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Webb: Vote for charter amendments

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Bryan Webb, Place 2 Flower Mound Town Council
Bryan Webb, Place 2
Flower Mound Town Council

On Monday, October 24th, early voting begins.  While most of us can’t wait to cast our vote for the top of the ballot and get this election behind us, I ask that after you cast that vote, you also go to the bottom of the ballot and cast your vote FOR Flower Mound’s Charter Amendments.

There are eight propositions listed.  Four are what I think are best referred to as housekeeping items which bring our charter into alignment with state law.  Two establish procedures to be followed in specific circumstances and two are significant changes.

Prop # Type Description Bryan Webb’s

Recommendation

1 Significant Three Year Terms with a transition plan Approve
2 Housekeeping Town employees can run for Town Council.  Brings charter into alignment with state law. Approve
3 Procedural Establishes procedure to follow for the forfeiture or removal of a sitting council member Approve
4 Housekeeping Publication of Ordinances will be in compliance with state law.  Ordinances that must be published in a newspaper will be, others won’t.  Saves tax dollars Approve
5 Procedural Establishes procedure for the removal of the municipal judge.  Procedures do not exist today. Approve
6 Significant Reduces the number of signatures required for a Recall Petition and a Petition for Legislation.  Gives more power to residents. Approve
7 Housekeeping Takes the Parks, Arts, and Library out of the Charter and allows for it to be governed by ordinance Approve
8 Housekeeping Filing of the Town Budget with State and County offices.  Brings charter into alignment with state law. Approve

 

With the approval of voters, Prop One has the potential to do what many have wanted to do, calm the political waters of Flower Mound and expand the number of people who might be interested in running for and serving on Town Council.

  • We will still have elections each year, but only for two positions instead of three.
  • We will retain term limits of 6 years, it’s just two terms instead of three.
  • If a campaign costs roughly $6,000 today’s council members are having to raise nearly $20,000 to run three campaigns over a 6 year period.
  • This Charter change reduces the cost by a third to $12,000, or less.
Proposition 1 Transition Plan (source: http://www.flower-mound.com/DocumentCenter/View/12634)
Proposition 1 Transition Plan (Source: http://www.flower-mound.com/DocumentCenter/View/12634)

It’s also important to note that no council member serving today will benefit from any of these propositions.  In fact several, including myself, will be term limited off earlier than we would without these changes.  The only exception to this is that a sitting council member would be able to run for Mayor and reset the term clock.  I can state that I have no plans to run for Mayor in 2018 when my existing term expires.  Just because an existing council member can run for mayor does not mean they will serve as mayor.  The voters make that decision.  They always have and they always will.  All this does is put someone with experience on equal footing as someone without experience.

The other proposition that I call significant places more power and more authority with the residents.  It reduces the number of signatures required to force a recall election or to implement a citizen initiated ordinance.  The current threshold is too high and too restrictive.  Prop 6 does not make it easy, but it makes it much more achievable.  By making it more achievable it will also make councils more responsive and accountable.

In closing, I believe these charter changes are good for the town, good for the residents and I encourage everyone who goes to vote for the Top of the Ballot to also scroll to the Bottom of the Ballot and vote
FOR all eight propositions.

Bryan C. Webb
Place 2, Flower Mound Town Council

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