Many of you may have received an email from Louis Miller, via Mark Henderson criticizing these changes. There were many issues with his email so I can’t address them all. One of the main things he said was ‘we all want term limits” but then goes on to say that this was rushed and we made a mistake because someone could serve in place 1 for two terms, then move to another place for two more. This is simply false. Look above at the language for prop 1. It says “no person shall serve as a council member for 2 consecutive terms. it does not say anything about places or seats but as a council member for two terms. I don’t know how that could be interpreted the way he did, but it seems pretty clear to me.
He goes on to say “Furthermore, Colleyville Charter Review Committee is making a change so no one can serve more than three “consecutive” terms in any “position”. They are recommending that this be retroactive. Sounds innocuous enough. But by making it “retroactive”, this would prevent current council members Mike Taylor and Jody Short from running again next year.”
Three consecutive? I don’t see that anywhere in the language, it’s 2 consecutive terms. The retroactive part was the area we discussed the most. There were three ways it could have been implemented, we picked the middle or compromise option. Let me explain.
One one extreme it could have been worded so that anyone currently in a third term would be automatically be deemed to have resigned immediately upon passage of the proposition. That would have meant Mike Taylor would have had to have resigned immediately. It would have also meant a special election to fill his seat. This would be a financial issue as well as possibly be disruptive, and down the road as many as three seats and the mayor would be up for election at the same time. There were so many issues with doing this, we really didn’t think that’s what the citizens would want. Besides, it would bring on criticsm of over reach and balance of power.
The other extreme would be to start in the future. Something like if you are in your second term you get one more term. Initially Jody would be allowed to have a third term, but later (assuming they won their second terms) Chris, Bobby, Tammy, and Richard would be the first batch to be termed out after only two terms but not until several years into the future. (See why he is arguing for this one?)
The middle road is what we came up with and what Mr. MIller calls retroactive. I would consider the first option retroactive, the other delayed, and this one immediate. It simply means if this passes in November anyone who wishes to run come what May, cannot if this would be their their third term. He is correct, Jody would be the first one affected, and Mike Taylor would be next. But not really, cause Mike said recently that he already told his supporters that he would not run again after this one.
This was not about any one council person and this was not done without thoughtful deliberation and research. Louis Miller goes on to make many more false assertions in his diatribe which I won’t bore you with.
He did point out a change to the hiring process of key city staff positions would require final approval for hiring, rather than leaving it solely up to the city manger. Frankly I don’t understand his concern because I would rather hold an elected official accountable than trying to hold a city manger accountable via the mayor. He claims lack of balance of power but I think this enhances It between the government and the elected officials.
If you received his letter and you have questions, feel free to contact me and I will be happy to answer your questions. I was on that committee and I have been attending almost all city council meetings for two and a half years.
By the way, are you wondering how Protect Colleyville got your email address? I do.
David Medlin was a member of the Charter Amendment Committee