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Charter election backgrounder: Part 4

Posted March 25, 2016

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Fourth in a series of articles about the May 7 City Charter election.

Residents will vote May 7 on recommended City Charter revisions dealing with the number of City Councilmembers, terms of office, compensation and more.

An 11-member Charter Review Task Force examined numerous questions, including terms of office for councilmembers and whether terms should be staggered.

The 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.

The City Council is proposing eight technical amendments. These are aspects of the charter that are inconsistent with state law, use archaic language or include unused provisions. Here is the text of the proposed technical amendments:

Proposition 1. 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?

Proposition 2. Shall Sections 1, 2 and 5 of Chapter III and Section 3 of Chapter IV and other sections referencing the number of councilmembers in the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to increase the number of City Councilmembers 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?

Proposition 3. Shall Section 3 of Chapter III of the Fort Worth City Charter be amended to increase the compensation of councilmembers 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?

Proposition 4. 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?

Proposition 5. 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 Councilmembers 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?

Proposition 6. 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?

Proposition 7. 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?

Proposition 8. 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?

Proposition 9. 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?

Proposition 10. 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?

Proposition 11. 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?

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Calendar

Trinity Metro Board of Directors Meeting: 3:30 p.m. May 21, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, 2nd Floor Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
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Task Force on Race and Culture: 3:30 p.m. May 21, 2018; Beborah Beggs Mocrief Garden Center, Oak Hall, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Randol Mill Road Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. May 21, 2018; Temple Baptist Church - Cafeteria, 6824 Randol Mill Road.

Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. May 22, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. May 22, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.

Metropolitan Area EMS Authority / MedStar Mobile Healthcare: 10 a.m. May 23, 2018; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: noon May 23, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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School Visit - Lunch & Learn: noon May 23, 2018; Atwood Macdonald Elementary .

Fort Worth Professional Fire Fighters Association Collective Bargaining Negotiations: 12:30 p.m. May 23, 2018; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. May 23, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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Budget Stakeholder's Meeting: 3:30 p.m. May 23, 2018; Council Room 290, 200 Texas Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102.

Park and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting: 4 p.m. May 23, 2018; Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Deborah Beggs Memorial Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Rolling Town Hall: 6 p.m. May 23, 2018; Ridglea North, Berney Park, 6316 Rosemont Avenue.

Fort Worth Affordability Inc: 5 p.m. May 24, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Directors Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. May 24, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 13th Street.
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Westcliff Drainage Improvements Project Open House: 6 p.m. May 24, 2018; Westcliff Elementary School - Auditorium, 4300 Clay Ave.

Foodpalooza at Hillside Community Center: 1 p.m. May 26, 2018; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

View the full city calendar.