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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

International Association of Firefighters, Local Union 440 Collective Bargaining Negotiations: 1 p.m. Nov. 27, 2017; IAFF Local 440 Office, 3855 Tulsa Way.
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Youth Advisory Council: 9 a.m. Nov. 28, 2017; Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County, Suite 600, Staff Breakroom, 1320 S. University Drive.
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Special Meeting of the Construction and Fire Prevention Board of Appeals: 2 p.m. Nov. 28, 2017; Budget Conference Room 3rd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Nov. 28, 2017; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Canceled City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Nov. 28, 2017; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

Firefighters' and Police Officers' Civil Service Commission: 6 p.m. Nov. 29, 2017; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex Auditorium, 505 West Felix Street.
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Community Thanksgiving Dinner: 6:30 p.m. Nov. 29, 2017; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

View the full city calendar.