Thirteen city charter amendments to be put to Copperas Cove voters in November
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Copperas Cove voters will be looking at 13 amendments to the city’s home rule charter on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.
In April 2020, a Charter Review Committee, comprised of seven citizens Larry Letzer, Jr., George McMaster, Cheryl Meredith, Danny Palmer, Silvia Rhoads, Eloina "Bo" Roldan, and Sandor Vegh; as well as City Councilmembers Fred Chavez and Dianne Campbell, first met in July 2020 and every month through December 2020, when they took action to forward proposed amendments to the city attorney and then to the city council. A public hearing was held on July 20 regarding the proposed amendments, with the council calling on Aug. 3 for the proposed amendments to be placed on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Measure A, “Qualifications for Office”, would change the language in the charter to state that a candidate for office, in addition to being a U.S. citizen, must also be 18 years of age on the first day of the term to be filled at the election or on the date of appointment and be registered to vote by the regular filing deadline for a candidate’s application for a place on the ballot or on the date of appointment, and have resided continuously in the corporate limits of the city for 12 months immediately preceding the regular filing deadline for a candidate’s application for a place on the ballot or on the date of appointment. The previous language of the charter required that a candidate just be “qualified” but not registered, but state law requires that a candidate be registered to vote if they are going to run for office.
Measure B, “Compensation of Council Members” would change the amount that council members and the mayor receive for each regular and special meeting they attend from $50 to $75 for the mayor and from $25 to $50 for each council member.
Measure C, “Hearings on Forfeiture of Office,” would clarify the requirements for holding a hearing on an alleged forfeiture of office.
Measure D, “Unnecessary Language” would remove Sections 11.05 (Employee Relations), 11.06 (Damage Suits), 11.11 (Provisions relating to assignment, execution and garnishment) and 11.12 (Power to remit penalties) and revise Section 2.09 (Meetings of the Council) in the charter, creating a “more clear and simple home rule charter.”
Measure E, “Consistency with State Law” revises Section 3.03 (Official Ballots) to read, “Official ballots shall be prepared consistent with the requirements of state law.” It also revises Section 3.04 (Elections) to be consistent with state law and eliminates Section 10.09 (Submission of annual reports).
Measure F, “Petition Signature Requirements” would add an amendment requiring signers to initiative or referendum petitions signing to include either their date of birth or their voter registration number- not both.
Measure G, “Non-Substantive Revisions” eliminates Section 8.03 and makes other corrections, deletions and revisions to grammar, typographical errors, gender and title references, capitalization, punctuation etc.
Measure H, “City Manager Authorized Absences from City Council Meetings” would add language to the charter that allows the city manager to miss a city council meeting when the absence is approved by the council.
Measure I, “Capital Improvement Plan Reviewed Annually” revises the required review of the Capital Improvement Plan from every five years to being reviewed annually.
Measure J, “Capital Outlay Plan Reviewed Annually” revises the required preparation and submission of the Capital Outlay Plan from every five years to being prepared and submitted annually.
Measure K, “Personnel Plan Prepared and Submitted Annually” revises the required preparation and submission of a personnel plan from every five years to being prepared and submitted annually.
Measure L, “Cosigner Director of Budget” would require that all checks be counter signed by the director of budget, not the assistant director of finance.
Measure M, “Public Officials and Employee Comply with State Law,” revises Section 11.02 (Conflict of Interest) to state: “For purposes of this Section the term “City Official” means any individual subject to the requirements of Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 171.It is hereby prohibited for Members of City Council or a City Official to violate the rules and regulations regarding conflicts of interests as set out in the Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 171.”
The city charter was last amended through a General Election in November 2018.