for 180 days prior to the first allowed filing date for the election?
Impact: Clarifies that a candidate must live in district 180 days before the first day to file.
Shall Chapter VII of the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to add a new section to provide that municipal judges will be appointed and may be removed for cause by a majority vote of the City Council?
Impact: Allows removal of municipal judges for cause.
Shall Section 2 of Chapter X of the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to provide for budget hearings, adoption and publication of the budget, appropriation ordinance and tax levy ordinance in accordance with State law?
Impact: Public hearings and publications will be handled in compliance with state law, reducing costs
Shall Section 6 of Chapter XX of the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to clarify that when competing ordinances are presented to the voters at an election that the ordinance that receives the highest number of favorable votes prevails?
Impact: Clarifies that the ordinance with highest number of affirmative votes prevails.
Shall Chapter XXVII of the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to add Section 21 to provide for electronic and other web based publications and notices as a substitute for newspaper publications where allowed by State law?
Impact: Allows the City to use electronic notices if allowed by state law.
Shall Section 8 of Chapter III and Section 7 of Chapter XXVII of the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to eliminate the provisions in each section that are in conflict with State and Federal law?
Impact: Removes Charter provisions inconsistent with state and federal law.