Another election season is imminent and Northlake has some exciting things to consider. This cycle Northlake residents will vote on a home rule charter for the town, recommended by the charter commission who worked over the last few months to craft it.
We are excited to be at this stage in our town’s history. Almost every town in Texas upon reaching 5,000 residents goes through this process and takes on the responsibilities and privileges of home rule. Residents of home rule cities have much more say in their futures then those in general law municipalities.
I am very grateful to our 19 residents for building a solid charter to guide our town into the future. Their efforts were all the more commendable since they had to work under the social distancing requirements of this COVID period. This will be a great piece of our history that they got to be a part of. Special thanks goes to our very capable and dedicated Mayor Pro Tem Brian Montini who chaired the commission.
Among the important highlights of this charter are the expansion of the council by two seats, and the direct democracy measures of petition, recall and referendum for residents to oversee their council. It also replaces the mayor’s role as an operational leader and vests those responsibilities with a professional city manager under the council’s direction.
As a town grows the complexities of managing public safety and utilities become such that it is imperative to have well-educated and deeply experienced professionals making day-to-day decisions to keep our infrastructure working. This point is made all the more evident by the political shortcomings that led to the electricity crisis just a month ago.
The key to any successful representative government is public participation. As passionate as Texan’s are, we still see very low turnout in municipal elections. With the home rule charter, a contested council seat, and a very important school bond election this cycle, we want to encourage every citizen to take part. This is a really exciting period in our municipal calendar. Early voting starts April 19th and Election Day is May 1st.
As my first term comes to a close and I begin to serve a new one, potentially with a modified mayoral role under home rule, I want to thank the residents in Northlake who have spent time discussing and giving me input on our future. This has truly been a thrilling role and I look forward to achieving even more together in the next term.